|she said yes!!!
Timberman is an up and coming Ironman branded 70.3 race on Lake Winnipesauke in Laconia, New Hampshire. It was going to be my first Ironman branded race and I was really excited because I heard nothing but great things about the race and had been responding well to my training over the past month. I was especially looking forward to the difficult bike that many talk about with its early and late steep climbs. It would be the ultimate test of how my bike fitness is.
|wakey wakey it's racing time!!
I rose nice and early at 3:45 AM. I have found this is the perfect amount of time for me to have a nice big breakfast and not feel full for the start of the race. We pulled into race central a little before 5:00 AM at Ellacoya State park. I was shocked to see how many people were already there! Some saying they arrived as early as 3:30 AM! I was able to get my transition area all set up within 45 minutes and realized I had a couple of hours until I would be in the water. Because of this time to kill I made sure to stay on top of my hydration as I knew it was going to be a hot one!
The pros were scheduled to go off at 7:00 AM and I discovered I would not be for another hour and twenty minutes. The M18-24 AG was the last in the water at 8:20; this meant a lot of down time which was spent hanging out with Katie, her parents and my biggest fan of the day, Baxter! After much waiting and trips into the water to relieve mysel... I mean warm up, it was my wave.
|Baxter cheering me on during the swim
I was excited for the bike because I knew it was my strength and knew being in the last wave I would be experiencing a continuous slingshot effect as I passed people. My plan was to keep my wattage just as I did for the Patriot Half, with an NP between 225-230 W. The only difference was to not burn a lot of matches on the big climbs in the 1st and last 10 miles of the course. Heading out of transition you start out on a gradual climb, get a nice descent and flat section followed by some pretty killer climbs. After that it is pancake flat until you hit the same climbs on the way in.
|total climbing on the bike was 3629 ft
I ended up heading into transition with a 2:36 bike split, not my fastest, but considering the climbs on this course I sacrificed speed to save my legs. Stepping off the bike I felt great, and my legs hardly had any fatigue. I did notice however a slight lump in my gut. After the race I realized I probably consumed too many carbohydrates on the bike and my body couldn’t process it.
While on the bike I did not realize how hot it had gotten, but once things slowed down on the run I realized it was wicked HOT. Upon checking the temperatures later on, it was in the mid 90’s with a crazy high humidity when I started the run. I knew I was in for a real treat for this run. The first 3 miles were okay… I had some stomach aches from the extra fuel I was carrying in my gut, but was able to persevere through them and keep going. My hope was to average 7:30’s, but with this heat that was out the window. I now just wanted to keep a steady pace for the entire run and go all by RPE (feel). For some reason the heat has been affecting me this entire summer. Even on easy runs during my training I just cannot hold a fast pace. With this in the back of my mind I kept on chugging, but my pace was steadily falling to 9:30-10:00 min miles.
By the time I finished the 1st lap of the two lap course I was not physically tired but just constantly overheating. I estimate I took in 1-2 cups of water at every aid station every mile and I dumped another 3-5 cups on myself to keep cool. It got especially hard when just a few hundred feet away there was this gorgeous lake that I just wanted to jump into and keep cool. I continued on and promised myself I could jump in once I finished. I eventually finished the half marathon with a slow 2:10. My final time for the day was 5:24, a new PR for me at the 70.3 distance but nowhere near my potential.
|the reward after a long, hot race