Friday, October 3, 2014


Augusta done- Time for some rest! 

This was my first time doing Augusta 70.3. I had signed up for the race in the spring long before I had signed up before Louisville. WOW! I can honestly say that I won't be doing in this order ever again! Next IM will be followed by a full month of rest for this gal.

Coming off of Lou, I was tired, as one usually is coming off of an IM.  I think that the 100 degree marathon in LOU sucked more out of me than anything a few weeks ago and the body just doesn't bounce back quick from something like that. 

Most coaches recommend an athlete not train for another long event at least 4-5 weeks post Ironman. I began to train one week after. Rich said I was nuts for doing Augusta. In was a little bonkers. I totally get that now! Here's a great article about 140.6  Recovery--Bouncing Back from Ironman. Training leading up to Augusta was sub par. I had a few good runs, had a good good rides and wasn't really worried about the swim. I got on with it under the watchful eye of coach. The week prior to the race, I hit a hole. No, not a pothole...a dig yourself in the fatigue hole. I was tired. My faster paced runs, turned into sluggish-barely make it through runs. I was in hopes that my 6 days of taper would make me feel better. To some degree, it did. I started to feel a little better mid week. I was just ready to get this race done. 

The four weeks leading up to Augusta, Rich and I had so many conversations about what was to be expected. In my mind, I told myself that I could hold it together. I'm tough as nails and I believed that I could overcome the fatigue. He laid it out to me..."you aren't going to have your best day." I chose to try and believe something different even though in the back of my mind I knew he was right. I knew the swim would be a piece of cake and my plan was to basically float through it to try and conserve energy. My plan of attack would come on the bike and then I would run..I would keep my run strong. That was my plan, anyway.

I'll spare you the details of travel etc. Let's just say...traveling with a two year old and a teenager is more exhausting than any race. Mommy's do what we have to do tho ;) We rolled into Augusta around noon the day before the race. I had lots to do! Rushing around from here to there, checking into the hotel, back to transition, get the bike raced etc etc etc. I told Rich that I wanted to drive a few miles of the bike course to have a look.  I wasn't expecting to see what we did out there around mile 6 and let's just say the rest of the afternoon was spent tracking down officers to help us to try and take care of a beaten, neglected, starving dog.  I will post more on that later. Absolutely heart wrenching. 

So after that drama, we finally headed back to the hotel. I needed to take a nap, but like Sweet Brown says-- "Ain't nobody got time for that" ;) forward to race morn. I got to transition around 7am. With the late start, I was in no hurry. I laid out all of the gear and double checked everything and caught the bus back to the swim start with Kent R and teammate Jody. Off the bus, I met up with the fam for a while. I got suited up in my Huub Axena about 10 minutes before my wave which was at 8:32. Said my goodbyes and off to the group of 40-44 women. Caught up with teammate Alice and we entered the water together to get ready to go. I was so excited for her--was her first 70.3 :) I lined myself up front, to the far left. My plan was to cruise the swim to try and conserve some energy. I managed to do that and felt nice and warmed up for the bike. Swim time: 28:17

Out of the swim and onto the bike. My transitions are slow. I need to work on that! Onto the bike, I was ready to work. 
I found the first few miles incredible easy. I had to get my heart rate down though, think it was high from excitement.  I don't think I noticed the wind at first, but a few miles in, I certainly knew it was there. It seemed that no matter which that we turned, the wind was in our face. Because of the wind, I was working harder than I had anticipated. I could feel the toll it was starting to take.

The ride was going well until we made a turn onto what was probably the worst road that I've ever ridden on. Bump, bump, bump, bump. OUCH! No more smooth road for a while. Bottles flying. I was thankful that once again I decided to remove my rear cages. YAY! No time for bottle drops! Anyway, I got really annoyed to see the amount of drafting going on.  There was a female rider who was near me for most of the ride. That is until her fresh legs that she had from all of the drafting allowed her to pull away from me around mile 40. Unreal!  I finally made peace with it, let her go and thought that if she could live with the fact that she cheats, then more power to her. NOTE: Cheaters- fellow competitors see what you are doing even if the officials don't. 


I think it was also around mile 35-40 that I started to feel really tired. It wasn't from anything I was doing wrong in the race, it was the fatigue from having done that 140.6 a few weeks prior. It was catching up with me.  I was also having some pain in my lower back, hip and hammy on the left side, which is unusual for me. I tried stretching it out, but it wouldn't let up. It was just really really tight. The wind was quite strong toward the end of the ride and a couple of times I really had to hold onto my bike as it wobbled underneath me. I never looked at my speed avg until the end of the ride. I had hoped for a 2:45 split, but given the fact that we had the wind, I had to make peace with a 2:53 on this day. Speed Avg-19.3 mph. Was happy with that. The course had almost 2,000 feel elevation gain and apart from the one rough road, I really enjoyed the bike course.

Off the bike- another poky transition and stop in the loo, then I was off on the run. The first mile was ok. I felt tired but pace was up but after the first mile, I progressively got slower and slower. 

Best part of the day!

I just had nothing in the tank. I had to stop a stretch out the hammy all along the way. It was like a runner band being pulled really tight. That's a feeling I've never quite had before. Rich says that it's most likely lingering IM damage. Anyway, it wasn't excruciating, but it plagued me. I decided to trot along and just enjoy the run. I saw my family saw many times on the run course and it was awesome. It made me so happy to see them so many times. I trotted along, the nutrition was going in and my tummy was ok. All good there. I just had no energy. I had hoped for at the least a 2 hour run, but in the end it would be 2:22.

Ironman Augusta 70.3 time- 5:55.

I was completely knackered at the end of this race. Sore and tired! We had a nice lunch at Nacho Mama's and then headed home. I took most of this week off and rode yesterday. I was really tired, so only got in 16 miles before heading back home. Rich wanted me to take four weeks off completely. That conversation didn't go over well ;) I just can't do that. Luckily we met in the middle. It's off season now and I plan to just 'play' for a while. Will be riding easy, getting back to the trails for some running and mountain biking and even plan to get back into some yoga. I may do some trail races in late fall for fun. Looking forward to making some 2015 plans soon. I'm thinking Cambridge or Kentucky will be a really nice place to visit next Oct ;)

Lastly, so thankful for my husband and kids for their cheers and support on race day. I could not/would not want to do it without them there to support me. Also, was so great seeing teammates and friends in Augusta. Big cheers to Alice, Kimberlee, Susan, Heidi, Jody, Brittany and Kent! You guys all rock! Well done!! 



Michael said...

Well done as ever Tonya. You really must listen to your coach, even if I don't (always!)

Have a good rest - the journey back is the best bit

Michael :-) x

Michael said...

Well done as always Tonya. You really must listen to your trainer, even if I don't (always)!

Have a good rest. The journey back is the best bit

Michael :-)

Hope Dunlap said...

Amazing feat. Truly! Doing those back to back, and in THAT order, and one being the heat of Louisville to beat?? I can't even begin to imagine. Awesome job!!