Alycia Hill Executes on Race Day at Vineman 70.3



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.


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. 


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. 


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.


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.