While all triathlon racing is challenging, this race was the biggest test of perseverance stress mitigation that I have experienced thus far since I started racing!
When I singed up for this race I was not aware of how many small rules and regulations differed from Ironman // WTC racing. I am sharing this in order to offer some advice: if you are ever planning to do any type of ‘ITU’ race, look and plan way ahead.
That being said, I got to the start line with everything in order and ready to race. The 4k // 120k // 30k distances marked my longest race to date, and I was excited to see how this non-70.3 would feel. I knew it was going to be extremely windy and hot, but I did not realize just how tough this race was until the gun went off..
Any swim improvements I make are tough to show off when it gets treacherously choppy out there, as it is just a skill I struggle with in spite of the many tips I have received along the way. Though, there was something about the experience that had me smiling internally, because once all of the waves went off, there were many times that I popped my head up and saw people treading water, swimming the wrong direction, talking to each other, etc. “Hey, we are all in this together” .. is what was going through my head!
Happy with the fact that I just kept going and did my best to relax. A few of us swam together off and on, and it was nice to feel some camaraderie out there. We made through the swim knowing there was still a lot of racing to go.
This leg is where I felt the surprisingly the strongest relative to past races and what I expected. I cannot claim to have put out earth shattering watts, but what I was able to hold solo for 120 kilometers in the heat and wind, while still feeling like I had some pop in my legs, was a win.
I had some nutrition issues (vague, yes :)), but I improvised and just grabbed what I could at the aid stations, which made me especially grateful for the volunteers who were out there all day!
The run felt a little too good to start, and against the sound advice I hammer home to the athletes that I coach, I went out a bit to confidently. I eventually settled into a more realistic pace and made sure to dump // drink water at every aid station and stay on the run nutrition. Because if I haven’t hit the point home enough, it was toasty!
Around mile 9 I felt the long race creep up on me .. not out of breath, not lactic acid .. just and overall feeling of heaviness. I held it together well enough for a 7th place finish in yet another strong field. This was a learning experience, as racing this long is a new kind of “hard” and more than ever, props to anyone who has completed a full 104.6!
I have had a few days to reflect on this race and the lessons learned and am reminded that often athletic challenges are such a metaphor for life in general…. 1) as much as you can and should plan ahead you need to accept that things will not go perfectly your way and 2) Just. Keep. Going.
Thank you for reading!
Thank you to these Maverick Multisport team supporters for providing the following discounts for us to share: