Humbling… That’s the word that best describes this 70.3.
We (my husband, two daughters & I) drive up to CDA Saturday morning.
Hit the registration, athletes briefing, merchandise tent and mandatory bike check in.
Checked in to our hotel, sorted out the bike bag, and set everything up for the next morning.
Hung out with the girlies at the pool and read.
Had a nice dinner out, Chinese. I didn’t sleep well, which was a big bummer and leaves me more anxious than usual.
Race morning came early, leaving the hotel at 4:30am. Twila met me in transition, closing at 6am. Finally, pull on our wetsuits and wait anxiously.
Swim: The race is a self-seeded rolling start. So, you have an idea of your swim time, you place yourself there and the race volunteers funnel everyone in to the water. The gun went off for the male pros at 6am, a second gun went off for female pros and then finally the age-groupers, then we (all 3,000 of us) start funneling into the water. Your swim start begins as you cross the time mat as you enter the water. I knew entering the water that I just needed to focus on staying calm and “making it”. 11 minutes into the swim, I had an asthma attack. I had forgotten to use my inhaler prior to entering the water (I had put one on my bike and one in my water pod to run with, yet didn’t remember to use it…) I seriously considered getting out of the water. Flipped on to my back, got my breathing under control, looked around at all the other people that had self-seeded themselves as an equally poor swimmer, and calmed down. Made the corner with plenty of time to spare and just focused on making it back to shore. Made it to the shore. Getting out of the water, I always tend to be somewhat disoriented. But I knew from here the race would improve.
Transition 1: This transition is LONG. You come out of the water, up the shore, then run down the path around the back side of the bike corral, then into your bike. Longest T1 time ever! Never been happier to see an inhaler or peel off my wetsuit. (Turns out I burned my neck pretty badly with my suit, it’s awful looking today…)
Bike: I am so glad we’ve incorporated so much hill training, especially up Waha. The bike went great, I picked up a lot of riders and felt good the entire time. There were two wrecks on the bike course, a lot of under-prepared athletes for the hills, and soooo many flats. The course was so incredibly well managed and safe. I was thankful to be doing this on an Ironman branded course again. I did drink a Gatorade on the bike, ran short on water, so I’ll need to tighten that up, as that didn’t sit well on the run or after the race.
Transition 2: Much quicker! Hung my bike, switched my shoes, pulled off my helmet, grabbed my race bib and my water pod (with inhaler) and took off!
Run: Nothing spectacular here on my part, but managed well even in the heat. Met lots of nice, friendly ladies on the run. Took in water and loaded my sports bra up with ice at each aide station. And trudged along. My stomach was somewhat uncomfortable from the Gatorade but otherwise felt okay.
Finish: Seeing the Ironman chute, hearing them call your name and seeing your family watching you finish is amazing. Utterly amazing.
Reflections: Use inhaler like I do at all training swims. Use Vaseline on my neck every time I wear my wetsuit. Need to train more in non-current open water. Do not drink Gatorade. Focus heavy on August, the full is only 8 weeks away and 140.6 miles leaves no room for errors.
(More pics to come when the Ironman site has them ready!)