Rev3/Challenge Family Discount

Is anyone planning to race a former Rev3 event next year?

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While my main event for 2015 is definitely Ironman Chattanooga, I’ve kept my options open for a half early next year since I wasn’t sure what race I wanted to do. I applied for about a bazillion AG teams hoping that one of them would want to – Ironman is expensive and so are coaches, so any savings I could get could help. The bad news is, I didn’t make the cut for any of them. The good news is, Challenge Family was looking for people to be brand ambassadors for them – particularly for the events that were formerly Rev3 races.

The good news for anyone reading this is that I can give you 10% off any of those races! This includes Knoxville,Williamsburg ,Quassy, Maine, and Cedar Point, Poconos, Florida and Rev3 RUSH. The good news for me is that 10 referrals will get me an entry into a race!

Unfortunately for me and my Greenville people, Rev3 Anderson is not currently on the schedule for this year. A HUGE disappointment since I was super impressed with this race the last 2 years I’ve attended (even in the crazy rain). I know the race was pretty small this year, so maybe in the future…

Anyways, if you want to sign up for one of these races, here’s a 10% off:

HANCEBA15

Here’s to 2015!

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Off Season Woes

Ok, not really woes, I just couldn’t come up with a clever title. I’ve been having a great time saying yes to every social engagement I can fit in my schedule, eating all the cookies, and just generally having a good time.

I expected to get back to running quickly after Savannah, but that didn’t go as planned. The day after the race, the outside of my knee started hurting pretty badly and I suspected ITBS based on where it hurt. So I took a few days off and stretched and foam rolled and did all that good stuff. I tried to do a short, easy run on Thursday but it was still pretty painful. Unfortunately, I had already signed up for the Sabre 5K the Saturday after Savannah. I guess I could have skipped it – it was colder than crap race morning and I knew my knee would hurt. But, I went out anyways (took 3 advil first). This turned out not to be too bad. I was not very fast (28:16), but it was enough to get me first in my age group – small race.  I got a gift card for Academy Sports that was worth more than my entry fee so that was a win. This was a good little race though.

Pre-freezing

Pre-freezing

I spent the next two weeks not running at all – just lifting weight and swimming mostly. Instead of getting better…my knee was hurting worse until the week of Thanksgiving, I started getting horrible stabbing pain in my knee just walking around which is not much fun when you’re running around the Atlanta airport. I tried to run on Thanksgiving Day (since my options were limited on exercise that day) and got about a quarter mile before I had to stop. We figured it was still probably ITBS and my dad made me take ibuprofen and ice a whole lot over the next few days (until I came back to SC).  The stabbing pain went away by Monday, so I tried for a run Tuesday morning. Success!

I don’t really understand what caused it – I was trained for Savannah so over-running doesn’t seem likely.  One thing it could be is that I always run on the left side of the road (like I’m supposed to, duh) and all that running on the cambered road aggravated my left leg.  The roads in Savannah were particularly rounded and I spent a lot of time off to the left.  So, I might need to try to run on the sidewalks more often since they’re flat.

Anyways, since running was ok again, I figured I was good to run the Jingle Bell Jog today (also registered before Savannah).  This was really just a fun run for us and a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation.  It was in the afternoon, so we met up for brunch at someone’s apartment nearby (and had mimosas at 11 am, because we’re adults).

We also got photobombed by the cow

We also got photobombed by the cow

The race was at ICAR so it was obviously hilly.  It was a rainy morning, but luckily it had stopped by the time the race started. I knew I was not going to be fast – I hadn’t run in several weeks and we had all that food and drink before the race. Still, I didn’t do too bad. Time was 28:57 and I negative split the run.

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We definitely had a fun morning. I ended up getting 2nd in my age group but certainly not because I was all that fast!! Haha.

For now, I’m just going to keep enjoying Christmas stuff, but I’ll definitely be ready to get back into normalcy by January!

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End of the Season!

And finally, it’s the end of the season! What a big, fat relief. I don’t plan on doing much of anything from now until the new year. I definitely need it – I’ve been feeling extra unmotivated lately and need to “recharge” or whatever before Ironman training starts.

But I didn’t end the 2014 racing season in such a terrible way.  I’m still not where I was. It’s disappointing, but if I keep working hard, maybe I’ll get back there! I don’t think my best racing days are behind me!

First was Spinx Run Fest. I decided to sign up for the 10K mostly just for fun – I hadn’t run at Spinx since the marathon a few years ago and the 10K was new-ish. This is a pretty great 10K course! It’s not easy, mostly follows the half marathon course which is also challenging but I think it highlights some of the nicer parts of downtown. The only part to worry about is in Cleveland Park when the half and 10k courses split and kind of go all over the place, but I think the volunteers did a good job keeping everyone straight.

It was definitely a beautiful day for a race. I was doing pretty well until mile 5 – then I wimped out on a hill coming into downtown. Still, I felt like the rest of the race was pretty even paced and finished in 59:55 –  just squeaked in under an hour!

After the 10K, a few friends and I headed up on the marathon course (around 22.5, a super boring area) to cheer and give out candy. We had a pretty fun time, and ate too many Swedish Fish =)

Then a few weeks later we were back in Savannah! I went by myself last year, so I made up for it this year by bringing a horde.  We definitely had a fun weekend – a few of my college friends came from (way) out of town to do their first half marathons and my cousin absolutely killed her PR and ran a 1:37! It was a perfect day for it! (Finally some good weather)

My race was ok. I had promised to run with my running buddy Melinda who wanted to run a 2:15 – a PR for her and what I thought I could do.  We couldn’t find each other at the start though. Too many people! Turns out she wasn’t too far behind me and she caught up to me at an aid station near mile 8 so we ran most of the rest of the way together.  I got a big side stitch in the middle of mile 11 and stopped to walk for a few minutes so I could breath, but was able to catch up for the last mile so we could finish hard together. She was a little slower than her goal but still a PR!  I was a little slower since I started before but finished in 2:17:28. Slower than last year, but better executed and certainly better than my last half in Myrtle Beach!

That’s about all. Sorry for the all words, no pictures. There were certainly some taken but I sure can’t find any decent ones!

Who else is ready for the off-season?? WOOOOO!

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Best and Worst of Racing

Being that we’re now basically at the end of my racing season, I thought it would be fun to join in one of those little survey link-up things. I really liked this one since it’s about races and I love races! I followed the blog train back to The Right Fits for the initial survey. I definitely have some awesome races in the future, but here’s some of the highlights of the last few years:

Best Finisher’s Shirt
Definitely the shirt I got at the Clemson Tri. It’s made of that soft cotton material and I wear it all the time. This is saying something because I hate Clemson and people assume that I went there when I wear it. I just love it so much.

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Also socks are great

Worst Finisher’s Shirt
I had some trouble thinking on one particular race that had a terrible shirts because I donated all the race shirts that I never wore because they don’t fit.  There were a lot. But, I think the one race that has terrible shirts year after year is the Reedy River Run. I love this race and have done it 3 times and each year the shirts were awful. I didn’t keep any of them. If they’re going to keep doing that, I’d rather they just cut the shirts and the cost of the race.

Best Start Line
Definitely Disney. People may hate them for various reasons, but they sure know how to throw a race. There were fireworks and other random entertainment and I didn’t even mind that much that we were there for almost 3 hours waiting for the race start.

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Best Finish Line
I would say either Savannah Rock and Roll or the Low Country Splash. These are obviously significantly different events, but they each had a pretty cool finish. I loved finishing the Savannah half marathon in Forsyth Park – it was so pretty!  But, finishing the Low Country Splash by swimming right up to the USS Yorktown was kind of awesome. I mean, you can take a stroll in the park anytime, but you can’t go diving in to Charleston Harbor any old day.

Still not mine, but a sweet pic

Best Finish Line Food
Kiawah, definitely. They sure know how to feed people down there. And they give out blondies at mile 20 on the marathon course.

Best Crowd Support
Nashville Rock and Roll. It rained ALL DAY and there were people cheering all along the course out there in the pouring rain. They are awesome. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a nice day!

photo 2 (1)

Hottest Race
To be honest, I’ve been pretty lucky with racing in the heat. I’ve had a few hot ones but they weren’t unbearable. I did do that bike event – Flight of the Dove – back in August this year that was pretty awful, though not a race.  We determined that if the gates of hell are anywhere, they are probably a few miles south of Clinton, SC.

Coldest Race
Again, I’ve been very lucky with the weather with regard to cold temperatures.  It just doesn’t get that cold in SC and I don’t sign up for very many races outside of this geographic area. The most unexpectedly cold race I’ve done was the Over the Mountain Tri.  It was supposed to be really nice and warm that day, being the last weekend in May, and it was 39 degrees at the race start! This is not ideal triathlon weather.

Added: Wettest Race (not including swimming obviously)
I added this category because if you haven’t noticed, I get rained on a lot. Enough that I’m known in my training circles as a rain magnet and I get blamed for rain at local races a lot. Sorry.  I would have said that the Nashville Marathon was my wettest race, but after Rev3 a few weeks ago, I have to say it wins.  Nashville gets an honorable mention for the all day rain shower, but I was never concerned about losing my contacts during the race! The rain at Rev3 was just ridiculous. I should have brought my goggles with me on the bike.

Most Scenic Course
Lake Logan is still my favorite race for it’s scenic course. I’ve had plenty of people disagree with me, but I just really enjoy going up to Canton for this race! It’s no Lake Tahoe, but compared to Indiana, well…it’s definitely better than cornfields.

Hilliest Course
I will always remember that sufferfest that was the Resolution Run Half Marathon.Whether it was actually the hilliest race I’ve done or not is kind of irrelevant because I remember it as being a monster, so that’s all that matters.

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Flattest Course
If you’re looking for a flat race, just head down to the coast. Charleston, Savannah, Kiawah, all of these are good, flat races. I don’t think it gets any flatter than that!

Most Mental Strength
Most Disappointing Finish
I put these together since they’re the same race. When I fell apart halfway through the Kiawah Marathon last year, I wanted to just quit. I’m not entirely clear on why I kept going except that I seemed to have some weird urge to finish the race even though I was miserable and sucking. It never really felt like a victory though – being 30 minutes off your goal time will certainly do that to you. It was such a big disappointment, and I hate leaving that as the last marathon I do before IMTN, but I have just really not had any desire to train for another one. AT ALL. So, oh well. Maybe I’ll get the urge to try a (n open) marathon again, but it won’t be for a while!

How to pretend you're enjoying a marathon

How to pretend you’re enjoying a marathon

Best Worst Organization
I changed this one to the worst organized race because while I’ve been to tons of well-organized races, I’ve only had a few bad ones.  Tugaloo Tri takes the first prize for this one.  I was super displeased with this race and I will never do it again, and it’s doubtful that I’ll want to do any Georgia Multisports races again.  They don’t have a good reputation as it is, so to fail so magnificently in one of their biggest races is unimpressive.

I hate to leave the post on a sour note, so I’ll just say that I’m pretty excited about Savannah! It’s just a few weeks out and I’ve had some decent runs the past few weeks. I will be slower than last year, but I don’t think a 2:15 is an unreasonable goal for me right now. Either way, this is a fun race and I have some friends coming in from way out of town and I can’t wait to see them!

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Rev3 SC Olympic Triathlon

Ah, finally, the end of this year’s tri season. It certainly didn’t go the way I wanted, but I’m definitely glad to be here. I’ll be missing it in 2 weeks (probably). There’s no doubt that I did a TON of races this year with the thought that I would really only do 2 or 3 next year. Unfortunately, I felt a little overwhelmed with trying to do the half at Rev3 since it’s not an easy race! At the beginning of September, I emailed Rev3 to see if I could drop from the Half to the Olympic race and they said “no problem”! No extra charge for it – great customer service from them.

So that was a huge relief. I spent the last month slacking off in a big way on the bike.  I did keep going to swim practice, and I kept up with my running since I have Savannah still coming up. I couldn’t say I had any big expectations for this race, or even that I was looking forward to it (at all). Then the weather forecast for Sunday showed up:

Screenshot_2014-10-11-07-10-17

UGGGG

I apologize to all my fellow triathletes for my rain magnet tendencies.  This was a seriously soggy day. Made all the more unfortunate because Saturday was BEAUTIFUL.  ARG.

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I drove down to Anderson Sunday morning nice and not-so early since the Olympic race didn’t start until 8:30. I dumped my running shoes at T2…and realized I forgot a plastic bag. I had several that I had left on my bike the previous day at T1 but I didn’t pack any that morning. This was a mistake.  I used my transition towel to cover up my shoes and hoped that it wouldn’t rain too much. Haha, right.

I rode the shuttle over to T1 with all my other junk and the rain started. No big deal, we were just going to get in the lake anyways. I covered my shoes and helmet and everything with my plastic bags that I was at least smart enough to bring with my bike. It was raining pretty consistently at this point but not too hard. Just as the half athletes were heading down to the start, there was lightning and they had to pull everyone out of the water. Big bummer for those guys. The race was postponed for a bit and it started to look like the weather was going to clear.  Apparently the emergency personnel knew more than us, because they shortened the half distance swim to the Olympic (not really that big of a deal) and sent all the waves off fairly quickly in an effort to get everyone in and out of the water before more bad weather showed up. My wave, of course, was last.

SWIM (1500 m):

I ended up wearing my wetsuit for this race, since I dragged it all the way out there. The water temp was officially 76.1 but with all the rain we got that morning, it felt cooler. I hit the water at the beginning of the swim and immediately felt like crap.  My legs felt terrible for reasons??? I have no explanation. I’ve been swimming well in practice and I rested hard last week and should have felt good. But I didn’t and overall my swim was not very good. Obviously, I spent most of the last half of the swim dodging dudes.

Time: 24:30 (1/7 AG, 4/57 Overall)
T1: 3:15

I ripped my wetsuit off and un-bagged my shoes. Someone had knocked my helmet off my bike halfway across the aisle, so I had to go searching for it and my glasses before I could take off.

BIKE (25 miles):
The bike started out nice enough. The first 3 miles or so are pretty much all uphill but then it heads out onto some nice country roads. It’s very pretty! There were a few descents that I had to sit up a brake on that I wouldn’t normally, but I wasn’t interested in crashing my bike and there were lots of wet leaves on the road.

I was starting to enjoy myself, until about mile 10, when it started raining again. BUMMER. At first, it was pretty light, so I was like, “oh okay, it’s going to rain, but it’s not so bad”.  Then my glasses fogged up big time. I wiped them down with Foggle the day before, so clearly that stuff doesn’t work. The next 10 miles were kind of a blur and I don’t remember much. The rain picked up quickly until it was raining pretty hard, so I was mainly focused on staying on the road and not crashing into anyone. Somewhere in there, it started POURING. I thought I was going to lose my contacts (note to self: pack contacts in car from now on). I spent a big chunk of what was probably nice, flat road sitting up and going slowly because I couldn’t see anything. Also, there were like 3 inches of water on the road. It was really a whole lot of rain.

Then around mile 20, the rain stopped as suddenly as it came on. Well, ok. At least I could see for the last few miles of the ride.

Time: 1:31:57 (3/7 AG, 15/57 Overall)

Considering the interesting weather conditions, this wasn’t such a bad ride! In normal circumstances, this is a really nice course.

T2: 1:27
Remember that towel I put over my running shoes? Haha, yea that didn’t do any good. The towel and shoes were totally soaked. I had some friends standing outside transition cheering so I may have wasted some time telling them how wet my shoes were.

IMG_1998

 

RUN (10K):

My only goal for this run was to not walk between the aid stations.  It’s a pretty hilly run so I figured I would be pretty slow (as usual). And I was. But I only walked through the aid stations, so even though I was super slow, I at least ran most of the way, and this is better than most of my races this year. Nothing exciting happened and it didn’t rain anymore.

Time: 1:06:53 (5/7 AG, 31/57 Overall)

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Oh well. Maybe if I could figure out how to combine that “no-walking” mentality with some actual speed…

Race Time: 3:08:03

Not my best race, but it was not a bad one (mostly). The course was very nice and I would love to do it again if they keep hosting this event!

My one big mistake was that I should have retired those running shoes before this race. I took them off after the race and had shooting pain in my right heel.  I’ve never experienced plantar faciitis, but if that’s what it is, it sucks. Those shoes are in the trash (really, because they were super nasty).

Well, that’s the year for me! I’m looking forward to some free time in November and December before I have to start thinking about Ironman training next year!

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Asheville Marathon Special Stuff!

Since there’s not much going on worth blogging about, I wanted to share a couple offers from the Asheville Marathon Team!

First, off, if you are still thinking about registering (it will definitely sell out!), if you register by November 15, you will get a free t-shirt!

10390554_10204882211754613_1220753581098105863_nIt’s a nice shirt! Our ambassador shirts are the same style, and they’re made of that soft material that’s a whole lot nicer than a regular cotton shirt or a tech tee. Who doesn’t need more t-shirts! Haha. Anyways, if you’re interested, consider signing up soon to get that bonus shirt.

Secondly, if you are planning to run this race, there are now training group and plans! Asheville Marathon is partnering with a few community groups to create training plans for the race.  There will be some fun extra gear, plus group runs and a technique class. It’s a great opportunity for those who live in Asheville.

There are also training plans for out-of-towners, both beginner and int/advanced plans. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

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IM Chattanooga Volunteering

What a weekend! We planned to make this trip way back when they initially announced Ironman Chattanooga (seriously, forever ago), and signed up for volunteer positions in the women’s changing tent back in February.  I originally had a pretty big group going, but it ended up only being two of us (because life?). We still had a pretty great weekend.

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In the name of not spending a lot of money, we drove over Saturday morning (after an 8-ish mile long run for me).  It’s only a little over 3.5 hours from Greenville, so we probably could have even made it a day trip if we had wanted to (a really long one). Anyways, we arrived in Chattanooga around 2 pm and stopped by our hotel before heading downtown to the race site.  I managed to get a hotel in August; there wasn’t much left, but the one I got turned out to be a pretty convenient location. It was right near Lookout Mountain, so we had easy access to that area and it was less than 10 minutes to downtown. It wasn’t very nice, but we were only there one night.

Then we headed down to transition to figure out where we’d be volunteering the next day. This was kind of a fail, because when we went to volunteer check-in to get our shirts they sent us away and told us to come back 5 mins before our shift on Sunday. We both agreed that this was a terrible idea because our shift started at noon and the volunteer area would be a disaster halfway through the race, but whatever. We left and walked around the area to see where the different legs came in and out of transition before going to do some sightseeing.

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We saw the Choo Choo.

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We did not see Rock City.

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But we did at least drive to the top of Lookout Mountain which was pretty cool.

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After dinner, we debated on whether we wanted to spend the morning at the race or do something touristy and decided to take the Incline Railway to the top of Lookout Mountain. This was pretty cool! Plus I had a little nerd moment about it since it’s a mechanical engineering landmark.

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Finally, we went down to the race – well before our shift so we could make sure to get our shirts and instructions. Getting downtown was super easy. The road closures in the downtown area were minimal and there was $3 all day parking at the Choo Choo with a free shuttle/half mile walk to transition.

We made our way back over to the volunteer check in tent, where we were told that we couldn’t get our shirts or wristbands again and needed to wait for our volunteer leader to come over. We stood around like idiots for a few minutes before I asked again (pretty insistently this time) that they at least let us get into transition and they finally agreed. Lo and behold! Our leader was in the transition tent with our shirts and lunch. I ate a whole bunch of pizza (and oatmeal cream pies) which I am so glad I did because the afternoon was super busy. Our volunteer leader told us we would not be too busy, but I think she was only thinking of it in terms of how it was for T1 because it was crazy.

Sea of bags

Sea of bags

While we waited, we got to watch most of the pro men come in before the 1st woman came in:

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She was way ahead of everyone else! Women started trickling in for another hour or so, then all the age group women started coming in – the next 3 hours were exhausting! I put on compression socks, tied shoes, pulled on bras, put vaseline on people feet. You name it.  The changing tent is an incredibly rewarding experience, but definitely not for the squeamish! It was gross. We started out with gloves but they soon got in the way of trying to pin bibs on or tie shoes and by the last hour, most of us had given up on trying to be sanitary and were grabbing some anti-bac as we ran from one person to the next. But. It. Was. Awesome. I got to interact with so many people – some were good and just wanted to get on with it, but some wanted to stop, breathe, and chat for a bit and it was really great to try and be their biggest cheerleader. I also got called a lot of really nice things: angel, god-send, wonderful person, etc.

The bike cutoff finally came by and it was kind of sad to think that anyone still out there wouldn’t be able to continue.  We cheered on the last few people to come through transition as loud as we could! Unfortunately, my friend and I had to be at work Monday morning, so we had to take off as soon as our shift was over to drive back to Greenville – this also meant that I wasn’t able to take advantage of Monday morning registration…The good news is, the race didn’t sell out, and I’m in!

WHAT HAVE I DONE

WHAT HAVE I DONE

I would definitely love to volunteer at this race again though. It obviously won’t be next year ;) but it was such a great experience – I think the changing tent is one of the most appreciated positions, but the most understaffed! (If you want a workout with your volunteering, sign up to be a bike runner. I’m pretty sure those guys ran a marathon on Sunday)

Pre-crazy volunteer shift

Pre-crazy volunteer shift

Anyways, I’ll end this crazy novel. Anyone have any awesome volunteer experiences to share?

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