I feel like all I've done recently is say sorry for being so behind on my blog, but sometimes life is just too crazy to be worried about a blog and that's where I'm at right now. At any rate, I'm not giving up on it just yet and wanted to update all 4 of my faithful readers on my 1/2 Ironman this past Sunday.
I had a lot of fears coming into this race. I mean, it's 70.3 miles, who wouldn't?! I only had one 'long run' in August that was the day after a long ride and it was 10 miles. To say I was worried about not being able to finish the run is an understatement. I knew I could do the swim and bike, the run was unknown territory. However, for some reason or another, as the days approached and got closer to Sunday, I was never really all that nervous. I kept telling people I was, but on the inside I wasn't in as much turmoil as I thought I should have been. I got SO much invaluable advice from these lovely ladies and I thought about both of them so much during the race. Thank you thank you so much Beth and Whitney! You helped me more than you know!
Saturday came and I took a nice ride in the morning followed by an easy run then packed my little heart out to get up to NY. I was very fortunate in that my family (Mom, Dad and three younger sisters) took the time out of their weekend to come up and support. I was SO so happy when they told me they were coming because it meant a lot to me that they were there. Thank you!
Anyway, the drive was a bit of a headache (ugh, George Washington Bridge), but the weather was absolutely gorgeous. We got to the park, picked up my stuff (inspected the goods) then went to the hotel to relax. I brought my own dinner because I'm a nut, but I went out to eat with the family at Friday's (where I may have had a little bit of brownie for dessert). In bed a little before 11.
Sunday morning I was ready to rock and roll. I went to the bathroom, did my 'race hair' and ate breakfast. Everything went off without a hitch. Arrived at the park in perfect time to get situated, grab my timing chip, get body marked, and go to the bathroom twice more. I actually was really nervous that I had gone to the bathroom so many times. Fortunately for me I was fine. I was waiting for the nerves to hit, but they never really did. I was actually just really excited. I got stretched out and headed to the 'beach' to be sent off at 7:15.
SWIM: The water was a nice temperature (mid-70s) and I was fine without a wetsuit. The only annoying thing was that we had to walk/run out for a bit before we could start swimming because it was so shallow. According to my watch I ran for about 1:30 before I could swim. Annoying! Besides the walk/run at the beginning and end of the swim, it was pretty un eventful. The water tasted pretty gross (Hudson), but I wasn't kicked or swam over at all so I really have nothing to complain about. I was hoping to be done somewhere under 35 minutes, but I swam pretty consertavely and came out at 36:11. I also walked through the water when I couldn't swim anymore.
T-1: Squeezed some lube on my hand, shoved it in my shorts, put on my shoes and I was off. Chamois cream has literally changed my life since I started using it a couple weeks ago and I knew I wanted it for the race. I didn't care how many seconds it cost me.
RIDE: Although I read that there were some monster hills, (the toughest being the 'Toughman') I was really excited for the ride. I'd been putting in a lot of time on my bike and now it was time to go. The hills were tough, no question about that, but the downhills completely made up for it. I'd be grinding 7-8mph on some hills and come flying down at 38mph. Exhilerating. Chris and myself had estimated 3:30 for the bike and it's what I told the fam I'd lilely bike, especially with the hills, but I finished in 3:13:xx and couldn't have been happier.
t-2: Did the damn thing: shoes off, shoes on, gus in pockets and go.
RUN: My legs felt good coming off of the bike so I wasn't as scared anymore, but I was a bit worried about my nutrition. For the bike I set aside 1 Clif bar (250 calories), 6 Gu chomps (135 calories), 2 Gu's (200 calories) and some Amino Vitale in a bottle (which was old and didn't dissolve in water, oops!). I ended up only eating the Clif bar and 4 of the chomps which put me at 340 calories for 3.5ish hours. I brought along the two other chomps and 2 Gus, but ended up only eating the 2 chomps (45 calories) and one cup of gatorade and 3 of water. I kept waiting for the bonk to come but it never did. I was so fortunate in that I found a man running near my pace literally right out of transition and we ran the whole 13.1 together. He was so kind and so encouraging and I had such a great run with him. It was just plain fun. I really feel like I owe him a lot for pacing me and running with me and pushing me at the end to the finish. I had hoped to come in around 2:10, secretly wishing I would break 2:00 and made it in 2:00:47. Totally happy with that!
My sister decided to join the race for a few 100 feet
My new best friend for 13.1 miles
1ish miles left
Final time: 5:54:22 (once I realized I broke 6 hours I was ecstatic)
A wonderfully inspiring and thoughtful good luck card from my hockey girls
As soon as I stopped running my body started getting sore, but I was too happy to care. I couldn't find my family so I ate some food then got myself to the medic to take care of my ankle that was absolutely torn up from the timing chip. Finally found the fam, took some pictures, got my stuff and put on my recovery tights in the parking lot. I'm a classy broad, I know. On the way home I got 14 pounds of ice that melted too quickly in my ice bath. I was too tired to shower that night (I know, I'm also really gross) and woke up to '574' stamps all over my sheets. Lesson learned.
Welp, there's one way to immortalize your race number
Monday I felt fine, a wee bit sore, but I was better than I thought I would be. I did make use of the school facilities and go back to my favorite trainer and hop in the whirl pool for another ice bath. It was such an odd feeling really knowing that my body had been through 70.3 miles the day before but wasn't as tired and sore as I thought it would be. I guess that just goes to show that all those long hours really were worth it. Chris, again, I can't thank you enough. I'm still kind of pinching myself wondering if it was all a dream, but I actually did it and can't wait until the next one. I had a blast.
It took 2 ENTIRE Gatorade water jugs full of ice to get the temperature to this
Super long RR, sorry about that, but it was such a great time that I need to just spill the beans. This week is recovery (and boy do I need the sleep, as does my heel) and I'm trying to take it all in, but with the new job and coaching I still find myself waking up before 5 most mornings to get the workouts in. After this week I'm shifting back to a more run focus to get ready for the NYC marathon. I'm an endurance race junkie.