Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Miller Marut 5K Race Report & Training Update for Erie Marathon & Beach 2 Battleship 140.6

This past Saturday was my birthday and I could think of no better to celebrate it then with a race! It was five years ago on my birthday when my husband Steve and I had our first date at the Perfect 10 Miler race. In addition to my birthday, running the Miller Marut 5K this past weekend in Concord Township (where we live) was kindof a celebration of our fifth year as a couple as well!

The race started a little later at 8:30 am and was close to home so we were able to sleep in until 6:30, which was nice! We left the house around 7:30 to get to packet pickup and get in a little warm up beforehand. We ran about 2 miles at an easy pace and I was already dripping with sweat as it was a warm and humid August morning. I opted to leave my singlet in the car and race in my sportsbra, which proved to be a good decision. The first half of the course is downhill so there was a fast start. My first mile was at a 6:35 pace and it felt pretty good but as we hit the turn around it was all uphill from there! I was very close at that time to Savannah Dennison who was in second place but she took off as I faded. The last mile was hard physically and mentally tough for me and I lost a lot more ground than I should have but I do not do as well in the heat as some. I was able to hang onto third place female with my time of 21:47 but I really think I should have been a little faster. With the tired legs and heat I will take it. The real purpose of these short races for me is to force myself to get in the speed work for the upcoming Erie Marathon!

post race with my love!
After the race Steve and I got in another two miles of easy running and then headed over to the awards. Steve ended up placing 4th male and 1st in his AG so he had a pretty good race too. After the race we treated ourselves to  Starbucks non-fat, unsweetened Green Tea Lattes! Then I headed home to ride my bike for an hour and fifteen minutes followed up with a short 500 meter swim. I wanted to make sure that I got in all three sports on my special day! The rest of the day was filled with family.

Sunday I did my long ride for the week. I had planned on a century but it was so hot that I only ended up doing 85 in the 5 hours I was out. Steve did the first 50 with me and then I did the 35 on my own. This wrapped up a big week of marathon and ironman training with 50 miles of running, 150 miles of biking and some swimming although not as much as I would have liked! My long run of 18 miles on Wednesday evening went great as I was able to average an 8:40 pace even with the last 4 miles being mostly on trail. All in all it was a solid week and I am happy with where I am.

This week I am focusing more on the swim. I have done three 2500 meter swims including a double on Monday (one in the pool and one in the open water at Mentor Headlands Beach). I will also get in about 45 miles of running including racing at the inaugural Rock Hall Half Marathon this Sunday in Cleveland and 130 miles of biking. So it's a little easier of a week than last with the exception of the race.

Next week I begin to taper the run down a little more to 39 miles but have close to 200 miles of biking on the schedule including another long one. This will be my biggest bike week for a while since Erie will be two weeks out from Sunday! I will also get in a couple of 3000+ meter swims and some bikram yoga.

The following week will be lighter on the running and biking with a couple good, long swims and then the week after that I will be on a very light marathon taper with only one swim and no biking. The idea of not biking for that long is not making me happy but it is necessary so that I will have fresh legs for Erie. I know that the next 24 days are going to go very quickly! Then it is time to recover and do one more short build for the Deer Creek 70.3 Tri and Beach 2 Battleship 140.6 tri!

Stay tuned for the Rock Hall race report! My plan is to race it as hard as I can assuming I feel okay otherwise I will run it as a marathon tempo run for Erie. Gotta keep my eyes on the prize for that BQ!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My First Multisport Win at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon

Sunday I raced the Greater Cleveland Olympic Triathlon at Mentor Headlands. This race is literally in my backyard and the race director Mickey is a friend so it makes sense to race it. After another hard week of marathon/ironman training last week I was not sure how things would turn out. I just knew that I would give it my best effort. I had been practicing OWS swims at Headlands for a few weeks as well as riding the bike course so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect Sunday.

Steve was racing too so we got up around 5:30, which is late for a triathlon but with it being so close we could sleep in. After getting dressed in my new SL3 Triathlon kit we ate a couple bowls of cereal, loaded up the car and we were off to Headlands Beach. I was in an especially chipper mood singing along to some tunes on the radio and about 10 minutes later we were parking. After entering the transition area we learned that the swim was cancelled due to poor water quality and potentially unsafe waves. I was disappointed like many other triathletes because I was ready to tackle that swim and besides who wants to sprint a 5K before the bike and then again after the bike?! Ouch! Duathlon hurts. I give them a lot of credit for killing their legs like that!

I was able to rack with Steve and some of our friends and we knew lots of people racing so it was fun to catch up with everyone before and after the race. After setting up transition with just my bike stuff it was time for the prerace meeting and then my wave was first to start run #1.We would be doing a 5K run, 24 mile bike and a second 5K run for the olympic distance.

Run # 1 - 5K - 20:58 - (6:46 pace)

I lined up near the front with the guys and did not really know many people in my wave so I just tried to stay loose and go hard but not all out for the first 5K. I was first woman into T1 with a time of 20:58 (6:46 pace) although I think the course was a little short. I saw my husband in transition as I was leaving he was coming in but it was nice to be able to say hi.

Bike - 24 Miles - 1:12:31 (19.9mph)

on the bike!
Leaving the park I just tried to hammer the first part of the bike on 44 knowing the first 3-5 miles were pretty flat. I felt good. There are a couple of climbs on Heisley but other than that it's pretty flat and fast. Jackson was just bumpy and then Hopkins has a long gradual climb before crossing over to Chillicothe. Chillicothe is fast and there's a downhill with a very sharp left turn at the bottom so I had to slow down there taking the turn onto Baldwin Rd. Baldwin is pretty fast and scenic. From there we went left onto Hart Rd which has a nice climb coming up to Little Mountain. It flattens out for a minute and then there is a long, crushing climb up Little Mountain to Morley. I made sure to take in some nutrition here and really took advantage of the downhill on Morley Rd. Much of Morley is downhill and then there are a couple of rollers at the end as you cross over 44 to Newell Rd. The course then is very flat but bumpy and has some bad train tracks. From there we took Blackbrook up to 44. This was all very flat and windy. I started laboring a little but knew the bike was almost done. Another female Pam Semanik who was racing in the duathlon division passed me on 44. She is a great cyclist so I just made myself stay close to her. We came into transition at the same time but I knew she had started a few minutes after me.

Run #2 - 5K - 22:28 (7:15 pace)

Pam and I started the run together and she looked strong. I was not able to pass her until the very end. Even then it didn't matter since we were in different races. I was just happy to have someone pushing me for those last miles.

Finish & Post Race 

winner winner chicken dinner!
I ended up finishing in 1:58:01, good for the win in the "triathlon" olympic division. The next closest female was 2:08:39 so even with my swim not being my strongest I still would have had the win most likely. After 5 years in multisport it was nice to add a win to my list of accomplishments. I can see that the hard work I have put in this year and last have paid off.

Steve ended up coming in 8th male and 3rd in his age group with some tough competition from Nate Loman and Mark Durno. After the race awards we headed over to Winking Lizard Mentor for post race food and beverages. It was a fun day and I definitely pushed myself. I am looking forward to racing more short tris next season but this was my last one now until Beach 2 Battleship 140.6, which will be a long one. I do have another 5K, The Rock Hall half marathon and then the Erie Marathon before that so I will be focused on running and long rides and swims for the rest of the season.

Closing Thoughts

Special thanks to Powerbar for fueling countless workouts and races this season and to Cleveland Triathlon Club for some terrific training opportunities this season including the inaugural Emeraldman! I am lucky to be part of such a terrific local tri community!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mayfield Wildcat 5K Race Report & Training Update

Last weekend's Mayfield Wildcat 5K was a painful sort of way! I have not done many 5K races in the last few years. The only one I did last season was the Lakeland Clocktower run, which was a 5K PR for me at 21:17. That one was about a month after my first 140.6 triathlon.

I was hoping to break 21 for this weekend's race but it was a little harder than I anticipated. Of course the pace of the first mile in a 5K is FAST. I resisted the urge to push so hard I would pay for it later in the race. So I went out around a 6:30-6:40 pace. That didn't feel so bad. At the halfway point we turned around in a cul-de-sac within the neighborhood we were running in (close to Highland Heights Community Park). I saw three women in front of me and wasn't sure if I would have enough to overtake anyone. I stayed on my goal pace and tried to just focus on that. A tad short of mile two, the woman in third stopped and I passed her. It was definitely hot and I was laboring a bit myself but with a short race like this there is no time to stop and walk. I quickly chugged a water and poured some on my head as I hit the gas.

Post race with our plaques
The last mile was hot and slightly up hill and it was my slowest mile coming in over 7. I tried to hold steady and think of how close the finish was. And there it was...a grassy finish too, which I love! So I pushed on through feeling like I was going to puke. Mission accomplished I guess. 5K races hurt but they are over fast! My time of 21:35 was not the PR I had hoped for but not too shabby as I managed a 6:56 average and placed third female. The prizes for a smaller local race were very generous too as I received a $30 gift certificate to Achilles Running Shop in Mentor and a plaque. They also gave AG awards out. Steve placed 3rd in the 40-49AG and our friend Brandon won his AG in the 25-29 group so it was a good race for all three of us.

There was plenty of food afterwards and lots of door prizes and we ran into some running friends, who also did well in the race.Afterwards Steve and I headed over to Headlands Beach in Mentor for a 40-minute open water swim. On such a hot day, it was the perfect day to be out there swimming. The following day we did an 80 mile bike ride out to Ashtabula Harbor and back. We managed to squeeze in some pool time and a beer tasting over the weekend to after a successful week of training.

We also got in a trail run Tuesday night, which was a nice change of pace. The rest of the week my training went well including my 16 mile solo run on Wednesday night so I am happy with my training for the week and my speedwork at the 5K race. Next up this weekend is the Greater Cleveland Olympic Triathlon at Headlands Beach. We got in another 45 minute practice swim out there last night and rode some of the bike course this morning so I am looking forward to the race Sunday. Hopefully my legs will treat me well since I do have an awful lot of training to get in this week!