Kristin and I attended the race meeting after Packet Pickup. We were really only concerned about where to park and how we could leave her car in Laconia overnight. All the racing logistics seemed normal and nothing to worry about. I didn’t study the courses; I never do, and this was a mistake.
Saturday was busy with driving and figuring out food and last minute packing for the race. I think I don’t spend a few days packing for race day because then I will really think about the race and I don’t want to. I want to race in the moment – I think this is a mistake in retrospect. Even after training and racing Ironman for 12 years I’m still learning and still fine-tuning my training and racing skills. I don’t ever want to go through the motions of training; I want to live every moment and be in the moment. I’m not sure this is a great strategy but it keeps me wanting more even if race results aren’t what I’d like to see. I still just love the sport. I love swimming. I love biking and I sometimes love running. Put them all together and that is just pure joy.
Here’s my race report.
Swim – I opted to go without a wetsuit. I’ve been so hot the last few days and overheated in my wetsuit at Coeur d’Alene. I love just swimming in a lake. I realized that I was kicking more than normal and that might be problematic later, but I felt somewhat fast swimming. I didn’t accidentally swallow a ton of water. I didn’t get kicked in the face or gut. Win! I looked at my watch as I got out of the water: 50 minutes. Darn. I thought it would be faster and then jogged to transition.
Bike – The first 25 miles I knew what to expect. Kristin and I biked most of it a few weeks ago. Some long ascents and descents. As I turned off the main road into (I think it was the town of Loudon or Canterbury) my saddle bag fell off. I stopped as soon as I heard it hit my tire, and I skidded a bit as it got stuck in my spokes. Crazy. I got off my bike and it took a few minutes to get it back on. That could’ve been really bad. I was now just hoping to finish safely.
The last 25 miles were brutal. Steep climbs and crappy roads. The weather was perfect, though which got me through it. It was cloud cover all during the bike and somewhat cool. Climb after climb I was watching the miles and couldn’t wait to see 50. Then finally, the last climb and downhill on nice roads back into Laconia. I just wanted to be aero and go as fast as I could.
Run – The run was my favorite part. I got to see parts of Laconia I’ve never seen and it was beautiful running around Lake Opechee and seeing Winnisquam from another angle. People sat on their porches cheering and it was just awesome! The rain started on my run and kept me cool. Aid stations were great and the volunteers simply amazing. As I got to the second loop I was excited for another look at the lake. The course was relatively flat with gentle uphills and downhills. I really loved the run into downtown.
Kristin finished before me and we got our photo taken at the finish line. It was a good day!
Athlete Bag – I love the Timberman athlete bag. It had the Timberman logo and it’s a very useful bag. I wasn’t crazy about the IM Coeur d’Alene generic Ironman bag.
Post Race – We walked back to transition and ate food. Great post-race food: burger and potato salad. I bought a shirt and mug and we headed back to the car.
The Hurricane that wasn’t – I’m glad the race wasn’t canceled and we got to finish. The storm didn’t hit as hard as anyone thought.
On Monday, the next day, I wasn’t sore but I was fatigued. It took a day to get back to normal. Now I’m back at it – training hard for Ironman Florida, just 10 weeks away. I’m ready to ramp it up and get faster and finish. 70.3 is the perfect distance. I just love the challenge of 140.6. I have a few races before Florida and it will be good practice to race the shorter distances before the super long one.