Ironman Oregon 70.3!
The day before the race:
Woke up Saturday morning with a decent amount of sleep. Had a good carby breakfast and sat on the back deck of our Airbnb and enjoyed a calming morning.
Tim and I headed out towards race center, and I went for a 30-minute shake out ride. I rode a stretch of the course and Tim followed behind me. I rode with another girl I met on the bike course, and we chatted for a bit. Her husband was racing in the Pro field and she was just out riding the bike course!
Next was the Coeur team meet up! There was a big crew of us out there. We met up for a team picture and picnic lunch! It was so fun to see so many of my teammates and chat about our excitement for the race!
A big part of doing this race was the opportunity to get to see a lot of my family. My Aunts and Uncles all live in the Salem area, so we met up for a carbo load dinner at a big park by our Airbnb. I got to see a lot of family that I haven’t seen in 3 years! My Aunt Paula also made me some homemade cupcakes that said “Kelsey Ironwomen!” How sweet!
We headed back to the Airbnb, and I sat in my recovery boots for an hour and then got ready for bed! I slept in a bed with Ryan and we probably finally fell asleep a little after 10pm
3:50am Wake up! Kit on, timing chip on (you only make that mistake once), eat a bagel with cream cheese with some water. Out the door around 4:20am!
4:45am Parking was pretty easy for this race. Lots of room in the parking garage near transition. They said transition didn’t open until 5am but we made our way in around 4:50am. And by 5am my transition was all set and ready to go!
5:20am a couple of porta potty stops and it was time to get into my wet suit.
5:40am I met up with Rosanne, Allen, Kalee, and Issac and we all lined up at the front of the swim carrol. I had my last gel and electrolytes until I had to hand my stuff over to Tim.
6am We started our 1.2 mile march up to the swim start. There was almost no line when we got to the swim start. We walked down a nice staircase that Ironman made with a swim platform. Way different from when I did this race 2 years ago. One of my favorite parts about this swim, besides the fast downstream, was jumping off the swim platform! That was a first for me at an Ironman race and a super fun way to start the race!
5th place age group
I jumped off the swim platform and by the time I came up for my first breath I was already 10 feet away from the dock! The river was flowing fast! I settled into a good rhythm and followed the buoys to the opposite side of the river. I could see the rocks underneath me in the shallow areas moving so fast! I was able to find a couple of people to swim with here and there. I focused a lot on my stroke (high elbow!). Then I actually had thoughts of “Wow, this is fun” “What a beautiful day” “I have been waiting so long for this day and it’s here!”. It was a pretty smooth swim and we were spaced out enough and I got in early enough that it wasn’t too crazy in there. I only got elbowed once, which is a win in my book. Before I knew it, it was time to swim toward the exit. I did a really good job of getting as close as I could to that final red turn buoy in a straight line. I made my way to the swim ramp, and I was done! Fastest swim ever!
I marched my way up a very steep ramp, around some turns, finally into transition! Wet suit off, bike socks/shoes on, helmet, sunglasses, and I was ready to go! This was a faster transition for me, and I was really happy with how smooth and efficient it went!
16th place age group
This is one of my favorite bike courses and I was really excited to ride it! I also had big goals for this ride and knew I was capable of all of them. The first part of the course had a lot of potholes and bad road surfaces, but once you got out of downtown the roads were great! Most of the ride was in the shade so I didn’t overheat. I focused on high cadence, staying in aero, and my nutrition. I executed all of it! About 20 miles into the ride the Pros came zooming by! It was fun to see Lionel up there and Ella from the Coeur team! A couple of months ago I switched bike shoes and although I did all my long training rides with these shoes, I experienced some mid foot pain halfway through the race. I’ll have to get another bike fit to check on this to make sure I don’t do any long-term damage.
The turnaround came up quick and it was a tight one! But I focused my eyes on where I wanted to go and didn’t have to unclip! My nutrition was going great and by hour 3 I was right on track for my 3rd bottle. I usually have to toss my 2nd bottle and switch it for my rear bottle. But I challenged myself to rearrange my bottles by using my back jersey pocket (almost stuffed it down my jersey for the latest “aero” trend but it wasn’t working as smoothly as I thought it would have :D ) Finally got that bottle in my back rear cage and got back in my aero position. At mile 45 I knew I was going to hit my goal of sub 3 hours and this day was already a win!
Avg speed 19.4 mph
Avg power 153
Avg cadence 88
I got off the bike and was ecstatic to break 3 hours! I also had no cramping so was thrilled with how my nutrition went! Quickly racked my bike, helmet off, switched shoes, and grabbed my hat and bib number on my way out!
8th place age group
I started the run and saw Tim and Ryan right away! I gave Ryan a high 5! Tim told me I was having a great day and close to breaking 5 hours, just had to run a 1:40 … I just laughed. This lady saw me high 5 Ryan and cheered “You’ve got this mom” That really pumped me up! I am a mom and I want to show all the other moms that you can do this too!
I made my way over the ridge and into Minto Brown Park. It was really beautiful there and mostly shaded. I did, however, feel very lost in the park. I never really knew where I was because there were so many turns on this 2 loop course. Mentally, I thought that would be hard on me, but I just focused on the mile I was in and that eventually I would get out of this place haha! On my first lap, Isaac passed me going on his second lap and a bunch of pros wizzed by me as well! I knew I was having a good day when the pros were on the run course the same time as me 😊! Around mile 2 I saw Allen and he asked how I was doing. It’s so nice to see friends out there on the course, makes you feel not so alone in all the pain your body is feeling. I had a really hard time keeping my heart rate down. I tried to keep cool with plenty of water and ice. I also walked a couple of times to help bring it down. Then someone would pass me and say, “Keep going”, “You’ve got this” and I would pick it back up with my HR :D
The 2nd loop started to get crowded out on the trail with the two-way traffic. I alternated every other aid station with a yummy *sarcasm* caffeinated Maurten gel and Skratch/ pretzels. At mile 8 I started Coca Cola. At mile 10 I gave it everything I had! Even if I wanted to walk, I just kept cadence up as much as I could and kept going! I made my way out of the park and over the bridge. It was a bummer not having spectators allowed on the course past the bridge. So, they were all on the other side to help bring us onto the red carpet! I was hurting so bad but all the cheers from my teammates and family gave me that extra boost to the finish line!
Overall time 5:12:11
I absolutely crushed all my goals!
Top 10 in my age group 9/90
Bike PR and breaking 3 hours!
Overall 70.3 PR!
Blew my 5:30 goal out of the water by over 15 minutes!
Had so much fun!
Things that could have gone better.
1. The bottom foot pain on that occurred on the bike. Hopefully a new bike fit will help solve this issue.
2. This one is for Ironman, so many people come to these races including the next generation of young athletes. It is critical that everyone including Ironman staff and Ironman athletes wear a helmet. It is disturbing how many athletes and Ironman staff I see ride their bikes without wearing a helmet. Lead by example and wear your helmet. Or you should be DQ’d like the athlete guide says.
3. Another one for Ironman. Changing the bike course late in the race to open up another lane for traffic was reckless. A biker had to swerve in order to not crash into an oncoming car, due to Ironman trying to reroute the bike course. Let’s do better Ironman.