Story Index:

IRONMAN Wisconsin, My Cinderella Story
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Boulder, Coming in Hot
09/20/2018

IRONMAN Texas: Everything's Bigger in Texas (except the Ironman bike course)
05/01/2018

Uphill Both Ways (Oceanside Race Report)
04/16/2018

The Things We Deserve
03/06/2018

When Life Gives You Lemons... IM 70.3 Santa Cruz and IM 70.3 Boulder (sort of)
09/23/2017

The DNF Strikes Back
07/11/2017

Oops, I Did An IM
06/16/2017

IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa
05/22/2017

IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3
05/19/2017

December in the Desert: HITS Palm Springs 70.3
12/07/2016

The Coolest Prize I've Ever Won
10/26/2016

Running With the Big Dogs
07/23/2016

The Inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon
07/04/2016

Early Season Ups & Downs
06/28/2016

XTERRA Real Granite Bay
04/11/2016

Urbanathlon, Where You Been All My Life?!
11/25/2015

The Top 17 Reasons You Should Have Been at Scott Tinley's
10/21/2015

Rock & Roll Half Marathon
10/04/2015

Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
09/23/2015

This Seems Like a lot of Work for a Free Banana
09/01/2015

Sometimes the Best Race is the One I Didn't Win
08/03/2015

Tales of a Swim Meet Rookie
08/01/2015

Victory at the California International Triathlon
06/30/2015

Wildflower Will Show You What You're Made Of
05/07/2015

Mama Didn't Raise No Quitter
04/22/2015

HITS Napa Half, 5 (Plus) Hours of Fun
04/17/2015

Off-Roading: My Trail Run Debut
04/04/2015

Lake Tahoe Marathon Weekend
09/16/2014

Farewell to Madison
09/09/2014

Being Comfortable With Discomfort
08/18/2014

Wildflower 2012, Team Goodell
06/09/2012

USA Triathlon National Championships
10/02/2011

How About a Road Race?
08/06/2011

Tri-Ing for Children
07/25/2011

The Women's Sprint Triathlon - Where it All Began
07/12/2011

Defending the Title in Pleasant Prairie
06/27/2011

Capitol View Triathlon
06/13/2011

Tri Club Party in Madison
04/10/2011

Be A Better Runner
03/28/2011

Hello, Felt
03/20/2011

I'm Going With You
01/03/2011

2009 Triathlon World Championships
09/12/2009

Kim completes her first Half-Ironman
06/10/2008

Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon
05/16/2008

Kim Blazes Chicago Triathlon
08/27/2007

More Triathlons for Kim
06/15/2006

Kim in Chicago Triathlon
08/31/2005

Kim graduates from Willamette
06/17/2002

Kim returns from Europe
02/02/2001

Kim Travels Europe
11/24/2000
Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz



Until now I've never actually raced a Half Ironman. I've survived plenty of them, but my #1 objective was always to pace myself cautiously so I could "feel good" by the end. Even with this strategy, I've still managed to regularly crack the top 5 ... but I always feel like roadkill by the end of the race (My first 70.3 I literally cried at the finish because I was so relieved that it was finally over).

Longer distance racing is tough, and I usually hit a wall about 3-4 hours in. It could have something to do with the conditions of the particular races I've chosen, but I believe that 70.3 comes in a lot of flavors and "Easy" is never one of them.

My new experiment with Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz was to see how fast I could actually go ... or at least how far I could get before Fast was no longer an option. I researched my competition, determined that the top finishers at Vineman 70.3 were coming back for more Half Ironman fun, and that the usual suspects were mostly in the 30-34 and 35-39 divisions. But one outlier, Laurence Delisle, only 23 years old, was a force to be reckoned with. She had claimed 2nd place at Vineman, thanks in part to a ridiculously fast swim. A former Olympic Trials swimmer, her swim split was an easy ten minutes faster than mine. TEN?!

Most of my competition would be starting at the same time as me, or just four minutes ahead. They were all likely to be out of the water before me, so after the swim, I figured I had 56 miles to try to chase them down, then the final 13 to seal the deal. Delisle was in the first wave, with a twenty minute head start, so I couldn't worry about her. I'd just have to focus on catching all the 30-somethings.

Race morning we lined up on the sand, the strongest swimmers proudly staking their claim to the front line. As I hovered behind them, it occurred to me that I really dislike being tangled in that splashing mess of 100 people all trying to swim in the same 24 inch space of water. The faster swimmers have it so good -- they avoid that mosh pit, leaving all the chaos behind as they slice stealthily forward.

The starting line had us standing pretty far back from the ocean's edge, so it was at least a 20 yard run to get to the water. I may not be the fastest swimmer, but I can run! When the starting horn blew, I slithered past the front line and took off like a bat out of hell, sprinting down the beach. I was first to hit the water. I dove beneath a wave swell and I was on my way, quickly overtaken by the leaders, but happily leaving the majority of the group to fight it out behind me.

The swim went smooth and predictably, with the added bonus find of some brightly pedicured toes to follow for the duration of the 1.2 miles. I'm not convinced drafting in the ocean waves actually provides much benefit, but at least it gave me something to focus on besides that salty, salty water.

My swim time came out pretty much the same as last month's Tri Santa Cruz, and then I was on to the familiar long transition run. But as soon as I hopped on my bike, I knew something was wrong. I could feel vibration and hear the hum of friction -- the back brake was rubbing the rim of my wheel. I couldn't bring myself to pull over to inspect it, so I pushed on, wondering how much energy I was wasting with that additional resistance. The bike course was crowded and I just kept riding, trying not to think about the misaligned brake. It wasn't until about 16 miles in that we hit a long climb and the crowd began to thin. With a little more space and a slower speed, I carefully traced my hand down the seat tube, down the brake cable*, and blindly pulled open the brake lever. *don't try this at home




Posted by Kimberly 09/23/2015
FreeStyle Journal 19.03.21
©2003-2011 by Dan Goodell

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