I know that I have the intention to keep this a weight loss blog, but I wanted to give everyone a race report and this seemed like a pretty good place to do it! So yesterday was the Toyota Challenge Half Ironman. It was by far the most difficult event I have EVER participated in. Here's my recap...
I guess I should start by saying that I was a nervous wreck all last week - not eating, feeling nauseous, crying at the drop of a hat... tons of fun for my poor Tom! :) We went to the park on Saturday to get our gear and swim the lake. I was really worried about the distance and the water was really rough last year making the swim miserable for me. I think I had that in the back of my mind. We got there about 1:00pm and went to the water. It was really rough again. Tom and I decided to swim just one lap of the rectabgle course (Sunday I'd be swiming 2). We got about 1/2 of the way done and Tom stopped to tell me that it was too rough for him and that he was wasting more energy than he thought we needed too. So much for me being comfortable about the swim! We left, met mom and dad at the resort which is where we spent Saturday evening. We had a great time that night, a couple of nervous breakdowns for me, but a good night.
Sunday morning came early, but Tom and I had done most of the prep for the race ahead of time so we pretty much dressed, ate and left. When we got to the start area, it was hopping, and our assigned racks were already filled. We decided to venture to the overdraft rack and noone was there! YEAH! So we were able to rack together, at the end by the fence so mom and dad could be right next to us during transition. I was feeling good at this point - I guess because I've been there enough times to know that others where feeling the exact same way I was.The race was supposed to start at 8:30 (our waves didn't go until 9:04 and 9:06) so we wandered down to the beach with mom and dad around 8:40. The water was glass. I couldn't be happier! I knew that the swim wasn't going to be so terrible. Tom and I got our wetsuits on, got in the water for a bit and then watched as the race started (it was late in starting, but we've learned that's not really anything new in the world of triathlon!) Janet and Jay got met us about 5 minutes before our waves and I got real nervous again. What had I gotten myself into?
I seated myself in the back of my wave knowing that I'm most comfortable back there. After one last wave to Tom and the family, I was off. I felt great and got into my rhythm very quickly. THe water was wonderful - not too cold and very calm so I was relaxed from the start. I had a few people swim over me and grab me, but it wasn't horrible. Almost 1/2 way through the race someone grabbed my leg on a turn. I kicked them pretty hard trying to get them off of me. About 3 seconds later the person was around me and I look up to see it was Tom. He waved and I later found out that he didn't mean to crab me at all and apologized. He didn't know that it was me until he had already passed. So it was a 2 lap course, 1.2 miles and my swim time including the long run up the hill to transition was 41:54. I was pleased, as I had been aiming for 45:00.
No problems here. Mom and dad were right next to me. I dried off a little, grabbed my helmet and shoes, stuffed some jelly beans in my bag as was off. T1 time - 2:23
The bike was a 3 look course and I had ridden most of it last year. I say most because the half has an extra 6 mile loop added to it which Tom told me about. The first lap when great. Right as I was leaving the park I saw a familiar car and realized it was Kristen! She had come to see us and was told she couldn't get into the park! It was awesome knowing she was there!!! There are some bigger hills toward the end of each lap and I felt great climbing. I was ahead of my time and even saw Tom on part of the course and he smiled knowing that I had a good swim and was feeling good on the bike. Right before I went into the park to do my turn around, I decided I should eat part of my PB&J sandwich. I took it out, ate 1/4 of it and then dropped the bag. Not good as I know that would be very important to me. I come to the turn around with mom, dad and Kristen there and tell them about my sandwich, laughing saying that I need to go pick it up. ON the way out, I saw the bag and did indeed stop. Good thing because I ended up eating the whole thing! The second and third lap were pretty uneventful, except the wind started really picking up and that made my times each lap a little longer. I started to get kind of broed with the course by about mile 50 and was glad when it was done! so 56 miles and I averaged 17.4 mph - 3:13:25 - not too bad fr the wind and the hills!
Came in quickly, changed shoes, put my race number on, grabbed two packs of beans and was off. T2 time was 1:57.
Now the fun started. I really had to use the bathroom right at the start of the run. Luckily there were porta johns waiting. I was happy with this, kowing that I had drank enough on the bike. Mom, dad and Kristen cheered me off as I started the first 6.55 mile lap. I felt like I had a bad case of triathlon legs, but knew that they would quickly go away. The first mile came and with the potty break, I was at 10 minutes. I thought, "this is great, although I need to watch my speed or I'll die at the end". I was feeling good. The day had gotten REALLY hot and the sun was blasating down. For some reason, all of the wind that we had felt on the bike was nowhere to be found on the run. I couldn't really get my body cooled and I started feeling myself slow down around mile 4. I knew that it was going to be a long day. I saw everyone at the turn around point but had started feeling pretty bad. I walked through the aid station with them there and at a pack of beans. I was extremely salty, but drinking water and Infinite at each aid statation. I was still worried that I was losing too much salt for the day. The second lap was horrible. I was barely shuffling along and could feel that my IT was tight - I knew I had puched my gears on the bike and I shouldn't have. I saw Tom at mile 7. He looked great and was on his last mile. He was going to PR. He asked how I was doing and stupidly I burst into tears. I can't lie to him and I was feeling pretty miserable. He kept apologizing thinking that it was his fault that I signed up for the race and I finally said that I'd be fine and would just be run/walking the rest. That lasted about another 2 miles. Then I just started walking. I couldn't drink anything because I was so bloated. I knew that the water and electrolyts that I had drank were just sitting in my stomach. I started to cramp pretty bad. And it was so hot. The walk was horribly slow, but at that point, everyone around me was walking too. At about 12.5 miles, I thought that I might pass out. At this point I hadn't drank for about 4 miles, and was having a hard time catching my breath. I'm sure that had something to do with wanting to cry, but I just kept saying "only another 1/2 mile!!!". I knew that I was way off from my time goal of 6:30 and I didn't even care. I came into the park with Tom, Janet, Jay, Kristen, Mom and Dad cheering me on. I shuffled o the finish shoot, burst out in tears and was done! Final time, 6:55:44.
The lady to take my chip came up and was concerned because I wasn't sweating at all. After volunteering at IM Louisville, I knew to tell her that I hadn't drank anything in about an hour. She immediately got the medics to my side. They checked my vitals and kind of kept an eye on me, but I was able to get a bottle of water down and sitting felt great. Everyone was so proud of me, but all I could do was cry. I was so happy that it was over!!! :) And I wasn't mad at my time. I wasn't even remotly disappointed. It was the hardest race I had ever done and I'm glad that I can say I did it. I know that I had a bad day and that it had nothing to do with my fitness level, but I learned that I'm not into long distance racing and the only way I was going to learn this was to try it. Tom still keeps apologizing and I keep telling him that I'm so happy I did the race because I know I don't want to do another! :) He did great though - had a PR time of 5:35 and came in first by a long shot in his division (and yes, this time there were more people in his age group!). He was so excited, although I think that was muted slightly by his worries of me! God love him!
So today we're taking it easy. It's Tom's b-day and I think we might fill orders and then take the day off. I'm pretty sore, and very sunburnt so I'm looking forward to just doing nothing! Maybe we'll go shop - retail therapy always does a woman's soul some good!