We would like to share with you an Lake Placid race report from Kori Martini. Kori is a working mother of 3 kids under 2 years old. She used the time efficiency focus of Endurance Nation to race to a 12:08 at Lake Placid. Kori is the poster mom of the busy age group triathlete and here results and experience with TeamEN really demonstrate what we are all about here — helping busy age groupers achieve their best on race day!
Wow, where to start? I guess the beginning of the race makes the most sense, but I feel like the Team EN events leading up to it were just as fun (team dinner, practice swim, 4 keys talk, etc….)
Just a little history, first: This was my third IM, but my first one as a mom of three very young kids. I signed up for Lake Placid last year when the twins were 3 weeks old. I guess post-natal hormones do strange things to my sense of reason. I joined EN about a month later, thinking that it would be nice to actually follow some sort of plan for once. Too bad that a full-time job, a firefighter hubby, and three babies don’t exactly equate to following ANY plan, let alone a training plan. The past year has been frought with little sleep, illness (my 2 year old started school and our home became a petri dish of cold germs), injury (tired = not staying upright on bike very well), etc etc etc….. so I went into this race feeling like I had missed more workouts than I hit. I was swimming about 1-2 times a week and missed quite a few workouts since I didn’t think it was smart to train on 3 hours of sleep all the time. My left elbow developed some weird tendonitis that I later confirmed was from constantly holding one (or the other) of the twins in my left arm like 4-5 hours a day. Instead of tennis elbow, I had baby elbow. And my left foot was an on/off source of pain. I did manage to hit most of the long runs and about 75% of the long rides, so I knew I could complete the distance…..just didn’t know how jazzy I’d feel doing it.
So going into this race, I had no real time expectations. I also decided to drop the Type A Triathlete bit where I had to be everywhere 3 hours early, treating the weekend like an Army Boot Camp. Instead, I was pretty leisurely about checking in, getting bike racked, gear bags checked, etc…which was nice. I think removing the “panic“ aspect helped me chill alot. Hubby and I got some much-needed downtime, since the kids were at home with the in-laws (who had NO downtime and would like to now disown us).
Race Morning: Woke up at 4:30AM, ate some breakfast, popped a Tylenol in the hopes that it would help my elbow survive the swim, grabbed my stuff, and headed out to the start. Body marked, bike checked, and headed to swim start with Eric. We met up with Team ENers, I popped my Gu with some water, and wriggled into my wet suit. I HATE doing that, and I think I’ll just hire Coach P to do it next time, since apparently him and Steve Ross can slam a dude into a suit in like 5.3 seconds flat.
My history of swimming……well…..sucks. I have had two different swim coaches throughout the past few years and kinda lost momentum with swimming since it can’t seem to “click“ for me like it does for alot of other people. The fact that I get panicky in open water doesn’t help. So, I lined up wide right on the opposite shore, just standing there, chatting with my fellow triathletes (most of whom were planning to swim a 1:35-1:40, so I thought they’d be somewhat harmless). Gun goes off, and we all start to swim. Here’s what I learned: doesn’t matter how slow people say they’re gonna swim; you’re still gonna get the $hit kicked outta you, so you might as well start with the faster folk and get the $hit kicked outta you while you’re making better time. I won’t harp on how awful the mass start is. Most of us know. Human washing machine, horizontal typhoon, vortex to hell….whatever you wanna call it. It’s nasty. Funny moment though: I did see a diver out of the corner of my eye waaaay below me, and it totally freaked me out because I thought it was like a massive fish…..that apparently was gonna get JUST ME out of 3000 people. Ugh. Kori. Common sense, dear?? Anyway….outta the water, back in the water, loop 2, outta the water again, hoofin‘ it to T1, check the race clock and realize I came out just under 1:20! That’s a swim PR for me! (Don’t laugh.) At least I wasn’t last out of the water, which HAS happened to me! (You’re totally laughing.) Tylenol – the new performance enhancing drug?
I’ll comment briefly, that I really need to shut up. I actually knew my volunteer’s name, hometown, number of kids, and career status before I exited T1. Triathlon is my new social media.
Heading out on the bike, I told myself to ride EASY for 90 minutes. I’m a hyper-active, energetic, ball of nerves on race day, so this is no easy feat. I cannot tell you how many times during that first hour and a half I looked at my watch and went “Can I start RIDING yet??”
Now, I am the most low-tech, NON-advanced triathlete out there. I don’t own a PM. I have a Garmin, but the battery dies after 2 hours, so not much good on a 12+ hour day, so no HR monitor either. I used the „talk test“ for exertion. Anyone remember that? Like if you can easily carry on a conversation, you’re doing pretty OK? Problem with that is that most triathletes aren’t too chatty on race day. I know. I tried. Oh well. So JRA for 90 minutes, and then I moved things up to “steady“. Came in from lap one feeling good. Saw the Ashworth PART-AAAAAY as I came back into town. My hubs was holding a beer and a burger, so at least HE was having fun. Lap 2 went pretty much as lap 1 did, except for the heat and the wind kicking up pretty bad, which slowed things down. I also had to stop at porta-potties twice. I guess that’s good, meaning I’m hydrated. It also means, ladies (per our forum thread), that NO I have not learned to pee on my bike. I tried. I really really really tried. I even said out loud once, while trying, “What is WRONG with you??“ Oh well. I made good friends with the volunteers that were holding my bike while I went. So there was that….
I managed to stay mostly aero during the downhill. I did see bad-a$$ Keith WHIZZZZZZZZ by me on the descent like I was standing still. Dude was FLYING. Cool thing was that he picked a great line to ride, so I kinda just followed him, which made going 47mph not QUITE as terror-inducing. I think my bike time was around a 6:16, which was slower than I did at training camp. Not sure I’ve figured that out yet, but whatever. It is what it is.
So T2 was slightly better than T1, mainly because there was a bit of a back-up in the tent area, so I was forced to wait a second to get in. That made me hurry a little more. Out on the run, and saw Coach P and Steve (I think), as I headed out of town. This was when I started to realize how flipping hot it was out. Yeesh. I kept my pace super easy and light, just telling myself to take fast, short strides and relax. I was passed by ALOT of people. I walked 30 steps at every aid station, although, I was talking to volunteers too much and sometimes forgot to count, so it may have been more like 40 or 50 steps, but whatever. Started stuffing ice down my top to keep cool. BAM!: B-cup to C-cup in an instant. Got to the left turn onto River Road, kept on chuggin‘…Saw Eric out on the run course with his mountain bike a few times, which was awesome. I also saw a couple of EN rockstars heading the other way, back into town. Is it just me, or did that turnaround on River Road seem like it was in the next county? Flipped it, headed back. I stopped at mile 9 to use a porta-potty. Bad idea. It became like a safe haven. You tell yourself “If I don’t ever leave this porta-potty, I don’t have to start running again“. Eventually, I left. Kept going. Hit the uphill…..WHA?? Holy uphill. Steve Ross needs to be at the top of every hill I ever run ever again. Such great encouragement! I did walk a portion of the hill, which was funny, since the people who were running up it were actually going slower than me. Started to run near the left turn and saw Coach P who reminded me to take „baby steps“ up the rest of the hill. Made it to the top, got LOTS of EN mojo from the Ashworth crew and Scott, who basically ROCKED as a fan that day, and headed out for lap 2. I seriously saw so many EN jerseys before, during, and after every turnaround….it was incredible. I heard “YEAH KORI!!“ at least three times every 30 minutes. Just unreal.
Kept my pace as steady as I could heading out for lap 2, but some serious pain was setting into my left foot. When I stopped to walk 30 steps, the first step back to running was borderline excruciating. If it had been a training run, I would’ve walked it home. I popped another Tylenol at mile 13, hoping it would help. I also passed another EN teammate (who was that??) that was having back spasms, so I stopped to try to rub them out for him. I hope it helped a little?? I was going to send Eric back to help him if I saw him soon, but I didn’t. I’m sorry I couldn’t help more.
So lap 2 felt like it was taking a lot longer, but after the last turnaround, when there’s about 6ish miles left, I wasn’t about to start walking now. It’s funny, but the more walkers you pass, the faster you start to run. I switched to Coke at this point, which was a nice kick. I saw Eric at mile 21, and he told me I was 17th in my age group. I was kinda shocked, considering that I came out of the water…..well…..really far back. So I decided to play a little game of “find the 30-something women and pick ‚em off“. Eric got into it with me (he was running on the sidewalk for about 2 miles), and would be like “There’s another one at 1 o’clock! Go get her!“ Haha! It was actually kinda fun. I gotta say, other than my foot killing me, I felt pretty good. I feel blasphemous saying this, but I don’t think I ever hit the wall. I’ve run 20 marathons, before doing triathlons, so I’m well aware of what “the wall“ feels like. I just didn’t get that bad at all. I was for sure pushing and for sure happy to be done when I hit the oval, but honestly, I felt pretty strong for most of the run. Saw Coach P and Scott on the very last out-and-back and told him to get movin‘ if he planned on “catching“ me. I got a nice shove forward from him along with the news that I was gonna go sub 12:10.
I came into the oval and emotion took over. It wasn’t just like finishing an ironman. It was finishing one just 3 minutes slower than I did in Wisconsin in 2010, after a year of pure insanity at home. I was insanely happy!!!! It was unbelievable. I always wish I could relive that last ¼ mile. It actually goes by too fast.
I have a lot of questions still about things I think I should’ve done differently, so I may have to get at Coach R/P at some point. I do want to say that Team EN is unreal. I have a lot of triathlon „teams“ in my area here, and they’ve always turned me off HUGE because the people are so internally competitive with each other and just somewhat obnoxious. I NEVER had that impression with the Team here. Having only been on the team a year and only having met some of you a few times in person….it felt like family out there. I owe you all a heartfelt THANK YOU. I hope you all know how awesome you truly are. Final time was 12:08:xx, 14th in my age group. I’m MORE than happy with that.
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