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At the Races

Toughman 70.3 Half Ironman, Sept. 8, 2013–Andi Robik

I completed Toughman 70.3 in Croton-on-Hudson last Sunday, Sept 8.  This was my 2nd half ironman.  I did the same race as last year so I could see if I could improve.  The difference this year was that I implemented heart rate training and worked closely with Jason on my training which started on April 20.  I had a much better nutrition plan this year as well.

Race Day:
I woke up at 4:15.  Left at 4:45 for a 30 minute ride to Croton Point Park. It was dark and I was by myself.  I kept thinking of Jason’s words; JUST EXECUTE YOUR PLAN.  I have done the work and have everything laid out; no more decisions to make!  I just kept telling myself that it was going to be a perfect day, nothing was going to go wrong, and I was going to enjoy the efforts of my training.  This is a big improvement as I used to worry about everything!  What if I get car trouble on the way, what if I get a flat tire, what if what if what if.  Changing my thoughts helped set me up for the day.   I ate a banana and had a Power Bar in the car, and sipped on 20 oz of Perform with the goal of finishing it before my swim start at 7:10.  Note, I am not a big drinker especially pre race!  So this was a lot for me!  Got to the park just after 5:15 and had plenty of time to set up transition before it closed at 6:20.  Then I walked to the beach and waited, and waited. Had a gel 30 minutes before the start. I was in the last of 5 waves which started at 6:45.  I was in the water at 7:15.
The swim started with a 50 meter walk out to the first buoy; it was so shallow that you could not start swimming immediately.  Finally I got going, and stayed close to the buoys on my left going out.  There was a bit of traffic but not too bad.  Of course there is always one swimmer you cannot get away from no matter how hard you try! After the turn, I found I was tracking too far to the outside and kept having the kayak people telling me to move in.  The current must have been pulling me.  So I may have added a little distance.  Other than that no troubles in the swim.
2012: 31:20
2013: 28:43
T1: Used the “strippers” just because they were there and it’s fun.  Wetsuit off, quick dry of feet, shoes, gloves, glasses, helmet on, peeled a banana to eat as I walked the bike out of transition, and I’m off.
T1 2012: 4:09
T1 2013  3:45
Bike:  A rolling course consisting of 2 28 mile loops all on Route 9A which is closed to traffic.  There is one really big hill in the beginning which seems to go on forever.  I was forced to be in my easiest gear and was only able to go about 8 mph up it, but I felt strong and steady.  The downhill of that climb was rewarding.  Although knowing I had to do it twice was a bit grueling!  Nutrition plan on the bike was to drink 2 20 oz bottles of Perform and eat one Powerbar and 2 packs of energy blasts.  Planned for a 3:30 bike ride.  I did have to stop once to use the Porto potty; the swim was a bit choppy and I drank more of the Hudson than I cared to!  So a minute lost there, but totally worth it.  I felt strong on the bike.  I always feel my average is lower than I thought as I try to maintain at least 17 mph on flats.  There was some head wind going south which slowed me slightly.  I did finish my food on the bike but not all of the liquid.  Felt hydrated.  Was very happy to see the sign Bike Dismount Here!
Bike 2012 3:45:41
Bike 2013 3:40:51(15.3 avg)
T2:  Not great! Had to go to the bathroom again, and I had a slight snafu with my watch, and I couldn’t find my transition spot right away.
So I lost some time here.  I swear I did not check Facebook or email. LOL.
T2 2012  2:45
T2 2013  4:39
Run: My favorite part of the race!! This is a  hilly course but very scenic.  The name “Toughman” is named for a hill between miles 9 and 10.  The course goes through trails and parks, and over a viaduct.  I planned to have one gel halfway through, which I did.  Other than that just sipped water at the stops whenever I felt I needed it.  It was not super hot, so I didn’t need to cool off much.  I poured one cup down my shirt after the halfway point, then forgot that would make my HR monitor chafe me more, but oh well.  I ran strong and consistent, and never broke a 10 minute mile except for the mile where I had the gel.  Most splits were close to 9:10.  Even on the hills! I absolutely love passing all the people on the run that beat me on the bike!  And since I was in the last wave, I knew that everyone I passed on the run I was beating.  Strong finish!
Run 2012 2:11:01
Run 2013 2:00:38 (9:14 pace)
Total time 2012 6:34:53 (9/18 age group, 439/553 overall)
Total time 2013 6:18:35 (14/23 age group, 356/547 overall)
Overall I was very happy with how I felt and executed this race.  There were no other NRGY peeps there, or family members, but I knew I was being tracked and I loved seeing the support via emails!  Thanks everyone!
Take aways:
Bricks help!
Don’t drink so much in the swim if at all possible.
Need higher cadence on the bike.
Keep up the positive thinking.
Take a transition workshop.
Keep “tri-ing”!
Improvements made this summer:
Changed my first back tire by myself during a ride. Twice. Huge relief!
Swam my first ocean swim in a tri.
Gained the confidence to bike by myself if needed.
Next stop Hudson-Mohawk marathon on Oct 13.


Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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