Monday, September 15, 2008

Muskoka 70.3 Race Report

Wow, what to say about this race. Twas tough!

It rained, lol. It rained a lot!

The swim went pretty well. The water was rough and there were weeds and a big lake roll, ick. But I finished it in 58 minutes. I was happy!

T1: We ran 300-400 metres up a hill into transition. I ate a bar on the way and then had some bathroom issues for a few minutes.

I got on my bike and was nervous as I've never ridden in the rain. The first 20 KM were all hills so it took a while to settle in. The hills on this course were tough not only as they were numerous but because there were sharp turns at the bottom. After about one hour on the bike, my stomach was upset. I took in more Perpetuem but after two hours, I threw up while riding my bike! I was oddly proud for being able to do this. I knew I would not make the cutoff if I stopped. So I kept riding and it kept raining. I took one hill at 67KM per hour with rivers of rain going down the hill. I was pretty confident that if I just kept pushing, I'd get there. Across the bottom of the course, there was a lot of wind, this lasted about 30 KM or so. The remnants of Ike I understand. Then I hit a rough piece of road for about 5KM or so. It was very bumpy and muddy. I was covered with mud just like an Xterra race. :) After this was the last 20 KM climb back to transition. There were many hills and they were very steep. I had to stand on my bike to get up them. I crested the last hill and saw transition. I was so happy as I knew I'd made that cutoff time. I was smiling coming into transition!

T2: I had more bathroom issues there and also found that my feet were cramped. It took a few minutes to sort them out. For a couple of minutes I thought my day was finished. Then I put on my running shoes and started to walk. I tried a gel but it made me sick again and that was the last thing I ate during the race.

The run: I kept running, very slowly until about 12KM. At that point I really crashed. I just could not eat anything. People by the side of the road offered me hamburgers, granola bars, anything they had. I guess I looked bad, lol! The bathroom issues got worse and I used many bushes and port a potties. :) At about 15KM the water I was drinking just ran through me, right after I drank it. But I figured I needed to drink something. I got a bit nervous then as I thought maybe my kidneys were having trouble. So I just walked for a bit. My friend Pat met me at 17KM. She walked with me for the rest of the race. I kept thinking that I'd throw up again, but never did. I was pretty sure by this point that I had missed the cutoff but I was not going to quit. I thought I would just finish the course and that was it. I promised myself that I would just do nice little sprints & olympics if I finished this one. Just after 20KM, another friend Wendy came out to see where I was. She said that I had eight minutes to finish and then they would tear down. She told me that there was nothing left to throw up and that I should just run. So I did. And I made the cutoff by 33 seconds. I got my medal, t-shirt and hat.

I've never been last in a race before, and although I'm a bit embarrassed by that thought, it doesn't matter. I could have quit so many times yesterday but did not. I had great reasons to both quit and indeed, to not start at all. I have heard since I finished that it is the hardest 70.3 that there is. And I did it. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I did not give up. I'm pretty proud of myself. And as for my promise to only do sprints & olympics - forget that. I'm signing up for the Calgary 70.3. I just have to explain it to my stomach! lol

As for all of the Ironman finishers reading this, I am even more in awe of you all than I was before.

Onward and upward.



Downhillnut said...

Wow. Way to hang in there, Leaha! I'm impressed with your fortitude.

Keith said...

This is your first half ironman, right? Hold up your head and be proud! You got through a tough course, with tough weather, and dealt with tough bio issues.

So what if you were last. There was 30 some people that didn't finish for whatever reason. I was last at Alberta Challenge. So what? I finished. You finished. I venture to guess that no other half will be as tough as this one.

Congrats and enjoy how it feels!

Iron Greg said...

Very proud of you!!!
It will be a great learning experience for you as you move forward now... lots to work on but we have all year now!!
Will chat soon - great job!! :)