Just completed my first Half Iron!!! :D
First off I have to say I'm extremely happy with how I pulled through and actually finished. I was figuring there was a 50-75% of having DNF (been pretty sick.) So going into this race, my goal was not racing, but getting through, and completing the entire thing. Finishing will be important for my mindset going into Ironman training November 1st.
In my racing, my coaches like to go over race strategy and pacing with me..but for this race, it was..."just listen to your body and get the experience." I actually enjoyed doing a race like this, no expectations, really quite relaxing. :D
I woke at 4a.m. with only 4 hours sleep..Never get much sleep race night. I arrived at Utah Lake State Park about 5:15 and head over to transition to set up. I took the rack that was right at the bike exit so that I wouldn't have to run far in my cycling shoes (They don't flex.) I had some fun socializing with the other triathletes as I was really relaxed, not nervous like I have been at previous races. The set up was very much like every other race I have done, except I brought along some mosquito spray which a whole crowd of people borrowed...(The mosquitos were eating me even with the spray on!)
I head over to the swim with Megan, a girl I met at my first tri, Icebreaker, in the spring. We helped eachother zip up our suits, and swam into position.
I got some new Sables for this race, since someone stole mine at Scofield in July, expensive ($50) but the most comfortable goggles.
The Swim: Our swim wave took off just after 7a.m. It was all the women. I just love open water, so I really had a blast swimming the 2 loop 1.2mile swim. The only thing is my rhythm was off for the first few minutes and I kept inhaling a bit of water and having to stop and hack it out. I was very calm and collected and just kept swimming. For this race I got a new wetsuit, as my other is pretty warm. You really don't want to be hot swimming. This one is slightly less insulated, and sleeveless..I was totally comfortable, and love the feel of my arms free in the water. My official time was 47:30. I got out of the water somewhere around 45:00 and then took off my wetsuit before getting into transition because when I started running the tightness on my calves made them want to cramp. (Womens wetsuits are not made for my build.) I may end up cutting the suit just below my knees for my next season.
T1: Normally my lollygagging in transition would make my coaches squirm but I didn't care and I don't think they did either. I just needed to be comfortable for this race. During the swim I noticed the volunteer earlier had wrote the wrong # on my arm so I had James (Who was waiting for his wife to finish her swim) change 232 to 238 on my arms and leg, which ended up sweating off anyhow. OH, and I applied chap stick. :D 2:25
The Bike: Just a few minutes into the bike it started to rain. I was excited, seemed adventurous, but it only lasted 5 minutes or so and it cleared up. About mile 5 I noticed my Speedfill watertank was loose and getting more loose every second, it started banging on my right calf and did so until mile 15 aid station where I stopped and asked for tape. No tape. But I did have my tool kit, and my friend Joe who happened to be volunteering ran over to help. The tank had to be unscrewed and taken off to fix the mount.This really probably only took about 3 minutes but it was wasted time. Because of construction there was a stoplight on the way out and back that would not be stopped by police. The police were there to observe and keep it save, but if we got a red light we had to stop. I got the red light both ways! :P At mile 32 or so, my chain fell off so I had to stop and fix that..Lol. All my stopping made me have to pass the same people 3 times. 2:51:43/56 miles
Nutrition wise, I had planned on 250 calories an hour but I found this was not enough. I did have a few spare items to eat in case. I ended up eating those as well. I noticed a trend in my energy...at first I thought, "wow..I really hit the wall, I'm going to tank bad on this race faster than projected." But what I decided to do was eat some more and see if it helped. It did. My timing was a bit off tho, What I need to do is eat Before I start tanking. If you are wondering, this type of race runs me about 4000calories burned.
T2: This was like the spa version of Transition. On the bike, I Had spit early on and it landed on my shoulder and dripped into my pit. This made for a nice rash growing under my arm..so I walked to the bathroom which was close to the transition bike entrance/exit where I was on the front line. I didn't run because my legs were starting to cramp. I went to the sink and splashed all over my body and rinsed my face. Since I wasn't worried about race finish time, I was going to be comfortable. I peed and blew my nose and walked back to get my running shoes, hat, and bib# on, I also took an SCap salt tablet..was starting to wish I had more to take on the run. 5:11
The Run: Just around the corner from Transition I saw coach Mahogani on the sidelines, I went over to her and yelled out.."Salt. I need salt. Do you have any?" It was just about basic like that. I am not a conversationalist during a race. :) She said she would have some by lap two. There was an aid station early on and I got tempted by a pretzel..I thought I can just suck the salt and spit the rest out, come to find out it wasn't super salty and I thought maybe I can eat it, I won't get too sick till later..I chewed it two times and spit it out. (Allergy) My senses came back, and I thought I can duke it out till mile 6.5. I also have recently had allergic reactions to watermelon (Throat closing up, rashing, itching, pins and needles in face, and swelling, nauseated stomach) and bananas so I wasn't able to eat those on the run either. I ended up eating a few orange wedges, and the rest of my calories came from Coke. I was not able to run fast at all, any time I sped up I would start to cramp. So I kept it a slow steady easy pace pretty even throughout. Mahogani did come through with the Thermolyte tablets, and I ended up taking 9 of them over the next 4 miles. I think these may have kept me in the race. 1:52:21/13.1miles
100 meters or so from the finish:
Normally I think a person would be really sad and ashamed not racing up to athletic ability but I was so pleased to just finish. Having a tough race grants you great experience. Knowing what can go wrong is probably more important for Ironman than having perfect races, and perfect health leading up to it.
I'm So Proud of Myself!!! :D