RACE REPORT: Half Ironman Steelhead

Half Ironman 70.3 SteelheadThis race was tough. Muncie really built me up, I beat my time from my first-ever HIM by about 40 minutes! This race was definitely a lot hotter than last year, and I really felt it, as did others. I still beat my time overall from last Steelhead by 15 minutes, so still successful but a little disappointing because I was hoping to break into the 5 hour range… next time! Last year, Chef Mumbles & I LOVED the volunteers, the crowds, the athletes, everything. This year, we felt a bit differently. Let me explain.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 3.28.02 PMSWIM

The swim time changed for me, so I had to wait 40 minutes this year to enter the water, with only my age group. It wasn’t as bad as Muncie, people were ALL OVER ME there, I found my space and stride but freaked out a tad because it was wavy, so took the first 500 meters rather slowly. I came out of the water about 20 seconds faster than last year… Oh yea, it was WETSUIT ILLEGAL, which I literally was not expecting at all. So that’s new. Second race sans wetsuit, it was fine.

BIKE

This is where things turn. The bike ride was fine, rolling hills, I remembered that. I felt slower than last year, I was a tad faster though, but I was RIDING IN THE WRONG GEAR basically the whole time. I need to learn more. That sucked, I could’ve broken 3 hours! Many things happened here during these 3 hours. First, I saw a few biker collisions because people were NOT talking.
Half Ironman 70.3 Steelhead bikePeople, when you pass on the left, you need to say something. Extreme amateurs, you need to stay in your lane – no biking all over the place. I also got my first (and only) penalty for drafting… which I was not actually doing. So I decided not to stop in a penalty tent because I’ve never even considered this would happen to me, and this ref wrote up a ton of people in front of me, and I didn’t ever see any of them stop… so I knew at the end I’d be DQ’ed, but if I stopped there was no way I’d carry momentum the whole time. THEN I saw a woman who had just gotten hit by a car, and that really was horrible, I hope she’s alright, the cops I spoke to said she was, but that someone broke their leg because there was a multiple bike crash at the end. I get everyone wants to be fast, but if you’re not first, you’re just trying to beat yourself and you need to be aware of your surroundings.

Half Ironman 70.3 Steelhead run RUN

This is where the heat really got to me. I just did not feel great on this run, it was too hot and there were no sponges at this race to carry along with. I took these quite slow and walked through every water stop for gatorade and water to pour on myself and eventually pushed through. The damn giant hill you have to walk up twice is what got me!

OVERALL:

SWIM: 47 minutes
T1: 6 minutes (took my TIME)
BIKE: 3:04
T2: 5.2 minutes
RUN: 2:26
This was really to check in on the full ironman to see where I’d be at, it’s going to be hard but mental strength is the hardest part and you just have to get into a groove! Before then? On to Chicago Triathlon, our signature race for Ballou Skies, and the MOST fun because we’re surrounded by friends! Want to help us reach our charity goals? Donate here. 
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