Thursday, September 21, 2006

My first 1/2 Ironman

Well I got to the resort where the race started at about 1 am Saturday. All day on Saturday there were Triathletes all over. I got quite intimidated. Got lots of food and rest and did a little swim and bike just to tap my heart rates.

This morning I was up and ready to go early (big surprise), I got to the transition and found I had a killer spot! We were then informed that the water was too warm, for wetsuits. Glad I had swam without it on Saturday. The swim was a giant wave with all the women starting together. It was a beach start (running into the water) - I kept asking myself why I was doing it. A minute later the gun went off and I knew. I love it. The swim was great and I felt so strong. About 400 meters into it I felt my ankle strap with my chip get lose. I grabbed it as it was coming off and held it the rest of the swim. 1.2 miles in 33 min! Oh my gosh was I excited fastest ever and I was so relaxed. Off to the bike and transition went well ( no wetsuit to worry about). Got on my bike and my computer fell off! Grabbed it and put it on and went.

The bike is always my most challenging part. I was with the girls that I went into the water with most of the way. The first part I was with them and had a good peddle stroke and felt strong. Gu every 30 min and water every 10. The pack cleared out at about 20 miles and I knew it was time to work. At about 35 miles I was by myself and felt like I was only getting passed. Keep the mind clear and do the plan... 85 cadence and 160 heart rate. The course was very hilly. I found out that rolling hills in another way of saying long hills. At about 45 miles my mind drifted as did the plan for about 5 or 6 miles. My butt and bike hurt so bad and I was ready to get off the bike. Got my mind straight and went to work as I had some time to make up. The bike course was long and we knew it 58 miles. I was happy to get to the last down hill and get the same speed I had the day before on fresh legs (31 mph)! That was motivating to get me done.

Off the bike and to the run. Good transition, but got emotional. Started to cry when I say my DH. Then decided not good to waste the energy and then started to wheeze as I stopped crying. WTF, get a hold of yourself. The legs were heavy and lots of people walking. I decided that no matter what I would not walk. I would let some people go and just stay with the plan..Hr at 160-170. The course was evil. 2 long loops of hills. I could never tell who was leading, who was on what loop, I felt as though I saw the same people coming and going 15 times. I saw one girl walking and also noticed her number was 69! I said lets get this done. Turns out she is an ultra marathoner and it was her first as well. We had a chuckle and then were on our way. Just as I was finishing my second loop and thought I was headed back I realized they had added another " dog-leg" to the course to get all 13.1. This was hard, but I would not walk. the last mile seemed to take forever. Came around the corner and saw the finish line and glanced at my watch and realized I was on goal!

Hesitant to make a prediction, I had said that I thought that 6.5 or 7 hours would be expected. I would be thrilled beyond words to do a 6. My watch time was 6:01:45 and I found out my official time was the same! My average bike was 18.8 and my swim was 33 minutes. Not sure about the run as we left before the split was added. I finished 11th in my age group and not sure of overall.

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