Alycia Hill Executes on Race Day at Vineman 70.3

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Pre-race: 

Long day of travel with lots of school stress this week…felt sick days leading up (only Friday and Saturday though).

Race morning: 

Up at 4AM, start time 6:30AM. Breakfast: strawberry, banana smoothie with pp powder and ½ to ¾ power bar. I didn’t make my normal dessert for the night before like banana bread or chocolate chip cookies, so I felt a little hungry so I ate more. Warm up, short 15min run maybe around 5:30 with a few strides. Woke up early enough.

Swim:

Started out pretty fast but definitely did not panic. Just kept telling myself, get some feet and hang in a line. I was on some feet for a little while and then as the pack started to spread a little a few more passed me, but I just settled in behind them and did not let the feet go. I did have some numbness of lips, not due to cold water, but probably due to going out a little too fast/hyperventilation? No breaststroke or panic though…just some numbness that I kept telling myself, just chill it’s okay. The turn around seemed like it took a LONG TIME to get there. Once we turned the corner I dolphin dove with the women in front of me. Not sure if that was faster or not, but either way I just followed. On the way back I felt good rhythm. The person that I was behind I let myself pull in front of and then just swam by her side, drafting a little there, staying with the rhythm of her stroke for a while (her stroke and then my stroke), then felt even more rhythm and took off to the end. I felt like I had the rhythm to really catch, but more importantly pull/push the last few inches that sometimes we miss. Out of the water I went out of T1 and onto my bike. 

Bike:

I had one female pretty close…not too far away once I was on the bike (either she came by me when I was slipping my feet into my shoes or I caught her really quick). I was feeling really good but didn’t want to over bike so settled in 6 bike lengths behind her, but then made a move, then up a hill she made a move and I stayed with her insight for a long time, but then lost her. Maybe I should have pushed a little more to keep her in sight? Then I passed someone and then a friend came by me I think around mile 30 so pretty early on. I told myself keep her insight if you can and I could. I was not riding too hard, was not feeling pooped out, maybe just the slightest start to cramp in right main quad/hip. Never legit bad charlie-horse cramp though. Rolled into T2 and did start to cramp on dismount but managed to run it out quickly (right quad). 

Bike nutrition: Took sport legs at around 30 or 35 mile I think. 1 gel at 50, 1 gel at 1:30 and 1 gel at 2:15 (these are approximates). Only got in 2.5 bottles Infinit, it was a dynamic course and hard to find good times to drink and not super duper hot, but still probably not enough. I tried to stay in aero as much as I was comfortable. I did feel like I did a pretty good job of it, but who knows. There was some bad pavement, but I did work to stay tight and low with pressure on the pedals. 

Run:

Saw another woman head out behind me, but definitely not very far. I strided out to her and then because this is a race and since I feel good thought if I take off strong maybe I can gap and have a little mental edge…so I did. Less than a mile in I saw Sarah Pampiano (just running the opposite way on the course cheering) and she said two girls about 1-1.5 min in front of you. I thought great just settle in and keep pushing. I kept trying to keep positive talk in my head, telling myself, you are strong, you are awesome, and you are feeling awesome. I also had the mantra from a song… “motoring…just keep on motoring” I think it is some old 80s song? A few miles in I could see a female way out in front of me periodically when there was a rolling “straight away” rather than turns, then around mile 6 someone caught me, but I also was closer and could really see who was in front of me. I slowly made some gains, caught her at mile 10 and again thought if you can show you are strong they will mentally fail. It did not really happen. I went by and I could hear her breathing tried to push a little more but did not quite have it, so I tried to stay as close as I could but mainly the last 1-1.5 mi she made a gap (30 seconds or so). When I got to that last stretch I just kept telling myself push, push, push, yes, you don’t have her but push to the end, so I did and felt like I strided better probably the last quarter mile in.

Run nutrition: 

Water on head with a little in mouth every aid station/coke in mouth every aid station (except the one I ran through and dropped everything). I did not take sport legs coming out of transition so I thought I would try it without. Gel started at mile 7ish and probably got ¾ in with about 2 separate gulps. Not sure if my bike nutrition affected the run or not.

Overall:

No panic on the swim (a fear broken), no break through on the bike probably could have rode a tiny bit harder and drank a little more, but I did not let anyone go except that first one and tried to stay in aero as much as I was comfortable which is something I need to work on, and then a break through on the run…actually head approx 6:30s for a lot of miles…with some fatigue at the end, but if I didn’t race hard enough I would not have been tired.