Last year when Annie and I were planning out our 2012 race season this was a date we had circled on the calendar because we were really looking forward to it. It was a chance for us to spend sometime with my family who lives in the Pittsburgh area and also get to hang out with a bunch of cool blogger buddies at Cedar Point.
After flying into Pittsburgh on Thursday and hanging out with my parents we then borrowed my mom's car (Thanks Mom) Friday morning and headed out on the 3.5hr drive to Sandusky. One thing I realized instantly was that I did not miss either the Pennsylvania or Ohio Turnpikes. I spent the first 30 years of my life in this area and the exact same sections are still under construction. How is that possible?
We arrived at Cedar Point, checked into the Hotel Breakers (which was 200yds from the swim start), and headed over to packet pick-up. Rev3 made the usually disorganized act of packet pick-up extremely easy. This was huge. A couple stops, a couple exchanged pleasantries with awesome volunteers, chatting with Kristin (who rocked her 1st IronDistance) and some cool swag and BOOM packet pick-up was done!
After mingling with some of my Trakkers Teammates it was off to meet Colleen and Tom for an evening of ROLLER COASTER RIDING! Not only did we get to ride coasters but we got to do it at a discount and with NO LINES. Rev3 got us $20 tickets and the park opened two hours early for us - yet another reason why the triathlon community is falling in love with Rev3!
This was exciting. Cedar Point has some kick ass coasters. Some say the best in the world. Tom and I were not scared. We were not skittish. We looked those big ass coasters square in their metal faces and we did not flinch.
Bad Ass Coaster #1 that Tom and I conquered: MILLENNIUM FORCE - we sat in the front seats and only screamed like little girls for maybe 30seconds.
Hold onto your computer:
Bad Ass Coaster #2 that Tom and I conquered: TOP THRILL DRAGSTER - we sat in the front seats again on this 120mph monster and only screamed for 20 seconds this time.
Strap yourself down on the recliner:
The Top Thrill Dragster was freaking awesome. The entire ride lasted 20 seconds but you were going 120mph in like 2 seconds. Your face was just pushed back by the pressure, best ride at Cedar Point!
We continued to kick some coaster butt but the two above were the big boys of the day! After slaying them biatches we headed over to the Tom and Colleen's place with some of Tom's Team Type 1 Teammates (great organization, check out the site). Shortly after a few of the blogging buddies showed up and we finally got to meet MattyO and Heather . They were going to be doing their first 140.6 and we were all very excited for them. Then Mark and the nephew Nick showed up and we all spent a rather chill evening sipping some beers and sharing race stories. It is so cool when you finally get to meet people for real after following their blogs for so long. It is like you've known one another for years and this time was no exception. Good people. Good times!
Saturday morning came, Annie went for a run, and I meet the fabulous Carole Sharpless and the rest of the Trakkers Crew at the practice swim to lather (always wanted to use that word in a post) fellow triathletes up with TriSlide. After all the lathering was done it was time to get in a practice swim.
Due to tropical storm Lee, Lake Erie had some beautiful sludge wash ashore and as we waddled out through the knee deep gunk I couldn't help but sympathize with the crude-covered pelicans from the Alaskan Exxon Valdez spill.
Saturday night my family made the drive up to Sandusky to be my crew. We all went out to a nice restaurant and had a great time just hanging out. The plans were to meet up in the morning to watch me get out of the water and then they were going to take my niece, Ava (who is the sweetest little girl in the world), over to the amusement park. They ended up slaying some coasters too!
The Full Rev was scheduled to go off at 7:05 am and my wave in the Half Rev was set to start at a comfortable 8:45am. I got up bright and early and went over to transition to set up the nutrition on the bike and get my area ready. I ran into Mark who was getting ready to tackle his second 140.6 race and I must have been still a little groggy because I could have swore he was still wearing his pajama pants?
Swim:1.2mi - 40:23AG Place - 33/73OA Place - 181/650(ish)
The start was a running beach start and we had to try and slosh and dolphin dive through the Lake Erie sludge. Once I got free the entire swim went pretty well. The course was marked with ample buoys and I did swim a little off course but this was due to just some poor concentration on my part. This was one of my slower 70.3 swims and I actually felt like I was moving at a 36-37min pace. However, my swim fitness was quite crappy since I had not been swimming (makes sense, huh) so my perception could be off some. But based on my overall and AG rankings it would be easy to make the assumption that the course might have been a touch long.
I got out of the water feeling great and made the jog up the beach to transition.
Should have been a little faster but I decided to stop and pee. Couldn't go for some reason during the swim?
Bike:56mi - 02:43:57AG Place - 27/73OA Place - 154/650(ish)
Big props to Rev3 for this bike course. Apparently a construction project did not get completed in time for the race so they scrambled and made some last minute changes which went off without a hitch. I had never even glanced at the original bike map (I know, I know) so I was unaware of this until after the race. Ignorance is bliss!
The first 10mi of the course we worked our way through Sandusky and eventually made our way out to some relatively traffic free country roads. I was equipped with my normal nutrition of EFS Liquid Shots , EFS Drink on the downtube, and water in the aero bottle. Total calories of about 900. And I hit my nutrition as planned and it went off without a hitch. First Endurance makes it way easy people - quit fighting me and get aboard this train!
Once we hit the country I absolutely loved the bike course. A few rollers, some flats, and one little steep bugger that surprises the heck out of you. We hit a small town about midway through and a bunch of people were out cheering, it was pretty cool. I'd rate the road conditions from good to average. A few miles of chip seal but nothing too bad.
The ride was pretty uneventful for me. Around 30mi in I looked down and realized I was averaging 21.5mph and even though I was feeling pretty good decided to ease back a little or my run was going to suffer. I did and am glad my meat-headness did not intervene. I had maybe two hundred miles logged in the saddle over the last two months prior to race day so I was not expecting a good bike split so this was quite surprising, as I typed a few posts ago: Base Matters!
Back into transition and time to run.
Not bad considering I had to pee again. And it was a long one too. I really need to learn to pee on the bike.
Run: 13.1mi - 1:48:56AG Place - 17/73OA Place - 99/650(ish)
The run started out okay. I could tell the quads were a little cooked and immediately knew I was going to have a problem soon. As I was running out I saw Annie, Dad, and Colleen so I slowed down to say hi. Colleen asked how I was doing and I yelled, "I cooked myself a little!". Colleen yelled back in a confused and disturbed voice, "You pooped yourself?" Annie's face showed a little bit of disgust as well so I decided it was probably a good idea to clarify, "COOKED, Cooked my quads, but a poop would be nice too!"
About .5mi in both of my quads seized on me. Luckily I was right by the aid station and the first person I see is Carole. She is all pumped up and give me some ice. I lost about 2-3mins at the aid station but I rubbed ice on the quads and grabbed a couple of salt tabs. It was going to hurt but it was time to suck it up and the hope the quads would loosen.
At mile two I met a guy named Mike and we ran the next 11 mi together. We held a 7:30ish pace and only slowed down to walk the rest stops. We didn't chat a ton but we definitively pushed each other. Mike, if you read this - thanks brother! The run course was real cool. In the city, in a park, along the lake - it was really quite scenic (for Ohio).
The last 2mi were extremely difficult, my quads were dead to me, but unlike the swim and bike I have been dropping 150mi months running so was prepared to suffer. When we came around the final stretch to the finish line Rev3 had American flags for us to run through the finishers shoot with and it was very cool.
This was just a great little vacation. The entire event was extremely well run from start to finish - Rev3 takes the extra steps and does all the little things (personalized bike racking, temp tattoo body marking, high quality finishers shirt ...etc) right. I would highly recommend scheduling a few Rev3 races next season into your race schedule!
Annie and I had such a good time hanging out and racing with all of my Trakkers Teammates and cheering for all of those that completed the Full Distance Race. Please check out the sidebar to the left <----- and click on some of the race reports to get more Cedar Point goodness.
As for my race performance I was extremely happy with the results. The swim was a little slower than I am used to but the bike and run were both solid and this was a PR for me. I really enjoyed the entire course, it is fast, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get back and do Cedar Point again next year.
A big thank you to my family for coming out and being my cheering section, to Colleen and Tom for making us feel so welcomed, to Matt and Heather for including us in their inaugural Iron Distance race, to Rev3 for having me as part of their wonderful team, to all the fellow triathletes who told me how much they enjoy the blog - it is always so nice to hear, to my sponsors who helped make this race such a success: Kestrel , First Endurance , Tyr , Avia , TriSlide/TriSwim/Foggle , and Team Trakkers !
Thanks for Reading,