I was excited to do this race again because it was my first HIM I ever did! Plus, there were 3 other TriBella teammates doing it, and we were all in the same wave, so I thought it would be pretty fun!
I'm going to do this race report a little different than my other race reports because I just didn't feel like this was an actual "race," but more of a LONG training day for IMAZ. So, here goes...
Time: 41:18 (Not too bad considering it includes a LONG run from the beach, up a hill, into transition)
If someone would have said that the swim would be the best part of my race, I would have laughed uncontrollably! But, they would have been right.
My husband actually came with me to watch the start, and it was so nice having him there! I was surprisingly, very calm at the start and was just READY to go! The funny thing about IM training is that what once seems like a FAR distance, no longer seems so bad. After doing the 2.4M swim race last week, looking out at the buoys for the 1.2M swim seemed completely doable and I LOVED that feeling!
The start was a little rough, but after awhile I was able to find my own space and just get into a nice groove.
I finished the swim, and saw my husband! Yay!! I gave him a kiss and headed towards transition.
Time: 2:58:59 (18.8MPH Avg.)
I hopped on my bike and headed out. Right away I felt kind of weird, but didn't think much about it. I got into aero and just made it my goal to ride at a good pace, but not push it too hard. I didn't want to "race" this because I didn't want to risk having a long recovery and not be able to get my training in for IMAZ.
I got a huge HEADACHE that was pounding pretty much the entire time. It sucked! So, with all the focus on the wind, not crashing, and my head, I forgot to hydrate! I don't know what happened, but I just wasn't paying attention to the time, distance, or anything. In my mind, I thought I WAS drinking enough, but after the race, I looked at my water bottles and realized I ONLY drank about 48oz. of fluid! WTF????!!!
I got into transition, felt like a TRUCK had run over me, and took my time getting ready for the run. I almost thought about stopping, but that's just not in my character, so I kept on going.
Time: 2:31:13 (11:33 avg. pace)
Right when I started running, I knew this was going to be really tough. My head still really hurt, and I just didn't have any energy at all.
The aid stations were roughly every mile, and THEY SAVED ME! Normally, I don't even need/have to stop at every aid station, but this was not a normal day.
I decided to do a run/walk strategy where I would walk the aid stations, drink what I could, and run between them. I thought this would get me through alright, but by mile 3 I realized I had stopped sweating. My head was fuzzy and I began to think that I may not be able to finish. It was soooo hot and the sun was beating down on me and I could feel my skin burning.
Then, my entire torso started to tighten and cramp up. My stomach muscles ached and I felt like I was on the verge of throwing up the ENTIRE time! IT WAS HORRIBLE! So, instead of running between aid stations, I just started walking as fast as I could and running whenever I could.
Finally, I had 1M left. People were cheering and shouting, "You're almost there!" but I COULD NOT run. It was so bizarre. Then, I saw the finish line and started running, but my stomach hurt so bad! I just wanted it to be OVER, so I pushed through the pain and finally crossed those mats.
My husband took this picture as I came in. He said he barely recognized me because my "running" form was do different. Look how tight and scrunched my upper body is...
THEN, the best part....THE SLIP-N-SLIDE!! It was awesome! The water was cold and it was just what I needed. I got out, found my family, and immediately sat down. I wanted to wait for my teammates to finish, but my family had been there waiting for me a LONG time, so after I felt a little better, I just got my stuff and we headed out.
When I got home, guess what I realized?
I got completely BURNED out there! I did put sunscreen on before the swim, but obviously, it wasn't enough. I should have reapplied after the bike to avoid this. It hurts sooo bad and totally could have been prevented!
All in all, it was a pretty tough day for me. I'm glad I did it, but there were some pretty low points during that race. I don't know what happened on the bike with my nutrition. I KNOW how important it is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, but my head was out of it...it was weird.
So, while I didn't have the best race, I did learn a some very important lessons!
1. I just CANNOT get behind on my hydration/nutrition because there is no way to make up for it. I think from this point on I am going to set my Garmin to beep every 10/15min. That way even if my head gets fuzzy, that beeping will keep me on track.
2. I learned that I'm a little tougher than I thought I was. It was a total suck fest on that run, and I was in pain, but I pushed through as best as I could and finished! I am proud of myself for finishing, even if it did take me a very long time. :)