Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ironman Racine 70.3 {2016 Race Recap}

This isn't the race recap I thought I'd be writing. Of course we all go into races thinking everything will be *perfect* but sometimes it doesn't happen. You have 2 choices at this point- get pissed off and waste energy at circumstances out of your control, or roll with it and make the best out of the situation. I chose the latter. I can't fault the race directors for anything. Communication was clear, and I'm glad they salvaged what they could out of this race.

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)

T2: 3:26

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 11

This week was a much needed and appreciated cutback week. With all that's been going on at work, a reduction of time spent working out left me feeling fresh and rejuvenated- just in time for race week!

The main low/highlights of the week were my 2 swims. I went out to the lake on Saturday and the water was super choppy. I tried to swim in the washing machine like conditions, but couldn't do more than doggy paddle. I left that swim feeling mildly deflated- if the water in Racine was anything like Saturday, I would likely DNF the swim. I went back on Sunday and arrived to a very calm lake. I warmed up for 1000 yards over a few intervals and then went for 1.3+ miles which felt amazing. I got into a nice groove and could have kept going for a while. I was happy to leave the week on 3440 yards instead of giving up after the pitiful 500 I did on Saturday.

CB was super cute and precious as always.

There was a nice rainbow over the lake during the week.

Birthday morning I went for a run with my boys- best way to start my bday for sure!

For my birthday dinner, we went to MFK and it was so delicious.

Overall I'm feeling pretty good despite the high volume of workouts and work stress. I've gotten pretty down on myself about this whole process more often than any other race I've trained for during the past few months. Battling this negativity has been hard at times- the more negativity you let in, the more it multiplies. I want to believe I've finally gotten past all of that within the last week, because I really can't sustain if I'm dwelling on so much negativity.

Looking forward:

IM Racine is this coming weekend!

Days until Racine 4

Days until I become an Ironman: 60

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 10

I've reached the halfway mark with my training, and I just want it to be over with. I'm completing most of the workouts in my plan but still feel like I'm not doing enough. I almost wish I cared a lot less- it's not like I'm trying to qualify for anything or even hit a certain time (sure, I do have time "goals" but only for training purposes because who knows how things will go on race day) but I cannot half ass the training for races I am doing. I'll never understand the mentality of signing up for races and not doing the work. My only goal is to put in solid training which will enable me to execute the race to the best of my ability, finish upright and not end up in the med tent.

I think that most of my frustration comes from not swimming as much as I need to. Currently I'm swimming 1x a week, or in this week's case- 0x. Once I start going to the lake and pool 2x a week (minimum) I am sure I'll feel much better about everything and this anxious bullshit ive been dealing with will subside. I just need to feel more confident in the water. I'm not looking to drop my pace much- as currently the 2:00-2:15/100yards will get me in with plenty of time to spare in the half and full. I just want to feel good about it. Instead of being mediocre at 1 sport, now I'm mediocre at 3!

I knew I'd be training a lot when I signed up for the half and full back in October. I also thought that I'd still be in my (then) current accounting role. By January I thought I'd either be still accounting or laid off by August- what I didn't expect was to take a new role within my company. I love my new role, but the learning curve is steep at times and I'm also transitioning my accounting stuff to people in another state. So it's like 2.56x the work I am used to. Couple that with all this extra training (luckily most of it is on the weekend) and I feel burnt out at times. I'll be happy when it's all over in a few months.

Last Tuesday, We participated in the Run to the Plaza event. It was a nice break from my usual solo training. We met up with friends and had a good time.

We also hit Reggies roof top after work one day. Much needed break from everything.

We had our 18th MRC Chicago run on Saturday. As always, it's super fun with a great group of people. Our next run is August 6 at 11:10am at Northdown. JOIN US!!

We spent the 4th relaxing and eating good food with friends. A great way to end the long weekend.

Looking forward:

•Go swim.

•Stop being so hard on myself.

•Start getting a nutrition plan together for IM Racine.

12 days until IM Racine 70.3

68 days until IM Wisconsin 140.6