Friday, June 28, 2013

Ironman 70.3 Race Report... I am Learning to be Tough..

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...

J and I decide to leave Thursday afternoon to drive straight to his brother and sister in laws... I was very excited because we got to meet the newest addition to the Nakel family ..Emelia Grace .. isn't she precious ?!?! I just want to cuddle her all day .. and it is always lovely to see J with his nieces.


 We left early Friday.. and drove the second half ... Upon arrival into Syracuse.. We decided to check in... Register our life away ..
Signing our  life away...



WE are official!!!
And listen in on the athlete briefing... 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.. We headed back, got checked into the hotel... And headed out to dinner.. Great place in a wonderful local brewery.... J and I both agreed They had the best everything sour dough pretzel either of us have has in a long time... And it was well worth me giving in to gluten for the night...

yeah, we were excited to check out other people to see if they were athletes sporting the bracelet too !
 Saturday.. We woke up early enough to get breakfast at the hotel... And rest a little while before we went to check our bikes in.. We lubed the gears up, and rode our bikes about 10 minutes just to make sure everything was all set..I couldn't stop laughing as J looked like the Big Red Machine in his get up, we had to take a goofy picture.

Perfect timing, as we 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...


 We 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 we decided to camp out in the back of J's 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.. J and I decided not to wear our wet suits on Saturdays practice swim, one... We won't be in there long enough... And two.. We wanted 100% dry suits 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 we left early to avoid traffic ... Body marked and ready to go ...
Body Marked and Ready

battle of the triceps
 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... Sou ds 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... Internally, my big goal was not to have J make it out of his swim and catch me... Even if he did start 40 mins after me... One should note he is a beast on the bike... And somewhat of a kamikaze going down hills ... Me. Eh not so much .. 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

Hillariously Hilly
.. 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... It wasn't until going down on the first return I saw J.... He looked strong as ever.. I was glad to see him in fear something happened to him because I didn't see him at all on bike .. I kept p,urging 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... Saw J his second loop, and I had to hold back tears as he gave me a kiss and said those sweet words of "can't wait to marry you one day!".... Gave me a little push, and 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 :)

 I waited at the finish line to medal J, and he looked great.. Strong.. And effortless.. He finished at 6:15... Horrible thunderstorms moved in with huge gust of winds during his last mile, as well as when we were waiting to walk back to our bikes. They were pulling athletes for. The course, not permitting them from continuing their second loop, or announcing close finishers.. It was crazy bad storm that hit out of no where... But we both finished.. Likewise, I made friends with a volunteer to take our picture, I hope to find her one day to see it:) ...

 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 ..

3 comments:

Beth Moore said...

Wow! That was incredibly interesting! Thanks for sharing, you and James rock and then some!
Great job.

Justin said...

Great job and great post Jessica!

Beach Totes said...

Great work in this post Jessica. i appreciate u.!