Ohio! This adventure had a mixed bag of challenges and fun. First, it began with an Undie Run. I’ve always seen the pictures on social media of participants in the famous Kona Underpants Run and never thought I would have the courage to participate in one myself. I did it and felt awesome! The crew of undie runners ran through the downtown streets of Delaware Ohio, into the Ironman Village, a through a farmer’s market.
The other highlight of the weekend was being able to hang out with my Coeur Sports friends who travel from all over the US to this race. Having this uplifting, encouraging, energetic, incredible group of women to connect with before, during and after a race is everything. I’ve said it before, I’ll repeat it ten thousand more times, their friendship means the world to me.
Swim: 42:37 / 2:12/100
Pre-race fuel: Two hours before start a bowl of granola, almond milk, and I snacked on Oreos on the shuttle ride!
The water temperature was over 80 degrees so it was not wetsuit legal. I had my trusty Roka swimskin and wasn’t worried about it. Once I was actually in the water my goggles were fogged and the sun was shining bright, leaving me zero visibility. I couldn’t see other swimmers, buoys, the feet in front of me, and I was too darn stubborn to pull off to the side to give my goggles a quick lake rinse! Derp. I swam the entire thing blindly, and hoped for the best. Ladies and gentleman, hope is not a strategy, as shown by my swim time. Coming out of the water I was discouraged at my slower-than-normal swim time and continued on.
(Sidenote, I’m not one to get hung up on Garmin distance differences, but my Garmin read that I swam over 2300 yards in this! This is a great reason to sharpen those sighting skills!)
Bike: 2:49:26 / 19.8mph
fuel: 2 bags of Skratch Labs gummy chews, 1 Kings Hawaiian roll with peanut butter, Skratch Labs Hydration drink, and lots of water.
Heading out of the state park I was flying easy ranging 20-23mph. I’ve never seen a 13 minute 5 mile split on my Garmin before! That was fun. It was all fun and games until we turned into the headwind that lasted 35 miles. I’ve never been a fan of wind! The wind actually kept me entertained, as this course can feel boring when you normally train on technical routes in Wisconsin. There were a few moments I got lazy but my 5 mile splits seemed to still linger in the 16-17 minute range so I kept putting out effort.
Run: 2:01:14 / 9:15 minute miles
fuel: 3 salt watermelon gu, Base salt every other aid station, water.
The first mile is a wonderful slight downhill and I let gravity take me! After that I eased up with the intention to hold back during the first loop and then give it hell in the second. You’ll see in my splits below that I successfully negative split the run! There’s not really much to write home about for this run because I was all business out there. When I’m racing I tend to stay quiet and focused. In the second loop I let go a little I did make a point to encourage other athletes with a “Nice work”.
Two things that helped me run strong:
- Knowing that everyone is facing the same conditions, in this case 87 degrees!
- Taking on an alter ego
I’ve read that taking on an alter ego can help improve your performance and I always struggled with who my alter ego might be. Most people joke, “I’m Beyonce!” and that’s fun, but not a match for my runner alter ego. In training my alter ego was born without force or purposeful thought. It wasn’t intentional, but when I was running I would imagine I was running like Elaina Wild, a blazing fast friend I met on Instagram. I have vivid memories of her passing me during Ironman Wisconsin in 2018 with her strong, fierce stride. She’s all business. She is the runner I aspire to be!
In races when it’s hard to run strong, I put on my business face and pretend I have her beastly stride. And by beastly, you should see her. She’s all of 5 feet tall!
The reason I wanted to share this is because for so long I thought the alter ego had to be someone famous, like Shalane Flanagan. It really doesn’t. Think of one person who inspires you. Surely you follow someone awesome on Instagram. Try it during your next run, pretend you are the person you’re inspired by! I’d love to hear back on how it goes.
Ohio turned out to be an awesome, strong race for me with a 13 minute PR from Door County Triathlon in 2018, and a 12 minute Ohio course PR from last year. A 5:42 finish is a time that seemed unattainable to me a year ago. It doesn’t matter if a finish time seems unattainable, what matters is that you put in the work to try.