Last weekend my buddy John Lee and I completed a half Ironman triathlon, measuring 70.3 miles in distance in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. It was put on by Rev3 and included a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a half marathon or 13.1 mile run. He talked me into it as it was NOT on my bucket list. But in for a penny, in for a pound. With an 8 1/2 hour cut-off, I was hoping for 7 1/2 to 8 hours to complete the event.
I am happy to report we both surpassed our goals. My time was a stellar 6:28 and qualified me for 3rd place in age. I am still in shock! I knew I was prepared (I had hired a coach to set up my training program but really so I could blame her if I couldn't complete the event) but never expected to feel so good throughout the day.
I was fortunate to find someone to draft off of on the swim and stayed in her bubbles for most of it. Saving energy I felt fresh out of the water. However the freezing air temps quickly took the wind out of my sails. 46 degrees with a 5 mile bike descent, I could barely control the bike because I was shaking so much. By mile 30 I was warm enough to take my first bit of hydration and nutrition. The scenery was spectacular and before I knew it, the bike was over.
Ugh, the run. My nemesis and the sport I suffer through. Another suffering runner and I teamed up at mile 2 and ran the entire rest of the way together. I paced us; he talked non-stop and distracted me. A match made in heaven. The miles flew by with cramping only starting at mile 10. Some walks in between and before I knew it, I was rounding the corner to home, hoping my family was there because I was so ahead of schedule. I could hear my mom in the distance screaming, "there she is, she's coming".
In the 30 minutes after the race, I declared I never need to do that again and then changed my mind 4 times. My cousin and husband have an ongoing bet. If you ask me today, yep, I'll do another next year. But there's plenty of time to change my mind.