Sorry this is a bit late, it was a busy week with a High School graduation for our youngest, the dog getting hurt and other LIFE stuff. So June 22 saw Neale and I competing in our first Ironman branded event, his first 70.3, my second and one we planned on doing together. When I signed up for this event last year I had no idea how much my life would change in the months between nor did I know we would have the longest winter ever which would curtail bike and open-water swim practice time. Needless to say I did not have an ideal training cycle before the race and I was coming in under-trained and lacking confidence. I was committed to going, quitting was never an option and I was determined to do the best I could and have fun.
We headed up to Mt.Tremblant on Friday afternoon and headed to our B&B to drop off our bikes and stuff and then headed to kit pickup. What a well oiled machine it was, we were in and out in 15 mins and then headed to the merchandise tent to get our goodie bags and to do some shopping. I was too superstitious to get a finishers t-shirt but I did get a t-shirt that had our names on the back and a cycling jersey, Neale got one as well and a towel with our name on it. We were meeting friends for dinner so we hung around and soaked up the atmosphere and ran into other friends doing the event. Mt. Tremblant is a beautiful place, so much to see and do, it was fun.
Saturday we headed to the beach to see how cold the water was. I was afraid it would be really cold and was pleasantly surprised to find it was not too bad. As it turned out the water was not my biggest worry, it was the swimmer who swam straight into me and head butted me as I started out. Anyway, we managed a 1000m swim and it helped us feel better about the next day. We went back to our B&B to relax until it was time to rack our bikes. There was an athlete briefing at 3 so we biked down, racked the bikes, attended the briefing and ran back to our B&B. Dinner and an early night finished the day and I was feeling pretty relaxed.
|lots of stuff to get ready|
Race day started early, up at 3:45 and at transition at 5am. Body marking, setting up transition, checking tires and general controlled chaos and by 6am we were headed to the beach start. We had lots of time to relax, warm up and get nervous, I think I forgot about the nervous part, I was having too much fun people watching. Finally it was time to warm up and I did a quick warm up, watched Neale`s swim start and headed to my place. The swim is my favorite part, I may not be fast but I can swim and enjoy it. It was an OK swim, only problem was the faster men in the wave behind swimming over me but I kept my calm and finished strong.
I found Neale in transition and got ready for the bike, just so you know it is hard to put compression socks on wet feet. Finally I was ready to bike and headed out. I knew this would be challenging but I was determined. Neale would wait for me at each aid station so he would not get to far ahead and knowing he was waiting kept me going. There was only 2 big climbs on the highway and I kept my head down and kept pedaling and manged to get up the hills and even managed to pass some people. The last 17K was terrible, a hilly section of short steep climbs and I had to get off and walk up some of the hills but I was happy with my cycle, my goal was 4 hours and I was seconds off that time.
Into transition and only the run left. I knew this would be tough and this was where my lack of training would show...I was right. I walked a lot and ran slowly but I never gave up. Poor Neale walked most of it as he could not run that slow but he never left me behind.
Finally we were at the finish and I so enjoyed the run down to the finish line. This is the part I was looking forward to all day, finishing this with Neale, hand in hand. This is what kept me going all day, I started this fitness journey to do crazy stuff like this with him and it meant so much to me to finish with him.
We have another 70.3 in September and this time Neale does not have to wait for me, he can go have his own race but I will always remember this one, the one we did together. This summer we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and this race was how I wanted to celebrate and it was a celebration of our partnership, of determination, of perseverance and fun, all the qualities need in training and in marriage.