Vineman 70.3 Race Report: Camping and Racing

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Sara's Blog |

Vineman 70.3 Race Report (July 10, 2016)

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to compete in a local 70.3 race.  Most of my races lately require a flight so it was nice to race this one close to home.  We decided to make things exciting by camping as a family for a few days before the race – sleeping on a yoga mat for a few nights definitely makes things interesting on race day.  Not to mention the fact that our camping neighbors decided to keep the music and excitement going until about 1am each night.  I mean I love a good, local hard rock station but not at 1 in the morning.  Nonetheless, I’ve learned to make my races part of an overall adventure and this race didn’t disappoint!  It was great to have my family along the race course cheering for me.

Race Results:  swim: 31:20, bike: 2:39:58, run: 1:47:33, overall: 5:05:34 — 3rd in 40-44 AG, 44th Female, 245th overall

I also earned a spot in the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nashville, TN but decided to decline my spot for the race  – I have to keep a balance between family and racing and decided that this wouldn’t be the best for us 2017.  I am honored to have earned a spot!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my results.  The swim was in the Russian River – it’s a narrow river so sighting was really easy although my hands scraped the bottom a lot as I swam.  The bike course had plenty of rolling hills but was a beautiful ride through wine country.  The run was HOT and a little more hilly than I expected.  T1 and T2 were split which didn’t seem bad – it just makes things a little complicated when dropping off equipment the day before but I’ve done a few races with split transitions so I didn’t mind the split.  Overall, I really liked the race and hope to do it again next year.  I would have liked to see my time slightly under 5 hours but aren’t we all hoping to be faster?   I had a personal best 70.3 swim and just a minute off my best 70.3 bike split.  Knowing this course was a little more hilly than my other 70.3 races – I’m happy with my bike time averaging 21 mph even with the hills.  I’m not the best at climbing hills.   I’ve been focusing a lot of my training on improving my bike fitness and I think it’s paying off.  Being local to this race, I was able to ride the course a few times and I think that really helped me on race day – knowing where some of the hills were and where I could ride a bit harder helped me on race day.  My swim wave was one of the last waves to start on race day (8:22am) and I knew that it was going to be a hot run and crowded bike course with my wave starting 2 hours after the pros entered the water.  My run split wasn’t my best time.  I didn’t seem to have that beast mode drive from the start out of T2.  I set out with the mindset of catching the person in front of my but didn’t really push myself to the point of being uncomfortable.  I’m a little disappointed in my strategy and being ok with comfortable on the run but I know it will give me more motivation to work hard over the next couple months in preparation for 70.3 Worlds in Australia and Kona.  I’ve been working hard since Ironman Texas to build my run fitness back slowly after the issues with my IT band this spring.  My running fitness is not where I want it to be right now, but it’s getting there.  I’m building it slowly and pain-free and that’s the important part.

My campers came out to cheer for me at mile 5 on the bike route
I loved having my family out on the race course!  I was so happy when Ross told me that they would be at mile 5 on the run – it definitely kept me going.
Running is my happy place

Ironman Podium!  40-44 AG

 

Home Sweet Home for the weekend

 

Prepping race-day nutrition in the dark and eating oatmeal made with cold water – just a few of the joys of pre-race camping.

 

My podium award and some special flowers from Jillian