I have finally finished my mini documentary on my training and entry into an Ironman 70.3 race.
2 years in the making, this is the most time consuming, yet rewarding thing I have probably done in life so far. Training was long, hard, and exhausting… but I am glad to have finished the race and highly recommend it to everyone. You just need to put mind over matter.
What a day. Here I sit feeling the after effects of a long race, sore muscles and really sorehip and knee joints. The whole race has become a blur of a memory so I want to write down as much as I can before the memory fades away. You can read more on my fitness 2013 page for the complete race break down. Finish time = 5:27:13
I must say though that the highlight of the race was the swim. It was the area I was most fearful of, thus I trained the hardest for, and it ended up being the part I dominated the most. funny how that works!
The wet suit made the difference. You feel like a million bucks once you have it on, and it adds to your bouancy. Normally when I try to float, the water level is above my eyes. Exhale and I sink right away. But with the wet suit on I could easily relax in the water with my whole head above the surface. This made me feel safe and secure and all thoughts of drowning vanished. I suddenly had huge confidence in the water.
Next, the suit makes you fast. I was staying a little too close to the edge of the lake, which ended up adding about 200 meters to my swim. At one point I was so close to the shore that I almost ran into a private dock. But looking down I could see the rocks at the bottom of the lake. I could also see that I was swimming much faster than I do in the pool. According to the Garmin times, I am a full 3 minutes per km faster with a wetsuit in a lake during a race, than I have ever been in the pool. Man did this ever make me feel good. I knew I was swimming well when I started to see green, blue, pink, and white swim caps on the people around me before I had even reached the north turn point.
As I said, the swim was the highlight of the race because it was new, and I did way better than expected. The bike and the run portion are old hat to me now and I don’t have much to say other than I need to train harder and do more Brick sessions. Below is a list of things I learned during the race.
Too much water on the bike, 2 unused bottles
Too much water on the run, 1 unused bottle
Too much food total race, only needed 3 bars and liquid gels
Use the provided food and water to save weight
Only bring supplements food and water
Sight more often in the water, you turn without noticing
Try to drop into swim pace sooner, too fast out of the gate
Stay closer to center line, less extra distance 2.1
Plan out transition 1 better, too much time lost here
Drafting is allowed as long as you are always passing people, use the draft MORE
More training time in aero position to avoid a sore neck
Find partners to race with in the bike and run
Conversation makes the miles fly by, and the race more enjoyable
throw out the motivation to all those around you
Be ready for the end game, the real race started in the last 5km of running
Find ways to boost mental attitude when feeling defeated
Another race is in the bag…and I feel pretty bagged!
I beat my time from last year by 4 minutes with a finish of 2:30:59 based on my Garmin timing. Some how my timing chip was not entered into the system, I mean I didn’t even get a DNF on the online rankings page. I simply do not exist, there is no record of me or my bib number.
Do I really care? No not really. Even though I did better this year, the competition was fierce and I dropped into 21st place overall out of 128 competitors. There were more people in my age group this year, 3 of which made the top 5. So I don’t really feel that bad because I did better.