I am really excited for this race, because it is my first full-length/iron-length/"ironman" race. It is held on the same course as it has been for the past 30 years, but put on by a different company. I like getting new flavour in the triathlon world, and I think Challenge is going to be able to deliver great things. Meanwhile, I have had a few other races on the docket, and this past weekend was one that I felt excited about.
The first time I ever was exposed to Long distance triathlon was way back in 2008, when I did a relay race at a 70.3, with my old rowing teammates. At that point, I watched my good friend Donna do the whole race, and I thought "damn, if she can do this... I can do this..." Shortly thereafter, I signed up for New Orleans 70.3 Inaugural race. I was hooked. That relay was Lake Stevens. (i wish I knew how fast I swam, but apparently, they don't post relay times...)
The other thing that I want to make note of, prior to this race, is that I have been gunning for a Ironman 70.3 World championship Qualifying slot for many years. I have never been an automatic qualifier (maybe one day...), but, I have been within 1-2 spots of receiving a roll down slot for at least 3 races. and, it has ticked me off. I entered Lake Steven's this year, knowing that the new age group I am in is Super fast and inspirational, but with a slim hope that I could qualify. This season, I have been racing fast. I know St George kinda sucked big time, but, Subaru Victoria was my first AG victory, and my running/cycling is noticably stronger.
I went to sleep, not feeling nervous, but rather... excited. I knew it was going to be a good day. I had a crappy sleep, and woke up feeling quite tired. but ready.
30:20 split, 1:34/100m, 3 AG, 115 OA, 28 Female.
swim at Lake stevens is great. A simple out and back, with a floating dock & almost to warm for a wet suit temperatures. The other bonus is that there is a sweet yellow string that attaches the buoys, about 4 feet down in the water. And you can follow it the whole way along.
Its as close as you can get to swimming in a pool, without swimming in a pool.
I felt steady, and arms felt strong. The only disadvantage to that line in the water, is that *everyone* swims on top of it. SO, passing swimmers from the waves in front of me was annoying. I got one kick in the face, which removed one of the eyes of my goggles, but other than that, I stuck a bit to the right, and it was smooth sailing. The water is clear, so i could see the feet of people i needed to pass, and could make a clean sweep. NExt race: I'm breaking 30mins, i promise.
nothing big to report. Just that I felt like I did it well.
2:45:44 split, 3:18:05 race time, 20.27 mi/h (32.6km/hr) 4 AG, 162 OA, 23 Female
with my sweet new reynolds wheels that hubby got me for my birthday, I went out and rode as fast as I could. I was gunning for a 2:40, but the climbing didn't allow for that. I have surprised myself by equally splitting the ride, within a minute from 1st to 2nd halves. I really enjoyed riding "with the boys." I was a little discouraged that in the first 1/2 of the ride, I had 3 girls (apparently, the only 3 in my AG faster than me) pass me early.
and, apparently, I didn't hit my nutrition goals, either... which came to hit me in the run.
1:52:09 Split, 5:11:34 race time, 8:33/mi (5:18/km) 7 AG, 255 OA, 51 Female
well. let's just say that I think this was the part the I screwed up on. and, like I said, it came from early on in the ride, where I clearly did not take enough fluid/nutrition in... I started off feeling strong, hitting pretty consistant 5:05 km's (give or take about 10 secs) and then whamo... km 11... couldn't go more than 5:30s.
My quads were crampy, i was feeling like I couldn't take much in & feeling shaky/cold. That wasn't fatigue, that was lack of nutrition. So, i started just taking in whatever i could stomach at aid stations. It wasn't until the last 3 km where I was able to squeek it out again. But, i knew that if i managed under 2hrs, i would still be PR'ing. I wanted to break 5:10, but, it wasn't in the books.
I finished off the race with a 5:11:34, 7th W 30-34, and 255 OA.
My prior PR was 5:19:57, in Syracuse 2011. SO, that is a 8.5 min PR. I am really happy about the whole thing, and couldn't ask for a better weekend with Leading edge teammates, and the ultimate race supporter, Sean.
and, guess what?
I got a roll down slot for Las Vegas 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championships. It may be 2 weeks after challenge, but, how could I not take the chance. I am so. fricken. excited.
I also need a race-support crew. Anyone want to go to Vegas with me? Here are the details.