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Ironman 70.3 Ohio

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Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:27 pm

From my blog:

As some of you may know, it has been a bucket list thing of mine to complete a Half Ironman.  I wanted to do it when I turned 50, but with my daughter graduating high school and us relocating to Cleveland, it just didn’t pan out.  Then I got hurt that summer, and my goals changed.


Fast forward to January of this past year, my running friend, Karyn, found out about the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Ohio, and the next thing I knew, we were signed up and ready to compete in August, 2016.  What were we thinking?  Well, I sounded like a good idea in January – but you know how that is.  The good thing was that I was going to get this bucket list item done before my 55th birthday – so score. First, I had to train for Boston.  As most of you know, I consider Boston to be my hometown race and after my very successful Columbus Marathon, I was looking forward to it.  Training was ok and I ran a very fast *for me (1:39) half in March in NYC, and Boston turned out to be just ok.  I felt that I had let down Coach Bob (but that is another story), but it was time to transition to triathlon training.  With the early assistance of Bob and my good friend, Mary Pat, I figured out an early race plan for the summer.  I got started by accomplishing my first ride a week after Boston in 40F temperatures in Cleveland, and it was the first time I had ridden my bike since the one ride I took in July of the previous summer.  That 10 miles was accomplished in just slightly under an hour – and it was hard.


Then life took over – my daughter graduated college, she and I went to Alaska, Coach Bob unexpectedly left us – and I was still signed up to finish this Half Ironman in August.  I enlisted the help of Coach Lesley from AJBaucco Coaching (as recommended by my extremely awesome Cleveland Triathlon Club (virtual) friends) and the game was on.  Still reeling and trying to cope with the loss of my good friend, I took on that training plan and did all I could to stick with it  It was hard – a lot harder than training for a marathon and this 54 yr old was tired – so TIRED that I aborted and walked a run (with a few awesome friends – you know who you are – so thanks), who worried about me.  I swam a lot of miles in the pool at Turner working on my stroke technique with Coach Tom (and realizing that I still a really good breaststroker) and Lake Erie, I rode a lot of miles with the awesome cyclists at my summer home at Chautauqua (Special thanks to Chris, Jen, Kent, Bill, Stuart, Carol and Mary Pat – you have no idea how much you helped me feel like I can actually cycle!), and I ran a few miles including a slowish half marathon at Presque Isle where I unexpectedly won my AG! After all that, I knew I was ready.


My hubby, John and I, headed down to Delaware on Friday late afternoon and we got there before dinner.  I was accompanied by my vote of confidence from Coach Lesley and my fuel plan (where I had taken the required number of carb calories and sodium from my sweat test and created a plan using UCan, Gatorade Endurance and Gels) and all that stuff that is required for a triathlon.  Believe me as a marathoner, the STUFF you need for a tri and the logistics are incredible!  John and I had a fun dinner at a craft brewery in downtown Delaware and then settled in for the night. 


We got up on Saturday morning and headed to the Ironman Village to check-in and listen to the Athlete’s briefing.  Logistics still seemed complicated, but easier than expected.  John decided to sign up to volunteer and we met my SIL, her husband, and my nephew for lunch in town (my other nephew is a new freshman at Ohio Wesleyan – so they were there moving him in.  John and I then drove out to the Swim site, checked it out, and then drove the bike course.  I got in a short ride and a quick run, and then we went to dinner in Westerville (which turned out to be on the house which is another story completely).  We went back to the hotel, watched Matthew Centrowitz kick butt and went to bed.


So the day started by getting up at 3:30am. John and I got to the stadium about 4:45am then shuttled up to the lake by 5:30am. Waiting for the swim start was nerve wrecking.  John took off for his volunteer assignment and I “set up” my bike transition area.  I saw Beth and other CTC folks at the beginning and wished them luck, pumped my bike tires like ten times, and used the porta potty probably 20 times more.  And then, it was time to line up.  I saw Karyn in the wave, we gave each other a hug, and then we were in the water.  I figured that it would take me about 45 min to complete the swim and all seemed well for the first 500 yds – or to the first turn, and then all hell broke loose.  My stomach started feeling nauseous, all that anxiety rose to the surface, and I panicked.  Determined not to latch onto one of those kayaks, I resorted to breaststroke, and I thank all of you women in the F50-54 wave for putting up with that.  I looked ahead and didn’t see too many light pink caps, but I did see a lot of blue and green from the earlier wave, and I went into the mode of swimming 23 strokes freestyle, 20 breast, then 23 free, 15 breast, then 23 free and 10 breast and so on and then I was at the 2nd return (why 23 free – well that is how many strokes it takes me to complete a length in the 25 yd pool).  By then had regrouped, and I was able to swim freestyle to the exit of the swim.  Strangely enough, the swim took me 45 min and 28 sec.


The bike part was actually good.  I’m not a fast cyclist and I figured it might take me 3 and a half hours to complete the 56 miles.  I was so very happy when I realized that I was going to be actually quicker than that.  I took a gel every 30 min as planned and managed to drink all but about 8 oz of the Gatorade during the ride.  The chip and seal road was of no real consequence since it is what I rode on all summer during training and the final hills and rollers were welcome as they play more to my strengths.  Wow, I was so very surprised to get to the end of the bike leg in 3:15 – averaging 17.2 mph.  That for me was a major accomplishment especially since I tried to keep my HR low in the first half and not blow out my legs so I could use my strength on the run.










And then, it was time for the run and for me the “middle distance” long distance runner, a half marathon is my wheel house.  I knew that I didn’t want to go out too fast, but once I hit that road, it felt good and it felt right.  I kept trying to slow it down, but I got into the groove, and I just let it go. The run course was fair and maybe even a bit harder than I thought it would be.  There was a nice small climb in the 2nd mile and the back half of the loop was pretty much up a gradual hill from about mile 4.5 to 9 and again from mile 10.5 to 12.  But I felt good, and I passed so many people on the run – all those who flew by me on the bike, and I just cruised by (jumped from 45th in my AG to 19th).  I guess I just will never understand (and I’ve seen it in all 5 triathlons that I’ve ever done – so definitely an expert am I) why competitors seem to drop into a walk mode almost immediately during the run leg.  Now granted, I am a runner, but I’m not a cyclist – so you probably think my 17.2 mph is ridiculously slow – but you didn’t even try to run????  But I digress, I am a runner and I used it as my strength.  It was somewhat hilly, the sun came out and it was warm but once I got down the hill at mile 12 – I was going to get to that finish line even if I had to walk (lol).


As I came into the stadium, I started to get emotional as all those spectators and volunteers were just not letting you quit.  I knew that Coach Bob was watching me from above, and damn if I wasn’t going to finish that Ironman 70.3 Ohio race and finish it a lot closer to 6 hrs than I could have imagined. So when I crossed the finish line in 6 hours and 8 minutes it was such an amazing feeling and an experience I will always remember. I pushed my body and it did not fail me. 


Thanks so much to John (and he loved volunteering), to Karyn for getting me to finally sign up, to Coach Lesley for the awesome plan and unrelenting encouragement, to Chris, Jen, MP, Carol, Ironman Bob, Kent, Bill, Karin, Stuart, and others for putting up with my slow cycling butt and helping me get better and better – I still bike like a runner – but I’m closer, to Coach Tom for helping with swim technique, to Beth and Aimee for the mentoring and answering all my questions in the final weeks and for not letting trade in that bib, and to Coach Bob for watching over me on Sunday (I miss you).  If I ever do another Half IM (and I’m already looking at courses with fast, easy swims – lol), I know what to work on to improve and I also know that I can.


Here are my final stats:


[size=32]MICHELE KEANE[/size]
OVERALL RANK: 764
DIV RANK: 19
GENERAL INFO
BIB1224
DivisionF50-54
StateBay Village OH
CountryUSA
ProfessionEngineer
RACE SUMMARY
Swim:45:28
Bike3:15:34
Run1:55:51
Overall6:08:11
SWIM DETAILS | Division Rank: 21
SPLIT NAME
DISTANCE
SPLIT TIME
RACE TIME
PACE
DIVISION RANK
GENDER RANK
OVERALL RANK
Total
1.2 mi
45:28
45:28
2:21/100m
21
272
785
BIKE DETAILS | Division Rank: 45
SPLIT NAME
DISTANCE
SPLIT TIME
RACE TIME
PACE
DIVISION RANK
GENDER RANK
OVERALL RANK
32.3 mi
32.3 mi
1:55:44
2:47:51
16.75 mi/h
56 mi
23.7 mi
1:19:50
4:07:41
17.81 mi/h
Total
56 mi
3:15:34
4:07:41
17.18 mi/h
45
405
1267
RUN DETAILS | Division Rank: 19
SPLIT NAME
DISTANCE
SPLIT TIME
RACE TIME
PACE
DIVISION RANK
GENDER RANK
OVERALL RANK
2.3 mi
2.3 mi
20:17
4:32:37
8:49/mi
5.2 mi
2.9 mi
24:27
4:57:04
8:25/mi
7.5 mi
2.3 mi
20:30
5:17:34
8:54/mi
10.4 mi
2.9 mi
25:03
5:42:37
8:38/mi
13.1 mi
2.7 mi
25:34
6:08:11
9:28/mi
Total
13.1 mi
1:55:51
6:08:11
8:50/mi
19
202
764
Transition Details
T1: Swim-to-bike
6:39
T2: Bike-to-run
4:39





Posted by 1L at 6:31 PM 
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Michele "1L" Keane
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  nkrichards on Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:00 pm

Nice report Michele...and nice race!  You were right up there with the best of them when you finished your swim even though you struggled a bit.  I'm with you...I revert to breast stroke when I'm uncomfortable with freestyle.  I've never done an open water swim but it's definitely on my list.  I only averaged 15mph hour on my century ride.  17 sounds fast!  I think your strategy to save your legs for the run makes sense and you moved up in the placing so it worked!  I tend to agree with you on the walkers...

Glad to hear you enjoyed it and are thinking of doing another.  You've got a great group of very supportive friends!
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  Mark B on Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:59 pm

Thanks for sharing your report, Michele. It's been a rough year, and you pressed on and turned in a performance that would have done Coach Bob proud. 

I'm still amazed that anybody can do a tri, honestly, but you all keep proving me wrong! You've got the talent to take it to a higher level, too, if you want. That'd be very cool.

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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  ounce on Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:08 pm

Good job, 1L!!  I think you're doing well enough that you really don't have to do a full Ironman.  I know you're upset with me about that.  Rolling Eyes
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  KBFitz on Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:48 am

Absolutely incredible Michele! That swim frightens me to the core. I may have punted ...but you didn't. In my sole tri (a sprint years ago) I was amazed at how easy it was to run fast immediately after the bike. It's like welcome home! You continue to inspire us. Nicely done.
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  Tim C on Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:54 pm

Michele - that is awesome and I enjoyed reading!  I always wanted to do a half IM but the swim seems so daunting.  Neither the bike or run fazes me but I figure it would take me at least a year or 2 to learn to swim that far.  That's a really good time and I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to want to do another one...

Well done!
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  Julie on Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:45 am

Congratulations ! I'm glad you persevered this year in spite of everything and you accomplished your goal . Great work !
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

Post  T Miller on Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:17 pm

Hey Michele, I haven't logged in here in forever.  I'm glad I clicked on that bookmark and found that there is still some activity on the site.  Congrats on your successful HIM!  I see from Strava that you've continued on with the swimming and cycling so it must agree with you.  I think it is a great way to relive some of the stress of running.  Thanks for the report.
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Re: Ironman 70.3 Ohio

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