Why do a report on a race you DNF? I guess because it was a learning experience that may be worth sharing… I did not train consistently this year and hopefully I will retain the lessons.
My husband and I like to destination race and discover different venues. So we headed to Benton Harbor, Michigan: we flew to Chicago with our bikes and it was a couple of hours drive from there.
The swim was a bit challenging. Although it is a lake, it is a BIG lake and the waves can be a bit rough. The temp was just above wetsuit legal, I am not a confident enough swimmer to go into choppy water without a wetsuit for that distance, so I elected to join the last, wetsuits-only, wave of swimmers. And I am glad I did as I passed a number of athletes who struggled and stopped to hug buoys along the way. It was a long 1.2 miles in 56mn…
The bike was rolling hills, a bit of a blurr now that I try to recall, rather scenic, 3h34 for the 56 miles is not unusual for me.
The run, usually my preferred leg, was my demise. It was getting hot, but I have raced successfully in hotter conditions. I thought I was going to make it ok and maintain 11 mn mile, but at mile 5.5 I started hyper-ventilating and it went out of control. I was not able to manage my breathing, had to walk, and was forcibly (and noisily) gulping air, which alarmed fellow runners and spectators. I was on the verge of panicking and realized that I was not going to recover and finish. And this is the part that is new to me: I never had to rely on the support system of the race. As I went through several bouts of hyperventilating and crying, the spectators, volunteers, police officers, medics all in turn attended to me, guided my breathing, reassured and comforted me. They were amazingly empathetic and kind, and I am so appreciative and grateful to all these strangers who were helping me in a moment of distress.
All is well, this was not a lasting injury and I learned that I can’t just fake it and rely on general decent condition to go into distance racing. I need to prepare adequately, and resume a path of more consistent training. This will be possible with the fun camaraderie and strength of my fellow Team Envision members and coaches. And I am looking forward to it!
Dawn. 52 degrees. Brr! What happened to that heatwave? Not to worry, it warmed up by the time we got going.
I picked up MH (we live about a block from each other) and we headed out to Winchendon to meet up with Melaney for our relay for Mass State Tri. We were joined by TE teammates Margaret and Fran (doing the full Olympic tri) and Cathy (aquabike): a pretty nice team showing!
It was a beautiful, if chilly, morning with wispy mist rising off the water. I was a little worried that the start would be delayed, but the mist dissipated pretty quickly and we were left with a bright, clear day. After a reading of 80 degrees on Saturday, the Sunday morning water temperature check said 77 so it was a wetsuit legal race (although I think they must have gone to great lengths to get that temperature – the water was warm).
We were in wave 2 – relays are NEVER in such an early wave. It was great! I shot off and managed to swim one of my best times. Maybe wetsuits aren’t so bad after all! 22:52 for the .9 mile swim.
Chip handoff – thanks to MH for making the transfer from my ankle to Melaney’s – and Melaney hit the road for a quick 22-mile ride at 19.2mph! Wow! She was back well ahead of when she told us to expect her. Way to ride!
Quick T2 and MH pulled off a speedy 48:41 for the 10k run. That’s a blazing 7:52/mile pace and a personal best!
Given all that, it was no surprise that we were 1st in the female relay division! Yippee!
Since I was only swimming, I got to watch and cheer. It was fun to see everybody going from swimming to biking to running (except aquabiking Cathy) to finishing!
It’s always uplifting to be with such strong athletes.
On the morning of July 4th, Marie-Hélène hosted Team Envision for a sprint distance training tri. We swam in Upper Mystic Lake, and then biked and ran on the Minuteman Trail. We even practiced transitions in her garage. It was a lot of fun and a great tune-up for Mass State. A post-training pot luck brunch capped off the event perfectly. Thank you for hosting, M-H!
Swim: It was a smart start or rolling start. This was a first for me. It was a bit challenging because you are surrounded by people your speed, washing machine style. It would normally have made me panic, but I didn’t. I mastered my emotions, got kicked a bit, but I knew I had this. I meditated before getting in the water, which helped. I came out of the water, laughing and chatting with folks and screaming woot woot in the transition. I might have also screamed “I loved this sport”…lol
Bike: A challenge! Very hilly. The first 13 miles were climbing, but I was expecting it. I’m glad I went to Mont-Tremblant 2 weeks before – I was ready. The first hill, my brake got stuck on my wheel and didn’t realize it until mid-way through. I was wondering why it was that hard! lol. I finished the hill anyway, pulled over, fixed my wheel and carried on! I did forget to put on sun screen before getting in the water, so I carried my sunscreen and stopped once to put it on. I waited because another triathlete needed sunscreen so I offered mine. I’m not that competitive, helping and chatting with this great crowd of folks trumps any performance objectives…
Run: My favorite part that I always look forward to. It was 100f…pretty toasty and hilly. It didn’t stop me. I actually finished strong and laughing all the way through!
Despite the cold, gloomy March weather on Sunday, the ladies of Team Envision were out in force at this year’s Race-Mania Expo. Zabeth, Sandra, and Liz arrived early to set up a cheery, welcoming booth to provide a space for team members to drop their belongings, have a snack, and chill, as well as talk to prospective new members about Team Envision. The BU Rec center was full of promoters hawking their wares and providing information about upcoming races. Great lectures on topics of interest to endurance athletes such as nutrition, injury prevention, and performance improvement were on going. Several team members attended clinics such as Swim Smooth, Yoga for Triathletes, Chi Running, and cycling time trials; while other members took advantage of free massage, acupuncture, cupping, and Normatec boots.
In addition to having a great time and getting lots of swag, we were also able to talk to many women about the benefits of joining a triathlon team. About two dozen women signed up for more information and took a coupon good for a free drop in ride, swim, or clinic.
This was my first time at the event and I got a lot more out of it than I expected. I’m not much of a shopper, but there was a good selection of merchandise for triathletes, including used wetsuits at a great low price. The lectures and clinics got great reviews by those who attended, and it was great to see other triathletes and potential triathletes get excited about Team Envision. Definitely a must-do for next year.
Heading to Race-Mania? Check your virtual goody bag for a Team Envision registration discount. Don’t forget to stop by the red Team Envision tent to say hi and receive an additional coupon. See you there!
Triathlete’s Full Body Strength Workout – March 11, 2018
Strength training is an essential part of training leading into race season to build your baseline fitness and avoid injury. Team Envision sponsor Will Karousis of Tri-Hard Endurance Sport Coaching coached us through great workout at Naomi’s Basement Studio.
Indoor Cycling at Grace Bicycles
Team Envision members have been enjoying weekend indoor cycling workouts sponsored by Roy Cervantes at Grace Bicycles in Holliston this winter. We bring our own bikes and set them up on Roy’s CompuTrainers for a spirited ride through Lake Placid, French Valleys, Mallorca, SoCal, and some of the alpine stages of the Tour de France. Sessions last 90 minutes and we often take a team run on the bike trail behind Grace Bicycles after, to make a brick.
Indoor Swim at Draper Pool
Team Envision swim members enjoy weekly swim workouts at Draper Pool. Thanks to our swim coach, Becky Paige, for keeping us in shape!