First half Ironman race experience of a lifetime!

First half Ironman race experience of a lifetime!

by Jennie F.

It started as a bucket list idea to complete the full Ironman by age of 40, and I got reminded of this bucket list item as I turned 37, and I figured, since I know nothing about racing triathlons, I need to start now. I signed up for the half Ironman at Muncie without knowing anything, and without even owning a bike! Let the journey begin. My goal was to race and to complete in 7 hours, and to have fun enough that I will want to continue this dream to complete a full Ironman.

Through talking about it with others that I worked out with, I started to get some interest from others that they would join me on this adventure, some who have done this race before and some who are like me, new.

Once I signed up, I decided after a few weeks of on my own training through the internet, I needed a coach, that if I am going to do this race, I am going to do it the right way and try to actually be good at it. I started to attend the Master Swim Class and I met, Vicky Tate of ET Personal Coaching Services.  After talking with her, I knew she was a perfect fit for me, plus she was my neighbor! Vicky is amazing to work with, she pushed me, she analyzed my results and she kept pushing me to do more, harder and faster!

Fast forward the countless miles that I rode, ran and swam, it’s the day before the race. I now have 5 other people, who when we started where just a friendly face, but now are considered my life long friends, sitting down to talk about our day before race jitters. We are having coffee and the topic of goals and times for the race comes up. I being shy about vocalizing my goal says minimal. After being told that my goal of 6 hours was not fast enough as my trainings were having me to go faster than that, I vocalized my actual goal of 5:52. At that point it became real, that I have to go that fast or else….

Race day, it is hot, hot, hot. Back and forth about wet suits being allowed or not allowed, I decided to race in a swim skin, and not risk the wet suit. The gun goes off, and it is go time. My swim went well, 34 minutes, onto the bike, where my odometer had broken so I was unsure of my mph pace, oh well, just keep riding! I was pleasantly pleased with my pace of 19mph and was way ahead of my internal schedule to complete this in 5:52. Onto the run, the dreaded HOT 92, not a cloud in the sky run. I made a promise to myself to not walk except through the aid stations where I must take every water and Gatorade to stay hydrated. I broke the run into 13 1 mile runs, and little by little I was getting it done. I look at my watch halfway through the run and realize I am way ahead of my internal clock and that I have a shot to break 5:40, this got my heart racing! I maintained my composure as 4 miles left to a race is still a good distance. When I came to my last 2 miles, I once again checked my watch and I thought there was a chance to break 5:35, so it was go time! I crossed the finish line at 5:34:51 and had the first half Ironman race experience of a lifetime!

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