Monday, July 21, 2014

Racine 70.3 Race Recap

As I sit here writing this this morning, I am still completely in shock over what I accomplished yesterday, so therefore I need to apologize in advance for the length of this post, but it really couldn't be helped...  Yesterday was my 70.3 triathlon race in Racine, WI.  It has been quite the journey to get to race day.  My 1/2 Ironman journey started 4 years ago when I decided I wanted to race Muncie, IN, I trained my butt off, to get injured a week before the race and have the Dr. tell me that while my foot wasn't broken it probably wasn't a good idea for me to race.  Talk about an incredible disappointment!  Then the next year, I planned on doing either Racine or Muncie and started actively training to eventually come down with a Mono type virus that knocked me completely out of training.  I was sleeping almost 20 hours out of the 24 in the day - which made it impossible to train.  To learn more about my training and how I got to my race on Sunday, you can read my previous post: 3rd Times the Charm - Right?

     If any of you have ever done a race, you know that race day approaches with a mixture of anxiety and excitement, this race was no exception!  All week long I went through various stages of emotions, leading up to the big day.  Race morning arrived and I was up at 3:30, ready to leave my house by 4am.  Thankfully I caught a few extra Zs as my Dad drove us up to the race.  Upon arrival, the first thing I had to do was get my body markings and finish setting up transition.  That was all quickly done so I met back up with my family to wait until the swim start!
         Anybody who knows me, knows that I am a little crazy when it comes to OWS because I never use a wetsuit.  Even my sister was trying to convince me last week to use one since the water temp last weekend was a balmy 54 degrees.  But, I am a firm believer in not changing anything the day or week of the race, so the wetsuit was a no go!  When they called my wave to start lining up, I quickly noticed that there was only one other girl who also wasn't going to be wearing a wetsuit, we quickly became fast friends, since we were both clearly crazy!  Luckily for us the water temp had risen from the 54 degrees the previous weekend to 61.4 degrees.  The air horn went off and we were on our way.  I definitely remember at one point thinking, HOLY CRAP - I am finally doing this race!!  Let me say... that water was COLD - but only for the first 5 minutes or so, then I got into a rhythmn and didn't even notice the temp.  I am very thankful for water suport crew, because I apparently can not swim straight to save my life!  According to my Garmin, my 1.2 mile swim turned into a 1.75 - no joke, atleast 5 kayakers told me that I needed to swim more to the left and back into the fray of swimmers... At one point I popped my head up and looked around and suddenly realized I was almost done and said, Hell Yeah! almost done, to which a kayaker laughed and said, yes, yes you are, way to go!  Finally got out of the swim, and quickly realized that my feet were numb - running into transition was the most awkward feeling I have ever experienced!  Next up the Bike!

           For me, the bike is the scariest part because of the fact that so many things can go wrong.  So mentally I told myself if I could just make it to the run, then I was finishing!  Well, I think God has a funny sense of humor.  I'm cruising along and was at a particularly bumpy part of the course (around mile 12) when I knew suddenly something was very wrong.  I looked down and sure enough my back tire was completely flat! SHIT!  Thankfully I was at a stretch that was still fairly populated and was able to pull off the course and get up onto the sidewalk and work on changing my tire.  I started laughing, kind of an ironic laugh, at the fact that it had taken me 4 years to be able to get to the starting line and here I finally make it to potentially have to pull out at mile 12 on the bike.  Seriously?!  So I start working on getting my tire off... but I hadn't changed or fixed a tire in 3 years, so the going was very slow.  I had no idea if I had a hole or what the situation was.  All these people kept zipping past, a few shouted out asking if I was alright.  One guy looked at me and said, WOW, that sucks!  To which I responded, Yes, Yes it does!  I pulled out my CO2 cartridge and  used it to partially fill up my tire so that I could find the hole, because I am apparently old school and patch tires rather than pulling out a new tube (which I didn't have anyway).  I finally fixed the hole and got the tire all back together, now just to get it back on my bike... When suddenly out of nowhere a guy comes by on a bike and asked if I would like some help.  I immediately responded yes!  Which, for all I know is illegal in Ironman races.  So he quickly got my tire back on my bike.  He lived near by and was just out for a casual ride and thought he would check out the race when he saw me.  He told me that I was old school for patching the tire and then gave me his spare tube because as he put it, "Girl, you have got to finish and you have a long way to go!"  So with many many thank yous, I accepted.  Thankfully I did not need it.  He pounded it with me, hopped back on his bike and shouted back, NO MORE FLATS! YOU GOT THIS GIRL!  So I was back on the bike, a little cautious about my tire, but it was time to make up for lost time, 30 minutes wasted on trying to fix my flat, was not a good thing!  As I was riding the thing that kept going through my head was, OMG, I HAVE to have my Dad for teaching me how to change a flat tire! I would have been totally lost otherwise!  My family was starting to worry because my typical bike pace is around 18mph give or take they finally got my 30mile update and I was averaging a 13 - stupid flat!  So I was cruising along when I spotted my brother in laws parents about 10 miles out from the bike finish.  I was really excited to see someone I knew and quickly shouted a HEEEEYYYYY as I rode past.  As I came into the last mile or two stretch I saw my Dad and quickly shouted HEY DAD! Too which he was very surprised and wasn't expecting to see me yet.  Finally down and into transition! I had survived the bike, now just a 1/2 marathon left!

      The run was a 2 loop out and back course.  I quickly waved to my family, told my sister I was glad Dad taught me how to change a flat and I was off.  But man, my legs felt like jello.  About a 1/4 of a mile in my quads, right above my knees started cramping so bad!  But I took it in stride and was hoping it was just my transitioning legs from the bike to the run.  Unfortunately that was not the case.  My legs went through a series of crazy cramping where I would stop and literally punch them to being totally fine, just tired and off I would run.  Two things on the run that probably saved me were the pretzles and cola they were serving at the aid stations.  The pretzles because I really needed the salt and the cola because of the sugar and caffeine.  I have truly never had a soda that tasted so good!  Finally the first loop was done and I was rounding the corner to start my second when I saw my sister and decided to stop and chat with her for a second, to only have my legs cramp up like crazy! One of my siblings took a picture in which you can see my muscle cramping - ridiculous!  The second loop was really slow, but I met a really nice girl named Darcy and we stuck together for the last 3 miles pushing each other, telling stories and essentially just helping each other with those last three miles.  Suddenly the finish line was in sight and I was overcome with this crazy sense of accomplishment!  My entire family, was just beyond the finish line and their cheers brought me in as my name was announced over the speaker system.  I DID IT!!! Click the following link to see me actually cross the finish line!  My finish Video!

  70.3 miles - filled with memories, I will never forget!  Thank you to everyone who helped me get to yesterday's race, I couldn't have done it without you all!  Weirdly enough today, I am only very minorly sore! Maybe I should go to the gym and get a workout in??


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