Monday, November 5, 2012

Round Two?

So, I realize that I never actually updated after my half ironman. The reason is that I was crushed. I should probably start this off with a race report......

June9, 2012: Boise 70.3 The day began cold. Really cold. I was up early, and my brother met me at the bike/run transition to drop my running gear and to get me on the bus that would take me to the starting line. My brother rocks, I seriously adore him. He has done the Boise 70.3 3 times, so I consider him a veteran, and it was so calming to have him there to hold my hand through the process, It really helped to calm my nerves! I had to get on the bus alone, but the ride helped me to begin focusing.

The Start/Swim: As I mentioned above, the day started out cold. By the time the race began, the temperature was 35 degrees. I had been waiting in my wetsuit(as had every other participant), but my bare feet were so frozen that they had literally turned grey and I could no longer feel them. After the race, I would discover several cuts that I was clueless as to how I got them. About 10 minutes before the professionals started, the announcement was made that the bike was being shortened because of the crazy bad weather. It was so windy out there that the aid tents were being blown over, and so cold that there was a very real threat of hypothermia. I wanted to cry. Several people didn't even bother to start the race(and several more people were pulled from the swim because of hypothermia, it was awful). As the start time for my wave came near, I got onto the cement slab that was our starting point. I was able to watch the first of the pros exit the water, which was so awesome because I have never been able to see it before. The wave before me went, and we were allowed to wade into the water. Aaahhh! Sweet relief! The water was actually several degrees warmer(around 60+) than the air outside! At the "GO", I started off with several other women. It was my first time in a mass swim start, and it was quite unnerving. I had done several open water swims, but never with dozens of other people. I am not the fastest swimmer, so I was also being passed by people from all the waves behind me. I really struggled on the swim because of this. However, I finished my swim with a time of 1:06, which was only 12 minutes longer than I had estimated my time would be. It was the first time I had done 1.2 miles in the open water, but I felt good, and wasn't even the last person out of the water, woo hoo!!

Bike: I used the wetsuit pullers to help me out of my wetsuit because my hands were so cold that I just couldn't do it. Oh yeah, there is a line of people waiting for you as you exit the swim to help you get out of your wetsuit. Probably one of the coolest things about the race! My transition time was awful, but I was finally able to get all my gear together and get out on my bike. I ran my bike to the line where I could finally hop on, only to discover that my chain had dropped! I was so cold and confused that I couldn't comprehend this, and I just stared at my bike. Finally a spectator asked me if I knew how to fix it. This finally snapped me out of it, because yes, I did in fact know how to fix it, I just hadn't been able to get my muddled brain to think. I fixed my chain(it was super easy and took only seconds), and I was off! I felt really good on the bike as I was able to get my body moving enough to start to thaw out. I downed water and a few Honey Stinger Waffles because I wanted to get to the run well hydrated and with some energy. My amazing husband and three kids were out on the bike course with signs to cheer me on. I have never been so happy during a race!! I finally came down the hill to the bike/run transition, I only had a half marathon to run, and the sun was almost shining!

Run: My transition to the run was more smooth than onto the bike, but I still struggled with severely cold feet and hands, which made things a bit slow. My parents were there at the transition to cheer me. I am so lucky to have such a supportive family. I was finally off on the run. I did my first mile in 9:45 which is a record setting pace for me! I am always faster off of the bike, and it seems so easy. Then, reality sets in, and I slow down. All in all, I managed an overall pace of 11:19/mile, which I am super duper happy with. All along the course, I was seeing TriTown jerseys(the group that i had trained with, and the only triathlon store in Idaho, they are super amazing). I did my first loop, stopping at every aid station for Poweraide, and to use the bathroom since I was so over hydrated. Near the end of the first loop, the gang from TriTown(owners, workers, and friends), were there to cheer me on and give out high fives. It was so nice to see the support from non family too. I made it to the turn around, and started on the last leg of my adventure. I was tired, but in good spirits as I knew the end was finally coming! I continued my pattern of drinking and peeing at every aid station, though I probably could have/should have switched to water. I hit one spot where I was able to see a fellow TriTown athlete(Dennis), who has been a great inspiration to me. He wasn't far behind, and it was comforting to know that there were others out there with me still, as the bulk of the athletes were finishing their race as I was just hitting the turn around. On the last long stretch, Antonio(one of the TriTown owners) rode along with me on his bike. His encouraging words gave me an extra burst of speed that was much needed at this point. Then he headed off to find Dennis. I rounded the last turn, and the TriTown crew was STILL there to cheer me on!! I seriously cannot believe the support I got from them, hanging out there until the last of the tritown group finished, no matter how long it took. I could see the finish line, and I gave it all had, I wanted to finish strong as I knew my family would be there to see me. Unfortunately, I did get beat by a few feet by an 82 year old participant(in my defense, he had been doing this for several years, I had not!!)

The Finish: Crossing the finish line was such a thrilling and bittersweet moment. I was so happy to be done, and yet still felt the weight of not having actually completed the half ironman distance. I got my heat blanket, my finishers medal, and most importantly, my son slipped his little hand in mine, and held on tight. I was able to go get some delicious food, and sit down for a few minutes to talk with my family. The weather then took another turn for the worse, and it got super windy and overcast again(it had been windy the whole day, but this got ridiculous once more). I went to gather up my transition bags, and was able to sit and stretch out while my wonderful husband went and got the van. It was such an amazing experience, and worth all the blood, sweat, and tears that were put into it. Which brings me to the title of this post. I have been contemplating doing the Boise 70.3 again in 2013. I do not feel like I have done a half ironman yet. I know, I know, I finished the race, but the bike was cut, so I didn't actually finish a full half ironman. I have been so crushed by this that I have thrown away all my training, and undone all the hard work I put into it in the first place. I am so mad at myself, but I also needed it. So, I came here to write this, and to get back on the wagon(again). I haven't 100% decided that I am doing it, but probably 85% decided. I will have to see if I can arrange babysitting for the Monday night Swims, and the Saturday swim/bike. I took lot of commitment from a lot of different people to get me to the starting line. I know that if I want this bad enough though, that I will make it happen once again.

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