and swim like no one's watching
***Savageman Half DISTANCE***
Swim: 1.2 miles
Bike: 56 miles
Run: half marathon
Overall: 6:43:34, 14th female overall, 2nd in 30-34 age group
Swim: 28:30, somehow my chip did not register but this is what I saw on the clock…woulda been 1st female out of the water, defending my title from last year…BUST
Big Climb: 45:34, 9th female overall!
Run: 2:24:34 (almost lost it)
Savageman is a BEATER. I don’t know what else to say. The course is sick…swim in Deep Creek which has visibility of about 5 feet, bike consisting of 9 categorized climbs, and run (after all that) up to a fire tower 2 times. Kyle Yost, the architect, is crazzzy, but genius. Triathletes get sick of the same old course…this is definitely unique and one of a kind…and brings the best athletes from all around.
This would be my 2nd Savageman, but this year I would attempt the full Half Ironman. Last year I did the Aquabike…and was pretty freakin delerious after that. I do not feel like my biking is the same place as it was last year…but overall swim/bike/RUN was better. And I had the breathing issues under control.
Did an EZ swim Saturday morning and then Matias, Adrianne, and I headed to Deep Creek about 10am. Ride out I started thinking about how it was going to hurt. We got to Discovery Channel, picked up our packets, dropped off my bike, and then were ready to get situated for tomorrow.
That night…picked some rotten fruit around the B&B (def the way to go when racing) we were staying at, hung out with the Palavecinos, crushed some potatoes, and got to bed by maybe 1030pm. I had trouble falling asleep.
In the wee early am we headed over to the Park. It was FOGGY…UH OH…last year the swim was a disaster. I had sighted off of Dave Cascio’s green cap the whole time and somehow got to the end of the swim…but could not see 5 feet in front of me the entire time. As we drove across the Lake you could not see much…should be interesting. Got into transtion and started setting up. Guy next to me was pretty mush taking his bike apart and rebuilding…interesting.
It was then time to go down to the water. It was in the high 40s…I was FREEZING. The fog was bad and the start was delayed about 20 minutes. I huddled on the side with Sam, Adrianne, and Laura until it was go time.
SWIM – They called the 1st wave (pros, elites, relays, and females…about 100 of us) into the water. DANG it was cold. I had a full sleeve wetsuit on and still could not stop shaking. I did not even care where I positioned myself…I just wanted to start swimming fast to get warm. The Go. I felt really cramped up in the beginning from the cold. Then I got moving. A group pulled up in front of me and I stayed in a second group of several guys. Then there were 3 of us battling back and forth. I tried to draft off one guy but he kept going to far in past the buoys so I decided to site on my own. The fog seemed to have cleared as we got further out. I settled into a rhythm. Seemed like we had gone a long way out. Then finally the turn around. The course was a rectangle, so we went out about 100 feet and then started back. The way back seemed a lot quicker. Still battling with the 2 guys. We all came to the docks together and it was a fight to get in. I ran up the ramp and saw 28:30…hmm…yeah! good time.
T1 – T1 consisted of a bit of a run up a hill to the transition area. The adrenaline had definitely warmed me up…but my feet froze along the way. I tried to run on the grass. Ran up to my bike, where all the bikers on relays were hovering. I had just wonr my bathing suit and threw on my Luna sleeveless jersey, tri shorts, arm warmers, leg warmers, and a jacket. And was then off on Bananas.
BIKE – The bike course includes over 5,700 feet of climbing with both long gradual climbs and short, steep pitches. While the first 18 and final 10 miles are downhill or flat, all athletes should be forewarned that the climbing in the middle 30 miles is savage and relentless. The first 18 miles went by quickly, and I soon came upon the paper mill and into Westernport, where the serious climbing would begin. As I was coming into Westernport Adrianne came up behind me. We climbed up towards “The Wall” together. I had made the decision before the race NOT to attempt the wall. Why not? If I fell, busted my arm, how could I swim then?! DUH. I forgot how tough and steep the climb pre-wall was. Cripes. Adrianne kept going up onto the wall as I veered to the left for the sidde route. What a wuss. I rounded back around and saw Adrianne just a bit ahead…way to be! The steep climbing continued…up Big Savage Mountain (a 7 mile climb). Yes, this WAS going to hurt. About 3 miles up Big Savage Mountain Cheryl came up behind me. We climbed together for a bit and then she pulled away. I did feel I was making good time. Every mile of Savage Mountain was marked. Finally 1 more mile to go…I busted it up the final steep climb. Was met by Kim, as one of the devils, at the top, she looked fun and it made me smile. A bit of a downhill but no let up…the next categorized climb came up quickly…and then they were one after another (9 categorized climbs in total). And then Killer Miller hill. This hill is the worst of all in my opinion. I swore the entire way up Miller. I was hating and loving every moment of it. People were walking. Kyle and Laura were at the top of the hill…”One more to go!,” Laura yelled. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel…well sort of. Mile 35…TriCATS aid station. It was great to see some familiar faces. A mile or so later came up on that last hill…There was Cheryl. Everyone was hurtin. People were walking…people were lieing on the ground crying (no jk about that part…hehe). I barely made it to the top of this one. I did it. I had finished all of the climbs. My hands were stiff and sore from gripping my handlebars. Ease up. Downhills started. I started feeling a bit nauseated. I had been doing good on nutrition. Alternating gel and bar every hour. I had started getting really hungry and had to decrease that time to about every 45 minutes. And I had taken a couple Endurolytes about an hour ago…time for some more. The last 10 miles I was really tired and happy for the majority of downhill. Finally I was heading towards the Park…Mile 50. 5 to go…I did not feel so hot…my stomach was really grumpy.
Toothpick: Cat 4, 0.25 miles avg 9%, max 16%
Westernport: Cat HS, 1.2 miles avg 12%, max 31%
Big Savage Mtn: Cat 1, 2.4 miles avg 6%, max 22%
Savage River: Cat 3, 2.8 miles avg 4%, max 7%
McAndrews Hill: Cat 2, 0.6 miles, avg 9%, max 19%
Otto Lane: Cat 2, 0.6 miles, avg 8%, max 17%
Killer Miller: Cat HS, 1.3 miles avg 8%, max 21%. First 0.6 miles avg 13%, max 22%
Maynardier Ridge: Cat 3, 0.25 miles avg 12%, max 23%
Frank Brenneman Rd: Cat 1, 0.7 miles avg 10%, max 23%. Last 0.4 miles,avg 15%, max 23%
T2 – Came into transition. There was Julie O, all in LUNA, cheering for me. She made me smile. Apparently my butt was hanging out. I had not noticed. I quickly changed into my running shoes. I saw how Matias had left my bottle of foot lube open at my shoes. I did not need no stinkin lube. That would waste time. And I had to go to the bathroom…saw the portas…nope…that would waste at least 5 minutes.
RUN – The run course is 2 loops…this is good because it is very spectator friendly…but bad because it gives the participant many opportunities to quit. The 1st mile, passing through the finish area I felt another wind after being cheered on by everyone. The 1st 3 miles are winding around the park…I was confused on where I was going. I started feeling really tired. My body hurt…my stomach hurt because I had to go to the bathroom. Mile 3, on the main road, and headed back towards transition. I felt miserable. I had terrible stomach cramps. Maybe I should stop…only 10 more miles…UGH. I was hungry too and felt I would most likely bonk if I did not eat. I had some Luna moons. I saw Mike, Fenty, and Eric several times, they were not far behind me on the course. They all shouted out some encouragement and it made me want to keep going. No one felt good…I could finish this. Mile 4, still on the main road, and then the course headed into the woods onto a trail, and OH now the course was taking me up a HUGE rocky hill. About halfway up I realized that I would have to do this twice. crud. Mile 5 and the turn around, I finally made it to the top and chugged some Coke at the aid station. I was starting to become really hungry and tired. I felt a little better running down the hill. Brady flew by me on his 2nd loop…”Come on Katie, find that rhythm,”…Thanks, Brady…that actually helped a little. Then Mile 6…almost halfway…I could and would finish. Headed through the finish to start my 2nd loop. Saw Cascio lounging after his awesome finish in the Olympic race…”IT HURTS,” I shouted. Make it hurt or what’s the point…our common philosophy. Headed back into the winding area. I felt like junk. My stomach had terrible cramps. But WHO felt good?! About Mile 9, and heading back out on the main road…I stopped a few times…not sure why…I just really felt like I could not keep going. Was starting to feel some serious blisters on my toes and bottoms of feet…gotta love the Newtons. Should have used that lube…should have gone to the bathroom. Next time. Mile 10. GEEZ…3 more miles…only a 5K more. I started feeling a sense of accomplishment. Came again to the beater hill…I was walking up this time. So were most. I finally got to the top…went to the aid station and stuffed my face with a banana and Coke. I was so done. Started back down the hill. I had to go the the bathroom…started looking around for some trees or bushes to run too…ehh nothing would work…plus if I went off path down a small hill I may not be able to get back up…buhaha. Mile 12, I was on the home stretch. I tired to pick up the pace a bit. Finally heading into the finish…I could see it…I finished strong…I was a true SavageBeast…I was so happy.
I immediately went to the bathroom. I was delerious. I loved and hated every part of this event. Susan Williams, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and overall female winner, said in her award speech that Savageman was the toughest course she had ever done. She lives in trains in CO and has also done St. Croix and the Beast. What a race.
-Take time to do things that may take more time but that might effect the long term…going to the bathroom, lubing feet, etc.
-Oh Mylanta…maybe a good idea to down some of this good stuff pre-race.
Up Next: U.S.Open Triathlon, Dallas, TX, October 4th, 2008