Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Timberman 70.3 Race Report

4:30 am came quickly. We wanted to get to transition early, so that we could park right at Ellacoya state park rather than parking at Gunstock or remote lots and shuttling to the start. We did get there early and I ate breakfast and sipped on my yerba mate tea in the car before the sun came up. 

After prepping my transition spot, I had quite a bit of time since the pros went off at 7am and my wave went off at 8am. It was a cold morning and I was happy I had my sweats. I actually wore my hoodie and flip flops until the last moment so I wouldn’t be cold. I was lucky enough to have Joe on the beach with me, so I could hand off my clothes to him.

No matter how many times I have done a half ironman, I still get that feeling when reality sets in of what I am about to embark on. It is 10xs worse for ironman, but I still get it to some degree for a half.

I felt great on the swim, but I was a couple minutes slow based on my goal. I swam it in 34:50. I have been working a lot on my swim and have gotten so much faster, but clearly something went awry. I guess the bigger issue is I can’t figure out what since I felt good and felt like I swam a straight course. I have a long time in the pool ahead of me with Coach Jen to figure it out before Ironman Mont Tremblant. 

The bike has always been my weakest discipline. I have been working a lot on my bike this year. The road conditions weren’t great- lots of potholes and rough areas, but it could have been worse. Since the roads weren’t closed I did find myself in a sketchy situation flying down hill and a car passed me and had to stop due to riders. There wasn’t a shoulder on the road and I had to slam on my brakes- I think my heart rate was the highest of the day at that point as it shot up in fear that I was going to slam in the back of  the car. Other than that, the bike was pretty smooth.
 My goal was to break 3:00 hours on the bike and ended up with a 2:50- I am thrilled about that. All my hard work has paid off and I am hoping this is a good sign that my riding will just continue to get stronger.  
The run was tough- even though I am smiling in almost every picture from the run. It tends to relax my body when I smile. I try to fake myself that I am not feeling uncomfortable.

 I am always happy when I get on my two feet, but I didn’t feel as great as I would have liked. It ended up being quite a hot run and I am always thankful that at IM races they have the cold sponges and towels at the aid stations. They help so much to help cool the body down. And this is coming from someone who loves the heat and can handle heat much better than cold.  I ended up with a 1:51 half marathon- about 5 minutes slower than I would have liked, but hey, I will take it.

Crossing the finish line was especially special since 3x Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington gave me my finishers medal. Not only is she an amazing athlete who keeps breaking her own world records, but she is truly a genuine person. She took the time to congratulate everyone has they came across. It was the highlight of my day.

Overall, I am extremely thrilled with my race. I broke my personal record for my Half Ironman distance with my 5:20:19 finishing time. I placed 9th in my AG and 336th overall out of the out of 1600-something men and women, which I am extremely happy about. I had an amazing cheer crew and can’t thank Joe (@flinnj3- for doing an amazing job giving race updates via twitter even though he had never tweeted before), Andrea, Katy and Ray (follow ray! @brownie1818) enough for all their support. No one else had a better cheer squad out there.

Thunderstorms rolled in and they closed the course early pulling runners off the roads before they finished.  We got on the road before the thunderstorms hit and I sipped on my chocolate hemp milk mixed with hemp protein on the way home to start the recovery process.

Timberman wrapped up my triathlon racing of the season. I have a LOT of work to do before Ironman Mont Tremblant next year to be able to accomplish what I want to do, but I am excited for the challenge. I have a fun fall ahead of me before the IMMT journey begins...
Now onto ‘cross….


  1. wahoo thanks for the shout out! I'm going to start training now for my ironman spectating.... I'm stocking up on where's Waldo books so you won't have to shout my name to get my attention mid-run next time! congrats on your PR Kate : )

  2. haha spectating and cheering is hard work! I did it once for an Olympic distance and I was more tired from that than actually racing! After that I had so much respect for all of the spectators.
    Thanks for the support- it helped so much to have you guys out there and cheering. I GREATLY appreciate it!