T2 and The Run
I click clacked my way down my row in T2 to rack my bike. T2 was full, but not quite as full as last year. I was happy I wouldn’t be out alone on my run again. Transition was uneventful. I doused myself with another layer of sunscreen, chomped down a honey stinger waffle and another applesauce pouch, grabbed my hydration and headed out. Total Transition time, 6:59, which was actually not recorded on the IM tracking for some reason, but oh well.
I left T2 a little too hot. It’s always so hard for me to gauge exactly how fast I am moving, when I run off a long bike. My legs turnover just fine, but it’s almost like I can’t feel them. They feel like they’re moving on their own, lol. I slowed my pace and found my nice HIM turtle rhythm @ 155 bpm. Everything was going great. I had energy, I was upbeat, there were lots of people on the course, good crowds, great weather… and then it hit, GI Distress.
About a mile in, I started cramping and not muscle cramping, although I had a bit of that in my calves. I couldn’t believe it. Why?! Why me?! I remember my coach telling me a terrifying story involving GI distress and Kona, and I was scared shitless (ha, I WISH) it would happen to me.
I slowed my pace and focused my mind. This would NOT happen, lol. I got control over myself, but had to stop at the port-a-potties 4 times. I’ve never had to use the bathroom during a race and was so happy they weren’t too disgusting. I began making emergency plans in my head. There was a little creek that ran along the course, if the worst had happened, you could bet your last buck, that I was gonna go down there and sit in it. Thankfully it didn’t happen.
As the run went on, I continued to battle GI issues in waves. Sometimes I could run at my HIM pace, other times I had to slow to my IM pace. I walked the aid stations to get water and peruse the snack bar, lol. Nutrition wise, over the course of the run, I took in nearly a full orange, a few pretzels and the greenest banana I’ve ever had in my life.
Gi issues aside, the run course itself was wonderful! There were plenty of aid stations and a ton of shade. We ran on a dirt trail for the majority of the run, under large trees, along a quiet little stream. The rest off the run, weaved through a park, over a couple of bridges and along the main road. There were plenty of spectators along the main road and a bunch of volunteers along the trail. And best of all, I wasn’t running alone! Running alone was the final straw that broke the camel’s back in Arizona. Thankfully, Santa Rosa had plenty of athletes along the course. I was nowhere near the tail end of the race and I was so thankful for it.
Mile 12 came and went and I was still running. I don’t know if the mile markers were correct or if I was just done, but that last mile felt like forever! After what felt like an hour, I finally rounded the last corner and ended up in the chute.