Friday, September 2, 2011

Push to Start

The threat of Rainstorm Irene forced the cancellation of a few area races, most notably the Annapolis 10 Miler, so our pool of events was fairly small from last weekend. 

Lauren Dennisuk raced the Crim 10 Miler, her third ten mile race of the year, and, consequently, her fastest.  She ran 1:10:24 and finished 55th in this highly competitive event.

Claire Lears wrapped up the 6 day TransRockies Run, finishing in 9th of the Open Women division with her teammate.  The event is 120 miles over the 6 days, with stages ranging from 12 to 24 miles, all at very high altitude, some going up to really high altitudes, on tough, single track trails and whatnot. 

Ironman Louisville was the weekend's big event.  Far from the rain and wind, Mike Mashner, Alyssa Godesky and I were in sunny and nice Louisville, Kentucky.  This race is most often associated with high temperatures and oppressive humidity, but fortune smiled upon the race as it was mid 80s and not very humid in the days leading up to the race.  Race day even started overcast and fairly cool.  Each of us had swims that were nothing short of amazing - Mike went 58:01 (4:36 faster than he's ever gone), I went 59:42 (2:39 PR) and Alyssa swam 1:05:20, an amazing 7 minutes faster than her time at last year's Wisconsin ironman and 19 minutes faster than the first time she swam at Louisville.

As we headed out onto the bike, we had throngs of sketchy cyclists to pass, since we started pretty late (it's a time trial start).  Mike rode 5:41 at Arizona two years ago, but has found his cycling legs this year, and rolled to a 5:16 and found himself in a good position heading into the marathon.  Alyssa had the 28th fastest female bike split at 5:43, which was 30 minutes faster than she rode there in 2009.  She also had the 2nd fastest split among women in her age group, and was in 3rd in the group going onto the run. 

Mike ran smoothly and evenly along the double out-and-back course.  It's mostly flat, and brings you by the University of Louisville and also (apparently) Churchill Downs.  He rolled to a 3:26:55 marathon split, which put him in 44th overall, 13th in the age group and shattered his previous ironman time (10:22:58) as he went 9:49:12.  My body's timing to get sick was on point, as I came down with something pretty mean just on Friday night.  I honestly wasn't sure if I'd even be able to toe the line on Sunday, but took a bunch of medicine and felt like I could give it a go on Sunday.  The downside was that it dehydrated me in a pretty serious way, and I was getting sicker throughout the race.  After my good swim, I started off riding well but came apart in the back half, and then it got ugly pretty quick on the run.  I sat down for a while and contemplated whether or not I wanted to try and finish.  Meanwhile, Alyssa's run had not been going well either.  She began throwing up her nutrition on the bike, and it continued onto the run.  I waited for her to come around before going onto the 2nd loop, and she said her coach wanted her to finish.  That meant we were in for a pretty long half marathon, but we got it done and finished up at 12:15:20 and 12:15:21.  It was a long day.

We all know that anything can happen on race day, it's just magnified when it's in a race like an ironman as opposed to a shorter race.  C'est la vie, and at least we can recover and do another.

But, Mike's amazing performance was quite spectacular, and it's pretty obvious that he earned this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week.

If you haven't taken a look already, you may notice a new widget on the right hand side of the blog.  It allows you to subscribe via email, so if you want to get the most recent blog posts sent to your email, just type it in and boom!  It appears as if we have two so far.  We also had a bunch of new people at track this week, so if you are reading this by chance don't forget to send me an email so I can add you to my email list. 

I also just noticed that all of the events in the Baltimore Running Festival are still open, which seems pretty late for them to be open, perhaps a sign that THEY COST TOO MUCH.  So, if you are planning on racing but haven't signed up, you can still do that.  I haven't really talked to anyone about it, but do we have enough interest in putting together any relay teams?  We had originally talked about really getting after it and trying to actually beat the overall marathon winner, but I think that's kind of flown the coop so if anyone is interested, let me know and I'll see if we can get an entry or two. 

There is a lot going on this weekend.  Kentlands 5k is tomorrow down in Gaithersburg, and is a very fast race.  NCR Trail 20 Miler is on Sunday I believe, and is a good way to get your long run done.  Knights of Columbus 5k is tomorrow in Ellicott City.  The Grand Prix 5k is tonight. 

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