Have you ever finished something you only ever dreamed of. Set goals and actually reached them? Other than being a student I don’t think I can confidently say that I did. This was one of those goals that I’ve worked hard for over the past 6 months. I finished a half Ironman and it was humbling. With the support of friends and family I was able to pull out a 6hr and 13min finishing time for my first 70.3, battling hills and heat.
Here is my very dry race report.
4:30am Get up and eat breakfast: 2 oatmeal maple brown sugar oatmeal packets and a banana.
5a on the road: listening to “Happy” playlist on Spotify, this playlist both calmed my nerves but pumped me up.
5:45 Arrive at Boulder reservoir.
Set up transition, bike stuff in front of running stuff, sunscreen. Pump tires, put bento box on.
Bike transition set-up: shoes, Odell socks, extra nutrition huma gel and shot block, helmet, sunglasses inside helmet.
Run transition set-up: shoes, visor, body glide nutrition in shoes, water bottle with more nutrition. Put on body glide.
7am Exit transition with wetsuit, swim cap, goggles and plastics bags for feet. (Next time bring cheap flip flops)
7:30 My mom looks at me and says, “Don’t look so worried, you’ll do great!” I couldn’t believe it was that obvious, but I tend to wear my feelings on my sleeve. I say a big thanks to my parents for coming out and I give them each a kiss. At this point I’m still worried I might die today. I eat a gel, walk over to start, get in water to do a shake out swim, soak wetsuit, don’t forget to blow bubbles!
7:55 line up for 8:06 start. I chatted with a girl from the mid-west, this was her first half ironman too! I give her mad props for going at it alone with her brother dropping her off for the start. It takes a lot of grit to be also brave.
8:06 Horn blows, start watch (no gps) and swim.
The Swim: I settled into a good pace early on swam relatively straight. Getting used to people being around was new. On the back end caught some water down the wrong pipe and had to re-set myself. At the second turn back I had trouble swimming straight and got off course a couple times. Water was a bit choppier here because of the jet skis moving about. I felt hungry after the second turn. At that moment I thought, how am I going to do twice this much in November. Pushed a little harder in the end to keep what I think was the same pace.
T1: out of the boat ramp, stopped watch. I was so happy to see a time of 38mins. I tucked my watch, road ID and wristband into the sleeves of my wetsuit and started stripping the top half while running to transition. Heard/saw mom, dad and friends cheering, I was so happy to see them. The swim can seem quite lonely out there. Once at my bike, I stripped wetsuit the remainder of my wetsuit easily. I put on sunglasses and helmet (buckled) first, put nutrition in back pocket, then socks and shoes. Put sunscreen on, and left transition. Started to unwrap food while leaving T1, but stopped to open (next time pre-open break bonkers). A sweet volunteer offered to help me as I was fumbling to open and run at the same time. They did have sunscreeners and asked them to get my legs since k failed to get to it when I was transitioning. I mounted my bike pretty quickly and off I went.
Bike: I started my Garmin. Immediately I took to eating the break bonker. Settled in at a HR around 180. Didn’t feel like it was that high. Got passed quite a bit on the flat ground, but passed a lot of cyclist on the hills. As I made my first pass of the finish line I saw a pro finishing his bike. Came to a complete stop at bike aid 1 to fill up water bottle. I drank water and/or Nuun on the flatter areas, and ate a huma gel after 1 HR on bike, 2 shot blocks every 15-20 mins. Saw Kali, Katy and Ryan at about mile 26! Right before mile 30 I heard something on my tire. Got it out by rubbing hand on it. Luckily didn’t puncture tube or my finger. Aid stop 2, I filled my bottle with Gatorade, and water. I also stopped to pee. The next road was fun with rolling hills. I Smiled and laughed to myself during this part of the ride. Aid station 3, didn’t stop but grabbed a water bottle to drink and pour over myself since temps started to rise at this point. I was checking times to see if I would come close to a 3hr bike ride, feeling happy and good. Saw Kali, Katy, Ryan, Liam and Tyler at mile 50. Kali yelled, “go get LUKE!” Started watch at mile 52. Came to the turn in for the finish and wishing I could do another loop on the bike instead of the run.
T2: Dismounted bike and jogged/walked to transition. I need to practice keeping shoes on pedals. Came in and put bike on rack. Need to take backpack out of transition because it got in the way, but still have smaller bag for emergency items. Didn’t cramp when I changed my shoes!! This is a big deal to me because it tells me j must have gotten my nutrition right. I put on my race belt grabbed nutrition and put on visor but I forgot to put more body glide under my arms. I took a Huma gel in transition, grabbed water bottle and left T2.
Run: My energy is high because of all of the people. I grabbed a cup of water immediately and dumped on me. Went out a little fast, but found a good pace after leaving the highly populated spectator area. Cute kids holding their hands out for high fives and water gun spraying. Saw my parents before hiring the dirt road, this made me so overjoyed! I wish I had taken the time to stop for a hug. I sipped water as often as the aid stations came up. And grabbed ice to suck on. It was so hot I needed to walk through aid stations. Walking didn’t help lower the HR so I continued at the same pace which felt fine. Never felt winded on the run, just hot. Towards the end of the first loop I grabbed ice and put it down my shirt and sports bra, which helped lower HR and reenergized me. I did this at every aid station from then on out. I couldn’t take in any nutrition, my stomach was not holding up. I ate a quarter of a banana around mile 5 to prevent future cramping. On second loop I had to walk some of the up hills as it was getting hotter. Lower back started hurting so I put ice down the back of my shirt. This offered a lot of relief. After mile 11 my calf started to cramp and my foot would kick into my other leg. I pulled over and rubbed it out. I’m pretty sure I was right next to the Thor cut off, you know impress him a bit 😉. It was fine after that. Mile 12 I pushed a little harder. When I got less than a 1/4 mile away I heard people cheering for me by name and was so happy to finish! I saw Luke in the finishers shoot!!
Finish: I felt like coughing a lot, and fully recovered about 45 mins later. Legs and body felt decent since I couldn’t push my muscles too much because of the heat. Couldn’t stomach anything until an hour and a half later – post workout shake. Saw all of my friends and family and took pictures with them. So happy with my accomplishment and my time for my first 70.3!!
Total nutrition: 1 break bonker, 2 shot block sleeves, 3 gels, banana.
Total Time: 6:13.46