Friday, April 18, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Florida Race Report by Jennifer Carroll

Ironman 70.3 Florida - April 13, 2014 – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run

I had done this race before, when it was held on Disney property.  I hadn't done it since it was moved to Haines City (near Orlando).  My boyfriend and I drove down on Thursday, April 10.  It’s about a 10 hour drive.  He has an uncle that lives near there and we went to go visit him on Friday.  We left Friday afternoon to drive about an hour to Davenport, FL (which is about 10 min from the race site).

On Saturday morning, it was athlete and bike check in. The bike check in was optional but I like having my bike in transition already on race morning.  That’s one less thing I have to worry about.  I picked up my packet, dropped off my bike and by the time that was done, it was dinner time.  We went to a little Italian place just down the road from the hotel that was really good.  We both had pasta and after that, it was bed time.  Gotta get up at 3am!

Race Morning

Woke up at 3 am, started the coffee and started getting my stuff ready for the race.  Bag was packed the night before so I just had to get my super comfortable Fleet Feet tri kit on.  I ate my traditional oatmeal and banana and by 4:15, I was ready to get to the race site.  Transition opened at 4:30.  I got to transition, got my stuff together, pumped up my tires (and myself for that matter), and I was ready.  We had some time to kill because my wave didn't start till 7:22 so we went back to the truck to warm up.  It was cold that morning.  When it got closer to time for the pros to start, we walked down to the swim start and before I knew it, it was time for me to go.

Swim – 1.2 miles – 1:03:26

The swim was very cold.  It was wetsuit legal, the water temperature was 74 degrees, but because the athlete guide said it was going to be in the 80s, I left my wetsuit at home.  Oh well…I can suck it up for 1.2 miles.  It was also very choppy as I got completely mauled by the wave that was behind me.  I can’t tell you how many times I swallowed a mouth full of water.  I finally make it to the finish – glad that’s over with.

T1 – 4:10

I finally make it to the maze to T1.  Put on my helmet, sunglasses, race belt, and shoes.  Grabbed my bike and I’m off.

Bike – 56 miles – 3:49:44

Whoever said that central Florida was flat was sadly mistaken.  They managed to find every hill in Florida and jam it into that race.  Holy crap!  And when there wasn't a hill, there was a massive head wind.  Oh well…I tried to stick to my routine of a Honey Stinger waffle every 10-15 miles and two Endurolytes every hour.  I also had Infinite in my aero bottle and managed to drink most of that. 

T2 – 4:50

I felt pretty good about my bike when I made it back to T2.  I fought with getting my bike racked as there was other bikes in the way.  I got my bike racked and debated about whether or not to put my compression sleeves on.  Oh screw it….I forego the compression sleeves and just put my socks and Hokas on. Grabbed my visor and water bottle and I was off.

Run – 13.1 miles – 3:14:50

I usually do a 4 minute run/1 minute walk ratio but today I decided to run for as long as I can and just walk when I need to.  The run is three loops, which I like.  It’s very spectator friendly.  There are aid stations about every mile and I definitely walked those because I grabbed oranges at every station.  This was very hilly as well and was very thankful to see the finish line. 

Overall – 8:17:00

Even with all the hills and wind, it was a very good race that I would do again.  Ironman puts on very good races.  Thanks so much to Fleet Feet for providing everything I needed for the race.  The goggles, Hokas, Honey Stinger waffles, socks, and the super comfortable kit.