Friday, August 31, 2012

Ironman Canada

I'm not really sure if I can even describe what an amazing day I had in Canada last Sunday.  I remember everything about it (not usual).  I never had a crazy low.  I never felt like I couldn't do it, or more importantly that didn't want to be there.  I've never smiled so much in my entire life.  I've never had so much fun.

The days leading up to the race I felt good.  Maybe too good.  I was calm, rested, happy.  For the first time in 5 Ironman I knew I had done everything I possibly could to make my training count.  No skipped workouts because I was too tired, or because I just didn't want to do them.  I did the work, I made the work count.  I knew that the only factor that could mess up my day was going to be ME.  I knew that all my issues in the past 2 IM have been nutrition related and bonking, and I was not going to let that happen.

I stayed pretty quiet leading up to the race.  Every night when I went to bed I visualized the race start, my transitions.  I went over and over in my head how I was going to EAT and EAT and EAT on the bike ride.  I thought about my mom.  I thought about how she has made me a stronger person.  I thought back to Rocky Point when I dug deep and when I didn't stop and walk because I was tired and hot.

My only small concern was my right hip and IT band.  The hip has been hurting me for 3 weeks and after a day of travel and many days of sitting around it had gotten worse.  My knee even started to hurt. I was icing 3 times per day and finally, on the day before the race I signed up for an ART treatment.  It was a last stitch effort to release the pressure and hopefully help my day.  It also turns out it was the best decision I could have made.  I had an amazing guy work with me and within 2 minutes of examining me he knew exactly why I was hurting.  My right pelvis was not rotating, basically stuck while the rest of my body was trying to move.  He worked on me for about 25 minutes and when I got up from the table I had immediate relief in my hip and back.   He also said a couple of words to me that I remembered during the race and they helped push me.  He told me I had powerful legs.  It's funny, because no matter how fit and lean I get, my legs are never my best attribute.  It's where I hold my fat, no matter how hard I work and how well I eat, I've come to realize it's just my body, but hearing that they are powerful, now that I'll take!

Race morning was super uneventful.  After being rushed the last time we did this race, we made sure we were in transition with plenty of time.  Before we knew it we were in the water, with a nice starting position to the right of the buoys.  I had heard this was the place to be, and I'd take anything over the beating I received in 2010 when I started front and center.

About 30 seconds before the start, Michelle turned around to me and said, "Happy hour starts at 6, Krista.  DON'T be late."

The looks on the faces of the people around us were just priceless.  I'm sure mine was just as great.

I had done the math over and over and many times came up with an 11 hour race, but I knew most of that banked on a ~4hr marathon, which based on my training seemed 100% doable, but then I also couldn't help but factor in my IM Marathon PR was ~4:35 and even my stand alone marathon was 4:12….  It's hard to have that extra confidence that you could crush both of those times.  Hearing Michelle say those words was just the fire I needed in my belly.






The swim was rather uneventful.  It wasn't crazy crowded, but I never felt like I was in a great position either.  Every time I'd get comfortable swimming, I'd start passing people then end up in one big cluster of people that I couldn't get around.  Rather than get super frustrated, I just tried to stay calm and focus on getting to the finish.  I could tell it wasn't going to be the swim I was hoping for, or rather that Michelle was hoping for, but just kept moving.

I swam until it was too shallow to keep going, got up and ran up to the wetsuit strippers.  My time was 1:07, 3 minutes slower than 2 years ago, and 3-5mins slower than I expected.

I quickly cleared my head and moved on, in and out of transition in 3 minutes and was on to the longest part of the day, the bike.  The temperature was perfect.  Slightly cool for the morning, but the adrenaline was just enough to keep me warm until the temperatures started climbing.  High for the day was supposed to be ~87degrees so I chose no arm warmers.  I had every pocket on my kit and bike full of so much food I had no room for extra stuff!

I got passed a LOT in the first 20miles.  Super flat and fast and people were moving.  I was still trying to find my legs!  Shane passed me at mile 12, he too didn't have the best swim, but it of course made my day that I at least beat him out of the water, even if only by 1 minute!  

At about 20minutes I started fueling.  I had 1800calories on my bike and I was determined to get as much of it as possible in my system.  It took about an hour for my legs to finally feel ok.  I continued my routine of eating about every 20-30mins, drinking to thirst and taking 2x e21 every hour.  Richter Pass came quickly, and once again I was still being passed, a LOT.  I remembered reading my race report from last time, and reading the same thing about how many people were passing me at that point, so again, I just did my thing and rode my pace.

I had to pee for the first 2 hours, so finally around mile 50 I found a clear stretch behind me and got er done! My biggest fear was that my green compression socks were going to be colored, so I poured a ton of water all over me.  My outfit was the key to my bike success and I didn't want to mess it up ;)  I have never received so many compliments on my kit, bike and coordination in my life.  It made the bike ride super fun, and absolutely loved every minute of it grinning ear to ear.  

Around my 65-70, the out and back section and the middle of the rollers something clicked in me and I just felt AWESOME.  This section last time I sorta fell apart, but I felt fantastic.  I started working harder, passing people and I felt amazing.  Before I knew it I was up over yellow lake and descending back into town.  My pace was slightly ahead of where I expected, and I actually thought for a minute I would bike a 5:45 until we hit a pretty good headwind on the descend and my chain had popped off over the outside of my rear derailleur and I had to coast for about 3 miles until it was safe to pull over and fix it.  Thankfully, it was a quick fix, but boy did it hurt to have to get off the bike at mile 100.  I had to wait a few seconds while pelotons (yes, PELOTONS) of cyclists came flying by me and it was clear to get back on the course, but happy overall that it wasn't a big deal.

Before I knew it I was back into transition, with a bike time of 5:48, ~2 mins faster than my goal and a 15min bike and course PR!

T-2 was fast, but I did take some extra time to pee (apparently I hydrated well), and was back out running in just over 3mins.  I set my garmin to avg lap pace so it would reset every mile and I was never looking at my current pace.  My goal was to start no faster than an 8:50 pace, which I quickly had to hold back when my first half mile was an 8:30.  I slowed to what felt like a walk and an 8:45ish and just watched as people flew by me.  I was happy to feel so fantastic and light, but not stupid enough to think that was going to last or that I could hold anything faster than what my training proved.

The miles clicked off fairly easily and I was staying right around the 8:50 mark.  I started my nutrition with gels every 3 miles, water to taste and also put ice down my top at every aid station.  It wasn't really HOT, but it was warm, and I know my body does best when it's cooler so I just kept trying to make myself comfortable.   At mile 8, I ran into Shane.  I was devastated that he was walking.  I spent only a few seconds on finding out if I could help, but he made it clear his quad was trashed/cramping and he'd tried everything.  It was hard to just pull away from him, knowing we both were on target for a great day, but I was so focused on my race I knew I had to keep moving.

I got my head back in the game and just kept going with my plan.  The hills started at about mile 10, and I ran most of them, but when the effort felt too hard, or I wasn't jogging any faster than I could walk, I would walk.  Only to the top of the hill.  I never let that walk go too long or too far.  I had a quick potty stop before the turnaround and then was on my way back into town.  In my head I just kept going in 3 mile increments.  The first half it was to take a gel.  The second half it was knowing that I only really had 3 miles of hard hills, then I would be back to flat.  At mile 16, I knew I just had to get to mile 21 where the last small climb was.  At mile 20 my stomach felt so full I was convinced I had to pee again, so I stopped one last time, but ended up it was just bloat so I was in and out quickly and on my way with a plan of NO more stopping. At mile 21 I just had to get to mile 23 where I had convinced myself it was all downhill.

My stomach was bloated, I was FULL.  I stopped taking in gels and just did water, watermelon and cola.  Whatever I could stomach.  I NEVER felt tired.  I never hurt.  My legs were getting heavy, but other than that I truly had no pain.  I would walk the aid stations to get as much as my body could take, but as soon as I started running again I could bring my avg pace back down to as close to a 9min pace as I could get by the time the next mile clicked over then start the process over again.  

As I reached mile 24 and heading back down main street the emotions began to take over.  I was overwhelmed with happiness.  I don't know how to explain it but for the last 13 miles I truly felt like the wind was on my back.  While I wasn't breaking any top speeds, I was running, and it felt like nothing I have ever felt before.  I knew that my mom was with me.  That I had my very own personal guardian angel watching over me all day, believing in me and pushing me.  I had to hold back tears and get my breathing under control, but I couldn't take the smile off my face.               I had no idea what my run time was, as I was only looking at mile by mile, but I could see on my total time for the day that I was close to an 11hour day.  I did the math and knew breaking 11 hours wasn't going to happen, but I still dug deep and ran my last 2 miles at an 8:30 pace.  I made one last pass of a girl in my AG in the last 1/4 mile and crossed the finish line in 11:02.
When I crossed the finish line I saw Michelle standing there.  I couldn't speak.  I was crying and in complete shock of the day I just had.  


I later learned that I not only had a :48min Ironman and course PR, but that I had actually broken 4hours on the marathon, something I've never done.  It was the most incredible day I've every experienced since my first race and marathon 11 years ago.  The smile below is still on my face when ever I think about the day.  A day that I am so proud of and so completely satisfied with, yet still in shock about.














I can't thank all the people that believe in me and are always my biggest supporters.  Huge thanks to everyone who made a donation to my Athletes for a Cure fundraising page.  It was such a cool experience to be out there on the course with Team Newton, and the CEO of newton Jerry (also racing).  I was racing for a cause, with a purpose and it was awesome!  And last, but certainly NOT least, the winner of the "guess Krista's finish time" is my girl, Tracy.  :23 off my actual finish time.  Tracy, your present will be here Saturday ;)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ironman Eve

A little less than a year ago, over some martinis and a weekend in Flagstaff a plan was made to race Ironman Canada.  Community Fund slots were the only spots open, with the exception of a possible Team Newton/Athletes for a Cure entry, that I had heard about.

At the time I didn't realize what a whirlwind my year would become.  I decided rather than just write a check over to the Ironman Community Fund Foundation, I would try to do a little bit better.  I decided to be part of something bigger and try to raise more money.

I always seem to go back to the "when life gives you lemons," saying.  This year life, God, whatever it was threw me a whole bag of big fat rotten lemons.  In March just a few weeks into training, and just after announcing I was going to be part of Team Newton/Athletes for a Cure raising money for prostate cancer, I received a phone call that I will never forget.  My sister called me saying that my mom was…. gone.  

GONE.

I honestly can't remember much after that.  I remember hyperventilating.  I remember crying hysterically.  I called a friend to come pick me up and the next thing I knew I was facing a situation that I never in my wildest dreams or nightmares would have imagined being in.  Out of now where.  With no signs, no warning, my mom was taken from me.

For the next few months I felt like I was living in a bubble.  I was functioning, working, training, planning and living on pure adrenaline and determination.  Some of us don't get to choose the things we can do.  Some of us make poor choices and live lifestyles that shorten or lives and hurt not only ourselves, but others.

I truly believe that where there is a will, there is a way.  I started facing my fears.  Pushing through walls that in the past have knocked me down.  I stopped mentally defeating myself.  I worked harder, and longer and smarter than ever in the past and I did it with my heart.  I did it because I AM healthy, I choose to live this active lifestyle because it makes me happy, it makes me feel GOOD.

I've come to race Canada as part of a team that are all racing for a cause.  I'm racing with the CEO of Newton, prostate Cancer SURVIVOR and, Ironman.  I'm racing with months of hard training, with a heavy yet also half empty heart.  I'm racing in honor of those who fight, who fight for the lives.

If this past year has taught me anything, it's perseverance.  If there is one thing that the sudden loss of my mom opened my eyes to, it's to NEVER give up.  It's not fair to me, it's not fair to all the many people that believe in me, that have supported me, that love me.

I know that tomorrow, when it gets hard, when everything hurts, when I want to stop, walk, cry…complain.  I will push past it, I will FIGHT.  I will not give up on my hard work, or myself.

I will move on.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of my amazing friends and biggest fans.  To my sister, who has been the most incredibly strong person this past year, and who I have gained nothing but the utmost respect for.

To my momma, with all my heart…you will be my inspiration tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will make a big fat batch of the best tasting lemonade.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AquaGear.com

A few weeks ago I had a very nice representative from a new (or new to me) swim gear company contact me about taking a look at their website, AquaGear.com.   I'm an easy sale.   Swim gear, online shopping & product/site review.

I'm IN!

I was able to pick out a couple of items to try out and see how their ordering, shipping, and service went.  I have to say I'm more than impressed.  I've been a long time customer of swimoutlet.com.  Mostly for their swimsuit selection, but over the years I've been beyond frustrated at their website performance.  It's slow, and half the time I click on a suit I want they are only available in child size 24s???

Anyway.  While AquaGear isn't currently supplying a selection of swimsuits, they are working on expanding to do so in the near future.

I would like to point out a couple of great features on their website.  While at first glance it's nothing fancy, very basic - a few things really jump out at me.

1.  On the home page, before you start any searching, a pop-up box at the bottom of the screen shows up and allows you to do an instant chat with a customer service representative.  I've used this feature with a number of different websites and find it VERY helpful.

2.  GREAT search function.  At the top of the website, there is a open search box.  Start typing in something you are looking for (I used my favorite goggle the Aquasphere Kaiman Lady) and before you have entered the full description you will get a drop down menu for like items to select.  I only typed in "kai…" and before I finished I had all the options I needed to select.  Just awesome!

3.  The order process was fast & shipping quick!

Overall a great shopping experience.

The items I purchased were:


FUN swim cap.  It's super soft and stayed put on my head!  Fun colors and styles…. (May not work for someone with a larger head)

Reflect H2O swim shampoo and conditioner.  SO happy with these products.  My hair was getting destroyed at the pool where I'm swimming this summer, and it's really helping with the dry icky feeling post swim!  Smells good too ;)


Check out their website, like them on facebook & enjoy shopping!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Wine Country!

What fun would a post about wine country and gorgeous scenery be without a picture post? Thanks to Amy for being our photographer extraordinaire. Here we go!

Day 1.  Karen picked us up from the airport and we headed to visit a couple of smaller wineries in Healdsburg.

First stop:  A Rafanelli - YUMMY Zinfandel!  Pricey, and they limit your purchase to a couple of bottles, but definitely worth the stop!


Stop 2.  Arista - a variety of Pinot Noirs, and gorgeous grounds to walk around.

We also visited Thomas George which was good, but not great.  I think I bought a Chardonnay from there.  Not normally something I go for, but it was light and crisp, a great summer wine at a good price.

That was it for Thursday - the next two days were all about the race;  rest, hydrate and EAT!

On Sunday we booked a limo to drive us around to all our wineries.  Karen and I spent a couple of days booking appointments and trying to find some off the beaten path Boutique wineries, ending with my very very very favorite place!

The girls are dressed up and out of spandex, ready for our adventure!


It's not very often the LaPan couple cleans up!


First stop, Yoakim Bridge Winery.  Again found a super yummy Zinfandel and had a HOOT talking to the winery owners.  Their story of how they met, how they came to make wine and first start selling it is worth the visit itself!

A quick visit to J Cellars for some Bubbles!  


Our next stop was Deerfield Winery.  The tastings take place in their wine caves which is pretty cool!  Unfortunately, I feel like we maybe didn't really enjoy the experience as much as we would have because we were rushed for time to get to our final place…..  Maybe next time?


Last and most certainly NOT least.  Colin Lee.   A few years ago Shane & I were doing a wine tour with a group of friends and our Limo driver took us to this amazing place.  It is still, the best experience I've ever had in the area.  I couldn't resist the opportunity of showing our friends this gem so I called Guy, the wine maker up and asked if our group of 11 could visit his winery and home.  He was incredibly welcoming asking if we had any special food restrictions, etc (as athletes) because he wanted to make something for us to have with the wine…

The visit did not disappoint.    This is Guy's lovely wife Debbie pouring our first "taste."  The 2007 Syrah.  #meltinyourmouth

As we sipped our wine Guy talked about his history, and how he became a wine maker… We all listened to his recap of being a professional triathlete in the days of Dave Scott and Mark Allen, to how he got very ill for several years and moved to wine country only several years later finally being diagnosed with Lime Disease….

You can tell when someone is really passionate about what they do because everyone thoroughly enjoys hearing the stories!


Not only did we enjoy the stories, but also the WINE!


The homemade chili! 


We spent way too long here, but just didn't want to leave!  We had to pay our driver for an extra hour +.  Totally worth it though….




After places all our orders (lots of wine bought!) we got a tour of his small cellar where all the magic takes place.  

I can NOT wait to go back!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Barb's race

Finally sitting down to write my race report for the past weekend's Barb's race, aka Vineman, I struggle to put into words how I feel about the race.  While in total the race was a very very slight PR for the distance, I can't help but feel a bit bummed about a few things.  At the same time as feeling a little less than complete about it all, I also know there wasn't much more I could of done out there….

I'll start off by saying that the venue is STUNNING.  What better way to do what you love surrounded by stuff you love.  WINE!!!!  Even swimming in the super shallow Russian River surrounded by lush green trees isn't so bad :)

I have always wanted to do this race.  Swim, bike, run, wine…. yup - pretty much made for me.  At first I just thought the big 70.3 race was the way to go, but then I found out about Barb's race.  Basically the same course, but all women and for a great charity; cancer research.

Smaller race, all women;  I'm in!

Unfortunately this is kinda where things also went wrong.  Smaller race = maybe a bit less serious organization.  Smaller race PLUS full distance Ironman, full distance aquabike & half aquabike leads to a bit of chaos.  I don't want to down talk the race directors, or the race itself in any way, so I'll guess I'll just share my story…

All my friends were racing the aquabike so they had to head down to the race a couple hours before I did.  It was actually nice and relaxing to just hang out in the morning a bit and not be rushed.  I still got to the race start WAY early, but luck would have it I ran into my BSC teammate Mary while walking my bike into T-1.  We got to rack our bikes together and sit and chit chat for a couple hours.  It was great!   We may or may not have had a few giggles about all the "gear" (suitcases?  really?) in T-1 and the last minute checkins like 10mins before the race started…

My first realization about the lack of "serious" race organization came when I'm still standing in transition as swimmers are coming in.  If I were a GOOD athlete I would have gotten the hell out of there and let everyone have their space, but no one was making me and I wanted to see my people!  I think it's probably a good thing because EVERY.SINGLE. one of my friends had trouble finding their bikes!  I was jumping up and down, screaming at them trying to show them the right row.  And, I'm not talking like 1-2 rows off…. I mean like I saw Shane exit the water and I'm standing a good 20rows up where his bike was, yet he disappeared looking or his bike way way way too soon.

Example 1 of bad signage.   Example 1 of how athletes (including my self) need to study transition areas.

About 10mins later it was time to get in the water.  I was pretty stoked after seeing my friends.  No nerves, which is shockingly never the case!  I have been working my ass off swimming the past several months and I really wanted it to show in my time today.

I lined up front row and was OFF.  I darted right out in front of my wave and immediately had a few girls on my far right side (not buoy line) get ahead of me.  I thought about trying to find their feet, but I felt like it was wasted effort to go outside my direct buoy line so I just kept swimming.  Within a couple of minutes I was swimming with another color swim cap.  A couple more it was yet another wave….  I looked around and could see only a few of my wave caps in the distance but everyone else around me was from an earlier start.  I felt strong, had a great path along the buoys so I just kept going.   Unfortunately the further out I got, the more crowded.  I would be swimming along and suddenly have my hand on someone's ASS.  People standing, walking, NOT MOVING everywhere.  I remember at one point thinking to myself all those times I complained at masters for having to do swim head out of water drill…. well, it sure was coming in handy here.

I glanced at my watch at the turnaround and saw 17:45ish… Pretty frustrated with that, but not much I could do but keep swimming.  I continued to run into people (apologies for anyone I grabbed - but really, I can't SEE you when you aren't KICKING) and did my best to get around them and not freak them out.  Finally after I headed under the last bridge I had the best last 100m ever!  The water was completely empty and I just sprinted to the finish. I shot passed all the lollygaggers and headed straight to the wetsuit strippers!

I ran right to my bike (yay for margarita - so easy to spot!) and tried to get my stuff in the bag as quickly as possible…..

Swim split:  33:02  ~1.5 mins swim split PR, but still not where I feel like I should be!!

Heading out of transition was complete chaos.  People not ready for the short steep hill and almost falling over trying to clip in.  I had my bike in my 28 and while I was ready to spin up it, I was dogging people trying not to get hit!

As soon as I was out on the main road I realized that indeed this was going to be a long day.  The narrow winding wine roads were open to traffic both ways…. I was riding as well as I could until I would suddenly have to come to almost a complete stop to avoid being hit by a car.  There was no room to get around the slower bikers (really people - we are maybe 5-10miles in and we are going like 12mph??).  It was maddening to say the least…but I just did my best to sty safe and get around the cyclists when traffic cleared…

The middle section of the bike was much better, on less busy roads.  I continued to pass cyclists, more than I ever had in the past so I felt like I was having a great day.  The effort never felt hard… but I knew there were some hills coming up so I was being a bit conservative.  I wasn't passed until about mile 30 by anyone, and when a couple of girls came flying by me I tried to stay with them….. only to watch them pull ahead and draft off each other.  I made up my mind to ride fair but keep them in my sights.  That was until the traffic through another little town got backed up and I was once again…. slowed to almost a stop by cars and slower cyclists.  I didn't see those girls again until the last 10miles….

Once I got past the only really big climb at about mile 45 I knew it was a good flat to down section into finish.  I was a bit behind on my goal time of 2:45-2:50 so I dropped my gear (thank you all those big gear intervals!) and pushed HARD.  I was flying at about 22-26 mph for the final bit passing a lot of people.  Excited about how much I had left in the tank…I started to wonder if I sandbagged a bit too much in the first part of the bike??

Final bike time 2:47:xx.  Not a bike PR, but within my goal range.

The dismount line came pretty quick so I wasn't ready to hop out of my shoes and ended up running in my bike shoes for the VERY long transition.  I would guess maybe .25mile through the HS campus.  As I entered transition I looked for the balloon and tree someone pointed out to me the day before by my row.  I was up and down the rows searching for my shoes.. but all I could see were what seemed like endless towels and hats and shoes, that weren't mine.  Frustrated as all get out I started looking up and down the rows looking for my age group.  When I found the sign for 35-39 I darted down the row only to STILL not find my shoes???  I yelled to a volunteer for help and she very snotty said "READ THE SIGN."

I can't begin to tell you my frustration at this point…. After what seemed like forever I finally found my shoes… in a completely different section (there was a very small print of the race; barb's, vineman…next to the AG).  I threw on my hat and shoes and was on my way….

I was passed exiting transition from a girl who I had gone back and forth with on the bike for miles and miles until I finally passed her for good in the last 5 miles.  She apparently knew what she was doing in transition.  She was BOOKIN' so as much as I wanted to stay with her, I just knew that wasn't my pace.

I hit the first mile marker at 7:37.  DEF too fast for me.  I really really really had to pee, so at the second mile and aid station I darted into a porta potty.  As I exited I realized I had been passed by another one of the girls I passed on the bike…  I made it my mission to stay with her.  I slowly was catching her and just began plugging away digging, but not too deep that I was going to bonk.  I have to say all those half marathons I did this winter really helped me learn my pacing on the run.  I knew when I could dig, what I needed and when and when I was pushing too hard...

It was such a different feeling being out on these secluded roads with just one girl in front of my to see. Just before the turnaround I could see the handful of lead girls heading back.  I was super excited to be so close to the front and made it my goal to just try to stay in my same position.  I finally passed the girl I had been following at about mile and just kept plugging away.

On the way back it finally started to feel like a race… Lots more women heading out on the run.  I also have to thank all of them for all the encouraging cheers along the way!  Heading back towards the first loop it was complete chaos!  Runners both directions on a very small section of the road, bikers coming in and also heading out on a second loop across the run course (runners had to yield??). I was running hard to what seemed like the finish wondering where the heck the turnaround was and asking everyone until I finally saw the finish line…. and just shy of it was a woman standing and handing out bracelets and telling you to turn around.

I grabbed my bracelet and was on my way.  I tried to keep my pace the same knowing that it wasn't time to dig because there were 1.5 more hills before the next turnaround.  As I started to head up the second hill I'm wondering where the turn around was???  No cone, no timing mat… I asked a volunteer and she said "2 miles up the road."  WTF???

Finally I saw an older lady sitting on the side of the road under an umbrella.  About 10ft before her was some chalk saying turnaround and about 10ft AFTER her was a sign. (or maybe it was vice versa, but you get the picture).  With no one in front of me to follow I was shouting, "where do I turn????"  The nice lady was all, "Right HERE!!!."  I'm all "Well, here (pointed to the chalk) or HeRe (pointed to HER) or HERE (pointed to the furthest marker/sign).    I just decided to play it safe and went to the furthest point… gained my composure and started booking down the hill.

I had lost some time off my pace on the couple of hills so grabbed my last gel, around my 10 or so, then coke at the last 2 aid stations and ran as hard as I could for the last bit.  I saw one girl gaining time on me just before the last turnaround and I made it my mission to NOT get passed.

Run time 1:47:08.  Half IM run PR, just shy of my overall goal of 1:45, but with my potty break I'll take it!!

My overall time was 5:15:33  ~:45 distance PR.  4thAG (88total) and 10thOA (495 total).

Like I said I'm torn about the results.  While the placing is definitely great, I just feel a bit less than satisfied.  I'm not really sure how to explain it other than a bit frustrated with the bike chaos, mad at myself for the crazy slow transition and thinking maybe based on my hammer fest of the last 10miles I sandbagged a bit on the bike?

While I love the course itself, I think I would like to go back and do the bigger 70.3 race next time!  I would be a bit more aggressive on the bike and most importantly…. study my transitions!!