I can't believe I have won first Ironman 70.3 race!
It is definitely an understatement to call my 2016 season a rough one. After getting hit by a truck while cycling in May, the prospect of even being able to race again was hard to fathom. I ended up suffering 3 pelvic fractures from the accident, was on crutches for 3 months, and didn't run for almost 4 months. With the help of a patient coach, and an excellent massage therapist/acupuncturist I was able to get back to racing sooner than I anticipated. While, I am still having some ongoing issues in the region as a result from the accident, I feel I have come a long way in a short period of time.
The weather conditions for the race in Punta Del Este turned out to be very favorable. Forecasts were for 20+mph winds and possible thunderstorms. Fortunately, the wind and the rain died down right before the race began.
I felt like I finally had a solid swim! I swam fairly straight, and posted a time that reflects my pool fitness. The past two years I had really struggled to master the open water, and feel now I am at a level to swim with what be the "second pack". I swam 27:30 by myself only a minute slower than the Wassner's which typically are front of the pack swimmers.
I started the bike off in third place feeling horrible, and it stayed that way the whole ride. I kept hoping I'd "warm up" and start to feel strong. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and I really just had to grind my way through it. I rode a 2:20 and lost a little bit of time to the Wassner's and remained in third.
Typically, when I start the run in a half iron I come out flying under 6 min pace and have to tell myself to slow down and ease into it. This was not the case in Uruguay. My first mile was 6:28 (slowest mile of the race and slowest I have ever gone out)! My left hip, glute and hamstring felt locked up, making painful and difficult to run fast. My pace for the first 4-5 miles didn't really get much faster, (stayed around 6:20 pace). But at about mile 5, something inside me changed mentally. I went from focusing on how much my back and hip hurt to thinking, heck I can win this race. I realized I was gaining on the Wassner's and knew I could pass them shortly. It was in that minute I picked up my pace and really began to "race".
I went from focusing on how much my back and hip hurt to thinking, heck I can win this race.
I ended up hugely negative splitting the run, and passed Laurel and then Bec with about 3.5 miles to go. I kept running strong to the finish and won the race by almost 2 minutes with a run split of 1:23:10, and overall time of 4:14:14. The smile on my face at the end says it all! #dream #nevergiveup #championmindset #focus