Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting SAVAGE with Team SHOEMAKER and Team Z!

(Authors Note: I wanted to wait until the race had released all of the photos to see if I could get some shots of Jim and I on the course but they only have a few and I can't wait any longer...I have other posts I want to make and I have got more races coming up...More photos will follow from this race as soon as they are released!)

Team SHOMAKER makes their Triathlon Relay Debut at Savageman Half Ironman 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009
RELAY - Half Ironman Distance

Team SHOEMAKER: 8:08:57

24 Coed Relay Teams:
21 out of 22 Official COED Relay Finishes

Last year I raced the International Distance of this event and after finishing told my husband that I wanted to do the HALF but only if it was a RELAY because after doing just 2 of the hills on the International (oly) bike course in 2008, I had no desire to experience the "sufferfest" on the bike that is the HALF. So my husband took on the challenge willingly and newlywed (5-months now!) Team SHOEMAKER made it's RELAY debut at Savageman Half.

1.2 mile SWIM (Holly) : 55:03

We swam right into the sun for the first 400 yards or so and that made sighting rather difficult and I had some early issues with my goggles leaking. I was hoping for something around 45 minutes but for the most part it was a beautiful swim around giant inflatable turtles and the SWAN boat. (literally the boat is a giant swan!) There seem to be some chop as we neared the Swan Boat and talking to some other swimmers later confirmed it, that eased my mind a little but I am definitely ready to get this swim time down even lower before the season ends.

T1: 1:57

56 mile BIKE (Jim) : 4:06:22

Jim's overall observation of the 56-mile SAVAGEMAN bike course, "This was worse than Mountains of Misery" a course that Jim has completed twice in the last few years. Mountains of Misery is a course that is a 104 mile hilly century with a final climb of finish with the 5 kilometer, Category 1 climb with an average grade of 11.9%, and sections up to 16%.

For comparison, SAVAGEMAN boasts a bike course of only 56 miles but in that 56 miles include over 5,700 feet of climbing with both long gradual climbs and short, steep pitches. The first 18 and final 10 miles are mostly down hill but the middle 30 miles include 8 climbs with maximum grades of 7-23% and average grades of 4-12%. This is NOT your AVERAGE Half Ironman Bike Course!

Jim did a fantastic time on this challenging course! I am super proud of his effort and was very excited to be heading onto a half Ironman run in the MIDDLE OF THE PACK for a change!


13.1 mile RUN (Holly): 3:04:21

First of all, folks in the Middle of the Pack are just as encouraging and supportive as the Back of the Pack! Something about "suffering together" makes most triathletes pretty friendly. I think its one of the reason I love the sport. On a hard course, it sucks for everybody so you might as well cheer each other on and make jokes when you can.

I did my part to cheer folks up by wearing the COOLEST RUNNING SKIRT ever! I found the skirt at the IronGirl Columbia Race Expo in August and I instantly knew that I had to have it! It is Black and Neon Green ZEBRA Stripes and just screamed TEAM Z to me! I got more compliments and smiles for wearing that skirt at Savageman from both male and female racers than I could even count and believe me on that race course, we were all looking for any reason to smile.

Do I look SAVAGE enough for you?
(pre-run - photo by Priscilla)

The first loop was pretty good considering the hilly course. I decided since I was on fresh legs after 4 hours since my swim effort, I would run until I needed a walk break and then start my Ironman plan of 5/1 intervals (run/walk). I ran through to the first big climb a little past Mile 1 and took my first 1 minute walk break and then settled into 5/1 pace for the most part. I did make an effort to skip the walk break if I was on a downhill and that worked well for the first lap. I was right on pace for a 2:40 half marathon at the end of the first loop and got some GREAT CHEER from Team Z and Jim as I passed though to start my second loop.

On the first loop, looking STYLISH and STRONG!

I spent the second loop trying really hard to hold onto my 5/1 pace but unfortunately, my legs had other plans and regardless of the WONDERFUL support from Team Z mates on and off the course, I slowed down considerably and only averaged about 1:44 on the second loop.

I did have a MOMENT in the last mile that should have gotten me an "Honorable Mention" for "Best Fall in the Woods on your last Mile" because I took a nice "tuck and role" at Mile 12.5 of the course on a short 10th of mile cut through some woods back to the park. I don't know what I was doing - probably daydreaming about the finish line because one minute I was UP and the next minute I was watching the ground quickly approach.

Thankfully a nice pile of leaves cushioned my fall and I was back UP almost as quickly.

I did manage to answer the elusive question: "If a runner falls in the woods and nobody sees her, does she make a sound?"

The answer is "YES, she says "I'm OK" to nobody...LOL

All in all, it was another great race day and with the proceeds of this amazingly challenging triathlon going to the Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, you can imagine how much this race means to me as a Melanoma cancer survivor.

As long as it is possible, I plan to keep racing Savageman for years to come. Maybe someday I'll even tackle the "HALF" on my own, but for now, I am content to stick to the International distance or a RELAY. I think I will need to be about "lean 150 and nothing but muscle" before I have any business attempting that HALF bike course...and that is still a LONG WAYS away...LOL.

But for now....That's year two of SAVAGEMAN in the books! Team SHOEMAKER is SAVAGE!


I challenge you to come out in 2010 and see how SAVAGE you really are!

Life is GOOD! LiveSTRONG!

1 comment:

jeanne said...

nice work holly. that skirt is awesome!