Future Ironman…?

This has been in my mind since Ms Cori over at Olive To Run told us that she’s signed up for Ironman 70.3 Raleigh.. I NEED to race an Ironman!

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So I’ve been stalking Ironman.com in search of the perfect Ironman 70.3 to do.. But before that, let me explain what the insanity of an Ironman is.

Alright, so there are TWO distances in an Ironman, one that we call the “Full” Ironman (IM), then the “Half” Ironman (HIM). I’m looking at doing a HIM which is the 70.3 distance.. So let’s talk about how those 70.3 miles breakdown.

 

The Swim

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So as part of an IM or HIM you’re putting yourself in a lake/ocean/sea/body of water with MANY other swimmers.. Where you’ll likely be kicked, pulled, grabbed, hit, smacked, etc. Yes, we do this willingly.. I should note that this is the same with ANY triathlon, however in something as big as an IM or HIM it’s likely to happen a bit more. (My waves weren’t usually bigger than 40 people at a time this year.)

So, as part of a HIM I would be swimming 1.2 miles. Yes, ONE point TWO miles! So that’s the equivalent of 21.12 American football fields.. Don’t believe me? Google says I’m right.

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Like I said.. 21.12 football fields! So yea, you swim forever then you get to run out of the water and go to the next discipline..

 

The Bike

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If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the bike is my favorite.. Except a HIM really takes it to a new level.. After you swim 1.2 miles you get to get on your bike and ride.. Wahhoo you say.. UNTIL you realize that that bike is going to be 56 miles.. Uh huh.. 56 miles.. that’s 4 miles more than the distance from Ann Arbor, MI to Toledo, OH. (As if you didn’t know I lived in Michigan before, you do now..) Oh, as if that’s not enough, you get to ride into T2 then go onto the NEXT discipline…

 

The Run

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So the last (but definitely not least) part of a HIM is the run.. This run is a half marathon, 13.1 miles.. You know, sometimes when I get off of the bike in a race this summer I’ve told to myself, “Alright, you only have a 5K run left, you can do this..” Yea, I’m not really sure that that will work when racing a HIM.. I don’t think that telling myself, “You only have a half marathon left to do,” is going to be helpful.

 

So lets do the math really fast: 1.2miles + 56 miles + 13.1miles = 70.3.. Hence Ironman 70.3.
(Pst, multiple everything by two to get the distances for a full Ironman!)

 

Why The Insanity?

So the next question people ask, after I explain to them WHAT a HIM is, is WHY would you EVER want to do that? But to me, that’s an easy question.. And the easiest answer is, “Because I want to.” I know I know, that’s like your mom telling you “because I said so” but really, it’s true. I want to run a HIM, heck I want to run an IM but I’m not sure that my knees would be up for it.. Or my arms yet for the swim.. But yes, I want to run a HIM because I want to. Because I want the sense of accomplishment of finishing a race as long and as mentally and physically brutal as that. I want to know that at the end of the day I have my training (because you train for MONTHS for a race of this distance) will get me through to the end. Because I know that I CAN do it!

 

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So What’s Next?

As I’ve stated I’ve been stalking the Ironman.com website in search of the Ironman 70.3 that I want to do next summer, and I’ve narrowed it down to four.

Raleigh, NC: June 1st 2014
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Muncie, IN: July 12th 2014
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Racine, WI: July 20th, 2014
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Lake Stevens, WA: August 17th, 2014
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So there are perks of all of them.. But I’d say I’m leaning more towards Raleigh or Muncie.. I have to say that the DOUBLE out and back of the run in Racine just seems absurd to me! But Washington would be a nice vacation, however getting my bike there and back would mean flying it which is about $150 each way.. Where as Muncie or Raleigh I could drive to!

 

So there you have it! You all finally know how crazy I actually am!

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The Experience Race Recap!

So, as you all know I raced this past Saturday.. Let me tell you, it was an interesting one… Let us start with the swim..

 

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So, where the dock is there was a boat connected to it.. we got into the boat then jumped in from the front of the boat into the river.. It was a water start, so we were hanging out just before the bridge treading water for a few minutes before they blew the horn so we could start.. They started the triathlon in waves of people, yes, they usually do this, but this one was crazy! There were so many people that there were seventeen, yes SEVENTEEN, waves of starts! The first wave went off at 7:45am, and I (in the last wave) didn’t start until 8:44am! That means that we got to hang out for an hour before we started.. It was during this hour that I realized I forgot to take my ENERGYbits.. I was not happy.

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So.. Then we got to swim in the river.. And it was during this swim that I decided that if I’m swimming in open water I don’t want to be able to see the bottom.. I don’t want to be able to see more than a few inches.. I also don’t want to be able to touch ANYTHING! Luckily once we jumped in the water there was NO touching the bottom.. That made me one happy girl! Not to mention that the water was 70deg, so I got to wear my floatation device  wetsuit during the swim!

I told you guys I was going to keep telling myself, “Keep Calm and Swim On” and honest to buoy I did! Basically the WHOLE swim! But it was kind of a breakthrough for me.. While I didn’t swim straight through like I should have (I turned on my back a few times) I stayed calm and didn’t turn on my back nearly as much as normal! I reminded myself that I CAN swim and that I’m a STRONG swimmer (strong ≠ good) and could get through it.. And I did!

 

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I’m the one in the front of the first picture! Then there were people at the stairs to grab our hands so we didn’t slip getting out of the water.. I did talk to one of my friends that was racing the Elite group (first wave) and she told me that they didn’t have anyone helping them out of the water! It’s safe to say that I was happy that I was in the last wave!

So, then we had to run probably 1/4 mile to T1. Luckily it was essentially all grass and not hard on the body.. I did feel bad for the people doing the Aquabike (swim & bike, no run) that had to make the trek to the transition area.. I however thought that they should make the run at the end of the triathlon shorter since we had to run so far to T1… Most people agreed.. I think the race directions would have just told us “tough luck” though.

 

So T1 was uneventful.. though it WAS the first race that I had to leave my wetsuit out and come back and it still be there.. In Motor City we had two different transition areas.. so I didn’t really know what to do with my wetsuit since I would be coming back to the same place and didn’t want it in the way.. Luckily (being wave 17) I saw that most people just dumped them on the ground and I decided to do the same.

 

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So, remember how I said I realized I didn’t take my ENERGYbits before the race.. WELL, on the bike (about 2miles in) when I couldn’t push like I normally can I realized that I FORGOT TO EAT! Yes, you read that correctly! I didn’t eat before the race! Not one bite! I had an apple in my purse and FORGOT to eat it! I did have coffee.. but, well, before a race all that does it help ‘clean you out’ if you know what I’m saying.. So yea, NO FOOD! It was rough. Luckily (since I seem to forget to fuel before a race a lot) I had a Hammer Gel in the Zipp Box on my bike and was able to take that to help a bit.. But honestly, it didn’t help the bike.. I usually average around 18mph on the bike, give or take, and Saturday I averaged about 15.3mph.. It was HORRIBLE.

 

But I was ready to make up for it on the run, and by golly I did! Managed a 8:30pace for the 5k! I was very happy with the run.. It took me a good mile to really feel strong on the run, but even through that mile my pace was about 8:40! So the run definitely wasn’t the problem this time around.. So I DID have a run that Morgan Freeman should have narrated! =D

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I ended up 6th in my age group, out of 11. Not what I wanted.. I wanted to place again.. but as my boyfriend put it, “You can’t win EVERY time.” He really does know how to make me smile.

So since we were in Frankenmuth, and I’d never been there, my mom and I decided to walk around and see the town! Probably not the best idea.. walking around post race = one SORE body! But let me tell you.. it was BEAUTIFUL!

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Fairy village!!

 

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Fountain, flowers, then me and my mom before leaving Frankenmuth.. Behind us is the dock & bridge where the race started!

 

I was in bed by 10pm on Saturday night and didn’t get up until 8am.. Even then I vetoed my thoughts of getting up then and hung out in bed for another hour before talking myself into making eggs and bacon.  Race day followed by a lazy Sunday is the way to go.. I only want to race Saturday races from here on out!

 

So that was The Experience in Frankenmuth! Definitely would do it again.. but you know, WITH eating breakfast!

 

 

RACE DAY: The Experience!

WOOHOO! Another race day! Can you believe that it’s that time again, already?! I know that I can’t!! Well, let’s hope that I’m as ready for this one as I was for the last.. I haven’t gotten much (ok ok, who am I kidding.. ANY) swimming in since the last one.. So I’m just hoping that muscle memory takes over this time! But let’s check out the race, shall we?

 

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So this is The Experience triathlon in Frankenmuth! I’m super excited.. want to know why? Because I’ve never been to Frankenmuth.. CRAZY RIGHT?! They essentially set this one up so you have to check out Frankenmuth.. Race starts at 7:45am, then awards aren’t until ~5:30pm.. Sooo, what do you do between finishing and getting awards?! Check out Frankenmuth of course!!

 

So it starts at 7:45am.. that means that I’m going to want to be there at 6am.. So, I’ve already been at the race for an hour by the time this goes online.. Crazy huh? Yea, us triathletes are a bit insane.. My mom keeps asking me why I don’t pick a sport that has a late start time.. ha. whoops.. So 6am.. takes about an hour and a half to get there.. so yea.. I’m going to be the crazy one on the road by 4:30am.. just a bit insane..

 

Transition area will look like this..

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Swim comes in where that light blue arrow is on the top left.. then into the transition area that’s pink.. The swim is suppose to be just a down and back in the river in Frankenmuth.. Hopefully the fact that it’s a river will work to my advantage.. and by ‘advantage’ I mean that I can see a bit more and am not so freaked out in the open water.. Yea.. I need to work on that..

 

Then the bike will look like this…

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They say that it’s FLAT FLAT FLAT, so you can be that I’m going to KILL myself on the bike.. Give it ALL that I have so that I can make up for any lost time from the swim..

 

Then onto the run..

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Only one loop for me.. Doesn’t look too bad… I’m assuming that it’s just as flat as the ride, which is a good thing.. Especially when it’s the last discipline..

 

So goals:
1. Keep my cool in the water.. official temp was 72-73deg, so I’ll have added buoyancy from my wetsuit.. so “Stay Calm and Swim On”.. That’ll be my mantra for the swim.

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2. Ride the bike like it’s the only discipline that I’m racing… I know that I’m a strong cyclist, so I need to use that to my advantage.

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3. Keep the run around 8:40pace.. I know that that pace is totally doable for me.. not to mention that it’s only 3.1 miles!

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Well.. Wish me luck! I’ll tell you guys all about it next week.. Oh, and make sure to follow me on Instagram to get all of the real-time updates!