I had done this race last year and remember thinking I was crazy for starting my season with a half-ironman. It seemed even crazier this year as the date quickly approached and I felt undertrained and unprepared. Last year I had many teammates joining me in the fun/pain but this year I was the only Yalie on the starting line. Next year I hope to have some teammates out there again! I truly love this race though and figured I would get through it slowly but surely and that’s exactly what I did.
The swim, typically my least favorite part of the race, was my best leg. I was under my goal time by several minutes so I went into the bike (my favorite) feeling confident. I went out conservatively on the bike and by the time I was supposed to pick up the pace, the unrelenting climbs, the 86 degree heat and blazing sun had started to wear me down. I parked my bike in transition disappointed with the clock but reminding myself that my day was far from over as the hilly half marathon awaited me.
The first 3 miles of the run were a struggle as I was experiencing terrible indigestion from the calorie loading on the bike forcing me to walk several times. Finally around mile 3.5, just when the hills are starting, I started to feel slightly better and decided I needed to finish strong, even if my overall race wasn’t turning out the way I wanted. It seemed that everyone was walking by that point so simply running at all meant I was passing tons of people. Fueled by the encouragement of spectators and volunteers commenting on how fast I was moving compared to the other racers around me, I was able to negative split the run and finish really strong. I sprinted through the finish to hear them announce my finish as “Colleen from Yale.” It was a long, hot day but there are aspects I’m really proud of and as always, I already forget the pain and can’t wait to race again!
This is me right after I finished. So tired but so happy to be done…
Results can be found here: http://rev3tri.com/quassy/races-3/2013-results/