I just walked in the door after the drive back from St. George, and fortunately got to catch up with two of my friends who both raced, Payton and Keith. They both have done St. George 70.3 before, and to my surprise, they both thought that this years race was harder than previous years. I was surprised, but also kind of happy, because that made me feel even better about the day that I had and my times. 🙂 Taking out a section on the bike course and a section on the run, apparently did not make it any easier, but instead the new sections made it more challenging.
I digress, I drove out to St. George with my pops. He’s amazing! My mom wishes she could have made it, but she’s kind of a big deal in the High School Spanish Teachers Niche, and she had to proctor the AP exam on Saturday. Anyway, we jammed out to country music and Jimmy Buffet – his two faves – the whole way out. Chatted life and had some good laughs. My dad is always good with nuggets of knowledge, and this weekend was filled with a ton of them. I try to soak it all up whenever I’m with him. 🙂
Woke up at 4:15am – showered (per usual), ate a banana, and then headed to the start. My dad drove me and dropped me off, but there were shuttle buses that were super convenient to take, too. From where my dad parked, there were shuttle buses there, too, to take us to the start. My wave wasn’t going off until 7:48am, so I had plenty of time to eat, and get ready. It actually ended up flying by. I went into transition, got everything prepped, and then waited til it was time to put my wetsuit on. I ate a Bobo’s Oat Bar – Original flavor at about 6:30am.
The water is crystal clear. I had hopped in the day before and was so excited for the swim. I love a cold water swim, and there’s nothing better when the water is so clear that you can see people in front of you. I always have nerves before races, but I knew the second my hands hit the water, I would feel in my comfort zone. I always do. So, I just told myself to relax, and have fun. You swim, bike, run all day, every day. Today is no different, you are just going to go a bit harder for a longer period of time. 😛
I started out at the front and to the far right. I like staying away from the hustle and the bustle. I’d rather swim an extra 100yds than get punched and be swallowing water, etc. I had a relatively pleasant swim. I didn’t deal with any elbows or leg pulling, but I did have to dodge a lot of “dead bodies” in the water. There seemed to be people just floating all over the place. I felt like I was in a game, like don’t hit the floating body. haha. I think this made for an extra long swim for me, but it was kind of nice for the most part, just swimming all by myself. 🙂 I didn’t have a great swim, but I’m not exactly sure why. I still need to figure out how to race the swim. I always check-in and ask myself, are you breathing hard? Yup, Ok, you must be swimming hard enough. haha. But, maybe that isn’t the best judge? I don’t know. I definitely know I can swim faster. You’ll see below in my Garmin data, that I maintained a fairly straight line, except for two parts. #oops
Well according to my Garmin, I was right on the money of where I should be swimming, and this is how I base all of my progress anyway, because this is what I use on a daily basis in training to see my progress. So, as far as my pace, I felt that I had a strong swim, according to my Garmin. Maybe I just need to work on my sighting more 😛
Gear: Aquasphere wetsuit, TYR Nest Pro Goggles
Total time: 35:38 (1:41/100yd) – 24th AG (out of 87)
T1 – 3:07 – It’s kind of long from where you get out of the swim to get your bike. And since there are two transition spots, you have to put your wetsuit and stuff in a bag, so that they can take it to the finish for you. This makes for a bit longer of a transition. Either way, it should have been faster.
I had driven the bike course with my dad the day before, so I knew what it was going to be like. The only part we didn’t drive was in the park on the bike path, so I wasn’t sure what that was going to be like. Out of T1, I dropped my chain. :/ Bummer, but I put it back on real quick, and then headed out on to the course. We head left out of T1, and have a short climb, and then a descent, and then we have the first true climb of the day, and then a descent, and a long flat section. Then the hills start. I never found any of the climbs to be crazy challenging. They were all just kind of long. The descents were amazing! I have really improved on the bike, and I was excited to put it into practice. My fear isn’t completely gone from my crash, but my confidence has definitely gone up a TON. A huge thank you to those who know who they are, who have helped me get my confidence back on the bike, and push me. 🙂 I’m truly grateful, and I’m big time motivated to keep improving and seeing what I’m capable of.
Photos are from the pre-race ride I did with friends. Thanks Courtney for the photos! 🙂
The bike course goes by really fast, if you ask me. If we weren’t going up, we were going down, or we were turning. I love challenging bike courses like this. I like the ones where you are always doing something, turning, or changing gears, etc. Makes it fun! I honestly felt great the whole bike. I took in 1 bottle of Strawberry Lemonade gatorade, water at every aid station, 1 package of strawberry banana powerbar gels, 1 honey stinger vanilla waffle. And I felt great! I told myself the whole bike, you’ve never really pushed it to really see what you are capable of in a race, and today is that day. I told myself, no matter how hard you push it on the bike, you can run. You are strong, and you are capable, you can run off of the most tired legs, so make your legs tired. PUSH IT! And so I did, I was passing people, and felt really good. I still have work to do, but I haven’t ridden my bike like that ever. I felt confident and happy. And for the first time, felt like I really knew how to ride a bike.
I loved driving the bike course beforehand, as I definitely feel like it gave me an extra boost of confidence going in to the ride. Once we hit Snow Canyon, I was curious what it was going to be like. It ended up being a bumpy, crappy bike path that we had to climb on for a bit, which definitely slowed everything down. I saw this one guy walking his bike, and this other guy goes, “Come on dude, you are almost there, this is the last climb”. All, I could think was, no it’s not. Don’t lie to the guy. We had one more big climb to get to the top of Snow Canyon before the climbing for the day was over. I hate when people give false information during a race, because there is nothing more discouraging then finding out you have another mile to go, after someone said this is the last mile, or another hill to climb, after someone said this is the last hill, etc. Either way, I hope that dude got back on his bike, and I swear it’s easier to ride your bike than walk it. 🙂
Ignore the power stuff, as I don’t have a power meter, I use a Cycleops heart rate monitor, which tells you “power”, but I’m more interested in the heart rate information and to show you all the elevation gain, etc. I was super pumped to see my avg HR was 161, because that tells me, I really was pushing it! GO ME!!! 🙂
Gear: Felt B16 bike, Shimano shoes, Oakley sunglasses, Coeur Sports tri kit, Giro helmet
Total Bike Time: 2:55:19 (19.17mph) – 19th in AG (out of 87)
T2 – 1:32 – Coming in to T2, I felt good. I felt strong. I was excited to run. I forgot to take a photo of my T1, but I took one of my T2 for you all to see. 🙂 I thought it was going to be hotter, so I had a hat ready to go if I wanted it, but I opted to just throw on my socks, shoes, and race belt, and hit the pavement!
What can I say about the run? It’s my favorite part! There is nothing I love more than to feel my legs propelling me forward, and to chase girls down. I definitely know how to be comfortable at a decent pace on the run, but I still need to tap into truly hurting on the run to get to where I want to be. I love to pace myself, and today was no different. The run starts with 3-4ish miles totally uphill. The 3rd mile is brutal, and tons of people were walking. But, I felt really good, and I was thankful for doing all of the hill repeats that I had done in preparation for this race. None of these hills felt awful, and I knew I could run up them 🙂 So, there I was just trucking along. Feeling strong, feeling good. Taking in my powerbar gel blasts every 2 miles or so, and throwing ice down my top, and water over my head. After the last big uphill, I knew I had 3-4ish miles downhill, and I was ready to kick it into high gear. I knew my quads were going to hate me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to push it and feel the pain. I ran as hard as I could, without sprinting, and saw my dad cheering, and high-fived him. I was so happy and proud of myself. I didn’t hold back. I cartwheeled into the finish line, and already started thinking about, when can I do this again? 😛
Again, looking at my heart rate, I feel like I might have been able to push it just a wee bit more, but with the downhills, it definitely makes it a bit harder.
Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, lululemon socks, Saucony Kinvara 6 shoes, Oakley sunnies
Total Run Time: 1:50:53 (8:27min/mile) – 14th AG (out of 87)
Total Time: 5:26:29 – 14th AG (out of 87)
I couldn’t be happier with my day, and I can’t wait to race again! I don’t think I will be racing a half until September, as ones that I would do are sold out, or they aren’t in driving distance, so I’ll just have to wait til September to test my 70.3 limits again, but until then, I will continue to focus on speed. 🙂
Thanks everyone for all your support and cheers!
And of course, I had to celebrate post-race with FROYO and Pizza!
Stay tuned for my recap of my hike at Zion National Park, and I have some exciting news I’m announcing tomorrow!