Friday, September 16, 2011

Lobsterman 2011

Location: Freeport, ME
Distance: Olympic (.93mi s, 24.7mi b, 6.2mi r)
Time:  9am start
Weather:  gorgeous (70s?)
Participants: 615

I can't begin the race recap without acknowledging Aaron Brooks (Perfect Postures) and Mike Carey (Performance Health Therapy).  Without them, training for an olympic distance race wouldn't have happened.  I've talked about it before, but over the past year I've been working Aaron and Mike to get my hips and feet back in proper alignment so that I can run (and bike) without that nagging ache in my left heel.  Obviously, it worked and I can't say enough good things about these guys!

My goal for this year (my first year in the 30-34AG) was to do an olympic distance tri.  Given the above, I picked a late season race to make sure I could ease back into training.  I was ready and looking forward to a fun race with a cheering section set to attend.  Then Hurricane Irene arrived, and said race was cancelled.  Understandable, but disappointing to say the least.  A week later I heard about another race up in Maine that was still open... hmm.

BPC friends help keep the nerves at bay pre-race ;)

To add another race or not?  After the let-down of Irene/no race, I took a week off of training, I just couldn't do it.  That's a bit of a long taper :)  And the course profiles couldn't be more different--  the race I trained for was pretty much flat, maybe some rolling hills.  This new race had hills.  Oh, and did I mention I was moving the day after the new race?  So I adjusted my goals--  just enjoy the race.  On Tuesday before the race, I officially signed up.

Our wave is off!

Given the wetsuit requirement and temperatures in the low 60s earlier this week, I was a bit worried about how cold the swim would be.  Luckily it wasn't bad (announced as 68), and the only thing that was a bit chilly were my feet.  The course had three buoys, and we were in the 6th wave.  Things went well from the start, I felt pretty good through the first two buoys.

At least I wasn't the only one swimming off course ;)

After rounding the second buoy I couldn't find the 3rd buoy (due to a poorly placed raft/boat), people from the wave behind me started to catch up, the water was getting a bit choppier, and I was getting a bit tired.  I tried to catch some feet, but that didn't last more than a couple of strokes as I was likely going off course :)  Somehow I made it to the third buoy and headed to shore.  I was guessing/hoping for ~30min, so 33:16 probably takes into account the extra distance covered by searching for buoy 3.

That's me in the purple cap and ear plugs!

Up a little hill to transition and back to my bike, I got out of my wetsuit without any issues and got ready to head out on the bike.  My chilly feet came back to life pretty quickly and before I knew it I was heading up the first hill out of the park.

As I mentioned before, the course is has some hills (see above).  There are more challenging courses out there, for sure, but for my untrained legs I was a little weary.  After all, I still had to run a 10K!  The course definitely keeps you on your toes;  I hung out in my granny gear on a couple hills but tried to take advantage of the downhills and maxed out on the other end a few times as well.

I'm sorry for taking a screen shot...  is that copying?

I safely maneuvered the packed gravel around mile 8, kept my cool when a couple people passed me and then stopped pedaling (really?), and I pulled back into the park just under 1:28 (16.8mph ave).  I'll take it!

While I survived the bike, I wasn't really looking forward to the run (usually my favorite part).  You see, I had ridden the first part of the run, and, well, it had the same sort of hills.

There's not really much I remember about the run...  my hips were really tight off the bike, but after walking up the second half of the first hill they loosened up so that was good.   My stomach wasn't feeling awesome (nerves?  salt water?), and I tried to keep my focus to one mile at a time.   Reminding myself of my goal (have fun!  enjoy the scenery!) and my move the following day, I didn't push it and walked up a few of the hills.  Unusual for me, but I was totally okay with it and somehow I finished in 58:50.

Hey look, my feet are moving!

I did see a retriever with his owner walking along the side of the road towards the end of the run.  He suddenly copped a squat and wouldn't budge, must have been tired of spectating/cheering :)   I feel the same way, Buddy!

Where is the finish line already??

Overall time:  3hr 5min 5sec  (21/42 in my AG)

Lobster Bake!

Final thoughts
I was aiming for 3hours and came in right around that on a challenging course that I didn't train for.  So I am very pleased!  It was great to see some friends podium too (Congrats Laura and Jeff)!

Oly?  Done.

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a race, and Lobsterman was a great one.  Volunteers were pretty awesome all day, and the race was very well organized.  The only issue I had was at the end of the race, when all I wanted was a bottle of water and they were filling small cups of water.  Bottles next time, please?  Thanks!


Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Loved this recap! You did really amazing given all the hills and a week off. I'm sure the move the next day was tough though!

Laura said...

Fantastic job! What's the next challenge? Half Ironman?

Erica said...

LOVEEEEEEEEE that they have lobster at the end! Whoop whoop! Way to make your goal-ish time! That is fantastic. I'm not sure I could swim in that chilly water

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Congratulations! SO proud of you!

Joanne said...

woohoo! I am SOOO happy you did it and felt good afterwards! The first event after taking some time off is always rough, but you really rocked this!

Bridget said...

Awesome job!!! Triathalons always sound so exhausting to me! Esp one with hills, so I admire you for that! But I guess the lobster would be a great motivation! Looks like a fun time. Hope you had people helping you move!

Elizabeth said...

This is WAY impressive. I'm definitely in awe.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Awesome! I'm in awe of anyone that can do stuff like this. I would die in the middle of it...I'm sure of it.

Reeni said...

Great job Shannon! You rock.

Cara said...

You are so badass! Love it! Great job, and I really loved reading about this :)

Esi said...

Wow congrats! And the lobster at the end is an excellent motivator :)

Miz said...

DAMN you are HARD of CORE.

kitchenbelle said...

Congratulations, Shannon! What an accomplishment! Love seeing all of the pics.

Unknown said...

congrats! so happy you are back to racing. And injury free!

Jess said...

Congrats! I am so impressed with you triathletes!

Kim said...

awesome job on your first oly!!!! you kicked butt!!!

Natalie said...

you are awesome! I am so incredibly impressed!

Lizzy said...

Congrats!!! You did such a great job - you should be super impressed!

Kerstin said...

Congrats Shannon, you're so inspiring!!!

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