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Ironman Washington 70.3

With Ironman bringing this new 70.3 race to Washington just last year it’s a great hometown race to add to the calendar. I wanted to use this race to practice race day nerves, transitions, and push myself in a race day situation

one more time before Ironman California. I did not go into this race tapered at all. In fact, my legs felt heavy all week long from long workouts. Therefore, I didn’t have any big performance goals for this race but to push the swim and practice race day nutrition.

Race morning!

4:10am Wake up! Quick breakfast: bagel with cream cheese and chocolate milk. I foam rolled the muscles and did my band exercise.

4:30am Out the door and drive to Maple Valley with my dad. I had a Skratch krispy in the car with my electrolyte drink.

5:30am Arrive at the shuttle bus to take us over to the race. It was super-fast and well-coordinated. They had lots of buses ready for us all.

6am Arrive at transition. Found my spot and laid out all my gear. I saw Sarah from TCB and we chatted before I headed out.

6:30am I was going to use the porta potty one more time, but the lines were just so long I decided it wasn’t worth it, so I got into my wet suit. I found out the lake was open, so I was able to warm up and get a few laps in!

6:40am Time to line up in the corral

6:50am OMG no way! I forgot my timing chip!! I freaked out for a moment and quickly found someone up front that could help me. They took my name and bib number and handed me a new chip. Problem solved! I quickly got back in line and before I knew it, I was diving into the lake!

Swim: 33:04

6th place age group

This was one of my better swims in a long time! I was only 10 seconds away from my PR swim, so I was happy with my performance. I sighted my usual 7-8 strokes and had eyesight of every buoy. A couple of times I was able to swim with someone and that helped me draft a little bit. There wasn’t a whole lot of pushing and shoving in the water, so I was happy with that as well!

T1 4:21

A quick run into transition. Wetsuit off, helmet on. The thing that took the longest was putting my gloves on. I usually don’t wear gloves during a triathlon, but this was a colder race with a hilly technical bike, so I am glad I had them on! Last second, I decided I didn’t need my windbreaker.

Bike 3:10:59

11th place age group

The first hour of the bike was chilly and I started to regret not having my jacket. Then I realized... My bike nutrition was in my jacket!!! OMG NO! I freaked out and went straight into problem solving mode. I had one bar in my bike bento box, so I was okay for the next hour. Then I could grab some Maurten Gel’s at the next aid station. Thank you for racecourse nutrition! I loved the new bike course this year! The first half was super-fast and I felt like I was mostly going downhill. Seeing the fog lift from the valley on an early Fall morning was absolutely breathtaking. Then we hit that big hill. It was probably about a mile long and nothing too steep. Besides not having my bars I felt like my nutrition was going well. At mile 30 I really had to go to the bathroom, so I took the extra time at the aid station. Roger was right behind me in line, and we chatted for a bit. (This was probably the 30 seconds I could have shaved to get 4th place :D). Then it was back on the bike and a couple more hills to go before I made it back to transition! My target power was 160 and I came in at 161 normalized power so I was very thrilled with that!

T2 3:23 I was happy to see Tim and Ryan. I gave Ryan a quick high 5 before I headed out for the run!

Run 1:47:56

4th place age group

I started the run, and my legs were feeling really good. I was going at about an 8-minute mile pace and I was surprised how fresh I was feeling. I decided to hold on to that momentum and keep pushing. I grabbed a Maurten Gel at the first aid station with some water. So far, no cramping and that was huge for me! I tested out a new water bottle holder that I could store in my tri kit and not have to hold onto, and it worked out great! Will definitely use that for Ironman California to hold my Skratch hydration. I saw a lot of friends out on the course, gave out lots of high 5s, and was feeling great the whole run! At mile 10 I was starting to hurt, my quads were aching, and my heart rate was elevating. Without knowing my standings, I just had a feeling that I might be near a podium finish and had to give it everything. I just kept pushing all the way to the end. I finally reached the red carpet, saw my little boy, gave him a quick high 5 and crossed that finish line! Absolutely thrilled to have gotten a half marathon 70.3 PR and my first Ironman 70.3 podium finish!

What went well

1. When I left my nutrition at T1 I didn’t freak out too much. I went into problem solving mode and came up with the best possible solution to get back on track. Thank goodness for racecourse nutrition!

2. My swim was almost flawless. I wouldn’t change a thing about my swim. I swam straight and I pushed the pace.

3. My run. Everything from nutrition to pacing was on. I had a solid 70.3 run and I am absolutely thrilled about that.

What I could improve on

1. Double check everything! My husband is the king at this, and I could still use some practice. I could do a much better job of laying things out the night before and crossing things off a physical check list, including things like “timing chip”. Things you only forget one time….

2. This goes with the checklist comment, but my nutrition is so important that it needs its own separate note. I need to take note before every race about where my nutrition is and when I will be able to access it during the race.

3. This one may sound silly, but I need to practice putting my watch on while running. I had to stop running and spend extra time putting it on during the race and I should not have to do that. Every run from here to Ironman California I am going to start my runs by running and trying to put my watch on.

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