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Friday, September 21, 2012

Rev3 Cedar Point Full Ironman

    Well I'm back from vacation and happy as a clam! I got some good rest, played in the Montana mountains with family and friends, and had time to reflect on my race at Cedar Point. Boy what a really fun race!(relatively speaking, of course:) The Revolution team works really hard to put on an outstanding race for all of the athletes. This particular weekend they worked extra hard.

   On the Saturday before the race I was still at home. Super cool in my book. I live 2 hours away from Sandusky and had planned to go up early in the morning and do a ride/swim before the pro meeting. Turns out when I woke up there was probably the worst thunderstorm I've ever heard going on, and it was happening up on Lake Erie as well. I decided to hop on my trainer in the basement, which I have not ridden in months and then go hop in the pool before we drove up. I wanted a chance to loosen up but didn't want to count on the weather clearing when I got up to the lake.

   Rev3 creates a whole weekend of races and family activity around the main event. Saturday they had to cancel the sprint distance event due to rain, high winds, and rip currents in the water. The staff was able to pull together a great morning in the horrible conditions and still do a 5k run in the rain, and later in the morning a fun run for the kids. Kudos to everyone at Rev3 for really caring to create the fun in such a difficult situation.

    By the time I had gotten up to Cedar Point it was around noon. It was very windy but the sun was coming out and the forecast for the race day was shaping up to be just perfect. I was invited to do my first pro panel during the expo. I'm a former theatre girl, so being on stage doesn't make me nervous. I guess being put on the spot might a little:) I didn't have much to say and got stumped on a question that needed a quick answer and said something really lame. Oh well, I was the pro from Ohio representing. It was an honor to be able to share my experience and learn stuff from my peers as well.

 So on to race day. The pros were allowed to keep our gear at out spaces in transition so I got things situated pretty quick and ended up being the first person at the swim start. This was ok by me because I'd rather be very early than running around freaking out because I'm not ready. So my husband and I sat down and watched the sun rise in the clouds. It was peaceful and I was ready. Now, as far as the swim goes I am going to be point blank. It was embarrassing. I got a great start and hung on to the back of the group for about two buoys and then was alone. I could see one gal in front of me about 75m most of the time but could not hang on. I felt like I was doing well and felt strong, so put my head down and did my thing. Not sure what happened to me. The water did get pretty choppy once we were out in the unprotected bay, but geeeez, Erin, it wasn't that bad!! I mean, I made it through the swim at St George this year. This should have been a piece of cake. Even if the course was a bit wasn't 10 minutes long. That's how slow I was! Guess I know where my off season focus needs to be even more this year. I did not see my time when I exited the water, thank goodness. It would have most likely messed with my mind. I could tell it was a bad swim when I saw my husbands face at transition, but I didn't let it get to me. My friends from the JustTri group from Columbus were there cheering me on and encouraging me to stay present and in the race.

Now on a more positive note, my bike was flipping outstanding. My coach and I had a plan and I stuck to it like glue and pulled out the 3rd fastest bike split and a bike PR for me. Spot on with power, pacing, and nutrition. The key was and always is staying present. The Rev3 bike course was actually perfectly laid out. There was little vehicle traffic on the bulk of the roads and the road conditions were pretty nice as well. The only problem is that it is pretty lonely out there. There were surprisingly few spectators out there besides aid station crews. It is super to easy to get around to see athletes in your car and no closed roads. I suspect some of the riders thought my mom, dad, and husband were part crazy because they were everywhere out there. Shout out to the JustTri friends for kickin' it out there too. I really appreciated their support and the support they gave other athletes as well.  112 miles is a long way and some encouragement and the ringing of a cow bell can do wonders for the weary. I was very proud of my performance on the bike. I played things very smart and actually never tired and kept my energy and attitude high. Feel like I am on the right track with my bike training and very encouraged about that.

   As I enter T2 in 6th place, all jazzed, I knew that 2 girls were only a few minutes in front of me. I was feeling good and the legs felt decent. I usually create some anxiety around the run and felt a little different this time coming off of the bike. It wasn't very sunny so I ditched my hat for the first time and just ran with my sun glasses. I actually chose for this race to use low light lenses. Rudy Project sun glasses all come with regular UV shades or the reddish low light lenses with each pair. This was my first time using them but it was a good decision for me. Looking back I started out too fast and out of my comfort zone a bit. I knew I would tire down the line so thought going out faster when my legs felt good was smart.....turns out not so much. I was running about 7-7:15 miles for the first 5. I could tell though that my anxiety was rising as my body was getting tired and breathing labored. This run course gave me ample times to see where my position was with the other pro women. I could see by mile 8 I was doing ok, but my pace was slowing down. I decided to throw my Garmin to my husband and just go by feel and not obsess over the numbers. Mile 8-16 were tough for me. I got into my head a little knowing that the pain was creeping on every mile and that there was still a far way to go. Bad move again. Should have just stayed present because that's what always works. I know it, but sometimes you get caught up in your own crap and forget those tools you have to keep going and positive. Every race is a learning lesson, right?!?!

   Well by mile 16 I decided that I was going to push through the pain, stop being a panzy, and try to catch the girl in front of me who was about 3 mins ahead. For me and my pace, in 10 miles, that wasn't super realistic, but you never know what's happening to the other pros as well. So I gave it my best go. At the last 2 miles I decided if I had anything left in the tank, I'd use it up now. I ran the whole way back over the causeway as fast as I could. I still came in 7th, but gave it a go.

   Overall I was hoping for a faster swim ,of course, and a faster run as well. I am proud every time I cross the finish line. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to toe the line and be the best I can be at every moment. It doesn't always turned out as I planned it, but it is turning out how the universe planned it. I accept that and learn lots from every race about myself, my ability, my journey, and my love for the sport.

   Thanks to my sponsors for their support in helping make my dreams come true. PowerBar( my nutrition was spot on), Rudy Project, Blue Seventy, Maxxis, and Fuel Belt. Also HED Cycling has helped me step up my game on the bike with some wicked fast wheels (JET 6/JETDISC) and I've heard through the grapevine they are coming out next season with some even better faster models...get ready people!

  Finally to Rob, Mom, and Dad for being the best support crew and cow bell ringers, you guys rock. Ironman days are long days and it means the world you are willing to give up the time to be there to support me. And lastly, thank you Charlie, Eric and the whole Rev3 staff for creating an outstanding race. It was lots of fun and looking forward to racing Anderson, SC half next month.

  *** If you are reading this and want to get in a late season triathlon before winter comes, check out the REV3TRI.COM website. There are 3 more races in 2012 and the experience is just fun, fulfilling, and you can bring the whole family along. There is something for everyone to do. Different activities, different races. Come join us. Hope to see you there!!!


  1. Love reading your reports, Erin!

  2. Great Job Erin. It was fun watching you race as I followed my wife around during the Half. Good luck in SC!