If you read my highlights yesterday, you know how I did overall at Muncie. I wanted to give a full recap of the race today though!
The race weekend started with driving to the race site on Friday for athlete meetings, check in, and swim/bike/run warm-up. Check in, the meeting, and the swim went perfectly with no problems.
I was beginning to think we’d be out of the race site in only a few hours! Then we started getting my bike ready for the warm-up. It was a struggle! First the back wheel kept rubbing against the frame (turns out we had pumped it up too high), then the seat was too low (John adjusted it for me a couple days before), then the biggest problem-the derailleur was acting up BIG TIME. The shifting was horribly loud, it was skipping gears, and not shifting into others. John worked on it for about 2 hours with little improvement. We just couldn’t figure it out! Finally, a guy who parked next to us offered to help. We accepted and he discovered that the derailleur hanger was loose and crooked. He fixed it quickly, and that took care of the problem! After we figured out the bike, I got in a quick easy warm up run, and then checked my bike in for the night. We then went to dinner, checked in at our hotel, prepped everything for race day, and were in bed by 8:30pm! Earliest I’ve ever been able to go to bed prior to a race!
Race morning started at 4:30am. We were out of bed and left the hotel by 5am. We were a half hour from the race site, so we arrived in the race parking lot around 5:30am. I did my usual transition routine and warm up run, then put on my wet suit to do a warm up swim. Everything was going well so far. Then the race started. haha! It was a rough start-as any Ironman event is. Lots of kicking, flailing, and grabbing. I got through it fine. I’m actually to the point where it doesn’t even bother me! The wind was strong though, and it kept pushing me to the right. I swam so crooked the whole way! I swam fast, but not straight, so I exited the swim in 37 minutes.
Transition went seamlessly in just 3 minutes and I was off on the bike! I immediately felt like my legs were tired. I don’t know if it was the lack of sleep all week from the long days of work, if I hadn’t recovered from my race 3 weeks ago, or if I was de-trained from essentially 6 weeks of tapering. Whatever it was, my legs were not fresh. The course wasn’t too difficult, but I was surprised to discover it was a 2 loop course! Last I checked online, it was listed as a single out-and-back course. Now, it was a 2-loop out and back course which made it VERY crowded especially on the second loop! It was virtually impossible for people not to draft.
I finished the bike in 2:47-2 minutes faster than last year, but it should have been 20 minutes faster :/I had a quick 2 minute transition, and I was out on the run course! I thought I was going to pull out a good split, and did great for the first 5 miles! I was on pace, kept up with my nutrition, and put ice down my back at every aid station. After mile 5 though, my stomach started to feel upset, and my legs got really tired. I kept going, but not at the pace I wanted to. I slowly faded with each mile. I tried to stay mentally strong though and push through even though it had to be slower than I wanted. I was doing decent until mile 11. My legs felt like they were going to give out. I walked for about 30 seconds, and a guy who I’d passed at the beginning of the run said to me “no, you CAN NOT walk now, I’ve been following you since the beginning!” I said “Ok, I’ll stay with you then” and started jogging with him. He replied “No, you are faster than me. You have to go ahead. Dig deep!” And so I did. I pushed, and made it through the last 2.1 miles, and he stayed somewhere behind me. After I finished, he found me and congratulated me. That’s what I love about triathlons! People will cheer you on and encourage you even if you’re beating them!
I finished in 5:12 which was a 5 minute PR for me. I was happy about that, though I’d hoped for more! However, after such a hard race, it was a nice surprise that I came in 5th for my age group, and thus got an award! Also, I got a slot for the 70.3 World Championships this year!! That and a PR were my goals for this year, so I am very pleased!!