Tag Archives: bike

Honu 70.3 Finisher!

I crossed the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (AKA Honu 70.3) finish line! Since then I have had and continue to have so many different thoughts and emotions about this race. I imagine I’ll post at least few times about it. For now I’ll share my race results and sort of recap each leg of the race.

The results:

Swim (1.2 miles) — 50:56

Bike (56 miles) — 3:20:04

Run (13.1 miles) — 1:58:35

Overall (70.3 miles) — 6:20:21

Swim

I definitely struggled with the swim. I have a hard time sighting the buoys and swimming in a straight line. I’m sure I swam more than the necessary 1.2 miles because of these shortcomings. (I don’t know my actual distance because I don’t use my Garmin in the water.) I was pretty late coming out of the water. Oh but the water, the water was absolutely beautiful! I could see the bottom of the ocean! The sky was blue and the temperature was practically perfect.

Bike

The bike was extremely challenging. The place where we mounted was on a very steep incline so I (along with lots of others) had a hard time with the start. In fact for a couple of seconds I thought something was wrong with my bike because I couldn’t seem to pedal! Then at some point way too soon — I can’t remember when exactly — I began dealing with the notorious crosswinds. I do know I felt them as soon as I made it to the famous Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway — we actually ride part of the Ironman World Championship course — but I seem to recall encountering them almost as soon as I got past the steep incline. Whatever actually happened, these crosswinds are a big reason why this course is one of the hardest in the world. The winds are so strong bikes will slant over to one side while going straight. There were a few times when I truly felt like the wind was going to blow me off the road. (Seriously, picture scenes from “The Wizard of Oz!”) And they don’t seem to give any warning when they’ll blow. At times right when I think it’s relatively calm enough and I’m stable enough to grab my water bottle or a Clif shot, they hit me, and wham or even double or triple wham I’m holding on tight! Proper hydration and nutrition are so important while racing. The heat and humidity make these components even more critical for Honu 70.3. I’m not the most coordinated person either so trying to:

  • drink,
  • down an energy gel or
  • actually eat a Clif bar

while:

  • balancing myself on my bike,
  • bracing for winds,
  • navigating among other cyclists (without breaking any rules)
  • maintaining somewhat good form,

and oh yes shifting gears and pushing myself as hard as possible is “somewhat” challenging for me.

And WOW! I actually saw Lance Armstrong! I like to say, “I passed Lance on the bike!” Granted he was riding in the other direction well beyond the halfway point, and I was at something like mile 15. The cyclist right next to me yelled, “he makes it look so easy.” I completely agree. To see him in action was very, very cool. He’s truly impressive!

Run

The run was hard but not for the reasons I imagined while training. I thought once I put on my running shoes, consume a Clif shot and head out of transition I would feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to run 13.1 miles. The distance didn’t bother me though. I told myself, “I’ve got this run down. Just tick off the miles.” And the miles didn’t seem long until I was around mile 10.5, that is. That’s when my mind and heart wanted to go faster to finish strong and hard but my legs didn’t cooperate. I was able to pick it up but not nearly as much as I’d like. What made the run hard was the brutal wind and sun. My hat blew off at least once, and I had to hold it down with my hands a few times — not the best form for running. I felt the sun beating down on my arms and its intensity seemed to increase over time.

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An Easter Ride?

I normally do my long rides on Saturdays and long runs on Sundays but I flipped my workouts around for this past weekend.   Realizing I need to spend more time riding on the actual road, I’m now determined to do my long rides outside from now until my season ends!  Unfortunately Saturday’s temperature did not cooperate; it was in the 30s and 40s for the morning which was too cold for me to be outside on the bike.  (Maybe I’m a wimp.  Oh well.)  However I’m fine running in this type of weather so I ran my nine miles on Saturday followed by an easy one hour ride indoors.  Sunday morning was a lot warmer so after attending the early Easter service I rode 55 miles along an amazing trail in VA.  The plan worked!  With the exception of some wind, the weather was awesome.  While the trail was somewhat busy with other cyclists, runners, walkers and roller bladers, I did have my moments of peace and comfort when I could appreciate my surroundings, concentrate on my training and of course connect with Noah.

I didn’t realize it until towards the end of my ride but this is now the second time I’ve spent a major holiday training outdoors.  Perhaps I’ll spend all of my major holidays this way.

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First Coached Workout

My workout this morning was the first one using my online coach’s plan.  (No official training on Mondays since Pete uses them for rest days.)  With the exception of a couple of drills, the workout wasn’t very challenging because Pete is focused on building a strong base for now.

I biked for an hour, ran two miles and then lifted weights.  Pete gave me specific drills to complete during the cardio segments.  This was a bit different from what I’m used to because I usually don’t focus on drills – bad, I know.  And I rarely combine a major cardio effort with an entirely separate strength training segment.  I was tired after biking and running so I had to really push myself with the weights.  Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s session.

I actually feel like training for Hawaii 70.3 and Nationals has officially begun.  What a fantastic feeling!

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