First Half Ironman

PunkinmanHalfIronman2014 Training and participating in endurance events involves nutrition, physical and mental. Many do the physical of empty miles without doing thinking about their: proper training, nutrition, or mental aspect for race day.

This past Sunday, I completed my first Half Ironman in South Berwick, ME. I finished happy because my energy was maintained throughout the 7 hours 37 minutes. Mentally I was there for each mile. Even though it got hot on the run of 82 degrees which weatherman was off by 10 degrees. I keep my cool when my camelback would not work in the transition before the bike. I did fix it knowing I would need every ounce.

Before I tell my nutrition facts, lets talk about the weather. This is New England which the weather changes in a minute and most times weather people get it wrong. The weather forecast was to be clear with starting temperature of 58 degrees for swim then go up to 72 for the run. The start was 65 degrees with the lake temperature 75 degrees. I was hoping for a refreshing swim to wake up which I was use to. Could not push beyond 60% effort in warm water. The bike got up to mid 70s which was fine but in beginning some roads still wet from the rain did make my asthma wheeze a bit. The run was in 80s with half of the course in the blazing sun.

Some facts about my nutrition: drank 20 oz before race and ate almond butter sandwich; drank 70 oz of Powerade & ate 3.5 LaraBars on the bike; Drank 40 oz of water & Powerade & chew 6 Cliffbloks during the run. Drank another 40 oz after the race. It looks like a lot water but the PowerAde and Cliffbloks had electrolytes I need for the day. Yes did do 2 stops in porta-potty but that is good sign. I put my computer screen on time to make sure I was drinking and eating every 15 minutes. I never cramped during the race but left knee hurt at mile 10 of the run. Stop and stretched then got back to running. I made sure everyone on the team trained on hills, which a couple hills were not bad.

Yes there were parts of the bike course I was by myself but I never felt a lone because of the triathletes and volunteers. The best part of the race the athletes were supporting each other which I never saw in sprint triathlons. Knowing my triathlon team family was there at the end made it sweet. All my athletes finished happy and beat their time goals and not injured.

Next year work on speed and 2 years on my 65th birthday do another half Ironman. That means it is never too late to train for your big one!

Published by Pam Houck

Work in the health industry as personal trainer, running and multi-sport coach. As an athlete with celiac disease and asthma, I don't let it limit me to compete in road races and triathlons.

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