Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Haines City Half Ironman!

After sitting in traffic on the way back to DC (don't worry, Brian is driving) I figured I won't have time to post a race report when I get home so I'm starting this one from my phone in hopes that I can add pictures a little later.

***I'm home now and adding pictures ;)  Don't worry, you're not crazy.

Before I get started, I need to send a giant thank you to my spectators. Liz and Drew--you guys are awesome. It was great seeing you right before the finish. Barbara--you are a saint! It was so great to see you and spend the weekend with you. You can't understand how much we appreciate all your support. You are so strong! I know that Ben was smiling down on us this weekend (perhaps he helped me out with a little tailwind on the bike? Haha).

Anyway, here it goes-- I know you don't want to read a novel so I'll try my best to keep it somewhat concise.

The day before the race was crazy. Brian came in around 1:00 and then we had to go straight to athlete check in and then go back to get our bikes to drop off at the transition area. Needless to say, it wasn't the most relaxing day so when we planned out our race morning we settled on 5:30 am to leave the hotel.
We get there at 5:30 and there's basically no parking. By the time we found a spot and walked into transition area with our stuff it was 5:45, which was fine because we weren't starting until 7:10 (Brian) and 7:15 (me). We were calm until the announcer came on saying that transition would close at 6. Yikes. We didn't have water in our bottles, Brian wasn't even in tri shorts yet, and porta potty lines were not moving (and I was about to wet myself)! By some miracle, we found water and got out of transition area just a minute or so before race officials dragged people kicking and screaming out by 6:15.

The lake was pancake flat and bath water warm so I breezed through the course confidently. Sighting was challenging because the course went in an odd M shape and so I was blinded when the sun was on the same side as the bouys. Also, since the course had such a weird shape, people were hugging tight to the bouts so I got swam on...a lot. I didn't win any awards for speed, but I came out of the water confident and full of energy

I was only one wave behind brian so I got a front row seat to see my hubby take off for his first ever triathlon. He smoked through the course with a ridiculous speed compared to our pool swims
Lake Eva the day before the race.
BEAUTIFUL!  ...and better yet, no waves!

I sprinted past about 15 people to get to my bike. Threw my bike jersey on, wiped off my feet, put on my awesome pink socks, strapped on my shoes and helmet and then took off for the ride. I got to see Barbara when I went out so that was cool.
Transition area the night before the race

With flat roads and little wind, Haines city made it really easy to PR for the bike. For the majority of the bike I was going about 20-24 mph and passing tons of people. One guy in his 40s was going about the same pace the whole time. We must've passed each other 15 times which is fine because I felt like we were tag teaming to get to the finish. Nothing like a little healthy competition! About 15 miles to the end of the rides the roads became bumpy, a little bit of head wins was added in, and we were riding over some small rolling hills. Needless to say, I started to slow a bit, but was still much faster than the other two 1/2 tris I've done. I drank nearly all the water I had with me and went through all my planned nutrition so in addition to having a good ride, I felt like I was setting myself up for a good run.

I passed Brian somewhere near mile 30. He looked pretty good, and I assumed he crushed the little hills at the end because he's awesome at climbing (beats me everytime).

I saw Barbara again as I was coming in on the bike (what a trooper! It was so hot out!) which gave me an extra energy boost. I changed into my running gear, took a pit stop in the porta potties, and took off excited to be on the 3rd leg.

The run was a 4.4 mile loop around the lake and some surrounding streets. There was a beastly stretch of hills on the first half of each loop... And did I mention the hellish heat and humidity that struck just as I was getting off the bike?! Even with all these factors I still had high hopes. I flew through the first two miles, crushing the giant hills. I kept an amazing 7:18 pace for the first lap. However, after about 3 miles I realized I had completely stopped sweating. Yup, my skin was bone dry and HOT and I was starting to lose it mentally. Yikes. That sounds a lot like heat exhaustion to me. I was drinking the water bottle that I carried with me, but it didn't seem to be helping. I started squirting water on my arms, head, face... Anything to try to keep skin cool For the second lap, I managed to push a "normal" run until I got to the water stop after mile 7. After that I walked through each water stop whether I thought I needed to or not. I grabbed a swig of powerade at each stop and then I'd fill up my water bottle with more water (and ice if they hadn't run out yet). I don't know how much water I went though during the run, but between the amount I splashed on myself and the amount I drank, it must've been gallons. Somewhere around mile 11 I started to feel like I was doing better, but stayed with the walk breaks just to be extra careful. Heat exhaustion is nothing to mess around with. They didn't have a mile maker at mile 12, which is really no big deal, but for some reason really pissed me off. In fact, in my head, I was grumbling about it all the way until I saw transition area and then I realized I just had a few more steps to go. I saw Liz and Drew as I turned in for the finish and saw Barbara seconds after I crossed the finish.
I saw Brian on a little turn around on the first lap of the run. I was near 4 miles and he was around 2.5 miles. He actually got my attention with a high five. He honestly looked like he should be on some poster for running shoes or something. It was ridiculous. Smiling and everything. I looked around for a long time for him at the finish, but he found me wandering around instead.

Official times
Me: 5:33:32
Brian: 5:49:18
What a fit couple!!  ;)

We had a pretty good race. I think both of us were pretty happy with the results and especially pumped to show off all our hard work to our spectators. :). This race definitely reminded us what a monster the ironman will be though so we are revived and ready to pack on the extra miles for training. It was also an eye opener as to how hot Louisville will be in August. Two years ago, the temps were near 100 on race day. Yuck. The good news is that lately (and predicted again for this year) the summers have been sticky and hot in DC so we should be able to train in similar conditions to what we'll be racing in. All in all, we are nervously excited for our upcoming training and race. 70.3 miles is crossed off our to do list--now it's time to gear up for 140.6 miles!

If you'd like to check out our race visit the Ironman Haines City Results Page and then enter 1275 as the Bib number for me and 1143 for the Bib number for Brian.

If you want to see more pictures of the weekend, click on the pictures tab on this blog

1 comment:

  1. That is amazing. Your time is so impressive. I'm so proud and yes, you do look like the super fit couple.