“Courage conquer all things; it even gives strength to the body”
When I took on the challenge of finishing an Ironman half distance, I knew it will not going to be an easy challenge just because I know I have two babies and time is something I don’t have much of it, but I took on the challenge anyways. Things were going well until I was offer a job for the summer, which for me it was an awesome opportunity since I would like to go back to work in the near future and having this opportunity to easy myself in was just fantastic and could’t say no to it.
So before work came into the table, I have set up the boys to go into camp, to allow me to train as much as the training plan was calling for but life happens so training didn’t really happened that much.
So the time has finally come and I have my mind set up on the finish line. The only way I was not finishing this was if I crash on the bike or pass out on the run (which didn’t happen). I no longer get nervous before a race because I no longer compete. I go in for me and to beat the Linette from yesterday. I want to enjoy every minute of every race and yes I want to try my best on getting a PR.
My day started at 3:30 am. I was pretty far from the race so I need to get up extra early. No sure what happen but I didn’t follow morning ritual (coffee, oatmeal, bananas and water) and I completely forgot about breakfast. I ate a banana and beet juice (not enough). Set up transition and waited for the start. Thank God for team mates that make me feel so confident and ready to take on the world.
The swim was in the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Fresh clear water and beautiful view of the mountains. Wave were every 4 minutes and I was in wave 10. I was planing on staying on the outside but it seems like everyone had the same idea so I quickly got myself in the inside. I spend must of my time trying to get away from other swimmers and not getting kick or punch. By the time I had a good open stream I was almost at the finish. My time 0:35.58. When I got out and notice my time I was not upset because I was still trying to preserve my energy for the bike and the run but 35 minutes was not what I was expecting. I have done better in practice.
Well! not really what I expected. It was very hilly and I lost my water bottles by mile 7 ( I left one at home so riding with just one was a struggle to begin with) so I was not a happy camper. They had lots of aid stations where they provide Gatorade, gel and water which safe my life!. On mile 40 I quickly realized that I was complete exhausted and started to think ALL things I did wrong, such as not eating well that morning. Not checking on my bike nutrition while I was training. Not riding longer, not riding harder. All I kept hearing was “on your left” of people passing me by while going up yet another hill. I was disappointed and wanted to to quit so bad. I was able to see some of my teammates and cheer them back which gave me a bit of boost but not enough to go up yet another hill. Around mile 52 it was yet another hill before going into transition and I wanted to cry! but there was no time for crying, so I put my big girl undies and kept pedaling into transition. My time was 3:55:24
What can I say?! after 56 miles of pure up hills I was actually looking forward to the run and to see familiar faces (husband and two great friends) I started the run confident that I would do much better but right after I turn the first corner .. there it was!… yet another hill. I just told myself “do NOT walk” so I kept moving. The temperature was not a cool 65 degrees anymore but a 86 degrees and 80% humidity. So I hit pretty much every water station so I can pour the water on my head and keep myself cool. The good thing is that on the run is were you get to chat with people and hear their stories of why they are doing this, why are they putting their body through pure misery and then you realize how much you have in common with all this people. I did stop to use the portal potty and walk a bit on mile 10. Time 2:25:53.
Although my goal was to finish I was pretty disappointed to see my splits and finish time. I wanted to do better but at the end of the day you can’t expect your body to do better if it is not train for. I can’t expect to pedal for 56 miles and fell great when I never did 56 miles on training so it all falls on me. I can see this as a great accomplishment or I can stay disappointed at my time and performance. I choose to see this as one the most awesome feeling I have. Finishing was an immense accomplishment and it is something that no one can take that from me.
So what now?
I will be doing another 70.3 distance, must likely Lake Placid in September 2017 to prepare myself for a full distance (140.6) in 2018. Why two years to a full? because by then both of my kids will be in school full time 🙂 Couple of marathon are also in the making. So it is not over yet. Hang tight and enjoy the ride.
“once cannot improve as an endurance athlete except by changing one’s relationship with perception of effort” Matt Fitzgerald.