What a fantastic weekend of racing for Team AMEC peeps. We had a huge showing at TryCharleston with Bree, Dawn, Don, Doug, Jason and Melissa doing the half, Tracey and Joelle doing the sprint and Jerry and Madison competing as a team in the sprint. Plus, Elizabeth continued her long streak of 5ks with the Conway 5k.
TryCharleston had conditions that proved to be a challenge for everyone. As any athlete knows, there are stories behind every race – good and bad- and we ran the gamut today.
<< As always, I love to see my peeps meet up in the transition area pre-race and snap some pics. Every one is so sweet and supportive of each other. Here’s Melissa and Bree all smiles before the start.
Let’s start talking about the race with the men first this time. We had Jason, Ken, and Don participating.
Jason completed his first half distance with a time of 6:36 and 10th place in his AG. These were tough conditions for a first race- really cold water on the swim and brutal winds on the bike. With the coldest swim Jason had ever experienced, he found himself having a hard time catching his breath until the second buoy. However, once he got into his rhythm he was good to go. Once on the bike it became clear that our goal race pace was just not going to happen and he played it smart- instead of trying to push it to maintain a pace that would overextend him, he held back and saved it for the run. He had a good run and came in all smiles! I am looking forward to seeing what he now wants to add to his race calendar later this year.
Ken had a good day! The last few years he has had some bad half distance races that resulted in DNFs. Heat-related conditions cause his issues so we decided to take a different approach this year and do a race where heat would likely not be an issue. Result? He finished with a good time and a top spot podium pic!
<< It was great to see work colleagues Ken and Jason catch up after the race.
Doug had a good day with a great bike split under the windy conditions -an average of 10 watts higher than last year. He brought it home with a podium spot, too! A 3rd place in AG is not a bad way to have a training day race. We are 6 weeks away from his first ‘A’ race of the year and we are right on track to crush it!
Don’s story is the same as Doug’s. He is also 6 weeks out from Mountains 2 Main Street, which we are using as his spring ‘A’ race to get a foundation for Kona in the fall. He also had a higher than last year average power on the bike so I am happy with that!
Now let’s talk about the ladies!
Dawn- who happens to be Don’s sister- completed her first half distance and got a 3rd place AG podium finish! She has been working SO hard- giving every training day 100%. It paid off because she had a great race, especially a GREAT bike split. We learned a lot about how we need to prepare for her next half distance race in the fall. Her attitude is awesome and I know we are going into the next phase of her training with a fire in her spirit. Stay tuned for a fantastic 2016 for her!
Melissa finished her first TryCharleston with a 2nd place AG podium finish! Last year she did the sprint distance. We decided for 2016 to do both a spring and fall half and I am very pleased with her results for her first race of the season. I am looking forward to another year of PRs from her!
While Melissa did fantastic in her race, her biggest achievement for TryCharleston 2016 is Teammate of the Year. As I transition into talking about Bree’s race I want to mention one more time how happy I am that my people are so supportive of one another. Bree had a bad day out on the course and Melissa stayed til the end to see her through and offer support and encouragement. I am so proud of BOTH of them for such a display of true athleticism and camaraderie. Honestly, it is as fulfilling to report on how great everyone is to one another as it is to report on people’s improvements.
Bree’s race was a test in mental toughness and total determination. I am going to post her race report in her own words today:
“Yes it was cold this morning, Yes the water was cold but not unbearable. My time was more than last year but I am VERY happy with my swim – I did bilateral breathing the whole time and did ‘alligator peekaboo’ sighting.
I was warm enough on the bike but geez could it have been any more windier??? I planned on a solid 15mph (my avg) and was hoping for 16mph… I was lucky to break 13 sustained. My lower back was killing me. I told myself I would push through till 3 hours and see how far I had left. At 3 hours I kept saying 5 more minutes and then 5 more minutes. I finally made it to the last aid station, unclipped and told the lady [Anne’s note: that “lady” was Catherine Hollister of Blue Sky Endurance] I was done… she talked me in to continuing (I never did find you and beat you up but thank you… and thank you for texting Anne). As soon as I left that aid station the cop who was giving me an escort.. yes by this time I had an escort and he got on his microphone and said “YOU ARE NOT LAST”! THANK YOU!!
On to the run. My mental game was caput. I told myself I would at least do one lap and see if they pulled me for time. I knew after a 4 hour bike I would not make time. So I ran/walked – felt good, hip niggled but back was good as soon as I got off the bike. Don’t have any real excuse for my poor performance the first half of the run except my mind was still recovering. At the turn around the staff member said I had an hour and 40 minutes left… I could do that. Made it a couple of miles and the nausea hit… took a zofran so I wouldn’t puke. Pace slowed way down. SCTS staff Matt kept riding by on his Mtn bike… I kept asking how much more time do I have and he said ‘you have till you finish’. At about 8 hours the EMT & race staff checked on me because apparently I was the last one… there was a lady behind me but she was pulled because she ‘wasn’t legit’ and to that Bryce and friends sang a song about me… too legit, too legit to quit! So I kept going. I wasn’t quitting. Chatted with Matt for the last mile (thank you) or so.
I get to the end and guess who is there??? Fellow Anne Moore Endurance friend Melissa! She waited for me!! HUGE SHOUT OUT!! Thank you. I get to the finish line and all the stuff is already packed up so there is a spray painted finish line. To which Bryce had walked over and asked ‘can you write Bree’s over that?’ So Yes, I had my own finish line at TryCharleston.
JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD!!
OH YEAH, I still got 2nd place. Athena
So, yeah, super proud of her. As anyone who has raced long enough can tell you- they aren’t all good. In fact, a lot of them are bad. It’s the bad races that make you tougher. So Bree wins TryCharleston 2016 in my mind.
Over on the TryCharleston Sprint distance side- both Joelle and Tracey placed 1st in the AGs AND came in within 2 seconds of each other. Neither of them bothered to snap a picture but I am going to hunt one down and post it. Both ladies used this race as a warm-up to half distance season. Tracey is 6 weeks out from Mountains 2 Main Street and Joelle is doing Ironman 70.3 North Carolina in October.
And last, but NEVER least, Elizabeth PR’ed yet again at the Conway 5k with a time of 37:45. She’ll be at it again this weekend and STAY TUNED because she will be participating in her first triathlon this summer at the She Tris Women’s Sprint Triathlon.
What a great group of people I have. Of course, I am always looking for more! Contact me if this report inspires you to join our team.
Until next week,