Sunday, September 30, 2012

CMT Awareness - Help Spread the Word

Everyday when I wake up I am blessed to be in good physical and mental health. I can't imagine having a disease that makes my body weak and bound to a wheelchair. Yet there are many people who despite this unfortunate reality still contribute to our world in their own unique way.

Wearing the CMTA shirt to help promote awareness of CMT
The purpose of this post is to promote awareness of Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) Disorder. CMT is the most common nerve disorder yet most people have not heard of it. I was in the same position until I learned of the disorder from a teammate Jamie Bull. Jamie was asked to help raise awareness of the disorder and to enlist the help of Team Rev3.

CMT is a basket of nerve disorders that impacts about 1 in 2500 people. The disorder makes transmitting signals to the affected person's muscles difficult. The end result is muscle atrophy. This means these individuals lose the ability to use their hands and feet and eventually their core often resulting in the use of a wheelchair. Imagine not being able to walk or use your hands to write or cook or anything else that you may like to do.

Please share this post with anyone you know who is interested in helping people. For more information on CMT please visit to donate visit Thank you!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3 Race Report...Love me Some Rev3!

Last Sunday's Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3 triathlon was my biggest race of the 2012 season. I'm happy to say that it went well - in fact better than I expected given the setbacks I have experienced this season! I had planned to attempt the full 140.6 earlier in the season but after suffering a series of injuries to the left foot (see earlier posts), I decided completing the half was more realistic for me this year.


Just arriving at Cedar 
Steve and I were super excited to arrive in Sandusky on Saturday afternoon! We had packed most of our gear Friday night after work and planned to just get moving in the morning, drop my daughter off at a friends and get on the road. The drive went smooth. We arrived at the Rev3 expo around 1:00. We bumped into some teammates including Heather Oravec and her other half Matt in line to have our bikes checked out one last time by Bike Authority's Sean Gilbert. We picked up our bibs and headed over to the timing chip area where we were greeted by teammate Jen Small's smiling face. We also spotted Laura Mount who was hard at work though I did get a quick hug!

Rev3 Teammate Lauren Bogenberger & Me
We got our goodie bags and were greeted by Rev3 owner Charlie Patten and teammate Laura Veeden Wheatley. Then we ran into some of other friends: Laurie, Alex and Collen that were all doing their first 70.3s! On the way to the bike check-in we ran into teammates Jeff Vanis, Ryan Heisler and Heidi Austin. We chatted for a few minutes and got the details of where the team house was so we could meet up for dinner that night. While setting the bike up in my area I bumped into teammate Lauren Bogenberger. Talk about a Team Rev3 presence!

Steve and me checking in our bikes
Following the expo we checked in at the host hotel, which was Hotel Breakers. We could literally see the swim start from our room! We headed over to the grocery store to pick up food and headed over the Rev3 team house and had an awesome dinner and couple beers with the Team. Got to hang out with Ryan, Jeff, Lauren and her beau, Heidi, Tim Andrus and meet Elizabeth Wittmaack Kaplanis and her beau and Anthony Beeson. We headed back to the hotel around 8 and stopped there at the Perkins for some French Silk pie! Mmm, you gotta love the guilt-free carb coma before a big race! We played a little scrabble on the iPad and called it a night around 10. Sleep was off and on as is usually the case before a big race.

Race Morning:

The alarm went off at 6. We got to sleep in a little since Rev3 let the 70.3 racers have until 7:30 to be out of transition. The triathlon gods were again kind to us as we awoke to learn that the normal swim was on and Lake Erie was again very calm for the race as it was last year. That was a relief. We arrived at transition around 7, got setup and headed back to Hotel Breakers to finish getting ready. I had a hard time eating due to nerves but was able to have one multi-grain gluten-free waffle with peanut butter and a good bit of watermelon.

The Swim (1.2 miles):

Our waves started at 8:45am for Steve and 8:50 for me. We headed out to the beach around 8:20 for a swim warm up. The water was nice at just under 75 degrees and wetsuit legal for us age groupers, which was also a good thing! I cheered for Steve as his wave started and headed in with teammate Lauren B for our wave (female 34 and under). Next year I believe I will be in the older wave, which maybe will help me in the swim ranking (one can hope). We started and I took a very relaxed approach of letting the fast swimmers go for it and running in for a bit since the water is shallow for quite a while. Finally diving in, I felt good. The sun was shining, the lake was calm and I actually had a peaceful feeling. The swim was clockwise about 800 meters out, 800 meters over to the right and 400 back to the beach. I felt good but really dragged the last 400. This is likely due to my lack of discipline with swimming late season. Aside from Rev3 Wisconsin olympic, which was 1500m I maybe did two other 1600-1800m swims. Additionally I was slow getting out of the water. This showed in my time of 49:24 versus my time last year of 45:22.


I was super hungry coming into T1 and a little discombobulated as T1 is always tougher for me than T2. I grabbed a gluten-free cinnamon doughnut, got all my gear ready, grabbed my bike and headed for the bike exit. I figured I would need to make up some time on the bike to compensate for my lackluster performance in the swim. In total T1 was 3:36. A bit lengthy but I just hate getting that wetsuit off!

The Bike (56 miles):

My bike affectionately known as Roxanne
I love the bike course at Cedar Point! For the most part it is flat and fast with a total elevation gain of just 600ft. Race temperatures were comfortable and I felt pretty strong on the bike averaging 19.97 mph for the first 22.5 miles and 18.42 for the back 33.5 (this includes a stop off road to pee as I could not try as I might pee off the bike). Total time according to my bike computer was 2:53 but that didn't factor in my break so my time per Rev3 was 2:56:43 (19.01mph) whereas my computer said I averaged 19.42mph. I enjoyed the ride and all went smooth. I felt more fatigued after mile 40 and especially for the last few miles heading back in. The bike was definitely my favorite and best performing part of the race!


By T2, I was tired of course and again starving so racked the bike, changed into running gear, grabbed another gluten-free cinnamon doughnut and ate on the way out to start the long run ahead. T2 time was sluggish at 2:59.

The Run (13.1 miles):

What is there to say about the run besides the fact that it hurts to run long after being on one's feet for around 4 hours? Quite honestly I was most afraid of the run, which is often one of my best events. With a lot of off-running time this year due to injury I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the half to begin with. I had gotten in some decent 7 milers and one 9.5 mile run a couple weeks before the race. I was a little worried but hoped if I paced myself slower than I would be okay. The first mile I was busy eating and felt strong and motivated as the spectators were cheering. I again had to pee so I grabbed a quick drink and hit the outhouse. I maybe lost a minute here but nature was calling and this was my only other bathroom break for the race. Around mile 6 I started to feel more fatigue and I ended up running for a few miles with an older triathlete from FL who talked my ear off. This passed the time for a while. I remember hearing cheers from the very awesome Cleveland Triathlon Club. This was a real pick me up as was the guy playing music from the Rocky soundtrack. I am very thankful for all the people who volunteer at the aid stations and who cheer! Another big pick me up was seeing Rev3 owner Charlie and our team mom Sharpie out on the course as well!

By mile 8 I had numerous aches and pains in my left arch and left knee and right calve but just went into the pain cave and stayed steady. I was happy to hit mile 10 and be in the double digits. Mile 11 I thought of my husband and figured he'd be finished by then and the last mile I gave it everything I had as I realized I could maybe break 6 hours! Also I was hungry!

The Finish:

I saw Steve waiting for me about 1/4 mile from the finish and I sprinted my heart out to finish in 6:00:37 - just a little over my goal. I heard the announcer call my name, I received my sweet finisher medal and walked over to Steve for a big hug and a couple tears of disappointment that I didn't break 6. I quickly realized that I had still done my best and still beat 2011's overall time despite numerous setbacks this season. I think my better performance had a lot to do with the support I receive from Steve and Team Rev3 and my friends and family and maybe a little bit of stubbornness!

Thanks to everyone who has been there for me and to all of the sponsors who made this day possible including of course Rev3 themselves, PowerBar who provided much fuel for 6 hours, Pearl Izumi for the kit and shoes, Swiftwick for happy feet, BlueSeventy for the awesome googles and of course Normatec for the recovery boots!