the augusta chronicles

October 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm 6 comments

i was ready. after a long drive to georgia on friday and a shorter one into augusta saturday morning.  between the time spent with the bunny and being together again with B3 i couldn’t have asked for more and the weekend was already proving to be perfect. we spent saturday night at dinner carb loading and catching up and the energy and excitement was amazing. i knew without a doubt that i was ready; physically and emotionally.

sunday morning i got to transition early and found B3 already setting up. turns out i was lucky i was running a little behind her. not 5 minutes before i got there, they had called the race not wetsuit legal. i instantly felt a wave of nausea but B3 quickly finished that they had reversed the call. i seriously would have come unglued had i been there. i was relying on the buoyancy of the suit to get me through the swim. i got set up and headed up river to the swim start.

i was swim wave 12. start time of 8:16 a.m. forty six minutes into the race. i was worried the wait would give me too much time to think. too much time to worry but i kept in check. i knew it was going to be essential. i had no energy to give fear. i was going to need every bit of it.

a final good luck hug

a final good luck hug from B3

they called my wave on deck and after a short wait we headed down to the water. i didn’t hesitate. slipped off the dock into the cold water and tried to keep myself far enough away from the other swimmers. the last thing i wanted to do was be caught up in chaos. i was ok to hold back. take it slow. i’d learned in the sprint tri that a few extra minutes on the swim were fine. necessary even to keep me from freaking out. but i simply focused on breathing and there was no panic. no adrenaline dump. the horn sounded and we were off.

i'm in there somewhere

i’m in there somewhere

the water was murky. my goggles fogged. not a minute in i was accosted by a clump of river grass. and i had to fight to keep my distance from the random foot in my face or arm in my side. but it was invigorating. smooth. i have a new love for wetsuits. i settled into a nice stroke coming up only a few times to make sure i was sighting straight. i found myself singing in my head. the same song i use sometimes when struggling through the last of a run. 99 bottles of beer on the wall. haha! not sure why i ever started but it settles me into a rhythm and before i knew it i saw the hill i knew indicated the nearing boat ramp we were to exit.

it was a short run into transition where the infamous wetsuit strippers were waiting. best thing ever. you get your wetsuit down to your waist then lie on your back. they grab, pull and strip. mere seconds and you’re free. i picked up my suit and ran to my bike and instantly realized stupid novice mistakes. my bike shoes were velcroed closed. my helmet wasn’t unhooked. dumb dumb dumb. and it made me start to rush. but i stopped myself. just like the swim, i had told myself ahead of time to take the extra minute or two in transition. breath. gear on. nutrition stocked. let’s ride.

as i ran out of transition the clock caught my eye. i tried to subtract 46 minutes off the time to see where i was but it seemed wrong. it is what it is i thought and took to the road. the first few miles were ugly. getting out of the city. trying to find a pace. i knew where i aimed to be but i seemed to be going faster without feeling like i was pushing. i pulled it back just a bit but decided to go with what i felt. carefully. we crossed over the state line into south carolina and the scenery ~ and topography ~ completely changed. here were the hills i’d never ridden. they started off small. constant rollers. but they grew. it was like nothing i’d ever tackled before and i started to worry that i was pushing too hard and wouldn’t last. but it was here where words a friend had written me on friday came to mind. words that changed everything.

remember to thank your body for allowing your soul this experience.

looking around at the gorgeous south carolina countryside it all became clear. this was not a physical battle i was being forced to fight. this was an emotional experience that i had chosen to give myself. i took in every sight. every sound. every smell. i encouraged and cheered on every rider i passed. and merely smiled as others flew by me. i kept a watchful eye on my bike computer. regardless of how giddy i felt i still had goals. but i was happy that ~ purposefully ~ i had only set the computer to show my pace and not my time. fifty six miles later, when i dismounted in transition, i had no idea what my time was and it felt oddly ok.

let's ride

a quick change of shoes and bike gear gone and i was off on the run. smiling. this was the only place i had allowed myself a watch. mostly just for pace control but i knew run time was going to be essential. i felt great! i was that happy chipper runner that every other runner wants to smack and for that i kept my mouth shut. i could hear complaining all around me. the most resonating one the conversation i heard between two guys who could say little more than “embrace the suck man. embrace the suck”. to me nothing about this sucked. yes it hurt. yes it was tough. but it was amazing!

on the run

it was around mile 5 where i knew i had a problem. sorry for the TMI i am about to give you but there’s no saying this nicely. i had to crap. serious stomach ready to explode crap. i argued with it. i’ve never never had to stop mid run. race or training. to go. it worked for awhile. off and on. but eventually i knew i was in trouble. to make matters worse, there seemed to be a lack of port-a-potties course side. and my fear, almost as bad as not making it, was that i’d find no toilet paper inside. the run was a two loop course and i knew that a couple of the water stations were handing out freezing wet sponges to cool your body temp. and those sponges were my goal! it was around mile 10 i found them. still running. still fighting. i grabbed two, tucked one in each strap of my sports bra and went in search of the elusive john. it got bad. real bad. i almost stopped to walk just to keep things together. but i kept pace and at mile 12 ~ yes mile 12! 1.1 miles to go ~ i saw the port-a-potty and had to make a decision. a sudden loud gurgle of my stomach made it for me and i ran for relief. it didn’t take long. and there was even tp to spare.

with a mile to go i suddenly felt lighter 😉 and i picked up the pace and as i neared the finish i could hear the crowd cheering. i went to sprint the chute. or at least sprint in comparison to the run i was doing, but as soon as i sprung off the first step, my leg seized! i almost fell. here i was, the last yards of my first half ironman, having not walked a step except water stations, and i was sure i was going to have to walk or even crawl it in. but then i saw the clock. math, bec, do the math. i knew what it should have said. anything under 7:14:59 was my sub 6:30 goal. how was it then that the number on the clock started with 6? that couldn’t be right. subtraction never seemed so hard but all numbers seemed to say sub-6. i was distracted enough to forget my leg and somehow it carried me across the line.

it took a little while for me to find the bunny and i was still clueless on my time. she pulled out her phone. she’d been tracking me on ironman live all day. and showed me my splits.

swim ~ 29:09 ~ 1:30/100m holy crap!
bike ~ 3:10:48 ~ 17.61 mi/h
run ~ 2:07:43 ~ 9:44/mi

thank you body for allowing my soul the experience of finishing the 2012 augusta half ironman ~ 70.3 miles ~ in 5:57:50!

half ironman!

half ironman!

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Entry filed under: biking, half ironman, running, swimming, training, triathlon.

enough is enough i’m all out of love

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  October 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I could not wait to read your recap. This entire post had me smiling — what a fantastic way to look at the experience and probably the most motivating way too! Not only did your soul experience this, you friggan rockeddddd it! 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Michelle  |  October 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Wow! Amazing time – CONGRATS!!!

    Reply
  • 3. Miss Mile High  |  October 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Congrats! What an awesome post!

    Reply
  • 4. kitkat1126  |  December 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    For the record, I was amazed before about your results…and now that I’ve just started training I am even more amazed. Your swim time is friggan awesome!

    Reply
    • 5. becelisa  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      thanks 🙂 but trust me when i say that the augusta swim itself was part of that. you can’t beat a half IM swim in a river, with current that’s wet suit legal.

      Reply
      • 6. kitkat1126  |  December 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        a river, I love it! I guess I’m just glad mine is in a lake vs. my first tri that was in the wavy ocean. Although I think I would take Maine ocean critters over NY lake critters. {Shudder}

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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