First of all, the race course is beautiful. The views are incredible. If you want a scenic course, this is it.
Saturday we went for a gorgeous ride around the area where we were staying. It was amazing.
Then took our bikes to bike check in.
They didn’t have gear bags for this race, which I thought was totally odd. So the night before prep was different than my usual routine. Don’t they know that I need things to always be the same?!
That afternoon, we went to see Wonder Woman in IMAX and it was badass.
We also did a little shopping and road around on the mall animal scooters.
The evening before the race, had my typical pre-race Chinese food. One, I didn’t get a fortune cookie, what the heck?? Two, I had a shrimp chow mein, note to self, don’t do that again.
Tried to go to bed early, but didn’t sleep much or well, which is pretty typical for me on the night of a race.
Race morning, as usual was early, leaving the hotel at 4:30am. Set up transition, tried not to freak out.
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. 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, as I always have a total meltdown as I start. Which did happen. Just as I approached the first bouy I had a panic attack, flipped on my back to chill out, which didn’t work out. Flipped back over and realized my wetsuit was undone half way down my back… and I was taking on water. So I flailed around and not so gracefully got it back up and secured. At this point I had swallowed some water, choked a bit and was falling apart. A canoe was close by, I seriously considered calling it a day, but instead started breast stroking, and then finally swimming. As I turned the halfway mark, I checked my time. It wasn’t an incredible time and not what I had hoped for, but I was doing just fine. So I slowly, but surely finished the swim, at 48:11.
Transition 1: Came out of the water, up the shore, and right into the bike area. Easy peasy getting my bike gear on and back out.
Bike: What a gorgeous course. Started out a tad chilly but warmed up after the first 15 miles or so. A few rolling hills and one larger hill (nothing as crazy as CDA). I picked up a lot of cyclists. My main bitch was the course being open to traffic. I’ve always enjoyed Ironman branded courses because they are closed off to traffic. It was dangerous in multiple areas. The roads were pretty torn up too, lots of potholes. Stuck to my nutrition plan and felt good throughout. I needed to pee the entire bike ride and was quite uncomfortable by the end. I tried to channel my coaches ability to pee on the bike, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Finished the bike in 3:29:18
Transition 2: Hung my bike, switched my shoes, pulled off my helmet, grabbed my race bib and my water pod (with inhaler) and took off! Stopped to pee on the way out.
Run: Again, this course is gorgeous. Two loops around the lake. I didn’t realize it would be on a trail, which isn’t my personal favorite but it was so amazing to look at that I didn’t mind. My shrimp dinner caught up with me a bit on the run, and I was forced into a few portapotties. But overall I felt good. Maintained a decent pace (for me) and enjoyed the end of my race. Finished the run in 2:31:55.
Finish: Seeing that Ironman chute and arch, hearing them call your came, seeing my husband, my baby girls and my inlaws is a magical overwhelming feeling of happiness. I finished in 6:58:30, which is a 22:30 improvement over my previous personal best!
Then I got to watch Amber finish her first 70.3. Which was so amazing to be able to do.
Reflections: Get out in the open water as soon as it’s safe back home. No shrimp the night before race day.
Now, after a full day of resting and eating so much food. Tomorrow we are back in training. IMCHOO is coming quick!!!
Official Race Day Photos:
* My “volunteer of the day” was my hubby Bill. Who does not race but drives me around to all these crazy events. Supports me without complaint even the incredibly expensive costs of races, travel and gear. And deals with my ups and downs of emotions on a daily basis. I know how lucky I am to have him and his support.
** Also, I have to thank my coach, Bryan Kreitz for all of his help and support. He’s been an amazing coach. And the best is yet to come!!! If you are looking for a coach and a program that will definitely show you results, Bryan is your man!