Hello there! Catching up to share about my race at Steelhead 70.3 that took place a few weeks ago. All I can say, is boy, am I glad this season’s over! I pushed myself harder and in more different directions this summer than I’m accustomed to.
Steelhead takes place in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and it is a BEAUTIFUL area! I loved this vacation spot feel. Made me feel like I was at an east coast beach (almost, but not quite!).
Either way, I was pretty excited for this race and despite having a jam-packed week before (including a trip to Vegas!), I was ready to race!
I swam a 40 minute swim, which is slower for 1.2 miles than I’d have liked. Garmin shows I swam 2361 yards, or a 1:46/100, which is where I was expecting to be pace-wise. Have some opportunity to sight better —I found it VERY hard on the 2nd & 3rd sections. (Should have used darker goggles with sun glare). Shoulder felt good— just a little twinge. OK with overall pace, but I wish I’d been more on target to 1.2 miles
Up the beach on the sand to transition. I ran some and jogged/walked the rest. Running on sand is hard!!
I broke 3 hours! That was one of my big goals, so I’m proud. But in terms of how it felt, I found it very hard to feel ready and getting into my power goals. I allowed myself 45 minutes of easier riding/ trying to get to a steady spot, before trying to get up to holding 146 watts. In the end, I rode 140 w NP, 130 watts average, or a 1.08 VI. Heart rate was relatively consistent throughout. I ate a honey stinger waffle each hour, and tried for a bottle of sports drink each hour. I was not as good on the sports drink as I’d have liked. I also never grabbed a bottle of water, which likely impacted me a lot later. I felt fine on the bike, but the run had some issues.
Pretty quick. Wish I’d have practiced the removing of shoes for dismount – it was a long run in bike shoes!
I felt good the first 2-3 miles – right around my 10 min/mile target pace. Then I developed a stomach cramp on left side. (Shortly after the aid station — I’d taken gatorade for the first time that day). I eased up on the pace a little, and tried to stretch it out, but it never really went away. Went to port-a-potty at mile 8 or 9, and focused on water otherwise. Had trouble getting back down to the 10 min/mi pace after the cramps had started. Around mile 10 I took an energy shot and started on coke. I should do that earlier next time. Another potty stop around 11, and then headed back to the finish line. Felt good once we were headed downhill, and tried to pick up the pace.
I finished in 6:03 — just 3 minutes over my 6 hour time goal! I PR’ed my bike & run. Three minutes very easily could have come from:
- Swimming a 37 minute swim or faster
- Running at my target 10 min/mi or faster run pace
I’m also very happy to be proud of where I’m at, rather than focus on the negatives. I’m very happy to be done with this training season. In terms of improvements for next season:
- Go to Masters Swim twice a week through the fall, winter and spring. Keeping up my swim fitness may bring better improvements than resting & ramping up again, and reduce my risk of injury.
- Improve my run — I feel like when I look at other people who swim and bike around my paces, that their run is 15 minutes faster at the half ironman. About a minute per mile faster regardless of distance. I’d like to continue to work on having my run be faster off the bike.
- Bike – I’d like to get up to 200 watts FTP if possible! Getting faster on the bike obviously has the most gains for the triathlon overall. Maybe a bike camp this winter?
- Core Strength and upper body strength.
Thank you very much to Wellfit and Coach Keith for coaching me through this triathlon season and helping me to accomplish my goals, Honey Stinger for providing my race nutrition (love those chews!), and to Mike for always supporting me in my dreams!