First, HUGE shout-outs to my awesome team ONE Multisport. We have such a fun group of people who make racing so very enjoyable. And, to our sponsors Destination Kona, Pei Wei, M Drive, myoatmeal.com, Realty ONE Group, Lifetime Fitness, Biotech Wellness, Ohso... THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this sport so amazing.
Okay, here it goes.... I ended up 5th place OA, and first in my new age group (40-44, although I am still 39 for 5 more months, hello!). Putting that "40" on my leg wasn't exactly exciting.
This race has gotten significantly less competitive in the last several years. I'm not sure why, but the most competitive gals in AZ aren't showing up to do this race anymore. I have raced Deuceman three times in the past, as my first half iron distance race in 2010, again in 2011, and in 2014. In 2010, I was the 20th female finisher with a time of 6:04:13. In 2011, my 5:31:33 time got me 6th OA. And here in 2015, 6:01:29 got me 5th OA, 6:10:58 (with Oly swim due to lake issues, so really more like 6:20 to make it comparable) got me 10th OA. Interesting. I'll take it.
Swim times seemed to be slow. Granted, I haven't reincorporated swimming into my life (yet), so this swim time is quite unrehearsed. My watch said 2166 meters (230 meters longer than 1.2 miles!). I'm sure some of it is from my weaving, but I'm confident some of it is from a long course. This was the longest half ironman swim I can remember. The first 300 meters or so were awful... I couldn't get my breath - I was breathing every stroke, feeling dizzy, and ended up breast stroking a bit and lying on my back. I have to admit that I was a bit worried. Then, I seemed to get it all together, and I went on breathing every 3 strokes and getting pretty comfortable. I could hear Frank Sole in the back of my head the entire time: "twist, push through, keep your head down." But, still the back stretch seemed to go on FOREVER. I have never been so glad to get out of the water.
I have to pause here and give some love to my new Garmin. I bought the Fenix 3 from Destination Kona in the Spring, and I LOVE IT. It's cool enough to be a "regular" watch, but has all the functionality of the newest Garmin. The $499 price tag seemed a bit steep, but I am LOVING this thing.
This is my slowest bike split ever on this course. I rode 2:42 in 2010, 2:49 in 2014, and 2:51 in 2011. This year, I was holding back to make sure I didn't trash my legs for the run. I did some long riding, but not enough - maybe three 50-60 milers and one 70 miler last weekend. I knew I could break under 3 hours, but I didn't want to push it too much, as I haven't been running much long distances either. Every time I hit a hill, I had to remind myself to slow it down - you still have a half marathon (gulp!!) to run! I had SO MUCH FUN out there on the bike.
I had a couple of scary encounters on the bike. One was on the last stretch around mile 45... a large flatbed semi buzzed me, and the wind force pulled me closer into the truck, ahead of his rear wheels. I managed to pull myself out of the line of wind before the rear wheels went about 3 inches from my bars. WOAH. Then, on the 60 prior to turning onto Old Linden, a truck pulled out in front of my while I was flying downhill. I had to slam on my brakes in front of him. THEN, I had to stop at a red light on 60! Quite an adventure on the bike. But, boy oh boy was it fun.
Nutrition on the bike was a little light for me this weekend, I think because the weather was so mild. I had one Nuun tab in my Speedfill (I usually go through 2), one Honey Stinger waffle and one pack of Honey Stinger chews. I had a couple additional bars, but ended up not needing them. That was interesting as well.
This was going to be my greatest challenge. Due to a pelvic injury post-baby, I was not able to run more than 3-4 miles until mid-April. So, basically, I haven't really been able to run since June 2013. To gear up for this race (and Boise), I put together a few long runs in the last month - one 8 miler and two 10 milers, all pushing Siris. Needless to say, they weren't very fast :).
I was quite nervous to get out there on the run. I hadn't done any transition running or bricks, and boy my legs were shot when I got off the bike. I decided I was not going to look at my watch - pace wasn't important. This would be a run based on feel. I needed to FEEL my way through a half marathon. My run history for this race isn't very good. This is a difficult, half trail, hilly course. In 2014, I walked most of the run due to my pelvic injury and ran a 2:42. In 2010, my quads broke down and I walk/jogged myself to a 2:39. My best full course run was 1:57 in 2011, but I did the half marathon in a relay in 2013 and pulled out a 1:47. All this coming from someone who in my best days runs my straight half marathon under 1:30. Tough course.
So, I get out there and the first mile felt like it took 20 minutes. When I saw the first mile marker, I was SHOCKED that it had only been one mile. Oh no. This is going to be torture. I managed to keep to my goal of not looking at my watch because I didn't want to know how bad it was. I pushed through lap one of the course and managed to run do NO WALKING until around lap 6. I broke down and walked part of the way up the big hill towards the finish area. I was proud of myself, honestly, but I knew this was going to be a LONG day on foot. Would I be able to keep this shuffling up, or would my quads break down after the bike and run?
I stayed mentally strong. I walked small uphill portions. A couple of times, I walked flat sections, only to realize that the quad burn was the same rather I was walking or running. What good does walking do? I didn't break... that is the biggest positive of the day. Yes, it wasn't a great run, but it also wasn't a BAD run, considering the course. I took in water and small amounts of Gatorade. Nutrition was spot on. Seeing Tyson and Siris at the finish line was amazing. I sat in a chair at the finish for a good 15 minutes, and my quads burned for several hours.
Next up.... Boise 70.3 in 12 days!
This weekend was a great experience for me. I'll be doing a little bit of training over the next 12 days, but not much. Boise is at 2700 ft elevation (compared to 6500 in Show Low), and the bike course has 1868 in total gain, compared to 2400 in Deuceman. The run in Boise is 168 ft elevation gain, compared to Deuces at 330.
So, here is my Boise goal - I'm putting it out there: 40 minute swim, 2:45 bike, 2:00 run, with 5 minutes for transition. This puts me at 5:30. This is a stretch goal. I think I can do this in 5:45, but somewhere between 5:30-5:45 would be awesome.
YIKES. The week of Boise, Tyson is out of town and Ethan and Jade are both out of town at summer camps. It will be just me and Siris. I am going to use this time to sleep a lot, eat right, no alcohol (!), and get ready for Boise.