Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Recap

Lake Stevens 70.3: Race Recap

Short Version
Most incredible race experience to date 

Overall: 5:35:46
Swim - 39:28
Bike - 3:10:35
Run -1:41:51

8/41 AG
327/1017 Overall

Long version

I cant believe less than a year ago I found myself newbie self lining up, clueless, for my first Olympic triathlon... and Saturday I finished my first 70.3.  It is amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to something.

 My father and I drove from Utah to WA. About 14 hours. Drive passed quickly for me...I am sure my father loved the singing/dance party I had all the way there ;)  The further North we headed the cooler temp's and greenery started to fill our surroundings.

**Side note about my love affair with Washington: Totally fell in love with Seattle the second we drove in.  Everything about it  I wish I would have explored colleges there back when I was looking for places to move to back in High School.  

I checked in Friday evening which was perfect.  I told the man handing me my packet this was my first Half Ironman, his response, 'Why in the world would you pick such a hilly course for your first?' GO BIG OR GO HOME MAN! **Checking in the day before is the way to go if crowds add to your pre-race nerves.

Saturday the race really hit me and I was a ball of nerves.  We started the day out driving the course. Holy beautifulness. 

Meeting Teresa for the first time!
Rode a bit of the course, little shake out run, and swam in the Lake.  That night we had dinner with Teresa and Mark... so much fun and calmed me down a ton! Mark had told me the day is going to go by so fast, so to make sure that I really soak in the experience. -
He ended up being so right!

**Instead of having my normal 3 meals I had light snacks throughout the day.  Going to do this again the day before my races. 

Taking Ally to check-in

Coffee, Small portion of oatmeal, and an orange.

Setting up transition was very intimidating. All the girls around me looked intense. intense bikes. intense attitudes - all business.  This was starting to get to me until I saw Teresa... she gave me a hug and wished me good luck. Ahhh - better:) Went to the car and listed to some pump me up Black Eyed Peas music and then headed down to the swim start.  My dad reminded me that this was just a bunch of little events put together, that I was going to great, gave me a big hug and I was off!

Swim: 1.2 Mile, 39:28, 2:02/100m

When I swam in the lake the day before I had decided on swimming without a wet suit until about 20 minutes before the start.  It started to rain, I got a little cold, and I thought the added bouancy from the wetsuit would make me faster.

The start happened so quickly.  I was in the third heat right behind the pro girls so I got to watch Teresa jump in the water and take off.  (btw she finished with a swim time of 24:58...Rockstar right?)

Had 1/2 gel right before the start

Walked to the dock, jumped in, sculled for about 2 minutes and we were off! I lined up right next to the buoys so I'd have an easy time swimming straight. I kept thinking swim calm and steady; but I think this ultimately hurt my swim speed. The warm water was starting to get to me about a quarter of the way through and I was wishing I wouldn't have worn the wet suit. I knew that once the men behind me took off they would trample over me which happened.  I was prepared to be hit in the head a couple times by them so it didn't bother me to much. 

-I need a lot of work on my swim: Bring on the drills
-Figure out the wetsuit situation
-More open water swims

T1 2:28
When I got out I thought I was one of the last in my age group but I saw quite a few bikes racked around my section.  Grabbed all my bike stuff and took off. Everything went smooth.  My glasses kept fogging up so I just tossed them.

Bike 56 Mile, 3:10:35, 17.63mph
'Rainy, Hilly, Technical, Cold, Rolling Awesomeness'

Getting out of T1 Teresa had told me to take the first 10 minutes easy, get some water down and get ready to ride. I did just that.  Drank some water, took a GU and got ready. Then the slight drizzle of rain started to pick up.  I honestly just smiled.  I was so thankful to have it rainy than hot. The heat KILLS me, so I could deal with this.

This bike course is beautiful.  Washington is beautiful; but winding up and down throughout the trees was wonderful.  When the course is described as hilly, they are not joking around.  I don't really remember any straight section... you are either going up or down and turning A Lot.  There were quite a few descends that I got a little very nervous on but I seemed to stay in aero the majority of the time.

Aid stations I was nervous about.  I thought for sure I was going wreck into someone.  Ended up being no big deal thanks to Teresa running through the process with me.  As I approached, I called out what I needed, the volunteers told me where it was at, grabbed it, and I was off.  I only dropped 1 thing once and the wonderful volunteer grabbed me a new one and ran it to me.

I had my Garmin on until after hell hill (section in the course (pretty sure mile 36) that you take a 90 degree turn and CLIMB!) At the top I glanced down at my Garmin and I was at an average 18.5mph /HR 161. Then the next time I went to look down at it, it was not on my wrist.  The last 16 miles of the course are mentally frustrating anyways because of the constant ups and downs... and losing my Garmin made me upset for about 2 miles.... then I remembered Teresa and Mark telling me there are going to be highs and lows out there throughout my day; just keep remembering to enjoy it and soak in this first experience.

Bike Perks:
-The whole race went by so fast but the bike was by far the quickest.  I think the added hills/rain/technical aspects of the course made 56 miles feel like nothing:)
- Mile 26 'Scott' with a fancy bike said 'go girl you are an animal' made me smile:)
- Mile 36(hell hill) One of the volunteers scram 'you first person with straight bars go girl.' That helped up that hill!

Nutrition (Teresa if you are still reading skip this part ;)
- So the plan was every hour to take in 1/2 - 1 water bottle, 1 IP bottle, and about a gel every 35 min's.

Only 1 Bottle IP perform mixed with Poweraid Zero
Only 1/2 Water Bottle

*1 GU Mile 1
*Aid station #1 Bonk Bar
*Aid station #2 100 calories of Dates
*1 GU Mile 35
*Aid station #3 Bonk Bar
*1 GU Mile 50

- Make sure I am taking in liquids
- Taking nutrition on a more consistent schedule!!
- Get tape for my aero bars - my hands kept slipping because of the rain
- Tape my nutrition to my bike and get rid of the bento box
- UPGRADE to a TT Bike WITH clip in's by the end of the year =)
- Purchase a new watch! (FYI When your band starts to break it is a good idea to get it fixed before a race) 

T2 - 1:24

At about mile 52 on the bike there is a long, steady climb, and I could feel my hamstrings really tightening.  Drank some Ironman Perform and the bike finish seemed to just appear.  T2 went really smooth and fast.  As soon as I started running out of T2 I knew I was going to have a wonderful run.

Run 13.1 Miles, 1:41:51, 7:46/Mi (**Half marathon PR)

50:21 -7:52Pace / 51:30 7:41 Pace

The run felt incredible

Leaving the transition area I had the goal to keep smiling the remainder of the race.  Because I did not have my Garmin to pace, I decided the first loop I would make sure my heart was not beating as hard as it typically does in tempo speed workouts, then the last loop I could just go for it.

The course was really great.  Small ups and downs which I prefer over completely flat. Every hill I kept thinking of how the hill repeats in training were helping me so much.

Hands down, the best part about the run was the TN Multisport support.  I ran by the team tent 4 times during the run and they made me feel like a rock star every.single.time! Whenever I passed another TN member on the course we high fived.  It was so neat that I did not know the group on a personal level and they were all still so supportive and welcoming! I was able to see Teresa on her last lap (my first) which was really fun too.  I also saw Mirinda Carfrae when she was at mile 12! Freaking intense woman.

I was a little worried throughout the run if I was pushing too hard/not hard enough without my Garmin.  I stuck with a comfortably hard pace.  Hamstrings hurt a bit going up the hill at mile 11.  Mile 12 it hit me that I was finishing my first Half Ironman and started to bust ass.  Saw a 31 year old female and pushed hard to pass her and crossed the finish line smiling so hard.

- 1/2 GU at the start
- Mile 3 Water and 1/2 GU
- Mile 6 Ironman Perform
- Mile 8 Coke
- Mile 11 GU and Water
- I also took 2 sponges at every aid station offered  

 **I wouldn't have changed anything about the run.   Other than seeing the time continue to improve:)!


About a year ago, I had found myself stuck in a negative place in my life.  I am so thankful to have found triathlon.  It truly saved my life.  It gives me confidence.  It makes me a better person in all aspects of my life.  Most importantly, it serves as the perfect reminder why I will NEVER return to that old life style. My dad always asks me why I enjoy these races so much - Every time I am reminded of this excerpt from a blog (**can't remember who's it was for credit?? sorry)

As soon as the gun goes off, I just run. All of my doubt evades me because I am 100 percent consumed in the thing that I love most. I feel my heart pumping and my legs moving, both taking on lives of their own. As I continue to get completely lost in everything I love about racing, the one phrase that comes back to me every single race for as long as I can remember is: This is who I am.

**GoodBye for now Washington.  I hope to see you in the future!**


  1. Great write up! Interesting to read your introspective observations / take-aways.

    Congrats on the HM PR. That's amazing that you were able to your overall half marathon PR in a 70.3.

  2. Why are all of your posts suddenly showing up in my reader all at once today!?

    Amazing feat. I admire your multi athleticism! And to pr in the half marathon portion is unreal!!

  3. OMG your run split!!! You should be bouncing off the walls with that time!!! At least I would be.

    Way to go!!!!!

  4. OMG!!!!!
    google reader stopped showing your posts,so i thought you stopped posting--then i get a huge long list of all your posts....
    and wow,girl,i am SO proud of you and how far youve come over the past year!!!!!!!YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!
    and continue to inspire me!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. Loved loved loved meeting you and your pops. You guys are both so sweet and amazing! You have had an amazing season and it has been a blast to watch you grow as an athlete and person! Keep it up :)


  6. Great race, homeskillet! Congratulations! Hope to see you at a REV3 race sometime soon. It is always fun to meet my blogger buddies.


  7. Great race, homeskillet! Congratulations! Hope to see you at a REV3 race sometime soon. It is always fun to meet my blogger buddies.


  8. wow. this absolutely made me cry.

    first friend. you look incredible. so athletic. so confident. so fit. so amazing. you are an inspiration to me to keep pushing and working hard.

    second. holy speed demon. you dominated. absolutely incredible domination. i am in awe!

    third. i always love reading about the relationship you have with your dad. me and my dad are similar and i miss having him live close! so awesome that you have that amazing support!

    CONGRATS. you are most definitely a ROCK STAR!

  9. Wow o wow, I LOVED reading your race report - you ROCKED it girl. I couldn't be smiling any bigger than I am right now. Congratulations on a spectacular race. You are learning so much about yourself and what's working for you... I can't wait to see where this tri journey takes you. Amazing! :)

  10. Awesome! You crushed this race, specially the run! Loved reading your race report and all the pics. Triathlons definitely suit you with your vigorous approach to life. Glad you found something challenging yet fun to be passionate about.

  11. Pretty cool accomplishments. But you're so "German" {Build-the-Machine}. Time to loosen up a little with some Olive Oil.

  12. Great to meet you at the race and see you smiling out there all day! This was a great year for us first-timers!

  13. HOLY SCHMEE! I click on your blog, browsing and an iron man recap?! That is seriously awesome. I'm glad you are in a better part of your life from a year ago. That is exactly how I feel too-just with running.

  14. What a race! I love Seattle too! I might have been there the day of your race, or just across the sound. How ironic! We could have met. heh.
    Very cool you got to meet your coach :)

    Christie, you really rocked this and are just getting better and better at racing. I love your attitude about the course. WHy would a race worker say something like that? That is so weird. I thought they were supposed to encourage people to want to race the race!

    Happy that you are enjoying life so much right now and that you chose to do tri.

  15. Oh my goodness,
    I adore you already.
    You are awesome! 70.3! That is cray cray!!
    And your pace for the half marathon is great, especially after swimming AND biking!
    You are a rockstar :)
    P.s. That is funny that you had a coke while doing all of this ;)
    Also, you leave the sweetest comments on my blog, and that's how I found you, obviously. I just want to say thank you for your support. <3
    xoxo Haley

  16. wow Christie congrats on an amazing race, and kicking ass at the 70.3 distance!!!
    I love Seattle...going to Univ. of Washington was the best decision I made :) the rainy-grey weather did get to me after a while though, but I still love to visit and will run the Seattle Marathon one day! :)
    I hope you've recovered well and are back out there killing the training!

  17. CONGRATS!!! oh man, u gotta just love those days where u feel awesome and u can say for certain, "i felt incredible!" cherish and remember them...cuuuz, yea, they are wat keep u thru the crappy ones. ;) hehe.

    for the run, i'm glad u went off of feel and didn't get chained to the Garmin actually...in the techie generation sometimes getting too hung up on times (am i too fast, too slow???) just stresses u out more or holds u back. great job!! now i seriously have no idea how u do all three events tho. :)