Tag Archive | Iron Girl

Take Credit Where Credit is Due

It has to be said….

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In the last year, there have been several running news stories about people committing fraud during a race.   Some have gone to extremes to either claim to complete a race they never had any intention of completing, faking a chip time, or just lying about the whole thing.   I have never understood that mentality.

Never.

This is why I am having such a hard time with my chip time from the Iron Girl.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  I also believe it is wrong to take credit for something that isn’t true.  In my heart of heart I know after some thought that maybe not that my chip time is wrong, but that something is wrong.   And the thing is it pisses me off.

I am pissed not because I’m pretty certain that I didn’t run a 19:12 5k.    I am pissed because I intentionally didn’t wear my GPS watch so I could focus on running the way my body felt.  If I had worn my watch, I would know what I actually ran and how fast I actually ran it.

I am pissed because I trusted the race organizers to have not just an accurate chip system, but also have the proper race distance for the course.    This is actually what I think happened.   I’m not sure.   I’ve run this race enough to know the course somewhat, so it does feel the same.   That being said, I know there is something off.   I am really just not that fast and I’m really not sure what happened.

Now, I know that there are some people who will be like shut the blank up already.   I respect that, but as my real life friends will tell you, I am nothing if not honest.   Like all the time.  Brutally honest, but in a nice way.   They know not to ask me a question that they don’t want my truthful  answer to.   I am not a yes Mam kind of gal.   So I just want the truth.

Here’s the thing though, I’m not sure if I will get the truth but I’m certain it is out there.   I’ve been comparing not just my times from 2015 and 2016 but the some times of those that I saw that ran both years that were top finishers.  EVERYONE is much faster.   Obviously, everyone would have different times from year to year.   That being said, everyone is consistently faster by at least 5 minutes.   Now granted I am not crazy enough nor do I have enough time to do a statistical analysis nor would I even be good at doing it.   I just know that I looked at a few people and this is what it appears to me.    So I’m thinking that somehow they messed up the course and shortened it.

I’m pissed.   Not because they shortened it but in looking and thinking about this, I realized that even though I know in my heart that I didn’t run a 19 minute 5K, I might have actually still run under a 25 minute 5K and I will never know.   I feel robbed, cheated, and a little bit of a fraud.

Now I know that there is nothing that I can do.   Although, I did email Iron Girl organization to verify the course.   I know that if I had the time or inclination I could go down to Sandy Hook and do that myself.   Knowing me, the next time I am down there I just might do that:)     That being said, when asked what my 5K PR is I will still go with 26:26 which really is a rocking time.

Has this ever happened to you?

 

 

 

Believe the Unbelievable

It’s been a LONG Day, but it’s been a good day.   I’m guessing any day that starts with a 4:00 AM alarm will be long.    Those are the breaks though on race day.

Today was my what appears to be annual trip to Sandy Hood Gateway National Park for the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.   The race that started it all.   The race that is always full of surprises and always worth doing although I question why on the drive down.

The morning had to start at such an unsightly hour because I needed to allow extra time to pick up my bib.   I will say that I normally like to pick up my bib, rack my bike, and get my bearings the day before.   This is not always possible when you are attending your son’s soccer tournament in the blazing heat.   That being said, it was all good.   Really only made for a slightly earlier morning.

Arrive with time to pick up packet, rack my bike, and set up transition.   I’m good to go.    Have swim cap and goggles and ready to make my way to swim start.   Hold the phones…. Swim is cancelled.    Apparently the current is making it unsafe.   I will say that I was disappointed, but I would much rather they side with caution than someone get hurt (myself included).   My very first Iron Girl Tri the swim was way wicked.   Everyone complained that they didn’t cancel it.   Then today many complained that they did.   Can’t win.

So today I did my first Duathlon.

Run, Bike, Run

It took a bit for them to reconfigure, but once they did it went without a hitch.   The beauty of being in the older groups is that I didn’t have to wait so long to start my run.   I think I was off by 7:45.     We started off with an out and back of 3 miles.   Why they didn’t do the full 5K, I have no clue.

So off I went watchless.   It was strange not starting my Garmin, but this was supposed to be just do what the body says you can do day.   It was supposed to be an easy recovery day especially after yesterdays 11 miles in the disgustingly hot weather.

First run feels good.  Get back to transition and really nothing to do except put on a bike helmet and suck down a Honey Stinger.  Bike sucks and only because I literally did not train or ride my bike ALL summer long.  Also might have been helpful to bring another gel with me.   Oops.   Get back to transition and I feel like I’ve been sitting on a horse all day not a bike for a little more than an hour.

I will interject to add that on the bike portion I knew they made the right decision about the swim as the wind was wicked and the white caps were plenty.   I will also like to add that I was starting to think that my name had changed to “on your left” which is what people say when flying by you (or me).   I admit, that I should have ridden my bike more or at least a little bit.

Go out for the second run.   This one being the full 5K.   I feel like my bottom is still in the saddle and I REALLY want to walk.   At this point, I decide though that I am going to run the whole thing.   I am just going to keep moving.   I dig deep as the saying goes and remind myself that this is nothing compared to a 50K (Ok it is, but you say what you say to keep yourself moving).   I also remind myself that this is how I’m going to feel come mile 22 of NYCM, so I just need to keep moving.   I know that I’m running brisk because not only can I feel a little stitch in my side but I’m breathing pretty heavy.   I’ve got no watch.   I’ve got no clue and I know if I slow down that I might just stop.  I also don’t feel like I’m dying, just like I’m at the end of a race

Just keep moving.    Going to make it to the end without walking.   This is it.

Cross the finish line.

Yeah!!!

Get my time.

Holy Crap.   This can’t be right????

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Now my question is why would I question it?    I know the course.   I know that my bike time is right about where it was last year.    If my times were in slower, I would never question.   Why is it so hard to believe the good stuff?

One of my friends suggested that I never run with a watch again::)   Ha!

I will say that I am in shock.   Last year my run was 31:53.    My fastest 5K was over the summer at a local 5K where I ran 26:26.   This is unbelievable and I keep expecting them to tell me that they made a mistake.    The won’t because official times were released and apparently I do run much faster without a watch to tell me to slow down.

Now all I need to do is see what m coach says about m easy recovery run that I was supposed to do.  So much for easy recovery run:)   Really shocked

It was a great day and even though I went into it by myself you can never feel alone when your surrounded by a group of Tri Women!

Now it is time to put this to bed and myself included.

Iron Girl

Today’s training called for swimming.    As with a lot of my training recently, I’ve finally been getting back on track with what I should be doing.    With my Sprint Triathlon coming, I really want to make sure to be getting my swimming in just for peace of mind.

Today my goal when I went to the pool was to just swim.   I wanted to just remind myself that I can do this.   So I swam and I swam and I swam some more.   Not stopping.   No putting my feet down.   I wanted to do 20 lengths of the pool which is 1/4 mile as with my Tri it was not all smooth or pretty.   What it ended up being was 24 lengths.   I was feeling good so I thought more is better.

The thing about swimming in the pool is there is no panic.   There are no waves crashing in my face and there is no mental game.   One day I hope to swim this event feeling confident in my swim and not that I am going to drown.    I’m not sure that will ever happen, but that’s ok.   If one thing the swim does,  it teaches me not to give up.

In my coach’s last email to me she told me to “keep it easy.”   It’s funny this seems to be the motto for this event.    In looking at my results this last few years is that I keep it easier and easier….

Case in Point

                              Total              Swim       T1        Bike          T2     Run            Standings

Sept 8, 2013       01:34:10          23:13     3:43     34:22        3:34   29:18      582/1142

Sept 7, 2014       01:53:13          20:03     3:27   1:01:34       1:15  27.54      356/833

**2014 Iron Girl bike miles were 15 compared to Iron Girl 2013 at 10

Sept 13, 201515    2:12:42         20:53      6:21   11:11:07      2:30  31.53    522/729

 

It seems like every year I am keeping it easier and easier.  I don’t think this year will be any exception especially since I am running 14 miles the day before, not wearing my Garmin, and haven’t been on my bike all summer.   In looking at these results I realize that I’ve been pretty consistent with my swim probably since I do it as a cross training exercise.  My bike, on the other hand hasn’t really left my shed a lot this summer.   My Bad.

So I’m throwing the gauntlet down.    This year, I expect nothing.    I, as always, expect it to be hard.    I expect to finish, but I do not expect to break any records.

Some might ask why I continue to do this race if I am not actually planning to race it hard.   I do it because as my friend who knows me so well so correctly put it.   It reminds me of where I started.    It holds a special place in my heart.

No this race has never been good as the first year when both the training and actual race was done with friends.    Yes, it is a little sad going to a big event by yourself and not sharing the day with anyone.    But that also doesn’t take away from how much I enjoy it.   So I will suit up, make the lonely drive at 4:30 in the morning, and run this event in a week and not regret a single minute of it.  This is the one event that I can honestly say that I would miss if I didn’t do it.

I am an Iron Girl at heart:)

 

 

Do You Have The Time?

I’ve been trying to get my act together.   To not miss any workouts.    To be better.

I said to a friend not too long ago that it’s not that I don’t want to run the NYCM, it is that I don’t want to train to run it.    Well even though I have the cape, I’m no Wonder Woman and will need to train.  That being said, it also occurred to me that I’ve got some other things coming up before NY.   One of them being the Sandy Hook Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.    It is the race that started it all.    It is the race that led me to discover the joy of running.  It is the race that changed it all.    I’ve done it three times now and it holds a special place in my heart.    It will never be as good as the first time when a bunch of us ran it, but I still love it.

Iron Girl 3

Today my training plan called for 40 minutes of swimming.   I haven’t been really good about getting my swims in.   My coach might have even said (yes she did) that I was treating the swims as optional.    It also occurred to me that I’m only two weeks or so away from Sandy Hook and I really need to get my swims in.   Plus swimming really is a prefect cross training activity for running.    It was also made that much easier to go because hubby had a house full of work friends over to do their Fantasy Football Draft.

The hard part of any training is actually getting out the door.   Once there and in the pool, I wondered why I hadn’t done more of it.    I got into a rhythm of swimming my laps.   A rhythm that will leave me once I hit the bay with no floor, breaking waves, and a mass of other swimmers.   The swim is my least favorite part of the Tri.    I end up loosing the rhythm and strokes so easily done it the pool.   I panic a little and end up doing too much back stroke, head out of the water, gasping for air, and looking like I don’t know how to swim.    Yet, I still do it.

So tonight in the calmness of the pool swimming my many laps, I was thinking a great deal about my September 11th Triathlon.    I came up with a plan.    A shocking non plan.  Something that is so out of what I would expect me to come up with as a plan.   But once I thought about it, I knew was what I needed for this event.

I am going to run it naked and I don’t mean without my Trisuit!!!

I am going to run it sans Garmin!

Shocked?

I know normally, I would be but when the thought came to me, I knew it was perfect.   I knew it is what I need to do.    I know it might help me to focus on the moment without fear of time.    Besides the beauty of a race is that even if I don’t know my time during the race, I can certainly find out as soon as I cross the finish line.

Here is my reasoning…….

As far as my training goes,  I am really only trained for the run.     I have never trained for it like I did the first year.     I do this race only because I enjoy the race.    I want to not focus on what my watch says that I am doing, but what my body tells me I’m doing.    I don’t need splits to tell me that.    This is not to say that I am not planning to go out there and give it all I’ve got, because I am.    That is the point.    Let my body decide and not my watch.

I guess I will find out the morning of September 11th if this is a crazy thing to do or not.   I do know that if it’s one thing I’ve got is more than enough crazy to go around.

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Have you ever run an event without your trusty watch?