Betty Designs Kick Cancer bike shorts, tri club tri bra & sleeveless full-zip jersey & short sleeve full-zip bike jersey, smart wool socks, headband, short-fingered gloves
1+ Thunderbird Energetica bar per hour (cherry walnut crunch & cashew fig carrot cut into cubes), Skratch Labs pineapples (mixed a concentrated solution & aid station water to aerobottle), 2 Saltstick caps per hour, Saltstick caps plus after mile 70, Exo cacao nut bar at special needs
6:52:59 (16.27 mph); 6:45:01 moving time (16.6 mph); 3:18: xx first 56 mi (16.9 mph), 3:27: xx second 56 mi (16.2 mph)
I debated between my Kick Cancer bike shorts vs tri shorts, but went with the bike shorts because I’d worn them on all of my 100+ mile rides and because I figured it might be nice for some fresh shorts for the run. I feel that my Central Mass Multisport kit is “fast” so I went for the kit mismatch and wore the club tops. Rebel! LOL! I chose to wear the sleeveless tri top under the short-sleeve bike jersey to give me an extra layer to keep my core warm. I don’t own a cycle vest and I sure wasn’t going to wear a flappy jacket. I figured I could ditch the bike jersey at special needs or stuff it into my tri top pocket if I became too warm (didn’t do either). I wore socks instead of using toe covers because I figured socks would be easier to remove if I became too warm (not an issue). During the run from the swim exit, I decided to not go with arm/knee warmers or long-fingered gloves. I started with a full aerobotte, a Skratch bottle & water bottle behind the saddle, and a bottle of concentrated Skratch on the downtube. I tossed the BTS bottles as they became empty.
Got myself settled on the bike and began to fuel after about 5 miles. I knew from conditions on the lake that there was going to be wind on the bike course. It had been that way when I pre-rode two loops of the course in June. Made the turn off of the Montee Ryan and onto 117 and BOOM! Stiff headwind…just like my training day! No worries, I have a power target! Oh, wait. That’s the cadence field. OK. Now I’m set. Nope. That’s the heart rate field. When I finally found the power field, I was seeing all kinds of useless readings below 100 watts and, sometimes, just “--“. Fook! I noted that the field indicated “30s avg” and wondered it that was the issue since I usually have it set to “3s avg.” I managed to change the field on the fly, but it didn’t resolve the issue. No matter. My last long ride was done at my target power and I knew my body remembered what that felt like. I did wish I’d discussed a heart rate back up plan with my coach, but I didn’t. No matter. My target HR for my first 140.6 was zone III. I’ve got this! I stayed in aero as much as possible in a headwind and adjusted things as necessary in order to keep an even effort (your feet are power meters afterall!). I sat up when necessary going up hill. I sat up more often during sections with a tailwind (sails out, peeps!). I milked the down hills for all that I felt I safely could (I got up to 42.3 mph!). I immediately shifted to my easiest gear and spun as easily as I could on all climbs that were long or steep. So, headwind out on 117, tailwind back on 117. Series of short, steep climbs out on Chemin Duplessis, net down hill back on Chemin Duplessis. Yes, there is climbing on this course, but there are many opportunities to take advantage of speed gained going down hill. I was fairly cool throughout the ride, but never very cold. There isn’t a lot of shade on the bike course, especially out on 117, and I was glad that conditions were mostly cloudy. The wind may or may not have picked up during the second loop. All I know is that it was still rather windy.
It was amusing to hear the cheering in French or in English with a French accent. The fellow tending one bike aid station hockey net announced, “Give me your garbage!” and the way it sounded with the accent amused me for several minutes. I was glad to have worn the Kick Cancer shorts because I got a lot of positive feedback regarding them. I wore them throughout the summer in honor of family, friends, and my dog Kaya and their spirit helped carry me through many hours in the saddle. Would love to send a thank you note to the guy(s) who remarked that I was “strong & powerful” more than once. I also received a lot of positive feedback about my screamingly pink Rudy aero helmet. I did stop at bike special needs to restock on bars and top off my aero bottle. Try as I might, I just could not pee on the bike and I SO wanted to while on the Chemin Duplessis so that I could report that I “peed all over that bitch” but I just could not go. Unfortunately, I had to wait in line for a port-o-pot at bike special needs. Ugh! Nearly every other aid station I passed at a line at the port-o-pots so I figured I’d just get it all done in one stop at special needs. I heard Tom at the end of the first loop. Starting out on the second loop, my stomach felt a bit crampy, I figured perhaps because I’d held my urine for too long. I adjusted my fueling (took in a lot less) for awhile until things settled. I also aimed to keep my heart rate just a bit lower than it was during the first loop. Returning on the Montee Ryan the second time, I had to make another pee stop because I was NOT going to carry a full bladder up the Chemin Duplessis and I was glad to see there was no line. The jaunt in town on St. Jovite featured several spectators and was a boost during each loop. Saw Adam and Monica at the bike dismount (later realized that Tom was there, too) and handed my bike off to a volunteer.
The trot back into the change tent really helped loosen things up even though I still had my bike shoes on. There wasn’t much going on inside the change tent and I was a bit surprised to learn to hear the volunteers say they weren’t allowed to put our stuff back into our bags. I could have saved some time there. I removed my bike jersey, changed into my Kick Cancer tri shorts, put on some fresh socks and my running shoes, grabbed my hat and spi belt, and headed out to begin my run.
Betty Designs Kick Cancer tri shorts, tri club tri bra & sleeveless full-zip jersey, smart wool socks, Central Mass Multisport hat, Saucony ProGrid Ride 7s
Honey Stinger Chews (pomegranate passion, caffeinated lime-ade), Skratch Labs raspberries or matcha green tea & lemons, 2 Saltstick caps per hour, Saltstick caps plus after mile 13
4:45:39 (10:54/mi); 2:14:38 first 13.1 mi (10:16/mi), 2:31:01 second 13.1 mi (11:31/mi)
I was out to crush this run. I’ve always felt I didn’t have the run I trained for at Cedar Point in 2012. I don’t remember seeing anyone when I left the tent, but they must have been there because there are photos and video. With the power meter snafu on the bike, I really hoped I hadn’t over-cooked it and blew my chances at a great run. I just started running. The plan was to run about a half mile before checking in with heart rate. I think I remember it being a bit too high (low zone III) and trying to back off the pace a bit. I remember going through the hills and then trying to back things off a bit again once I hit the flat out-and-back part of the course. At each aid station, I grabbed a cup of water and a cup of ice, initially walking only long enough to get these things and take a few sips of water. This is where having to wear a bra really comes in handy: they are great places to store ice for core cooling and hydration purposes. The weather was awesome for a run! It was still mostly cloudy with a breeze and an occasional rain shower (but nothing that soaked my shoes). The aid station volunteers were really awesome and I enjoyed the close quarters of the trail. It was great seeing a tri teammate during his run and exchanging high fives. Heading back through the village, the hills seemed easier than they did on the way out. Loved the guys with the “Iron Beer” station who I heard say, “You go bad boy! Bad girl!” I kept trying to do the math for my current run split, but wasn’t able to nail it down better than I had started the run maybe at about 8:30: xx into my race. I stopped at run special needs briefly, grabbed a different flavor of Honey Stinger Chews and some EnergyBits (spirulina tablets). I think this was my first stop at a port-o-pot during the run, I know there were two others during the second loop. I was getting tired of the berry-flavored products and made a bottle of matcha green tea Skratch at the aid station just after special needs. After this, you actually run down part of the finishers’ chute and come within about 200 yards of the finish line before cutting to the right and heading back out on the course. I found this to feel incredibly confusing at the time and until I saw the sign indicating that I was to head to the right, I wondered if I’d missed a turn and was accidentally heading to the finish line. This part of the course was downhill and crowded with spectators and awesome energy so naturally my pace picked up a bit here.
I saw Monica and Adam soon after I started loop 2. I blurted out to Monica, “My power meter’s like kind of busted.” She snapped back, “Yeah, but you’re not.” Even now, I’m tearing up as I write this. I CLUNG to those words during the second loop of the run and I repeated them often, “You’re not broken. You’re not broken.” Tom got this whole exchange on video! Adam ran a few strides with me and seemed intent on getting me to answer his question, “How do you feel?” I replied, “I feel good.” But, that was kind of a lie. Things were getting a bit achy and my heart rate monitor had stopped displaying heart rate. I had been tempted to ask them for my current total run time, but didn’t. I recall seeing about 10:35: xx on my watch and knew that even if I ran the second loop in 3 hours I would have a huge PR
. I felt a bit sketchy headed up the hills, but really dialed things back in and focused on getting to the flat bits. Once past the hills, I began to ask for coke at the aid stations, but they were out! Red Bull? Um, have never had it, no thanks. It did help mentally knowing that there was some caffeine in the match green tea Skratch and I started in on the caffeinated Honey Stinger chews. However, I let the lack of coke on the course get to me a bit and pouted in the form of allowing myself to lengthen the duration of my aid station walks. Maybe I should have pounded more chews or chanced the Red Bull? I don’t know. I felt like I deserved to walk more. The aid stations out on the trail had coke and apparently I took my sweet time to enjoy it. As a result of these things, my pace through this bit, as reported by sports stats, slowed to 13:11/mi for 3.7 miles. Considering I only walked at aid stations, this seems a bit too slow to me and my GPS splits were never slower than ~11:25/mi but my GPS also over-measured the distance at 26.93 miles. It was great to run into Kirsten during this time. She looked strong and steady!
I kept trying to do math and it seemed like I was going to be under 3:30: xx, could I make it under 3:15: xx? Holy smokes! I focused on leaning forward, keeping my elbows up, and keeping my turnover “quick.” During the last 5K, I also grinned like a freakin’ idiot and made myself run. I made my way more quickly through aid stations. I tossed packs of chews that I wasn’t going to consume. I was beyond thankful for every step I was able to take. A spectator asked me if I was on my second loop and, after I replied in the affirmative, they said, “It shows.” I tried to drop my hand held bottle and sunglasses off at run special needs, but my bag wasn’t located when I ran through, so I kept going. I put my glasses in my jersey pocket and tossed the bottle into a garbage can right before I entered the best finishers’ chute I’ve ever been through. Everyone had their hands out for a high five. Everyone was cheering. I was grinning so big my photos look scary. I heard Mike Reilly call my name and thought I heard someone yell “Cake!” I meant to point to the CMM logo on my hat as I ran under the arch, but I’m pretty sure it only looked like a crazy flailing of arms.