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Ironman Augusta 70.3 - Triathlon

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Augusta, Georgia
United States
Total Time = 7h 52m 6s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Decided to race Augusta because I'm a GEORGIA GIRL now, and I feel it's my right of passage. Training went fairly well through the summer, but the forecast definitely had me concerned. Headed to town Saturday morning and went straight to athlete check in, then tried to find bike drop off. When you put the location in GPS, it took you to the swim exit, not the swim start. An actual address would have been wildly helpful. Took me about 30 minutes of going in circles and back/forth across the river and asking for directions before I found it. Then I had to walk my bike close to a mile. Not a great set up, but I got everything in place then headed to the hotel.

Checked in and then headed to the tri club dinner - got some great gluten free pizza and met some new friends. I was back at the hotel by 6 p.m. and just chilled out. Turned off the lights around 8:30 but of course didn't sleep much.
Event warmup:

Up at 4:30 a.m. and out the door just before 5:00. Parked in a parking garage across from the athlete shuttles and immediately ran into my tri club friends Chuck and Nicole. We boarded the bus together and got into transition. Used their bike pump and set everything up. Ran into the guy I went out on a date a few days ago, haha he wasn't very talkative. Ate my overnight oats and went to sunscreen and couldn't find it. Asked 2 people around me and no one had any. Sunscreen table wasn't getting any until after the swim. Texted Nicole who was running back to her car to see if she had any, then I found my sunscreen in my running shoe. Drama.

Boarded the shuttle to swim start, where I immediately stood in line for the porta potty. 20 MINUTES LATER I emptied my bowels and bladder and was ready to go. Got the tri club photo and hung out with 3 other teammates who all wanted to start at the 35-minute marker. They were super fun to chat and laugh with - it was Laurie's first time and she is hilarious. It took us almost an hour to get to the docks after the age group gun went off - which I expected.
  • 35m 41s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

I've always loved the start of triathlons, it's so exciting and energetic and I love to swim! Jumped into the Savannah River and the water felt great. As I started swimming, I saw my team mate Laurie already side stroking - she has a legitimate fear of the water and of fish. I shouted out some encouragement to her and she nodded - then off I went.

Super steady swim with no contact (yay for the rolling swim start!). Starting swimming into debris and seaweed but shook it off. Had the song that was playing at the docks in my head the whole time (MIA - Paper Planes) so kept singing "All I wanna do is SWIM SWIM SWIM SWIM" hahhaa. And man this swim was pretty much directly into the sun, so even with tinted goggles I just couldn't see a thing. I was swimming pretty far right, intentionally, and kept checking to see if the kayakers were too close, but apparently I was fine. Started shifting to the left toward the end as I thought the last bouey (that we had to clear on the left side) would be further to the left, but it wasn't.

Came up to the bouey and took it a little wide to avoid contact. Swam it into the dock with big smiles.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I thought I'd be closer to 30 minutes but the current was allegedly only about half of what it normally is due to low rain in the region. Still happy with my time and kept my effort steady.
Transition 1
  • 05m 43s

The run out of the water and into transition, though covered in a thin carpet, was stabby and rocky, so I couldn't go as fast as I wanted. At my bike, I did all the normal things and promptly forgot to use my Udder Butter I had laid out waiting for me. Realized it as I was halfway to the bike out arch and decided it was too late and risked some nether region issues. Other than that I felt totally ready to rock.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 39m 42s
  • 56.65 miles
  • 15.47 mile/hr

Took my time getting on the bike at the mount line and a volunteer was yelling "keep it moving!" and I ignored him. No way I'm going to rush getting on and crash. Thankfully got in the saddle smoothly and settled in for the ride.

This was an overall good and fun ride. Everyone told me there were three "big hills," but I counted at least five, LOL! The hills on this course weren't obnoxiously steep (I ride much steeper in Cartersville every Saturday), but they were LONG and SUSTAINED. So that slowed me down at a higher rate. Since the hills weren't as steep, I didn't feel like they were taking as much out of my legs and I felt pretty good the whole time.

One funny thing is that when I looked at the course map beforehand, I was reading it in the opposite direction. So I thought the little out and back was near the beginning, and when I was halfway through the course I panicked and thought I had missed it! It was actually near the end, and when I saw it I felt so relieved, whew I didn't unintentionally cheat :)

Had my mandatory chain drop at mile 37 - popped it back on, good to go. This is a totally standard, casual event for me now.

On many of the downhills, I took my feet out of the pedals to try and get ahead of my hot foot issues. It only flared painfully one or two times, so this was a great strategy, even though it slowed me down a little. At the last aid station I grabbed a GU because I was kind of hungry and running out of Infinite, but one swallow and it tasted so gross. Tossed the rest.

Coming back into town it started to get tedious and I was ready to be done. I could tell the temperature was climbing and I was getting nervous for the run. As I made my way to transition in the last half mile, I gave myself a pep talk, saying out loud "you did so good! You're so strong and you're going to have a great run." And I cried a little bit because biking used to be SO HARD for me. I've come a long ways.
What would you do differently?:

I can't think of anything immediately. I didn't over-ride and I did great on nutrition and hydration.
Transition 2
  • 06m 3s

Took my bike shoes off to run to my rack, but the uneven ground made it difficult. Ended up walking it in. Did a quick transition and was relieved that I had to pee (good sign on my bike hydration!) so I hit up the porta potty in transition - then let the sunscreen volunteers coat my upper body before heading out.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 24m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 15m 38s  min/mile

I knew this was going to be rough, and it absolutely was. Started out like OK... I can run... let's see for how long. Did my 4:1 interval for a few miles then I was already dizzy. Started walking about every 2 minutes, then it just got awful. I couldn't keep my heart rate down, and my breathing was out of control. I was genuinely scared I was going to have some sort of health issue so walked as much as I had to.

Going by the tri club tent, Tim came out and gave me a huge high five, lots of cheers (I was running for that, ha!) but then my energy died down. I was putting handfuls of ice in my bra and down my pants at every aid station. Downing water and Gatorade. Nothing was helping.

Got to the 2nd loop and I knew I would finish, it was just a question of how slow. Not much running happened on the 2nd loop, a few steps here and there. Didn't bother to run past the tri club tent, where I saw Chuck and others already done with their finishers medals. More boob ice. More holding ice in my hands. I put ice in my hat at one point, but it actually hurt my head, so I abandoned that idea.

Before the last five miles, my legs actually felt FINE (which was so frustrating), it was just the heat and my heart rate. But as I neared 5, 4, 3 miles out, my head hurt bad and my feet hurt bad. Very tedious. So hot. Second guessing lots of things in these last miles.

I walked all the way until I hit the red carpet and decided to shuffle it in. Half Ironman #13 done.
What would you do differently?:

Somehow adapt to running well in a heat index of 99 with no shade.
Post race
Warm down:

Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just get to some shade!! I bee-lined to a curb in the shade and sad down, immediately ugly crying into my lap. It's what I do. I was so emotional about the bad run and wondering how I'm going to do the full Ironman next year that I just signed up for. So depleted and wanted to do better. I let myself feel my feelings because I think it's important to do that. Reminded myself I still finished on a brutal day and I'm glad I did.

Got my morning bag and went to my car so I could drive down to transition to pick up my bike. Except all of the roads were closed, there was no signage, and I literally spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get there. Finally I found a side street accessible from the long way around and parked to do my mile walk and back for my bike. This lovely "bonus round" was completely awful. They do not make this easy, and it's one of the reasons I'll probably never do this race again. I can't stress enough how terrible the post-race experience was.

Finally back at the hotel I showered and immediately walked across the street to get Mexican food to-go. As I was waiting for an exorbitantly long time, I started to feel sick and dizzy. I thought I was either going to throw up or pass out, started seeing stars so put my head between my knees. Then I got uncontrollably cold, shaking and shivering. A random lady came over to see if I was OK. I must have looked awful. She was so nice and when my food came, she insisted on walking me back to the hotel to make sure I got in OK. It was nearly 8 p.m. by this time and I hadn't eaten anything but half a gel and a few handfuls of cereal since the bike.

Started eating the carbs and slowly felt better. I was bundled under the covers in the hotel bed I was so freezing cold. I had all the food splayed out on the bed trying not to spill on the white sheets, I'm sure it was a sight to see! My mom called and I shouldn't have told her how bad I felt or that I almost passed out, because now she's even more negative about me doing the full Ironman next year. I'll get there when I get there.

Anyway, the trip was topped off by Capital One texting the next morning saying my credit card had been compromised, so it's now shut off as I head off to Charleston for 2 days. YAY! Haha not a huge deal just annoying.

After writing all of this, I feel it's really skewed negative. When in reality, I had a great swim and bike - and am proud of that. There was nothing I could do about the 99 degree heat index on the run, so I know I need to be kinder to myself.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat, body composition, high heart rate.

Event comments:

Great course, but only 3/5 stars for a few reasons. The logistics for this race are sort of awful, with transition being a good mile's walk from anywhere they let you park. So bike drop off and pick up after the race are not easy at all, ESPECIALLY if you are racing solo. The other reason is simply Mother Nature and the heat on the run. This year the heat index was 99 degrees, and with little shade on the run it's difficult to manage. Overall a 'good' race, but I probably won't be back.

Last updated: 2018-12-31 12:00 AM
00:35:41 | 2112 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Roka speed suit
Course: Point to point in the Savannah River
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:43
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:39:42 | 56.65 miles | 15.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: 1 loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:03
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:24:55 | 13.1 miles | 15m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2019-09-30 3:57 PM

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Alpharetta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: Ironman Augusta 70.3

2019-09-30 8:07 PM
in reply to: #5262973

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Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3

Great swim and bike!!  Sorry the run was so brutal.  Reminds me of my experience on year doing Syracuse but you finished!  I DNF'd.  So good on you for hanging in there and getting the medal.  You did the best you could under some challenging conditions.

2019-10-01 11:00 AM
in reply to: #5262973

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Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3

Ugh, heat, high heat = bad running.  Glad you were smart enough to walk when you needed to walk and not push the issue.  Excellent job on the swim and bike!  Hopefully you can figure out what caused the post-race chills and dizziness and avoid that in future races.  

2019-10-01 11:17 AM
in reply to: melbo55

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3
Congrats on crossing that finish line!!
2019-10-02 9:55 AM
in reply to: amymengel

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3

Congratulations on finishing! 

Augusta is not Wisconsin. You will be fine.  You have the hills for the bike training.  Even if it's a hot day in Madison, it will be cooler and less humid that Augusta on the run.

2019-10-02 10:03 AM
in reply to: #5262973

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Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3

I know a few people who raced Augusta and they really suffered with the heat too. It sounds like it was quite miserable out there, but you did it and you had a great swim and bike; so great job!   

2019-10-02 5:00 PM
in reply to: #5262973

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3
Very nice race report, well written as usual ! Nice work under some tough conditions. I've got this race on my radar, my dad lives just north of Athens so I can take advantage of a lengthened helping of that good 'ol southern hospitality.
2019-10-03 9:42 AM
in reply to: reecealan

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3
Great job! Happy to hear you had smiles on the swim and bike
The run and heat sound awful, and just more kuddos on completing it healthy!
2019-10-03 12:13 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3
Omg that heat index! You did so good to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The fact that you had a good swim and bike also set you up as well as possible.
Logistically.....ugh. One and done for Augusta, I guess?
2019-10-08 9:40 AM
in reply to: Atlantia

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Augusta 70.3
honestly heat like that scares me! Congrats for surviving and having a good swim and bike to boot!

Janyne is right - Wisconsin isn't Atlanta - you'll be fine
(it's not chattanooga either!)
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