Without a doubt, IRONMAN put on amazing events. A half Ironman (70.3) triathlon is going to be the same distance wherever you go, but each is put on by a different company. IRONMAN is basically the gold standard (the overall company that holds the infamous Ironman Championships in Kona) of triathlon. This was my 2nd Ironman event (I raced in Austin 70.3 last year) and the set up was once again top-notch. This was my first Ironman racing in for Team Apex which was cool.
This was the biggest half Iron man ever put on according to the race directors and there were about 3,180 finishers! That’s a ton of people to organize… not to mention the friends and family that came with them!
The race went well for me. The conditions were overcast and humid to start, and then the sun came out in full force right at the time I started the run.
I set a PR on the swim, but honestly I just have to chalk it up and maybe compare it next year—the swim was in a river with the current and was literally just straight. My stroke felt good, although I did not feel as fast as I would have liked, but it felt better than it ever has in the past. Really tried to focus on having my arms reach straight out instead of crossing over and also focused on shoulder and hip rotation. Making progress! My swim time was around 31:00.
Before I knew it, the swim was over and I was running up a steep dock to the transition area. There were wetsuit strippers at the top waiting for us (no, unfortunately this was not strippers in wetsuit like I thought when I first heard of this a year ago in Austin) and they helped me rip my wetsuit off. I also used to tips I saw at Wildflower and stripped my goggles and cap and shoved them in my sleeve.
Transition went smooth, hopped on the bike and was off. The ride was relatively rolling with no major hills, but a constant smattering of them. Talking with my coaches, I’m considering pounding harder on the bike and trying to gain ground there and seeing what it does to my run. The bike was perfectly measures and I finished in 2:50:00, averaging 19.7mph, which is alright.
The run was rough! I set out at 6:30-ish min/mile pace but for some reason it was just hard. It began to get hot and there were a lot of people on the course. I spent most of my time passing people, but it was one of those races I spent yelling at myself to run faster and couldn’t wait to be done. The fans were great though, and I was never so zoned out that I couldn’t wink at a few cute Georgia girls along the course.
I slowly watched my pace slow even though I felt like I was pushing harder than ever. I ended up running a 1:30:08 (not sub 1:30, damnit!) which comes out to a 6:53 min/mile pace. Not good enough for me, I’ll be honest. It’s funny when you tell your mom that and she says, “Oh, that is slow for you.” Lol thanks mom ; )
Overall I was happy. I went sub 5 hours and did a 4:59:27. I finished 150th of 3,179 overall, and 29/189 in my age group. Even with the 1:30:08 run, I still had the 30th fastest run split which was better than many of the pros so that was cool to know I was still fast RELATIVE to the other times.
Tons of improvement room, but and awesome race!
Post race, there was a massage school and I got an awesome rub down. This was good since I now I had an 8 hour drive ahead of me back to Tampa. I hopped in the car, slammed a HoneyMilk, picked my bike up and hit the long drive home bundled up in all my Zensah recovery gear lol.
The rest of this year is filled with pretty high-profile races. After the Nations Tri 2 weeks ago, the Ironman 70.3 this week, I am racing the Disney World Half marathon on Saturday NIGHT (10PM?!), then HalfRev3 in South Carolina the next week (another huge race production company), and to end the 5 weeks, the Men’s Health Urbanathlon Chicago!
Anyone going to be at or NEAR any of these races? Especially Disney World this week—anyone know of any Sunday cycling groups?
Again, this all culminates with ITU Worlds on November 5th. I found a pretty baller triathlete here in Tampa and am making him get me ready for the hills on the bike between now and then ha.
Thanks for reading guys! I’ll have some more actually interesting posts later this week!
- Have you been to Disney World? If so, favorite resort, ride, and restaurant?
- What have you found to be positive about this week?