Monday, July 22, 2013

Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, Washington

"Secret Aaaaagent Man" 

What a beautiful morning it was as we approached the lake.  The fog hovering over the surface, the water was warm and the air temps were mild and cool.  With the water being so clear, I could see the rowing cable that rests about 10 feet below the surface.  This gave me a nice line to follow and allowed me to settle into my pace quicker.  However, I missed the turn and kept swimming toward the center of the lake.  One of the kayaks stopped me and asked where I was going.  I laughed, turned around and swam back to the buoys and followed the same line back to the ramp.  It only added a few minutes to my time.  I was feeling really good all the way back to the boat ramp where we exited and quickly headed to the transition area.  My bike was racked right next to a porta-potty which was very handy before and after the bike leg.

I grabbed a little nutrition and headed out on the bike.  I was looking for a bike split of no more than 3:30:00.  I finished in 3:33:14.  Lots of hills with about a 4,000 foot elevation gain over the 56 miles.  Nothing but hills and steep ones at that. Very tight turns on some of the downhill treks made for a nice challenging and technical course. Some folks were actually walking their bikes up a couple of the really steep hills.  I am glad I left my climbing wheel on my bike.  It really helped on a couple of the short steep climbs.  I managed to hit 47 mph on one of the downhill portions.  It was AWESOME!!!!  However, I got hit by a wasp at around 35 mph.  Landed in the bend of my arm and stung me about 4-5 times before I could actually take my other hand off the aero-bar and very quickly swat it away.

I think this was the only flat spot on the course..... except for the swim.

The run was another series of hills.  Crazy!!!!!  But I found a nice pace and just kept going, hitting all the water stations, taking in Gatorade and water as I had planned while running through them.  No stopping until after crossing the finish line was the mantra I kept saying to myself. I crossed the finish line and was done.  My run was great, finishing better than predicted.  It was the 3rd fastest 1/2 marathon time for me this year.  And the other two were on fresh legs, standalone and on a flat course.  So I was extremely happy.  

I predicted an overall finishing time of 7 hours.  My finish time was 6:54:24, just under 7 hours. Created the plan, executed the plan, and followed through to the end.  It worked better than I could have ever imagined.  It was a very beautiful course and the folks of Lake Stevens were the greatest supporters.  All out in force cheering everyone on as we went by, calling out our name and telling everyone what a great job they were doing.  The hospitality of the town and it's residents was absolutely wonderful.

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!!!!

I had two things to celebrate that day, my first 70.3 Ironman finish and my 12th wedding anniversary.  I was able to share both with my lovely wife, Robin, who managed to get some great photos throughout the course of the day.  She’s the absolute greatest!!!

Up next, Challenge Penticton Iron-distance relay, swim leg.  Bring it on!

By the way, my wife got me a nice anniversary gift.  A new Cannondale Slice.  I'll be anxious to get it out on the road soon.  I'll give you a full report soon.


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