Thank you for reading about my 11/25/12 Ironman journey this season. Knowing you are out there watching, following, and supporting my quest for my second medal makes all the difference. Thank you!
A little set up: These updates will most likely be structured in this format – to make it easy for you to read and easy for me to write
- Race result
- My Reason2Race – Cherish Our Children International (COCI)
- Next race
Before getting to the race results, a big THANK YOU goes out to my Anonymous donor and to Ingrid Hillhouse for their COCI donations. https://my.reason2race.com/Gabrielle Thank you for all your encouragement and for believing in me! Your support goes so far!
It’s time for my first update….
On Sunday 4/1/12, I completed my first race of the season. It was a Half Ironman triathlon. Yes, you read correctly. I did the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run as my first event. I figure, might as well get it done Overall, it was a great day. Having a great week – lots of rest, hydration and good food – went very far.
I had my best Half Ironman results to date. Here are my 4/1/12 results and results of all my previous races of the same distance, just in case you are curious.
Some of you may be saying: “you went at a snail’s pace.” Some may be saying “You were lightening fast.” Whatever your commentary about my results, I share them to give us both a baseline so we can track progress over the season. I can really only compare my results to my own, and comparatively, I did well this weekend. I’m happy and have confidence that this season will bring even better numbers.
The Swim (1.2 miles / 53:15 minutes):
My least favorite part of a triathlon. So glad it’s first! Miraculously, that swim time is actually my best time EVER at that distance. It’s a whole lotta swimming. But I made it in one piece. Wearing a wetsuit definitely helped because it made me float – any help I can get, I will take! I was proud of myself for “running” not “walking” out of water to the transition area to get my bike. It meant I had some energy remaining. Thank goodness.
I went 28 miles out on Galveston’s seawall and 28 miles back. Man, it was nice having a tailwind on the return! (Wind pushing my back). I paced myself well (heart rate stayed between 150-155 beats per min), so I could have energy for the run. But, wow, was it HOT!
The Run (13.1 miles / 2:52:25 hours):
This is the real test of your ability as an endurance athlete – making it through the run. This is where you find out if you expended too much energy in either of the previous sports. Luckily it’s the part of the race I like the best, so that helps with harnessing that mental fortitude needed for the last stretch. My strategy you ask? I walked 1 minute, then ran 2 minutes – for the entire 13.1 miles. It was the ONLY way to conserve energy. The walking part was used for nothing more than slight recovery time to get my heart rate down to 130 bpm, compose myself, and start going again. I get loopy after a while, so getting my heart rate down helps me focus. Even the simple adding of 1+1 gets hard after exercising for 6+ hours. The last mile was the hardest, but I made it!
Some call this the “4th sport” of triathlon. You just gotta eat and eat consistently. Prior to race day nutrition is as important as during the event. My plan for the last couple of weeks and for the duration of training is to do the 5 meals a day. I’m not a cooking fan so I frequently visit www.RealMeals365.com. Great food and even better customer service. Check em out. I do my best to eat as healthy as possible, and they are going to help me stay on track. Takes a village to get me to Ironman, ha!
As for race day. On the bike I at 2-3 shot block gels every 20 minutes for 3 hours. Water accompanied the gels. Then for the last 30 minutes, I just drank sport drink. That worked like a charm! No stomach cramps on the run for the first time in this distance event. I took in no solids on the run either. Only liquid. Having eaten right all week and on the bike – wow – did that help! I know Ironman will be a different story – I will have to eat solids on the run. We’ll make it work however we need to!
3. My Reason2Race – Cherish Our Children International (COCI)
Most of you know, every year I choose a big race goal and let the COCI children be the wind beneath my wings – getting me to that finish line. Read my story here and check out my other big goal: https://my.reason2race.com/Gabrielle. These kids have been with me every year since 2007. Inevitably, the one race per season I do with and for them is always the one that means the most to me. They keep me going, reminding me that I’m not alone on those long training rides, runs or swims. They remind me that including others in my event journey – like including you reading this – makes it so memorable, so rewarding and best of all – fun!
So how this will go is I will do the training and practice races and I ask that you support me in any way you’d like – cheer my on at any finish line (even in Cozumel), make a contribution to the COCI kids, join me in a race – whatever you’d like. I just ask that you be a part of this with me. WE are getting me to Ironman, so let’s make the best of it!!
4. NEXT RACE
Not sure what this is. I need to talk to my www.onurleft.com coach, Wendy Hammerman. We have discussed ideas, and I need to get my race schedule ironed out for the season. I’m so glad she’s my coach. She’s gonna keep my eye on the ball when it comes to improving performance – one element at time. Plus she’s a 2-time Ironman finisher herself. She’s great!
I will keep in touch. Thanks for reading!