I'm finally sitting down to write a few words about the events we participated in this year. I signed up for four half-iron distances to give myself that many chances to finish. Well, I'm happy to say that the finish line greeted me on all four. The last, however, isn't recorded in the books (more on that below), but I crossed the line regardless. And Fred joined me on three of the events, so that made it more fun!
If you're thinking about doing a particular event, but aren't sure yet, I hope these reports help you with the decision.
Ironman 70.3 - Victoria (reported earlier) - 2018
Pacific Crest 72.3 BEASTMAN - June 23, 2018 (See below)
Ironman 70.3 - Santa Rosa - 2018 (report coming soon)
Ironman 70.3 - Cozumel - 2018 (report coming soon)
Pacific Crest 72.3 BEASTMAN (Sunriver, Oregon)
Are you looking for a challenge? Do you have the desire to push yourself beyond your limits? Then take a look at Why Racing Events' 72.3 BEASTMAN. Cold, choppy water swim? Check. 58 mile bike ride starting at an altitude of 4359 feet above sea level and gaining another 2814 feet while you climb up a mountain in the heat of summer? Check. Running at ... did I mention the altitude and heat? Check. The BEASTMAN is ... a beast.
The Swim: (1.2 miles - 2 loops in the Wickiup Reservoir)
Brrrrr! That's all I have to say about that.
Just kidding. (not really -- it was cold) You'll need a wet suit for this one. This year, the water was 61 degrees.
With the Ironman events, we've become accustomed to the "rolling" starts, which I like a lot. But this isn't an Ironman event, so we started with our gender and age groups, which I don't like so much because I'm a slow swimmer no matter my age or gender. Thus, faster swimmers swim over me. Not only that, but with a rolling start, your time starts when you cross the line, which is how it should be. With a wave start, as this event was, your time starts at the designated time whether that's the time you actually begin to swim or not. During this race, athletes went through a single file line so they could be "counted" for safety reasons. My husband (Fred) was barely in the water when the gun went off for his age group. This wasn't a fair start at all. Hopefully they can go to a rolling start in the future.
The water was a little choppy, but the jet skis made it even more so. They were zipping all over the reservoir causing waves. Cold water on the face always makes me panic. My breathing gets out of rhythm and I need to breathe more often. This was the case here. It took a while to get everything calmed down and to find a good rhythm. I admit to have yelled a few unkind words at a few people swimming over me and at the jet ski; none heard my small voice though.
This was not a happy swim for me, but I was happy when it was finally over... or so I thought.
Swim time: 56:52
Bike: (58 miles, Elevation gain: 2814 ft.)
This course was beautiful and challenging and a killer. But this was not my day. After the swim, I felt drained. By mile 10, I started to play the mental game.
This sucks. I don't want to do it anymore. Will someone come give me a ride back? My stomach is cramping already. There's no way I'm going to make it up the mountain at mile 35. How the hell am I going to run a half marathon after this? I'm not.
Oh, look how beautiful it is. I've trained for this, I'm not going to give up now. Go faster!
And so I kept going back and forth with this self talk. No, I can't. Yes, I can. No. Yes.
I passed several people on the climb (thank you BiZi to Glenwood training rides!). But then they passed me on the way down the mountain because holy bajeezus that was steep! My hands gripped the brakes pretty much all the way down, but I still managed to hit 35 mph. It was fun!
By the time I rolled into transition, I was half-hour behind my Victoria time and that one didn't have the heat, altitude, the extra 2 miles, or my bad attitude. So, not as awful as I thought.
Bike time: 4:26:27
Fred and his bad-ass self. :)
Random people trekking up the mountain
The Run: (13.1 miles)
Now, if you remember, I was telling myself that I wasn't going to do the run. And I wasn't! But then I saw all the people coming in after me and watched them take off for the run. I grumbled at myself and said some choice words while changing my shoes, helmet/hat, putting my run bib on, and grabbing my water bottle. After the first mile, holy heck I couldn't breathe! The air! What air? There was no air! So I walked. After a bit, I tried to run again. Nope. Not happening. I ended up walking the entire 13.1 miles.
The sun was shining on the fields and through the trees and glinting off the water. This really was a lovely course and I enjoyed looking at it along my very slow trek to the end.
Many times I hoped Fred would come get me so we could go get a drink. But he never did. He was battling his own battles with a flared up injury and muscle cramping. He did an amazing job and finished two hours before me and waited and waited and waited until I finally crossed the finish line. He's awesome like that.
Walk time: 3:40:36
Pretending to run for the camera
Total Time: 9:22:20 (ugh)
Even as negative as I was that day, I'd love to do this event again. The people who run Why Racing Events are great and supportive. It was well organized. The volunteers were AWESOME! And the course was challenging and beautiful. Thank goodness there was no time limit!
Next time, I'll be more mentally prepared.
Once over, it was time to train for Santa Rose, IM 70.3 (race report to come soon)