My First 70.3 – Augusta Half Ironman

By Deirdre DeKock

To Coach Jeremy

Where do I start, because I still feel like a kid in a candy store. I have so many emotions and excitement right now.

The week leading up to Augusta I tried to start focusing on my food in take; what I am eating and to be consistent, because as a mother you can sometimes forget or just eat at weird hours due to running in ten different directions. I tried to keep everything as stable for the week, but as you know nothing ever goes according to the plan. The kids came down with a COLD. John-John is in his peak training and I’m tapering and neither one of us wants to get sick, and to make things worse a cold is not good for me because I get recurring Pericarditis, (inflammation around the heart).  I started feeling some stress around my heart, not sure if this is just nerves or am I getting another “attack”. I woke up each morning not feeling too hot. I started upping my medication, but also became more nervous because I am not sure what the increase of the medication side-effect will be on my body come race day.

Having all of this in the back of my head I decided to just get through my taper workouts without pushing myself to hard so I don’t put any added stress on myself and my heart. By Thursday I started “carbo-loading”, the fun part. Thursday night was Pizza and Friday night were mine and John-John’s secret meal, Lamb Chops and Potatoes and a glass of wine :-).

Saturday, my packet is picked-up and my bike is checked-in. I think this is when my nerves were overtaken by excitement and at that very point I got your email, and I was able to relax. We walked to the swim start and I was able to reflect on the last few months, all the long bikes, run and swim. I knew I got this and I was more than just prepared!!!

Had an early pasta dinner and a beer (carbo-loading right?), and went back to the hotel to get everything ready. By 9 it was lights out for us.

Alarm was set for 5:30 but woke up before that, because of all the other early birds in the hotel. Had breakfast at 6am, and took the bus to transition. Set-up everything, checked my bike, and last thing I do was pump my tires. As I unscrew my valve on my back tire it just blew off and I had a flat. This is at 6:55, and transition close at 7:15. I run over to bike repair. They fixed the tire but have to use my spare, because all their tires are already in the truck for the course. By the time I got back to my transition area everyone had almost left, so no way I could bum a tire from somebody, and they start doing the count down to get out of transition.  I try to get this out of my mind, and refocus! I walked to the swim start, while drinking my carbopro!

Got to the swim start, for the first time in a race my swim part was the one I was least worried about. I always dislike the swim, all the banging into each other and maybe just the fear of drowning.  By the time we lined up I need to pee really badly, but there is no time to go. I thought I will go on the dock, nope couldn’t do it.  And off we go at 8:32am. Got in a good rhythm from the beginning. I really felt good, just towards the end I had this girl zigzag over me the whole time. But guess what, I still needed to pee. Then I thought I will do it like you said towards the end of swim, nope couldn’t do that. Got out of the water 29:32, more than 5 min less than I thought I would. I was so happy!!!

Off to the transition, got to my bike (back tire was still fine)…but guess what? I was finally able to relieve myself but then I couldn’t put my shoes on until am done and had to wait and wait and wait. One reason my transition was a little longer. Got on my bike, got onto a good pace without pushing myself.  I had you and John-John in my head the whole time, not to over do it in the beginning. Got to mile 17, first hill and felt great getting through it, just for the bumps and that caused a lot of people losing their water bottles so had to be on the watch-out for it. Not once did I every feel I was over doing it, which was an awesome feeling.  Getting through the first hill I also decided, this is my strongest part of the 3legs, I am going to give it my all on this one and make as much time up as I can.  I only had my 2 carbopro bottles (3x scoops in each) on the bike, never drank my water. Got in 2:49, 11min faster than I thought I would do.  Got into transition and all the bikers in front of me were walking. I thought I have two choices. I can be “excuse me, excuse me” and try to run to my transition area or just enjoyed the moment with the other people, and at that point I thought I’m just going to enjoy the moment, I’m not trying to break any records. So that is the reason for the long transition time. At that point I also hesitate going into my bag and getting some aspirin for my heart but decided not to.

Off to the run, I was able to keep a 9min pace the first 2 miles, I know the split shows different on the website, but that isn’t correct. I almost knew from that point I will not be able to bring it down. I tried to keep it at 9 that but I was just dropping back in the wrong direction. I was taking perform every other station and then water. The perform mixture wasn’t consistent at the stations, which I didn’t like.  (I think next time I might run with carbopro, how much I don’t like the idea I think it is a better fit for me). I did walk the water stations, which I don’t think is a good idea because then my muscles tighten up. At mile 10.5, my chest started hurting and I decided to drop back a little to get my heart rate down, because I’m so close to finishing and really regret at that point not taking the aspirin.  I worked it through the last 3+ miles and finish, 2:03, I was hoping for under 2hours on the run but I am very happy about how the whole day went down, and enjoyed and loved every moment of it. I can’t wait to do my next one!!!

TIME 5:31:05

Thank you for all the time, patient and advise you put in with me!!! You are a GREAT COACH!!!

Thank you,
Deirdre