Monday, July 24, 2017

Millheim Pool Sprint Triathlon

You know what?  
Millheim deserves its own write-up.  

Yep.  
It was a special day.  

So here goes!

The weekend before the race my friends Misha, Lynn, and I drove up to preview the course.  We ended up reversing the bike route (oops!) but we got the idea and had a few laughs in the process.  It's always advantageous to preview the course if you're able to before the race, but doing so with friends just makes it a ton more fun!
Getting ready!
Lynn, Me, and Erica

So race day, Saturday June 24th, my friend Erica came to pick me up.  And thank goodness!  I like to get there early.  But I also like to take my family.  And it's just not nice to make everyone wake up at zero dark thirty.  So Erica picks me up and we excitedly chat about all things triathlon on the way to Millheim.  We find where we need to park without a problem.  We rack our bikes on the way to packet pick up then walk on over to the pavilion to pick up our stuff.  Then we scoped out the scene.  It's a 300 yard pool swim followed by a long transition through the playground and over the creek to the bike racks, followed by 15 miles through some pretty countryside on bike, finished up by a three mile run out and back through town.  Some folks split up their transition stuff with some stuff by their bikes and some stuff in the playground.  Millheim is cool that way in that they are very chill about things.  I decided that I would leave a tiny towel and flip flops near the pool exit to use on the way to my bike.  There was some rough turf to cover between the pool and my bike so I wanted something on my feet.  Otherwise, I just set up transition as I normally would by my bike.  

Ready!

Soon it was time for pre-race announcements and to line up at the pool.  When registering you submitted your estimated time to finish a 300 yard swim and were then seeded accordingly.  Erica and I were side by side, so that was cool!  My friend Misha was in the line a little behind us.  It was so, so inspiring to see her there at her first tri with her game face on.  I knew her nerves coming into the race, but looking at her in that moment, I would have never guessed it was her first triathlon.  Lynn was competing in the Mini Millheim and would be starting later.  Other friends were there too, Jesse, Stu, Richard, Tom, & Marty!  A really fun, chill gathering!  And before I knew it, it was time to swim!  

<3 this girl!

Swim - 5:46 (1:55/100yd)
I submitted a time of 6 minutes when registering, so pretty accurate if I do say so myself!  What's crazy and unique about Millheim Pool is how shallow it is.  I saw several athletes aqua-jog their swim!

T1 - 2:26
So my brilliant idea to use flip flops completely backfired on me because I had the hardest time EVER getting them on!  I left my swim cap and goggles there for some reason, and at the end of the day never picked them up.  The race director went above and beyond by delivering them back to my house personally on her way through my town the next week.  It was my new goggles and my Timberman swim cap, so sentimental value there!

Bike - 45:17 (20.3mph - Fastest Female!)
Coach told me to put it all out there on the bike.  Hold nothing back.  So okay then.  Makes race strategy easy, ha!  One by one I'd reel in the athlete ahead of me and pass.  I pushed hard ignoring any burn in my legs or any thoughts of the impending run.  Erica and I had a fun back and forth and I had another back and forth with a guy in a blue shirt... although he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did.  Hahaha!  Turns out I didn't get passed by anyone out there!  I got back to transition and was super stoked to see my pace.  
Almost done on bike!
PC Charlie Guttendorf

T2
- 1:40

My family was right by the bike rack so I quick changed my shoes and got some sweet hug-kisses in before heading out on the run.

Run - 26:18 (8:12/pace)
Oh, I was losing steam!  There is a tough hill out of transition and I so wanted to walk, but can't have any of that!!!  Truth be told, I wanted to take overall female at this race.  And I thought I could do it.  But I couldn't let up if I wanted to have any chance.  I actually felt really good.  I didn't have any of that bike-to-run leg wonkiness despite the push on the bike.  (A really great boost in confidence heading into Rev3 Williamsburg!)  But even though I felt good, it was like I couldn't shift gears.  I heard footsteps coming up behind me and worried it was my competition (aka any other female out there, hahaha!) but turned out it was my pal Jesse.  We chatted for a moment and he passed me and I thought, "Okay.  He's the only one who gets to do that.  Stick on his heels best you can, and you'll be good."  And that's what I did.  I ended up having a pretty great run and came across the finish line with a total race time of 1:21:24, good enough for 3rd Overall Female (as well as 2/5 in AG (F 35-39) and 15/73 Overall.)  
WOOOOOO!

Not the first place finish I was hoping for, but it's hard to be disappointed after such an amazing day.  Racing with Erica, Misha, and Lynn was equal parts fun and inspiring.  I mean, how wonderful to have strong women in your corner who by pushing themselves, push you too.  These ladies celebrate one another's victories and help brush off the losses.  This is sportsmanship at its finest, and how lucky am I to be surrounded by such fine athletes?!
#BALG
Misha, Janell, Lynn, Erica

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