*pics in no particular order* don't want you guys to think i was out paddling before my race... or right after my race- oh wait... =)
the start is my favorite at the 70.3 HI because it is a mass start meaning everyone in the entire race starts at the same time. it most of my races we have wave starts where we start with only our age group. the mass starts allows us faster paced swimmers to get a draft! drafting saves a ton of energy- pretty much means you get pulled along behind someone just as fast as you would swim on your own but using WAY less energy. so i drafted some guys and some women pros! so much fun! not to mention everything that is going on under the water... although i didnt see any manta rays this year... =( i ended up swimming a 27. min. swim... that was okay for me and a very competitive time overall- but it was a controlled swim because i knew what was still ahead of me once i got out of the water.
got into transition and right out on the bike. legs felt terrible! oh my gosh- what happened to my strength? that is all i could think of!! it felt horrible. i made a quick decision to eat some shot blocks (sugar energy) and about 10-15 min. later i felt much better! legs underneath me and a long highway ahead! the bike is always my favorite part of these half ironmans. when else do i get to ride 56 miles as fast as possible without stopping?? it is so much fun! i killed it up the hills and stayed in my aero bars the entire way up and down Hawi! a first in my short lived triathlon life- i was only passed by 3 amateur girls on the bike!! yah yah! although my actual bike split was probably not as fast as a lot of gals i only got worked by 3! one of which was ray shaw who ended up 3rd overall- she rocks on the bike! off of the bike- still in first for my age group!
the run. oh the run. getting off of the bike after 2 hrs and 41 min.,going for a 13 mile run would not be my first choice of activity. i must say however, despite not feeling great off the bike, i had a good attitude for the run. i had my garmin on so i knew exactly where i was on the run in terms of miles/pace. i was running 8:00s to start but settled in around 9:00-9:30 pace... for me is slow but in the heat you really have to take what the body gives you. it was hot. i drank water/coke/gatorade and more water at every aid station. i got passed by 2 gals in my age group the first half of the run. still just sticking to my plan- to race my own race- was going as well as it could for the heat.
just before the last 3 miles there was a turn around spot where i saw my friend brandy. i knew i was in 4th at this point but she was moving and coming up behind me faster then on previous turn around. the competitive side of me got the best of me... i decided that i did not want to get run down... so i picked up my pace. i was back to running 8:00-8:30 pace. where that came from i do not know and don't know why i thought i could hold that. the last quarter mile- seriously could see the finish line- i fell. my legs collapsed on me. i really don't remember what happened... there were a few spectators that gave me gatorade and told me i had been on the ground for about 3 min. i slowly got up and asked one of them to walk next to me in case i fell again. but i had to finish! i walked in so slow, got the sympathy cheers and layed right down in the medical tent. 1000mg of saline (1 big bag) and about 10 bags of ice on my legs i left the tent to find my friends and family.
i am bummed about my time. had i stayed with my more comfortable pace on the run i probably would have finished just fine. i found my limits on saturday. that is a first for me because usually i do not want to get to a point where i collapse or risk injury. a good lesson learned i suppose! all in all a very fun day! i got to catch up with a ton of friends after the race and scored a spot to clearwater FL for the 70.3 world championship!