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4. Blog list - blog name

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Pumpkinman Olympic!

Ok, so here’s the skinny on Pumpkinman Olympic 2017, South Berwick, ME…

Not going to lie, race week jitters had the best of me going in to this. I couldn’t stop focusing on the lack of sleep lately, the feeling of fatigue in my legs and work insanity. All of this took a toll on my mental state going in to this race. I essentially told myself the night before “do what you can do, race within yourself, doesn’t matter if your times are slow, you are still doing an Olympic Tri” and then I reread coach Angela’s pre-race email and what stuck out at me was her saying “you can’t control the outcome only thing you can control being 100% in the moment while racing the event”. So I set my mind on the race, that and that only.

Ok, so prerace activity includes a nice grilled chicken and pasta dinner, lots of fluids, putting myself to bed at 9:30 p.m. race day eve. My bags were packed, my bike and pump were in the car, 3 alarms set for 4 a.m. wake up call. Queue in the panic wake up at 1:30 a.m. that I will miss my alarm, then again at 3 a.m. and then the reality of getting up at 4 a.m. with my dogs looking at me like “what is she doing”.

I start immediately fueling with sports drink at 4 a.m. followed by my typical oatmeal (sorry Angela, there’s a saying not to try anything new on race day, so I stuck with Oatmeal) and coffee…cause who doesn’t need coffee at 4 a.m. on a Sunday! 

Time to get in the car and go. The race venue is about 45 minutes north in Maine. I say to myself, don’t focus on temperature, the lake is warm…well the air wasn’t, it was a crisp 48 degrees!

I park at the venue and immediately the excitement inside starts to grow. I see so many athletes racking bikes, pumping up tires, pulling gear out of their cars. Families who have gotten up way too early to support Mom, Dad, brother, sister, cousin…this is why I love this sport!

Time to set up transition, get the lay of the land, get in my wetsuit…and freeze! My hands and feet were so numb…the start of the race was delayed about 30 minutes waiting for the fog to rise off the lake. The water temp measured at 70 this morning but the air was still a crisp 48 degrees. I will say my mood at this time was just to “do what I can” and not worry. I knew I had put the work in. Trust the insticts and listen to the body.

The swim was a two loop 0.45 mile course. I was in wave 7 out of 8 given they had all of the half ironman participants start first. That’s a lot of people in the water before me! There is one thing I am still not 100% comfortable with is the swim start. Goal in mind…find a clear swim lane and go!!!!

I have to say, this is one of the most comfortable swim events I had all season. I was able to get right out of the fray and find a clear path. And of all the races, I didn’t once stop for breaststroke or a break, I just kept swimming. Sighting was great, breathing great, a few gulps of water but I felt awesome. The competitive spirit immediately kicks in when you can see colored swim caps. And when I started lapping people from two swim waves before me, my confidence grew! I came out of the water in 23 minutes, second in my wave, a PR for me at a 1:30 pace per 100 yards…amazing!

This race is unique in that it has a 250 meter “run” up a hill to transition…as I’m jogging (not running) I hear the familiar sounds of my twins yelling “go mommy”!! talk about an immediate rush! As I grabbed some kisses and headed in to transition goal is to not be slow. Transitions have never been a strong suit for me. This race I was very systematic about things and was able to get out of T1 in just over 2 minutes!

Time for the bike…I had never ridden or driven the bike course only knew that it was rolling and there was one hill at mile 16. Again in my head, stay within yourself, you still have to run, pedal with strength, get in a rhythm. I just tried to keep a good cadence and I didn’t stare at my MPH, rode on feel and pushed as much as I could.  There were a few strong women that I played leap frog with the entire race until the ½ Iron and Olympic split, then I realized, there aren’t many people in front of me. When I turned back in to transition I heard a spectator shout, you are the third woman in! what a boost!!!!

As I ran my bike in to transition, again I heard the familiar sounds of my twins, husband and three great friends cheering. I can’ say enough how amazing it is to have the support I have! I was extra quick, quick and got out of transition in under 2 minutes. Now to tackle the last and hardest leg, the 10k.

The final leg was tough for me, there were very few spectators and the water stations were spread out. It was a mental game at that point. But the one thing with this race is it is an out and back run…so my head then began to count women with the same bib color who were on their way back…there weren’t many. Could I really be on the front end of this race? No way! Doesn’t matter just keep running!! I didn’t stare at my pace, just tried to keep my breathing in check, I carried a water bottle, keep drinking, and be sure to still eat every two miles.

So as I made the turn around at mile 4, I knew there was one female close behind me and no others that I could see. Time to just keep running! The finishing straight at the race was super fun, straight down a hill and there my boys were cheering me on! I grabbed both and we ran to the finish together. So amazing to finish with family cause without them I couldn’t do what I do! Plus I’m so inspired having my boys there and them seeing all of the amazing people out there racing and coming from different backgrounds and being there for many different reasons.

In the end, I finished 7th overall female in the Olympic and 3rd in my age group! I have to say, women truly do get better with AGE! 2nd and 3rd overall were both in the 50+ age groups and everyone in mine finished within a minute of each other. I had a PR Swim, just 23 minutes, averaged 19.1 on the bike on a hilly course, and ran an 8:31 mile on a tough run course.

So I’m still reeling from my performance! I can’t thank my family, friends and amazing coach for getting me there! Now the decision is do I have one more race in me or is it time to reset, recharge and set my sights on Ironman Lake Placid 2018!!

@iracelikeagirl @redbull #givesyouwings #twinpower

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