Sunday, November 09, 2014

Tyranena Beer Run ½ Marathon Race Report

Cool fucking shirt, eh?

So while I’ve been “training,” I haven’t been following specific workouts for biking and running since February, and I’ve only been following swim workouts since August. Beginning in August, I just set frequency and volume targets for biking and running, and have been winging it as far as races I’ve done in that period of time, which included 2 sprint triathlons (2nd AG at both), 2 sprint duathlons (1 2nd AG, sucked on 2nd), 2 8-mile races (sucked first one; 2nd AG second one).

In August, I raced 4 weekends in a row, and now I am on my 3rd of 4 weekends in a row of running races. Normally, I race like clockwork—knowing what to eat, wear, how to pace, etc., but I was a little rusty. So I’ve not gone into any of these races expecting much, but have been pleasantly surprised and never TOO disappointed in how I’ve done.

So back to Tyranena—my time was 2:10:45, 6th in AG. Nothing stellar, and really about what I expected. I think the last formal ½ marathon I did was in 2012, the Cary ½, in 2:13:52. Here is Tyranena course and here is Cary.  Huh. So I guess I actually did OK yesterday, better than I thought. Still, I’ve not been doing tempo runs or progressive long runs or hill work, so yay there might be hope for me to get faster again! Plus, I didn’t really fully taper for Tyranena, because why would I have? I’m just out there having fun!

I drove up there yesterday morning. It is about 2 ½ hours to Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Lake Mills is where 24 Hours of Triathlon is held, and is a race that’s on my bucket list. I’d never been to Lake Mills before. It was a bit cool (upper 30’s/low 40’s), but I erred on dressing a bit too warm for the race conditions since it was windy. 

There were volunteers directing us where to park, and I was maybe a 1 block walk from the race start.

When I get to the brewery (the race is hosted by Tyranena Brewing) about 10:30, I see a line of people waiting to buy beer! In the race email, it had said we could buy the beer at a reduced price, but I figured it wouldn’t be until after the race! I laughed, because the beer line was longer than the porta-potty line! And then I thought it made sense to get the beer before the race, because I could put it in my car and it would chill nicely!

But first I went inside the large tent to pick up my packet. They were already serving beer in there, and I’m guessing there were a number of racers who intentionally were going to race with their beer already on! I got my packet, and I saw someone drinking out of a sampler cup, and I asked for one, and it was great!

Then I went to buy my beer. You could get a mixed 12-pack for $15, so I bought 2. Carrying them together back to my car was a little workout in itself, but hey, I’m tough! I’d failed to stop at the porta-potty and really had to pee when I got back to my car, but luckily I was parked amongst a bunch of semi-trailers, so I availed myself of a discrete spot between a few of them.

Now for the trip from the car for packet pickup and beer acquisition, I wore a regular down jacket over my race gear, because it was nippy! But then I had to decide if I was going to add more clothes to race in, and I decided I’d be fine with what I had on. I pinned my bib to my jacket, loaded the Fuel Belt (complete with streamers, because I felt like it), and put on my gaiters, since part of the run would be on crushed limestone and gravel, and bonus, they keep my feet warm. I’d worn my most thermal tights, a thermal Nike top and a brand new thermal neon Nike jacket that I got on sale a few weeks ago. I went with my fleece hat and gloves, which turned out to be too much, but they weigh nothing, and I could always carry them if I needed to.

I went back to the race start and met someone who’s been reading my blog for awhile and is primarily a runner, Emily. She probably thinks I’m a major kook now, but that’s OK, I’m OK with it! We chatted about how we thought we’d do (we were both right on with our finish times), lined up, and got going.

We were immediately into the wind, which at some points was so strong that it flung one of my feet into the other! I remember I think around Mile 5 that happening when we were way out in the open. You know this is called a “beer run” for several reasons—one, because of the term, “I need to make a beer run,” and two, because, well, we were running for beer! I was really hoping there’d be an aid station with beer, and I got my wish just after Mile 4! It was funny that the table had a sign on it saying “Unofficial Beer Aid Station,” but I’m pretty sure it was official! Whatever I had was tasty, tasty, and I figured it wasn’t going to hurt me one iota, and I was here in the first place because of the beer!

The first about 5.5 miles were in the open, then we hit the Glacial Drumlin Trail, which was awesome, as it was dirt and/or crushed limestone, which I love running on. I just kind of kept motoring on, not really pushing myself too hard, but just trying to keep a steady pace. It helped that there were 2 girls which I’m certain were Garmin-ized at exactly 10mpm pace, because I was near them the entire time.

It was beautiful scenery when we were running around Lake Mills, and gosh, I’d like to just go hang out there—it’s not far from Madison where I usually go riding, and very quiet and peaceful. Except for the locals who were pissed off that we were on THEIR roads and a few drivers nearly hit some of us! Oh well, there are always those who hate us and those who give us the right of way.

The last 3 miles of the run were into the wind again, and kind of tough. I slowed a bit here, but I was still around my Garmin Girls, so I was good. I drank most of the Coke in my Fuel Belt and one bottle of Gatorade, had a few cups of water, and 1 small beer. I never did eat a gel, and I’m wondering if maybe I should have. Oh well.

So when you finish, you go back into the big tent, and we each got 2 beer tickets and 1 for lunch. I wanted the beer first, so I found Emily (who is not into the beer), and I got 2 beers, began shivering a lot, drank those, then Emily left, and she gave me her beer tickets. Here are Emily and me in the beer tent:

I walked back to my car so I could doff the sweaty jacket, hat and gloves and running shoes, and put on a hoodie, regular shoes, my down jacket, a running hat and light gloves.

I went back to the tent and finally ate some lasagna. It was great! They did have vegetarian, and when I was in line for mine, I joked with some people that meat was meant to be eaten!

I wanted one more beer, and then I gave the other 2 tickets (someone else gave me a spare) to other people, listened while they called out awards (NOT MY NAME! AG winners got cool mugs), then headed back to my car to drive to my hotel. I knew better than to drive all the way home after 3 beers.

I stayed at Johnson Creek Comfort Suites in Johnson Creek. What a nice place! My room only cost $85, and could have easily slept 4 (maybe 6 I think the couch was a pullout). Here I am with a bunch of other runners at checkin:

I immediately donned a swimsuit and headed to the hot tub with another beer in hand. At this point, I was feeling kinda tipsy, but not drunk. The hot tub was huge, including a little waterfall, but it could have been hotter. At any rate, it helped to warm me back up (my natural temperature is 97, and I become hypothermic rather easily) so I wouldn’t be shivering the rest of the day.

When I got back to my room, I showered and put on clean clothes, talked to a few friends, and then at some point decided I needed to get dinner. I got to see a beautiful sunset right from my room, although I should have snapped the pic a bit earlier:

I was feeling really grateful that I have the means to travel to races like this and that I am able to run at all! I seem to have more and more moments like that lately. I have had piles of shit in my life, but now I feel SO happy being healthy (oh yeah—my right foot barely hurt during the race!), and I love racing and training, and I’m not sucking as badly as I thought I might in getting back to it.

I stopped at the front desk for a recommendation and directions, but truth be told, I wasn’t going to remember a whole lot as the combination of beer and racing left me rather not giving much of a fuck about anything. Still, I headed out in the general direction, but instead of some supper club, found a Mexican restaurant that looked like just what I needed. I tucked in and had chicken mole, one of my favorite dishes, and a decent margarita. YUM! 

Yes the margarita was sideways as was I
Well now, when I began driving back to the hotel, I realized I was indeed, intoxicated, but hey, I’m driving in Wisconsin, so all good! I actually enjoyed driving and getting what I thought was lost, but somehow I ended back up at my hotel. I had leftovers, but within an hour or so, I was back at them.

I have no idea when I fell asleep or how much sleep I got, but in my usual fashion as of late, I was wide awake at 3:30AM. So I decided to get out of bed at 4, pack up and drive home WITHOUT DRINKING COFFEE. This was an endurance event all on its own. I dislike driving in the dark, I dislike not having coffee first thing in the morning, but I was ready to go so I did. I made it home just after 7, after stopping to refuel and get a Sausage McMuffin with Egg at McDonald’s. It had to be done.

I expected a wicked hangover today, and I’ve got that going for me, but boy oh boy did I have fun! I will go back to this event again! I was supposed to go and stay with a friend, but I still had a ton of fun by myself. Next Saturday I’m doing a 25k trail race not far from home as just a training thing, but you get a cool t-shirt with a dinosaur skeleton on it. Hopefully, my friend Lori and I will tuck in for some nice foods afterwards! After that, I don’t race again (formally; although I’m doing a NothingMan Triple Dog Dare over Thanksgiving weekend—over 3 days a sprint, Oly and ½ Ironman) until February, and it will be nice to step back on the run volume for a few months and begin actual training for an Ironman in earnest!

I have a new Pro SRM on order (this drivetrain and this head unit, although I get to exchange the head unit for the PC8 in January!!!), and it should arrive in another week. I will move the drivetrain and Powertap wheels (Zipp 404’s) from Skull Kingdom to Bitch, and I’ve ordered Hed Jet 90’s for Skull Kingdom. I’m working with a guy to make custom stickers for both wheelsets, and they are going to be the most bitchin’ fucking things ever! I am so glad to be getting an SRM again—I had one from 2004-2009, then went with an Ergomo for a few years, then a Powertap (which I hate), so I’m back on the best power meter ever. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to me!

I really haven’t done my usual quality biking in a few years, so I’m really looking forward to lifting my FTP again (well it sucks to do but somebody has to do it) and riding lots of hills!  I’ve got several hilly races on the calendar for next year, too, and I’m confident I can get my biking prowess back. I will still hit 5,000 miles for 2013, but it didn’t include any quality work whatsoever—just enough to maintain some semblance of fitness. 2014 I should get close to 6,000 miles in and they will be quality miles.

Life is fucking awesome and I am so happy to be in it! I’m good with my race performance yesterday, and honestly, my legs aren’t a bit sore or stiff or anything, so I know I’ve got some speed potential there. I do feel REALLY solid, muscle-wise, and very prepared to enter into Ironman-level training again.

Oh and I started coached swims this past week! Magic Mike is da bomb, and I am excited to think about where I might be able to take my swimming! So everything is moving in the right direction, or will be soon enough!

All I need to do now is survive the fucking Polar Vortex that’s headed to Chicago soon. Ugh…I spent some coin on my house again this year that we will see how much of a difference it makes in my heating bills. So far, so good!

Life is short--have at it!!!

1 comment:

Tea said...

COngrats on the race! (btw: mexican food is my FAVORITE post race food)

I am REALLY looking forward to stalking you all of 2015! GREAT THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN.