Sunday, April 19th was the New Orleans 70.3. I had been focused on this race for a few months, and I was excited to race at sea level (below sea level). I was a little nervous since I hadn’t swam in open water since November + the first race of the year (regardless of the sport) is always doubtful for me.
The forecast called for downpours of rain, so we had the expectation that the race would be tough. Biking is so dangerous in wet conditions, and running is just uncomfortable. As luck would have it, the rain stopped Saturday, and it was just so humid! After being in Colorado for over 2 years, I have lost my tolerance for humidity.
All of the women 40 and over were grouped together for the swim, and we were the very last swim wave. We had to wait almost an hour after the pros jumped in the water! We had to jump off a dock as groups of 8, so there was no mass chaos at the start like most races. There was no warm-up area, so it really was jump in and swim! I was surprised at how comfortable I felt in the water, and I became more confident when I started passing people in waves ahead of me. I forgot to start my watch, so I had no idea what my time was. The results show 32 minutes, but I suspect the course was short by a couple of minutes. I do not swim that fast.
The bike went well for the first 40 miles. The course is very flat, but your legs have to be moving constantly. The clouds started to disappear, and the sun was shining making it more warm. I went through 40 miles in under 2 hours, which is a good clip, but the last 16 miles were awful–directly into a headwind. I don’t bike well in wind, so my main goal is always to keep good form and not wobble back and forth losing energy. My bike pace slowed, and I ended up with an average of 19.5–tying my existing bike PR. Oh well!
I got off the bike, and my legs felt great. I didn’t have the wobbles, and when I left transition, I was ready for a good run split. Unfortunately, my stomach had a different idea. About 2 minutes into the run, I began feeling sick. For the entire run, I felt like I was going to throw up. My legs, lungs and entire body felt amazing, but something was up with my stomach. I usually don’t have stomach issues that early into a race, but I guess it wasn’t my day. I stuck to my fueling plan, so I have no idea what happened. I ended up running a 1:53, and I was aiming for 1:40. I was pretty bummed about it. Only 2 women in my age group broke 1:50, and there were only a few of us out of 70+ that broke 2 hours. Maybe it was the heat? It did get to near 90 on the run–something I wasn’t ready for this early in the season.
Overall: 5:25, still managed a teeny PR. 14 AG. Goal was sub 5:20 and top 10, but can’t complain too much. I know some things I need to work on going forward for this year. Plus, New Orleans is a fun city!
4/20: Back home. Watched Boston Marathon replay and napped.
4/21: Had to coach in the evening, so I got in 4.95 miles. Legs didn’t feel too tired, but I wouldn’t have run if I didn’t have to.
4/23: Light weight workout
4/24: 3.05 miles in the morning before work. Surprised that I ran 23:55. Happy hour after work with the gals!
4/25: 8 mile run averaging 7:07. Wanted to try some up-tempo miles, so I ran to the park where my husband was running and met him for a ride home. Not sure why my legs had so much pep, but hopefully that meant New Orleans was a fluke. Later in the day, tagged along with my husband to the pool for 1,000 meters.
Running: 29.1 miles
Biking: 56 miles
Swimming: 1,82 miles
Weights: 35 minutes