Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Ironman St. George 70.3

 I don't write race reports too often anymore, and if I don't write it immediately, it's not going to happen. So here is my race report for the 2015 St. George Ironman 70.3.


I feel llike I trained for this race. I always wish I trained more, but for the most part I trained well. I was lucky to have a great group of girls to train with. Amanda, Amber, Nicole and Michelle and I trained together often. Mondays and Fridays were our hard training days. We got in lots of bricks. We rode the whole course. We've been swiming in the lake since March. The Southern Utah Tri Club and Salt Lake Tri Club held a training camp 3 weeks out from the race. I felt strong and felt that after that intense weekend of training, my training was on. It also helped that I ran a marathon at the end of February. My endurance was up, my speed was pretty good, and everything on paper felt good with 5-7 hours a week of training. I'm not willing to sacrifice my family life for much more. 

Race Morning

Race morning went well. I got to transition on time (except they tried kicking us out 15 minutes early). T1 was easy to set up since I brought everything the night before. I just had to pull it out my bag, set it up, make sure my nutrition was set and get the wetsuit and go.

I taped Hammer Anti Fatigue and Endurolytes to my top tube. I froze one bottle of purple Gatorade and one bottle of water. I ate Quaker Oat Squares for Breakfast and a squeezable apple sauce right before the swim.  I forgot to grab my anti-fatigue and endurolyte from T1, but luckily amber had extra anti-fatigue.

Here we are as the volunteers are hollering for us to get out of transition 15 minutes early. 

Tri and Run girl (heather Jensen) and I pre race

We took lots of pictures and just hung out since we were the last wave of women to go and didn't go until 7:51. The pros took off at 6:55 so we had alot of time. 

Tom is the nicest husband in the world and drove us to T1 and hung out and made sure we were good. I love that guy!!

The main thing I fretted about was that my period started friday morning. But I just dealt with it and hoped for the best. Darn womanhood!

Swim - 1.2 miles - 41:45 - 2:09/100m

I was satisfied with my swim. I was hoping for closer to 40 minutes and even dreamt of a sub 40 swim. The start buoys were much closer this year. I was able to get in the water, dunk my head and get water in my wetsuit. I swam out the start buoys with fellow tri club member Trudy. We had done one open water swim together and were evenly matched so I was hoping to work together. We went to the outside of the left buoy to avoid the crowds.

The gun went off and off we went. I was not able to keep track of Trudy and pretty much just swam on my own. I tried to draft a bit, but never did find someone to just pull me in. I was comfortable and in a rhythm the whole time. I just swam and felt great.

I don't like the long straight stretch on the backside of the swim. It is neverending orange buoys. The 3 following waves of men didn't bother me too much. If they swam over me, I just made sure to hit or kick them back just as hard.

I did have to stop once to catch a glimpse of a buoy. My goggles had fogged a bit and the sun was bright. I couldn't quite see it and didn't trust just following the swimmers. I stoppped until I saw it and then carried on. I just tried to remind myself to rotate, reach, and keep my elbows high. I'm not a great swimmer, so anytime I finish in the middle of the pack, I'm happy.

I ended up finishing the swim in 53rd in age group and 304th women. Just about the middle. And my Garmin read 1.28 miles. My time was was 45 seconds faster than last year but 1.5 minutes slower than 2013.

T1 - 3:50
Compared to last year's 5:10, (2013 was 3:13) I was ectstatic. There is a run up out of the lake to wetsuit strippers. I selected a strong looking one. He worked on my left arm with my watch as I took off my right arm. We got them off and I sat down, and he just pulled off the wetsuit. I grabbed my stuff and ran the long way into transition and found my bike.

I dried my feet, put on socks and shoes, helmet and sunglasses, stuffed 2 monster cookies in my mouth and grabbed my bike off the rack. I think I had a crappy position in transition. I had a long way to run with my bike to the mount line, but just hustled through.

I just have to focus in transition. It's so easy to lose a lot of time just dilly dallying.

Bike -56 miles - 2:53:49 - 19.33 mph

I like the bike. I feel I'm fairly strong on the bike. I'm a decent climber. I don't have a tri bike so I knew I'd lose a little to those with them on flats and descents. But the advanatge of being a middle of the pack swimmers in the final wave of women, means there are alot of women ahead of me to pass. So that's what I worked on. Just nice and steady on the bike and try to save some legs for the run

The bike starts off with a little climb and then a decent climb called nemesis. I tried to pass lots and not be passed. I think in the end, only 1 woman passed me and she was on a relay and qualified for Kona, so I'm ok with that. I was back and forth with 2 other women, but in the end, I think I stayed ahead of them.

Loved riding through my hometown. Saw my family and lots of friends. Love my town!!

The bike is just a lot of up and down. I just muscled up the climbs and tried to speed down the descents and aero through the flats.

I took extra water at mile 10, mile 25 and a gatorade at the base of snow canyon. I swigged and threw the bottles. I tried to remember to take an anti-fatigue and endurolyte about every 10-15 miles. I ate 2 honey stinger gels and ended up only getting one clif shot blok before I dropped them. I also took 3 ibuprofen when my left glute started hurting. I tried to drink from my bottles often, but just a sip at a time.

The hardest part of the ride comes at mile 40 - Snow Canyon. 4 miles of steep climbing on tired legs. And to make things harder, the course was changed (not for the better in my opinion). They added a trail section up snow canyon for about 1.5 miles, decending for 3/4 mile, making a u-turn and climbing all the way to the top. The trail was very congested which made it hard to pass and sketchy. I almost crashed/caused a number or crashes  Oops! The descent was equally congested. Once the climb began, it thinned out.

The climb is always tough, the climb on tired legs is tougher! But I just did my best to muscle up. My average to this point in the ride was right around 20.4 mph, the 5-mile section that included the trail and all but the last mile of the climb took me 22 minutes or 13.5 mph. Ouch! and that didn't even include the final and steepest mile of the canyon. The next 5 mile section that included the last mile of climbing and 4 miles of descent, I averaged 15.8.

Luckily the last 10 miles of the ride are downhill. Hallelujah!! I averaged over 19 for the last 13 (which included 2 miles of climbing). My fastest 5 miles split came at mile 50-55 and I had an average of 29.4 mph. And I got to see my family 1 mile from  T2. I sure love them!!  I was ready to be off the bike but didn't really want to think about running 13.1 miles next. ugh!!

My goal for the bike was 2:50, but I'm satisfied. I moved up from 53rd to 15th in my age group and from 304th women to 118th. I'll take it. My time was 3 minutes faster than last year, but 1 minute slower than 2013. Garmin read 55.94 miles.

T2 - 1:41
I'm happy with this. It could still be faster. I unbuckled my shoes on the bike, and was able to slip my feet out of them at the dismount line. I hustled in (again a less than ideal transition rack) to the 4th from last rack. Threw my bike on the rack and dumped my bag. I slipped on my shoes with Yankz, grabbed my nutrition and stuffed it in my back pocket,and  grabbed a tampon from my bike bag. BOO!!

I hustled out of transition and straight to the porta potty to take care of woman business. I opened the door on a man and went to another porta potty. I'm pretty sure the porta potties were officially part of the run not T1 but who knows.

Compared to 2014 and 2015, 1 minute faster but that may be just because the porta potties were after the timing mat.

Run - 13.1 miles - 1:55:46 - 8:50/miles

So with my swim being one of the last waves and it forcasted to be a hot day, I knew the run was going to be HOT! and it was. The run starts with 3 miles of uphill, 2 of gradual and 1 of very steep. My strategy was to just get through these 3 running and then work on speeding up, up on top and then laying the hammer down for the final 3 of downhill. Strategies don't always work out though.

I was able to run the first three miles minus the quick second I had to stop to tighten the Yankz. I did walk through many of the aid stations, but didn't walk any of the run otherwise. I saw my family again at mile 1. Love them! I grabbed coke and dumped ice in the bra and drank water at mile 1. I just mucscled through those first 3 miles and did pass quite a few. I was tempted to walk the 3rd mile up the hill but when I saw that I was passing the walkers, I decided to muscle through it even though I was moving at a snail's pace.

The aid stations were approximately every mile except when they didn't have one between mile 4 and mile 6.5. That was a hot stretch. I pretty much drank coke and red bull at every aid station and maybe a sip of water as well. I dumped water on the head often and ice in the bra.  I also ate 1 honey stinger gel and took 2 or 3 anti-fatigue and endurolytes. I probably could have had a few more calories or maybe I should have eaten more on the bike.

My plan was muscle through the first 3, try to run the next 7 at around 8:15 average and fly down the last 3 at sub 8. My goal time was 1:50. I was doing alright, but just not quite hitting those paces. I was giving it all I had and never bonked, but just didn't quite have the speed.

Splits were:
1 - 9:22 (included bathroom)
2 - 8:47
3 - 10:21 (killer hill)
4 - 8:49
5 - 7:48
6 - 8:02
7 - 9:16
8 - 8:53
9 - 10:10 (another hill - the opposite side of mile 5)
10 - 9:22
11 - 8:24
12 - 7:54
13 - 7:46
.1 - 6:12

I think only 2 maybe 3 girls passed me on the run. 1 girl was a girl I had ridden with at the SUTC/SLTC training camp, Keshia Sawyer. She was younger than me so I knew she had a 3 minute headstart on me. We were back and forth a bit between mile 3.5 and 6.5, but after the turn around she passed me for good. My goal was to keep her within 3 minutes me. There is an out and back at mile 7ish. I saw she wasn't too far ahead of me. In the end I did end up ahead of her for the whole race by 20 seconds. I'm glad I had a rabbit to chase. I need motivation like that.

It was nice to have alot of Southern Utah love out on the course. Booyah's to all the fellow SUTC racers and lots of love from the crowds and volunteers. We do have an absolute amazing community!

So I basically struggled through the rollers of mile 7-10. It was hot and my glute was definitely hurting. I gave it all I had but didn't quite have enough. I was able to pick up the pace on the last 3 like I wanted, but it just wasn't enough to hit my goal of 1:50 (or 5:30 overall). But I'm satisfied. I was 5 minutes slower than last year but the course was a little short last year.  Garmin said 13.10 miles on the dot this year. 

Total Time - 5:36:51
Good enough for 11th in age group, 92nd woman and 527th overall. I'll take it. I trained hard, raced hard, and left it all out there. I most definitely could not have done it without the support of my amazing hubby Tom and the kids. I also could not have doen it without my training partners. I love those girls so much!

Post Race
Amber farmer and I post race

Amanda Jocelyn and I post race 

After the race I enjoyed hanging out and talking to my peeps. My friend Ashley Paulsen took 2nd overall amateur and was crazy fast. And to think I was friends with her before she was quite so fast. She's always been a fast runner, but her bike is equally amazing now!!

We watched the pros receive their awards and even got a photo op with the  female champion Heather Wurtele. She's so down to earth and fast. I rubbed shoulders with her too back in 2011 when she lived here part time to train. I still remember the bbq we had and invited her and Trevor to and they came and were so awesome. 

Post post race
Super sore and super exhausted in Sunday. I don't think I've ever been this sore after a 70.3. And I broke out in a cold sore, so I definitely know I gave it all I had. 

What I Wore
I wore my Sugoi SUTC tri kit. Loved wearing the local gear but I did chafe a little under the arms. 

2XU V2 wetsuit. I love this wetsuit. Fits well and it's got to have a positive effect on my swimming because I can't swim nearly as fast in a pool. 

Aquasphere Kayenne goggles. Little fogging issue, but I did forget to spit in them. Super comfy on the eyes.  

I rode my Focus Izalco. It's my trusty steed. I use clip on aero bars. 

I rode in Sidi T2s. Nice but they did rub my left ankle a little bit. But once I pulled my sock up they were fine. 

I ran in Mizuno Sayonaras. Love them. They are my favorite race shoe right now. 

I used Yankz. 

I loved my Fits merino wool socks. Super comfy and even felt good with wet feet from dumping so much water. 

So there you go - more than you'd ever want to know about my St. George Ironman 70.3 experience. 


Tatum said...

Oh my gosh, Elizabeth! I wonder if you realize how truly amazing you are. I love that you are so passionate about this! I've never run a race or a tri- or anything like it in my life, but I find your posts about it fascinating. You are a rock star and an inspiration. These photos make me miss southern utah and the Dansies! I hope you and Tom and the kids are doing well!

Reed, Liz and the kids said...

I love to hear all about it!! You are amazing. I am very impressed with you--way to go