13 In race report

race report // liberty 70.3 – 2015

Time to dust off the cobwebs three weeks out from Ironman Coeur d’Alene!

Pre-race

Mosquitoes welcomed us just after sunrise to Lake Rebecca Park Reserve near Rockford. After a quick check-in and packet pick-up, Nick and I racked our bikes near bike in/out and chatted with friends Sarah, Sonia, Kyle, Julia and Jen. A quick shake-out ride to work out the wheel kinks – and a quick visit to the Gear West mechanic tent for a limit screw adjustment (new Zipps! fixed in a jiffy!) – and we were ready to rock. 

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Swim // 34:42, 1:40/100 yd

I originally lined up on the far left of the swim start, but seconds before the start ran to the right – and, into the thick of all the fast men. Not sure what I was thinking because the gun sounded, and it was mass chaos of men running and dolphin diving. A bit of water in my goggles later, and I was full speed ahead, trying to find a clean line. I felt a bit all over the place the entire 1.2 miles, and at about the half point, stopped to hack up a lung (allergies?) and nearly gagged. After that it was head down, repeating you’re ok and just keep swimming to stay calm. I exited the water, feeling meh about my swim, and as I ran up the steps to T1 saw coach, who said I was fourth female at 33 minutes – much faster than it felt. I’m working at pushing myself to get more uncomfortable in the water… it just doesn’t come as naturally to me as the bike and run! #workinprogress 

Gear: Coeur Sports team kit shorts, Castelli T1: stealth top, lululemon all sport bra, ROKA Sports maverick pro wetsuit and ROKA Sports X1 goggles in light vermillion (perfect for overcast conditions). 

Nutrition: salted caramel Gu about 20 minutes before go. 

T1 // 1:25

Just a quick in and out in T1 (with friend Julia! We exited the swim next to each other in matching ROKAs) to pull off my ROKA (first race in the pro… da bomb!) and throw on my shoes and helmet and stuff my nutrition in my back pocket. 

Bike // 57.41 miles, 2:41:39, 21.3 mph, 197w average (Garmin data)

Today was all about the bike since I wasn’t running. From the first pedal stroke, it was all systems GO. The first 15 miles or so were in the rain (it was not supposed to rain!), which was surprisingly fun – and, my legs felt great. I went back and forth with friend Christophe for miles and then somewhere around mile 20(?), passed a woman (who later won) for second place (I think). 

Just after mile 28, things got tricky. It was here where the course split – first loop turn right, and second loop go straight. Well, I knew there were two loops and that I’d already done one, so made the obvious choice – to go straight. Right?! Well, apparently I was supposed to turn (I swear I studied the course map the night prior!), which would have cut off about three miles from my total mileage – 57.4 miles with 2,000+ feet of climbing, per Garmin… the course is short – and given me the fastest female bike split of the day around 2:29. 

While I like this race, this is incredibly frustrating – and, I wasn’t the only one who messed up at this confusing intersection. Friend Kyle as well as the top four men took a wrong turn as well, which resulted in a shorter bike and ultimately DQs. Not much has changed, either, because when I raced Liberty two years ago, I mentioned in my race report how poorly marked the course was (that same year, coach also took a wrong turn at this intersection and was DQ’d). A simple fix would be to eliminate this right turn and send cyclists straight on the route I took. Sure, it would be slightly long, but it would eliminate any confusion. 

Anyway, wrong turn aside, what I’m most pumped about are my average watts. Just three days prior, I did my hardest trainer workout yet – 2 x 45:00 @ 200w. And, even though I made it through that one, I wasn’t positive I could hold 200w outside for 56 miles. But, thanks to a lot of positive self-talk, especially the last 10 miles… done and done. It’s crazy to look back to November and see how far my cycling has come. Never underestimate the power of hard work, consistency and determination! #nevergiveup

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The bike course was a little dirty… 

Gear: Argon 18 E-118, Zipp 808 Firecrest clinchers, Cobb Cycling Fifty Five JOF saddle, Sidi T3 tri shoes

Nutrition: one pack caffeinated black cherry Clif Shot Bloks and one sunny uplift GoMacro bar.

Post-race

The end of the bike marked the end of my race, my first-ever DNF. And, while it was planned – because CdA is right around the corner – it was tough to not run. Nothing like putting your ego aside, right?! I wanted to run so bad, given all my running this build (close to as many miles as all of 2014!), but played it smart to be sure I’m 100 percent for my A race. 

I stood around in T2 for a few minutes and cheered for other folks rolling in before meeting Nick, Andy, Sonia, Sarah and Kyle at the finish line, where we refueled, rehashed our races (the bad bike course signage!) and took some photos.

Huge shout-outs to my fantastic team, Coeur Sports (best kit!) and its supporting partners, Osmo Hydration, ROKA Sports and Argon 18 – I couldn’t race without you!; Pure Clean Powder for beet juice power!; Cobb Cycling for the best saddles; and Sound Probiotics for helping keep me healthy. And, thank you to my stellar coach, Andy, for continually pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting me race ready. And, last but not least, my person, Nick, for his unwavering support and for staying up late to prep my bike and then clean off all the grime. #keeper ♥

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Go, team Andy! 

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Two of my favorite ladies and training partners, Sarah and Sonia.

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Oh, hi… 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Kecia
    06/18/2015 at 1:51 pm

    Kudos to you for a stellar swim and bike and for playing it smart and not running. That can be really hard when our heads and hearts are in two different spots. I can’t wait to watch you rock CdA…I’ll be by the computer all day sending you strong, fast vibes my friend ;)

  • Reply
    Amy
    06/18/2015 at 2:23 pm

    What a great bike! It really must have been tough to not run, but just think of how ready you’re going to be to push your legs at CdA!!

  • Reply
    Amy
    06/18/2015 at 2:32 pm

    Nice racing Erin! You’re a monster on the bike!! So great for you to be seeing results after a long winter of hard work.

  • Reply
    Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
    06/18/2015 at 3:27 pm

    Great report!!! Killer bike!! that is too bad that the signage is so crappy!! Congrats on another great race!! You are going to kill CDA! Very excited for you!!! I have a hard time pushing myself in OW! I don’t know what it is!! :)

  • Reply
    Kristina
    06/18/2015 at 3:50 pm

    What a great bike leg! And I would also say that you had a strong swim as well! Hope that you are gearing up for CDA – it’s such a beautiful race, and I’ll be rooting for you.

  • Reply
    Jen
    06/18/2015 at 6:35 pm

    I spy a Canadian hoodie. ;)

  • Reply
    Kristen
    06/18/2015 at 6:49 pm

    I could only dream of swimming 1.2 miles in 34 minutes! Way to go. All of that time in the pool is definitely paying off. I expected nothing less than SPEED on the bike. You are an animal on your Argon 18. I am so excited to follow you during IMCDA and see you kick butt on a challenging course. Do you have any specific goals in mind for CDA.

    By the way, it speaks volumes that you put your ego aside and DNFed this race, knowing that you need fresh legs for your “A” race. That is not something everyone can do. You have your priorities straight. :)

  • Reply
    Kendra Krueger
    06/18/2015 at 8:04 pm

    Awesome report! Kudos on the bike SPEED! And while I can imagine it was hard to stop and not do the run, it shows more strength to stop and be smart. Can’t wait to follow you at CDA :)!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard
    06/19/2015 at 1:23 pm

    Great swim, great bike, great self talk friend! Presumably the race has marshals out on the course, and therefore a marshal should’ve been at that intersection telling you where to go?????? If not, at least a sign. That’s poor race organistion.

    I love your Roots hoodie: I want one! Who’s the guy in the last photo? CAn’t wait to hear about how you will ROCK IMCdA!

  • Reply
    Alyssa @ Don't Look Down
    06/22/2015 at 2:06 pm

    Awesome race! It would be hard to not be able to run and finish the race after that! I would have had to not put shoes into transition as well!

    Bummer about the poorly marked race course!

  • Reply
    Yasi
    06/23/2015 at 2:47 pm

    That first picture of you and Nick is perfect. So happy to read all the positivity that is in this blog post. You are going to ROCK THE SOCKS off of IMCDA! I’m confident that if you had run in this race, you would have knocked everyone out. Great job, Erin!

  • Reply
    Change of Pace
    06/23/2015 at 8:29 pm

    Oh my- 200w = AMAZING!! It must’ve been hard for you to stop after the bike. You were on fire! A huge congratulations on a great race. You are SO ready for CdA. I can’t wait to follow your day.
    I also can’t believe the forecasted temps. Stay hydrated! And best wishes!! I have a great feeling about this :)

  • Reply
    Kristen L
    06/25/2015 at 9:47 am

    You rock. What a great recap! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together for you this weekend! <3.

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