2:27 PM

Longhorn 70.3 (Or How I Learned How to Train for a HIM)

I finished! That is all that matters. Looking back, I realize exactly how far I've come in only a few short months. In mid-April, I accidentally did my first 20 mile bike ride. Then on April 27, despite my fears of not being capable, I did my first 30 mile ride. Then, on June 22, I did my first triathlon. During that race, I flipped out on the 300m pool swim. Around that same time, I went out to Twin Lakes for the first time. I was terrified of the open water. Heather and Kim stayed near me the entire swim so that I would be comfortable. Looking back, I've done a lot in a very short time. Seriously, in less than four months I move from my first sprint tri to completing a HIM. I'm pretty darn pleased with myself.

The Swim

So, there's talk about the swim course being short. I'm not going to entertain this talk. This was an official/branded event. The big names couldn't have possibly allowed for a short course.
I didn't look at my watch at all during the swim. I just made a point of sighting well and staying near the bouys. My goal was to stay calm and swim as strong as possible. As I got passed by the waves behind me, I remained calm. I will note that I could quickly tell the sex of the wave by how they grabbed at my feet/legs. When women touched you, they quickly backed off; the men just kept coming - they did move over a bit. After rounding the final bouy, I took a pretty hard hit to the head from a man in a green swim cap. Surprisingly, he apologized.
Coming out of the water, I glanced at my watch for the first time. I know that I was grinning from ear to ear. It was great seeing Ingrid, Jeff, Larry, and James (my husband) right after the swim. Whenever I saw Ingrid, I just yelled for joy "46 minutes!" Later, James told me that all his race day fears for me ended whenever he saw me after the swim. He knew that I was most worried about that but, when he saw the smile (which was pretty freakin' huge), he knew that everything would be fine.

The Bike
13.9 mph

I was pretty much on target for the bike; however, this did not feel like the same course that we rode last weekend. On some of the small hills (and even the flats), I was in my spinning gears and thinking that it was pretty ridiculous. There was just this terrible headwind for most of the course. It was just a bit frustrating to deal with the wind and the hills. I followed my nutritional plan; however, at around mile 30, I realized that I would be a bit short on calories. I have problems taking in much of anything on the run and thought that I'd do better if I took in more on the bike. At that time, I decided to risk it and take the a gu from an aid station. Surprisingly, it did the trick. I was able to take in almost 2 gus without getting sick. This was what I needed to get me through the bike.
At around mile 40, Black Betty came into existence. I'd not yet named the bike and for some reason, I started calling her that. For the rest of the course, the song "Black Betty" kept going through my mind.

The Run

By far, this was my worst run ever. My goal was to just make it through. The first mile or so was fine, then everything just got worse. This section of the course was open - no shade - and I was hot and getting sunburned. (should've used more sunblock). By the time I made it back into the park, I was already in a walking mode and had rationalized the walk. So, I mostly walked it in. During the last loop, James walked with me for a few minutes. He just encouraged me to keep going (not that quitting was ever an option) and reminded me of how close I was to the finish. Along the way, it was great seeing everyone that was their cheering and those that had already finished.
The last tenth of a mile made the entire day worth it. Seeing my friends, seeing my husband and hearing my name (which was pronounced correctly). This was the most amazing feeling. As James saw me finish, he ran to the other side of the finish line and just hugged me (careful to miss the sunburned areas). I've never cried at the end of a race before. I did on Sunday. It was wonderful to see how happy, proud and excited James was. He was just as happy as I was.

Final time: 8:04:34


Many lessons were learned during the run and I then understood everything that Lisa had told me during training. Any (and all) deficiencies in training will show up in the run. This was exactly what happened to me. I trained for three separate events - not one long race. I didn't do enough bricks and my legs just weren't used to running after that much biking. To a certain extent, I let my tiredness take hold of me. I wasn't as focused as I could have been during the run; but, it was always about having fun. At many points during the day, I just smiled because that was where I wanted to be.
I'm now looking forward to Lonestar in April. I now know how to train and know what I need to do. And, I'm setting a goal. As we get closer, I may share it; however, for now, it will be my motivation.


KCWoodhead said...

Congrats Cassie - you did it!!! I am very proud of you, and never doubted that you would be able to finish.

Jeff & Heather said...

You did an AWESOME job Cass!! What an unbelievable day!

Kelsey said...

You are insanely awesome! I am glad that I have you to inspire me!

smertz said...

Great report Cassie! Awesome job out there! Very proud of you for accomplishing your goal!

Keep it up for the next one!