Where to start?!
I took my computer with me this weekend with every intention of posting play-by-play action, but obviously, it didn't work out that way. Anyhow, here are the goals/outcomes of this, the only race I will participate in prior to CDA:
1: Stay within myself and don't worry about what's going on around me.
2. Concentrate on nutrition.
3. Maintain focus throughout the race.
4. Walk only through aid stations.
5. Remember this is a training race...I have to pick up my training as soon as I get back.
6. Have fun!
7. Finish in 6 hours (I know, I know...it's only a training race and I shouldn't place time expectations, but hey, it's still a race)
1. On the first bike loop, I started to panic because I was getting passed by EVERYONE :( but I kept reminding myself that my plan was to ease into it before picking it up. It worked and I felt great on the second loop and managed an 18 mph bike split. Not my best, but then again...
2. I managed to lose my one bottle that had all my nutrition in it going into the second bike loop, but didn't panic. I still had my gels and grabbed a Gatorade at the hand up. On the run, I drank water/Gatorade and sometimes a bit of cola (it tastes soooo good!) and my gel.
3. For the first time ever in a long course race, I was able to maintain focus throughout the day. I am the queen of blowing up (i.e. giving up) during the run. Which is why I had a 48 minute PR this weekend! Once I realized that a sub 6 hr was possible, I just kept running that in my head and held on to my plan. Plus, seeing all the other T3ers on the course was so motivating!
4. Referring back to number 3, when I get to the run, I have a nasty habit of bargaining with myself and giving in to walking at various points during the run that are not aid stations. Again, I just kept thinking "sub-6".
5. Every time I felt like I needed to pick it up or like I was being left in the dust, I just remembered what my coaches told me...this is a training race, a measurement of my fitness as I get into the core of my CDA training.
6. I was happy knowing that I could have gone faster, that I felt good (well, as good as you can during a half ironman race), I felt stronger than I ever have before during a race.
7. I beat my goal time by 4 minutes and PR'd by 48 minutes...I couldn't have asked for more!!
Other "first" thoughts:
1. This is the first time I have been able to overcome some very powerful demons out on a race course.
2. This is the first time I have finished in a time that I expected.
3. This is the first time I had run 13 miles since the Dallas White Rock Marathon...yes, that was in December.
4. This is the first brick I've done in over a month.
5. This was the first time on the road with my bike since the accident.
6. This was the first time I've raced after just being sick.
7. This is the first time I've trained with a team - and totally diggin' it!!
It's been a tough couple of months, but maybe that's what I needed to find the fight within, to find my desire to conquer the demons, who knows. I just hope to harness that feeling and take it with me as I continue to train for CDA. I have the confidence now to go forward and push through to the finish line.