Well. I made it. My Third half Ironman under my belt .. but so much to learn before the big dance in September.
I'm going to walk through the trip, and try not to leave any details...
There is always so many cool things of "swag" in any Ironman proshop...or village as the race calls it... From cool jackets, to hats, pants, new bike shorts, jersey, you name in... I resisted all urges to buy what I really wanted... Because I will want something in Wisconsin.. And use Travis's home made gift card/ Christmas present.. I headed back, got checked into the hotel... And headed out to dinner.. Great place in a wonderful local brewery....
Saturday.. I woke up early enough to get breakfast at the hotel... And rest a little while before I went to check our bikes in.. I lubed the gears up, and rode our bikes about 10 minutes just to make sure everything was all set.
Perfect timing, as I pulled back into the park, it was time for bike check in.. For any Ironman branded race ( not sure about any other i.e. rev3) you have to check your bike in the day before... I like being early for this.. More than anything because I don't like standing around on my feet, in the heat, the day before a big race...
I wanted to have a quick jog to loosen up our legs a tiny bit, and we wanted to give the open water swim a try Saturday.. But we had about an hour and half to kill.... So I decided to camp out in the back of my car.. It actually was quite pleasant with a nice breeze..
Oh that practice swim... One of my clients, no I take that back many people at work know my high level of phobia that I have with swimming with the fishes.. It is huge, but yet I decide to do these half ironman or full ironman races that take place in open bodies of water... I know this..I will ever try to get more comfortable... But it just doesn't happen.. I wanted 100% dry suit for the start of Sunday. .. However, my lord was there seaweed... This was a picture that was taken the week before the race of wonderful volunteers trying to clean out as much derby as they could...
It didn't matter... I felt like I had creepy crawlers, fish, trees, creature like things all over me... And I was only in there 10-15 minutes... Good thing we did this though so I wouldn't panic nearly as much on Sunday...
We tried to find a solid place for lunch instead of previewing the bike course .. Downtown Syracuse pretty much shuts down during the summer... Every place recommend on yelp was closed..it came down to chipotle or jimmy johns... We picked jimmy johns...
Got back to hotel, and noticed huuuuuuge volumes of smoke in the area...we were only hoping it wasn't our hotel. It wasn't, it was a chemical spill that turned into a chemical fire in the area...but our hotel was forced to shut off the ac, making our room quite stuffy....we packed our transition bags, and everything else..
.. Went to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner, and laying in bed by 830.
I didn't sleep well .. I was hot.. I was nervous... I was thinking too much... Needless to say the ac kicked back on around 245 am, and my alarm at 345 screamed me to stay in bed... Up and at em... I am glad I left early to avoid traffic ...
Body marked and ready to go ...
Traditional start of the day..
Setting up transition,.. I try not to get too suckered into listening to those around mean out how brutal the hills are going to be, and how much the run is going o be hard and hit.. Or how another girl fell off her bike last year... I set up everything the way I usually do, grabbed my wetsuit, and down to the swim start j and I went ...
Watching the pros go off was cool... And this race there were waves based on your gender and age.. I was in wave 7.. As I made my way down, all those horrible feelings start rushing in... Did I train enough, was I ready.. Am I going to be okay?? I wish I would have peed one more time haha .. All that stuff... But before I knew it, the horn fires, and off we go.
Swim. Pretty clustered, heart pounding, couldn't get comfortable, tried to slow down thoughts, and just kept getting kicked and slammed... One chic grabbed my swim cap and pushed me back... If you know me.. You know I am competitive, but you probably know I am the girl that would say sorry 100x if I ran right smack I to you... About a quarter way out during the swim I could taste gas fuel... It was awful... All I thought about was don't swallow... But of course, one more kick in the side, and I did... And got a little sick in my mouth... Sounds awful, but honestly, I didn't want to lose my morning food/fuel of nutrition... So I kept saying.. Breathe girl.. Breathe... I was glad the sun was going to be on my left.. I just kept thinking to get to shore as quick as I could without freaking out bc of seaweed forest or gas stuff.... Know what I can control I thought ..
T1.. Wow.. Wet suit strippers... Hahah. Not so wow was the gal needing extra help to get mine off... It had to be my huge feet .. Long run up to transition ... Got to my bike... Loaded up, and off I went ..
Bike.. Ohhh the bike... I included a bike profile shot so you know when I say it was hilly
Death Ride, I mean, Good Test Ride
.. And the first 13 miles.. You know I mean it... I just kept thinking get to 13 miles... Get there... Going down the first small hill to start these 13 I lost my tool bottle right off my back saddle post... I stopped in fear if I didn't.. I would need it... I tried to keep spinning.. As well as not have any huge hopes but get across this bike as I haven't been riding as aggressive hills like I should have leading up to this course... Many passed me... That doesn't bother me.... I just kept trying to practice good nutrition strategy ... And with the exception of a little quad tightness/ precramping feeling... I thought I was doing okay..head wind and crossed wind were picking up and That little V in the middle of the bike scared me silly... I was saying every prayer to everyone in heaven that I wouldn't fall off or get bumped... And some adult four letter words might have been thought of...I was def ready to get off my bike.. Scary to think I know I will be doubling that in a couple months...
T2: really I eventful... I wanted my shoes to feel good.. And put on all my goods, including my Girls on the Run shirt, and Tiara... Stopped to pee and off I went
Run.... Wowzah... Killer hills... I was warned by other racers before the race.. But you know I. Cincinnati, we have hills... I have been really pushing my runs.. And feeling good with my runs.. Hahah buuuut not on hills like this... Here is the run profile
.. Looks simple right with those 2 humps... Ha, yeah right... Freaking hardest run, ever !!! If you weren't going up.. You were going steep down... It was low 90 degrees outside with heat index of 98... And I couldn't get my body temp down...and those aid stations were not a mile apart as stated... This hurt my plan... But when I could I got Lots of ice.. And I placed it Anywhere I could shove it, place it, move it... Lots of fluids.. Just couldn't get into a rhythm..it was just brutal.. Like worse than flying Pig Gilbert and Eden park drive... More like running up Ebenzer to Devils Backbone from Muddy Creek, then the hairpin up for .75 of a mile, then turn around and run down... Go up Ebenezer again, yes 2x because it is an out and back double loop. Stupid hills... Killed my run confidence, and left IT band screamed "I'm catching... I'm hurting .. I'm going to make you break down... " and its best friend, my right hip flexor joined the pain party, therefore any uphill.. I walked with pride.... I kept pushing away.... At the half way turn around, I gathered as much ice, walked the gravel trail.. Tried to get heart rate back down.. And push to finish what I set out for.... Returned on those awful hills... 75% + people were walking these hills... I just kept pushing on... I was off to finish last 2.5 miles... Whoever that awesome lady is that was on the top of the last hill before second loop turn around.. You.. Were... Awesome... Thank you for your encouragement..
I tried to run it in.. More like a skip.. To smile for pictures, Mary told me that once... So no one knows how much pain you might be in... And finished.. 6:46... Not horrible.. Not great.. But giving the brutal course.. I'll take it..
copied from computer.. will get better quality soon :)
Overall results and splits are here :
Ironman 70.3 Syracuse 2013 Results
Looking forward : My Swim, I know I need to keep working on this.. Especially in crazy swims like IMWI mass swim start.. I might have to start taking some boxing lessons for people to get out of my way .. But really need to learn to relax... I need hill work on bike.. Strength going up.. And a hella lot confidence going down... I am grandma breaks going down, and I lose speed and time...just practice and practice... Nutrition was ok... Will have better test in the days to come... And that run... I did chuckle at a man that asked which Ironman I was training for, and he said that marathon run is going to be easier than this...just can't wait to see that course in a couple weeks...
Goal is to finish my sponsor letter tomorrow, and get that in the mail soon. And get a nice long shower, and some sleep... Only 72 more days until the big dance ..
well well well. I woke up this morning and my widget said, "80 days until Ironman Wisconsinsawhat ?!?! That doesn't seem like near enough time.to practice...train...suffer.. learn.. but .. as we all know.. time moves on whether you aready for it .. .no .. I take that back .. time moves on whether you are jh ready or not... But the best Part is... You know it is coming ....so get ready ..
Many have asked me why Madison Wisconsin... the question is easy.. her name is Maxine Muldoon... I first met Maxine years ago at Mercy Health plex... She always came on to ride her bike, do her couple routines for weights, maybe stretch a little but, and on good days even run a couple laps around the track...I giggle thinking of her yell, " I got to get rid of this fat back Jess "... We went to movies together, Blindside being one of our favorites, the art museum, Bengals games, even could share an adult beverage together...I knew I could always share a joke, no matter how appropriate it might be, or get a joke from her, again no matter how appropriate it might be :) she taught me so much, and most importantly how the kindest dead can be a listening ear... I know she would be honest if she liked or didn't like the guy I was dating .
Through her small health problems from a freak accident fall and hurt arm, I knew she would bounce back. I was so excited to see her back too.. The one thing she said is, "Jess, if you do another Ironman, do it in Madison... I will come watch!" One of her pride and joys, Grandson Patrick would still be in school at University of Wisconsin.. . if you didn't know her, you might be a little confused when I said Grandson?!?! Yes, Maxine was one of the coolest, Best Friends at a wonderful 70+ year old... Sadly, God had other plans for Maxine then keep her in my life in the physical sense, and she passed away last year.
I still think about her. Lots. I think about all those little signs that pointed me in the direction to race in Wisconsin. Although I race to benefit all the hundreds of Girls on the Run, I have an Irish Angel pin that will be with me as I race in happy memories of Maxine. How could I not race there ?
If you have ever witnessed an Ironman or any endurance event, you know how contagious the energy is. People of all shapes and sizes, ages, backgrounds and efforts going for it... If you ever participated, you know you need your support team with a head cheerleader! the full time training schedule and lifestyle can warp you into highs and lows, and thankfully, I am getting through it.
80 days !!! This weekend I head to Ironman Syracuse 70.3 for a kick in the rear race .. I have personal goals, as well as confidence goals.. let's hope the Graces of God and Maxine and Grandpa and okay, I will stop, are all with me !!
Until after, stay moving, and stay healthy.
Here we go... I really have to start writing on here more .. it takes time, but now that we are under 130 days to go time.. it is pretty important that I do keep this up to date!
So.. first things First
Miami University Student Triathlon... Flash back.. this was my first race that I ever did in 2008... I was excited and nervous all the same and I can relive this day like it was yesterday... I was there at 4:30 in the morning... I will see if I can go back in time and find any report of how I felt during this exciting time of my journey to triathlons...
The morning was so cold, so very cold, like 37 degrees cold... I didn't know what to wear coming out of the bike, or coming out of the run, I knew one thing.. that I didn't have to think about the transition... I was feeling nervous as hell about the swim.. but I actually came out with the following times:
1 1 Jessica Leonard 5 30 1 8:31 2:55 1 44:48 1:32 1 23:32 1:21:21
First in my age group and first in athena!! how cool!! then I receive this email: "Congratulations Jessica Leonard. You have qualified for the Olympic-Distance race at the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on August 10 in Milwaukee, Wis., after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Miami University Student Foundation Triathlon. "
NEVER EVER would I think this would ever happen... I will not go, but I think it is pretty cool to be acknowledged.. hard work is paying off...
Here are some pictures..
We had a purse party the day after for fundraising and Silpada also... it was wonderful to see all those friends that came to support... after this weekend, I will have an updated amount of funds raised..
this weekend is here... the Cincinnati Flying Pig... I am signed up for the half marathon.. and oddly enough.. I am very excited about this... there have been lots of training this past year... and the half is going to be fun.. I just have to get my head around going up that wonderful Gilbert!!
Check back in.. I look forward to writing after I oink during the Flying Pig Half :)
Today my spring Open closet sale was cancelled and postponed for a later date.... Too many of you are awesome to clean out your closet for a good cause, however, we need to organize several times for drop offs.... So with that being cancelled. badum, dum, duummmm..... I am excited to post about the Spring Purse and Silpada party !!
Tomorrow, I will be on the road for work, and I am going to have to sit back and think about all these wonderful happenings that have been going on... I have to say I am anxious about the weeks ahead... We have our first Spring Triathlon at Miami University next Saturday April 20..
Stay tuned, check back frequently... it is just starting to get good!!
There are so many things to be grateful for... there are times when I count my blessings and look around of all the wonderful things we have. During our bootcamp last Saturday, we fundraised $280 total dollars.. in one hour! How wonderful... there are some wonderful people who came out to support, or just to see Shawn in his tutu...My brother Travis took some pictures, and video, and don't worry, we will get them on here for all eyes to see... We are putting everything together to make a slide show video, which I will ask for a $5 donation to view :) haha, just kidding, but I wonder if anyone would do that..T-shirts are almost going going gone... they are only $10 and I hope to have another batch of them before we know it The cool-kids on facebook jumped on the chance to help out the fundraisinge efforts and before I knew it all my Smalls and Mediums were taken. Just some larges and XL left in this batch :)Today, we have a little bit of ice out there... funny how sometimes the world just stops for a moment when Mother Nature comes into play. I think Ice can be a beautiful thing.. it holds things right in place outside, the trees are still, and it is quite beautiful. I think about those little birds out there, I hope they found somewhere safe, as I am excited to see the flowers that will pop up this spring..I am already thinking of my next fundraiser.. A "friends open closet" idea... as I clean out my closet, I want to hold a open house to allow friends to come get what they want for a small fee (donation of course, that will go to GOTR) and anything remaining will be donated to charity. I would serve light refreshments, and am thinking of the Last weekend in March before Easter. It is is a win win situation.. from good shape purses, to scarves, accessories, you name it... as we all spring clean and get ready for the warm sun.. I think this could be a great fun event... anyone can bring their items.. hmm the possibilities :)I am looking forward to tomorrow. Stay tuned...I for a wonderful weekend... and if you get a chance to order life how you want it.. ask for it straight up ~ with ice :) just to enjoy it as it is when perfectly still..