Saturday, July 23, 2011
For the run, since the same ironman perform sport drink will be offered, I will have to just take water. To get my salt and electrolytes I plan on using cliff shot blocs margarita flavored with the cramp buster formula, along with honey stinger gels to give me more carbs and electrolytes. I will also have a Gatorade in my special needs bag to chug when I get there.
Well, hope I didn't bore you with my ironman nutrition plan. A lot of planning and trial and error has gone into this. My plan in Muncie worked great until I starting drinking ironman perform. I tried it in training at home and had no ill effects. I wonder if it is because my race pace is so much faster than my training pace.
Training is really ramping up, its really been physically wearing me down. Next week is a recovery week where the volume goes down a little, and the 2 weeks after that are the toughest weeks in the plan. Fortunately, those 2 weeks are my summer break from school, so I can do the training, not worry about getting ready for class or doing homework, and just recover. My oldest starts school on August 4th, so I will just have my 2 year old all day, but she is my "easy" one, really laid back and calm. I'm looking forward to spending mommy and me time with her.
Today I did an 85 mile bike ride with a 10 minute brick run. Tomorrow I have a 16 mile run, then Monday is a rest day, but never really feels like a rest day since my algebra class is at 9 am and then I have speech class at 6 pm. Wednesday is my last day of class for this semester then its the beautiful 2 week break. I should have my degree in the Spring.
35 Days! Can't believe the big race is just around the corner...........
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
We left South Georgia early Thursday morning at 5:30 am for the 14-hour drive up to Muncie. Loraine drove, and I just sat in the passenger seat looking at all my gear in the back and getting nervous the whole trip. We arrived around 7:30 pm and hung out with her parents until bedtime, athlete check-in didn’t start until noon, so we were free to stay up late and sleep in. Woke up late morning Friday and headed out to athlete check-in, everything was starting to feel real now. I got my blue athlete bracelet, and then got my packet with my chip, bike and helmet stickers, and bibs that had my name on them which I thought was the coolest thing I ever saw. Me and Loraine walked around the expo to look at all the cool merchandise, being a girl I love to shop, so I really had to fight to temptation here to buy a bunch of stuff. What helped me to not empty out my wallet was knowing that in a few weeks I will be doing a full ironman, and after that I probably wouldn’t want all that 70.3 stuff. At the athlete briefing they said we could drop our bikes off at transition that night so one less thing to have to drag out on race day. So after that we went back to Loraine’s parents to grab my bike to drop it off in transition. Once we got there I was just in awe over all the bikes, I racked my bike, got a few compliments about the color, and went back to Loraine’s parents to try to get some rest. I think I fell asleep around midnight, and then woke up at 3am with knots in my stomach.
Arrived to the race site at 4:30 am. Transition opened at 5 am so we hung out until that time. We made our way to the transition area and I set up my stuff and triple checked it to make sure everything would go smooth in transition. Got more compliments on my bike, I think I picked a great color, it was making a splash. We had a lot of time at this point, the race didn’t start until 8, and my wave was to go off at 8:20. I visited the porta pottie about 6 times, had a small breakfast, and talked to Joel twice before the start of the race. Finally it was time to head down to the water for the race to start. I put on my orange swim cap and my goggles, gave Loraine a big hug, and lined up with my swim wave, wave 6.
After the first 5 waves hit the water my wave got the 5 minute warning, then 3 minutes, the 1 minute 30 seconds, the 30 seconds, my heart was pounding, then 15 seconds, then the sound of the air horn and we were off. Sighting was easy in the race, since there were several yellow buoys to look for. For the first time in a race I got smacked in the face, but my goggles still stayed on fortunately. I thought I was doing really well, maybe even my best open water swim ever based on how I felt. But when I glanced at my watch I saw 20 minutes had passed and I swim 1.2 miles in about 40-42 minutes in open water any day of the week, so I felt I should have been at the halfway point by now, and I wasn’t. I turned the last buoy and headed into shore and this swim was just starting to feel really long. Finally I could stand, and was really excited to run out of the water know the swim, the only part of the day I was really worried about, was behind me. It was a long, uphill run to transition, which was included in my swim time. Lot of spectators cheering us on which was awesome! Swim time was 49:14.
Made it into T1, dried my feet off best I could, put on socks (big mistake!), dried my face so my sunglasses wouldn’t fog, put on my race belt backwards so my number was on my back, put on my garmin watch and turned it on, grabbed my hairbrush and brushed my hair back, put on the aero helmet, checked the area around me to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything, I took my time in transition, in a sprint if you forget something you can usually wing it, but 56 miles is a long was when you have forgotten something. I grabbed skully (my bike) and told her we have some catching up to do out on the course, ran out the bike out to the mount line, hopped on, clipped in, and we were off. T1 time was 4:46.
I was happy to be out on the bike course. My goal for the bike course was sub 3-hours. Apparently I didn’t dry my feet well enough because before I even hit mile 1 my socks were soaked. I decided to try to ignore the icky sock feeling. For hydration I had water in my aerodrink and powderade in my bottle on the down tube. I was planning on refilling at the aid station at mile 30. I was maintaining 20-22 MPH pretty comfortably, then we hit a few hills, I was able to keep it in the big ring in a low gear and spin, in this race I didn’t want to hammer the hills. We hit some headwinds, and I handled it, then we hit the turnaround and got the tailwinds, weeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Going really fast down the hills I had gone up with a headwind, now I hit 30 MPH on some of the down hills. A few ladies on the course complimented my bike, and skully also got quite a few double takes. At mile 30 I threw my bottle from my cage and grabbed an ironman perform, and grabbed water and slowed down to fill up my aerodrink. I kept hydrating, and taking a shot bloc every 20 minutes. Toward the end of the bike my stomach starting hurting, and I started to wonder if it was the ironman perform drink, since that was the only new thing introduced to my system that day. I stopped drinking that stuff and just drank water the rest of the bike in hopes the stomach pains would go away. Finally I could hear the music and the dismount line came up. I unclipped and got off my bike, lots of spectators around the chute leading to transition, which was awesome once again. A lot of people yelled out “I love you bike!” I smiled and shouted “thank you”. I had a huge smile on my face at this time, since I knew that all I had to do to be a half ironman finisher was a half marathon, and I was ready to run! Bike time was 2:46:46.
T2 I once again took my time. Racked bike, took off helmet, took off shoes and socks. Took my brush and put my hair up so I wouldn’t look crazy in my visor. I went with a visor today because of the heat. Dried my feet off really well this time, put on socks (another mistake!)and put on my running shoes. I turned my race number around so it was on my front. I had to pee BAD so I hit the porta potty. Right before heading to the run out I stopped at the sunscreen volunteers to get my shoulders covered. This transition was a little too long, but I wanted to make sure I was absolutely ready to run a half marathon. T2 time was 6:25
The race director described it as a “challenging run”, I was going into it blindly, we didn’t drive the run course the day before, but might have been a good idea to see what I was up against. It was ALL HILLS! It was like running across a serpent’s back. You could hear the other competitor’s grasps and groans just looking at all the hills up ahead. After seeing the hills, I decided that I was going to walk all the aid stations, and run to each aid station. At each aid station I took in water, and poured water on myself, so, once again, my socks got soaked; it made my shoes SO HEAVY. The pains from drinking the ironman perform drink were coming back, so I slowed down my pace a bit to try to work out the cramps. I didn’t overheat on the run, since I kept dumping water all over myself, putting ice in my tri top, and putting the ice cold sponges on my hotspots. My feet were really feeling gross; I felt like I was getting trench foot, I really regretted my decision to wear socks, especially since I wear Zoots, which are designed to be worn without socks. I was really starting to have a rough time around mile 7, the hills, so many hills, at least half of every single mile was a hill, and my soaked socks, my cramping stomach. Suddenly I had a flashback of being in Iraq in 2003, 140 degree heat in August, walking across the desert in full gear, I thought, if I can survive that in war, I can definitely survive this for triathlon, something I do for fun. I started singing army cadence in my head, and mile 8 and 9 came and went, I was almost done! At mile 12 I walked an extra 20 steps after the aid station to make sure I would finish strong. There was one last killer uphill, and right after the peak of the uphill you turn left and run into the finisher’s chute. I was right next to a girl in my age group in the finisher’s chute and she looked like she wanted to gut it out to the finish line, well I wanted to enjoy the finish line since this race meant so much to me so I decided not to sprint to the finish and let her go. I took a quick look behind me and saw nobody was directly behind me, so I knew nobody would mess up my finish line pic. The crowd of spectators at the finish line was big now, I saw Loraine and gave her a huge smile and ran through the finish line with my arms raised high above my head, I DID IT!!!!!!!Run time was 2:01:32
Total time was 5:48:41
Got my finisher’s hat and medal, I stared at that medal hard, it felt so unreal; I really couldn’t believe what I just achieved. I found Loraine and gave her a big hug, and then I realized she was holding me up. We went off into the grass and I sat down on the ground. I took off my soaking wet socks and stuffed them in my tri top pockets. Joel called me (Loraine had my phone) to congratulate me, he had been watching the tracker the whole race. Then the biggest shock of the day came to me. Loraine and Joel told me my time, and I couldn’t believe it. My goal was sub 7, but sub 6 wasn’t even in my thought process. It took me a few minutes to get over the shock, then I went to the officials with the computers to get a print out of my official time. The time was still the same, and I was still in shock. I ate a little food, but I wasn’t really that hungry. We waited around for transition to open, got my gear and headed back to Loraine’s parents to tell them all about the race; they had been tracking my race all day too.
5 am Sunday morning we headed back to South GA, another 14 hour drive. When were arrived Joel surprised me by having the entire house clean, such an awesome hubby! He also bought me lots of new bath stuff so I could soak in my tub. I am so happy with how this race went despite the soggy socks and stomach cramps. It has given me the confidence I needed for Ironman Louisville next month. I had fun doing this half, and I can’t wait to tackle the full next month!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Over the weekend my bike was painted, it looks awesome! Its exactly how I wanted it to look. The artist did an awesome job and I can't say enough good things about his work. He doesn't just do bikes, he can paint pretty much anything, motorcycles, motorcycle helmets, portraits, murals, car hoods, and he even painted a battalion on Army helicopter in Iraq. He is also a soldier, so painting is a labor of love for him. He is bases in the Savannah Georgia area, but if you need to send him something to paint, UPS would be the best postal service to use. Here is his facebook fan page The Riffle Effect
Some pics of my beauty
Sunday, July 3, 2011
That was HARD! Physically, the most difficult thing I have ever done. I am not a swimmer, everyone else participating was, so I was alone in the back for pretty much all of the race except for the first 10 seconds of the race start. I slogged through it, and kept getting lost. I would swim, get lost, tread water for a minute to figure out which way to go, and then start swimming again. In the last 1000 meters one of the volunteers in a kayak saw I was struggling with direction and told me "just stay to my left, I'll guide you in" . It amazing how with swimming, you put so much effort into it and don't get very far. I though I was last, I got a lot of cheers and applause when I crossed the finish line, the kind of fanfare the last finisher always get, then I found out there was one last young man still in the water. I finished in 1:36:32.
There were a lot more people participating in the 1.2 mile race, but overall the race had a decent turnout for a small race, this was the first time this race had been put on. This is just how small the race was: Joel brought me my clothes to put on over my swimsuit for the ride home, and right as I finished putting my last shoe on, I heard my name called for 2nd place in the female 2.4 mile 25-34 age group, the awards were 3 deep for all age groups in both distances, and there were only 2 of us in the female 25-34 age group for the 2.4. The 1.2 mile option had a lot of girls in my age group. So I got another medal to hang up on my medal rack in the living room.
Joel was at this race supporting me, it was awesome having him there. He stood on the shore at the 500 meter point to cheer me on, its always great seeing him cheer me on when I am feeling crappy. He is so supportive of everything I do, and is always happy to help me in any way he possibly can. My friend Jennifer, that I met at the YMCA pool did this race too, she is an awesome swimmer, she finished in 1:10. She was waiting for me at the finish line, pulled me out of the water after I crossed it, and gave me a congratulatory hug, but for me it was more like a "hold on to me, I am going to fall down" hug.
So, now I feel better about the swim at Ironman Louisville. The time limit is 2:20 and I now know I can do 2.4 miles in 1:36. The swim was the only part of the race I was worried about, and now I have the confidence that I will get though the swim, and be allowed to continue on into transition 1 and then onto my bike. Speaking of my bike, it is being painted right now, hot pink. I pick it up on Tuesday, as well as get it put back together, then take it for a ride with the new paint job. I post pics as soon as I get home.