Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ironman Augusta 70.3 2014 Race Recap

I <3 Ironman Augusta 70.3.  I did this race in 2012 and again this year and it really is a great course.  The weather has been great both years, mid-70’s with overcast.  The swim is always great because it’s so fast and I love that it’s an in-water start.  It allows you 2 minutes to get in and wade around in the water to warm up a bit.  Plus, I think not having to run first keeps my heart rate down. 

I got to Augusta Thursday night and met up with Jamie, Dan, and his brother, Ed.  They already ate but went with me to Mellow Mushroom so that I could get some pizza.  I go the Magic Mystery Tour Bus with curry tofu.  I was so hungry and it was so delicious.  I was disappointed when I was only able to get down two slices.  After eating, I headed back to the hotel, La Quinta Inn on Washington Rd.  I recommend this hotel.  It’s right behind a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins and there is a Whole Foods and Publix right down the street.  The hotel room was nice and clean with a refrigerator and microwave.  Can’t ask for much more for $80/night. 
I tried to get as much stuff together for Sunday as I could before going to bed.  I went to bed around 11:30 with no alarm set. 

I woke up around 8:30 and checked in with Jamie and what her plans were.  She was heading to the expo for packet pick-up so I got in the shower and headed that way.  I ended up missing her at packet pick-up.  I was starving so met up with Jamie and co. to get some brunch and decided to hit up the expo after.  We ended up going to New Moon CafĂ© which is the same place that I went in 2012 to get the Green Monster smoothie.  I knew it was going to be a good weekend from that moment!  I also got a breakfast quesadilla and grits.  It was probably too much food because I was full until 5:30.

Green Monster!

Will a full belly I went to the expo, got my packet, and bought a sweater and new sandals because the ones I had on were starting to dig into the top of my feet.  I also found single packets of hyper-hydration from Skatch that I wanted to try.  

Next on my to-do list was to drive around to the swim start, then over to T1 to drop off my bike.  Not too much to tell with that.  Except, Friday night, I pumped my tires up and Saturday morning my front tire was flat.  I pumped it up again, tightened the valve, and prayed that it wouldn’t leak.  I must have checked my tires 50 times between Saturday and Sunday morning. I hopped on my bike and rode down to the finish area and back (one mile each way) to make sure everything was working A-OK before taking my bike into transition.    

I usually have good intentions of getting in some sort of pre-race warm up with a swim, bike, and/or run.  I actually got it in this time.  The Y was allowing race participants free entry into the gym.  I was able to get in a 10 minute swim, 10 min ride on the stationary, and then I went outdoors for a 15 minute run.  I’m still not totally sold on the pre-race (day before the race) warm up.  I guess it helps to calm the nerves a little bit. 

At this time, it was around 3:30 so I headed back to the hotel.  I stopped in at Whole Foods and Publix on the way back.  I wanted to get my race cookie (*the double doozie / yo-yo) from Publix.  They didn’t have it so I went over to Whole Foods to see what they had.  They had way too many choices and I ended up getting everything I saw…A gingerbread whoopie pie, vegan vanilla cupcake, and a bag full of assorted (mostly small double doozies) cookies. 
*double doozie / yo-yo – Cookie sandwich – 2 cookies with icing in the middle.

I made it back to the hotel around 5:30, dropped everything off at the hotel and then headed back out again for dinner – sushi from Miyako.  I got shrimp steamed dumplings and 2 rolls.  I ate about ¾ of each roll.  My dessert was one of the small double doozie cookies  J.


Yum! Yum!

After dinner I took a shower, got all of my things ready for the next day, painted my nails, and then called my brother and Daniel before turning off the lights around 9:00.

Drinking the Beet Juice

Sunday – RACE DAY!
I set my alarm for 4:15 with intentions of being out the door by 5:45. This did happen.  I made it down to T1 around 6 and was able to get one of the last spots on Broad St.  So, I was able to see my car twice on the run  J.

Race gear:
·         Zoot Ultra Tri suit
·         Nike Pro Combat sports bra
·         Nike padded socks (thanks Lindsay!)
·         2XU Project X wetsuit – my hair keeps getting caught in the velcro and creating a birds nest at the nape of my neck.  I need to figure out how to prevent this ASAP.  Otherwise, I love this suit.  My shoulders don’t feel restricted and it’s really not that tight around my neck (relatively speaking)
·         Tyr Special Ops 2.0 goggles
·         Louis Garneau X-Tri-Lite bike shoes
·         Scott T2C run shoes
·         Lazer Tardiz aero helmet
·         Tifosi sunglasses
·         Garmin HRM and GPS watch, Garmin Edge 500 on my bike
       Tri-Slide spray for the wetsuit
       Slik anti-chafe spray by Skin Strong

Pre-race –
·         2 hours before – Picky Bar
·         1.5 hours before – half bottle of Monster drink
·         1 hour before – Skratch hyper hydration (this stuff has 1600 mg of sodium) and 2 SportsLegs pills; 1 banana
·         30 minutes before – 1 bottle of X2 Performance and 1 Gu Endurance pill
Bike - 
·         Profile Design HC Aero bottle with water
·         1-24 oz bottle with 2 scoops of Infinit and 1 scoop of Fluid Passion Fruit Tea – 373 calories total
·         1 Power Bar Waffle – 170 calories
·         1.5 bottles of Powerade Perform from the course
Run –
·         2 SportsLegs pills and 1 Gu Endurance pill
·         3 gels – 1 Gu Salted Caramel, 1 Honey Stinger, 1 Clif Double Espresso – 300 calories total
·         Oranges, 2 cokes, Powerade Perform from the aid stations.  I also took water from every aid station

Transition setup in the AM - bike shoes clipped in, socks on the ground (pre-stretched), helmet with glasses in them and open, run gear next to run shoes to grab and go after getting shoes on

Time – 24:26
Cat Place – 5th
Gender Place – 32nd
This swim is awesome.  Well, it’s scary when you swim in the river by yourself. But, when there are a bunch of other people around you and people on kayaks, it’s not scary. Why is it scary, you ask?  Well, there are “grass monsters” that come up very close to your face and if you have long enough arms, I’m pretty sure you’re arms are swimming through them.  Good thing is you’re go so fast through the river, you’re done before you know it.  And, it’s really mostly just in the beginning and when you’re closer to the edge instead of more in the middle.  So, stick closer to the center of the river, the current is faster there anyway.  You start in the water for the swim.  There are 2 minutes between each wave so you have about 90 seconds to be in the water and wading before the gun goes off. Just enough time to do a little swimming around and get out any last minute nervous race pee.  Yup, I said it and yes I did it!

The velcro from my wetsuit got caught in my hair again.  Not as bad as before, but still enough to pull on my neck when I turned to breathe and give me a small bird’s nest.  I tried to grab on to some feet, but there wasn’t really anyone for me to grab on to.  Everyone was pretty spread out.  When I was getting close to the end I started kicking my legs harder to get some blood flowing to them.  I think this helped me.  I think.  This race has wetsuit strippers which is really awesome.  I<3 wetsuit strippers too. 

Time – 3:32
The run from the swim exit to T1 is kind of long. Nothing else to really say here. 

Time – 2:40:05
Cat Place – 1st
Gender Place – 17th

The bike course is kind of hilly.  Not super crazy.  If you’ve ever ridden San Antonio (Florida) then Augusta is pretty easy in comparison.  There is nothing that is super steep.  Some of the hills are kind of long, though.  The second aid station is right in the middle of one of the hills.  I guess it’s a good thing since you’re already going at a slower pace.  The first half of the course is harder because it’s more uphill.  But, that last 20 miles are almost all downhill.

I sipped my juice every 15 – 20 minutes (Infinit and Fluid mix) and at 1 hour into the ride I ate the Powerbar Waffle.  I was hoping that the hyper hydration would keep me from needing anything other than additional water.  But, I found myself grabbing a Powerade Perform bottle at the 2nd and 3rd aid station.  I downed the entire first bottle and half of the second one. 

I didn’t go out too crazy on the bike.  In fact, I may have held back a little too much on the first half.  I don’t have a good reason other than I just wanted to get settled in for about the first hour. 

Time – 2:33

I took 2 more SportsLegs pills and 1 Gu Electrolyte pill at this time.  I dropped the electrolyte pill and had to turn around to pick it up.  I was trying to use the SaltStick mini-dispenser and I couldn’t figure out which way to turn the darn thing to make the pills come out.  I ended up popping off the top and just dumping the pills in my mouth. 

Time – 1:38:4
Cat Place – 1st
Gender Place – 11th

This is a great run.  It’s flat and the majority of the run is on Broad St. which is lined with spectators.  The have water, powerade, coke, oranges, and gels at all the aid stations.  They have bananas, cookies, Bonk Breakers, and ice cold sponges near mile 4.5/9 and 6.5/13.  There is some shade, but this year and when I did the race in 2012 it was overcast the entire time.  That is always an added bonus for me. 

On the run course, I took the 3 gels (mile 2.3, 6, and 9) plus oranges and coke at mile 4.5 and 9.  I took water at every station and powerade at every 2nd or 3rd station. 

I started off at a conservative pace and also slowed myself because I was messing with my watch trying to get it to change from measuring in kilometers to miles.  I don’t know why it switches like that.  I felt good for the entire run.  I didn’t feel hungry or tired.  I didn’t feel fatigued until around mile 9.  I tried to keep myself calm, but I knew I was almost done and I really wanted to hold my pace.  Mile 9 – 7:28, mile 10 – 7:31, mile 11 – 8:09 (walked through the aid station), mile 12 – 7:33, mile 13 – 7:24.  Right around mile 9/10 I could feel my left quad starting to get really tight.  I knew my legs were going to start cramping soon.  It subsided until mile 12.  The last mile I was begging my legs to not cramp.  I made it to the finish and the only thing that cramped were my toes!  I’m used to that though and thankful that it was after I crossed the finish line. 

Time – 4:49:10
Cat Place – 1st
Gender Place – 11th (including the pros, 3rd o/a amateur)

All done.  This is before i found out my actual time and place

Couple of notes to mention that don’t really fit anywhere.  There was a girl on the ground with a flat tire in T1.  She was asking for someone to help her.  I really wanted to, but I’m just not that non-competitive.  I’m not a super competitive person, but I am enough to not spend 5+ minutes helping a fellow competitor change her tire.  I really felt for her because I’ve had 2 flats during a race. 
The other thing is, I saw a lot of people with flats.  It seemed like more than usual too. 

I definitely recommend this race for a first time race.  If you’re looking for a “big” name race.  If you’re looking for a smaller race, I would recommend Beach 2 Battleship in Wilmington, NC. 
In case you’re wondering, I did not take the world championship slot to compete in Austria next year.  I have a lot of reasons: money, time, and the possibility to either go to Kona (if I qualify at Florida) or to take my pro card (if I don’t qualify for Kona). 

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