First- I found out that I did in fact qualify to be a member of Team USA for ITU Worlds! The race will be in November, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s good that it’s over a year away because this race will take some preparation. It’s a 4000m swim, 80-mile bike, and 18-mile run. Lizzy, I’m going to need some help with that swim! This also gives me time to get as good as I can so I can really vie for a top spot…not just some kid who made the cut. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the race or not because of the distance, but thanks Marcus for your thoughts and inspiration. I don’t know when I may get this chance again so why not take it head on?!
To continue, last weekend I ended the triathlon season in Austin, Texas at the Longhorn Ironman 70.3! It was awesome- since it was an Ironman event, it was huge production- over 2200 racers. I fell in love with Austin from the moment I stepped off the plane- Smiling, friendly people, cowboy boots and hats…and the airport even smelled like barbecue! When can I move there? Friday, I got a ride to the hotel and then walked around the city a little bit, notably to the Flagship Whole Foods store, where I grabbed lunch and sweet potato for (I thought) my pre-race dinner.
For dinner I went to the famous Iron Works BBQ. I figured this was a pretty good decision since the only ingredients would be the meat and some sauce. In the days before races I try to make sure I know every ingredient going into my body so I don’t run into anything that doesn’t do well in my stomach.
The next morning I got rides to and from the expo where I picked up all my gear…and some new swag:
I came home, soaked my legs in the chilly outdoor hotel pool and then at my pre-race dinner. This was from a health food store near Whole Foods called SNAP, where I got a meal of chicken, kale, mushrooms, and carrots. Has this with, yup, a sweet potato haha
Then I hit the sack early, not with out my pbj first! Morning came quick and grabbed all my food and ran down to the lobby where I shared a cab with three guys from Ecuador. I ate my perfect usual pre-race breakfast in the car; bagel, Coffee HoneyMilk, and a banana. Thanks for the ride my Ecuadorian Amigos, I hope you all had great races.
The race site was beautiful and luckily it wasn’t as chilly as I thought it would be.
At 7:50, the horn sounded and my last race of the season was underway with 2 goals in mind. First, set a new PR, and second break 5 hours. The swim went ok- it was about as slow as I expected it to be, if not a little faster haha. It just seemed like it wouldn’t end. If I could drop 10-20 minutes off this swim, it would be seriously beast. That’s my goal for next year…and to take half as many strokes.
Transition 1 went well- they had wetsuit-strippers which was awesome! Although scary! I came out of the water and the girl ran at me and started ripping my wetsuit off. I was like “whoa girl, easy, let’s at least wait till after the race…” but then I realized what was going on. This probably saved me like 2-3 minutes. Then I was off on the bike
The course was beautiful with a number of rolling hills. There were a lot of people on the course and sometimes it got pretty crowded, but I think this served me well as I finished the 56 miles in 2:38, average about 21.7 mph. After flying through T2, it was off on the run. My goal was a sub 1:27, which would put me faster than my time in Myrtle Beach. Little did I realize how hilly this course would be.
The course had a mix of trails and road with a mix of flats and hills. There were a good number of hills though, notable one called the “quad burner”, about 1/3 mile on steady incline on grass. The course was 2 laps meaning I had to do it twice. My strategy was get water at every aid station that was convenient and Gatorade whenever I could as well. Most of the water went over my head and the Gatorade was about one gulp per station since I refuse to slow down at all to drink. I also had a gel at the beginning of the second lap which was a good idea because it was a warm day.
The finsih was running right into the huge arena on site where the crowds were sitting in the stands cheering us on. My last mile was probably around 5:30 pace…but only because I thought the finish was way closer than it was!
I crossed the finish line at 4:54:51- not only breaking 5 hours but setting a PR by 9 minutes! I couldn’t have been happier! My run was a 1:28:02, which I was happy with, although would have liked to have been about 1-2 minutes faster. Had to remember though about those hills. They threw a medal around my neck and I grabbed some finish line pictures!
I finished 198/2100+ racers, putting me in the top 9%. I was 16th of 80 in my age group- this was a college championship so those damn Army kids were there and they have a really good team. Overall, I was really really pleased.
I also picked up one of these…Haven’t had some delicious Blue Bell ice cream since I lived in Texas!
Bummer I didn’t get to eat it before it melted, but I’m glad I got the picture. I’ll get some more when I move to Austin, right?
After hitching a ride back to downtown, soaking my legs in the cold pool (twice) I met up with some friends my amazing, real, tex mex food. It’s amazing how when food is cooked well and like it should be, than you can eat incredibly healthy with a ton of flavor! I had a mouth-watering plate of shrimp and chicken fajitas with corn tortillas
The following morning, I hobble to airport and now I’m back home in Norfolk. I had no idea how much I had missed Texas, but God I do! I’ll get back there someday. So with that I come to end of a very successful Triathlon season. But is my racing done for the year? There’s a marathon in Richmond on November 13th…I’ve never run more than 16 miles, but what do you guys think, should I do it??
- Have you every done a marathon? What advice do you have?
- Have you ever been to Texas?
Thanks for reading guys! Hope you’re all having incredible weekends