Florida Half-Ironman 70.3
I have learned a few things about the night before a race. First I love to eat chicken fettuccini alfredo. I also like to drink one good beer. I don't go to bed too early because I won't be able to sleep. I will need to work on this tactic for longer distance events. I slept better for this race then the last triathlon. I still didn't get much sleep, but there were no interruptions. I met some of my blogger friend Shirley and Brent the day before. It was great talking with them.
I woke at 3am. Yikes. I knew it wasn't going to be fun, but I had to be at the race between 4:30-5:00am. My crew (Nicole, Mrs. Beachman and Vicki) all left the hotel at 4:15am. We were very close to Disney so the drive wasn't bad. We parked in the Grumpy parking lot in Disney World. We took a shuttle to the Fort Wilderness Lodge. All the bikes were setup the night before so all we had to do was setup our transitions (shoes, socks, helmet, etc).
I love taking my time because I want everything just right. I went to the bathroom a couple of times and watched a few waves start. My wave was 15 of 17. My race time was set at 7:15am. I was in line for the restroom one last time just 15 min before the race.
Race day always comes quickly. My age group (25-29) lined up and before we knew it, it was time to start. The swim always makes me nervous. I was a little more nervous because of my torn ligament in my left hand from the bike crash a few weeks ago. I had a new splint on to protect it.
I was very happy that I was able to breath on both sides. I felt like everyone kept passing me, but I kept going. I bopped my hand on someone during the race and it hurt. The pain passed and I kept swimming. I rounded the buoys with no troubles. Before I knew it, I was on the last turn. I wasn't swimming extra hard because I knew it was going to be a long day.
My initial goal was to swim in 45:00 minutes. My total time was 48:52.
The transition started with a 200 yard run. I passed a few people along the way. I found my transition spot right away. I sat down, used my extra water bottle to wipe my feet of sand and grass. I struggled a little with my left sock, but managed to get it on. Next were my shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and off I went. My total time was 3:55.
I struggled once again with my race number and race belt. I had to stop and try to fix it. I gave up and stuck it in my back pocket. I made sure it was showing a little.
I may have started off too fast, but I was so happy to be on the bike and was cruising along. I am glad that I didn't preview the course prior because it would have been nearly impossible. I had 3 PowerGels, 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle of Gatorade, 1/2 bottle of Gatorade endurance. I think I should have drank more liquids. One of the aid stations had pirates. I shouted “arg mate” to someone along the course.
I always give other racers encouragement. I passed so many people along the ride that I couldn't talk to everyone along the way. Towards the end of the ride I was short of breath. I wonder why? Maybe I was talking too much?
My mileage from the bike computer was off a little, but it didn't seem to matter too much. I grabbed some water at the third aid station and it was warm. I started too phase out towards the end. The last 10 miles were tough. My butt was sore and I was ready to be finished. I slowed down quite a bit at times, but re-gained speed. The hills...if that’s what you called them, were not bad.
The last mile or two flew by fast. I didn't pass many more people and I remember passing the penalty station. I was hoping they wouldn't see that my bib wasn't on right. My total bike time was 2:52:24.
The second transition seemed pretty quick, even though the time doesn't show it. I ran in changed my shoes, ate a PowerGel, put on my hat, stopped at the potty and off I went. My total time was 3:02.
My head hurt just a little from time to time, but didn't seem to bother me much. I was ready to catch up now. As I started I just knew that it was going to be an interesting run. I missed mile 1 and finally clocked my time at mile 2. I started off with 8:00/mile. I slowed down after mile two. My goal was to run low 7:00 minute miles and I was running 9:00 minutes miles. What?? I couldn't run any faster, but I also couldn't run any slower.
Aid stations!! Half-Ironman aid stations rock! I drank water and Gatorade endurance at every aid station. Ice water seemed to keep my cool. I enjoyed the ice-cold sponges which helped keep the sweat off and the heat away. It was smoking hot when the sun was out, but it would tuck away in the clouds from time to time.
The first lap was slow. I thought I was going to run faster on the next two laps. I cannot believe that I kept a slower pace the entire way. I ran almost the entire time. I walked during some of the aid stations. It was hard to pass people sometimes because there wasn't enough room to pass. I lost my race number on the second lap. I was searching for it on the third lap because I wanted my name announced at the finish.
I walked at the last aid station, grabbed more liquids and off I went. I had one mile left and I was going to finish. I rounded the corner and didn't see anyone near me. I didn't kick it into high gear, but I finished strong. I forgot to stop my watch right away, which is nothing new. My total run time was 1:58:44
My name was announced just before I finished. I was so happy!! As my name was announced I pointed my hands in the air. I did it! I got a medal, t-shirt, bag, and a hat at the end. I grabbed some water and found my family. I couldn't stand for long so I sat.
I felt a little sick, but I knew that I would be all right. I talked with my family for a while and eventually sat in line for a message. The message really helped with my recovery! I eventually found a piece of pizza. The piece took me almost a half hour to eat. Nicole took me back to the hotel. I took a shower and off to bed I went. My total time was 5:46:57
My goals were off, but I like to over achieve. My training was a huge success. Everything really paid off and my journey has ended. It doesn't stop from here. My next journey is IRONMAN in 2008. Until then I have another half-ironman in Boulder, CO in August.