Racing by Kelly Fillnow
I did some incredible training in California.
And a little more climbing.
Ran a lot of hills.
Enjoyed a rest day spent in DisneyLAND. (I still owe Karena about $15, $1 dollar for every time I called it DisneyWORLD.) Had a blast leading the first California Tri Club brick. Check out the club's recent article published on ironman.com & our little huddle post bikerunplyocore workout! Presented at a clinic at Longo Toyota, the largest car dealership in the world (29 acres!) Got to see what life was like training with the fastest-mom-in-the-world, my Timex teammate, Susanne Davis. Endured some beautiful beach runs. Enjoyed the biggest ice bath ever. After a sad departure from my new extended families, I flew to watch my friend Carolyn's 140.6 mile debut at the HITS triathlon in Ocala, Florida. I had the most amazing day supporting her in her first 140.6 mile journey. She did 12:00 and if only I had not stopped her for so many photos, she would have broken 12 hours ;).
Thanks to the HITS, "distance for everyone" mantra, I was able to race the next morning. I have been trying to avoid the Olympic distance ever since my first and last experience at Nationals in Tuscaloosa a couple years ago. But, we cannot hold onto fear forever, so I decided to race. I entered the water in my amazing Blue Seventy Helix & came out with a PR. 15 minute PR. In the 1500 meter swim. I have a very long way to go with my swimming, but it is nice to see that a couple years of work can make a difference. Maybe in another few years I can take another 15 minutes off ;). After a quick transition, I grabbed my Shimano shoes, Rudy Wingspan helmet & glasses, and took off on my Quintana Roo CD01. At about mile two on the bike, we had a quick turn and I knew I was about to flip over my aerobars as I took the turn at 27.5 mph. I landed on my deltoid first, one of the best places to land thanks to the soft tissue. The cop was in the intersection and asked if he could get an ambulance. I thought about quitting. But alas, I remembered my twin sister did not quit despite breaking her radius & ulna at mile 2 of her first 70.3 race. Not only did she not quit, but she continued 54 more miles on the bike and then finished with a 1:31 half marathon before heading to the hospital. Oh the irony, we are twins I guess. From this point forward we should watch out for mile two of the bike. So I told the cop, "No thanks, I am going to finish," and took off. He thought I was crazy. But adrenaline helped as I ended up catching all the guys except for 4 (they had a three minute head start from the females). I averaged 23.2 mph which included my "crash." The run was on a nice soft sand-like out & back trail. I had no strength in my left tricep due to the fall so I just used my right arm to run. I managed to run 38:11, 6:08 pace and caught all but two guys. I came away with nearly a 20 minute PR, a nice win to start the tri season, and some road rash. My twin had some nice welcome home presents for Carolyn and me, so very thoughtful, especially the pink cap to hide my battle wounds. The 48 hours surrounding the race, I began noticing a few oddities occurring. For instance, during one necessary TCBY stop on our drive home, Carolyn dropped her keys and my body felt like it was electrocuted with my nerves reacting to the stimulus in a convulsion like manner. That happened on two other occasions and left my brain wondering what was going on. The peculiar behavior continued. During a massage, for instance, my therapist asked if she could take my Timex watches off. I said, "watches, what?" I had not realized that I had put on two watches! I went to the ER at midnight and was immediately diagnosed with a concussion. I had a cat-scan and thankfully there was no swelling or fracture. I am just so very grateful for Rudy Project, for truly saving my life and brain:). I am also very thankful for: The Richmonds for making me feel right at home, for introducing me to incredible new training partners, and never letting me go one single minute without laughing. The Davis's for their generous support, great conversations, gourmet style meals, & getting me fitter. Timex for enabling me to take a lickin' but keep on ticking.' Blue Seventy for a 15 minute swim PR for 1500 meters. I can guarantee that will never happen again though :(. Quintana Roo, Challenge Tires, & Shimano for a 3+ minute bike split. Brooks Running for letting me keep my stride & hit a 1+ minute PR. PowerBar for fueling my traincation. TrySports for preparing me for my trip! EC3D Sports for helping me recover from the rigorous training. Champion System for keeping me comfortable training & racing. Zorrel for keeping me professional, Timex-style. Revici for keeping me styling post workout. Headsweats for hiding my battle wounds during the race. Jamey, Scott, Robin, Chris, Judith, and Nicole for all the countless support! "So long as there is breath in me, I will persist. For now, I know one of the greatest principals on success; if I persist long enough I will win." "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."