The morning started out great! Yay for daylight savings time and getting a bonus hour of sleep. Luke stayed the night with me so Saturday night, we went to dinner (Keith & Hannah too). We had some yummy pasta and then packed the car up so we could be ready to go bright & early.
Before we knew it, the swim start was minutes away. I was in wave 2 and Dorina was in wave 7. We headed over to the start area, got in the lake for a minute and then lined up. The gun went off and at 7:04am, I was in the water. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. I am not a strong swimmer. I do my very best but it is what it is. The highlight of my swim yesterday was the number of times a large man swam right over me. I also got hit in the face (by a man), kicked (by a man), and held down (by a man). Sense a trend? While I love having an earlier wave, it does suck when you have the men behind you. I was very proud of the fact that I did not freak out, I did not panic and I just kept on swimming. All in all, I was 30 seconds slower than last year (give or take) but was perfectly fine with that. The first year I did this was I don't know how on Earth I swam it in 44+ minutes. That was a miracle.
|My wave starting the swim. Go ladies 35 and older!!|
|Glad to be on my bike!|
I was also very happy with my improvement in T2. Last year I was 3:18 and this year I got out of there in 1:49. All the racing I did this year at the sprints really helped me improve my transition times. Woo hoo!!!
On to the run. Oh yes. This is where I've struggled on my previous half ironman races. Last year I was 2:49:40 and my first year I was 2:45:08. I'm happy to say I was more than 1 minute per mile faster than last year and finished in 2:33:40 (good for a 16 minute improvement over last year). All week, I spent time visualizing the entire race but especially the run. I planned to take the first loop easy and settle into my running legs. If I felt good, I would pick up the pace on the second loop and then really try to push the final loop. It was funny because when I was finishing the bike, I was doing some math in my head and I kept thinking my overall time would be close to 7hr which still would've been a big PR but not what I wanted. For a split second, I was like, "well, I guess it doesn't matter what I do". I could've slapped myself. This is what I tend to do in races...think I can't hit my goal and throw in the towel. I didn't do that yesterday. I told myself that I was still on the bike and it was not time to think about the run yet. Anyway, as I started my final loop on the run, I did the math and knew that I would be under 7hrs and that there was a good chance I would be somewhere in the 6:40 neighborhood IF I kept doing what I was doing.
As I turned on to the final stretch of the run, I looked at my watch and knew I was going to have a big PR. I approached the spot where Keith, Hannah & Dorina had been spectating. I glanced at my watch, looked at them and did a little fist pump. I then put my hand over my mouth because I knew I was about to cry. The race wasn't over though and it was time to finish strong. As I approached the finish line, I looked at the clock and saw 6:52:54 and knew that I started 4 min after the clock start so backed that time out. I threw my arms in the air (which didn't last long b/c I was T I R E D) and screamed "YES". I quickly burst into tears of joy. My official time was 6:48:54....good for a 43 minute half ironman PR.
|Trying not to cry. Love that Hannah captured this!|
There are a few things I have to work on of course. My nutrition yesterday didn't work as it should've and I had a lot of bloating. We suspect I didn't take in enough water on the bike so I'm going to be sure to correct that issue. I want to improve my swim and I have to figure out what makes sense there. Don't worry, I'm not picking apart my race! I'm just making notes of ways I can continue to improve.
I'm off today and am so glad I am. Mama is sore! And that's good because that means I left it all on the course yesterday! Now, time to enjoy the accomplishment and turn my focus to Turks & Caicos. Yee haw!