Ironman Oregon 70.3 Race Report
Ironman Oregon 70.3
After a year of no races, 2021 has been the year for all of them! I normally wouldn’t do a 70.3 Ironman 4 weeks after completing a full Ironman but when Ironman brought Oregon to the circuit I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. This race is also in the state where I grew up and where so many of my family and friends live. It was a great opportunity to see them all after a year in lock down and for everyone to meet my 15-month-old son! My goals for this race were to have fun and continue to work on my nutrition.
Day before the race:
9am Checked into the race, tested out my bike, checked my bike into transition
1pm Lunch: Jersey Mikes sub sandwich on white bread
2pm Took an hour nap on the couch
5pm Dinner: Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup, 2 breadsticks, half entrée of Spaghetti and meatballs. 1 bottle of Skratch hydration
1am Ryan wakes up crying. We put him in bed with us in hopes he will go right back to sleep. Luckily, he did for a little bit. But he stirs so much that my husband and I drifted in and out of sleep a couple of times before finally just getting up just before 4 am.
4am For breakfast I ate oatmeal, banana, and half an English muffin.
5am I started drinking my Skratch electrolyte drink and finished it 45 min before the start of the race.
5:30 Wet suit on
5:40 Lined up in the swim corral, listened to the national anthem, and marched 1.6 miles to the swim start
The swim was a point to point down river swim. All the athletes walked 1.6 mile to the swim start. There were no spectators allowed at the swim start because the road up there was so narrow, they didn’t want any more congestion. I met with Stacy and Stephanie from the Coeur team and we all walked together. When we got to the swim start area, I dropped off my morning clothes bag with my flip flops and body glide. We checked out the swim course and watched as athletes started racing down river.
We went down a very steep ramp where we had to hold on with both hands and walk sideways so not to tumble down. Once we got down the ramp the swim arch was right there and you just went. There was no beep, beep, beep like at other races.
I started my swim and realized I double tapped my watch button and was in T1 mode. I discarded the race on my watch and started it over. All while swimming and moving forwards in this down river swim. Lesson learned, don’t worry about your watch! The water was moving so fast. It was almost trippy how fast the rocks were moving under me. The current started to go really fast and pulling me to the right of the buoys. But I knew I needed to stay left to go around the rock island. I was moving so fast but was still able to control where I was going.
I kept trying to sight and look where I was going, trying to stay as close to the buoys as possible. But the sun was so bright! It was blinding!
I easily almost over shot the swim. Luckily the group I was swimming with started turning and I followed. I swam up the ramp and looked at my watch! 22 minutes! Beating my previous 70.3 swim time but nearly 10 minutes!
This transition seemed to take forever. We exited the water and to run up a very steep ramp, ran up a switch back, and then through all of transition. I had a lot of time to take my watch off, unzip my wetsuit, put my watch back on, take my cap and goggles off, and get to my bike spot. I put my socks and bike shoes on. Shuffled to the bathroom. Went back to my bike where I put my nutrition in my back pockets, sunglasses on, and grabbed my bike. My sunglasses fogged up and I couldn’t see! I wiped them off with my finger a couple of times but they kept fogging up!
The first thing I did was start my nutrition. I popped a salt tab and took sips of my Skratch hydration bottle. There were lots of uneven roads and hills. I had to go into my lowest gear a couple of times but nothing too crazy. I was hyper focused on my nutrition. I took in Skratch gummies every 10-15 minutes. A couple of bites of Clif bar. My goal was to drink 2 bottles of Skratch with a double scoop. At mile 30 I lost one of my bottles going over some train tracks! I freaked out for a moment. Then I collected myself and stayed positive. There was nothing I could do about that bottle now I just had to keep moving forwards. I still had water, salt pills, and Skratch gummies so I was still in good shape. Luckily, there was another aid station at mile 45 so that I could grab some more water to take in more of my fuel. My target watt goal was to stay in-between 150-160 and I averaged 158! Over all a very solid bike split!
T 2 3:17
I ran into transition, racked my bike, switched in my run shoes, hat on, bib on, quick bathroom stop, and out the chute.
I felt strong coming off of the bike and was so relieved to not have any stomach cramping! It was starting to get up into the 80s and I knew that I needed to stay on top of my nutrition. At the first aid station I grabbed water for my hat and water to drink with my salt tab. Then I alternated with gummies and salt tabs. At a couple of aid stations, I grabbed a couple of bites of banana. The run course had 4 miles of gravel that were in full sun. I had to focus a lot on my footing to make sure I didn’t roll an ankle! At mile 5 I started experiencing some tummy issues. I was so frustrated! This was different than what I experienced at CDA. My stomach was in a hard knot instead of a side cramp. After a couple of miles, it improved but never fully went away. At mile 10 I took in some coke cola and that felt amazing! I pushed hard through to the end and finished in a time of 5:36:41! A new 70.3 PR!
Finishing in front of my family and friends was the best part of my day! I feel so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing support team. Love you all!
~Things that went well~
- The salt tabs and Skratch worked out great! I feel like I got enough salt in to help with my performance
- My bike pacing was great. I was comfortable in my aero position. I felt strong climbing up the hills.
- I had a very positive attitude throughout the day. Even when things got rough, I went straight into positive problem-solving mode and made the best of what I had.
~Things I need to work on~
- I spend way too much time fiddling with my watch. I wasted time restarting my activity, taking it off after my swim, then putting it back on. I am considering not using my watch during my next race and just using my bike computer for the bike.
- My sunglasses were fogged up when I got to them after the swim. Maybe putting them in a sunglasses case would help prevent that?
- Continue working on my nutrition on the bike so that I can have a smooth run with no tummy issues.