This is my extremely long Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon race report.  Just a note, I’ve only been doing triathlons for one year to week that I competed in this race.    As a nine-year cancer survivor, I’ve dedicated this season to Team Fight – an organization that helps young adults with cancer. You can see more here.  

I started out by signing up for Eagleman as my “A” Race in October.  January – March was crazy with taking another state bar (moved!) and my grandma’s passing from cancer. I semi-kept up with training but didn’t really hit it hard until end of March – June.  Before Eagleman even came, I signed up for IMNC (for you non-triathletes, thats a 140.6 race – double of this one!) in celebration of 9 year remission.  Eagleman was my tester to learn as much as I could – and boy did I!

Happy reading!

 

Pre-race

Three weeks I got stricter on what I was putting in this mouth.  Fitness was “fit ness whole pizza in my mouth” but figured it was time to buckle down.  I was having heart rate issues – like sitting on the couch and unable to control heart rate before I had done anything else that day – and attributed to my thyroid meds + coffee. So I cut out coffee – I did have an occasional diet soda (no judgment!) or a Frappuccino or tea.  But I wasn’t having my 2-3 cups in the morning. I also did my only 56+ mile bike ride three weeks before and that gave me the boost I needed!

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

 

Two weeks before the doctor adjusted my thyroid meds.  No heart rate issues after med adjustment + caffeine cut. Good to go.     I did start wondering what was up when my gastro issues started and I had not introduced any new dietary stuff.  I decided it must be the Nuun – although I’ve been running and biking with it for a year.  I’m thinking its just not meant for long distance. BUT a few days before the race, I found a bottle of Nuun that was the NEW recipe (without sorbitol, instead it has stevia) and loved the pink lemonade flavor.
Trained with the following stuff:  Nuun hydration tablets, ucann, banana and pb, oatmeal, cereal,  uncrustables, BASE salts, Honey Stinger waffles (use these on my half marathons), and honey stinger gels.  Ended up abandoning half of this on the course!

 

Taper week: Felt so LAZY and started to doubt.  I was prepared. I was just going to trust my training and HAVE FUN!  I did keep watching the weather temp creep up fast, while the water temp didn’t.  I am NOT a fan of running in heat – but like many said – Eagleman = running on the surface of the sun – so I went in with the mindset of “embrace the suck”.

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

The Trip Up

Saturday – drove up with husband + Stitch (bike) to Cambridge to get checked in.  So much water and electrolyte pumping (Nuun tablets – the new recipe without sorbitol is great!!)  I had read the athlete guide like 500 times but somehow missed that athlete check in was NOT at the same place as transition.  So poor Sherpa (husband) had pushed my bike down there for me, and we had to walk all the way back with Stitch to the truck and drive across town.  

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race ReportIronman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

At Ironman Village/Check in – I was amazed at how efficient everything was and how quick I was in and out.  They gave us arm bands, which I’m still wearing, for identification, and a cool bag with Eagleman 70.3 on it.    I met up with some fellow friends who were also racing.  ALL but one of these women I only knew online. We had cried, laughed, complained and cheered via text/FB messenger for months.  But now we were hugging and meeting in person.  It was incredible.

Although I had read all of the athlete guide – I still wanted to listen to the Race Director meeting. So we stood in the sun for an hour or so – and I regretted that with some sunburn. But not so bad that aloe lotion couldn’t fix!

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

After touring the expo and feeling confident that I had brought everything, we headed out to check into the hotel and get FOOD.   We ended up eating at the Hyatt (amazing hotel for those with families – 2 pools, 1 beach, putt putt golf, lots to do) and waited for the kids and my parents to arrive.  Upon arrival, we decided to take them down to the beach since they had been in the car for about 3-4 hours.  I had to get a 10-20 minute swim in, so I outfitted and went down.    

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

For me to open water swim without friends around, that’s a big deal.  But I was not at all squirmish about the water – I think because I had no choice the next day.  Although, my thought process is – there are thousands of others in the water with me – no way a shark/snake/otter/seaweed will go for ME.  Logical, right?  So I kinda did some nice slow back and forth.  Didn’t get my run in – but that’s okay – It was important to spend time with the kids and help my parents & husband with management of the five kiddos.  I did NOT like the brackish water taste – but figured I needed to get over it. (It’s gross, but when I swim – as I have for 15+years – I let water fall into my mouth and I push it out as I breathe. So gross, I know. But it helps my timing of my stroke. Well – you’ll see that’s stupid later)

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

We got out and headed to dinner with a friend and her family.  Sarah and I had met three years ago when I had been a business consultant for her photography business. It was FABULOUS meeting after all this time.  We ended up ordering $27 skirt steak and salad each – the steak was teeny tiny.  But I was full after that + cornbread + nerves.   We took a nice walk back from restaurant to the Hyatt, said goodbye and went to get the kids settled for bed.

I pulled everything out and rechecked my equipment for the 500th time.  I had been doing checklists and setting out for weeks – but you never know when you’ve traveled where things have gone.  One thing I would do differently is to have big Ziploc bags for each sport – as it would be easier to see than piles. But I had everything.  More water and off to bed.

I had no problem sleeping at all.  Fell almost immediately to sleep and woke right before the alarm.  Thanks to the five kiddos who wake up early at home, I was good to go!   The good thing for me, I was in wave 7:48 and transition didn’t close until 6:45 so I had plenty of time.  5:30 wake up – dress – and go. 
Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

The Day Of

I tried to eat my banana and pb – but couldn’t get it down.  Oh crap! Forgot my timing chip. Oh got it on. Pinned with safety pin good. Left that in room.  Hauled our stuff, down, and off we went.  Oh crap! Forgot my thyroid meds. Back we go to the hotel. Husband ran in and back out with it while I grabbed some oatmeal from Starbucks.  Off we go – part 2.

Then, Husband dropped me off at transition and headed to find parking (good luck hubbo!!!)  I made sure Stitch had a great slumber party with his friends in transition, and got my stuff all set up.

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Setting Up In Transition

Swim: Wetsuit, cap, goggles

Bike:  helmet and goggles go on handle bars. As the first thing I want to do is grab my helmet – as you cannot unrack your bike without it clipped.  You’ll be DQ.  (It may be moving it, IDK but this is what I do).  On the ground is my towel to wipe my feet of sand, and my bike shoes.  I don’t wear socks in bike shoes, never have.  I don’t like socks period – and I’ve had no chaffing issues. I’ve trained this way. Kept with it. And my shoes smell like death, but whatever.

Run: Opted for just race belt and no hydration belt.  Went for a hat instead of my traditional visor.  The goal was that I could put ice in the hat and it would stay in while I run.

On the side: sunscreen, wet wipes (no idea why).

Photo Jun 12, 6 52 28 AM

I had forgotten to let air out of my tires the night before, and even though I had my pump I didn’t want to screw with the tires the morning of. Probably a mistake, but I didn’t pay for it.   With about 30 minutes until swim time, hubby and I hung out under a tree.  I reminded him to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated (more on both of this later!), as it was going to be a long day.  

I turned on the YouTube video of the Ironman Clips with the song “Until I collapse” by Eminem and just tuned things out.  Hubs went to town putting on glide on my arm holes of the kit – although I had already glided everything else the night before.   The one place we didn’t glide (and he swears I smacked his hand away when he tried) was at my neck. My wet suit has NEVER rubbed and what do you know? THAT was the only chaffing I got all day.    But it was so nice sitting under the tree I said to husband “I could just be lazy today” and he just kinda laughed at me.

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Wetsuits and Eagleman

Rare occurrence.   The water has to be 76.1 or lower – and since we had unseasonably lower temps going into the race, the water was low enough!  However, the air temp was much hotter (as you’ll see later!).  Wetsuits help with buoyancy and can keep from exerting too much energy.  As a swimmer, I hate the wetsuit – but my “logical” thinking was that it would save me from any shark/snake/otter/seaweed that would come my way. Plus – the less I have to kick to keep my hips up – the better my legs would be for the bike/run coming later.     

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

We line up – I’m ready to go.  I was anxious but not. I don’t’ know how to explain it. My ENTIRE goal for the day was FUN AND COMPLETION AND AWARENESS FOR TEAM FIGHT. THAT’S ALL I WANTED! I had set goals and I crushed them but that wasn’t my priority.   But I would’ve been okay without a wetsuit – but decided to go with it since it was legal!

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race ReportSwim Time!

Being one of the last waves was nerve wracking when they first were released prior to race because there are cutoffs to make or you get a DNF (Did not finish) and can be pulled from the course.   The timing is 8.5 hours from the last wave. There were only 1 or 2 waves after me. Nerve wracking.  But when I lined up, I honestly hardly though about the cut offs at all. I was confident.  I told myself “trust your training. Have fun.”   I started to cry – but not scared or anything. No idea why – swallowed and was ready to go.

So all of us penguins (wet suits) waddled into the water, and went out to a start by a buoy.  I lined up right next to buoy and decided. Battle for buoy time. You want a good time and have fun – swim is your thing.  So I lined up, ready to go.  The gal next to me said “you must be a swimmer”. I said “I hope so today! Good luck!”.  No nerves. Not nervous. Ready to get it done.   Horn went off.  Off we went.  I was up against the buoys. They are clearly marked with numbers. I remember from the athlete guide it having FOUR buoys. So when I got to 4th buoy and it wasn’t red/orange (for turn), I was kinda confused but kept going.   All was good. Breathing good. Sighting was okay.  THEN I GRABBED SOMETHING. It felt like flesh, but not human flesh. And I looked up and NO ONE WAS AROUND.  I flashed back to how the restaurant menu had said there were river otters.  That’s when I noticed buoys getting farther away.  The current was taking me out a bit. So I had to angle back in, I did. And go up against the turn buoy.  CUE the washing machine.  On the back stretch before another turn I had to stop 3 times from gagging due to the brackish water I was swallowing at this point. 

Vomit.

Well, I wanted to.  I heard two of the paddle boarders yell to each other.  I just breathed and said “I’m good, trying to vomit” and gave a thumbs up.  They laughed and I continued on.    As I turned on the final turn, it quieted down on the current some and I started to take on the wave in front of me. There were a few faster men swimmers from the one behind us gaining me, but only a few.  I could see the beach and hear the roars.  The only real injury from today was from the wetsuit chaffing – other than that it was a great swim. 

Swam as far as I could – then it got shallow. Got out and started stripping the wet suit.  Saw Husband and waved.  I think I yelled “I almost threw up!” (can’t remember if it was at this point or in transition).   Saw a wetsuit stripper. Laid down. OFF came the wet suit. Grabbed and into T1.  Heart rate was on POINT.  I attribute this to fitness, staying in the heart rate zone, and the fix of medication/caffeine.  I also think the water temp had something to do with it. 

I ended up swimming 1.42 miles by my watch (due to the current and my sighting – something to work on for North Carolina).

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Swim goal: 45 minutes

Swim time: 37:54 (not bad considering I added .22 miles to the course ha!) (1:57/ 100 yards, not thrilled)

Calories exerted:  425

Top 45 out of the water!

 

INTO transition I go!  Heart rate good.  Wet suit good.  Feet were clear of sand by the time I got to the towel.  Helmet on. Glasses on.  Struggled with helmet a bit – unsure why the straps seem off kilter – but got them going.  Shoes on ( I don’t do flying mounts or anything like that craziness.)  Normally I’m fine with the time to get my head together and slow down.

 

T1 goal: 7 minutes

T2 time: 4:27

Calories exerted: probably 20-30?

Lessons learned: Glide the back of my neck (IE listen to my husband!), sight better. 

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Bike time!

Getting out of T1 into bike – I saw Husband and waved. I may have told him my time and that I tried to throw up again. But I was still all smiles! Stoked!   I started hearing lots of “go team fights!” and loved it. Tears always pricked my eyes. Awareness is happening, folks!   I stopped for the sunscreen people (I was SO scared to get burned) and had them do me.  I felt this STINGING on the back of my neck and had tears in eyes.  It was where I chaffed from my wet suit. (Husband, you were right, again!!)  But off I went!

Daggone GARMIN! I couldn’t get it to auto go to the next sport (Swim to bike) – totally user error. So I was on bike but had to fiddle with it so I would have my cadence and speed.  #$*%&#@% but it was okay – still gave me some time to breathe and settle in.  Not too bad because so many people were clustered at the mount line anyways (I was going out with the waves in front of me and some of my peeps) that it did help me avoid crashes.  Got going – despite one person passing on the right (read the rules lady!)   I took my time to focus on thanking each volunteer at the turns – and smiling.  Next thing I knew I was starting to pass people. I NEVER do this.  Since I’m a fastish swimmer, mostly I leave people behind at the swim but they blow by on the bike. I actually was passing people!!!  I made sure to say hi and something nice to each one.

Then I remembered I forgot my arm coolers (for sun protectant and cooling).  Little did I know, with the wind it wouldn’t be hot at all!

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Time to settle in for a good 56 miles.  Things were great, got out of town. And settled in.

Then I figured it was time to start nutrition. Grabbed my ucann bottle + BASE SALT. Holy crap, Rachel, you over salted that. And for someone who LOVES SALT (read: I’d rather salt and vinegar fries than a wedding cake!) it was too much. Too reminiscent of the brackish water I had just drank in the Choptank.  But I had to drink or I’d be hurting for nutrition.

Then mile 7. The winds began.  I started counting the people with flat tires and one dude who broke something, was throwing his bike and yelling “F!” (Hope that dude got help!).  Mile 7-25 was pretty strong winds.  I forgot to practice aid stations (ignored them last year at IronGirl b/c I didn’t wanna wreck and my other rides didn’t have them) so I was kinda nervous.  But I took advice of others, yelled water – and watched the volunteers reach out.  I got it. No crash.  Was thankful for an empty cage b/c I didn’t empty the water into my bar hydration quick enough on the first time – the rest of the aid stations I got it – and was able to ride without fear of an unintentional littering (didn’t want a penalty for that!!).  

The wind was probably 15-20 mph and I saw my speed going down to 13mph. “Not TODAY!” I told myself. And switched it up a notch.  Got going, settled in.  At one stretch, I just looked around and prayed.  “You put my legs down. I pull them up, Lord.  Kids with cancer don’t get a break from treatment, I don’t from this either. They don’t equate, but you know what I mean Lord” and I kept rambling and SMILING.  

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

About aid station #3 I saw an old man bite it when trying to get going again, and I felt bad. I called up to a cop and he called it in.  I hope he was okay!  By this time, I had thrown down a bottle of ucann/salt water (GROSS) and ate a PB&J.  I think I had even gone on to the second one.  (Note: during training I never pre-opened my packages, but today I had done it before sticking it in my tube bento box, and it was the smartest thing!).  Aid Station #4 I got a banana and water. Chowed.  Feeling good but forced myself to drink more ucann/salt water so I didn’t’ regret it later.   One bottle of water per station in the straw system on the bars.  I felt FANTASTIC. When there was no wind I was pulling 100 rpm and 20.5 mph.  Which, wasn’t very long but I was ecstatic Felt GREAT. I kept telling myself to pull back as I needed my legs for run but I saw my time.  My goal was 4 hours max. and at my speed (DESPITE The wind!!) I was going to pull a 3.5 hour. 

Boom.

I tried to calculate to see if I’d be in the Six-hour completion club. But I can’t do math when refreshed, let alone when hurtling through windy Cambridge at 20mph.  I just knew I was gonna make my goal (ultimate throw it down goal was 3.5, which I beat by 2.5 minutes anyways!)  

Keeping in mind this is an open course and that trucks/cars were driving – I watched two trucks with boats pulling behind almost take out this girl in front of me. That was frightening. She was okay.  Some others weren’t so lucky, I saw an ambulance scream past earlier on and think someone was hit by a car. I mean HOW can you MISS SEEING thousands of bikers? Share the road folks. Trust me, most of us were in the shoulder that was not optimal for our experience anyways.  Moving on….

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

I realized I didn’t need to pee and was afraid of dehydration. Checked my forehead. I felt salt, but no sweat.  I figured the wind had whisked it away and didn’t want to go off of that. So more water.  Told myself “your goal is a huge bottle of water per aid station plus your ucann”.

About mile 40ish, crosswinds were HORRIBLE. At one point all I could think was – I’m thankful I don’t have any zipps right now – they would’ve turned into sails for me.    Around mile 47 (still passing people), this one guy yelled “can’t wait for this right turn ahead” because we had crazy headwinds.  I was ecstatic thinking we’d have tailwind, NOT – the wind shifted. We had 10 o’clock winds the whole way in.     Despite the winds, I felt STRONG and POWERFUL. I never really struggled against them.

As I approached mile 50, told myself to pull back and get ready for the run.  Drink more UCann if you can – but I couldn’t stomach. And thought the 2 Uncrustables (PB&J) and 1 banana were enough. I’d find out later that they were just “ok”.     I did see a friend who had stopped – I was really worried about her because she’s a stronger biker than I am and I shouldn’t have seen her. I yelled and she said she was fine. So I kept going.

The volunteers were incredible – amazing. And every 10-12 miles for aid stations was incredible. (For those that haven’t done this, they are probably .25 miles long.  It goes water, Gatorade, nutrition, Gatorade, water. And you have to throw your trash out in a defined area. So you do have time to stay on bike, and grab what you need.  I was pleasantly surprised when my banana was already opened for me. It’s the little things, folks!” These volunteers hustle their rears, make sure you THANK THEM ATHLETES!!!!)

Came into town, and saw my family! Their little faces made my day!!  The cheers of “mommy!” made me teary eyed (I don’t cry ever, so I don’t know why I was so emotional!  This was only a half ironman, not even my full!!)   Apparently husband had JUST gone to the truck to get my mom a chair, and missed me.  I missed him in transition on the run out due to this – as they were too far but that’s okay because what is coming on the run is AWESOME!

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

 

Bike goal: 4 hours

Bike time: 3:28  (16.09 mph – not bad w/ the winds)

Calories exerted: 2,900

Lessons learned: Back off on the base salt, nix the ucann for something easier to go down (liquid not like a shake) (I am already changing for IMNC), bring more food (eh – I could’ve done another banana but I got lost on how many aid stations I had passed).   I also would like to carry a bike pump and not co2 – I was nervous about having to use that.  Even though I saw the help wagons a lot!)  I saw a lot of people having issues and wanted to drop stuff but I only had one tube and 1 co2 with me.

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

T2

I went up the wrong aisle w/ Stitch, I couldn’t remember if I could fit the bike under the rail to hang him (you hang by the seat) and couldn’t logically process how to do it. So I had to go through the other side adding some time.  Off the shoes, and on the swift wick socks.  I was kind of in a daze but I remember thinking “why are there weird characters on my socks and what do they mean?” (they are R and L for right and left).  It was so surreal and weird.  But put them on. 

Helmet off, hat on. Sunscreen legs.  (Which was dumb, because as I ran out, they sunscreened me anyways. But I didn’t burn at all!).  Legs did NOT feel heavy as I was getting everything on, but was struggling to get arm coolers on as I left T2.  Didn’t see the Husband and was disappointed but that’s okay.    

It was kinda weird after hearing “Go team fight!” all day that you start to hear “Go Rachel!” because I had on my race belt with my bib (includes your race number AND name).   So I got a mixture of those.  Every “team fight!” cheers I got, I pumped muscles or fist bumped.

 

T2 Goal: 7.5 minutes

T2 time:  4:13 (not sure how considering I got lost + sat down but I went faster than t1!)

Calories exerted: 20-30

 Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Out for a nice little 13.1 run

 I was kinda nervous a bit because on my way in the bike stretch crossed over the run. And it seriously looked like the walking dead. It was 97 degreesish heat index, no wind (HAHAHA, hilarious right?) and people looked like walkers.  AMC could film here.  So I was worried as I ran out.

The run out is by the finish line so it was a bit mentally difficult to see people finishing and knowing you still have 13.1 to go.  My legs were two major cramps.  They weren’t the heavy feeling I was used to feeling off the bike to run.  But they weren’t Charlie horses either. I can’t describe it.  So my goal of run until you can’t run anymore went out the window.  I DO think it was the sun + nutrition.   So I settled for a 2/1 run/walk. That wasn’t working. The first two miles I basically jogged/walked.  THEN I SAW MY BABIES! 

But before I saw them, I heard this loud, obnoxious voice that I knew yelling “OWWW OWWW!!!” My running partner and wifey had driven 3 hours up to surprise me.  Between her, my babies, husband and parents, my day was made!  It was hard to see them flying by on the bike, but this was the boost I needed 2 miles into the half marathon.    I could hear them yelling “go mommmyyy!” and their little cowbells!

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Then I hit the 5k mark and looked at my watch – well there goes my 2:40 ultimate goal time (My regular half marathon time on fresh legs is 2:20 so I accounted for 20 minutes of tired time.  My ultimate goal time was 3 hours, which I barely beat as you’ll see.)   I ended up a 1/1 the rest of the way for fear my legs getting cramped and me not able to finish.  Had I KNOWN (hindsight and all) that I was so close to the six-hour finisher club, I may could have mustered. But I couldn’t do math and just told myself (again) “Have fun, raise awareness, just finish”.  There were aid stations every mile and OMG y’all – these volunteers are phenomenal.  It goes water, Gatorade, nutrition, Gatorade, water again.    But mixed in are bags of ice, dumping buckets on you, as well as frozen sponges. 

The first few aid stations, I took the sponges and wasn’t that enthused with them.  But the ice in the hat and the ziplock baggie I had brought – did wonders.  I didn’t really “feel” the 97 degree heat – my body may have – but I mentally didn’t.  I started to feel myself needing salt and electrolytes. So I started grabbing water to dump, water to drink, and Gatorade to drink.   I was also doing my BASE salts every mile.  Then somewhere around mile 7 I lost my container. NO idea where it went. And my baggie.  Somehow I must’ve dropped both in my haze. (Note: This haze wasn’t like a dreamy I’m dehydrated, it was just a focused on one foot in front of the other).   So I started to throw down pretzels and potato chips at the stations, completely forgetting they have salt tablets.   At the last few aid stations I basically crammed potato chips as much as I could into mouth and kept running.

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

I had made the decision not to carry my hydration belt for the extra weight and logistics of trying to refill at aid stations – which was fine –but I wish I had had the pocket on it – the pockets on my shirt weren’t really conducive but I think that was the fact I shoved in 2 honey stinger waffles (which I never touched) and 1 honey stinger gummies.  I think I ate the gummies around mile 3, can’t remember much.

I do know that the showers the neighbors had running outside were amazing. Hoses, sprays, PVC pipe rigged ones. Awesome.  Still hot, but awesome.

Miles 7-10 are a blur. Not sure what I did or who I talked to.  I tried to smile and be cheerful to everyone who passed me, or I passed. 

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The aid stations were phenomenal once again – the volunteers are amazing. They basically are like “what do you need?” and they get it for you. No questions. It was awesome.

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

At mile 10 I heard the loud “OWWW OWWW” again and saw husband & running wifey.  That was a great boost.   That was the corner with a PVC rigged shower, I took a nice little shower of water and went for the last 5k.   About 12 miles I think I saw them again – fairly certain I did.  (remember, haze).  Then mile 13 I saw my dad and the four kiddos pop up. Micah was basically in the road high fiving me.  Caleb yelled “im going to run with you” and tried to run.  

It was good because from mile 11 you can see and hear the finish line but you can see HOW FAR it is (or seems).  You’d think 2 miles after 68 wouldn’t be much, huh?   I got around the corner and could see the line.  I saw running wifey and her yelling “you got this!” And she started running – I was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING? And she goes “don’t let me beat you!!!!!!” I thought to myself “Oh you can have this! LOL”  But I was still running.  Then the lump started welling up.  I may never have this chance again, this is it.  Saw husband, high fived him.

 

And saw the finish line. 

Raised my arms.

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

And there I was.  The best part? The announcer gave a shout out to Team Fight!!!!!!

 

 

Run goal: 2:40 optimistically but okay with 3:00

Run time: 2:59

Calories exerted: 1800

Lessons learned:  Do better nutrition on the bike, keep a 2/1 for the first few miles THEN reevaluate, don’t lose your BASE salt, take salt tabs at aid stations if you do.

 

Overall Goal time: Overall goal was 8.5 of race cut off. 

Happy goal time:  7:45

Actual time:  7:14

Top 80 of my division.

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The happiness didn’t stop there. I crossed the line and someone yells RACHEL in my face. One of these volunteers – I look through my haze and its my friend Kris –  We had gone on a ride together and basically learned to change a tire together.  She medaled me and wrapped me in the LARGEST hug ever. I loved it.  I felt bad my sweat, salt and whatever else was on her!

A young volunteer was trying to take my timing chip and somehow through all of this my only thought was “did I shave my legs?” WEIRD.

Then volunteers tried to hand me a hat and water. I couldn’t grab either. But somehow managed.  Then they had milk jugs full of ice water. They poured over us. AMAZING.

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

I came out the end – and my family awaited. It was amazing seeing them!  I was sweaty and nasty but hugged each.  It was so good and so amazing.  I couldn’t believe I had just done this AND THEY WERE THERE TO SEE IT.

We ended up making our way to transition and thankfully Eagleman gives you a bike ticket so others can claim your bike. Husband went to get it.  The thing we forgot, no bags are allowed in transition during race so the bag was in the car and forgot to bring to put everything in. As of now, I think we gathered up everything.    

They tried to feed us – but nothing felt good. I knew I needed to eat something after expending all those calories and salt – so I took pasta and an apple. But I couldn’t stomach the pasta. Ate most of the apple and more water.  I vaguely remember walking back to the truck and climbing in.  Then I remember being at the hotel and the kids were already in the pool (again!!)

 

Photo Jun 12, 4 18 09 PM

Recovery

Spent Monday with the family and drove home.   I don’t feel bad at all. That shows my fitness level was there. Trusted my training.  I do kinda regret not pushing more on run but it was more important to finish. I want to come back to that course and crush it next year.

Many lessons learned. Awareness happened. Sherpa lessons: husband needs to wear more sunscreen – he got the burns I didn’t get!)

Photo Jun 12, 3 16 16 PM

I’m so ready for IMNC.  I’m ready for 140.6.   This was a learning experience and still can’t believe that it was achieved.  A year ago I couldn’t run a 5k straight (haha well I couldn’t during this race either but last year that wasn’t after 56+1.2 either!).    

 

Other things that happened but I can’t place the timing:

 

-I saw Athletes Serving Athletes going out on the bike and the cyclist was singing to the rider.  I loved it.  It was hard work out there but to be cheerful and singing at the same time. Incredible.

-Many ambulances along the way – for people being pulled due to dehydration

-Team fight is crushing it – who do we FIGHT for?! (with a fist bump)

-“The run is where PRs go to die” – this was in my mind ALL day. And I kinda saw it with mine but I wasn’t sure if mine was the heat or was just from never doing the 70.3 distance before

PS HUGE shoutout the awesome sunscreen volunteers – I didn’t get a DROP of sunburn and I normally would look like a crab!

Photo Jun 12, 7 22 19 PM

Until next year, Eagleman! My goal is to join that six-hour club and go from Top 80 to Top 50!

 

Ironman Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

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About Author

Team USA Athlete. Lawyer. Business Consultant. She current competes in multisport events and lives in Virginia with her five kids, Military Veteran husband and two rescue puppy dogs.

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