August 15, 2017
It’s been 2 days since I finished my first 70.3 race and I still feel the same; super accomplished. During the past couple of years, I had seen people complete the race or the full Ironman and I had always said “one day that will be me,” but I never did anything about it. A few months ago I finally decided, no more waiting, I was going to go for it. That’s when I signed up for the race.
While training, I thought the biking would be the hardest piece of the race I would struggle with. I had grown up swimming and I had completed a few marathons, so I felt sure I was fine with those. I was proven wrong this past weekend, but all a happy ending.
Here is my race recap, everything included:
We had a rolling start for the swim which means that we got to place ourselves in the time frame where we thought we would finish. I made my way to the 36-40 minute start and waited to start. Once in the water, it was warm, such a welcoming feeling in comparison to the cold temperatures of Ohio St beach. The water was calm and there weren’t that many people I swam next to. I guess it really makes a difference to have a rolling start where you go where you think you will end. At least for me, I had a peaceful swim, it didn’t feel too long and although I accidentally drank some water, it was a great swim. I had fun and I felt happy coming out of the water.
Once I got out of the water I felt even better. I had an idea of what my time had been and was pretty proud of it. The water was not too choppy or wavy which meant that I did not veer off course too much. I loved the swim!
The slight jog from the beach to the bike was a bit breathtaking and not just in the views. I was literally out of breath. I guess running on sand takes a little more than running on actual sidewalk. Once at my bike, I took a bit long putting on my shoes and socks since I was trying to get the sand off. Once I had everything ready, I speed walked to the start line of the bike ride. It was a good transition, next time I’ll just have to work on the timing a bit more.
Off I went on the bike, my first hour was great, my legs were fine and didn’t feel overworked. Once the 2nd hour started, my legs were definitely feeling it, the hills were catching up to me. My butt was so uncomfortable, good thing I also didn’t bring any cream right. That 3rd hour I really struggled. The pace I was keeping was not too bad but it took energy. By this point I had had about 3 GU gels and 1 water bottle and 2 gummies. I finished the bike portion in about 3:29hrs which I was fine with. I had survived.
This transition from the bike to the run was a whole different story. This transition was painful, getting off the seat to get to my shoes was so hard. My butt was sore and numb at the same time which means that my legs were not happy either. It was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. I walked from where my bike was to the start of the run. I just wanted to be done.
Let’s just say this was the hardest and slowest run I’ve ever done, even compared to my first half marathon back in college, and that’s saying quite a lot. I started off ok with about a 10 min/mile and after a mile that story changed. I was jogging at about a 13min/mile with a lot of walk breaks in between. My legs weren’t ready for the run. The longest run I had completed this training season was 6 miles since I had been focusing on the bike and not re-injuring my ankle after I had twisted it a few weeks prior. My knees started to bother me at about mile 7 which means that I was walking even more. At about mile 10 I knew I only had a little left to go. I saw so many runners, every one different from the other and it was great to see people of all ages participating in this event. It kept me going. It reminded me that I could do this, I was going to finish. That last ½ mile I ran with a lady I met on the course. She gave me some great encouraging words at a time I needed them. Once I saw the finish line, I almost started crying knowing that I was almost there. I didn’t cry but I made my way across the finish line. I had done it, I had finished!
I learned a lot during this race. Your goals are achievable with some work. Sometimes you need to set some goals that seem a bit out of reach in order to be able to push yourself. I know I could have trained a lot more, well actually smarter but this is just the first one. I am new to the sport but I enjoyed this. My goals for this race were to have fun, finish the race and a time goal. I may not have reached my goal of 6:30hrs but I know that with work I can get there.
Ready for the Ironman…but next year!
Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to write and share about different experiences I’ve tried. Some have been on aSweatLife and some have been through other organizations.
WHEN IT COMES TO EXERCISE, HERE’S WHY JUST A LITTLE IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL
aSweatLife is a great community that has introduced me to so many great resources and professionals in the fitness and wellness community. I started as a writer and now both a writer and an ambassador, here are some of the articles I have been able to share on their site.