Friday, August 19, 2011

Why IMKY? Cause all of my friends are doing it!

From left to right, Team FIT:  Natalie Herring, Jimmy Herring, Me, John Price, Aimee Price, Laura Tiller, Jeremy Tiller, Megan Miller, and Matt Herring.

Many people this year have asked me why I chose IM Louisville to do when there are so many other courses.   It is because of Team FIT that I signed up for it.

This is the original group that I trained with for my first Ironman.    We call ourselves Team FIT, aka.  Friends in Training.   The first year I trained for IMAZ, this was my main support group, especially on the bike.   Without fail, almost every single Sunday from May through Novemember of that year we met and biked.   But we were all doing different races.   Natalie, Jeremy, and Laura signed up for Wisconsin, which is in September.  So after their race they stopped training.   Aimee and Matt did Florida, so although in November, it was still 2 weeks before mine.   John and Jim where supporters in the ride only, neither did an IM.   The result was that although we all trained together, we didn't all race together.   So, after a year off, we decided that we all wanted to race one together.   IM Louisville was picked by majority rule, mainly because of the location (closest to Columbus) and it was a time of year that worked for everyone.   So my training times and plan have changed a bit this year and sadly, I haven't ridden with this group nearly as much as I would have liked.   But, Natalie, Jeremy, Laura, Megan and I are in the same swim class, so I still get to see them, when I remember to show up for class!  At this point in time all of us are doing the race except Natalie and John.   John is a cyclist only, so he never signed up - he will be out there on the course supporting us as a spectator.    Natalie, unfortunately had a bad bike accident a few weeks back.   Her shoulder is on the mend, but not in raceable condition right now.   So, much to everyone's disappointment, she will also be supporting us as a spectator on the course.   However, I hear rumor she is already planning another for next year...

 Team FIT (bib#'s for IMKY included):  On the left is Megan (bib# 91), Laura  (bib# 80) and Natalie, Meg and Matt (bib#860)  in the middle, and Laura and Jeremy (bib#816) after IM Wisconsin!  No extra pic of Jimmy, but his bib# is 2335.

So, this year my training support group has grown bigger.   After I signed up, I helped to convince a few more along the way and through them, I also met others from some of the different training groups that are also competing for the same race.   At this point in time, including Team FIT, I now have 19 friends doing this race with me.    Most I have met through 3 main training groups that I either participate in, or have many friends that participate in them.   
These are:
1) COTT:  This is more of a loosely based triathlon training clubs.   There are no coaches or plans that are set up for you as a member, but they do coordinate different group workouts, socials, and volunteer support for various events.   I joined this group last summer and so glad I did, it introduced me to some terrific people and many new friends!
2) MIT:  aka Marathoners in Training:   This is primarily a running group although they are delving into the tri realm this year.   I have been a member of this group since 2006.   I have also been a coach for a few years, although I am not coaching right now.
3) Just Tri:   A coached tri group.   Although I am not an active member of this group, I know alot of the members and occasionally crash their group workouts!  

So, in no particluar order, I am going to introduce the rest of my friends, their impact on me, how I met them, and their bib #'s for IMKY:

 Andy Lowe  #2039 ((COTT ):  I originally met him last year at one of the various COTT social gatherings.  I believe I was a bit tipsy and he graciously listened to me since I chatted his ear off that night.   Since that time, we have become FB friends and although we don't train together, he has been very good about answering alot of my questions about the IM distance, anything from HR based training questions, coaching questions,  to nutrition planning.   For this I am very grateful and appreciative.   I am hoping that Andy gets his Kona spot at IMKY!

Christy Feamster #341 (JustTri):  Christy is one of those people I felt I have always known, although I know I just met her in the past year.    The first time I met her was at an info session for Just Tri last year.  Although I didn't end up joining Just Tri, I am glad I went because we became FB friends shortly after that.  Since that time we have cheered together during races and done some races together.   Christy has one of the best attitudes of anyone I know and I wish her the best at her first IM attempt this year.

Aaron Fridenmaker #1425 (COTT, Just Tri):  I met Aaron and his wife, Tani last year after I joined COTT.    It was on the first group ride that I attended.   I was newly single and very excited to go out with a new group.   I was actually thinking maybe I would meet some hot tri guys!   When I showed up, it was all girls, except Aaron and Philip.   Both are happily married (to Tani and Amy resepectively), as I found out later!    However, the ride was so much fun and it introduced me to a very good group of people who I now consider some of my closest friends.    Aaron did his first IM distance at Rev3 Cedar Point last year.   About a week after, I asked if he was ready and would sign up for another?   I strongly suggested he should do IM Louisville.   He took his time deciding, but eventually caved!    Glad he will be going down and I know he will do some serious damage on the course.   But I am even more excited that Tani and Kati will be there as well!   Tani is hands down one of the best sherpa's/spectator/cheerleader, ever!

David Bush # 1128 (Just Tri, MIT):   I haven't known David very long, but him and his wife Sherry seem to be really great people.   The first time I remember actually meeting them was at a trampoline workout last year at a place called Skyzone.   We had an absolute blast and I have enjoyed seeing David and his wife at various races and events since then.   It will be fun to see another friendly face out on the course!   Rumor has it, IMKY this year is his second and he is out to set a PR on this course...

Federico Menendez #1211 (COTT, MIT):   The first time I met Fede was on a century ride with COTT this year.   It was his first ever and my second of the year.   It was a very slow paced ride, so we got to chat, alot.   We also stopped for a very leisurely lunch at some BBQ place in Howard, Ohio.   As we found out later, BBQ pork or chicken isn't a good choice of food to eat when you are doing a century ride!    Since that time, Fede has become a very good cycling buddy, we have put a lot of miles on the bike together.   I wish Fede the best during his first IM this year! 

Jen Brown ?# (former COTT):  I just recently met Jennifer at a ride down in southern Ohio.  Fede and I had our COTT jerseys on and Jen just happened to hear us talking about a COTT ride.   She promptly introduced herself and we have been FB friends since.   I just want Jen to know she will not DNF this year, I have confidence you will make it to the end!

Julie Zedakar #170 (COTT and MIT):  Julie and I were actually FB and email friends prior to actually meeting.   The first time we met was at Muncie 70.3, and we got to wave at each other several times along the course.   I am hoping we will get to do that again in IMKY this year!   Go Julie!!

Aimee Price #262 (MIT and FIT):   Aimee and I met years ago during MIT.   We don't run the same pace at all, but we always used to go out to breakfast together after alot of our long runs.   Through the years she has become a great friend and also a good bike buddy, when I get the chance to ride with her.   I am so excited that we are doing the same race together this year and can't wait to see her at the finish line!!

Kathy Parker-Jones #422 (COTT and MIT):   Kathy and I met at MIT a few years back.   We really got to know each other in 2009 when we were part of an elite group that went out and ran the Big Sur Marathon.   Since then she has become a great friend and coach.   Kathy wrote my training plan for me this year and has been a big part of my training; we have swam, ran, and biked together.   Not to mention her husband, Jon is a kick ass cook and they have fed me well!   Of everyone I know, she will probably race closest to my time and am hopeful we might even be able to run and possibly finish together! 

Tommy Costantiello #2032 (Just Tri):  Of everyone on this list, I have actually known Tommy the longest.   His sister was a year ahead of me in highschool, we also all worked at Big Bear together.   Some time passed, went away to college and didn't see him for awhile.   After I returned from BGSU, I signed up for a flag-football league and was randomly placed on Tommy's team!   We had a blast and played together for several years, and our team was awesome!  Of course all good things often come to and end, as we got older our team kind of fell apart.   Flash forward to last year.   The same Just Tri meeting that I met Christy, Tommy was there!   Since then we have spectated, cycled and raced together.   I wish Tommy the best and I know he will love it when he crosses that finish line! 

Rocco Maiolo #1860 and Susan Liston #275 (COTT and MIT):  We met through MIT.   I am not even sure how many years it has been, but Susan is another breakfast buddy.   I have really gotten to know them this past year with some crazy COTT rides and have enjoyed every minute of it.   They really struggled about the decision of which race they should do and I am so glad they chose IMKY.   I know both of them are very strong athletes, and if they trust in themselves and the training that they have done, will have awesome races.    It helps to know there are good friends out on the course and everytime I see them pass me, I will send as many strong vibes as I can and hope they do the same for me! 

Rick Carlisle #1933 (COTT and MIT):  I met Rick last year for the first time through our mutual friend, Jenifer Joseph.   Jenifer helped Rick to train for his first marathon.   Shortly after than he decided to get back into cycling but didn't know alot of people.   Jenifer knew I rode alot and we both lived in Dublin.   So the first time we met was when he showed up at my place to ride one day.   Since that time we have ridden together alot.   We have also done several races together, drank alot of wine together, and he has also acted as my chauffer for much of the year!   I owe Rick alot for his support and hopefully I provided him with enough training rides, etc. to finish this race feeling really strong and with pride for everything he has accomplished this year.

Petr Janousek #1577 (COTT):  So, I met Petr though COTT and a mutual friend, Deanne.   I met them for coffee one day last winter, I am not sure if Petr knew I was coming but De did.   She had mentioned he was training for an IM but not which one.   So when we met, I asked and was happy to have another friend doing IMKY.   Since then we have been FB friends.   He has been fun to chit chat with about training and how it was progressing.   We have done one race together and Petr did really well.   I know he will do it again at IMKY!

Kristen Huener Henney #268 (MIT):  Kristen and I met several years ago during MIT when we were training for our first marathon together.   We have stayed great friends since that time.   Through the years Kristen has become a stronger and stronger runner and I really admire her attitude with her training.   I have also gradually gotten her more into multi-sport, and as you can see above, she is kicking ass with it.   Until this year she had never done a tri, only du's.   Somehow though, Kathy and I were able to talk her into signing up for IMKY anyway.   Kristen has also been another of my biking buddies this year and often times has even put the courses together for us, hosted, and had her awesome husband Ben be ready for SAG support if needed and food at the end of the ride.   I love them both very much and I hope Kristen doesn't hate me for talking her into this by the time we are all finished!   But I know she will kick some serious ass out on the course and will love it when she finally crosses that line as an Ironman!!!! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IM Muncie 70.3 Race Report

This is a very overdue race report, but I figure late is better than never and I should have this for my blog.  

Back in July, a small group of us traveled out to Indiana to do our only 1/2 IM for this year.   Kathy Parker-Jones and I left after I got off work on a Friday and drove straight to Muncie to get out packets.   One there we met up with Kristen Huener Henny, Federico Menendez and Rick Carlisle.   I also ran into Julie Robbins, who I didn't even know was doing the race!   We got our packets, went to the athlete meeting, where we found out the water temps were already in the 80's -so no wetsuits for the swim!    From there we went out to the race site and then dropped off our bikes.  We split from Kristen and Fede and hit up Olive Garden for our carbo loading before the race.    From there we went back to the church, that is right, the church, where we spent the night.   Actually a really good deal.  $10 and you get a cot, water, indoor bathrooms, and breakfast food in the morning.   We actually stayed behind the church in the activity center and you get your spots first come, first serve.   We didn't get there quite early enough to snag a classroom, but we did manage to find a storage room!   Nice and dark, but nothing fancy - saw some Christmas and Easter decorations on the shelves!     We also ran into some more friends there - Petr, Christy, David, and Thomas.   They had a snagged a spot on the stage in a big room upstairs.   It was very quite and dark and I thought I would sleep well, but not so.   I went to the bathroom 2-3 times that night and just seemed to toss and turn, I think I finally fell asleep about 2 hours before the alarm went off. 

Race morning came really early, we got up, ate, and stumbled out of the church and got over to the race.   Found Julie Zedaker, Kristen, Fede, Rick, Chirsty, and Tommy C. before the race and wished them good luck!   Then went to the bathroom about 4 more times and Kathy and I headed to the water to wait for the race.   This one went off in waves and they start the slower people first.   This was good for me, meant I didn't have to enter the water last like I did for my last 70.3 distance.   The water was really warm, almost felt like bath water.   Within the first 500 feet I got nailed in the face and the impact of the girl's fist knocked my goggles out of alignment (once I got home I actually discovered that my left eye was bruised).   I had to stop and refocus and after that I was alot less aggressive trying to swim around people.   I also got kind of off course around the first turn and it seemed to take me awhile to get back in line with the buoys.   When I finally exited the swim, I looked at my watch and saw a 44 min time.   I was really disappointed b/c I had been hoping for a 35 min swim.   WTH?  There was quite a little jog to get to T1 and my official swim time ended up being 45:44.   Very disappointed and I think it threw me off my game for the rest of the race.

 T1: I was actually pretty quick in (for me) but I did stop to apply sunscreen, which added some time.   Total T1 time:  4:03, my fastest by far.  

The bike course was pretty flat, which was nice.   It was already a little windy at the start, and we had a nice tailwind.   It is an out and back course and we had a pretty steady headwind for the middle 25 miles of the course.   This gets tiring to me after awhile.   I think of all the things you can get on the bike, wind is my least favorite, it just never lets up!    The nice thing was that we got somewhat of a tailwind on the way home.   One good thing about this type of course is that it does allow you to see some friends.   I was able to see Kathy, both Julie's, Kristen, Rick, Christy, and Tommy at various points along the course.   I love to see my friends race, so this did help to pass the time! My bike ended up being 3:14:09, not my fastest (3:10) but I was still pretty pleased with it!  Overall I felt like I controlled the pace well and I thought I was doing well with nutrition, one bathroom stop along the course, so this told my I was on track.

T2:  Uneventful, I was in and out in 3:30

Run:  My legs felt really good when I first started running, maybe a little too good.   I decided to go ahead with the 4:1 run/walk that I had been practicing for IMKY.   I also decided to do this b/c it was always into the mid 80's and was really humid by this point in the race.   My first few miles I managed to do in the 10-10:30 pace range.   I felt like I was passing alot of people at first and generally was having a good time.    Muncie is alittle deceiving, it is advertised as a fast and flat course.   That may be true of the bike, but not the run.   It is constant rollers for 13 miles.   I am not sure if it was that, or the fact that it was 89 degrees by the time I finished, but somewhere around the turnaround point (6.5ish miles) I hit a wall.   Big time.   My legs felt like lead, nausea set in, and I felt like I was moving like a snail.   I was having a hard time eating or drinking anything b/c my stomach felt very full and bloated.   Around 8 miles I started to get chills and goose bumps, then I noticed I was in the sun.    So, I tried to force more fluids and I decided to walk more of the hills.   I saw pretty much everyone else on the course and they all looked strong.   Kristen and both Julie's were flying.   Kathy and Rick looked great!    Petr flew by me with a huge smile and pat on the arm.   Meanwhile, I was feeling miserable.   I managed to muster up a big smile for Carrie McCoy and her cowbell when I saw her along the course, but after that I slowed down even more.    One foot in front of the other, ran when I could, tried to say on the 4:1, but deviated a bit.   Met a really nice gentleman from Indianapolis who seemed to be feeling the same as me.   It helped, especially the last 1.5 miles.   Finally, one last big hill, which I walked and then the turn to go back to the finish line!   My half marathon time ended up being 2:40:52 and my overall time 6:48:17.  

I was never so happy to finish a race.   Rick and Kathy were both there to greet me.   We waited around and Fede finished  a little behind me, huge smile on his face!    I still felt like crap and I know I was alittle out there.   Kathy chatted away and I think I managed some one word answers.   She loaded up on food and nothing looked good to me.   I managed to choke down some water, a few bites of some pretzels and still felt like my stomach was going to revolt.   Then I found the ice cream truck!  Awesomeness, I found an orange flavored pushup thing and that seemed to hit the spot.   Once I ate this and sat a little, I finally started feeling a little better.   We found the JustTri group and hung with them.   Christy was still out there and I was determined to see her finish.   Kathy and I split for a bit as she wanted to change clothes and get her bike loaded up.   I did go get my recovery drink and got into flip flops, my feet finally felt wonderful!   As I headed back to transition I ran into Lauren Updyke and we chatted about the race - she did awesome, BTW!   But, she also mentioned being disappointed in the swim and being a few minutes slower than normal.   We speculated a bit and came up with the theory that the course was long!   Phew, maybe I wasn't as slow as I thought...

Back to the race and just in time to see Christy cross the line!  Yes!   Everyone made it!  From there I went back and quickly gathered my stuff and went out to where I thought we left the car, but it wasn't there.   At first I thought I had the wrong spot but then noticed Rick's car was still there.   So, Kathy moved the car somewhere and I had no way of finding out where she or the car were, as my cell phone was in her car!  D'oh!   So back to transition, her gear is gone.   Decide to go back to the finish line, bags and bike in tow.   Finally found her, she had moved the van closer and I completely missed it!    At that point we loaded up the car and headed home!     Very uneventful trip home, I thought I would sleep and didn't.   I think we talked the whole time about IMKY.   Once home (a little over 3 hours from Muncie) I finally went to the bathroom and realized I hadn't gone since the bike of the race...

So overall I was disappointed with my time and performance of this race.   But it was so much fun to be out there with all of my friends and I did learn some things about myself.   A few things of note, I did not taper at all for this.   It was hot and that was the first time I had done a race of that distance in the heat.  I realized after the race I didn't manage this well.   Maybe on the bike, but definately not on the run.   Looking at my symptoms and the fact that I didn't go to the bathroom for at least 7 hours, leads me to believe I was either really dehydrated or undergoing heat exhaustion on the run course or both.   After talking things over with Kathy and Kristen, I realized I didn't use the ice as well - they both were putting it in their bras, under hats, and munching on it.   I think this would have helped me alot and it is something I will rememember for IMKY.   So, it did rally five me some things to consider for my nutrition planning and managing in the heat.   The one other thing I noticed is that it really didn't take me that long to recover.   I was right back on track for IM training pretty quickly after the race, which I though was great.   

All in all, I thought this was a really well run race and would suggest it to anyone wanting to try a 70.3 distance!