August 13, 2017
3:30am alarm. Up and moving around shortly after.
4:00am-4:20am Ate Epic Bison bar and ½ a pretzel bread roll from Whole Foods, while getting hydration and nutrition ready
Arrived around 4:45am
Secured end of rack #25. Laid out gear. 2 bottles of Tailwind on the bike.
Pre race: 6:15a Took Huma Gel (Blueberry) and a few sips of water.
Two swim caps (swim buoy silicon swim cap, goggles, Mountain Man cap)
Swim (51:45, 3:09/yard)
Started back and off to the right. Thought to myself, slow and steady. Saw others stop and kayaks and swim on their backs. I remembered that’s what I did for my first Esprit de She and even last spring’s splash and dash. Acknowledged that I’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go. Got into a rhythm of sighting to the right. Felt good about sighting.
At the first turn, I was feeling pretty good. At this point, I ran into someone who was having issues sighting. I kept swimming into them as they would veer of course and then back into line. I tried to swim past them, but I just couldn’t keep the pace. They swam faster than me, but with their tangents we kept bumping into each other. During the middle of this section, I had the weirdest experience: I had a sneezing fit in the water. Thankfully sneezing is out and not in! It was annoying since my nose started running, but it worked itself out okay.
At the second turn, I lost sight of the finish and I had to stop for a second and ask a kayaker where it was. I figured it out, lost the zig zagger and swam toward the finish. I noticed that my right side was getting tired and it was taking more concentration to remember to pull my arm all the way out of the water. It was like I wasn’t getting enough shoulder rotation. I concentrated on the last push and I was thankful to be done with the swim.
The strippers were there and Wes was a witness as I professed my love for the stripping presence. (LOL!) When I looked at my watch, I saw that I must have hit stop during the swim. I figured it out and hit the button for transition.
Overall: I feel like I was sighting pretty well. Need some work on my pull.
I chugged it along to transition. Got my helmet and my sunglasses on and shoes shortly after. Grabbed my hydration pack. Nothing really exceptional here. I probably could have run a little faster both in and out of transition. There were two other ladies coming out of transition at the same time. I didn’t get out of there fast enough to keep up with them.
Bike (1:57:49, 12.6 mph)
Started the bike feeling pretty good. I noticed a few runners heading towards us and realized that they were elite runners (olympians?) training. They were amazing. Took some sips of water after about 5 min on the bike to rinse my mouth. Enjoyed the view and scenery and started to get to work.
I thought I was doing a good job switching gears, but around mile 7.5-8, I felt like I wasn’t getting the right turnover for the speed that I was going uphill. I got it in my head that I was going to fall over, so I unclipped and walked up the hill for a little bit. I convinced myself that forward progress is forward progress. (Side note: I realized that it was the same feeling that I had when we did San Juan last month. On the second lap I panicked and walked up the hill as approached a runner. I was afraid of the cyclists coming up behind me. I know now that should have tried the Towers a couple of weeks ago, that would have been good mental training for me. Or an exercise in doing mentally hard things.) Once I got my heartrate down and got back into a good mind set, I felt ready to tackle the rest of the course.
I tooks some sips of Tailwind from the bike bottle holders. I also had prepped my Honey Stinger chews so they were easily accessible from my hydration pack. I set my watch to remind me to eat every 10 min, but I didn’t eat that often. I took tailwind and water as needed.
I noticed more cyclists returning (spotted you, Sonny and some other friends) so I started pushing myself harder. The half distance athletes were also starting to pass me so I made sure to stay to the right. About 1.5 mile before the turnaround, I was hit by another cyclist. He drifted over into me and hit me with his drop down bars. Thankfully, I bounced away without falling down. He apologized for not paying attention, checked if I was okay and continued riding. I was a little shaken. I remember feeling scared and rattled. Another rider wasn’t too far behind and checked if I was okay as well. I was trying to control my emotions as we approached the U turn. Since the half athletes were going straight, I pulled over to the side until it was safe for me to turn. I was still a little shaken and I started to feel sad, then I got angry with myself and channelled the energy into conquering the hills. Thankfully I was able to ride the hills down without too much braking. I kept playing leap frog with a guy on a mountain bike, and finally I was able to pass him on the downhill portion.
I noticed that at mile 18, my lower back started killing me. It was tight and super painful. I tried relaxing my shoulders and stretching a bit forward to help with the pain. It was off and on for the last 4 miles.
As I approached the bike dismount, I remember trying to decide if I was going to keep my shoes on the bike or clip out. I clipped out of the left side, but I forgot about clipping out on the right side. I fell over at the Bike Dismount line onto my right side.
Overview: Don’t be mental on the hill. Don’t forget to clip out or leave shoes on the bike.
Transition 2 (2:42)
I had a bloody knee and palm and I was concerned that I hurt my hip. Talked to Wes and the kids while I was switching out my gear. I put on socks and my shoes and my race belt and visor.
Run (1:27:44, 14:12)
I felt fine enough as I was walking out. I set my watch for 3 min run/2 min walk intervals and started with that for the first mile.
I stopped at the bathroom at the base of the hill. Quickly used the facilities (2 min, took more time to shimmy back into my tri suit. Started up the hill with the intervals and abandoned that idea, it was easier to walk that to change my cadence going up the hill. Forward progress is forward progress. I tried not to be frustrated that the Half distance runners were passing me on the run. Instead worked towards cheering those returning towards the finish or those still going up the mountain.
Dumped water on my head at all the aid stations. Ate honey stinger chews at mile 2.5. Walk to the turnaround and took a Huma gel (blueberry/pomegranate with electrolytes). Started to run downhill. Slow and steady, concentrated on a shorter stride. Mile 3.5 I started having a grumbly and rumbly tummy. I think I was hungry. I chewed on some more gels to help that go away. Drank cold water at aid stations and used my hydration pack as needed.
Once I got back to the Lake Mary Rd, I tried to keep running but I needed a few walk breaks to get my heart rate back down (it was over 140). I was excited to see my family and you at the finish and I felt happy and proud of myself for finishing.
Overview: I probably could have pushed myself a little harder on the last part of run.
I need to work on my overall nutrition. I feel like if I were a few pounds lighter, I would be more efficient.
I need to do my PT and strength training exercises. I haven’t been doing them, and my body is not happy with me.
Bike: I need to practice getting water bottles into and out of my rear cages.