So it is done! Today, Neale asked me if the enormity of what I had accomplished had sunk in, I don't think it has. I have trained so long for this and in 7 hours and 27 mins it was all over and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So here is the race recap as I remember it.
So my biggest worry was the weather, it was suppose to rain all day and that is not what I wanted or needed for my first Half Iron distance event. I could not control the weather, I knew I trained enough, what would be would be. Luckily the weather was almost perfect, it was partially sunny but humid, fine for the swim and bike but it would make the run tough.
We got to the venue 90 mins early and I set up and got body marking done. I not been able to go to the orientation the night before so I headed to the beach to see the swim course. It was a 1.9 km loop, and it looked really far, I was use to doing shorter loops. Decided to warm up and get comfortable in the water, swimming helps me stay calm so the wetsuit went on and I went to swim around a bit. Just before we started it was the kids triathlon, they were so cute and the parents so encouraging, it was great. I love to swim, I might not be fast but I am comfortable and enjoy it. I did a better job sighting this time and did not go off course, felt comfortable and enjoyed the swim. To me the swim felt really fast or at least time went fast, I was not swimming fast. I came in a few mins ahead of my goal and was ready to get to the bike. It was quite a long run from the beach to the transition and then I had to get changed. I really need to work on my T1 time, 12 mins is way too long.
On to the bike, 90K, 6 loops of the 15K course down the canal. I had done 4 loops of a shorter course for my Oly tri so I knew what I was in for . It is not easy doing so many loops of the same course but on the upside, you get to see your supporters often. There was a deer on the course so that made things interesting at least. My goal was to average 25kph overall and I came close. I was happy with my bike time and how I did. Loop 2 and 4 were tough but when it got tough, I focused and pushed on. I did a good job with my nutrition and stayed hydrated, I knew that was important for the run since it was so muggy. It looked like it was going to rain when I was almost done loop 5 so my goal became getting the bike done before the rain. It never did rain but it kept me motivated and focused.
Barbara and I on the run
Then was the part I dreaded the most, the run. I knew going in this would be my biggest challenge. I asked my friend Barbara to come run with me and she said yes. Coming off the bike I usually run to fast and once again, I started too fast. I was running a 6:10 pace, way to fast for a half marathon. My family, friends and my coach Laura had moved to the run coarse and were there to support me. Each lap, Laura offered advice and tips and I was glad to see her. Laura told me not to worry about my pace, run what I was comfortable doing. Loop 2 was tough, I slowed down and started to run 10 and 1's. I stuck to my nutrition plan but had a few extra eload tabs since it was so muggy. Loop 3 was better, the gels started to kick in and I started to run 8 and 1's. I felt great all things considering but I knew the last lap was ahead and would be tough. I had run up to 14K in training and that was tough enough, now I had to go further. I was so thankful Barbara was there, loop 4 was rough. I was super slow and took a few extra walk breaks, when needed too I ran 5 pylons and walked one, it worked well for me and we did that a few times. I had a secret goal of 7:30 overall time and towards the end I wondered if I would make it. Barbara kept me running the last km and I came in a few minutes under my goal time. Official time was 7:27:25 and I was thrilled!
my coach Laura and I after- job done!
I learned a lot about myself this summer training for this event and I learned a lot during the race. I pushed myself further then I though ever possible but I know I need to push more going forward. Yesterday was hard, I am please overall but a bit disappointed with my run, it was tougher then I thought and I walked more then I wanted. I need to get stronger physically for next year. The mental part and the nutrition where bang on, I fought through the tough parts, never gave up and felt great physically all day. When I signed up for this race, I really did not think I could do it...but I did, I had it inside me all along.