Vikingman 70.3


70.3 miles Total 7:04:42

1.2 mile Swim 40 minutes

T1 6 minutes

56 mile Bike 3:50 (15 miles an hour)

T2 8:30

13.1 Run 2:19 (10:30 minute per mile)

Clearly, the bike is my weakness! I didn’t expected that to change, since the only two triathlons I’ve competed in were two weeks apart. I really wanted to see where I was at so I could focus my training and compare results to next year.

Next year, I want to complete the St. George half Ironman (May 2015) and the Tahoe full Ironman (September 2015).

Vikingman was an adventure. J$ and I pulled into Heywood, Idaho during a downpour. He looked at me and said, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

I grinned. “It can’t keep this up. It will blow itself out and tomorrow will be beautiful.”

He was not optimistic. It continued to rain alternating between a sprinkle to torrential rains throughout the afternoon and night. The wind crept in every now and again along with lightning and thunder.

We woke up at 5:00 am and drove to get coffee (me) and Mountain Dew (J$). When we got back, we put our numbers on our legs and arms and took our running and bike stuff over to transition.

I can describe the transition area in one word. Swamp. The rains from the last few days had turned the entire area into a grassy muddy mess. We set up our stuff trying to keep things dry and still have quick access to it.

We took the shuttle to the swim start at 7 a.m. It was 50 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no wind which both J$ and I were grateful for. J$’s start time was 7:30 a.m. and mine was 7:35 a.m. The water temperature was 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

We stood around shivering while the officials told us absolutely no drafting on the bike and no ipods or music during the entire event.

The water was cold, but warmer than standing on shore. I didn’t have any problems during the swim portion of the race, other than getting out of the current once. Since they had the half, Olympic, and sprint distances starting between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., when I saw a group of swimmers on the shore I started to go toward the shore thinking it was the swim out. It wasn’t. It was the sprint start. Thank goodness I realized it before I was completely ashore.

Once I was out of the water and my wetsuit was stripped off, I was freezing cold. I shoved food in my mouth with shaking hands, pulled on bike shorts, and a jacket. I tried to dry my feet and keep them mud free before putting them into socks and shoes, but it didn’t work out too well.

The bike course consisted of four loops. I don’t mind doing loops, but four is a lot. The course was flat, but southern Idaho is known for its wind. We had a tail wind going east (don’t quote me on the direction I could be wrong, but you get the idea). A cross wind going north and south, and a head wind going west.

The wind was constant at about 20 mph and the gusts were probably about 30 mph, needless to say, they slowed us down going north, south and especially west. I’m not the best cyclist, but I’ve done my share of 100 mile rides. I can typically finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes. So, when 56 miles took 3 hours and 50 minutes, I was a little frustrated and just wanted to get off the freaking bike!

Once into transition, I again tried to stay out of the swampy mess by standing on plastic bags and my towel, which was now covered in mud. I pulled off my bike shorts and changed socks and shoes.

During the swim, I had passed J$, but he caught up to me in the last two miles of the bike. We came into transition about a minute apart and headed out on the run together.

That first mile after being on a bike is tough! But once we got our running legs back, we trucked along at a steady pace. We worked in some walk breaks because we were both beat to death by the wind on the bike course. I have to say a loop course that comes within a tenth of a mile to the finish line is cruel and unusual punishment, not motivation.

On the second loop of the run course, I looked at J$ and said, “So I guess you need more than five days to taper for a half ironman. Next time, I won’t run back to back long runs (25/20 mile) the weekend before.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” he said.

What’s the plan from here? I refuse to drop my running miles or give up running ultramarathons, so I know I will not be as strong on the bike as other triathletes. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I am going to try to work in a spin class in during the fall and winter one night a week. I am also going to work on doing intervals on my trainer on my own. Finally, I am going to save up and get a tri-bike next spring/summer.

2 thoughts on “Vikingman 70.3

    • Nicole Lowe August 28, 2014 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks Claire! it was a lot of fun. Vikingman is a great event for a first time or beginning triathlete. Especially if the swimming is a concern.

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