Monday, September 29, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Augusta Race Report - Run

This is part 5 of a series of posts about the 2014 Augusta Half Ironman. Click here to start with the first post! 

So I have my running shoes on now and I make my way out of transition and out onto the run course. I had done this course before, obviously, and knew this was going to be a challenge because it was a double loop. But I also knew that it was going to great to see my Mom and Dad near our hotel! And since it was a double loop, the chances of seeing folks I knew was high!

I knew that once I got off the bike, I was going to finish this race one way or another - even if I had to walk most of it! Thankfully the sky was still overcast and the temps were relatively low, but it was starting to warm up.

And I was tired. I don't think I've ever felt that tired before. But as my dear friend (also named Lisa LOL) likes to tell me, "Feelings are liars!" You see, I transferred the data from my Garmin today and noticed something very interesting about my run pace and my cadence.

The numbers don't lie.
Despite the fact that I was FEELING like I was losing power and speed and strength, I was pretty much consistent in run pace and cadence through the entire 13.1 miles!! The only time I deviated much at all was when I stopped to walk for a bit with my friend Lisa because I caught up with her and I wanted to touch base (and congratulate her because she knew by then that she would be a finisher!). So if what I was feeling were accurate, one would see a decrease in my performance - at least a slowing down of my foot turnover.

This data provides me with new insight into the feelings I was experiencing on the run course. I was tired, yes. I had never been on my feet for so long giving that sort of effort! I was absolutely tired. And it was going on mid afternoon and I had not had solid food in my belly since 4 AM! My body started to cry out for something with substance to it - bananas! I was shocked since I'm not a huge fan of them! But I ate them and they tasted good. I also had a few of the honey stinger chews I had carried with me for emergencies.

I also took advantage of the ice water sponges at certain aid stations. I would squeeze the water down my back and down my front! It was fantastic and cooled me off quickly! BTW, aid station #4 near the fire station was THE BEST out of all of them! Those folks were incredible!

I saw so many folks that I knew on the course - not just my parents! I saw my friend Amanda from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I also saw several folks from Witness Through Fitness. As I was passing the finish line one of the FOUR times I had to pass it before I could actually turn to cross it, I heard Felicia's name being called out as a finisher! That was so exciting - such great timing!

Turning the corner for the second lap was so exciting! I knew I just had a few more passes up and down the street and I would be done! I wanted to take it all in and I was really trying! I started up little conversations with folks to pass the time. By this point, my left hip/groin/quad was really starting to make some noise. It wasn't hurting, per se, but it was certainly tight and causing me discomfort when I ran. I tried to focus on form to see if that would help. It didn't get worse anyway. So that was good.

It was somewhere around mile 10 that I decided that I am nowhere near ready for a Full Ironman! LOL I guess it's a good thing I wasn't thinking of doing one for another 6 years or so! Gotta get all of these kiddos finished with high school first!

Over and over I counted down how much longer I had to go, telling myself, "I can do anything for 20 minutes! I can do anything for 15 minutes." and reminding myself that my Ironman friend would give anything to be out on this course instead of on the sidelines with an injury! So I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Like I said before, it felt like each step was getting harder and that my legs were getting increasingly heavier, but apparently that just wasn't the case.

At long last, I turned the corner for the finish line! And then I turned the next corner for the finish line! LOL And I could see it ahead of me and knew that I was going to make it! It was an incredible feeling! I was looking for my Mom and Dad so I could make sure to get some great pictures of me coming down the chute! I did spot them and that made it perfect! I crossed the finish with my arms raised (I think)! The medal was placed around my neck, and someone asked if I was OK. I was more than OK! I was thrilled - mostly to be done! ;)

Official run time - 2:23:36

Total official time - 7:08:57

And just like that, after a mere 7 hours of continual movement... I'm a Half Ironman Finisher! ;)

Always earned. Never given.
Check back tomorrow for my post about the hours after the race, and my recovery so far! Click here to read the final installment of my race report on the Augusta Half Ironman!

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