Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rev3 Cedar Point: Pushing Beyond the Comfort Zone

Going into Rev3 Cedar Point this year I wasn't exactly too sure what to expect. The week before the race: Hurricane Isaac struck, I missed a bunch of workouts, I sprained my ankle pretty severely, and there was no real taper. With that said, I knew my fitness had improved a lot with my new coach. Either way I went in with a positive attitude and knew that I was capable of getting close to that 5 hr mark. The key to success would ultimately be believing in myself and pushing beyond what feels safe and comfortable. More mentally than physically......

Although I finally purchased my own bike case this year, I was a little hesitant to fly a brand new bike in a soft case to Ohio. I figured I would chance it and go with the trusty old Pink Hotness. And I'm glad I did! And with southwest=NO baggage fees either way....
 I arrived Friday evening at the Rev3 team headquarters: a clash of Ohio and Key West. Super classy! Great location for next year...
Saturday was spent doing the usual pre-race run, packet pick up, bike drop off, and most importantly catching up with old friends and making new ones--including Kim, Jen, Jordan, Anthony, Jeff, Laura, Carole, Ryan, Tim, Pam and her hubby, Elizabeth, Chris, and Jamie. My mom drove over from Pittsburgh later in the day.

Race day was perfect. It was a beautiful morning with temps in the 60s. Dream weather for this swamp lander. With a later start my mom and I took our time getting to the start. As I arrived at my spot, I was happy to be parked almost right next to fellow blogger and rock star athlete Anne Marie.

My goal for the swim: go out hard and stay with the fast girls. And that is exactly what I did....There were a few orange caps and I tried to stay on feet. After a few minutes, we quickly caught the heats in front of us. As I made the first turn, I caught even more heats with different colored caps. The yellow caps were a little distracting as they blended closely with the yellow bouys.  I found my rhythm and stuck with it. My familiarity with the course helped steer me on the right track. The swim was over before I knew it. I felt like I had a solid swim overall. Final time: 33:24. Goal (30-31)

The funniest thing happened in T1, I literally lost my bike. I always always always find landmarks and look where I am headquartered. For some reason, I just got totally turned around. And even worse, here is proof of my transition faux pas:  (thanks to Katie's husband) Where is my bike? I thought I left it right here? ahhahahah HILARIOUS!

Yes I am really standing there---

Despite the prolonged T1 , all of the bikes in my AG rack were all still in place.T1:2:24

Going into the bike, I just prayed the pink hotness would get me through one last race. As we reunited once again, I felt like I was riding a midget bike. Going from 700c back to 650c with a different set up felt so awkward. I felt super compressed and like I wasn't getting full hip extension with my pedal stroke. Ugh this is going to be a long one I thought! I shrugged off the weirdness and just went for it.  I went out hard keeping my HR in the high 160s per coaches orders to go beyond the comfort zone. The winds and crosswinds made me feel like I was at home. I passed a ton of guys and a few girls in my AG. Throughout the bike, I made sure I stuck to my nutrition plan getting down 4 PowerBar gels and 3 bottles. Still need to work on getting in another 1-2 gels for the future.The course was windy, rolling, and beautiful. I absolutely loved it. (Until I had a leech encounter). Throughout the last 10-15 miles there was a leech in my AG that kept drafting off of me. All I will say is: not cool. My mantra at that point: "Focus Heidi-shrug it off and move on. Negativity will get you no-where". Regardless of the leech, I was very pleased as I finished in 2:44. Not bad for no power, old bike, and no Q rings :) (Goal 2:40-2:42)

My nightmare in T1 happened again in T2. It was no-where near as long but it definitley happened again. Ugh I wanted to kick myself! Dummy! T2: 1:48

Off the the run! I went out a little harder than  I should have with my first mile right around 7. I saw one of my teammates who was in my AG about 400 meters in front of me. I just kept focusing on her and tried to catch her. After the first 1.5 miles, I got this weird, sudden sharp stabbing in my calf. With my recent ankle injury and with a 140.6 on the horizon, I was a little concerned by the severity of the pain. My first thought was: SALT SALT SALT! At mile 2 I took a salt tab and then again at mile 3. Luckily the pain subsided pretty quickly. As the pain dissipated it strangely transitioned into "my foot is asleep".  What is going on? Either way I shrugged it off. After miles 3-4 my spunk and foot sensastion returned and my pace started to quicken again. I caught my teammate and found a pretty comfortable zone averaging 7:40s-7:50s. I felt oddly good! As I saw my mom during one of the turns, she informed me that I was 2nd or 3rd in my AG. Yay hold on....I was able to maintain that until miles 11-13. I started to falter again as a girl in my AG passed me. I was spent and I had nothing left. I helplessly let her go. And then around mile 12 it happened again as I was passed by another. I tried to hang but just didn't have it. I tried to pick it up the last mile to bring it home with terrible towel in hand.  Regardless, I crossed the finish line at 5:11:09. A new PR by over 8 minutes! Thank you coach chad! Run time 1:49. (Goal 1:43-1:45)

In the end I still ended up with a PR and a 3rd AG finish. Seeing my hard work pay off in less than ideal circumstances proved to me that there is much more to come.

Thank you Rev3 for the best race yet!

Post race was spent drinking boxed wine with my teammates and catching up with my long lost friend Kim. (who killed it btw with a 9:40!!!!) What an amazing weekend with friends and family! My mom of course had no problem hanging on and double fisting. Cheers to a fun weekend, new half PR, Rev3, and to pushing beyond my comfort zone.


  1. Congrats again on your race! The drafting thing is frustrating... I saw a girl and guy drafting and taking turns pulling at one point, which is just lame.

    Thanks for the shout-out, and thanks again for the encouragement after the race- it really meant a lot! :)

  2. I thought I saw you in T1 and you passed me on the bike. Congrats on the poduim finish

  3. Yeah for seeing friends and an awesome weekend with a new PR!! Nice work hanging tough! So proud of you!!! Love the RR and bye pink hotness!! We'll miss you!

  4. Great job out there Heidi! :) You need to be one of those people that ties a balloon to your transition spot! ;)