IronWoman

Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation


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PR!

Sara has finished, and with a new PR!! 13:31:31! Congratulations Sara! You are a fourth time Ironman (Ironwoman)!

More later! I’ll leave you all with a few pics of the sunset, and the ever-smiling Sara!

Sunset

Sunset

More sunset

More sunset

Ironwoman!

Ironwoman!

 

Congratulations!!!


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#Latepost

Yes, I hash tagged the title. Inappropriate, I know.

So due to some late updating from IronTrac (ahem), and our attempts to see her out on the run, I haven’t been able to post until now. Sara finished the bike in 6:50:56!!! Awesome! I was able to see her on her run back in on the first loop and she was psyched to hear that.

She’s currently on the second loop of the run. We’re hoping to catch her on her way back through town and set up camp by the finish…

More soon(ish). Likely next update will be the wrap up.


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Halfway through the bike!

Well Sara and friends are just powering through the bike course! I’m happy to report the temperature is idyllic for racing today, and the rain was light and brief. We may see some rain again later, but so far so good.

Sara came through town around 11:05am looking strong and smiling big as always. I wasn’t able to get the best picture of her, but Dan Aukes snapped quite a few great shots as the girls came into town. I cannot take credit for these shots. I had some semi-decent iPhone ones, but these put me to shame.

Sara spots us

Sara spots us

Daphne waves

Daphne waves

Taking the corner

Taking the corner

Sara Hohenshelt heading towards us

Sara Hohenshelt heading towards us

Sara Hohenshelt taking the corner

Sara Hohenshelt taking the corner

Sara taking the corner

Sara taking the corner

Sorry these aren’t exactly in order! Thanks again to Dan for the images!

Sara’s pace on the first 30 miles was 19.65 mph and she completed this in 1:31:37. For the next 26 miles she maintained a pace of 15.10 climbing and had a time of 1:43:20. Nice work Sara! We’ll see you in a few!


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Ride Report: Giro di Pacifica

10,000 ft of climbing + 100 miles + 106 degrees = Giro di Pacifica Century Ride.

I joined my friend Katya (also racing LP – and she also lived in Delmar!), a few of her friends, and my friend Rachel for this organized bike ride around the South Bay.  The ride started in Pacifica, went down the coast along Rt.1 to Pescadero, then climbed over the mountains towards Palo Alto (view full route).  While we’ve cycled these roads before, this was a new overall route and we were excited about a fully supported ride (aid stations, SAG support).

The Highlights:

Not only did we go through the new Lantos “Devil’s Slide” Tunnel on Rt. 1, but Katya’s friends won the “First Through the Tunnel” option and the small group of us got the whole tunnel to ourselves.

I discovered POTATOES.  When you cannot stomach another cliff bar or Gu, try a boiled potato!  White potatoes have a high glycemic index so they provide a quick energy burst and are easy to digest.  They even keep in your jersey pocket.   I’m thinking about adding some to my special needs bag for IMLP.  Overall potato intake: Roughly 7 halves of small white potatoes.

I remembered to DRINK while climbing.  I made it up Alpine road – the toughest 7 mile climb on the route – with no trouble, thanks to my consumption of nearly 2 bottles of sports drink.  Much better than my attempt at Brockway Summit in Lake Tahoe with half a bottle of GuBrew that left me ready to vomit.

The Challenges:

The HILLS… never… ended.  There was a climb on Pescadero Creek Road leading up to Alpine.  There was a good climb between the aid stations at miles 65 and 80.  Oh, and just when we thought we were done – in Pacifica, turning back onto Rt. 1 with a mile to go – yup, you got it, one more little hill.

The heat.  Seriously.  106 degrees?  As one other cyclist said after our major descent, “It felt like I was cycling straight into a hot hairdryer.”  Most of the aid stations had no shade or tents.  I don’t know why I keep cycling in this heat.  Right now, it’s close to flooding in the Lake Placid region.

Finally, the organizers did a pretty good job, but I do have to say it was disappointing that one aid station was not set up as planned and the aid station at mile 80 had run out of sports drink.

I’m hoping I can get in another 100 miles+ this coming weekend, with a lot less heat and hills!


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It’s a Small World After IM

I already knew it was a small community of athletes going into this IM race.  There are at least 30 people I know from the Bay Area (Golden Gate Tri Club, SF Tri and M2 ) racing and my DC crew is here too (Colin, Jim, Eric and Tom).  But, what are the chances that at the athlete dinner tonight, I find myself sitting across the table from the same man I sat across the table from at the IM Wisconsin 2009 athlete dinner?

I wasn’t sure until all my questions were answered:

Did you race IM Moo 2009? Check.

Have you done 10-12 IM races? Yes, this is 14.

Are you from Mexico? Yes, Mexico City.

 

Turns out my friend Tom recognized him too.  Out of 2,800 athletes, what are the chances?

 


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The Toughest Ironman Course?

Let the debate begin! Is it St. George, Lake Placid, Wisconsin or Canada because of the hilly bike courses? Arizona or Louisville due to the heat? It’s nearly impossible to compare courses – especially since so many other factors come into play during a long race.

That’s why I really liked the article in this month’s Lava Magazine on whether “tougher” courses should have different cut-off times. Weather conditions play a huge role on race day – from the torrential rain at IMLP 2008 to the heat at IM Wisconsin in 2009, I know!  As an example, the Lava article looked at the variances in yearly attrition rates on the same course. In 2002, the DNF (Did Not Finish) rate at IM Wisconsin was 4.1 percent. Here’s the DNF rate for the following years at IM Wisconsin:

2004 = 9.8%
2005 = 19%
2006 = 10.9%
2007 = 4.7%
2008 = 5.7%
2009 = 9.3%

What can make the DNF rates so drastically different? Try temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity and 30 mph winds in 2005. And last year, the temps rose again, although only to the mid-80s.  So, based on the 2005 rate, IM Wisconsin is the toughest course and in 2002 or 2007, it was the easiest.

Every Ironman race is tough.  In fact, every time you push your body to go a longer distance, climb one more hill or hold out for one more hour in extreme heat or cold, you are pushing yourself to overcome what you at some point deemed “too hard.” I just did a run in the Marin Headlands this weekend and ran up many hills that I would have just walked a few months ago.  Was I racing the Headlands 100?  No.  Was I conquering a distance and terrain that was tough for me?  Yes.  Did I have a cheeseburger and fries at Mel’s Diner tonight to celebrate?  You bet I did.