We arrived in Racine Saturday afternoon to check in and rack Mortadella. The process was fairly simple.
The village was cool and had a lot of vendors, and the expo had everything you could possibly need pre race. I bought some Ironman branded merch- a shirt with all participant's names on it, a mug, and a running singlet. I was super excited for Sunday morning.
After racking Mortadella, we walked over to the beach. It looked so calm. I decided not to swim in favor of checking into the hotel and having an early dinner. We went to Olive Garden and I had some chicken parm with a glass of wine.
Race morning I woke up early and ate my go to breakfast of Belvita biscuits and some apple sauce- along with some Osmo pre load. I was nervous but looking forward to completing my first 70.3. As we walked to the car to head to the race, I almost stared crying. I was so nervous.
Knowing that storms were approaching, we parked a mile from transition in a garage- in case of hail or other damaging conditions. The sunrise was gorgeous.
I fiddled with my stuff in transition while the announcer said not to go to the swim start (a mile up the beach) and wait for more instructions. There were 2 main bands of storms approaching and the swim would be delayed. We took shelter under a gazebo and waited out the first storm. It was near the end of this storm that we noticed the swim buoy markers being pulled in. The swim was officially cancelled shortly after. (The water temp was 57 and there were now large waves. I wasn't bummed to miss those conditions).
After the first storm passed it was announced that the race wouldn't start until 10:30, so we decided to go to the famous Danish Bakery in town and eat some Danishes.
Around 9:30 we decided to head back to the race so I could get my transition area set up again. The race was now shortened to a 31.4 mile bike (from 56) and the full 13.1 run. Yay ultra duathlon!
The bike start was rolling start/time trial in nature. Basically we went row by row (older athletes first- just like the swim start would have been) and walked our bikes to the start, hopped on and took off up the hill.
I was excited to start the abbreviated race, but much of my enthusiasm and momentum from the morning was gone. I felt depleted and tired since I had now been up almost 7 hours by the time I took off around 11am.
My race goals went from the original plan of: "finish strong, hydrate properly" to "hammer the bike to kill my legs, hydrate properly, and run around 2 hours for the half." I felt great on the bike. I tried to push the pace as much as possible despite 20+mph winds blowing us around on the course like rag dolls.
The roads sucked (not a surprise based on every recap I read before the race). A constant bone shaking DuhDUNK every 5 seconds as we rode over the pavement cracks was so jarring. The wind was deafening. When we got to a smooth section of pavement with a tailwind it was eerily quiet. The course was pretty crowded for almost its entirety. After 5-10 miles I would be passing folks, and groups of younger guys on fancy bikes would go zooming by passing me. I wonder if the course would have seemed as crowded had the swim happened.
I got into transition, racked Mortadella, then changed into my MRC shirt & Newtons for the run. I took off out of transition and started my watch. I checked my pace a mile in, and was shocked to see high 7:xx's- especially because I just hammered the bike and also because it was warm out. I decided since the pace felt easy, to just go with it.
I felt pretty good- and was passing loads of people on the run which also motivated me a ton. I ran over to L when I saw him and gave him a big hug and kiss- he was on skype with his parents the first time I saw him so I was able to wave to Mae and Pai in Brasil. They also saw me on the bike portion zooming by. Technology is so damn cool.
I decided to walk through every aid station so I could properly hydrate. I was surprised to see red bull and coke as offerings- I passed on the red bull, but some warm coke at mile 4 hit the spot. The cold sponges were amazing! I also stuffed ice down my sports bra (yay for hidden pockets!) and dumped water on my head at every aid station to stay cool. The course had some rolling hills to keep it interesting- parts of it ran along the beach and zoo- it was pretty.
I kept on keeping on at my now low 8:00 pace, only getting passed by the pros who were on their second lap. I was having a blast high fiving people and chatting with some of the runners. I kicked it in for the final .1 and flew to the finish line where I was doing a happy dance as I crossed. I had just ran my 4th fastest half marathon only behind my PR of 1:44 and 2 other 1:46's. I'm consistent.
Despite the shortened course, I was happy with how my race went. (For the most part)
I ate some oranges, drank Sprite and then went to collect mortadella and my bag from transition. My first 70.3 (44.5) was over. I felt a bit deflated after the race though because it felt like more of a normal workout than a race.
Total: 3:31:10 15/72 AG, 94/Women, 469/OA (31.4 mile bike + 13.1 run)
Bike: 1:41:13 (47/AG, 324/Women, 1212/OA)
Run: 1:46:31 (15/AG, 94/Women, 469/OA)
Apparently running is my strong event. Not a surprise.
After getting cleaned up at the hotel, we celebrated my first 44.5 duathlon finish at Red Lobster.
Monday morning we returned to Chicago.
•Salt pill before bike
•Gu at miles 11/20 of bike
•1 bottle of Osmo consumed on bike- not enough. Tried to drink more, but wasn't thirsty. Should aim to drink 25oz every hour.
•Salt pills @ start, 4,8 of run
•Gu at miles 4,9 of run
•Walked through all aid stations (only drank water and one coke)
•Chaffing from my tri shorts on the run. Likely because I was soaked. (wont wear them for the run in the full)
•T2 time a little high because I changed from my cycling jersey to my MRC shirt. in the Ironman I will do the same plus change into running shorts, because comfort over 140.6 is important.
Asides from not meeting my hydration goals on the bike, I felt great (a little dehydrated).
I seriously considered signing up for another 70.3 next month, but decided not to because I don't want to throw any more money at this process this year. Plus, the weather could be shit again, plus all the stress and nervous anxiety I go through.
Next race: Ironman Wisconsin 140.6