Ironman 70.3 St. George Recap
I had no idea I was going to start racing Half Ironman's this year until Haley Chura, my new coach, encouraged me to race St. George. My idea was to keep racing Olympic distance (1500Swim 40kBike 10kRun) for another year and then venture into 70.3. I figured this could be the year of firsts, Get married! and Race 70.3! I singed up for Ironman St. George and I was pumped because training was going really well and I was feeling really fit early in the year. Unfortunately a couple months before St. George I was dealing with a never-ending sickness which took away from training consistently. The final straw was getting the Flu two weeks out before St. George. My motivation and fire to race was at an all time low. I recovered quickly and felt healthy enough to race. To be honest my confidence to race had diminished. I had to change my mindset from contending for an age group podium to have FUN and smile a lot and take this race as a learning experience and not worry about time or place. Being a very competitive person when it comes to swimming biking and running, to switch my mindset to "just have fun" and not worry about the end result was a big adjustment. I went into this race with an open mind thinking, okay, let's figure out what works for me with nutrition, drinking and pacing.
(Coach Haley hooking me up with a wetsuit!)
ARRIVAL: (Car's packed and ready to go!)
When Kendra and I got to our campsite in St. George I stepped out in a absolute culture shock. Coming from Bozeman, Montana's mid 40s To St. Georges 93degrees, cactus starring me in the face, humid death air.. I thought I was gonna melt right there. After 11 hours of driving and almost dying of heat stroke when we stepped out of the car, Kendra and I slowly put our running gear on and headed to Sand Hollow where the swim portion was held. I forgot what it was like to sweat so stinking much and was grateful I didn't have to run a half marathon that day. But it was nice to move and see the iconic swim start where legends of the sport line up every year. It gave me chills thinking about it. After our run and dinner, I thought I was going to sleep like a rock but it turns out we had picked the noisiest RV campsite with traffic wising by ALL night. I was not a "Happy Camper". Kendra being as awesome as she is booked a hotel the next day so I could get a good nights sleep before the race. Long story short, that hotel didn't end up working out and my brother in law Luke found another one. It was time to get some well needed sleep! That is until our neighbors had different plans and starting singing there hearts out. I unhappily got out of bed and asked them to be quite. Not 10min later they we're back at it again so my 5'3" wife went and put the fear of God in them. They were quite the rest of the night :)
(Sand Hollow Lake)
I woke up refreshed and ready to to tackle the day! It was a beautiful morning with perfect glassy water and a sun rise so stunning you could only see God's good works shining through. As I watched the Pro men take off I was once again inspired to be at the start line and in the mix with them someday. I was ready to start the day and learn.
SWIM: I finally got into the water about an hour after the Pro men took off and got my spot in the deep water start. I was ready to fire off and race to my strengths, swimming. I was the first in age group to come out of the water, winning the $50 "First out of water ROKA award". I wasn't pleased with my swim split (25:26) but with the way training was going leading into I had to be okay with it.
BIKE: When I ran into transition I found my aero helmet on the ground with the visor shattered! I rode most of the bike without glasses which isn't glamorous. About mile 30, my brother in law Luke came out of no where sprinting toward me with his glasses to wear, day saved! The bike course had 3500+ft of elevation gain so it was a hilly course where the climbs were slow and the descents were fast. I was having a lot of fun just being in the mix with everyone. I finished the bike in a conservative 2:31:14 which was all my legs had to give before running a half marathon, I thought..
RUN: I took off feeling fresh at a 10k race pace and quickly remembered it was a 21k and told myself to chill out. With the little amount of run training I had there was no sense in blowing up! By this time it was very hot so throwing ice down the front of my race suit kept me putting one foot in front of the other. My run split is embarrassing for me to even post but it's what I had to give (1:40:36)
CONCLUSION: I took a big old bit of humble pie that day watching Pros like Alistair Brownlee, Lionel Sanders, Sebastian Kienle and what they can do. It inspired me to keep this dream of mine alive and keep working hard at it. I think I smiled more at this race then I ever have racing in triathlon. I remembered why I do triathlon and why I keep coming back for more. I'll take what I learned into the next 70.3 with a more aggressive approach. I'm going to really enjoy this distance and can't wait to see how I progress in the next few years.
(Favorite person in the world!:)
Video Link Below!