Friday, May 24, 2013

2-4-1 Part 2, Haines City 70.3

Are you ready for your second drink?  If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, please check out my race review for St. Anthony’s Olympic Distance Tri here.
This review is for Haines City 70.3.
Haines City 70.3 was as hard as everyone said it would be.  Unfortunately, I think I got a little too big for my breeches and just assumed I could take on whatever the course brought.  Yup, I was wrong.  But, I guess I needed the little slap in the face to tell me that I can’t just ‘DO’.  I have to Prepare, mentally and physically, and Execute with a tried and hopefully true way.  This was not the case with Haines City.  I think I really killed my training 2 weeks before the race.  Two weekends before the race I went out for a girls night, drank too much, and botched my Sunday training.  This was my last big training session that I needed to get in and I botched it.  I was supposed to do bike 60 – 70 miles and then run 6.  What did I end up doing, 37 miles on the bike (half assed) and 0 miles running.  I let myself slide saying “oh well.  At least you got out there and did something.”  I should have been kicking myself in the ass saying “you’re an idiot.”  Now, please don’t tell me that I’m being too hard on myself.  I know when it’s ok to relax and when I need to work hard.  And, I was definitely not working hard and I was letting myself get away with it.  The following weekend (the weekend before the race) I made it out to San Antonio for some last minute hill work.  I did good and I was feeling confident about the race.  I got in 40 solid miles at about an avg. of 20 mph on the bike and 5 miles on the run (with climbing two hills twice) with an avg. of 7:42 min/mi pace.  However, training the week before a race is not really supposed to be training.  It’s supposed to be a taper period and should be easy.  So, I screwed up the two weeks before the race. 

Fast tracking to the day before the race.  I had a slice of pepperoni pizza for lunch, I drank an entire 24 oz bottle of Gatorade throughout the day along with water, and I had the following at Carraba’s for dinner: side salad with house dressing, bread with the oil dip, shrimp and scallops with fettuccine alfredo as a side dish. 
I carpooled with Rose and Pete and we headed straight to the race site to check in our bikes and get our packets.  The southern hospitality was on high at packet pick up.  Everyone was so nice and you can’t help but to smile when someone wishes you the best of luck and ‘god bless’ in the southern accent.  Also, Polk County is pretty poor, so they appreciate the extra income and also thanked us for doing the event and supporting their community.  The expo itself was so-so.  Augusta 70.3 was better.  St. Anthony’s was better too.  St. Anthony’s and Haines City both had the expo outside, but it was so hot at Haines City.  The seats on our bikes were getting too hot to touch just by sitting out in the sun for about 10 minutes.  I was a good girl and didn’t purchase anything.  I really wanted some new tri shorts and a top, but they were just too expensive.  Fit2Run… 10% off of $80 is crap.  Just FYI.  After the expo, we went to dinner and made a pit stop at Publix for some last minutesfood items before heading back to the hotel.
Got to bed around 9 PM, was in and out of sleep all night until my alarm went off at 4:00 AM.  Yay! <shaking head>.  We headed downstairs around 4:30 to grab some breakfast which for me was half a powdered donut (YAY! – for real YAY!), scrambled eggs, and one sausage link.  I had a 20 oz. Gatorade that I was sipping on all morning until about 30 minutes before my wave started.  I opted out of taking any pre-workout mix, again because I was being a little cocky and thought I didn't need to take anything to get me going and keep going.  I think this may have been a mistake and why I was so slugglish after the swim.  

We got to the race site around 5:00 AM.  We had to be out of Transition by 6:00AM.  I got to race in my new bike shoes that Daniel bought me for placing 2nd at St. Anthony’s (or because I begged him to and pretty much made the order and handed him my phone to input his cc info… let’s not worry about the details  :)).  In transition and on my bike:
  • 2 scoops of Infinit mix (197 calories/scoop) with 2 squarts of MiO Energy in a 24 oz water bottle
  • Water bottle filled with water
  • Bento Box with 1.5 Honey Stingers opened and broken in half
  • Socks
  • Bike shoes - Pearl Izumi Tri Fly IV.  I <3 these.  I can't say that they really function any better than my LG tri-lite carbon bike shoes, but they're about equal and they look cooler.  Which, you know, is very important in going faster.  LOL. 

  • Helmet - Lazer Tardiz aero helmet
  • Run shoes - KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light
  • Sunglasses - Tifosi chromomatic (light adjustable)
  • Visor - Nike
What I wore:
  • CW-X tri shorts
  • Kona multisport tri top
  • Nike sports bra

When I got back to the car to put my transition bag in, I put on sunscreen (spf 50 btw) and made sure to put on Butt’r Cream on those sensitive areas.  I also remembered to use the non-chafe stick under my arms where I always get chafed.  So far so good, right? 
Sat around and waited until my wave started at 6:55 AM.  It was an in water start and the walk to our starting position was gross.  It was muddy and grassy and you kept sinking into it.  Definitely the grossest swim start I've experienced.  
Swim -   37:29, 12th a/g
This swim is in Lake Eva.  The water was at 78*, but it felt cooler than that.  The swim was a little crowded for the first 1/3 of the swim.  I don't think I bumped into even close the same amount of people in the Beach 2 Battleship and that was 700 swimmers all at once vs. about 40 or so for this one.  I was way more aggressive on this swim than I ever have been in any other race.  I'm not sure why.  In most cases, I would swim between two girls instead of going around like I usually do.  I'm glad I did though.  I'm getting more confident in the water and my performance in the swim at this race just confirmed it even more.  I swallowed a ton of water and even though it doesn't taste bad like swallowing salt water, it's more scary because lake water is so dirty.  I was almost positive I was going to be sick for the next couple of days.  I also got water in my ear that I couldn't get out all day and I was praying that I wouldn't get an ear infection.  So, in line with not reading directions, I was so confused at the first turn.  I had to stop and look around to figure out where everyone was going.  I followed the crowd, but I was swearing to myself they were going the long way.  Joke was on me, though.  Good thing I wasn't in the lead because I would have for sure gotten everyone penalized for trying to cut the course!  The swim was a little confusing though.  It's in the shape of an M.  You start at the bottom left.  When you get to the top, you have to turn right and pass 2 red buoys and turn right again after the 2nd red buoy.  Then at the bottom (of the M shape) you turn left and pass through 2 orange goal posts, swim a little ways and pass through 2 more orange goal posts (inflatable posts) and turn left after passing through them.  When you get to the top right of the M, pass 2 more red buoys and turn right again after the 2nd one to swim to the bottom of the M.  It's as confusing in the water as it is trying to read my instructions.  LOL.   
T1 - 3:55
Bike - 3:22:49, 8th a/g
As soon as I got out of the water my legs were tired.  It was the same feeling that I had with St. Anthony's.  The only problem is, at St. A's I had taken pre-workout and it had kicked in a couple of miles into the bike.  With this race, I hadn't taken anything and I used a lot of energy on the swim.  Thankfully my mix that I had on my bike had caffeine in the Infinit mix and the MiO Energy had lots of caffeine.  It definitely helped but I didn't start drinking it until mile 3.  My first mile was 15.5 mph.  My speed, and energy, was all over the place.  The rolling hills and the wind made my miles go anywhere from 16.3 mph to 25.1 mph.  There were 3 aid stations stocked with Perform and water bottles, gels, and bananas.  I took a water bottle at each aid station and on the second one I took a Perform.  I knew I was losing energy and it was hot.  I needed to stay hydrated.  This is the first race that I've used my down tube water bottle and had to fill it up during the race.  I do not like.  I will definitely not be using the down tube for water.  When I tried to fill it up, I had to stop pedaling otherwise my leg would hit the water bottle.  So, I think I will just continue to use it in training and maybe use it as an extra bottle in an iron distance.  I will definitely be going back to my Profile Design aero water bottle that sits between my handle bars.  
The bike course was good.  The road was nicely paved except for a few areas.  Unfortunately one of the areas was at a turn near the end (after the last aid station) and I had 3/4 full water bottle sitting between my bars.  When I turned and hit the bumpy part, the water bottle fell.  Thankfully I still had some water in my bottle in the down tube.  The rolling hills really weren't that tough.  I was just being lazy.  They weren't any harder than Augusta and they were easier than San Antonio (Florida).  I was partially thinking in my head "you need to save your legs for the run".  But, that was really just my excuse for not trying harder.  

T2 - 2:34
Run - 8:56:42, 8th a/g
I took 4 gels - 1 pb Gu (without caffeine), 2 Powerbar gels (with caffeine), and 1 2nd Surge gel (double caffeine).  I took the pb Gu at the start of the run and the other gels every 3 to 3.5 miles.  This run is 3 loops with the first half of each loop uphill 3/4 of the way.  So, you go up then dip a little then up again and level off a little before mile 1.  At about 1.25 miles you climb a little more then it's downhill and flat the rest of the way.  The first time up the hill I was having trouble catching my breath.  I made it half way up the first part and decided to walk.  When it leveled off and started going down a little I started running again.  When it started inclining again, I again got half way up and then started to walk.  I told myself "I'm going to end up walking this whole f*ing thing".  I finally made it to the top and turned to see the first aid station a little ways up.  I ran to the aid station and then slowed down to get water, water, and more water, coke, and some ice which I wasn't able to get.  I poured water on my head and on my arms.  I was using Pete's arm coolers so I made sure to put water on my arms and ice in the arm coolers at every aid station.  I also put ice in my shirt under my armpits, down the back of my shirt, and in my sports bra.  Around mile 9 I started putting ice in my pants.  I have to take a moment to give a special thanks to the little boy at aid station 1 who sprinted to catch up to me and give me a cup of ice after I wasn't able to grab any on my first pass.  I honestly think he saved the rest of my race because I was pretty bummed that I couldn't get any ice to cool me down and when I saw him it picked my spirits up.  The first loop was pretty awful.  But, I resolved to running to each aid station and walking through them to make sure to grab everything that I needed, especially enough ice to put everywhere and hold in my hands.  This worked and as I started my second loop I was feeling a little better.  Not necessarily faster, but better.  Using arm coolers is new for me as well.  I will definitely be using them in future races that are hot and HIM or Ironman distance.    
I saw Lindsey half way up the first part of the hill that's at the beginning of each loop.  When I saw her I told myself not to stop running.  It didn't matter how slow I was, just to not stop running.  You can't quit when people are in the blazing sun cheering you on.  She was hilarious too, made me laugh.  One of the things she said was, "You're looking great honey!".  I had to laugh because in my mind I was thinking "HA!  I feel like I'm busting out of my tri suit and you could cook breakfast on me.  I feel anything but great."  But, the way she said it made me laugh and made me forget about the pain for a little while.  I remembered Rose telling me that on races like this when it's this hot (~90*), you will always see people going out hard in the beginning, but by the end they are walking and sometimes just sitting down on the curb.  One of the reasons was because they didn't keep themselves cooled down enough.  That was one of the other reasons I made sure to grab ice and put it everywhere at every aid station I passed.  Sure enough, on the second lap I saw a lot more people walking up the hill than running.  And, by the third lap, I saw just about everyone walking up the hill and even more people walking after they passed the hill.  I even passed a girl that was in my a/g on the third loop just past the hill that passed me on the first loop.  The ground was so hot that my feet were burning before I even finished the first loop.  Half way through the second loop I could feel the blisters forming.   
My last loop was a lot better.  I was so happy that I was almost done.  The finish line didn't seem nearly as far away as it had earlier. 
Mile 9 - 9:29
Mile 10 - 9:24
Mile 11 - 8:43
Mile 12 - 8:39
Mile 13 - 8:09   
Overall - 5:22:05, 8th a/g

This race was hard and kicked my ass.  I think it also cut me down a couple of notches which I think I needed.  My races have been going pretty well lately and I came into this race thinking "I've done so good at the other races and they didn't feel hard.  They just felt like another training day".  So, starting the two weeks prior, I was just being cocky and ignored the fact that I had a race to prep for.  
I did like this course.  It was challenging but doable.  And, it's so close to me.  I may try to tackle it again next year.  I don't like courses that have loops, but I can deal with the run looping on itself.  It gives you a chance to see more spectators for more of the run portion and that's where you need them most.  There was an aid station at just about every mile exactly, each stocked with water, ice, Perform, coke, pretzels, and gels.  This was definitely needed and appreciated.  One thing that they didn't have was cold sponges.  Hopefully they will in future years.  After the race, there wasn't any chocolate milk in the athlete lounge area.  They were selling them from one of the vendors, but it wasn't being advertised anywhere.  I found it odd when I took the survey for the race and they asked about using chocolate milk as a post-race recovery drink but didn't offer any.  Maybe they are trying to see if they should.
After thoughts:
I'm relaxing this week.  Daniel doesn't have school so I am enjoying this week with him.  But, next week I start back.  I'm doing the Siesta Key Tri 6/29 (Olympic distance) and then the Women Rock Marathon 8/31*  Hyvee 5150 Championship race on 9/1.  So, all of July and August is training, training, and more training.     
  • Strength training - 4 days of weight training for 4 weeks then 5 days for another 4 weeks.  After 8 weeks I will probably drop back down to 2 - 3 days a week  
  • Run - 3 specific runs (strength (aka hills) or tempo, speed drills, and a LSD) per week.  Following a 16 week (now 3 weeks in) marathon training plan to break 3:30 at Women Rock Marathon in August
  • Bike - 2 speed drills and 1 long ride alternating each week with 1 speed drill and 1 long ride
  • Swim - 1 speed drill alternating with 1 speed drill and 1 long swim per week -- maybe a OW swim if there's a group going out to do it.
Feel free to call me out if you notice that I am not following this.  In fact, I welcome it.      

* The Women Rock Marathon was cancelled by the race.  They are still having the half and 10K races but they didn't have enough participants to justify doing the full marathon race.              



  1. 1. Why and how did I not know you had a blog Maria?
    2. Great job at Haines City.
    3. Time for a new post lady. Chop chop. ;)

    1. 1) HAHA. Not sure. I don't really talk about it much because I haven't posted anything in a while
      2) Thank you. I want to try it again. I know I can do better.
      3) New post is up. Ironically, I decided to do it before I saw your comment. I guess it was just meant to be! LOL