Monthly Archives: June 2014

Escape the Cape Race Recap

Good evening all! I apologize on the delay of this post but settle in because it is going to be another long one.  As follows is my recap of the Escape the Cape International distance triathlon.  I will try to cut out most of the mumbo jumbo and just get straight to the facts.

Friday came around and I didn’t leave my house until around 8:30-9pm.  In my head I knew that I would much rather arrive at the beach on friday night at some point rather than shake out, get in the car and drive down on Saturday morning.  All Delmo Sports events have mandatory bike check in the day before the race and a very good family friend has a place down the shore so this makes my life very easy.  I got down there friday night and had enough time to make my bed and pass out.

Saturday morning I awoke and took my time, had some coffee and breakfast and then went to do my shake out stuff around town.  I went in a backwards order and did run, bike, swim, but actually skipped the swim part.  After the shake out I was feeling good and decided to just go with the flow for the day.  I knew if I left Sea Isle and went to the early meeting that I would just roam around and think about the race which would only increase the nerves.  I instead decided to sit on the beach for a few hours and chill before getting in the car.

After sitting on the beach for a few hours I knew it was time to go do check in and so I jumped in the car and headed for Cape May.  After parking and entering I went upstairs to collect my packet and various other things for the race, got marked and then I was off to get my bike.  I put my tags on my bike and walked it into transition.  Once I found a spot close to the end, I racked and it was time to hit the meeting.  There were A LOT of speakers at the meeting, some of which were just babbling and others who were giving great info.  One speaker in particular that I remember clear as day was the Doc who was going to be on the boat with us the next day.  He went through some breathing exercises with us if need be and then he began talking about the race.  I specifically remember him saying “everyone here has selected this race for a different reason.  The challenges that you all will embark on tomorrow mean something different but you picked this race for a specific reason and a specific goal.  You will all go out there tomorrow and jump off that boat and embark on a journey that you will never forget.  ENJOY IT!” I literally felt like he was talking specifically to me and no one else was there.  He was right, I picked this race for the challenge and to prove to myself that I could in fact do it.  After the meeting I stopped by to grab a pic of transition and then it was off to get some rest.

I arrived at the house, grabbed a shower and threw on some pasta.  I was in a complete calm at this point after everything the doc said and I got a good night sleep.
The next morning it was up at 5 and off to transition.  We arrived and I started laying out my stuff.  I put everything in place on my towel, got some air in my tires and just started the waiting game.  The worst part….. my batteries in my beats were dead so I had to listen to all of the people around me.  As the guy came over the loud speaker to announce we needed to start boarding, I grabbed my suit and headed for the line.  
One of the challenges of this race is that all athletes board the boat at the same time and take the same ride.  So all 1,500 of us were on the boat and heading out.  We got to the start of the sprint distance race and the first few people went off.  However what they did not account for was the current pushing the tide back out.  Some of the first people off the boat ended up in the jetty and it was a mess.  It all took about an hour and a half for the 800 or so sprint athletes to get off the boat.  By this time it was already 9:15.  I had been on the boat for an hour an 15 mins.  Thankfully I planned for this and brought nutrition on the boat with me.  If this is a race you plan on doing, and I highly recommend it, may I make two suggestions.  One, bring nutrition on the boat with you, even if it is just a gel or something.  You need something in your stomach for that swim, especially if you are doing the olympic distance.  Two is, don’t pull your suit on until you are just about to jump, you will bake like a potato in it if you pull it on too early!!
It was 9:30 and finally my turn to jump, I stepped across the matt, hit start on the garmin and I was off! I never thought twice about the jump, but I had a lot of adrenaline flowing and I was ready to go.  My goggles popped up in the back and I had to take a min and adjust them when I landed, so when they say hold them tight, they mean TIGHT!  For us it was easy, or at least for me because I was using the ferry terminal as my sight.  I just knew to look for the big blue roof and keep swimming.  Before I knew it, I was out of the water and on to the beach.  Up the beach and in to T1 it was.  I made sure to grab two cups of water and throw them on my feet so I wasn’t putting sandy feet into my bike shoes.  My one complaint about this part of the race is that the sprint athletes were done at this point and hanging around transition basically getting in the way and so you needed to be very careful!  One of the things I know that I need to work on is getting my suit off faster.  I could have cut a significant amount of time off my total had I not taken so much time in T1.  I grabbed my bike and it was off on the corse.  Just as I was exciting I heard my name!  My cheering section was there and had a great presence coming out on to the bike and I was so stoked.  
From here I knew I had a solid ride ahead of me.  It is a two loop 10 mile course on the bike through the town of Cape May.  As I went up and over the bridge we were approaching a sharp turn and the race guy standing there said take it slow and wide and so I began to do just that.  I heard this idiot behind me start screaming, what are you doing and cursing me.  I wanted to say listen lady, I am following the mans directions here, that is all.  But i didn’t I just stayed in my zone.  15 minutes had passed on the bike and I knew I was safe to take in some more nutrition.  I sucked down a gel and it was GO time.  The bike course is mostly closed except for one road and it is relatively flat.  There were a few tough spots with rocky terrain but all in all it was a nice course.  I came blasting in to T2 to a nice welcoming party and they really got me in the zone for the run.
off the bike and ready to run!
T2 was significantly faster than T1 and just as I was leaving I thought you know what, I am going to bring a water bottle on the run, thank god I did.  The first part of the run was on the soft sand shore.  I knew it was a beach run, but I was not prepared for what was to come.  I attacked the run and made it to the road.  From there it was one foot in front of the other and just trying to hang on.  As I was coming down the road someone came up on me pretty fast.  I said ok, I am going to hang with this guy for as long as I can.  Just as I said that I looked down and saw a dark 22 on his calf.  NOPE not hanging with him, I am off!  I knew that he could be the difference between me and a podium spot, which is obviously the goal when racing.  I took off and never looked back.  As I hit the second aid station I thought the turn was coming soon but I forgot about the second part of the beach run.  YES you are that correct a second beach leg.  If you thought the first one sucked, the second was nothing but a strugglefest.  The turn was on the beach and I hit it and tried to accelerate a little.  I knew that it wasn’t far to get back to the road and that’s all I kept telling myself.  I got back to the road and knew I only had about 1.5 miles to go.  I sucked down one more gel and just gave it everything I had left in the tank.  I kept telling myself embrace the suck and just get it done!!  At one point running down the road I remember saying to myself, “as much as I am hurting right now, I absolutely love this and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As I approached the path to enter the finish chute I had that rush of emotion that I get coming down every finish chute.  It’s a rush of emotion that I can not explain to you unless you have done something you have never thought you could do.  I positioned myself on the left so I could see my squad one last time and just as I did that I could hear them going insane.  I heard my name over the loud speaker and I about collapsed as I crossed the line….I had done it, yet again I had done it, something I thought was never possible just a year ago.  

Post race I am never hungry, I sucked down some recovery drinks and ate a little something but I wasn’t hungry….I had one thing on my mind, results.  It seemed like it took forever for them to be posted.  I sent my buddy Dave over to check and see if I needed to stay or go while I went back into transition.  When I met back up with him his response was this “I got some bad news buddy……WE GOTTA STAY, YOU TOOK THIRD PLACE!!!!!
I couldn’t believe it, everything, all the hard work, the training hours, everything paid off in that one moment and they were all there to share it with me.  I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am to have shared this whole day with them.  
First, Second, and Third for AG
 Same as above but with 4th and 5th.

Dave and Katey I can’t thank you enough!

Jamee was absolutely awesome and I am so glad she made it!

Notice that huge plate of food, still full, never hungry after a race
This is my favorite picture of the day.  It captures all the emotions I was feeling as I stood up there on that podium in front of everyone.
All in all the race was fantastic, but for me it was a one and done.  There are just too many races going on around this time for me to repeat.  I also did not like hanging on the boat for that long.  I am not trying to shy anyone away from this race, it was fantastic, just ensure you are prepared from A-Z, don’t just breeze over the packet and course map!
I can’t thank everyone enough for everything that you have done.  The support was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t believe it to be honest.  Thank you to Dave, Jamee and Katey, for coming down and screaming your lungs out for the entire race.  Thank you to everyone for your messages and texts both before and after.  Just thank you….Thank you to everyone.  Up next for sure is Jersey State on July 21st!
Until Next time
All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!

Demons….

Well post Broad Street run things have seemed to take a turn.  My posts are typically about how things went well or how I can at least take something away from them.  Everyone loves reading about people getting better and good news but this news is not good.  After my weekend away for golf I have not gotten in the training that I know I need to be hitting.  I have been making excuses and shying away from challenges.  The most frustrating part is, I have no idea why.

We all have demons, demons that we live with day to day that have come from various experiences.  As athletes we learn to deal with these challenges and face them head on.  For some of us, me included the training helps rid these demons from our lives.  For whatever reasons these demons have made a triumphed return.  They have affected my training and my mood lately.  I don’t train the way I used to and when I do, things seem to go on a downward spiral as the training progresses.

For me it is race week as of today.  In less than seven days I will be taking on my very first olympic distance triathlon in Cape May, NJ.  I have a buddy who always tells me “trust you training and just do what you know how to do.”  This is right but without the training I have nothing to trust and I am starting to get nervous about this race.  I know that I can finish the race, but I am not just a finisher.  I need to earn that medal.  I started this journey because for once I can be competitive in something and run with the “big dogs” so to speak.  I am just hoping that come race day I will be able to hang with the big dogs still.

As far as demons go, these race demons seem to come around for every race.  The doubt of can I do this? Will my body hold up? Do I really have what it takes?  I have goals in mind for myself, just as anyone else does.  For this race however I am not going into it with too many goals.  It is my first race at this distance, I need to see how things go on race day.  I know what I have done in training and I will repeat that on race day.  I have had some physical demons that I have been battling in racing and I am just hoping to work the kinks out and really use race week to chill out and get my mind right.

Mock race of .5mi swim, 15 mi bike 3.1 mi run

As for everything else in life, things are going very well.  Memorial Day weekend has just passed and things were awesome.  I had a great weekend with old friends and made some new ones.  This past weekend the weather was beautiful and I had more awesome times and there are sure to be some great times on the horizon.  Aside from being incredibly busy and not having much time to train for racing things are going spectacular.  I know that when I leave for the race on friday all of these things will be gone with the wind.  Has anyone else experienced things like this?  How do you combat these demons? Just know that you are not alone in this and everyone has demons that they must battle in some way, thats what makes this sport as amazing as it is.

Until next time, thank you as always for reading, sharing and commenting!

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!