The bike - whew, glad to have made it off that 56 mile course unscathed. Since the reservoir is set up in the hills, the first few miles of the bike is entirely downhill, giving you a chance to catch your breath, get your heart rate down and completely freak out while applying your breaks the whole time. No.really. That's what I did. (wah waaah). I think it may have been a result from my bike crash earlier in the year but I had a very hard time trusting in my abilities during the downhill sections of this course and probably suffered time wise because of it. The thought of losing control kept running through my mind, so anything past 30mph and I was braking. Ugh - lame. **TIP -Trust in your machine and your own abilities. Practice both up and downhills. Get comfortable to a point where you can continue to peddle through even the fastest of downhills.**
My lack in downhill confidence wasn't the only issue - Boise can get WINDY! One of the locals had mentioned that this is why they have such a late start time. Apparently the wind is worse in the early morning hours but tends to die down later on. Um, no. At one point, about 20 miles in, the cross wind was so bad that it nearly blew the guy in front of me clean off his bike! Thankfully I was paying attention and braced for my turn. Crap.....the idea of dealing with 36 more miles of this nonsense was a frustrator. Thankfully it let up a little bit for the remainder of the course and we only had minor head winds to deal with.
At about the halfway turn around point I saw my brother and we both let out a quick shout of support. So nice knowing that he was out of the water and on his bike safely - I hated being out there without knowing how he did. I even saw a fellow Swim Bike Mom army member and wished her well as I passed by. Other than the confidence/wind issue I really felt great on the bike! My nutrition was working flawlessly, I felt really strong the whole time and Ben performed like a champ. I wasn't passed by too many and the ones who did fly by looked pretty serious.
|A little hilly but the out and back course made it easy to stay focused on what was next.|
The last 10 miles of the course brought us out of the lonely hills and back into town and through some residential neighborhoods. So many folks camped out on their front lawns cheering us on - I swear there is not one unhappy person in all of Boise! A few more corners to turn and I had made it! 56 miles, safe and still full of energy. With P and the gang there to great me and the calf feeling a-okay, I was pumped to get out of that saddle. And given the annoying winds we had to deal with, felt great about my overall time. Oh, and did I mention the signs yet? Our group had spent the previous day making some of the best race support signs - some were silly and some just plain motivational. Regardless of what they said, it was the feeling of having your family there to support you that goes unmatched.
Total Bike Time - 03:17:16
Age Group - 30
Gender - 160
Overall - 700
Fuel: 3 bottles (water + 2 Nuun + 2 scoops CarboPro)
**The bike felt great - the wind. Now that I have some 70.3 experience under my belt I know that I can push myself a bit harder next time**
Bike racked, shoes, race belt and visor on, I am happy to report that T2 was completely uneventful. And no, no potty mishaps this time around. Still decided to take my time though and focus on making sure that I had everything needed for the last 13.1 miles of my journey. A few extra minutes at the end wasn't going to matter.
T2 time - 00:04:19
**Obviously this could have been at least 2 minutes faster, but...**
Ok, let's start with the calf. I knew the run portion of this race was going to be the most difficult. Not only due to my injury but the simple fact that running a half marathon in itself is hard enough, let alone completing one after already racing for 4 hours. I had planned on doing a 3:1 run/walk scenario that my PT had signed off on and would see where that would take me. After about a mile the calf pain was definitely there and I was worried about doing anything that would aggravate it further. Heck, I still had a whole season and 3 more tris to get through! So easy does it.
The Boise 70.3 run is beautiful. It's a two loop, almost entirely flat course that follows directly along the river front - about 90% shaded it was a much appreciated break from the sun and wind. With an aid station at every mile it does a great job of keeping you motivated too. Water, Gatorade, GU, pretzels, chips, soda - you name it, they had it. My favorite? ICE CHIPS!! I swear those things kept me sane. I grabbed some every chance I could get. Down the front of my sports bra, down my back, rubbed all over my arms and face, it.was.heaven. The course also allows for spectators to see their racers at least three times - at miles 5, 11 and then of course at the finish. Getting to run by a crowd of supporters cheering you on so many times is a prefect way to re-fill those energy cells.
Here are some of the signs that our group made - aren't they awesome?!!!!
|Loved the 'Go Random Stranger' - hope it helped to motivate someone else out there on the course!|
|Oh beer, how I've missed you as well!|
By mile 6 the calf really started to flare up so I spent much of the last hour and a half doing more walking than running. This actually gave me a great opportunity to met all sorts of motivating people doing just the same. Lots of Oregonians out on the course sporting their club gear too - made it very easy for me to yell out some words of encouragement. I never ending up seeing my bro on the run but I did see Kristen of Glitter and Dust fly by..holy cow, was she was in the zone! :) Would I have loved to have ran the whole thing? Of course! But to think that only a week prior I thought all my hopes of even finishing were tossed out the window. With that in mind I am thrilled with my overall performance at that point.
2 miles left and I was a ball of emotion. Every time I thought of P or The Kid I started to cry! It couldn't be helped. They have been so great in supporting me through all of my training, races, injuries and meltdowns - I just felt so blessed to have them in my life. With only a half mile to go I could hear the announcer's voice and knew the finish line was close. "Ok, Rebecca", I thought, "No more crying...you don't want people to think that you're in pain do you? Let's giddy up and sprint to the finish!".
Done. I was done!!! 6 hours and 45 minutes of non stop racing - I had conquered my first half Ironman! 70.3 miles of greatness complete. Now give me my freaking medal! :)
I swear I could not stop smiling. As I hugged everyone, chugged down ludicrous amounts of water and waited for my brother to finish, the joy of what I had just accomplished completely took over. The months of long hours and strenuous training had paid off. It was going to be awhile before I came down from my Ironman high.
Total Run Time - 02:39:40
Total Overall Race Time - 06:45:18
Age Group - 40
Gender - 239
Overall - 882
Fuel: Alternated water and electrolyte drink every mile. GU gel every 3 miles
**Not much could be helped with my run time. The energy was a bit more sluggish than I would have preferred but had zero stomach or cramping issues so my fueling must have been spot on. Excited to see how much better I can perform going into the run healthy next time**
A little over an hour later my brother had made it to the finish line too! So proud of him!! I kept thinking how much fun it must have been for my mom to see both her kids finish this race. Thankfully my pops tuned into the Ironman website and was also able to watch us both cross the finish line via their live feed. A huge THANK YOU to Ironman for allowing this to happen.
|Half Ironman Boise finishers - BOOYAH!!|
It was a long (14 hours) day but worth every bit of the aches, pains, frustrations, lines etc. that we had to deal with. My first HIM experience was a success and I can not wait to do it again! Many, many thanks to all my readers, fellow Tri-Fecta members, my online coaches Meredith and Brett, and friends and family for helping to make this dream a reality. The support and encouragement I've received along the way has been so overwhelmingly amazing. The sacrifices my family has made during this process is far more than I could have ever asked for.
|Beer and I reunited once again........cheers!|