Lead up to the race:
I spent the winter following most of my training plan. I was kicking ass with my training from when I was allowed to return to running in December. I tried new classes, was getting killed by Drew for my strength training/injury rehab/injury prevention plan, found a schedule I really liked that worked into my training. Everything was going great. Had a hang up in the schedule when I had a standoff with a friend and refused to talk to him for a solid 4 weeks. It also meant I was missing some classes. Boo to that. All issues were resolved (and by issues I mean my stubbornness obviously), back to my kick ass schedule, ran a really great 5K beginning of February. Everything was awesome. And then my dad passed away unexpectedly 5 days after that race. I had a hard time going back to spin class (which y’all know how much I love spin) because I was there that morning, having a great time at the gym and my dad was gone and I didn’t even know it until shortly after I got to work. So needless to say my training came to a screeching halt, for the next month. I could barely bring myself to do anything. I ran a half marathon with pretty much no training at the end of March and it kicked my ass back into training mode a little bit. I was still missing long rides because I just couldn’t focus enough to sit on the trainer that long. I think sometime in April I started to get my shit together. I didn’t really have a choice, get it together or don’t race Patriot. Did almost all my long rides on the trainer because the weather was crappy every Saturday. Finally got one long-ish ride in outside and got a flat tire 2 hours in so I went home and finished on the trainer. The weekend after that was my longest ride and I really wanted to do it outside but I couldn’t fit it in so I did 56 miles on the trainer (yes I got off the bike a couple times). I was happy to hit the miles. I felt better, but still seriously undertrained to race (mostly mentally but physically too).
I did King Pine Sprint as my tune up race and it got me really pumped for Patriot. And did an epic ride with the triff the weekend before. I still felt undertrained, but I think it’s bc I was expecting my body to feel as miserable as it did leading up to Timberman, but I never reached that level of sheer exhaustion. But ready or not it was time to race.
We went down the day before. It took FOREVER to get there. So much traffic! Not gonna lie TA had the right idea going down in the morning, although a 2am wake up call would have sucked. We went right to packet pickup and ran into Dan and David 🙂 Process was really simple, easy in, easy out. Got our stuff and went to dinner at a diner so Lori and I could have our pre-race dinner and Dan and David could have their breakfast for dinner. We ran into Mark and Debbie as well. It also poured so we thanked Larry for that :-p also Lori and I made the biggest asses of ourselves at dinner bc we were screwing around taking pics of the recipts and trying to figure out how much to tip, totally wasting time. We put the pens down and the boys snatched them so fast and that’s when we realized they were just patiently waiting for us to finish dicking around so they could leave. Whoops. #weareassholes
Got all ready for the morning and went to bed (later than we wanted). Got up at 3:45am and got ready. Debbie is the freaking best and delivered us Dunks coffee to our room. Have I told you how much I love her??? David text and said he was in the car. Oh shit, yea we were running late. I told him we needed more time. He teased me saying it takes time to put makeup on so I sent him a selfie saying nah dude it’s the race hair that takes all the time :-p
He said he would wait for us and I was like ohhhhh sure now he’ll wait for us, but they wouldn’t wait for us when they left for dinner the night before…. out the door we ran (as fast as you can carrying a bike down stairs), loaded up and followed David there. David saved my bike stickers by giving me duct tape for it bc they wouldn’t stick on well. Apparently that was an issue for lots of people bc there were bike stickers all over the road. (Note to self: add duct tape to the tri packing list). That guy is always saving my ass before a race. Sorry 😉
Got all set up, chatted with everyone. We were all pretty pretty much parked in the same place and racked all together. Well kind of, we had one row on both sides of transition. Was having a hilarious convo with TA, but in the end he was awesome and brought me a much needed container and now knows why I always stop at circle K if there is one :-p. Mark won the day with the contents of his tri bag. The whole area was soaked! They rolled out a carpet for us, well to cover the small pond that formed with all the rain. But it couldn’t have made finding our spot any easier… next to the trailer, right where the carpet starts.
I might stalk this bike… some people stalk other people, I stalk a bike bc she’s gorgeous and also bc I named her after me so obviously a Mia and Mya selfie was happening. Too bad she’s wayyyyyyyy too big for me :-p
It was just a feel good, have fun kind of morning. I wasn’t nervous at all. I mean typical pre race nerves, but no feeling like I was going to throw up. Took a Glukos gel and went to do a warm up swim. Holy shit that water was murky. Mark hit me in the back of the head while we were swimming and we laughed bc you honestly couldn’t see anything or anyone until you were on top of it. It was funny. Got out and found the boys. I was in the same wave as TA, David, and Dan so we all chatted. Apparently too much bc the lady said bib # and I was like what? And she said you’re up. Shit shit shit I didn’t even have my watch on, let alone on tri mode, turned it on as I was running in the water so I have no swim data, just my time bc there wasn’t time for it to connect to gps. #dumbass
This was the second time I’ve done a swim start like this. Self seeded and rolling. You go in the water two at a time. I LOVE this kind of swim start. You pretty much find your space right away and there’s a lot less contact. But I meant to line up behind the boys and bc I wasn’t paying attention ended up in the water ahead of them. TA passed me right before the second buoy. I laughed when I was breathing and saw his face breathing towards mine swimming right up my side. Well at least he didn’t swim over me 😉 also I love that the buoys are on the left bc I breathe to the left so sighting is a piece of cake. The swim was great. Nice and relaxed. By the second turn buoy I got that familiar “I don’t feel like swimming anymore” but it lasted two seconds. Honestly it was the best swim I’ve done (time wise and feel wise) I felt like I could swim all day. Got pushed wide at the second turn buoy bc the water was a little choppy and I was trying to go around a guy that was alternating freestyle with breaststroke and I didn’t want to pass too close bc I didn’t want to get kicked (been there, got kicked in the neck bc an abrupt switch to breaststroke by a guy at pitch pine, choked on the water, not fun), had to swim back to the buoy line but that was the only snag in my swim. Other than worrying my wetsuit would fill up with water bc it’s a little too big now. I know I could have gone harder in the swim but I’m happy with it. It was 3 minutes 50 seconds faster than Timberman 🙂
Got out of the water and they unzipped me. That was nice. Saw Debbie and said hi. Rounded the little corner with my wetsuit barely off my arms. This guy jumps out in front of me and says “I got you baby” I said what? He said “I got you baby, get on your back” I said I still have my ass covered. He laughed and said “I got you baby get on your back” oh ok. And off was the wetsuit that I didn’t think was down enough to get off. I jumped up and said “wow you were much quicker than I expected, my kinda guy” he laughed and I left. Yup, I make friends everywhere.
T1: 2:52 (Timberman 4:36)
Into T1. Hard to compare times as the distances aren’t the same. Saw TA there. Chatted with him for a bit. I think he misunderstood my surprise to see him. I was genuinely excited to see him there, but I think it came across like I thought he should have been faster. I felt bad. I don’t usually ever see him again after the race starts. Took a gel. Helmet on, sunglasses on, socks on, shoes on. So I always say put your stuff in your helmet if it’s not on the bike already so you don’t forget it. And I did not. Went out to bike mount and realized I left the two back up gels on on my towel in transition. Shit. Oh well. #rookiemove
Bike: goal under 3:50 actual 3:19:15
What??? I expected to PR here bc the course is not comparable with Timberman, but I was not expecting that. I knew I was riding much faster than expected bc of my 5 mile splits. Didn’t need time to settle in and get the HR down bc I wasn’t feeling out of control. My body immediately protested the bike though. I was a little shocked by this. My legs wanted nothing to do with it, but on I went. I leap frogged with a ton of people. I passed people on hills!!! Woo hoo!! I usually get dropped hard on hills. I think I said on your left more times this race than every race combined :-p mind you I was not flying by any means but I was flying for me 🙂 no speed demon here! I nailed my fueling plan. Didn’t need my back up gels. Didn’t do bottle exchange bc I had four bottles with me. Dropped a gel at the end and thought thank god I took so much time off or I’d be screwed. The course was great. The hills were all manageable. Only one kinda tougher climb. Kinda. Everyone said it was “New England flat” meaning just rollers and I would definitely agree. I remembered the trip through the Dunks parking lot from Cranberry. It cool to ride some of the course that I did my first Olympic distance on. There’s a lot of turns on the course and saw someone down at the bottom of each one. That sucked :/ got passed by lots of peak and NEMS peeps, all had words of encouragement every time I saw them 🙂 Saw Dan with the sag wagon (after he passed me early on) felt bad but he looked calm and collected. He passed me again 3 miles later 🤣 he always looks so smooth and in control out there, blowing by everyone! Loved the loud cheers at the end of loop 1. It definitely gives you the extra boost. Sarah made my day yelling out to me. A couple seconds later someone yelled “go lori” and I cracked up. Nope, not Lori. By mile 40 I was ready to get off my bike. My back was sore. I still need a refit on my bike. But not an unexpected sore. Fun fact: that’s the first time I rode my bike 56 miles straight without getting off for any reason. I had to pee but not enough to go on the bike or stop. I was afraid I overrode the bike and would crash on the run bc I changed the way I climb hills and I wasn’t riding by power this race (my race plan was by HR this time). All in all I was extremely happy with my ride. Garmin gave me a 17 mph average and I was thrilled. I have never ever averaged 17 on the bike, not even on a flat sprint course. All those road warrior classes are paying off 🙂
T2: 4:13 (Timberman 4:57)
Yea so I got off my bike and walked. A long way. We had to walk all the way down and around transition. Boo. Sat down to change my shoes (I don’t normally sit) and totally peed. Good times. Guess I had to pee more than I thought 🤣 thank god it was in the grass haha. Stood back up and lost my balance and my foot went right down into a puddle. Not sure if I was a puddle from me or all the rain since we were racked in a pond haha gross. Guess I’m running with wet feet. Anyways the usual helmet off, change shoes, grab my belt (didn’t want my visor or would have grabbed that too) and was off, put my belt on while running.
Run: Goal under 2:58 actual 2:37:35
So I have no aspirations to run this super fast half marathon at the end of a 70.3. Let me preface that by saying I am not fast period. I am totally ok with this. My plan was to walk the aid stations and the hills and run in between. First three miles slow. I was running way ahead of pace so I walked a little bit to bring it down. Colin drilled into my head not to go out to fast. My goal was mile 1-3 at a 12-12:30. I was running 10:50. Even with walking mile 1 was 11:19 (11 is my I can run all day pace). So I slowed it way down bc I remembered being really happy I felt good (ha as good as you can at the end of Timberman) and wanted to feel “good” at the end here too. I felt freaking fantastic for the first 7 miles. The first 4 miles flew by. I laughed with a ton of people doing math at each of the aid stations. Mile 4 was we are a third of the way done and 4 miles is practically 6 which is practically half way. Mile 6 was whoop half way bc the last mile doesn’t count. Ok I’m down with that. As soon as I hit mile 8 I died. That’s when I went to the dark place. The I don’t want to fucking be out here anymore place. So I said seriously Mia suck it up you have 4 (ok 5) miles left. This isn’t 13 miles, it’s 13 one mile intervals. Get your shit together and go, and besides this is one big loop where the actual F are you going to go besides the finish anyway. I ran on and off with two guys that were doing pretty much the same intervals as me. I’d pass then they would pass. One guy was super chatty, he was older and fun. The other guy didn’t say a word but I saw him after I finished and talked to him for a bit, his name is Evan and it was his first 70.3 so I congratulated him, told him he kept me on track, he asked if I lived close I said and that was about it. Anyways I pulled out of the dark place a couple miles later. The Gatorade was doing a number on my stomach so I switched to water and base salt pretty early on. I was legit afraid I was going to poop myself if I kept drinking Gatorade 😉 my stomach was fine when I stopped drinking it. I just made sure I took 2 licks instead of one of base. Gummie at every aid station and gel every 3 miles. Also dumbass me can’t do math so I put one less gel than I needed on my race belt. So I decided to suck it up and take an on course gel at the last aid station with gel which was mile 11. I’ve never used clif gel but figured I only had to hang on for 2 miles if it destroyed my stomach. It did not but I put it in my mouth and wanted to barf, I forgot how much I hate that glob in my mouth. It tasted ok though. I got all choked up at mile 12 just thinking holy crap I am about to finish my second 70.3 and I feel fucking great. Nothing hurt (and by that I mean injury hurt) and it just hit me I didn’t realize how hard training through pain was all last year and I can race without it. But it was really hard to breathe and run and cry all at the same time so pulled myself together and just went. Passed quite a few people when I got close to the turn in. Saw TA real quick. Took the turn to come in and the lady right behind me was like I’m with you girl, you’ve got a great pace. Huh? Are you talking to me? I have a great pace? I looked down and was running around a 9:30 at mile 70 ish of a 70.3. What? That’s my 5K pace haha. We stuck together and took it to an 8 min mile to bring it home. We both regretted starting the kick so soon bc it was a lot further than we expected to the finish line. Mostly I just focused on not face planting on the roots and grass. Would have been hilarious though. She kept asking everyone how much further. She beat me in and I was happy to take it in still standing, running fast for me and lots of loud cheers from Lori and Debbie (although I didn’t acknowledge them at all haha).
Holy fucking shit batman! I just took an hour off my Timberman time. Did I screw up?? Did I cut the course?? Nope I didn’t. I legit took an hour off my time! Fuck yes! Timberman was 7:43:55. And I laughed bc my half marathon time was only 4 minutes slower than my standalone, ran the whole thing, half marathon time. Whoop whoop!
Hung out, ate, chatted with everyone. It was a great day! And I didn’t die so bonus. Colin kicked my ass all off season and for that training block, as always. He’s a really great coach 🙂
But I really really really have to hand it to the road warrior classes I teach and the ones I take with TA because they have made my legs much stronger pushing heavier gears. I don’t back off in his class, I try to kill myself on those heavy climb and high cadence endurance songs. But even more than that I really have it hand it to Drew. Yes I joke around all the time about #assbydrew but he has been killing me since November getting my glutes to activate and neurological rewiring. I can’t believe the world of difference he has made for me. I never thought the day would come where my hip didn’t hurt during or after a race or long training day. You’re the best Drew 🙂 and another level up from that I have to hand it to TA in general. He deals with all my idiosyncrasies leading up to a race and just for everything 🙂 thanks jerkface.