My Best and my Worst – Ironman 70.3 Racine

In short, my swim was slower than expected because of mini tsunami-like waves, my bike was the fasted bike split I’ve ever done, and my run was my personal worst 13.1, but I still PR’ed the 70.3 distance.

Continue reading below for a more lengthy version.

The swim, words can not do the waves justice…


I’m just really glad that I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable in the water. I saw a lot of people holding onto the buoys for dear life. I just swam with a purpose, to get to the swim exit.

The bike was uneventful–HOORAY!! No flats, no chain slips, no mental breakdowns…Just bumpy roads that hurt my butt. All of my training on the hilly Ironman Wisconsin route paid off, it was my fasted bike split to date!


If only my attitude about being comfortable with being uncomfortable in the swim carried over to the run portion. It took 2-3 miles for the wobbly feeling in the quads to clear up. It was noon, 80 degrees, sunny, not ideal temps, but still 10 degrees cooler than last year. My legs were fatigued, along with my will. I just didn’t have any ambition to run. I walked, a lot.

Running used to be a strong suit for me, but with full Ironman training I’ve put so much focus on my bike training that my running has slipped. I first noticed this at Rock ‘N Sole 13.1 in June. Training for triathlons truly is a juggling act.

I wanted to try for a PR on the run course, I ended up finishing 3 minutes slower than last year’s time. Whoops. So yes, I am a little disappointed in myself for not digging deep, pushing harder, training harder, etc, etc.. But I’m not whining or beating myself up about it. I’m simply expressing disappointment in that area. There’s work to be done in the running department.

Of course, overall I am happy about my finish. I’m so comfortable with the distances that I forget to step back and look at the big picture, 70.3 really is a big task. It’s an accomplishment and it’s silly that I overlook it (though forgive me, I do have the full Ironman on my brain). I woke up at 3:45 AM, braved the waves, did my best on the bike, and put one foot in front of the other to get closer to that finisher’s medal. I get to proudly say that I’m a two time half Ironman finisher!


Swim 1.2 miles:  41:11

T1 – 5:33 (wtf do I DO that takes so long? Knit myself some bike gloves?)

Bike 56 miles:  3:09:45 (a 10 minute PR over last year’s time)

T2 – 3:21

Run:  2:29:39

Overall:  6:29:29 (a 2 minute PR from last year)


25 thoughts on “My Best and my Worst – Ironman 70.3 Racine

  1. I’m going to steal your first pic of the monster waves but I’ll give you credit!!!

    You faired much better than me in the water. I did HORRIBLE. I wasn’t scared. Just couldn’t get a rhythm and spent too much time looking up, readjusting from being pushed by the waves. Not much real swimming at all. Not my best day by far. And then I used up so much energy in the swim, that I was all done by the time I got out of the water. My bike was the worst ever and could they have found any bumpier roads???? Geeeez.

  2. Congrats on another 70.3 finish! The thing with tris is that you will always have parts that are better than others and some days it’s hard to predict which part that will be. PS. If you want to whine about a section of your own race you get to. No one gets to tell you how to react to your own training and accomplishments.

    • Thanks! Good point, there’s so many more conditions in triathlons to deal with!
      I just didn’t want my disappointment misconstrued as whining.

  3. I’m so proud of you! First, I can only DREAM of posting those splits. I’m hoping to finish in the time limit at my next HIM. Next, 70.3 is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a very long way. You are a rock star, and you always impress me with your training, races and attitude!

    • That is something that I think about when I feel disappointment, that there are people out there who would be thrilled with my splits. Thanks! Looking forward to following your training for your HIM in 2014!

  4. Girl, you might be disappointed a little, but overall I like your attitude. Plus, look at it this way…you did ALOT better than I did in my 70.3 this year. I totally know the feeling of swimming in water like that. This year at my 70.3, it was like swimming in a washing machine. It makes it tough, but it’s still doable.

  5. Congrats on an incredible race. awesome PR too! 70.3 is a huge accomplishment (I know this, I just did a my first a few weeks ago and still relsihing in it), you may not have gotten the run time you wanted but you still had a really solid day. You swam a great time in those damn waves (holy cow) and had a super speedy bike!

  6. When I saw the medal and THOUGHT about all you did, I really was impressed! There is no way you can compare your 13.1 time in a 70.3 to any other circumstances. You rock!

  7. Congrats girl!! You will rock at IM Wisconsin! Your on track and don’t let this run time disappoint you. Focusing on the bike is the most important because its the only way you can come off the bike half strong. I raced Racine this year and your picture of the waves don’t even do justice to what was out there. That was a crazy swim! On your run this is a trick I found that has worked like a charm. Wear a watch with interval timing. Set it for anywhere for a 1-3 minute run and then walk between 15 and 30 seconds. It keeps you moving and keeps your head from telling your body that you can’t do it. You can do anything for a minute or two knowing you will get a break soon. Run straight if you can but if you can’t, run/walk with a watch if you can’t. I’ve done WI Ironman 2010 and Racine 5 times and it took me a while to rock the run. The run walk will take a lot of time off your run. Good luck in WI! I am volunteering this year and cheering for all you athletes. AND huge congrats on your finish in Racine!

    • Thanks for your input, I am definitely going to do a run/walk method for the full Ironman. I did it for the middle miles of my last marathon and I’ve never felt stronger finishing a marathon!

  8. Those waves look intense…especially considering you had to swim against them! I can hardly swim in a still pool! Great job on your race and congrats on the bike PR…and HIM PR! 🙂

  9. As you well know, it’s not a swim, bike and run….it’s a triathlon so the fact that your 13.1 at the end of 70.3 wasn’t your fastest ever, is totally irrelevant….You had a certain number of matches to burn and did a pretty damn good job managing them throughout the day….Thats what this game is all about….energy management!!

    Manage those matchsticks all day long and when you get to the last few miles of the run….burn em’ up….
    Great job!! 🙂

  10. I found your blog through a shared pic of the Waves on Facebook. I did Racine for my second time as well and seeing your pic of the water brought it all back. Such a difference in the water from last year. It’s funny but I could take your whole summary and post it as mine, right up to the waking up at 3:45 and the disappointment in some parts of the race (I just can’t get the run right). But over all, I finished and took 24 minutes off my time from last year, so as everyone is telling me…..knock it off and be happy you survived and improved. Great Job and Good Luck at Ironman Wisconsin. Our little group has not yet made the leap to the big race. Sounds to me like you’re ready!!!

  11. Congratulations! I admire so much that you braved those waves. I would have freaked out. I really admire how you pushed through this one and are taking pride in your achievement.

  12. Nice job – those waves look crazy…. Training definitely is a juggling game, you concentrate on your weaker legs and don’t focus as much on the things you do well. Don’t sweat the run, you will be fine. Most of my running PRs came right after my ironman. Don’t know why or how but it seems to work that way!

  13. I would love to try that (err, perhaps I souhld figure out how far 2.4 miles is in metres first ) and would join you for sure if it wasn’t for the weather in the North of the UK at the moment I souhld be able to get in the runs and swims, but my road back has NO tyre grip at all so if there’s even the slightest hint of frost I’d have trouble with the biking aspect. I’ll need to have a look at the forecast!Good luck at your 5K A proper Iron Man would be a Bucket List goal of mine but I don’t really see it happenning I have enough trouble just with marathons!xxx

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