YES! I am just so happy with my race this weekend. Funny…I did NOT race Racine 70.3. That is another Jennifer Harrison – from Wisconsin and younger than me! LOL. Funny…I have always had people with the same name as me – that is what happens when you are a JENNIFER! I actually raced Door County ½ Ironman up in Northern Wisconsin. It is a fun, hillier race and usually cooler. Ha! Not this year.
I was really looking forward to racing. After my heat debacle at Eagleman, I have done nothing but work hard at getting down my rest and training and nutrition. I actually absolutely re-did my entire nutrition plan. I realized I have not done well in the heat in longer races lately – so something massive had to change.
First, I rested a lot. I think I went into Eagleman a little tired. And, well, we know if we are tired even 1% we are in trouble. Second, I could have easily of done Racine 70.3 – it is MUCH closer for me, but honestly, I wanted a hilly course. If I was going to race another ½ IM in July – it needed to be a new one and a place I wanted to go. And, I had 8 other athletes – 5 of who I traveled with – doing Door County ½.
For my nutrition, I changed my drink. My old drink combo was not working and the sodium/electrolyte count was not good (too low). I changed to EFS and LOVE IT. I changed my gels. I was taking GU – but the electrolyte count was too low – so I went back to my standard Power Gels that I used to race on…that have 200 mg of sodium each. And, I changed my electrolyte /salt supplement. I went to the Salt Stick – again, more electrolytes.
I wrote down my entire race day nutrition plan – down to the grams of CHO per hour I would take in. And, I followed it like a robot.
The heat at Door County was oppressive. The race did not start until 8am and it was going to get to 100F during the race! Honestly, it was a tough day…but I was prepared. I knew that in order for me to have a good race, I had to under-ride the bike. I was able to step back from the race itself and dial my bike back so much that I felt like I was riding a tricycle out there. I knew I was going slow – so slow I could have sang the entire time, but honestly, I needed that. And, I did NOT wear my AERO helmet – I wore my helmet that had 1000 vents in it so I could pour water down it at every chance I got. And, I raced in the Elite wave, which went off 1st, versus my AG that went off 55 minutes later! Eeks!
The water was AWESOME! 70F degrees up there and it was awesome – choppy and head on current. I just stretched it out and kept contact with the one gal in front of me and just chilled out. Got out the water in 2nd and passed the girl right away on the bike. Now being in 1st and being chased by everyone – while deciding you were going to ride so easy is not the easiest thing I have ever done. But, I did not care. I needed to under-ride that bike so that when I got off, I could run in 100F temps. THIS would be the difference in the race for everyone this day.
One gal passed me – around mile 35. She was either going to blow up or win. She ended up winning (LOL). Then another girl passed me at mile 45, but she was off. She was working too hard so I ended up passing her easily around mile 50 and I am not sure she finished the race. She just rode too hard in those conditions, I think.
I got off the bike and was in 2nd place. WHILE we were all running pretty damn slowly out there – the good news is that we were running. I rode and ran all by myself. When you race in the Elite wave, you are solo out there – which is fine for me. We had minimal shade, so open country roads with 100F and blasting sun. OUCH. And, this is not a 70.3 race so aide stations were not every mile. But, b/c of the heat advisory, the RD stepped up the fluids and he did a great job considering we were in a sea of ambulances all day!
I was running well. In fact, I felt amazing. And, you know what? I WAS HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!! I had turned my watch off because I knew it was going to be slow for everyone – including me – my job was to find the 1st place girl and hold off 3rd place. I felt so good I didn’t know what to do with myself. I would have hammered that pace if was not so hot, but I had to behave. It was a hilly course, so I needed to be a good girl. I stuck to my race plan.
I ran the entire half marathon solo. Like 1-2 guys anywhere near me. But, coming back I was so happy because I saw so many athletes heading out on the run – fun!
I held on – even in that melting heat for 2nd Elite….I crossed the line in 2nd, which was awesome. I was so happy that I felt good, put together a solid race and held everyone off while totally riding super light. I knew that some AG gals could push me down a bit, but podium at this race was TOP 5 overall. When it was said and done, I was 5th Overall and I won my AG by 20 minutes! STOKED. So, even though we were all so slow, I threw out all my times and raced the conditions and the girls instead of the clock.
Here is what I ate/drank on that bike that saved my ass in that heat:
As soon as I got onto the bike I started drinking my EFS. I immediately took an electrolyte tab and took one every 30 minutes. I drank 100 oz on that ride in 2.4x.. 75 oz of EFS and 25 oz of water. I also dumped water over my head EVERY aide station. I took in 5 powergels for the ride…and honestly wanted more. I never had one stomach issue and even peed a ton clear in T2. I know that if I can do that, I will have a good run. I got out on the roads and I had my legs and felt amazing! So, it worked. In my guesstimation, I under-rode that course by 7-8 minutes. Yep, that much…but that was worth it and the reason I ended up overall much better.
And, you know what else I did? I called Kiwami and asked for a 2 piece TRI SUIT…..I had to get out of my one piece hot black one. I love it, but in that heat, I need more vents. I have not raced in a 2 piece since before I had the twins….but at 40 I don’t care anymore, stretch marks and all. I had ICE down my top the entire race to keep my core temps down and that helped a ton, of course. I just stayed soaking wet all day. And, because I was out on the course early, the water was cold in some places! The volunteers were awesome!
And, lastly, I went in TOTALLY topped off on my glycogen levels. I ate pancakes on Saturday, I had a bagel, huge bag of pretzels, pasta….I was totally sick of carbs, but damn did it work and double damn if I did not feel like 100000 bucks.
I am so tired of the sun. Yes, I said it. After I finished I was crazy person trying to find everyone out on the course – it was going to be a very long day for most – and I did not see Barb or Terri, but I happened to see everyone else! Since it was a late start, we didn’t leave the race venue until nearly 5pm! Congrats to : Mia (PR!), Katie, Emily (4th AG), Karen (4th AG!), Marc J, Stacie J-M, Terri and Barb for a great day on a tough day. And, hats off to Katie and Mia who drove with me 5 hours each way – and listened to me blabbering and singing to Kid Rock. Gotta love them!!! We had some interesting chats. J
And, I did make a coaching change and he has been so great. Very happy. More on that later.
Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend – it was a HOT nasty day out there- so kudos to YOU!
Success at Door County 1/2 Ironman!