Race Recap: Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City – September 18, 2016

img_2450This past Sunday was the biggest race of the year for me IM AC 70.3. This race has been on the books for a very long time. In fact I just checked my email and I registered on October 27, 2015, so it’s been on the books for nearly a year. When I initially registered I also booked my hotel for the weekend which was Trump Taj Mahal….big mistake! This was before all the Donald Trump nonsense got underway. If I had known then what I know now I would have definitely booked somewhere else. I was looking for a replacement hotel for probably the past 3 months and everything was just so expensive! You would think for a town like Atlantic City the prices would be more reasonable, but nope. All the good hotels there were $350+ a night. So I ended up finding a really good deal at the Comfort Inn in Absecon, NJ. The hotel turned out to be pretty nice. Nice big rooms, friendly staff, and it was only about a 10-15 minute drive from the race site.

Pre-Race Athlete Check-in
We left New York at probably around 11am, and traffic was a bitch! We needed to get to AC by 2:00pm to make the last athlete briefing. The athlete village and transition area was at Bader Field. From what I’ve heard this is an old airport. It is a huge space with lots of room, so this was the perfect place to have the transition area. When we reached AC the briefing was already underway so we didn’t bother to stick around listening to it. There was this cool sand sculpture entering athlete village. Great place for a photo opp.

Me and Allison

Me and Allison

Athlete checking was quite different from Eagleman 70.3 last year. There was absolutely no security. I was waiting for someone, anyone to ask me for a form of ID, or my USAT card, but that never happened. The check-in process was completely lax which is very strange for such a large event. The bar was set very low for dishonest people who enjoy cheating at races. I didn’t take any pictures of this area. I think due to my total disappointment of it all, or maybe because I went through this whole process last year. My excitement level was just not that high.

The store to purchase gear was completely wiped out. I don’t know if they underestimated the number of people that would be purchasing gear, or if people just really went crazy because there was nothing left there that I would want to purchase. So we racked our bikes, and we got out of there.

Swag
At check-in, we were given a large swim bag, and a long sleeved Ironman 70.3 AC Race shirt. Both were very nice. The insulated water bottle was given post race, and the finisher glass was at our bikes in transition.

*not my pic

*not my pic

Race
img_2350Last year we got to the race super early, and I was standing around for over 2hrs. I was not making that mistake this year. I woke up at 5:00am with a planned time to leave at 6:00am, to reach Bader Field by 6:15….that did not happen! Getting to the race was a complete shit show! First siri took us in the wrong direction. Then we get on the AC Expressway and the exit we need to get off is closed for the race! (guess I should have read the athlete guide!) Then when we finally get off the highway and turn onto the main AC strip it is a darn parking lot. I sat in traffic for maybe 5 minutes before I said F it and went around everyone. I know people were pissed but I didn’t care. You grow up in New York, you learn to drive like a New Yorker! So bogart the line I did. We managed to bypass all the traffic and make it to Bader Field with like 15 minutes to set up transition. I’m sure lots of people got there much later because traffic was just not moving. It took me maybe 10 minutes to set up. Thank goodness Lisa Laws was there because I deflated my tires the night before and they needed to be pumped. She took care of that for me…thank you Lisa!

The Swim
img_2359I was a ball of nerves from the moment I woke up. I think it all just hit me at once. I was fine up until that point, but race morning had me a little shook. I walked down to the swim start with my teammates. We are all different ages, so we start at different times. Of course I’m always last to begin my swim. When I took this pic I was just trying to calm myself down because I didn’t want to mess up my favorite part of the race. The most important part is to get through the swim within the allotted time of 1:10minutes. Yes I knew I could do it, but you just never know what is going to happen when you get into the water. We had a small swim out to the start line. I breast stroked out. For some reason I just did not want to put my face in the water. This is TMI but here goes: I had to pee when I was setting up my transition area, but I refused to use the port-a-potty, so I knew I would be peeing in my wet suit! Now people pee in their wet suits all the time, and I always hear it warms you up and it is great. I’ve never done it because I always thought it was gross, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, so I peed! I’m so glad I did because that released some of my nerves, and yes it was very nice and warm.

Yep this lady blocked all my pics...I look mad!

Yep this lady blocked all my pics…I look mad!

I wasn’t completely comfortable until about 10 minutes into the swim. I think I was good when I kicked that first person who tried to swim over me. A good kick to a rude swimmer will easily make them go around you instead of over you! I thought my swim went well. When I got out of the water I looked at my watch and saw 36:04 mins and I thought what the heck! I asked someone next to me what there time was and she said 37 mins. SwimExit2I told her something is not right here. Low and behold the swim course was cut short. Apparently there was an announcement about this, but I surely didn’t hear it, and I was standing by the start from the beginning.

The purple line is the route I swam. The red arrow is where the original swim route turned around.

The purple line is the route I swam. The red arrow is where the original swim route turned around.

As I am running out of the swim area, I unzip my wetsuit and pull it off my shoulders. As I’m running this guy yells “get on the ground” I think ok. He quickly rips my wetsuit off of me, and off I go. That was the fastest wetsuit stripping I’ve ever done! The blue wet looking thing in my hand is my wetsuit.

Running to transition

Running to transition

Official Swim Time: 36:35

T1: Swim-to-bike time: 04:23
Transition 1 was pretty uneventful. I threw my wetsuit down, put on my socks, put my bike shoes on, and then my wet hair kept dripping onto my face. I didn’t have a towel, but I saw one right next to my area. I picked that sucker up, and wiped off my face! (Sorry Amu!) I had some spray sun block. I sprayed it all over and when I got to my neck it burned like hell! I knew I had wetsuit rash and was mad that I didn’t lube my neck before putting my wetsuit on.

This is what happens when your wetsuit rubs against your neck while swimming...ouch!

This is what happens when your wetsuit rubs against your neck while swimming…ouch!

I threw my helmet on, and I was off!

The beginning of the bike at the mount line.

The beginning of the bike at the mount line.

The Bike
Bike StartI’ve been biking pretty well the last few weeks leading up to the race. I definitely think my new Flo Wheels have helped out tremendously. One I started the bike I was feeling great. I was holding a 19mph pace for miles at a time. Of course there were portions of a slower pace here and there, but for me I was flying! I even passed some people which was awesome, because at Eagleman every darn person and their mama passed me. It felt good to not be totally last. The first 29 miles of the bike was great. It lived up to its advertisement of flat and fast. I averaged over 17mph for this stretch. Now the back half of the bike was a totally different story. That flat and fast turned out to be a real bait and switch. There were a lot of inclines that just plateaued, so there was no down hill recovery. As you can see the first half did have inclines, but there were downhills to follow. The back half was just up, up, and away!

My bike elevation chart

My bike elevation chart

Getting passed by a speed demon!

Getting passed by a speed demon!

My speed slowed down drastically. I was probably in the 15mph range for most of the last 27 miles. Also, the men that started after me caught me on this stretch. It is to be expected because they are going 22+mph. Most of them had disc wheels on their bike, so I could hear them coming before they reached me. It almost sounded like a small car was approaching. It really got depressing when the 50+ women started passing me. I was pedaling as fast as I could but was getting no where! I hate cycling hills. Hate it with a passion! For the next tri season I definitely need to incorporate more hill work into my training.bike4 The bike portion ending by us re-entering the Atlantic City Expressway. This is when the wind kicked in. The other thing I hate when cycling is the wind! It wasn’t too bad, I’ve had worse, but it was enough to slow everyone down.

Coming back to Bader Field was great because the crowd was there again cheering everyone on. All I remember is riding as fast as I could because I knew I needed all the time I could get on the run. I knew before I got off the bike that it would not be pretty.

Why is my mouth always open??!!

Why is my mouth always open??!!

I get off my bike, and walk it into the transition area. I took my time because I knew my legs would feel like bricks. (the brick workouts that I skipped out on a lot in training!) I rack my bike, throw down my helmet, take off my bike shoes, put on my sneakers, grab my water bottle filled with my Infinit formula and I’m out of there!

 

 

 

Official Bike Time: 56 miles, 03:27:01, 16.23 mph

The Run
fullsizerender9Now I have not been running well at all lately. I don’t know if was the long cycling on Saturday, then running on Sunday, but my runs have been the pits. As soon as I started running I knew it was going to be a long rest of the day.  I took a sip of my Infinit and it was boiling hot!  I knew that I would dump it as soon as I got the chance.  Now the beginning of the run was totally awful.  They had us doing laps in the lot.  It must have been 2.5 miles of around and around.  Once I got to the first aid station I emptied my bottle, asked the volunteers to fill it with water, I poured my Infinit powder in (I had it tucked in the back of my tri top), shook it up and took a few gulps.  It was the most refreshing thing I ever tasted!  I think it gave me a little boost, and I continued on with my shuffle.

We ran out of the field, and onto the street, and up to the boardwalk.  Now I knew the race ended on the boardwalk, but I didn’t know 10 friggin miles of it was on the boardwalk.  It was the never ending boardwalk from hell!  Another good reason to read the athlete guide, or even the course description before signing up!  Yes it was flat which is always good, but there was absolutely zero shade in sight.  My tan is epic!

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I did a whole lot more walking than running.  That was fine with me because I knew I made pretty good time on the swim and bike, so I had some time to spare.  Probably half way into the race my toes started killing me.  They were just completely sore.  That made even walking pretty painful.  I did the best that I could, and did a slow jog when possible, and a fast walk the rest of the time.

On the pier exposed to the brutal heat.

On the pier exposed to the brutal heat.

There was one point of the run that we ran out onto this really long pier.  I swear I contemplated jumping off to cool myself down, but thought hey, I may die if I jumped off this pier….I kept it moving!

Since the run was a loop I got to see my teammates over and over again.  It was great, and not so great at the same time because I could see how they were gaining ground on me every-time we saw each other; which meant that I was moving extremely slow.  Once one of my teammates caught up with me I thought OMG I must be moving at a snails pace!  She passed me and I kept doing my own thing.  Worrying about someone else was not going to make me move any faster.  When I got closer to the finish there was a portion that was on the sand!  Part of the sand was covered as you can see here.run3  The black is some kind of mat that was laid on top of the sand.  After that we were trekking through the sand a bit.  This portion was a little treacherous because right after I believe we could see the finish line.  Having to run past the finish line is like taking a knife to the heart.  I could hear and see people finishing, and the excitement of the crowd is of epic proportion.  I got through that section as fast as I could!

The turn around to head back to the finish line was at mile 11.  Once I made the turn around I saw another teammate and thought how the heck did she catch me too!!  I did my best to run a bit more so she did not completely leave me in her dust! (Hey Tinnette) As we approached the finishline I told her to go ahead.  I wanted pics of only me coming through the finish!! LMAO!!

 

img_2355As I’m coming down the chute I see Coach Jax and give her a high five.  It was so nice to see a friendly face at this point in the race.  All I kept telling myself was run through this finish and be strong!  38_m-100736777-digital_highres-1386_071952-3874978It was great!  The crowd was roaring.  I see a camera and throw up my deuces.  The finishline is in my sights…this thing is almost over!

 

Finally I crossed the finish and can breath a sigh of relief.  I knew I did way better than last year just from the way I felt once I crossed.  Last year I was just defeated and depleted of any energy.  Yes I was hurting, but it wasn’t unbearable and I got it done!  Post race everyone received an insulated water bottle.  I would have preferred a finisher hat, but a water bottle it is….ehhhh  There was even a food truck there giving out delicious fries, a tent with yummy pizza, grapes, soda, and something else I can’t remember.

 

 

 

 

Finish like a champ!

Finish like a champ!

 

Official Run Time: 13.1 miles – 03:14:51, 14:52 pace

Overall Race Time: 07:27:48

I have to say, I had a great time at this race.  Although I didn’t like some portions of the course, I don’t think I’ll ever be fully satisfied with a race course.  I just have to deal with the hand I’ve been dealt, and do the best that I can.

Would I recommend this race to others? The answer is yes.  The company that put on this race, Delmo Sports did a great job.  Everything was very organized, there was no point in the race that I felt lost on the course (it happens).  The volunteers were amazing.  Aid stations were plentiful, and the weather was great despite the sunburn!  If you live within driving distance I would definitely recommend giving this race a shot, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Until next time!

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Race Recap: Ironman Eagleman 70.3 June 14, 2015

IMG_2159I finally completed the big kahuna, and it surely was a doosey!  I drove down from NY super early Saturday morning to make sure I arrived at athlete check-in with enough time to get situated.  Check-in was at Sailwinds Park in Cambridge and was a process in and of itself.  First you had to show ID to get the small green card with your number on it.  Then we were directed toward the waiver pick up area where we had to listen to a schpeal about how to sign our life away.IMG_2079  After I read and signed the waiver I then had to go to another area to drop the waiver off.  It almost felt like I was a human ping pong going back and IMG_2075-0forth between tables.  The waiver drop off volunteer reviewed both sides of the waiver, made sure it was signed, then directed me toward the number pick up area….another table.  Here they checked our USAT card (which they should have done at the first table) gave me the athlete envelope and went into another schpeal about what was in the envelope.  I felt bad for these volunteers because it was blazing hot in this hanger type warehouse and they were sweating bullets in cotton volunteer shirts.IMG_2074-0  After getting the athlete envelope and swim cap (mine was lavender) I was then directed to another table to get my timing chip.  This was an interesting process that I’ve never seen IMG_2068before.  They typed my race number into the computer, I verified my name, the volunteer then held the timing chip over a sensor and it was programmed.  It is very easy to make a mIMG_2070istake here as the volunteer did with mine.  He typed my number in incorrectly, and the girl scanning the chip scanned in someone else’s info.  They had to retype my number in and scan a new chip.  Then I was off to the next table to get “swag” and I use this term loosely because I really wouldn’t consider a

Pro Check-In

Pro Check-In

standard race t-shirt swag.  The women were given blue shirts, and the men red…go figure!  Since it was burning hot, and from what I understand it usually is every year I sort of wish they would have given a tank, but any race shirt given is much appreciate.  At this point I was sweating my britches off and was looking for water because It was just excruciatingly hot.  The only liquid offering was warm red bull which didn’t help the cause.  I did see some pro’s checking in.  Looks like all of their items were at one table and they didn’t have to do the cupid shuffle like the regular folks!  Since this was my first half I’m not sure if this is the normal check in process, or if it varies from race to race.  I think it could have been consolidated to 2 tables, 3 at most…this was definitely a bit excessive.

On to the Ironman village.  I wish I could have taken a pic of the full setup because it was very cool.  There was merch everywhere!  You really could have spent up all of your money in there and had to hitch a ride home! I took it pretty easy though…the damage wasn’t too bad, I think I spent $110.

This is the one item I really wanted.  I can now retire my cute red Kipling backpack from holding my workout gear.

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Eagleman Backpack

I didn’t plan on buying any caps, but it’s in my favorite colors so what the heck.

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Eagleman Cap

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Eagleman Towel

This is a portion of the towel opened up.  It is so cool because if you look really closely you can see my name.

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See it?

Bought this sticker for my car

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And I ended up not needing it because my team founders gifted me with this awesome IM 70.3 emblem.  Thanks Lisa and Meagan!  And yes its on my car already, and yes I love red!

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Right outside of the store is what I guess runners would call an expo.  There wasn’t much there in terms of buying, but the fancy Dimond bikes were there…they sure are pretty in person.  I got to test one there that they had on the trainer.  The shifters were amazing! Wish I had 10G’s (or more) lying around to buy one.

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The infamous carbon wheel rental tent I always read about

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Newton tent

I want to say there were maybe 10 vendors there.  There definitely wasn’t a lot, and 10 maybe even on the high side.

Next it was off to transition at Great Marsh park to drop off my bike.  We were there pretty early so transition was virtually empty.  This was a good thing though because I got to place my bike and scope out my area with not a lot of people around.

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Rack view in transition

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another view

Quite a few people had these tent thingys on their bike.  I’ve never seen them before and thought wow those are interesting.  It certainly is a better looking alternative to plastic bags of which the Ironman officials were taking off of bikes anyway.  Plastic bags covering bikes at this event was a big no no. After a quick google search I discovered the rack jacket is from Endurafit.  They also have quite a few other cover products that could be useful.

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So I racked Ruby for the night and we were off to get some grub.

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We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Easton.  This was about a 15-20 min drive from Cambridge.  The hotel had a ton of Gatorade and water out so I snagged a few of each.  The room was nice and big and roomy.  As soon as I was in my room I got my gear together for the next morning.  There were no transition bags given to us.  When we were checking in they said they were not giving them out this year.  I snagged some extra plastic bags from the Ironman store and used those to separate my gear for each leg.  I also mixed my Gatorade endurance formula and put it in the fridge, and a bottle in the freeze so it would be nice and cold when I needed it the next day.  I was in bed by 7 because I had to be up bright and early at 4am…yes 4am!

Race Day

Once the alarm goes off, I right up, no snoozing since I had plenty of sleep throughout the night.  I felt wonderful and refreshed and ready to start the day.  We were out the door by 4:45 and on our way to the race site to find parking.  Our original plan was to park at the local school and take the shuttle bus over to transition, but we checked with a teammate who got there early and told us there was still space to park.  We found a great spot like 3 blocks from transition.

First stop body marking.  I don’t know why I thought we’d have those fancy tattoo numbers like they have at Kona….not the case.  It was magic marker numbers just like the races at home.

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Right arm marking

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left leg marking

I let the marker dry, but by the time I put sunblock on the writing was gone…..guess those weren’t sharpies!  Next was setting up the transition area.  Now this time around it was packed.  There were athletes everywhere!  I think the race had under 3000 people.  It was the biggest tri I’ve ever participated in, so at this point it was getting a bit overwhelming.

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My transition setup

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Ran into Gerald a fellow Black Triathletes Association member in transition.

I did end up putting my helmet up on my aeros because as I was walking out of transition everyone had there helmets up there so I though while in Rome!  At the few sprint tri’s I’ve done the helmets were always down on the transition mat, but I like this setup better.  My transition mat is a T Mat Pro Transition Mat.  I got it on amazon a couple years ago and it comes in a ton of colors.  I like the fact that it is the perfect size and rolls up nicely.  You can also use a plain ole towel if you don’t want to spend the money.

 

 

Obligatory pre-race usie with Allison.

Obligatory pre-race usie with Allison.

I am in a group on facebook called Black Triathletes Association.  It has grown to 1600+ black triathletes, which seems like a lot but it really isn’t if you look at all the triathletes in the world.  So when we see another member at a race, or a black triathlete period it is really exciting because there is just not a lot of us out there participating in races…so hey Gerald!

The Swim

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My teammates from left to right – Allison, Lisa, Dionne, and Me.

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Allison and I, last check-in before the start.

The pros started their swim at 6:45am.  My start time was 8:15am so I had a lot of waiting around to do.  The swim waves are grouped by age and my age group 30-34 is basically last to start.  The last wave were the people who opted to wear wetsuits and have no placement in their age group; they went off at 8:20 so I started virtually last.  All we could do to relax and stay calm was to sit on this grass and chill.  Lisa started at 7:15 and Allison and Dionne started together at 7:52 I believe so I was able to give them hugs, and luck and they were off!  I had another 28 minute wait so I just sat back on the grass and waited it out.

When 8:08 rolled around we were called to the start.  There was a little bit of a swim out until we got to the buoys where the actual start was.  The sand/mud/muck what ever it was there was disgusting!  If I could imagine what it would feel like to walk through dog poop that is what it would be.  It was really gross.  So instead of walking I figured I would swim up.  When I started my stroke and turned my head to the side I couldn’t breathe.  I think I had a mini panic attack but I’m not completely sure since I’ve never had one before.  I tried again and the same thing happened.  At this point I got really nervous.  I instead did the breast stroke out to try and calm myself.  I got to the start and thought why the heck is this river water salty?  That coupled with the sting rays….yes sting rays I saw in there the day before I knew it would be an interesting swim.

So the gun goes off and the lavender caps are swimming.  I stayed on the outside and started off slow because I couldn’t breathe 5 minutes ago and didn’t want to get out there and drown myself.  Now the funny thing about this swim, the first 200 meters you could stand up, this was about the first and second buoys.  It was the strangest thing ever.  As I watched the waves before me go, many people simply walked or ran those first 2 buoys which I know probably exhausted them.  I swam some that first buoy, stood up and composed my self by walking for like 10 seconds.  After that I was good.  I was swimming like I normally do, but still taking it easy as I warmed myself up.  There was a bit of a current that was dragging me to the right when I should have been swimming straight and slightly left. So I had to sight a lot to correct myself. Maybe 2-3 minutes after I started the guys 30-34 started.  Now I have no idea why Ironman starts the women first and then the men.  This is such a stupid idea.  The men proceeded to swim right over me, and the majority of the women my age.  They had on red caps and all I remember was seeing a swarm of red coming at me, then flying by me.  I think the women  should really go 2nd to avoid this.

I only had one OWS (open water swim) prior to this and it was in a lake, and there was only a small current so I’ve had virtually no OWS experience, so I was essentially learning on the fly.  I think I counted six yellow buoys and then saw the red one at which time we had to make a right turn.  At this IMG_2126-0point I thought I had a straight swim to the run out of the water, but I was wrong!  Guess I should have been paying attention during the athlete briefing!  I swam maybe 100 more meters and noticed I was alone.  I turn to my right and see another red buoy! There was another turn!  So I made the 2nd turn and then everyone appeared.  There was a ton of people so I just though in my head yes I’m not last.  At this point I was nice and loose and warm and open up and sped up a bit.  I think I made up some time that I lost swimming out.  As I’m swimming I see lime and purple, and think to myself it can’t be.  I swam up to my teammie and made sure she was OK because there was no way I should have caught up to her.  I knew there would definitely be a story about that when we finished and there was!  She swam way off course which I am sure a lot of people did on the way out.  If you were not constantly correcting yourself, it was very easy to swim in the wrong direction.  I saw some people swimming sideways.  So after I got the OK from her I kept swimming.  I swim 200 more meters and notice people are standing up again.  I turn to the guy on my right and say were you standing?  He says for a bit I was but it got deep again.  I just keep swimming.  Another couple meters and everyone is walking in the water!  I stood up and walked a bit and pooped my self out, so I started swimming again to conserve energy.  It came to a point that the water was so shallow my hands were scrapping the sand, so I finally stood up and walked with everyone else.  Once I got to the beach I walked up the little dune, and jogged to transition.  I finished my swim in 56.40.  Definitely my worse 1.2 to date, but it was under an hour and I’ll take it!IMG_2126-0

The Bike

My T1 (Transition swim-bike) time wasn’t bad at 04:08.  I had all my gear laid out nicely so I was able to dry my feet, get my socks, shoes  helmet, and gloves on.  I also ate a few energy chews, and took a sip of the frozen Gatorade that I had laying on my mat and I was off.  The bike course was nice and flat how I like it!  I averaged 14.3mph on the bike which I am fine with.  Yes I probably could have gone faster, but I didn’t want to poop myself out for the run that I knew would be super hot.  I stuck with the plan and drank every 10 minutes.  I have a torhan front hydration system, so that is what I used the entire bike.  I stopped somewhere around mile 25 for some water from the volunteers.  I think I guzzled down half a bottle of water and took a salt tab.  At this point the temperature was starting to rise so I knew I needed to stay hydrated.  I kept cycling and stopped again somewhere around the 45 miles mark.  At this point I had to pee really badly and there was no way I was peeing on the bike like many people told me to do.  So I took my time and used the port a potty.  Lets face IMG_2128-0facts I wasn’t winning any awards so I may as well take my time and enjoy myself.  I used the bathroom, refilled my empty bottle out front with more Gatorade, drank another half bottle of water and was on my way.  At this time I started counting down the miles.  Every time I ticked of 1 mile I would say in my head 20 to go, 19 to go, 18 to go…….I had to do something to get me to the finish because at this point I was bored out of my mind!  There was basically no spectators out on the bike route so it was quiet the whole time unless you were at an aid station, or had to make a turn and you got to see a cop and say hi to them.

I think when I got to about 4 miles to go I saw runners.  This is so discouraging because I just thought to myself I am so far behind, they are already running and I’m still on my bike, but I kept pressing on.  There were a lot of spectators out during this point, and it was encouraging to hear them cheering.  My overall bike time was 03:54:59 which I am happy with.  I wanted to finish in under 4hrs.  I got back to IMG_2129-0transition as fast as I could, took off my helmet, swapped out my cycle shoes for running shoes, took off my gloves, put my visor on, and I was off.  My T2 (Transition bike to run) was 03:55.  The one thing I forgot to do was put my own sunblock on.  I use SPF 80 because I burn very easily.  I saw a table with sunblock and I grabbed some and put it on my shoulders and face.  Needless to say it didn’t work because I am very burned!

The Run

I grabbed some ice water, and jog out of the transitions area, as soon as I hit the street I could not breathe.  I stopped to walk a bit to catch my breathe and thought to myself you cannot start walking this early.  I tried to run again and after a few steps it was the same thing.  I just thought to myself this is not good.  I was feeling OK and I should be running!  I have to say it was very discouraging and I really wanted to quit.  I could not walk 13.1 miles…that is nuts right??? Well that is exactly what I did! I just could not will my body to run.  Ever time I took a few steps I just had to stop to catch my IMG_2136-0breathe.    Human beings are just not meant to exert that much energy under such conditions.  It felt like it was 95 degrees out there and there was no shade anywhere!  When I got to about the 5 mile marker, everyone on the other side of the road who had already completed 8 miles was walking, and I mean everyone!!  Even the fittest looking guys were walking.  I’ve been in super hot weather before.  I live in New York, we always have heat waves in the summer, but I’ve never run in it.  So I did what I could to survive and I walked the whole 13.1.  It was crazy!  My

This man got me to the finishline

This man got me to the finish line

feet were on fire and I bet you could literally fry an egg on the cement it was that hot.  Once I got to the turn around at like mile 6.5 or 7 I see Allison on the other side of the road.  We hugged and I don’t know what she said to me about running and I told her just walk…everyone is walking.  At this point I she was only about a mile or so behind me.  I really thought she was going to catch up because I was walking so slow.

At about 5 miles to go I found a walking partner and we finished out the race together.  I’m glad he was there because his legs were long and he made me walk faster.  It was nice to have some company and someone to talk to.  It made the time go faster and made my race not end on a miserable note.  I thought I could finish the run in 2.5hrs, but that went way out the window.  My run time was 3:27 and I use the term run very loosely because I walked the whole darn thing!  Coming around the last corner I see Lisa Laws! I couldn’t believe it, I look at my partner and say there’s the captain, lets run, and we took off.  We rounded another corner and the finish line was in my sights.  At this point I was working on pure adrenaline and kept going.  I saw my teammates on my right cheering me on…I threw up my deuces and kept going.  I heard my name being called and new I was home free.  I did it….I completed a half Ironman and the feeling was amazing!  I got my medal that I worked so hard for, and a cute finisher hat, so I now have 2 Eagleman hats in my collection…I will be wearing them everywhere!!

Final Race Thoughts

I have to say I really enjoyed this race.  Although the run (walk) was brutal it is still an amazing race.  I barely made the cutoff at 08:27:19 but barely is still making it!!  I would have never thought after having a baby 10 months ago I would be here right now.  It was amazing and I will never forget this day for the rest of my life!  Would I do it again?  The answer to that is yes, but not this course.  Eagleman you will always be my first, but you are one fiery hot bird!  I am already plotting my next race, but it will have to be in the early fall, hopefully I can find one that won’t cost me my first born!  My tri-life continues!

I made it!

I made it!

All Womens/Brands Tri Team...we did it!

All Womens/Brands Tri Team…we did it!

With my partner in crime Allison

With my partner in crime Allison

My awful sun burn

My awful sun burn

How cool is this, so I don’t need that fancy bike cover now because when I got back to my bike this was on it…thank you race directors!

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See you at the next race!