Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ironman Florida 70.3

I am now flying home from Florida after an awesome week of racing, training and relaxing in the warm sunshine. I am smiling ear to ear because I couldn’t have asked for a better first race of the season. I accomplished all my goals and pleasantly surprised myself with my race day nutrition and run. Of course, it was far from a perfect race (do those even exist?) but my mistakes are fixable. I finally feel I belong racing with the top girls. The most exciting part is that I still haven’t even hit my hardest training blocks! I am so pumped to get back and throw down some epic days. Eagleman is in 4 weeks.

Florida 70.3 Race day


My body was surprisingly very relaxed before the start of the race. No warm-ups were allowed before the swim so I pretty much stood daydreaming. I knew my swim was a hopeless cause. I positioned myself in the back of the 13-girl pack and watched as all the other pros did massive arm circles, water splashing, and running in place. I contemplated the notion of warming up but really, what’s the point? I knew no amount of arm circles was going to get me to a 26-minute swim so mine as well conserve energy.

The cannon goes off. I woke up and attempted to stay with the pack. I soon realized (1 minute of sheer horror) that my lungs and arms were not going to have any part of a high intensity swim and I watched the group swim off into the distance. One other girl was unable to hold on and we swam together…side by side with her hitting me every other stroke. I would have much rather been alone! Other than my sidekick, it was uneventful and slow. As in slow, I mean officially last pro out of the water. I wasn’t feeling to happy with myself when I saw my swim time and to make things worse, I was running on the matted transition to the bikes and a lady started yelling that I had to turn left! Turn left! I didn’t think I should have turned but I do as I am told. I quickly questioned her and said I am racing pro (you would not have guessed it with my swim time) and she said, “I thought you were a challenged athlete”. Thanks.

Swim Time – 31:40


I had some work to do on the bike. I knew some of the girls were not too far out of reach. I watched a few of the top swim pack stragglers run out of the water about 2 minutes ahead of me. I had to put the slow swim behind me and hit the bike hard. I ran with my bike shoes in hand to avoid any mount line wipeouts and then, I was off. The first thing I notice…my aero bottle is in backwards. Ugh! I wish I could say that was only the first time I have done that but it is not. I obviously would have been at least 5 minutes faster with a correctly positioned aero bottle.

I quickly ate about 350 calories. I always like to get my solid calories down early and transition myself to liquid calories towards the run. It is so much easier on my stomach. At mile 15, I went to grab my bars out of my bento box and my bag of salt pills flew out onto the road. At first, I considered leaving them but the smart me said go back and pick them up! I went back and picked up as many as I could manage only losing about 2. I lost maybe 1-2 minutes and that is much better then a 13.1 mile walk.

After the salt dropping, I went into my big 11 and hammered knowing I had to make up time. Not the smartest plan yet it worked. I slowly picked off girls. I was positioned 8th and could actually see Lisa Bentley in the horizon. Bentley has running skills and I sort of just cruise not crush on the run. It was a nice feeling to be within striking distance for the moment.

I felt very confident with my nutrition, hydration, and salt intake going to the run. My legs felt a little smashed and the fears that I won’t be able to run start to creep in. I honestly knew I would be fine as I had done so many ‘bad feeling’ brick runs off the bike that turned out awesome.

Bike Time – 2:28


I was 8th place going into the run. I knew I had some girls that weren’t too far behind me so I had to try and get into a solid pace early. It took about 2 miles to find some decent running legs and my stomach to feel less water and calorie logged.

I saw Bentley not too far ahead on the 1st loop and I thought that I may have a small chance of catching her but alas, she is a runner. At that point, I knew I wasn’t making ground on any of the girls in front of me so now the plan was too make sure I hold off the girls behind me. My pace was perfect and knew if I could hold it I would be fine. If I was challenged, I would have been able to kick (painfully) into another gear. The last loop I simply held my pace and cruised into the beautiful finish.

Run Time – 1:32

8th place pro women.

Race – 4:36
22 minutes faster than last year. Love it!


Eric said...

great report congratulations