IRONMAN

Let me get to the point first and then I'll bore you with the details of the race :) My finishing time was 6:17:43 . I was 8th in my age group 25-29 yr olds. Swim time 40:18 min, bike time 3:15:23, run time 2:10:24.

So I am going to bore you with all the details of my race starting with a few pre-race details. I don't even know where to begin. There is so much preparation that goes into a race like this and I don't only mean the training. That in and of its self is very time consuming. Then on top of it you have to develope some sort of nutrition plan during training. How are you gonna stay fueled for 6 plus hours? There are so many products on the market to practice with and decide what works best for you. Basically you just find what you can tolerate. Especially during the run where verything kind of sloshes around. That's a feeling you have to get used to if you plan to run a lot. After enough training you start to build up more tolerence.

So all week I was very anxious. Kept to my pre-race diet pretty good and did the whole carb-depletion/carb-load bit. Friday I went for a dip in the lagoon and there were some very intimidating athletes there. They were all very fit. I don't just mean fit they were fit, they were pretty SHREDDED. Little tiny speedo on one guy that looked like a little pocket Hurcules and speedo thong on the lady. (gross) Anyway...

Saturday, the day before the race I woke up at 6:30 am and could not go back to sleep. Just looking out at the lagoon started my stomach Churning and it did not stop all day long.
I thought I was gonna be too sick from being so nervous that I would not be able to handle the actual race day. All that day I was basically obsessing about making sure I had everything ready to go. Got checked in, turned my bike in and got that squared away. blah-blah-blah. Here is my bike on the rack.

Here is all my stuff laid out to go in my bag in the morning.

That night I tried to go to bed early, that didnt work as easy as planned. I was so tired but couldn't sleep. Finally got to bed about 9:30 and then got woken up by Tyler at 10:30. JOY! It seems early right? Not when you have to get up at 4 in the morning. Once I fell asleep the second time I got really good rest. Didn't get up once.

So I'm up at 4 am to have my LARGE bowl of OATMEAL, pack my bags, suit up and head over to the race. We live within walking distance but not close enough that I'd want to walk right before doing a race of this sort. So I had Tyler drop me off and then I made him walk over. (thank you!)

I walk into the stadium that morning to set up my transition and the mood was eerily somber. It was still dark outside but the stadium lights were on and it gave me a really peaceful feeling. I was able to concentrate on getting everything set up nicely without distractions. I think I got all my nerves out the day before because I was not nervous one bit.


Walked over to the start area with about 20 min to go.
Just the perfect amount of time to get stretched and observe. I was in the 3rd WAVE. So the PRO males, PRO females, and then my wave. I was really hoping I could catch one of them.;) Yeah right in my lifetime? NO they were already turning at the far buey before my wave even left. crazy fast.
So we got out in the water 5 min before our gun and basically had to tread water for 5 min. It really wasn't bad though. Here we are. I am over right to the right of the buey.
And here we are with TYLER in the Pic:) I guess he didn't want to be left out.
AND WE'RE OFF!
Once the swim started I was in the zone. Did not even get tired. I ROCKED IT. I am so impressed with how well I handled being swam into, over, under, and right in front of. Compared to where I was just a year ago with swimming to now. The water was beautiful. Perfect temp, very smooth.I probably hit a few people in the head by accident. I got hit a few times but nothing phazed me.
Here's me getting out of the water

Got out of the water and had to run almost 1/2 mile on asphalt to the bike area. Probably the longest transition run in history. I did not want to sprint because I did not want my HeartRate to sky rocket just before the bike. I figured an easy jog would work. Plus I couldn't run really fast without my feet hurting on the gravel.Took a little more time than I should have when I got to my bike but I just wanted to make sure I was all set. Especially since this was my first time. Now I was Ready, Set, & Off to the bike course.

The first part of the course was a little hilly but after that it was smooth sailing until I had to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to hold it the whole time so I got off at the rest stop and had to waste 2 or 3 min on that. You have no idea how bad it is to have a full bladder and go over a bump. Or maybe you do. Tyler said I should have just peed my pants. That's gross but after having to stop another time on my second loop I really should have. The bike course was gorgeous and very scenic. Most of it ran right along the coastline. Somehow the bike portion flew by so fast I did not want it to end. I had to force myself to eat and drink even though I didn't feel I needed it. I knew if I didn't I'd pay for it later on the run. I was haulin on the bike and did a lot better than I thought. I didn't see anyone CRASH but did see a few with flat tires. Tyler said he saw two different women eat it on their bikes on the way in to transition. That would be terrible.
The last six miles of bike went slower than the first 50 miles. It was very gradient/hilly and there was a pretty strong headwind. Plus I was so anxious to get off the bike and start the run so I was anticipating a lot.
THE RUN.
Heading out on the run I felt really good. As usual, I started out too fast. Because of the high cadence from the bicycle, it throws off my running rhythm. Luckily thanks to my garmin, I was able to fix that shortly after I headed out. Then I realized I had left my salt tablets on the bike. OOPS! I paid for that a little at the end.
This run course is very challenging but it is beautiful and I've done the majority of it tonz of times during my training. This was very adventageous because I could visualize how much farther I needed to go. The thing that KILLED me was the HEAT. I think this is the same for everone. Everytime I'd see an aid station I'd grab 3-4 cups of cold water and dump them all over then a cup of ice and dump it down my jersey. When I felt hot, I'd take an ice cube and rub it on my arms and face. That helped a ton! They also had PEPSI after mile 2 @ the aid stations and this was a life saver. It helped because my stomach started getting sick of the gatorade but I needed something other than water. Who would have thought that you would want PEPSI during an event like this?
The first loop I made it back to the turn around which is where the transition area was and I was feeling pretty AMAZING. I had ran a little slower on purpose to SAVE ENERGY for the last loop. I was planning to go all out on the last 3-5 miles. Well, this is where I needed those SALT TABLETS. I was running out of STEAM. Mile 9-10 I started to really feel it. I needed ELECTROLYTES! This part of the course was the hottest down on the Paseo de la Princesa. It is a little trail at the base of the El Morro where the sun cooks the stones all morning making it so hot. Drank some more PEPSI and water which helped but I still had 3 MILES to go. It got a little better for me at mile 10-12 but the last mile felt like 10 miles. I was feeling WEAK but some how I was still passing people. When I was 1/2 mile from the finish line it was so close I could TASTE it. All I wanted to do was walk. I was determined however to finish strong. I kept my pace up enough to save everything I could for the last minute. I love being able to give a good SPRINT down the chute. My stomach was NAUSIOUS. My mind felt like I was moving in SLOW MOTION. My legs were aching (probably the electrolyte deficiency)
Right before the finishline you come over a little hill, on the left you see the beautiful OCEAN. On the right you look down at the finish line with the railing chute and hundreds of people cheering. I spotted Tyler and was so overwelmed. As I crossed the finish line a few TEARS OF JOY escaped from my eyes. Luckily I had my glasses on so no one could see. I was exhausted, relieved, done......I was a half IRONMAN!!!
I AM A half IRONMAN!!!!!!!!!!
Finishing time 6:17. (we started 10 min after first gun went off)
So one of the best thing about after the race was the POST-RACE MASSAGE:) I had to wait in line for 20 min but it was so worth it. After I got off the table I felt like a new person. Then in the athletes lounge they had PIZZA and COOKIES. Yum! I could only stomach 1 piece and a bite of a cookie but Tyler finished off the other 3 pieces of pizza and the other 3 cookies:) He had been there standing around all day (7-8 hrs) in the heat just waiting for me so I think he deserved it:) You are the best babe!
My friend Erin made it through the crazy mess and came to see me at the end of the race. Thanks for coming Erin:)

2 comments:

Harris Family said...

Way to go that is awesome! I like you dark.. barely knew it was you. Miss you guys hope to see you soon :)

The Reed Family said...

this is so awesome Tiff! Congrats and if I ever end up doing one I'm calling you to help me train! :)