Race Report: Ironman Maine 70.3 2018

Ironman Maine 70.3 – August 26, 2018

Catherine’s Race Report:

Pre-race & Event Venue
Got up to the event on Friday to prep for the event.  Stayed at a motel right downtown, and while the convenience factor of being able to walk to all race venues was good, the location was fairly loud due to the amusement park, bars, and kids.  Would suggest staying further away from downtown if you choose to do this race.  On Saturday did a bike + run easy, short brick to shake out the bike and the legs which was good to resolve any bike travel issues.  Also did a swim in the afternoon.  Would suggest doing a test swim in the morning, the afternoon water conditions were not at all the same!  Went into race day excited, but typically jittery.
Race morning
Ate my oats and blueberries while getting ready, and headed off to transition and set up.  Had very little room, this was a much bigger race than I was used to, but seemed ok getting everything in place.  Long-ish walk over to swim start.  Husband walked with me and I handed off my transition bag and flip-flops to him before getting onto the beach.
Swim – 35:48
Swim was self-seeded waves of 6 people at a time by estimated swim finish.  I seeded myself in the 35 – 37 min wave thinking I’d be a bit slower in the ocean, and that seemed to be pretty good.  On start had to run down the beach, then walk/wade out into the water a good 50 yards or so before it was reasonable to dive and start swimming.  Felt like an eternity, but everyone was in the same boat so tried not to rush it.  Swim went really well, water temperature was great this year. Came out of the water no issue and ran up to the wetsuit strippers.  BEST. THING. EVER!  First experience with that, and loved the simplicity of it.  Then had a little bit of a haul down the road to transition, but it went by quickly.
T1 – 6:42 (I think this counts the run over to transition)
Note that the exit is out of the back for the bike – I started going the wrong way as I thought it would be where we had been walking in and out of transition since yesterday.  Forgot to throw the extra pack of clif gel blocks into my back pocket so only had what I could fit into my bento which is fairly minimal.  Hoped that I could get non-caffeinated blocks on the way once I realized this.  Finally got my garmin edge set up properly pre-race so I wasn’t messing with it for the first 10 minutes of the race ride this time.
Bike – 3:01:51
The course is hilly with various stretches of flatter spinning.  First half flew by, and felt like I was doing a good job of keeping it consistent & easy given the hills.  Was eating and drinking a lot.  Second half, I realized I had miscalculated a couple of things:  I had two water bottle holders, with two bottles full.  I had no place to take on water bottles from aid stations, and I was going to go through the 3 before I was off the bike.  Started to try to moderate on the third bottle of water so I could get in at least one more salt tab before the run started.  Should have left one holder empty since they didn’t have bottle swaps, they only had poland spring bottles.  Also ran out of fuel.  Aid stations had fuel but I was nervous to eat some of it.  Managed to get and eat a clif bar.  As far as power/speed, felt great throughout.  Second half I made a few game-day decisions on some flats and hills to power through a bit stronger since I was feeling like I wasn’t working very hard out there.  In the end this was probably my biggest mistake of the day as these likely contributed to a terrible run.
T2 – 3:11
Many of the bikes around me were already back, and there was no room for my bike.  Had to move some other bikes around on the bar to fit into my spot.  Saw husband and his family screaming me on, went over to give some high fives on my way out which was energizing and fun for both parties.
Run – 2:34:50
Wow.  This run nearly broke me, I’ve never experienced anything like this in a race before.  Started off on the run and felt rough, but not as bad as I’ve felt off of my old road bike so thought I was doing ok.  Kept looking at my watch and it was saying numbers like 10:50, 11:15, etc, so thought I was on track for where I should be for the first few miles before I picked up to a 10:00ish pace.  Note that Old Orchard Beach doesn’t have the greatest reception.  My Garmin seamed to do fine on the bike, but my iWatch didn’t seem to do that well.  Ends up I was running 9:30s off the bike. I had decided that I would walk through the water stops so I could get enough water in me, especially given the shortage at the end of the bike.  Around mile 4 or 5, I started to feel my hips and legs really just aching, my back was really painful, and running was feeling overly challenging even though the course really wasn’t that bad. Ran/walk stretches then ensued between mile 6 – mile 12.  My back eventually eased up on the pain a bit, but my hips, knees, and legs were screaming at this point.  This physical state left me in a pretty bad mental state, and I found myself struggling even to do simple miles left math. When I finally got to mile marker 12, I just went with a mantra of “I have a mile in me” and jogged the whole way to the finish.  In this race you pass transition about 1/4 of a mile from the finish which is a nice reminder that you’re nearly there.  Have a love/hate relationship with running, but can usually find some flow during the race that wasn’t there this time!
Final thoughts and lessons learned
  • Ironman Maine 70.3 is an extremely well supported, well executed race.  Support staff, police, race directors were all fantastic, well prepared, and had a great attitude towards the race.  If you’re looking for a very well organized race, this is it.  Everyone in the town supported the road closures and race beyond expectations.  My only suggestion if you are not into the kid scene is to find a location to stay away from downtown.  There were plenty of ways to have a buddy drop you at transition rather than relying on walking.
  • I need some power goals on the bike.  I’m not disciplined enough race day, and I race harder than I train every time.  I need to train harder, race easier, and need some numbers to orient this.  “By feel” is clearly too subjective for me to do this well enough.
  • CORE WORK.  I think my back was killing me because my core wasn’t strong enough for the speed I was pulling on that bike ride.  Winter goal: LOTS of core work.
  • The apple watch has got to go.  Time for a Garmin!  I felt totally mislead on the run looking at my numbers after the fact.

Race Report: Syracuse 70.3 2018

IRONMAN Syracuse 70.3 – June 17, 2018


Marie-Helene’s Race Report:

LOVED IT. Learned new things.

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

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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…

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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!

MH finishes Syracuse 70.3 with a smile

Next race, Mont-Tremblant full Ironman!

Race Report: Maine 70.3 at Old Orchard Beach 2017

Maine 70.3 at Old Orchard Beach – August 27, 2017

Nathalie’s Race Report:

There were 4 of us racing. We got rooms in a motel on the main street, very near the transition area, perfect spot! Very early morning we were off to setup in the dark and crossed path with fellow TE member Sara B. After setting up, we went back to the rooms to wait out the start and use private restrooms, what a luxury!

The start for the swim is near the Old Orchard’s pier, it is really a lovely spot. We walk to it from transition, so about half a mile. It is the first race I experience a rolling start, the line is long, but we are chatting and it goes fine. The swim course is point to point, the water is calm and not too cold (it was much colder the day before). In the water, I feel more crowded than with the traditional group start, and as a slow swimmer I get passed all the time… I am glad when I am done. The transition is a bit long from the beach to the bike, but they have put down carpets so it is not uncomfortable on our feet. And the suit strippers are there, I really like that…

The bike course is very pleasant, a lot of shade, not too much wind, and the rolling hills are really manageable: after mile 22 it is mostly downhill. I know the course because we came and did it two weeks before, that makes a big difference, and I am having a good time.

The run is an out-and-back, very flat, nice views, mostly shaded and good surface, particularly on the Eastern Trail. I was worried about the run because of plantar faciitis which has been quite painful for months, I just got a cortisone injection ten days before the race to up my chances of completing it. And indeed the run went well considering the circumstances, and I really liked the course.

My race goal is three fold: to enjoy the experience (yes!), to be under 7 hours (6h53mn) and less than one hour behind my husband (I failed that one as he finished in 5h41mn). But let’s be honest, here is the best part about the race: the lobster fest!

Reminder….Special Event with Pro Triathlete Dede Griesbauer!

2012 is off to a great start and what could be better than meeting some Team EnVision members and rubbing elbows with a professional triathlete?!?!

Pro triathlete Dede Griesbauer is taking time to give an exclusive speaking engagement just for us…and well for you all too!!  She’s been pro for seven years having left a successful career as an equity trader to pursue her love of triathlon.  Since then she’s racked up 2 Ironman wins and when she speaks she’ll be covering about going pro, how to pack your bike for travel, along with lots of other things…plus time for Q&A.

When: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Time: 3-5pm
Where: Landry’s Bicycles, Commonwealth Ave, Boston.  Click here to see their location on Google Maps.
Cost: It’s free!  So, mark your calendars now and come down to meet Dede and some TE members.

Special Event with Pro Triathlete Dede Griesbauer!

Team EnVision is kicking off the new year with a bang and we just couldn’t wait until 2012 actually got here to tell you all about it!!

Pro triathlete Dede Griesbauer is taking time to give an exclusive speaking engagement just for us…and well for you all too!!  She’s been pro for seven years having left a successful career as an equity trader to pursue her love of triathlon.  Since then she’s racked up 2 Ironman wins and when she speaks she’ll be covering about going pro, how to pack your bike for travel, along with lots of other things…plus time for Q&A.

When: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Time: 3-5pm
Where: Landry’s Bicycles, Commonwealth Ave, Boston.  Click here to see their location on Google Maps.
Cost: It’s free!  So, mark your calendars now and come down to meet Dede and some TE members.

Race Report: Vineman 140.6

By: Kristi Paradis

My day stared at 4:30 am with a cup o joe and a pb n banana on a cinnamon raisin bagel. I set three alarms to be sure I woke up. How much would it suck if I overslept!! I slept surprising well and was feeling ready as I shoved a bagel in a groggy me. The air temp was cool, in the low 50’s. I arrived at the race site 30 min before T1 opened and it was already hopping with athletes. Having flown here I did not have a bike pump, so thank you to the nice dude who not only let me borrow his pump, but discussed the road conditions with me and actually pumped my tires at my decided pressure.

As I stood inline with my ipod listening to all my pump-me-up music I was shaking in my shoes. I was worried that I would bonk, forget how to swim, have a panic attack, a mechanical on the bike, not be able to run, or have some crazy GI issue. After organizing in T1 and doing a quick run warm up I felt calmer. I went through my race plan in my head and thought of all of you. There was nervous chatter as we donned our wetsuits. I had time for a quick warm-up in the water before it was my time to go! One more time I grabbed my necklace and touched my earring for good luck.

The swim start an in water, two 1.2 mile loops. I decided to start mid-pack this time; my one and only mistake of the day. After doing some good strokes; I got pulled, kicked and swam over. I had a brief panic moment, but worked my way to the right and resumed my swim. The water was cool, but comfortable, murky and shallow. There were times when taller swimmers were walking. WALKING! The turn around point came faster than expected! I kept up my slow and steady pace all the way to the finish. I did not once feel tired! I excited the water more confident that I would finish. To my surprise there were wetsuit strippers! SWEET The day is off to a good start. We were instructed to place all of our T1 belonging in a bag. Knowing that I would be cold at the finish I also packed warm clothes. My T1 was the longest I have ever had, largely because I had to organize and pack a bag! And I had to put arm warmers.

Finally I leave T1, choosing to jog up the short steep hill because it is crowed with cyclist. No need to end the day ’cause of a crash. I hop on speedy, chug some water and a bit of power bar. I chopped bars into thirds for easy consumption. Down into my aero’s I go. Riders were passing me and I had to remind myself that I had 112 miles to ride and that it would be smart not to kill my legs just yet! I found a good rhythm and cruised thru the first half. The course had some good climbs and one killer hill! I also had some fantastic descents and flats. The hardest part of the day between mile 60 and 70. It was a flat section, with few cyclist and no spectators. I started checking off miles in my head and thinking about the food I would eat the next day. At this point I knew that I would almost-definitely-maybe-probably finish. I was making good time, having zero cramping, weirdly energized, and mentally strong. If need be I could walk and still finish! Finally I get back to the rollers. Change of terrain keeps me distracted and mentally alert. At my second pee stop of the ride I ate a 1/4 of a PBnJ; quite possibly the best PBnJ I have ever eaten. Refreshed I was off and finished the ride strong. My legs were screaming a bit at the end and I definitely had a slower second loop, but I finished with a decent bike time! I cruised into T2, put on more sunscreen, changed my socks; into my Newtons and I was off!

The run was an out and back loop that was done 3 times. This meant that there were runners around you at all times! There were also huge clumps of spectators and so many great volunteers. It also meant that there were aid stations at every mile! I expected my legs to scream at me for the first few miles based on how my quads were feeling the last hill of the ride, but they felt great. I helped myself back, staying around a 9 min mile. I immediately got into my normal running rhythm and I felt fantastic for the first 18 miles of the run. I had a Clif Shot/water at every other mile and gatorade/water at the alternate mile up until mile 10. Then I switched to coke/water/pretzels. I walked thru every other aid station, following my game plan. I found many people to chat with along the way making the time go by so fast. One mile into the third loop my lower legs started aching more and more with each step. I started getting intermittent twinges in my R medial calf, then my ankles. I got a cramp in my L oblique, then my R. Each time a pain came up I stood taller, breathed deeper, and thought about the finish line and all of my friends and family. At one point I listed the names of all of my friends and family. I focused on getting to the next mile marker. The weather was amazing and I was less than a 10k from becoming an iron(wo)man. There were frequent adrenaline surges.

The last 3 miles were the longest 3 miles of my life! I did not stop once to walk. My pace had slowed, but I keep pushing. I dug deep. When I made that right, less than a 1/2 mile to the end, I got shivers up and down my body and a bit teary. Everyone was walking in front of me. A spectator shouted “858 your passing everyone!”. I pumped my first and sped up. The last turn before entering the finish shoot was in view. I made that turn and the street was still lined with spectators. We were given bracelets so race folks could keep track of us, so everyone knew it was the end for me. People started cheering congratulations, you are an ironman, you look so strong, high fiving me; and I kept standing taller, smiling harder, and running faster. That final 300 yards was amazing. I was the only one in the shoot. The announcer said my name. I lifted my hands above my head and let the energy of the crowd flow into me and took mental snap shots of that moment. That medal was placed around my neck, my picture, was taken, and my finisher tee given to me. I stumbled around looking for some grass to collapse on. In a state of disbelief I chatted with finishers, ate and drank.

To all of the volunteers, spectators, and race officials: you produced a fantastic race. I could not have asked for a better venue, course, or folks on and off the course. To everyone who had great signs out there for your friends and family. To that cute girl who said she loved my hair and that I really rock it. To all the spectators who said I looked strong. To the my friend from Toronto who chatted and raced with me on the bike and the run, to my buddy from San Jose who carried me through the second lap, to the man wearing a speedo (what?!!?). I want to thank you for a frickin’ amazing day and boosting me at just the right time.

I entered this journey unsure if I would get to the start line, let alone the finish line. I stuck to my training plan like it was a bible and to my race plan. I stayed hydrated and fueled. I felt surprisingly good through 90% of the race. I experienced cramping twice. I was mentally alert. I experienced highs and lows on the ride and run, but without a doubt highs>low. Vineman 140.6 was the best athletic experience of my life, and in the top 5 for sure of general experiences. The course was tough, but fun. The day went by so very fast. I tried to take in the scenery while still riding fast. I My emotions are still swirling and its difficult to describe how I felt crossing the finish line and completing a 140.6 mile race. The best word I can come up with is: unreal. And with that I will leave you.