Monday, October 1, 2012

Augusta 70.3 Ironman Race Prep and Recap

Friday 9/28/12 – Left work around 1 PM and headed over to my friend Rose's place to meet up with her and her friend Joanne. Changed and packed everything up in the truck to head to Augusta. Lunch - Panera Bread - 1/2 Mediterranean veggie sandwich, 1/2 thai chopped salad, peanut butter cookie, and bread with water. Dinner - Burger King - Grilled chicken sandwich plain with sweet potato french fries and a diet coke, and a plain spicy chicken sandwich. Arrived at Rose's friend's, Kathy's, place about 20 min from race site at around 10 PM. Chit-chatted fro a little while and headed to bed around midnight with no alarm set for the next day.

Saturday 9/29/12 - woke up around 8 AM. Kathy and her daughter, Sabrina were so nice and made up pancakes and sausage for breakfast!

10 AM – Left for packet pickup at the Marriott

12 PM - Headed to the start to get in a practice swim. I got some new goggles because they were just too cool :)

My new goggles. 

The swim was good. Thanks Rose for pushing Joanne and me to do the whole swim!  I am very glad that I practiced the swim ahead of time though. This is the first time ever that I have practiced any part of a race course before the race. And, I don't regret it at all. I had a huge panic attack when I saw the grass so close to my face during the swim. I kept thinking something was going to come out of the grass and I wasn't going to be able to see it in time to do anything. Later when I was talking about it with Joanne and some other people around transition they had the same feelings.  It was a little comforting to know that other people felt a little freaked out about the grass as well. But, it was really scary during the practice swim because it was only Joanne and me in the water.  Everyone else was either sticking to the start or the finish of the swim and just doing circles where as we were doing the whole 1.2 mile swim. Every time I saw the grass I gasped and I had to turn on my back and swim past. I was praying to see black instead of the grass and trying to think about swimming in the ocean water that I'm much more used to. On a good note though, the wetsuit was not a problem at all and I finished the practice swim in 27 minutes. So, I was able to tell myself the rest of the day and in the morning, "you'll be done in 27 minutes or less. No big deal. You can make it pass the grass again. No big deal. 27 minutes or less".

1 PM - put bikes in transition

  Augusta 70.3 2012 317  

1:30 PM - eat lunch! I was so hungry that I forgot to take the picture until after I was done eating. But, the empty plate in the top left were 4 steamed veggie dumplings, the bottom left plate were 4 chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce, the bowl is steamed white rice, and the plate on the right is edamame. Protein, carbs, and veggies!

 Lunch at Soy Noodle House in Augusta

 Full bellies = happy ladies Joanne, me, Rose

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3 PM - We stopped into this place called the New Moon Cafe just a few doors down from Soy Noodle House to get some bagels. They were out of bagels, but we found the Green Monster:


It was delicious and healthy. You could feel the energy pulsing through your veins. I bought some kale today at the store to make some of my own. I highly recommend it! I have to be honest though. I got the Green Monster, which I don't regret at all, but I really had my eye on this:


Oh well, right?

5 PM - Head to Publix for dinner stuff. Everyone else was going to eat spaghetti with meat sauce. I'm don't normally eat pasta before races unless it's thin crust pizza with minimal toppings. So, I picked up some white rice sushi from Publix for dinner.

6::00 PM – Stretch 6:30 PM – Eat sushi dinner 

7 PM - get all my stuff together for the race:
  • Breakfast - PB & J Bonk Breaker and Honey Stinger
  • Pre-swim (15 minutes before) - 1 PB Gu gel
  • Race attire - New Tampa Tri Club tri-kit and my long race Nike sports bra. For whatever reason, this one sports bra is not like any other Nike sports bra or any other sports bra that I own. It's not too tight and it never chafes me
  • Swim - Goggles, swim cap, and wetsuit (which is hanging in the bathroom drying... remember this for later)
  • Bike – Helmet with race number on it, bike shoes, sun glasses, socks, race belt with bib
  • Bike nutrition - 20 oz bottle with Infinit mix (200 calories and 30 mg of caffeine) and MiO Energy (3 squirts, 0 calories, 180 mg of caffeine), 24 oz front water bottle with water, 1 Chocolate Mint Clif bar (240 calories, 50 mg caffeine), 1 Strawberry Honey Stinger (160 calories, 0 caffeine), 1 Strawberry Clif gel (100 calories, 25 mg caffeine), and 1 Vanilla Orange Roctane (110 calories, 25 mg caffeine) - the gels were just in case
  • Run - K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Lights, sun visor
  • Run nutrition - 1 Clif Double Espresso gel (100 calories, 100 mg caffeine), 1 2nd Surge gel (90 calories, 100 mg caffeine), and 1 Island Nectar Roctane Gu gel (110 calories, 25 mg caffeine)
9 PM – lights out for 4:30 AM rise-and-shine.  Pray that I don’t have nightmares about river grass monsters trying to eat me!  

9/30/12 – RACE DAY! 

4:30 AM – Rise-and-shine! Breakfast – Half a mini bagel with peanut butter

5:00 AM – Head out the door

5:05 AM – Turn around because I realize I left my wetsuit hanging in the bathroom!   

5:15 AM – On our way to T1 to set up our bikes, eat PB & J Bonk Breaker

5:45 AM – At T1, pump up tires, set up transition area. 
  • Fill up front water bottle with water
  • Put bottle with Infinit mix in back, right holder
  • Open Clif bar, break in half; open Honey Stinger; put both in bento box with Clif Strawberry gel and Gu Roctane gel
  • Open bike shoes
  • Open socks and put on top of bike shoes
  • Put the remaining 3 gels in running shoes and put visor on top of shoes
  • Put race belt with bib number and helmet on top of bike seat

My stuff is on the right:
Augusta 70.3 2012 324Augusta 70.3 2012 325

6:00 AM – Check transition area again

6:10 AM – Check transition area again

6:20 AM – Head back to swim start

Joanne, Rose, me:
Augusta 70.3 2012 327

6:45 AM – Walk over to Marriott for bathroom break
7:00 AM – Eat Honey Stinger and chill out
7:15 AM – Start walking to swim start
7:40 AM – Make another bathroom break
7:50 AM – 8:40 AM – hang out and wait for wave to start
8:45 AM – Put on wetsuit
8:50 AM – Take PB Gu gel

Weather – About 70 degrees and overcast

Thoughts – “Don’t freak out.  There are lots of boats, kayaks, and scuba divers there to help and there are a bunch of other swimmers around.  No monsters are going to get you.”

Execution – Just go.  Remember to roll and try to stretch to get a bigger pull.  Spot every once in a while

Assessment - I liked that we had to start in the water because it allowed me some time to get over the shock of the cold water, which wasn’t really that cold.  It was 76.  Just cold enough for a wetsuit.  But, getting in cold water, even at the indoor pool at LA Fitness, takes my breath away for a little bit.  So, it was one less thing that I had to worry about for the swim.
The swim went well.  I didn’t stay as close to the buoys as I would have liked to, but I managed to stay straight.  Every time I swam over the grass I looked around and saw everyone else around me and just laughed in my head at the grass and mentally stuck my tongue out at it, singing ‘nah-ne-nah-ne-boo-boo’!  I finished the swim in about 23 minutes, but it took about 2 minutes to get to the transition.  So, my final swim time was 25:31.

For whatever reason, wetsuit strippers are so cool.  You just sit down and in 2 seconds flat you are wetsuit-less and on your way.  I got to my bike quickly and had a ton of grass all over my feet.  I should have just put my socks on, but I spent about 30 seconds brushing my feet like it mattered… I eventually told myself to quit and move on.  T1 time 4:13.  Needs improvement.

Weather – Same.  About 70 degrees and overcast.

Thoughts – Don’t draft and take it easy.  Don’t use up a ton of energy getting out in the first few miles because there’s going to be a traffic jam anyway.

Execution – Sip water whenever thirsty.  10 minutes in eat half of Clif bar.  Wait 20 minutes then have a squirt of Infinit mix every 10 minutes.  At 1:20, eat other half of Clif bar, wait 20 minutes and start sipping Infinit every 10 minutes again.  At 2:00, eat half of Honey Stinger.  Continue sipping Infinit every 10 minutes.  I grabbed a water bottle at the first and second aid stations to refill my front bottle. 

Assessment – The course was fun.  Just enough small hills to keep it interesting.  There was a period of about 15 miles between mile 15 to mile 25 to 30 that was bumpy and made it hard to get into a groove.  Everything else on the course was good.  Final time 2:37:10, 21.3 mph average.

I got back and only saw one other bike racked around me which means I was the second one off the bike in my group.  That made me so happy.  Grabbed the Strawberry Clif gel out of the Bento box and the other 3 gels that I put in my running shoes and put in side pockets.  Put on shoes and visor.  Do I have everything?  Yup.  That was easy!  Now go!  Final time 1:53.  Decent.

Weather – Same. About 70 degrees and overcast.  PERFECT!

Thoughts – Remember to take it easy for the first few miles. Don’t try to keep pace with anyone except myself!

Execution – Wait until the first mile to take the Clif Double Espresso with 100 mg of caffeine, then plan on taking another gel every 3 or 4 miles depending on how I feel.  I ended up taking the Strawberry Clif gel at mile 4, the 2nd Surge with 100 mg of caffeine at mile 7, and the Island Nectar Gu Roctane at mile 10.  Every mile that I took a gel, I took a water from the next available aid station.  At the next aid station I would take another water and at the next aid station I would take Perform and water.  Sometimes I would just swish the water around my mouth to get the Perform taste out.  Aid stations were placed about every mile so it worked out well. 

Assessment – I don’t mind double loop runs.  Triple loops can get a little annoying, but double loops aren’t too bad.  Loops on the runs aren’t so bad because the crowd support is usually better since the spectators only have so many areas they can be.  There were no issues with the course itself.  The road was good, everything was well marked, and the aid stations had everything you needed.  I only needed the water and Perform, but I did end up taking a couple of cold sponges.  They also had oranges and gels which I didn’t need.  Final time 1:42;42, 7:50 min/mi pace.    
FINAL RACE TIME – 4:51:29, 2nd place in F 25 – 29 age group.

Augusta 70.3 2012 329

I’ll have more race pictures after they’re available.  This was a perfect execution race.  I had no problems during the swim, bike, or run.  I didn’t have to use the bathroom once.  You read that right.  I didn’t have to pee or go #2 at all during or after the race.  This is actually the first time that I can remember that I haven’t had any GI issues after a long endurance race.  After the race I had half a beer, a slice of cheese pizza, a slice of orange, 2 bottles of water and a half bottle of Perform.  I lied down in the grass and put my feet up in the air and stretched my feet, calves, and hamstrings, and rolled my knees in circles.  I had a cookie about an hour later.  Once we got back to Kathy’s place, I took a shower and put on my pants with compression shorts underneath and compression socks for the ride home.  Today I feel great.  I know I can’t run a half marathon right now, but nothing hurts. 

I did qualify for the World Championship in Vegas in 2013, but I didn’t read the rules carefully enough and I missed my window to claim my spot.  So, I unintentionally forfeited my spot.  My heart was broken and I am still a little upset about it.  But, I have to keep telling myself that it wasn’t time for me to go.  I didn’t sign up for this race to qualify for the World Championship.  I looked at past results and didn’t think that I had a chance to get past top 5.  I was just using this race as an assessment and practice for Beach 2 Battleship.  At least I know that I CAN qualify and now that will be another goal for me.

Thank you’s go to:
My boyfriend, Daniel, for letting me get in all of my training.  For being understanding when I wanted to go to sleep early or couldn’t hang out because I had to get up early.  And, for his support
My training partners in crime, Sarah, Tamara, Fred, Aaron, Allen, Mike, and James.
I would also like to thank the New Tampa Tri Club, and Pete and the A-Train group for the open water swims and runs out at Clearwater. 

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