Home > race report > Race Reports from Eagleman 70.3

Race Reports from Eagleman 70.3

Hi Coach,
 
I wrote a race report from Sunday.  It helped me think about the race.  What I did well, what I need to improve on.  I’m excited for Vegas!!!
 
Eagleman Race Report-2013
Pre race Dinner-spaghetti (lots) with white bread and some broccoli.  I went to a house and ate with Jim Hutchison…he made a delicious dinner.  I salted it to death.  I also stole some salt stick pills from him.  I forgot mine at home.  It was great to eat dinner with a group and talk about the race.  All of our strategies and pre race rituals.  We are a crazy AAA type group, that’s for sure.
Sleep-I got upgraded to a suite at the Hyatt.  It was bigger than my house…seriously.  I had a glorious King size bed that was so comfy.  I had no trouble falling asleep and getting a good 6.5 hours in.  I set my alarm for 3:30am to give myself plenty of time in the bathroom.
Race Morning– I got there right at 5am when transition opened.  I pumped my tires, filled my bottles, walked the ins and outs.  Got in the zone.  Then I waited.  There was 2 hours until my start.  I listened to music.  I drank Gatorade.  I ate a banana.  I went to the bathroom.  I sat in the shade.  My wave was at 8:35.  At 8:00 I had major ants in my pants.  I couldn’t wait to start.  At 8:05 I went over to the swim area and put my wetsuit on.  I stood in the shade and drank some water.  I ate a Cliff gel right before the swim start.  I also took a salt pill and 2 Advils.
Swim-38:25 Goal time: 32:00. At 8:30 the wave before mine started and we all got in the water.  I looked at the buoys and thought about my path.  I knew the current would be strong because of all the rain.  My swim was about 6 mins slower than I wanted.  But, from the talk after the race, the swim was about 200 m long and the current was ridiculous.  People said they were 6-8 minutes slower than usual.  I thought I was moving slow, but I didn’t let myself look at my watch.  LESSON: I learned to sight more often.  It’s worth it so I would stay closer to the buoys. 
T1-When I got out and saw that I was 6 mins slow, boy was that tough.  At that point, I didn’t know about other people’s slow swim times.  I just thought I was a limp jellyfish.  It was a little tough to overcome. LESSON:  I need to figure out a better strategy for my gu’s.  I had 4 taped on my bike and 3 to go in my pocket.  It takes too much time to fool with my pockets.
It was also super muddy from all the rain.  With me being in the last wave there were so many people tramping the ground before me.  I was a mess.  All the girls in my group had to go through the same thing though.
Bike-Real time (minus 4 min penalty): 2:34:44. Goal time 2:35 So much fun!  I was cruising along and having a blast going fast.  I love love love my new bike.  I had my bike bladder thingy filled with water ~18oz, one 24oz Gatorade extra strength on my down tube, one 18oz smaller bottle on the back with more extra power Gatorade, one chewey bar (just in case I need solid food), and 7 Cliff gu’s.  I also took an extra Gatorade at the last water stop at about mile 40.  Additionally, I took 5ish salt pills.  I really can’t remember exactly.  I do remember I took one as soon as I felt a headache coming on.  That’s typically the sign that I’m about to bonk.
I didn’t really start slow.  I wanted to make up time so I just jumped on and went for it.  I wound up leap frogging with a bunch of girls in my AG and some 25-29 M (they started 5 mins before me).  At around mile 40 I got the dreaded penalty.  I was being so careful to not draft.  It was tough because there were so many people on the course at that point.  The aid stations were nuts.  I’m glad I had most of my own stuff.  I saw someone crash when the person in front stopped suddenly to get water.  They really need to do something about having the completers and the competers going at the same time.  I saw several near crashes too.
Anyway, on to the penalty…I got a 4 min penalty for not completing the pass.  It was either slow down, run over the water bottle in my way, swerve into the girl I was passing or swerve into the motor scooter.  I’m ok with my decision.  The last thing I want is to get hurt.  I spent about 5 miles having a pity party.  Then one of the guys I passed a few times came by me and told me to get my head back in the game and hammer it home.  That’s exactly what I needed.  So, I spend the last 10 miles with the hammer down.
Penalty Tent-I tried to think about this as an adventure.  WWCD (What Would Coach Do).  I drank Gatorade.  I ate my chewy bar.  I peed my pants.  I waited with baited breath to run into transition.  After 4 slow mins I was out of the tent and into T2
T2-Again muddy.  Again slower people in my way.  Walking…sitting in the middle of the aisles!  LESSON: Get a race belt with a fanny pack.  I spend too much time shoving things into my pockets.  I brought 4 Cliff gels.
Run-1:51:09. Goal time 1:46. LESSON: I had time to make up so I started way too fast.  Never again.  I started at sub 8’s.  Race me did not make the best decision because I started to slow waaay down after the halfway point.  My garmin wound up dying at mile 11 so I have no idea how the last two miles were.  In the end, I should have held back the first few miles like the race plan called for.
It was also super hot.  It was about 90*.  So at each aid station I tried to get water and ice for cooling.  However there were people there thinking they were on a Sunday stroll and literally were stopping and hovering all over the place.  There were several times I couldn’t get water.  It was just too crowded and I needed to keep moving.  I’m sure I spent at least 2 minutes total at the aid stations just trying to get past people and get some sort of nutrition.  I took my gels at miles 3, 6, 8, and 11.  At the non gel aid stations I got Gatorade.
I gave it literally everything I had.  The last 3 miles were pure torture and I loved every minute of it.  I had blisters on the bottoms of my feet.  I think from a combination of water and mud.  My muscles were on fire.  My lungs were burning.  My brain was so tired and angry.  I just kept pushing. My dad was at mile 12.  He said that he’s never seen me looked so tough and in pain.  I literally just gritted my teeth and thought about all the times I woke up early and all of the times I didn’t eat a cookie I wanted and all of the times I pushed through pain in workouts.  I also thought of all the fun times.  The fun rides and runs with my friends.  It all helped me push through the pain.  At mile 11ish I had to stop and take off my right sock.  My blister popped and my sock was filled with blood and pus.  It felt a little better with the sock off.  I kept the left sock on though…ain’t nobody got time for that!
I heard someone yell that I was at the last turn.  I pushed more.  I saw the finish line and I was in total race mode.  Just get there as fast as possible.  I crossed the finish line and fell into the arms of a volunteer.  I couldn’t stand up on my own.  She led me to a chair where I sat for a while.  Then Jim came over to help me and I started crying.  I knew what my time was and I didn’t think I would get into Las Vegas.  I was mad at the penalty and I was mad at the people jamming up the aid stations.  After a brief pity party (and some post race nutrition) I was ok with the whole race.  I tried my hardest and I was happy with it. 
World Championships-I was on my way out.  I knew my times and I knew I was in 6th place.  So, I didn’t think I would get a spot.  However, my friend Suzanne told me I was crazy.  She was 7th in her AG and was staying.  She said there are sometimes roll down spots.  So, I stayed.  When I heard them call my name I ran and hugged everyone.  I cried, I jumped up and down, I made a huge scene.  I couldn’t fill out the paperwork because I was shaking so much.  I had my mom fill it out for me and I just signed my name.  I still can’t believe I made it to the World Freaking Championships!!
 
 
 
Claire Cunningham
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