1/2 Ironman Race Recap
So if you have been following my journey for long you know that this summer has not gone as planned. I was entered in the Syracuse race, but had to drop out due to injury. I then registered for Muskoka, and Brittany qualified for the World Championships in Vegas the same day! I couldn’t miss that so Muskoka was out the window. I was just about to call it a season when I decided I would have to get creative. I created my own event! I mapped out a 1/2 Ironman course locally and treated it like a real race.
My morning began at the edge of the St. Lawrence river for my 2km swim. The water was nice, although there was many scuba divers to contend with. I pretended that they were race competitors, lol. I finished the 2k swim in 49:49, a much better time than I had expected, my goal was 55 minutes.
I ran over to my transition area (being monitored by my race support team, Jackie) and stripped off my wetsuit and got ready for the long bike ahead of me. My route took me through Lynn, Merrickviile, Maynard, and a few other smaller towns. The last 25 kms my butt was really starting to hurt and I was looking forward to getting off the bike. Of course, I had a couple big hills ahead of me before I would make it to my second transition. I finished the bike in 3:17:17. My pace had slowed a bit as at one point I thought I had a shot at a 3:10 performance on the bike.
At my second transition point Jackie and Brittany had cold bottled water and frozen bananas ready for me. I had a quick drink of water, grabbed some more GU gels, and was on my way. Unfortunately is was getting hot at this point, it was about 1pm and 30 degrees, and I had a 1/2 marathon ahead of me.
The first 12k of the run felt good. I was closely monitoring my speed as I didn’t want to burn out before the finish line. At about the 13km mark things started to hurt. First it was my left knee, then my right calf. It was cramping time, yikes. I tried to keep up with my nutrition but it felt like there wasn’t enough water in the world to keep me hydrated, that is not a good sign. Jackie met me at the 15th km with a bottle of Infinit, my liquid nutrition of choice. It really helped and more than that the moral support was much needed at that point. With 3 kms to go it was a real gut check. If I would have sat down I wouldn’t have gotten back up. I was hot, cramped, sunburnt, and about to finish my first 1/2 Ironman distance. I completed the final 3 kms to make it 21k in total. My run time was 2:28:32.
Overall I did the 113kms in 6:44:46, a full 25 minutes better than my goal pace! I was super excited to have finished, let alone done it in under 7 hours!
It was tough, not having other competitors around me made for a lonely day out on the roads. I think with others around me my time might have been better as I am competitive and others would have pushed me.
For my race nutrition I had three bottles of Infinit, two on the bike and one on the run. I also ate 6 GU gels (Vanilla Beam, yumm). I had three GU’s on the bike and three on the run. Trust me, I don’t want to see another GU for a few weeks….
In the end, it was not how I had planned to finish my first 1/2 Ironman. I didn’t get a medal, there were no screaming crowds at the finish line. In some ways, the way I did it seemed like more of an accomplishment, just me and my thoughts the entire time, knowing I could stop at any time, but didn’t.
Now that I know I can do it, the medals will come sometime soon, stay tuned.
See you at the finish line…….