Viiiiiiiiivvvvaaaaa Las Vegas!!!

Well, folks, my biggest race of the year is over and I lived to tell you about it!  Iron Man 70.3 World Championships.

The Tuesday before the race, I had a short and excellent little track workout.  I came home and ate dinner with the hubby hubs who also had a a track workout (not a short one, though).  We went to bed early and I  was exhausted but I woke up not long after I had fallen asleep with a scratchy feeling in my throat.  Uh oh.  It kept getting worse for the next two days.  I slept half of the afternoon on Thursday, missing class, then got up and finished packing then went back to bed.  Traveling sick was NOT fun and I was really worried about racing sick, too.  My poor, wonderful, perfect husband put up with my cranky and confused and needy little self.  He was the best race sherpa, ever.  He ran out and got me cough drops late one night and then I don’t think I even used them.  I told him to do three different things at once that all contradicted each other and then didn’t even remember what I’d told him to do.  Yeah, I’m lucky to still be married! lol

So, I did my best to stay positive, regardless. I was definitely excited to be there and I was in awe of the course and the event and the other athletes!  If I hadn’t felt sick, I would have spent a lot more time at the expo and probably have gone to the pro-panel.  Oh well.  I enjoyed socializing with athletes from all over the world.  So cool!  And so many fit bodies! 😀

 

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After the practice swim, with the swim course in the background.  The water was… like… clay-sandy… like desert sand or something.

 

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Erin, fellow Dai Roberts Group Athlete, and I ran into each other several times.  Here we are at T1 after setting up our bikes and being psyched just to be there!

 

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The morning of the race with my favorite marathoner!  I was feeling better than I had since I first started getting sick so I was optimistic. The swim was tougher than I expected though and the fast guys in the wave behind mine were aggressively swimming over top of us toward the end of the swim.  I was pushed under for several seconds when two guys swam over me at the same time and then had a difficult time not coughing uncontrollably when one of them kicked me in the throat.  I was truly not ready for that type of aggression.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re swimmin’ around with the best of the best but YIKES!  And in their defense, the water was so murky that you couldn’t even see bubbles coming off of the feet in front of you.

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We had this lovely giant hill to carry our bikes up coming out of T1.  I had bee forewarned by my friend Rachel, but I don’t think I really believed her about how steep it would be.  🙂 Also, the fatigued feeling you get when you’re sick was really hitting me after I came out of the swim so if my smile in this picture looks half-hearted, it’s because I was thinking “I don’t wanna ride 56.6 (the Vegas course was long) miles!”  Uggggg I’m tired just thinking about it.  I was also terrified of the downhills and it had been raining all morning (not something we expected) so I was extra afraid of the downhills with the slippery roads!

I was feeling kind of sick at the beginning of the bike ride, partly because I was sick and partly because when I was kicked in the throat during the swim, I drank some of that desert-sandy water and it didn’t sit too well in my stomach.  SO… somewhere within the first two miles or so on the bike, I threw up.  Wow.  It was epically disgusting to throw up while riding the bike.  I mean, it was just kind of watery but still.  Bleh!  Then some point around mile 4 I decided to stop and check my tires because something was rubbing and I didn’t want to repeat the chirping tire incident from Nationals.  It turned out that it was just a big chunk of clay/mud with some rocks in it stuck up under my frame.  I knocked it out and there was no more rubbing but I obviously had lost a bit of time.  That’s the first time I’ve ever stopped in a race.  It took me at least twenty miles to start feeling secure on the bike with the downhills.  Just as I was starting to relax a bit and my fear was ebbing, a woman wrecked right in front of me.  She bounced three times and her bike came flying at me so I missed wrecking on top of her by mere inches.  It was very terrifying.  A few of us sort of raced ahead and told the people at the next aid station. :-/  I hope she is healing well.

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I was so excited to get off of the bike… to be done with that treacherous bike ride.  I don’t know how I rallied for the run but SOMEHOW I rallied for the run. This was a picture of me blowing a kiss at my husband.  I was sooooooo happy to see him on the course.  I’m tearing up just thinking about how good it was to have him there.

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Ooooh, look!  An Uphill portion of the run…

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The run course was a series of three loops so this is my big smile for Justin on my second loop.  It’s “ONLY ONE LOOP LEFT!”

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Erin and I after the finish line!  She killed it, by the way! 🙂 It was also very encouraging to see her at every turn-around.  She was just ahead of me on the run course so we were able to encourage each other the whole time and it gave me something to look forward to! Thanks, Erin!

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Whew!  So relieved to be done… and to have my blistered feet out of my shoes.

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My time kind of stunk but who cares?  It was an amazing experience so… on to celebrating!  Here is my post-race celebratory beer!

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And the next day, I visited the Hoover Dam with my love!

 

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And I insisted that Justin try In-n-Out Burger for the first time!  mmmmmMmMmm

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And then we went to a show in Vegas! Justin and I even had a drink before the show AND shared a bottle of wine during.  Wow!  Paaaaarrtttaaaaay!

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And Justin gambled on the penny slots… our net loss was $0.75. 🙂

So, this was just an amazing experience and I consider myself so lucky to have been a part of such a special event.  I am so happy that Justin was able to go with me.  It just wouldn’t have been the same without him!  Now, it’s time to train for Beach 2 Battleship… I started a new program today, I’m starting a new weight-training program this week (no more Crossfit for now) and I met with nutrition and fitness expert, Jim White, today to start improving in that area as well.  More to come later!  I’m hoping to get up a post, soon, with snippets from some amazing female athletes regarding body image issues and their unique experiences with them!  The Fall weather is creeping in here, in Virginia Beach, and I’m enjoying having my husband home!