(Best post race “recovery” snack ever: Fritos and beer. I instantly felt like a human again!)
Last Sunday I raced in the Toughman Minnesota Half Ironman in Chisago City and although it was a hot and toasty one, it was still an amazing day!
Since Scott’s parents live a quick 35 minutes away from Chisago, we slept at their house on Saturday night and woke up on Sunday morning at 4:05AM to get the day started. I ate my usual race day breakfast of oatmeal and berries, a banana and an english muffin with peanut butter while we packed up the car to head out. We left the house just before 5:00AM to arrive in Chisago around 5:30AM and I immediately started to unload my bike and gear.
I still had to check-in and pick up my bib number, but it took only a few minutes to do so. Transition closed at 6:45AM, so I had plenty of time to set my transition area up and get ready for the swim. While I was in transition, I saw two members of my tri club who were also racing that day, which was a nice surprise!
There were a total of 12 waves, and unlike the Milkman Half Ironman, I was in wave six, instead of the very last wave which I was excited about. But, with every triathlon, you have to be ready for surprises. As I was about to throw on my wetsuit, the race director made an announcement that the water temp was 82 degrees, which is NOT wetsuit legal. He stated that you still could wear your wetsuit, but would have to start in the very last wave and could not place in your age group. Since I am not a strong swimmer, I had a bit of a freak out moment and texted my coach…
- Me: 82 degree water temp…wetsuit still?!
- Brandon: Nope. Not wetsuit legal. You’ll roast.
- Me: Oh jeez, okay.
- Brandon: You can pick your race, but you can’t pick your conditions. Get over it and focus on nice smooth technique, even breaths. You’ve swam thousands of yards, what’s a few more? I know this doesn’t make you love the swim any more, but you’ll regret it if you wear your wetsuit.
Ughhhh, fine. I am not the strongest swimmer to begin with, so this was not exactly how I wanted to start off my race. However, I kept reminding myself that this is a training race, and I need to expect to race and practice in all conditions.
Here goes nothing! Overall, the swim went okay. I definitely could feel the difference without my wetsuit, but I just sucked it up and did the best I could.
- Swim: 1.2 miles: 41:43
Once out of the water, I ran about 100m to the transition area to get set up for the bike! My transitions were pretty slow for my half ironman in June, so I tried to work on that this time around.
Transition 1: 2:00
Going into this race, I wanted to focus really pushing it on the bike, regardless of how my legs would feel on the run after. The roads were smooth and the course had a few rolling hills, but for the most part it was pretty flat. Well…with the exception of the last 15 or so miles where I felt like I was slowly climbing uphill, against the wind…not fun. Overall, I felt great on the bike, and looking back I think I could’ve even pushed it a bit more. My nutrition included two bottles of Infinit Nutrition (270 calories each), one Clif Bar (240 calories) and one bottle of water.
- Bike: 56 miles: 2:58:34
In transition, I changed into my running shoes, threw on my race bib and used the bathroom quickly before I headed out for the run!
Transition 2: 2:47
I was feeling pretty good after the bike but tried to take it slow the first half of the run since I knew the course had little to no shade, and it was pretty dang hot out. Miles 1-6 went by extremely fast, and before I knew it I was halfway through the out and back 13.1 mile run! I could only stomach a few Honey Stinger Energy Chews and eventually just tossed the half uneaten bag at mile eight, knowing I wouldn’t use them. I kicked it up a notch the last 5k and felt sooo great all the way up to the finish.
- Run: 13.1 miles: 1:46:35
Total time: 5:31:42
7/20 overall in age group category
33/187 overall in women category
Thanks to these super fans for cheering me on! Both Chelsea and Scott completed the sprint triathlon that morning as well- waita go guys!
The race left me feeling super excited for Ironman Wisconsin in September, but also very nervous that I have to double that distance. It still is very unfathomable to me at this point but I know August is going to be a strong and long training month, and I am ready for it!
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