A challenging first 70.3, but a great day!
Wow what a day! Definitely chillier than I expected (like I said, I'm a big freeze baby). Lead up: I think something that helped a lot with my usual pre-race/swim anxiety was going out and swimming on the course the day before. I got to feel the water temperature, work on sighting, and get a feel for the course.
Race morning: I wasn't able to consume all of the food/drink my nutrition plan called for. This is normal for me though because I have a really hard time eating a lot in the morning. I had some sports drink and a bagel and some clif blocks. I was up early enough to eat this slowly so I didn't get sick. Transition set up was uneventful. Then I headed to the beach where I met two nice athletes who have similar swim times to me. We were able to talk while we waited to get in the water so I didn't get all anxious/worked up.
Swim: This was my first time using a full sleeve wetsuit so that was a different sensation. It was a little restricted in the shoulders, but felt nice in the cooler water. I moved pretty well on the way out. Sighting the yellow buoys on a cloudy day was easy, plus the yellow cable underwater helped. It seemed a lot longer than I thought it would but I didn't get tired on the way out. I had a little more trouble on the way back. I think there was a slight current that was pushing me off course so I had to work a little harder to swim straight. I tried to pick up the pace a little, and felt my form suffer some, but made it out of the water in under 50 minutes which was my goal.
T1: I didn't go into the warming tent since I thought that would only make me feel colder once I got out. I took a few minutes to sit and get my wetsuit off, take in some sports drink and pack my pockets.
The bike: OMG, my weakest discipline! I guess I'm a glutton for punishment for picking this as my first half. We drove the course the night before so I had a good idea what I was in for. The hills weren't as steep as the ones I practiced on, but after like the tenth one I was spent. The last 11 miles were rough. My legs were tired, and I was worrying how they would fare on the bike. Also, by then the cold was really getting to me. I just put my head down and told myself I just had to keep plugging away because it would be a lot harder to start again after I stopped.
T2: I was so happy to be off the bike. Surprisingly my legs weren't dead. I guzzled some sports drink because I hadn't got enough in on the bike, even though I really tried to push it in the cold.
Run: I felt so strong on the run! The beginning was mostly downhill so it was a little more difficult to get my heart rate up. I decided just to keep it at at least 154. I walked through the aide stations since I can't jog and drink from a cup. Lol. Plus I was able to take in more nutrition that way. It went pretty fast, and honestly I don't remember too much.
The finish: Great energy at the finish! But man once I stopped moving I was so cold. I'm very excited how this all went down today, and am very proud of myself. Now to look at the list of other 70.3s....