Sunday, June 21, 2015

Espirt De She Naperville Race Report

This is the second year I have done the Women's only race a handful of years ago and decided to join again this year.  The race used to be Danskin but now owned by Lifetime

I enjoy a women's only race now and again b/c it really encourages new women to the sport.  In these races, you have a higher percentage of newbies and most people are just celebrating the process of the sport.  It really is a love fest.

However, this love fest started with torrential downpours at the start.  Rolled into Naperville at 6ish with transition closing at 6:30. When i pulled into the lot, it was pouring and saw on social media the race was pushed back a bit and transition was staying open a bit longer so i sat in my car, listened to a few church devotionals, had a powerbar and then reluctantly, got out and made my way to transition.  

Transition was wet and my bike rack was in the grass.  Kindof gross already and with the rain still coming down I did NOT want to have soaking wet stuff.  Luckily, I packed 3 trash bags so I was able to lay out transition the following way:  1.  laid down 1 trash bag and laid out all my stuff on it like normal  2. then took a second trash bag and put all my stuff into the second one to keep it dry  3. used the third one to put my tri bag into so it was dry when i finished.

In retrospect was happy i put everything in bags.. it kept everything dry while I wasn't wish the stuff but next time, I would rather have a Bike Trash Bag and Run Trash bag so i can just open it and get what I need vs. worrying about re-closing the stuff after T1 so it would be dry for T2.

Walked down to the water to see the first waves (Elites and Cancer Survivors go off).  I happened to find my friend Darcy in the crowd and chatted with her a while before we got started.  It was nice to kill 20-30 minutes with her while we were standing there in the pouring rain.  I opted for my sleeveless wetsuit which kept me warm while we waited so it wasn't horrible except I actually thought about wearing my goggles b/c I kept getting water in my eyes.  I held back my geekiness though and waited for my wave.

Another 20 minutes past, chatted up with some more old and new friends and I was off.  The swim is perfect for beginners and nice change up for vets like me.  The water isn't clear but NOT pitch black and it essentially in a huge pool.  I don't know how they treat it but it definitely gives off a huge pool vibe. Got settled into a groove fairly quickly but there was more contact than I was expecting for a women's race.  Got out of the water and ran up to T1 while rinsing my feet off along the way.

For the bike, I used my Giant Road Bike ( i may or may not have ridden more around the block prior to the race).  I did manage to put on my Selle Italia seat and got adjusted for my height.. however,  after a few quick cycles, I realized that it was too short.. like 3-4 inches too short.  So, the plan at that point was to just stroll along.  Kept a 15 MPH pace which was slow for a sprint time but considering the conditions and my ill fit on my bike, it was fine. 

Run:  Ugh- my legs were dead.  Even though the bike was short, I was pooped from it.  I think it was because I was lower than I was supposed to be, my legs were very isolated and shot by the time I got off.  But alas, I had 3.1 miles to go.  I slipped on some new socks in T2 (somehow my bike socks were soaked) and was off is clean socks and soaked sneakers (wore my run shoes instead of bike shoes b/c I didn't have an extra set of Look pedals)

Run was slow but supported a few strangers along the way.  This was a great race to do that with since many were newbies and needed the extra push.  Did a 12 min/mile run walk for mile 2 with a lady who said she promised her daughter she was going to get in shape this year.  She had to go to the bathroom so i dropped her and picked up another younger girl who signed up on a whim earlier this year and made this her big goal.  LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing these stories and being amongst the stories!  Also, b/c the race is so spread out, the person running next to you could be 30 minutes faster or slower than you which makes it feel more communal for newbies or people like me who just enjoy being out there. 

Crossed the finish line to see a few more friends, hang out in the post race area (it was huge) and was on my way home by 10 am.

Fun race for beginners.  Good swag (Moxie Jersey) with lots of post race goodies.  Only issue I have with this race is having packet pickup day before.  It is a 60 mile round trip which sucks up the Saturday.  Other than that, love a good ladies race.. will be back at some point!  

Per usual.. repping Challenge Tri Team and Headsweats!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Original 5K

Signed up for the Original 5K on a whim.  Thursday summer night, $19.72 total registration with a retro theme (1972 was the year the first 5K road race happened).   As I knew my dad would be in town, signed up Scott and I and decided to make it a date night... needless to say my husband that loathes running was thrilled!

We did same day packet pickup and our friend Jen saved us as we were running late getting down to the race site. The Skokie Swift was down so i was forced to take a bus to Howard which delayed us. We rolled in with about 10 minutes to spare.  Enough time to take some pics and get situated before we were off. We were concerned it was going to rain but thankfully it didn't. However there were a fair amount of puddles on the path. 

The course began and finished across the street from the Peggy Notebart Museum.  This is a good spot for small/medium size races like this because the zoo parking makes it easy if you can't find a street spot.  I also enjoyed the route.  It wasn't anything special but had just enough turns to keep it interesting but not too make to make it annoying.

I told Scott a small part of me wanted to break 30 minutes.  I PR'ed about a month ago with a 30:30 and wanted to see if i could break that time.  As I have talked about before, my drive to PR isn't very strong as I enjoy the process and being out there but with having a coach who has made me do different types of workouts, I wanted to give it a go. 

So, we started out with a high 9:XX pace.  We click along together with Scott about 4 feet in front of me (wanted to avoid the swinging elbows!)  The race thinned out after about .5 miles and we stayed together till the halfway point.  Scott stopped for water and I kept going.  Garmin read 19:07 when i hit mile 2 so i knew my goal was possible.  Keep a 10 min mile pace and then push the last .1.  And that is exactly what I did.  I saw Scott at the last turnaround, gave him a wincing smile and then just kept going.  It is amazing how I can be all smiles, talking, taking pictures at a 11 min/mile pace and then at a high 9:XX pace I am dying. 

Hit mile 3 at 29:13... time to pick it up!   So, i sprinted the finish and used any energy I had left. Garmin said 29:59:75 so I knew I was close but wasn't sure yet. (  official time of: 29:57 ) Either way, I was happy with my effort.  Hung out for Scott to cross. He trotted in 90 seconds later.
Scott is behind the guy in the white
Met up with Jen and others at the post race party.  Didn't hang out too long b/c Dad and Josh were at home but did manage to grab a ton of watermelon and pringles. Happy i signed up for the race.  Cheap ($19.72 including fees), you get a decent retro trucker hat and location is good for size of event.  Grateful Scott joined me and looking forward to our next family race with Josh!