Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lake Stevens 70.3 - Part 1

August 18, 2009 -

Spoiler alert...this is my recap from my last big tri of the season....and....it was my best one to date...even with a small snafu. On August 16th 2009 I competed in the Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). I beat my time from the same race last year by 28 minutes and set a new PR for the 70.3 distance by 8 minutes.

I was a little wary of how this race was going to go as it was six weeks after the CDA Ironman. I wasn't worried about the time in between, but more about what I didn't do in that time in between. After CDA I pretty much took three weeks off and then in the three weeks leading up to Lake Stevens I trained pretty inconsistently. I knew however, that I would be able to do the race just fine....I just didn't know if I could race it how I wanted with this new Ironman confidence, or if I didn't prepare enough and I would watch as my wheels fell off.

Despite this, I was really calm and had virtually no nerves leading up to the race and all the way up to the starting gun. I knew what it took to do a 70.3 and I just had finished a full Ironman so really this race was about racing. It was my first time at this distance I where I knew exactly what to expect and how to do it....so really, I just had to get out there and tackle it.

The night before I ate a boatload of pasta and bread, watched a movie and hit the sack around 9:30. After a restless sleep I woke up three minutes before the alarm at 3:57a. Went through the morning ritual of two cups of coffee, banana and peanut butter, stretching, 300 movie battle scenes and oatmeal....oh and....the most important pre-race BM.

I headed out around 4:45a up to Lake Stevens, which is about a 4o minute drive from my house. After getting into town, parking and getting a quick pee, I got to transition about 5:45a. I got everything all organized and properly placed. I talked to a couple guys around me, pumped up the tires and headed out around 6:10a. I headed over to get one more pee in and pickup my timing chip and was down by the water by 6:25 for the 6:30 start.

If you have never participated in a triathlon before...here is my favorite part (other than crossing the finish line). It is 6:30a in the morning, your nerves are jumping, you're in your wetsuit, the air is still cool and crisp, the grass is dewy giving your feet a chill and everyone around you is looking around for anything from confidence to support to camaraderie.

Then, in a union of patriotic pride and sport, a local woman sings the National Anthem. You stand there a little cold, a little nervous, in silence. As she sings, you think about what will take place throughout the day and are proud of even just making it to the start line. You visualize your victory and you look around a bit watching everyone who also seems to be in their own patriotic meditation. She hits all the notes perfectly driving home this moment even more and ends beautifully and powerfully. Everyone cheers and you know what is next....do what you came to do....race.

To be continued....

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