Ironman 70.3 Ohio Race Review

Ironman 70.3 Ohio is in its infancy and I think we all want to know what kind of race Ironman is delivering in Ohio.  I was interested to see how it compared to other 70.3 events in the Midwest.  I was also interested to see what Delaware, OH had to offer.

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Delaware was about 2.5 hours away from my home in the Ft Wayne, Indiana area.  I was flying solo for this trip so packed & pulled out as soon as I could get Mr. Michael over to hang out with my parents.  Minivan/Bike selfie for the win!  Love being a minivan mom!  When I’m old & wrinkly I’ll probably still be driving one around cuz my bike REALLY  likes riding inside.  Smile

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3 hours later, I pulled into Delaware, OH.  Home of Ohio Wesleyan University.  Easy enough drive.  Cute town.  Beautiful church in the downtown area .  Typical small college town with a main street area lined with shops & restaurants. 

The expo was on the Selby Stadium campus.  Big merchandise tent with A LOT of IM 70.3 Ohio stuff.  The merchandise tent was much bigger than Muncie & was larger than what I usually see at Steelhead too.  Not sure why, but it was impressive & I’ve done quite a few IM 70.3s.    Smallish expo otherwise but the highlight was free sunscreen from Ohio Health, then both NormaTec & Rapid Reboot had recovery boots for people to try.  I’m part of the Best TRI Club Ever (BTCE) & we get a discount with Rapid Reboot so I was happy to try out a pair of those to see how they compared.  LOVED them!!! I think they would be great for Aby & I to help with recovery.  Maybe Santa could bring a pair for us to share?!?!?! 

Saw one of my BTCE teammates at the expo & we got to hang out, drop our run bags together, then we eventually did dinner.  Thanks, Laura!

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What makes IM 70.3 Ohio slightly different than most 70.3s in the Midwest would be multiple transition zones.  Transition 1 was by Delaware Lake at Delaware State Park.  Transition 2 was inside Selby Stadium.  Below.

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Hard to see all the bike racks because they are sitting on the white lines.  We had to pack our run bags the day before & drop in our T2 spot so that we would have what we needed when we brought our bikes in for the run.  Those bags are the red spots you see on the white lines. 

Then after we dropped our run bags, we headed 6 miles away to Delaware State Park to drop our bikes in T1.  I didn’t love this but it was mandatory due to very little parking at the park & a need to shuttle athletes in on race morning.  Last year, there was a tornado that touched down in the park overnight while the bikes were in transition.  Yes, that was definitely in the back of my head.

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Race day started bright and early as we all needed to board a school bus to be shuttled to the swim venue.  We were able to park in 2 different locations.  I picked the one closest to T2 since I would  need to get my bike & all my gear (sans transition bag) back to my car solo.  My parking area was about 0.6 mi from Selby Stadium. 

Good news was delivered via Facebook right before we boarded the shuttle. Wetsuit legal!  We boarded buses.  As soon as a bus was full, it would leave.  Lots of buses.  I didn’t have to wait at all.  Easy ride to the venue.  We were dropped near transition.   Went thru body marking.  Then finally had access to our bikes again.  Everything looked fine, just damp with dew.  Biggest challenge was pumping tires when we couldn’t carry in a pump unless someone we knew could carry it back out for us.  We were not returning to T1 after we left on our bikes & there wasn’t room in our bike bags for an air pump.  Luckily, someone loved the lady beside me & she had her tire pump in transition.  She was kind enough to share with me!  Much appreciated! 

I set up my spot and prepared my bike bag for when I returned for the swim.  Everything from our swim needed to go INSIDE our bike bag & then volunteers collected the bags & transported our swim & morning stuff to the T2 area for us to retrieve after the race.  Quick picture with Laura before we left our phones in the bike bag.  Then out of transition by 6:45a when it closed.

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Our swim waves were at 8:04 & 8:08a.  Long wait.  I was definitely stiff, tired & ready by the time my wave went off.  The lake water the day before was a bit choppy but smooth by race morning.  We waded into the water & treaded water as we waited for the start.  4 minutes between waves.  Seemed like we swam somewhat parallel to shore to start but according to the map, we swam in a triangle.  First segment to the red turn buoy was 500m, then a long 800m stretch into the sun.  I don’t think any of us would have hit those last 2 buoys on the long side without help from the guards.  The sun was in our eyes & we could see buoys over on the other side but not the ones “in front” of us.  I kept hearing the guards yell, “swim right, swim right”.  Finally we made it to the final turn buoy for a 600m kick to shore.  It was kinda carnage. We could see again but the course narrowed, basically there were more swimmers & the guards were in closer to the buoys so it seemed like we didn’t have much room to swim.  The people in front of us who were struggling were just lounging, kinda stopped in the water.  Or going very slow.  The people behind us were trying to swim over us to get out of the water.  I got smacked in the head & my goggles were dislodged but I didn’t lose them.  The gentleman was very nice about it but I couldn’t get my goggles to reseal after that.  Oh well, just keep swimming, right? 

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Finally out of the water.  Almost an identical swim split as Muncie even though I felt like I did better.  It seems like the harder I try and the MORE I want to do better, the slower I go.  Is that even possible?   The mysteries of the swim elude me!

On the bike.  Splitting headache & nausea the first 22 miles.  Maybe that guy hit me harder than I thought?   After some ibuprofen & pepto, I was good to go, just in time to turn out of the wind.  Smile   First half of the course was super easy, very few turns.  Good roads & we were frequently separated from the cars by traffic cones.  Last 20+ miles had a lot more turns & the “where are we going now” feeling.  I wouldn’t call this a particularly fast course because of the number of turns toward the end.  And the roads were open.  So we had cars to deal with the majority of the time.  There were several times that the riders were having to wait on cars, or a car would pass us, then have to slow because they couldn’t get around the next group of riders and we’d have to brake to keep from running into the cars in front of us.  Traffic got increasing more congested as we were nearing town for T2.  So as we were navigating the course & all the turns at the end, we were also fighting real traffic.  Very unsafe at times.  

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Hit the ground running at the dismount line, onto the track around the football field, onto the astro turf for transition. HOT.  The astro turf was burning hot on my bare feet.  I fortunately wasn’t too far into the rack for T2.  So I grabbed my run bag (that had been sitting since the previous day) & realized that my shoes were burning hot too.  Fun.  It was upper 80s probably by the time we got off the bike.  Quick T2 cuz well, I wanted to get away from the astro turf. 

Onto the run.  Two loops.  Still hot.  Some breeze.  Some shade.  A few nice people who brought out water to spray on us or splash us.  One spot where kids with giant water guns were having fun spraying us.  However, the aid stations weren’t as prepared for the heat as most IM events which I have done in the past.  There was ice in maybe 3 or 4 spots over the 13.1 miles.  What little ice they did have would go fast & I didn’t get any on the second loop until I was headed back to the stadium with about a mile to go.  It made me feel really bad for those behind me. 

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Great volunteers on the run course.  No vehicular traffic that I remember.  Varied elevation but mostly flat with a few small hills. 

Finish.  The sweet finish.  We ran back into Selby Stadium.  Did a partial lap around the track & we were done.  Yes!!!  Nice finish.  I went to pick up my morning/bike bag.  Hands were full!  Then I went to the food tent.  They were grilling hamburgers & chicken but it was gone when I got there & they were waiting for more.  I didn’t feel like waiting.  Went to T2 to get my bike & the rest of my gear.  Quite the balancing act getting the bike & all the gear back to the car without my transition bag.  If I had thought about it, I should have left my transition bag inside my run bag so it was there when I was ready to pack everything up at the end of the race!  Or maybe another backpack.  That would have been helpful.

Overall a good race.  Nice venue at OH Wesleyan. The two transition locations was not ideal for me but I still enjoyed the race.  Volunteers, police & spectators were great as usual.  Plenty of SWAG, pictured below.

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Thanks to Delaware OH for letting us invade your town.  Great hospitality. 

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Ironman 70.3 Racine (2013) Race Report

As the evidence of a hard fought race fades away, race reports stand the test of time and are here for years to come.  For that very reason, I wanted the race to settle a bit before I began to talk about it.  This was my second Ironman brand event.  The first was last year in Muncie where I showed up with a torn tendon in my foot and full knowledge that I couldn’t run and would need to take a DNF.  In actuality, the weather did not cooperate and produced dangerously high temps resulting in the race being downgraded to Olympic distance but I still took the DNF since I couldn’t run.  Details of Ironman 70.3 Muncie 2012 are HERE if you are interested. 

I didn’t care much for the venue in Muncie (although I loved the town) so I decided to try out Ironman 70.3 Racine this year.  The weather leading up to Racine was hot, Hot, HOT and I couldn’t help have a feeling of déjà vu.  However, as the weekend approached the winds picked up and things started to cool off!  I rolled into Racine on Saturday afternoon for packet pickup, athlete briefing and to get my bike into transition before the 5pm cutoff.  Not all triathlons, or even Ironman brand races, require you to rack your bike the day before but some do and if you’re not in by the time it closes, then just kiss your registration goodbye cuz you won’t be racing. 

Packet Pick-up was organized and smooth, the “expo” had a few vendors and a large Ironman store to purchase goodies.  The race goodie bag included a blended cotton type performance shirt, a bag, the swim cap & race numbers.

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Athlete briefing was not required but I always think it’s important to attend.  It was lengthy and boring but the view was nice.  Then I was off to rack my bike in transition which was a couple miles away. 

IM Racine 70.3_bike rackedTransition is always a little hectic but I also love it because it’s where all the athletes are in one spot, all on an equal playing field and I kinda love the chaos. 

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Fast forward past the shitty hotel & the shitty pre-race dinner to race morning and we awoke to a beautiful day.  Nice wind and cooler temps. 

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However, that wind brought with it some waves.  My girl over at Finding My Happy Pace posted an amazing pic of what the wind brought us in terms of “choppy” waters and little wave action.  I touched on it briefly yesterday.  This was our swim.

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It was tough getting out even far enough to start swimming because the waves kept pushing us backward.  It was tough to gather enough courage to put our heads down and attempt to swim.  It was tough to keep trying to move forward with the never-ending swells.  We needed to travel 1.2 miles in these conditions.  How far did we actually swam fighting the waves?  We’ll never know.  I commend every single athlete who was brave enough to get into the water.  You had to really want it to even step off the beach.  Seriously, pat yourself on the back right now.  You’re officially a badass.

My swim didn’t go well.  Shocker, I know.  I wasn’t scared.  I even took time to encourage the athletes around me who were visibly panicking struggling.  I thought I was doing okay but I was just having trouble keeping my head down and taking more than a few strokes at a time.  If I took 5 strokes before I put my head up and rechecked my position, that was a lot.  Then my calf cramped, which was a big issue.  Thankfully I was within site of the finish when that happened so I was able to finish after taking a bit of a break while chatting up a lifeguard with a handy surfboard.  When I finally made it out of the water, I saw that it took me nearly 55 minutes to swim 1.2 miles.   Yikes, that’s bad!

Once I stumbled up to the beach, I started taking off my wetsuit and a kind man just told me to sit down and he pulled it off me.  Thank you, sir.  I know you weren’t an official “wetsuit stripper” but you have no idea how appreciative I am of your kindness.  Then I walked into transition with my wetsuit.  Attempting to recover from the swim.  Attempting to wrap my head around the fact that the race had barely started and I was in fact EXHAUSTED.  I was so tired, that I in fact walked on the wrong side of my transition rack and had to circle back around.  But I was too tried to care.

The bike portion started up a big hill.  Many people crashed before they even got half way up.  I was mounting my bike (off to the side) and a lady came rolling back down the hill with her bike.  Yikes.  So I was being extra careful, clipped in and pedaled up in an very uneventful manner.  I knew immediately that I was in for a long ride.  1)  My new aero bottle canister was not sticking to my handlebars.  It took me several miles to get it locked back into position (then it came back off in the last 1/4 and we fought again!).  It just wouldn’t stick, and it kept knocking into my computer and changing the settings.  I thought about tossing it to the side many times but I knew that I needed it.  Finally got it to stick after a couple miles.  2)  My calf was still sore from the in-water cramping.  3)  As soon as I got down into aero my neck and shoulders were already tight and sore from fighting the waves during the swim.  Not ideal.

The bike course was one loop of mostly country roads that seemed to always be going up or down.  I didn’t see any hills bigger than the one in and out of transition but there were small rollers almost all the time.  And the country roads were bumpy, very bumpy.  Aid stations were stocked with performance drink, water & gels every 15 to 20 miles.  It always amazes me how brave the volunteers are standing roadside holding a drink out for us to grab.  None of this would work if it weren’t for the volunteers so I am very thankful for their hard work and dedication.   

The first half of the bike was decent although I was much slower than normal.  However, the second half was just rough bringing more hills (or maybe they were the same ones, just looking bigger due to my fatigue) the wind, and more bumpy roads.  My neck and shoulders were BURNING with pain & fatigue.  All of this really took a real toll on me and I fell way off pace.  But I made it back to transition.  56 miles on the bike DONE.  3 hrs & 29 minutes.  Super slow but DONE.  Screen shots below from FinsherPix, the Ironman photog:

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Transition 2 was all good.  Such a relief to rack the stupid bike and be back on my own two feet.  At this point, the race is over for me.  I know that I can run, walk or crawl 13.1 miles if necessary.  BRING IT!  The run was an out and back course with two loops.  The temps were well into the 80s by this time.  However, I did enjoy looking for my friends amongst all the other runners.  It helped with the monotony being able to look to see if I could spot people I knew.  The aid stations were well stocked with water, ice, bananas, pretzels, oranges, energy gels and performance drinks.  The residents of Racine ROCKED in the spectator department, bringing out their water hoses, sprinklers, kids with squirt guns and just doing what they could to help keep us cool.  I will also acknowledge that the course was well shaded in many places and the wind that caused so many problems in the water and was a nuisance on the bike, was now a welcome relief.  And the views of the water in several spots were breathtaking.  Screen shots below from FinsherPix, the Ironman photog:

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Not what was in the plan but I finished in 6 hours & 50 minutes and I was super happy to hit that finish line.  Swim – 53:46, T1 – 5:02, Bike – 3:29:19 (16.05 mph), T2 – 2:54, Run – 2:19:52 (10:40 pace)

Ironman picked a great venue in Racine.  Beautiful area & race site.  Aid stations, volunteers and medical assistance were plentiful.  However the race is very expensive ($225 to $250) and they ran out of food at the finish, which I think is unacceptable for the cost of the race and the duration for which the athletes compete.  In fact I left as soon as I finished my race because I needed to go find food to refuel.  

Finisher medal & Hat:

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All in all, I think it was a well ran event, minus the food snafu at the end.  The athletes were all very nice, even the fast ones.  The race officials were serious but helpful.  The volunteers were amazing.   However, I probably won’t go back to Racine for an Ironman event.  It’s a long way from home, traffic to Wisconsin stinks and I’m still not convinced that the cost of the brand endorsement is worth the extra money to race.  I’m a small town girl and like small town races with small town price tags but as with everything, it’s all in personal preference. 

** Get Out and Give It A TRI **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

The Week Of Ironman 70.3 Racine

So the time has arrived and I’m staring down Ironman 70.3 Racine this weekend.  That’s 1.2 miles swimming, 56 miles biking, and 13.1 miles running.  Pure awesome.  Add all those miles up and you’ll get 70.3 miles.  This is merely half of an Ironman race like you might have seen on ESPN but there is nothing “half” about it in my world.

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Am I nervous?  Not really nervous yet but I certainly would have liked to have more training time in the books.  Most who tackle an event of this magnitude use a training plan (check out Triathlon Geek or Beginner Triathlete).  Possibly you’ve heard the phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail” but that’s not my reality.  A training plan for the 70.3 distance just gives me a ton of workouts that I’m unable to fit into my real life as mom, wife, employee & suburban commuter.  So I do what I can do, use the TTF “finish it” plan and that results in 1 swim, 1 bike and 3-4 runs each week (more running because I can do that at home on the treadmill while watching the kiddos!).  Yep, that’s it.  How will that play out this weekend?  We could probably call what we are about to witness a “sufferfest”.  It’s gonna hurt.

The good news is that I’m well aware that the race will be difficult.  I’ve done the distance previously with the same training schedule.  However, I was younger then, weighed less and had an extra month of “training” under my belt.  So how will that play out this weekend?  Sufferfest.

My plan is to focus on each discipline and not get ahead of myself.  Relax on the swim.  Not be upset that I’m a slower swimmer and acknowledge that most of my age group will most likely be out of the water and onto the bike well before me.  I’m a proficient swimmer; I’m just not fast.  Whatever.  The goal is to get out of the water and onto dry land.  Last time I did a 70.3, I swam the 1.2 mile distance in 44:23.  Anything under 45 minutes would make me a happy, happy camper.  Actually, just dragging my ass out of the water will make me a happy, happy camper.

The bike is long, 56 miles in this event.  That’s a long ass way on a bike.  My butt hurts just thinking about it.  My issue with the bike is that I like to ride fast.  As fast as I can go.  Well, that’s only fun for the first 20-30 miles, then I want to cry.  So I am going to try to keep things in control so that the last 20-30 miles don’t feel like dog crap make me cry.  Think I can make it thru this entire event without a tear?  No?  I gambling on a yes because it’s going to be so flippin’ hot that I’ll be dehydrated.   Smile  I’ll let you know on that one.  Anyhow, last time, I biked the 56 miles in 3 hours 22 minutes for a 16.58 mph average.  I’m hoping for a 17 mph average this time so that puts me around 3:15 and if I’m honest I’m dreaming of being closer to 3 hours but I know that’s just a dream and not my current fitness level.  

The run is a half marathon.  How many half marathons have I ran?  Close to 20 since I started pushing the distance card circa 2007.  So I think I can run one more, even if it is hot.  Even after I’ve swam 1.2 miles and biked 56 miles.  I can do it.  The good thing about the “run” is that you’re on solid ground it is what you make of it.  You can acknowledge that it will be a sufferfest and just keep moving or you can obsess about how bad it sucks and take yourself out of the game.  Choices.  Remember, you always have a choice, even if you don’t like the options.  I choose to run.  I choose to move my butt closer to the finish line at whatever pace I can manage.  I have no illusions of speediness but I do know that I can usually run faster than I can walk.  So I’m going to try to focus on running and if I need to walk I’m going to do so for a short time and then get going again.  My run may look like a shuffle but I plan to keep on shuffling right to the finish line.  Last time, I ran the half in 2:20.  That’s a 10:43 pace.  I’m hoping to be under 2:10 this time, which is just under a 10 minute mile. 

So for comparison, here is how I hope predict the race to stack up against my previous attempt in 2008.  I know it’s been 5 years but I’m older and wiser right?  Plus I’d like to think that Mr. Michael has made me tougher in more ways than you can even imagine.

Great Illini 70.3 – 2008

Goal for IM 70.3 Racine 2013

Swim – 44:23 Swim – 45:00
T1 – 2:37 (small transition) T1 – 5:00
Bike – 3:22:40 Bike – 3:15:00
T2 – 3:56 T2 – 5:00
Run – 2:20:23 Run – 2:10:00
Final – 6:33:51 Final – 6:20:00

There it is in black and white.  I’m looking to go under 6 hours and 30 minutes this time.  Will it happen?  Only time will tell.  Will I be disappointed if it doesn’t happen?  Hell, no.  I’m in to finish it and it will be a HUGE accomplishment for me to put this in the done column.  I’m looking forward to the race.  I’m looking forward to pushing my limits.  I’m looking forward to the sufferfest.  Let’s do this!!  Whoooooooop!

you can get thru this    stronger than you think

** Stronger Than I Think ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Bike Fit….

As you know from THIS post, I’m back on the bike and staring down two 70.3s which are fast approaching.  The first one is July 7th, a small event hosted by Ironman, and I anticipate it to be a total bike train wreck.  The little biking that I have done so far (70 miles last month) has not gone well.  Everything hurt.  My knees hurt. My hips hurt.  My neck hurt. My shoulders hurt.  I kept thinking, what did I get myself into?!?! that my return to triathlon was going to be a difficult one.  I did the only thing I could think of doing, I took more Joint ProMotion

Joint Promotion

Okay, let’s be honest, I actually started taking Joint ProMotion.  You would think that as a runner and AdvoCare Distributor I would be using a glucosamine supplement but you would be wrong.   I am now.

Then I started thinking.  More thinking.  I’ve never been a strong biker but there is a difference between sucking not being good at something and having pain.  I never had pain before, this is new.  I am riding the same bike I had Pre-Michael but I felt like it had shrunk in it’s 1309 days of hibernation.  Muscle atrophy?  Probably not.  I “may” have mentioned these problems to hubby and he may, or may not, have threatened me regarding bringing home a new TRI bike.  Sigh….

So I called Trek Schererville and scheduled an appointment to be refitted on my “old” bike.  Aby was kind enough to take a few photos of the process.

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Getting Closer…. Hello Team Tough Chik!  I’m actually in this photo…..kinda.   And you can “kinda” see Paul behind me, adjusting the bike.  Apparently the seat was almost 2” too low.

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When your seat is too low, you don’t get proper pedal extensions, have less power, and develop aches and pains in your hips and knees.  It also basically folds the bike up on you and the aerobars will feel too short, shifting will be difficult and you “may” develop pain in the neck and shoulders.  Really?  I never would have guessed.

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I’m a happy camper now and looking forward to my ride this afternoon.  Cross your fingers for me! 

And as a general rule of thumb, if it feels wrong, it is wrong.  Trust yourself.  Don’t get hurt because you are stubborn or because you think you are a weak biker/runner/person.  It also helps if you buy your bike from a store you can trust, a store who’s employees know your name and number when it pops up on the caller ID, a store that will refit your bike and help you with your mental problems, a store that will service your bike free for life.  Trek.

Side note:  My computer finally arrived!  I’ve been waiting for the Node 1.1 to arrive so that I could have an affordable computer which works on the road and on my trainer, while still being wireless.  This is HUGE.  Now I have zero excuses as to not riding.  NO EXCUSES!

So what’s your excuse for not putting in your miles?  Please share, I need some new ones!

Happy TRI-ing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com **

Scheduling Conflicts…..

I start planning my race schedule a year or so in advance.  I know this “may” seem OCD to some but there are a handful of races which I run each year, mostly because I like the course, or the race director (example:  Palos Half Marathon that Mel from Running For Kicks organizes in May), or it’s a charity event, or it’s close to my mom’s house and gives me an “extra” reason to go for a visit.  Whatever the reason, I certainly have my favorites and I will choose a small event over a big expensive event each and every time. Therefore, I have never delved into real Ironman territory.  I participated in an awesome 70.3 event, the Great Illini Challenge, in 2008 while I was trying for Mr. Michael but it was a generic version of the half “Ironman” distance and a fraction of the cost.  I normally stay away from big name events where you pay for an after party, band, and/or the brand name, etc. with your entry fee.  It’s just not my thing because I participate for the running/TRIing, not the party.  However, as this year’s schedule plays out, I have paid for both an entry into a Rock N Roll event and now I am registered for the Ironman 70.3 Muncie.

In my defense, I got a super deal on the RnR Chicago event when I registered for it last November with a coupon code and as an early bird.  As for the Ironman event, hey, that’s where my friends are going and I want to be there with them, and the timing/location is right.  Plus, my one friend is a kickass great biker, which is my weakest link, so I will just focusing on “trying” to catch her or if by chance I get out of the water first I will be pedaling my ass off fast trying to stay away from her!  I know that she will still crush me on the bike but a little added incentive is worth the price tag.  🙂

Unfortunately, I had to nix a really GREAT race on my schedule to take part in the IM 70.3 Muncie.  I gave up the Evergreen International TRI in Hudson, IL due to scheduling conflicts with family, run & other TRI events.  This event is on July 14, 2012.

If you are available on July 14th, I highly recommend this race!  It is in a great location, great course, plus they offer both a sprint and an international distance so good for everyone in your party.  This is definitely one of my favorites and the course is fast, I will miss it on my 2012 calendar but please partake, take photos and send them to me and I will  post them while congratulating you on your achievements!  Go, register for Evergreen HERE.  As an added bonus, the race director a super cool lady who puts on a series of events under the TRI Mom/TRI Shark name.  In the last event I raced for TRI Mom, I was handed a sack lunch as I was leaving for my drive home.  Thanks, Mom!  I was starved and much appreciated that sack lunch.  Some times it’s the little things, you know?

So how is your racing season shaping up?  Is it coming together smoothly or are you coming across a few speed bumps like me?  I honestly can’t fit in one international/olympic distance TRI this year and will just be focusing on the two 70.3 distance events.  Not ideal and I’m sure my transitions will be slow due to lack of practice but attitude and an over abundance of confidence will make up for transition issues because I plan to totally crush both 70.3s this year.  I only have one time in which to compare and that is the pre-Michael race but the time still stands and counts in my books.  The 2008 Great Illini Challenge brought me a 6:33 finish and I am hoping by drafting off Renee the Muncie race will get me under the 6:30 mark so I can go on to really get after it at the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3 on Labor Day weekend.  BELIEVE!

If you would like to join me at the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3, they offer both an Olympic and 70.3 Distance, so feel free to come and have fun at whatever distance you are ready to tackle!  This course is really user/spectator friendly too as it has 2 loops to each part.  You will be close to your car transition several times during the race in the event that you “need” anything.  I hope to see you out there!

**Disclaimer** – Drafting in a triathalon will get you disqualified.  Don’t do it.  And if you do, don’t tell them that TTF said it was ok cuz it’s not! 

Sidenote:  Let me just say how excited I am for all of you over the PunkeeLove Headband Giveaway!!  I wish I had a headband to send each and every one of you and I will be on  pins and needles doing the drawing on Monday.  Good luck everyone!  Don’t forget to use the one time only code for 20% off:  tootall20   to order the bands that you want on discount.  I’m certainly taking advantage of the code and placing an order today since I don’t need to wait for the drawing!

Happy Running & TRIing,                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz