Monday, September 29, 2014

Part 1 of 2, The Race.....

The whole reason I started blogging was because of Ironman Florida. Participating in Half Ironman Augusta was part of the training process. I don't think this is news to anyone, but I've never participated in any long-course triathlon. Sunday gave me a chance to put everything together and see how it came out.

I'm going to try and stay focused on my race in this blog, but please read the next one about the people, because one of the reasons this was such a great weekend was because of the people. I'll be name dropping throughout cause for me, there is no way to tell the story without the people.

Transition: Got there nice and early, met up with Stephanie to use her pump and got everything laid layed set out. Stephanie and I were in the same wave, so we agreed on time and location to meet up and she headed out to regroup with her husband. Sarah (who had dropped me off) let me know where she was waiting for me and then she drove me up to St. Paul's to hang out for awhile.

The Swim: 1.2 miles in 30:14 (age group ranking 69)
Nutrition: pb&j and a banana at about 6:30am and a Gu at 8 am.

Our wave didn't start until 8:32 (or something like that) but we wanted to be there for the start so I met up with Stephanie at the flag pole at 7:30 for the sky divers, National Anthem, and pro starts. Hung out by the river and then found our guy with our wave start and got in with the group.
Me and Lia with the other red caps in wave 16.
Very uncharacteristic of me, but I was excited. Ready to go. I wasn't nervous, I wasn't doubting my decision to sign up, I was ready! I was bouncing around and dancing. Hell, there might just have been a dance off between corral 16 and 17! I even was the voice of reason for another athlete who was getting a little anxious about the swim.

It was our turn and we were able to start in the water or out. All but 2 choose in the water. We just floated about and had a great opportunity to acclimate to the water temperature and find our space to swim. I started towards the middle as I was advised by many. The horn blew and off we went.

It was noticeable that the water was higher. I could see the weeds but barely had to go through them unlike Friday when they were wrapping around my watch. I swam. Nice and easy. I got bumped, I kept swimming. Frank will be happy to know I didn't start laughing when a woman kept tapping my feet. Only once did I have to push someone away. She hit my shoulder one too many times.

I ended up towards the shore, but it just made my exit that much easier. I swam until my finger tips hit the boat ramp and then I stood up and started pulling down my wetsuit.

Transition 1: 5:17
I decided to use the wetsuit strippers. I don't remember where I read it, but it said: Wetsuit to your hips, on your back, ass in the air. That was exactly what I did and 2 volunteers pulled that thing right off me! Trotted towards my bike (there was a lot of distance in and out of transition) got some sun screen slathered on my back and got to my place. Stephanie was right in front of me so I hollered to her: Middle row, first flag! I got to my bike, dried off my feet put my sock and shoes on and grabbed some Bag Balm and reapplied to my saddled area. Helmet, sunglasses and Stephanie and I ran out together. That was the last I saw her (she had a speedy awesome race!)

Bike: 56 miles, 3:12:41, 17.44 mph avg. (Age group ranking 82)
First split at mile 28: 1:40:26 (16.73 mph avg). Second Split at mile 56: 1:32:15 (18.21 mph avg).
Nutrition: almost 3 bottles of infinit nutrition

THE BIKE WAS AWESOME! Coach and I agreed that I would not worry about speed but focus on cadence. I didn't even have speed displaying. Cadence, mileage, and elapsed time were my display fields. I let people pass me, I just pedaled. Nice and easy. Comfortable, I had a long way to go. As I warmed up I was able to go faster.

I was passed. I did some passing. I'm guessing many of the age group (AG) winners of the younger AGs passed me by. I yielded to faster athletes that were maybe chasing that AG win. I took the pass when I could. I powered down the hills and stayed out of the way on the way up. I maxed out at 40 mph. WEEEEEE.

All season I've been trying to focus on a cadence of 90rpms. Sunday's average was 88!

I thanked the volunteers but didn't need anything from the aide stations. It was perfect riding weather and I didn't need anything I didn't already have on my bike. Ok, maybe not perfect, a tail wind would have been nice instead there was quite a bit of head wind.

Marc, you should skip this part:
My hoo-ha... many people have asked if I have resolved my saddle issues. I think I have! At the advice of Len (one hell of a local triathlete I randomly met at the LA Fitness pool over the winter) I have begun putting Hoo-ha Ride Glide on my short chamois the night before and letting it soak in. I used a stick on the creases of my legs and then as I mentioned above, I used Bag Balm very liberally. Minimal chafing which was Ah-Maz-Ing!
I got it at Rite Aid
I'm also 98% I'm going to ride on the Cobb SHC170 (at least I think that's what it is called). Yes, I'm going to keep it in pink! In the past I have been bruised by my long rides. No bruising from yesterday!

I got off the bike buzzing! I felt amazing. I was ready to run.

Transition 2: 4:45
I would have been out faster, but I had to pee. I actually had to go on the bike and even contemplated peeing on my bike, I just couldn't do it. Shoes switched, dropped my helmet and sunglasses and grabbed my visor, race belt, and fuel in a hand held water bottle.

The Run  13.35 miles (no, that wasn't a typo) 2:27:42, 11:16 avg (Age group ranking 91)
Nutrition: almost one serving of infinit nutrition and then at mile 10ish a vanilla Gu

If I had any disappointment in the event it was here in the run. I had no delusions of running a 10 minute mile but I thought I would be more consistent and just a little bit faster. Maybe 10:xx mile.

Augusta HIM is a double loop run course. It is incredibly spectator friendly. Sarah saw me take off out of transition and then drove ahead to get on to the course (and grab coffee). I was feeling good and ran right past the first aide station.

I decided I'd walk a moment at the second but not the full thing. My walking through aide stations became sporadic and unpredictable. Note to self: in Florida I will walk each and every aide station whether I need anything or not and then I will run again.

I loved the run in that I kept seeing people I knew! Lots of support. Great aide stations. Very nice kids (I now sound old) manning the course calling me ma'am. I'm thinking they were the high school JROTC or very young enlisted.

I never stopped moving forward and I never felt the desire to quit. Yes, I was ready to be done a few times, but never any desire to quit.
Ok, here's why I ran more than 13.1. It's a double loop course. There was a young man shouting out directions. He had a booming voice and a brilliant smile. It said first loop straight, finish to the right. I thought I had completed my first loop and figured I was starting my second. I turned to the right, saw the finish and thought: aww sh!t. I turned to the guy next to me as asked him his mileage. He said he was done. DAMN IT!! I turned around and ran back. The wind just left my sails. It was only an extra .25 miles, but I was really annoyed with myself.
At mile 7 I was done with my hand held water bottle. I couldn't sip on the infinit any more. I didn't want to hold on to my bottle. I needed it gone. I turned the corner around mile 8 and Mike from All3 Sports was standing there. He gave me a super genuine cheer and I turned to him and said: Take my bottle, I'll get it next week! And I threw it at him.
Sarah saw me around mile 12 and hollered at me: Next time I see you will be the finish line!
I turned around a building knowing I was in my last mile and with no spectators and no one watching me, I walked for about 50 feet. I then took a deep breath so I could finish strong.
I completely dorked out and looked behind me in the finishing shoot to see if anyone was behind me so that I could get a nice clean finisher's picture. I finished smiling, strong, hands in the air. I didn't even stop my watch until I was given my medal (Thanks Andy Shanks for the tip!). I'm hopeful my first 70.3 pictures come out well! (They did, I saw them this morning)
Sunday I identified that I need to work on my run nutrition. I had no issues with the infinit on my bike, but I couldn't stomach it for the run. My stomach started to cramp. I felt like it was sloshing. It just didn't work for me. I have 4 weeks to figure it out.
Last season my race stats went like this: bottom 10% swim, mid pack ride and top 25% run. This would average out to a nice race. Did you notice my age group ranking kept dropping as the events went on? If you didn't know better, you would think I was a swimmer!
Bottom line data:
Total time:6:20:30
Age group 91/187 (about 43 women DNS or DNF)
Overall 1554/3290
In sum, this is how I felt about the whole thing:

Thank you Luis for the picture!
I loved it! I truly enjoyed the whole event. I'm ready to commit to Augusta 70.3 for 2015! Physically, I'm a little sore like I did a long workout on Sunday. I'm going to lose 2 toes nails as I had blood blisters under both middle toes. I'm also going to go to Big Peach Running Company and consider getting different running shoes. I've been wearing the Saucony Guides for about 18 months (no, not the same pair) and recently they've been causing hot spots and blisters.
I know I'm not supposed to be thinking: OMG how am I going to be able to do this twice, but I am. Still not sure how that's going to happen, but I'm feeling more confident that it will (eventually).
I'm hoping to have the second half about the rest of the weekend posted later this week. It was an amazing weekend because of the event but more because of the people I got to hang out with and meet!


  1. Awesome recap! It was such an amazing day out there on the course. Your going to hill the race next year. Ill see ya there!

  2. Way to go! I was #89 in our age group so we are right there similar to each other!!! You really rocked the bike course - great pace!!!