Monday, August 12, 2013

Mountain Man OLY Race Recap!!

This weekend we headed back up to Flagstaff and raced at Mountain Man again. This time I did the Olympic distance and 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' did the half ironman distance. It was a blast!

We drove up Saturday and met some of our friends who were also racing at packet pickup. Best quote from the athletes meeting: "there are no hills on the run course except for the one in the middle"

After packet pickup, we checked into our hotel room and then headed out to Outback again for dinner. We both got our usual pre-race meals and then went back to the hotel room and got everything ready for the race. We cleaned our bikes, laid out our clothes, painted nails, and since we had to check out before the race (since we wouldn't make it back by their 11:00am checkout time) we had to pack everything up as well.

We went to sleep early and our alarm went off at 4:00am. Thankfully, 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' had to shower, so that meant I got to sleep for another 20 minutes. ;)

I finally got out of bed and got ready to go. (When we went to check out the hotel clerk was in the back office with the lights off sleeping.... is this normal?) We left our keys on the desk and made our way to the race.

Once we got to down to the lake we went our separate ways like usual and got our transition areas set up, body marked, and picked up our chips. I bumped into 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' again as I was heading back to my spot in transition to put on my wet suit and he was headed down to the start. (Since he was doing the half ironman distance, they started about 25 minutes before the Olympic distance.) I panicked thinking he wouldn't have time to braid my hair-- then I quickly remembered he isn't the only person who can braid hair. So we said our goodbyes and split- with no hair braiding.

I had a transition spot next to my friend Rachel, and after putting on our wet suites and snapping a couple pictures we headed down to the start. We made it just in time to hear Dan sing the National Anthem and see 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' take off in the water.


We were in the last wave, so we had plenty of time to braid my hair and find Maria (running frida).

Before I knew it, it was time to get in the water and go. The 71 degrees water felt GREAT compared to the low 50's air temp. I started towards the front and felt good. We had to swim in a large rectangular box and after you hit the first buoy there were none except the turnaround buoy- which was a good 750 meters away. That and the fact that the buoy was green- along with the grass and trees surrounding the lake-- made sighting a real breeze! I basically stopped trying to sight the buoying and just started sighting off of the people in front of me.

I felt like I got a little off course and swung a little too wide, but overall my swim went great. I was hoping to be around 30 minutes and it ended up being 33:49. I was OK with that. I quickly got out of the water and jogged into transition. I quickly took a few bites of a HoneyStinger as I fumbled to get my bike shoes on and then threw my helmet on and took off.

The bike course was fun. I knew the course since we had gone up to Flagstaff so much to train and it was the same course as the "Mountain Man Sprint" except longer. Longer with a HUGE hill towards the turnaround- which we didn't have on the Sprint. That hill was a monster! I'm glad I knew it was coming and had some practice with it so I knew how to pace myself for it.

Once we hit the turn around point I knew there was a slight downhill the rest of the way back- so I tried to push the pace even more. I felt great and was really happy with my 1:27 time.

Back in transition, I quickly exchanged my bike shoes for my running shoes and grabbed a bottle of water and headed back out for the run.

The run was probably my favorite part of this race (minus that hill we've already talked about). I started out at a pretty good pace- I tried not to go out too fast, knowing that the hill was coming. I reached the hill and just put my head down and kept going. The whole way up I kept wishing I was the people on the other side of the road heading down. I saw my friend Jamie (heading down) and we both cheered each other on.

I finally reached the top/turn around point and became ecstatic! I knew I had a huge downhill in front of me and when I reached the bottom of the hill I would only have a mile left. I took off down the hill flying. I looked down at my watch a couple times and was shocked to see my pace at 8:15. (I should run downhill more often! ;))

 When I was almost to the bottom of the hill a guy came up beside me and started making small talk, asking me how my race was going and complaining about the lack of port-a-potties on the course. I was able to keep up with his quick pace since we were still going down hill. Once we reached the bottom of the hill and the road flattened out, that's when it became a little harder to keep up. I let him dominate the conversation- telling me about his first Ironman last year and what I could expect this year. I really struggled to keep up but pushed myself because I knew I didn't have very much further to go.

When we made the last turn towards the finish he took off towards the finish. I dug up everything I had left in me and moved as fast as I could towards that finish line. I finished the run in 1:01- which is a great time for me.

Overall, I was happy with my 3:06 time and came in 4th in my age group (out of 8). My fasted Olympic time is 3:04 and my goal for this race- knowing there were the monster hills- was anything under 3:30. So I was shocked to realize I was 2 minutes shy of a PR on a more difficult course.

Me and Rachel
After I finished, I waited for some friends to finish and then hung out and waited for 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' to finish. It started raining pretty hard and I felt bad for everyone who was still out there running in the rain.

Amazing training partner!

Once he finished we went and got some food at Buffalo Wild Wings and then started the 2 and half hour drive home. It was a quick trip but a great race!
Me and Maria did the OLY and the boys did the half ironman- they're crazy!!

Did anyone else race this weekend??


  1. I loved reading this... I just came over to your blog from IG. I'm doing the 1/2 IM in Raleigh, NC in June 2014. Any tips for triathlons from you or the Mr.?

    1. You have a lot of time, so get familiar with what the course is like and train accordingly. If it's super flat- great, if it has a lot of hills, make sure you're incorporating hills into your workouts. (since you're in NC, can you train on the actual course? If so, that's a great advantage!)

      And for the actual race, make sure you have enough nutrition with you on the bike and the run- don't make the mistake of relying on aid stations to be there (in case there isn't any- or they run out of stuff). Also, in the week leading up to the race, drink plenty of water and get more than enough sleep.

      Other than that, enjoy it!! Try not to stress out too much and remember it's OK if something doesn't go as you planned- just keep going! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you! :)