70.3 B2B race report by Kyle HennemanPosted by Pete | Categories: MBtriclub News
I’m sad that the weekend came & went so damn fast! All the build up, training, & excitement is gone, now I can drink beer & eat fatty food all winter!!! NO WAIT!!! I have a better idea, train for the B2B FULL IRONMAN for next year since this year’s B2B 70.3 was so freaking awesome!!! That sounds much better…
Why was B2B so awesome for me you ask? Well let’s start with the fact that it was my first 70.3!!! When I got into triathlons 5 years ago I never imagined doing a 70.3, the water scared me to death, I seriously thought I would drowned (that coming from a Navy guy too). And even after 12+ tris under my belt I still get a little nervous when the gun goes off & I’m in the water. This race however, was much different. Months & weeks leading up to this were as normal as you can get (other than a mysterious virus that lead to Feb/ Mar in the hospital & thoracic surgery and two major issues with my bike). The feelings, race prep, nerves, & overall goal were all normal, all I kept saying is “This is just another race, you’ve done it thousands of time before”. The thing is I haven’t. I’ve never swam 1.2 miles or raced for over 6 hours continuously!!! And that’s when the nerves hit me. Race week got here & I starting asking myself “Are you really ready for this?”, “Did you train as much as you could have?”, etc, etc, etc… Then I realized I was wasting energy worrying & basically said “IT’S GO TIME!!”
The day before a race is usually pretty exciting but this one was a little different. It was the typical routine- packet pick-up, dinner, race brief, stage gear, try to wind down, & sleep. Everything went as perfect as you could ask for, even the Mother Nature was saying “I’m gonna give you perfect conditions for your first 70.3”. My hats off to her because she did just that. Almost no clouds, crisp fall air with just a hint of a summer breeze, & a sunset that easily distracted you from properly setting up your T1 area. All that made getting a good nights sleep very easy.
Race morning came very early, 4a.m. to be exact. It wasn’t because of the alarm either, my excitement took over & was ready to go!!! As I took inventory of my meticulously laid out uniform of the day (wetsuit, MBTC onesie, goggles, swimcap, and gels) & headed to breakfast I still wasn’t nervous & that was making me nervous. I was getting nervous for not being nervous (Rosann Wilcox, is that normal ??). Anyway, off we went to the transition area. Upon arrival, everything was again, going as smooth as you can ask, body marking “CHECK”, transition set-up “CHECK”, light stretching “CHECK”, say good luck to some MBTC teammates “CHECK”, talk shit w/ others in my T1 area “CHECK”, final bathroom break “CHECK”. Enough checks already let’s get on the trolley for the swim and get this race going!!!
Once we got to the beach it was real! No turning back now that’s for sure! It was nice to see the full swimmers making their way through the channel with almost no effort, easing my mind even more about the swim. After the last full racer passed it was nice to hear the clapping & cheering to get them motivated, great show of sportsmanship!! Then it was our turn! One wave after another got sucked down the channel like dead fish down a toilet drain (bad analogy sorry ?). I was in the 4th wave & loving every second of the swim. It did get lonely there for a second until the other waves caught me, even with a knot and a half current I still swim slow!!! When we made the final turn for home I realized I was way ahead of my goal time & couldn’t believe how easy that swim was! At the same time my calves started tightening up & I got a little discouraged feeling pain this early in the race. Once I got out of the water, got stripped, & headed to T1, things started loosening up & made getting on the bike much easier.
The transition was uneventful and I was really looking forward to the bike. The first couple miles were really nice except I forgot to start the computer, the only thing showing was my speed. That was good enough til I figured it out at mile 15 & got some sense of distance. The only thing I wanted to do was get to mile 34 & see the MBTC signs to keep me going for the last 22 miles! Since the computer was off I was doing math in my head the whole time, which actually made the ride a little easier. There were times when you wished you were in a peloton cause it got real lonely sometimes. No other racers, no support tents, & no houses for a couple miles made things very boring. Then, at about mile 40, things started getting hairy. I knew I was putting in enough fluid & thought I’d stretched enough but I guess not. My quads basically started giving out on me, pedaling was becoming a struggle & I was getting hungry (good thing I stashed that clif bar in my kit). Every little downhill became a chance to coast & every uphill was in a low gear/ high cadence to keep everything from really tightening up. I tried to stand up a couple times to stretch the legs out while riding & almost collapsed, I was losing it fast. After hitting the water station & slowing (didn’t want to stop for fear my legs would lock up for good) to handoff for some new water bottles (one w/ wretched Heed mix, thought I was gonna vomit, thanks for the tip/ warning on that too Rosann), I got into a decent rhythm to finish the last 10 miles & get me T2.
I came into transition really worried about my legs but the MBTC cheerleaders (Stacey, Jenelle, & Sarah) yelling at me helped to cheer me up & keep me going. Again, nothing special here, change, a quick banana, drop of the gear bag, & I was off.
As I exited transition, the MBTC cheerleaders gave me a nice yelling sendoff & I started the run along the waterway. Paul Walker was a surprise face on the boardwalk with more words of encouragement to get me going on the run. What a great triathlon club!!! More cheerleaders than racers!!! Gotta love that!!! I’m smiling, legs are feeling good, sun is out, & life is great!!! Then I passed the finish & thought how cruel is this, having the finish line right where we start, how mean!!! I got over that quick & moved into my run plan, which was, well to say the least, to just run… I couldn’t ask to feel better than I did. Checking off one mile after another with ease & no pain. I thought to myself “This is gonna be a good run”. It was for the most part. I ran a good pace for the first 4 miles & then got into a run/ walk routine. I didn’t have to but knew that I had plenty of time & didn’t want to risk muscle issues or major fatigue that would keep me from sprinting to the finish. Basically I’d get to a mile marker, walk for 5 minutes, & then run til I reached the next mile marker. I was liking that & it felt good, I hated getting caught walking by the cheerleaders who chased some of us down like the paparazzi (that was a good motivator and it was fun to hear them yelling at us). I got to the turn around point & knew I was home free. I started feeling dry & clammy so I got some salt tabs, plenty of water, some coke (first time w/ this and it seemed to work O.K.), & some cookies & headed back to the finish. Then I started seeing some MBTC racers (Jen Kiper, Mike Guthinger, and Mike Kovac) which gave me some extra motivation. Mile 7, 8, 9 got knocked off one at a time, no rush, “just eat the elephant one bite at a time” I kept reminding myself. Talking to myself & doing some timing math made things a little easier. At one point 2 + 2 = 5 & the voices starting talking back to me so I knew it was time to re-hydrate! Then came miles 11 & 12, passing Cliff Cox who was starting his run, and then emotion starting building. I remembered coming out on these same streets & now they’re taking me to the 70.3 gate!!! Telling myself to run from one cone to the next, then to the overpass, then to the last downhill, then to the cobblestones. Finally, dump everything you have left on the course & sprint to the finish line with your head held high, you just finished you’re first 70.3!!! I didn’t know what to think when I finished! I started laughing at one point cause I was just in awe of myself for doing that, especially after being so sick & barely being able to walk seven months ago!! This race closed the case on that illness once and for all!!! I knew I had to keep walking & eat something, which I did, then stretched out with our cheerleaders before heading back & hitting a well-deserved shower! I couldn’t believe it was over!!!
That night I came back to the finish line & got to see some new MBTC “ironmen”, everyone of them deserving that title!! Some of them need like a “platinumman” title though, I’ve officially decided that doing a full under ten hours is not human & deserves a “platinum” title. I wish I could’ve stayed to see everyone finish but I was officially drained by 10pm! I CONGRATULATE all of you!!!
And lastly, A HUGE “THANK YOU” to Cliff Cox for the bike!!
BRING ON 140.6!!!