Even more than 24hrs later I am still finding it hard to put into words what I am feeling following my first Half Iron 70.3!
Macon, Ga is hot....like a furnace kind of HOT. Fridays high was 103 degrees. Race morning was very warm and only got warmer.
Here is the ugly truth of the day....
swim - 45:13 (includes beach and ramp to T1)
T1 - 3:22
T2 - 3:28
run - 2:56:45 (my SLOWEST EVER)
Total - 7:11:26
Number Started - 265
Number Finished - 234
Finishing Temp - 98 degrees
Swim: I had never seen what 1.2 miles looked like in a lake before race morning. Something I would change looking back now. I somewhat freaked at the sight of what we would be swimming. That is a LONG WAY. Water temps were 86 degrees and just like that we were swimming. I was passed and I also passed other swimmers. I was a zigzagging machine :) . Overall it went better than I thought.
Bike: The course offers NO SHADE past mile 10. One roller after another made it hard for me to find a grove and this resulted in mashing to heavy of a gear. I did manage to take in 3 fuel bottles along with 2 bottles of water. Dropped my GU and Chomps early on and did not stop to get them. The last 5 miles were really difficult for me. I felt "off" but continued to just get the bike finished.
Run: I was so disoriented coming into T2 and had to sit down just to get my mind straight. As I began running I felt very nauseated. I wanted to quit but instead I walked the entire first 2 miles. I have NEVER had to do this before. The entire run course had NO SHADE. We were cooking out there. Once I committed to finishing I just hung on the best I could. Walk/Run from station to station taking in water, gu's, salt tablets and dumping cup fulls of ice in my sports bra. It was not until close to end that I started taking in flat coke and that alone began to help calm my stomach. The entire run course was one walking zombie after another.
I was more than an hour past my goal finish time. This is always a hard pill to swallow. Still I learned a ton of lessons from the day. I DID NOT QUIT! IMKY in August is my "A" goal and this race offered a lot of positives for me to take in.
So I am glad to have raced. I am glad to have finished. I am glad there is tons of room for improvements. This is what it is truly all about. Pretty amazed by everyone that even started Saturdays event knowing how brutal of a day it would be.
** Update - Full blown-head-cold has set in. Explains so much of why I felt the way I did going into the race on Saturday. :/ Oh well....onto another day.