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Race Result

Racer: Amanda Shuman
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2004
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Female 20 - 24
Time: 5:53:43
Overall Place: 1027
Age Group Place: 11 / 19
Comment: icky, icky water but... I DID A FREAKIN' HALF IRONMAN!

Race Report:

The Build-Up:

Last year, sometime after my first tri, I decided I was going to do Eagleman. I think it was all the hype it gets from tri-athletes in the area, it's "the" tri event to do if you're going to "prove" yourself, or something like that. Of course, I have *extremely* high goals for myself - when I signed up for the first tri I hadn't done any swimming outside of "doggy paddling" since age 5.

Training for this event got quite stressful -- I work full-time during the week in addition to taking graduate night classes at GMU. I spent many weekends where I literally slept, worked out, and read between 6-8 hours for class + wrote a paper (a book + paper every week in this spring's class...) Anyways, the point is that all this discipline would pay off; an 'A' in my class and finishing a half-ironman, can't get much better than that!! :)

Summary of my race:

Got to Cambridge on Saturday, nervous as hell. All that running around, checking out the courses, eating, getting the race packet and bike check, eating, swimming in the water that I JUST THEN realized was salty and an off-shoot from the chesapeake (yuck), more eating and then bed.

Race morning was insane; I almost missed getting out of the transition area in time for my wave due to the porta-potty line that was 30 minutes long! But I somehow stumbled into my wetsuit and made it to the wave in time to hang out in the back and to the side (I'm such a poor swimmer!).

Swim: Good lord, that water was nasty. I think I swallowed approx a bucket of it, literally. I let all those men 40-44 behind me fight it out as I went all the way to the right side. Who cares if the boat follows me, I just don't want to get killed in the fight around the buoys. The important point is, I made it out of the water perfectly fine and *not* tired in the least bit... But with a time of 48 minutes (eeeeeeek!)

Transition 1: My dad ran around to the transition and asked how the swim was -- all I said was "it sucked. Damn speedboats making waves, I'll tell you later" and then I proceeded to "lube" my shorts for the bike ride with the God's greatest gift: A&D ointment.

Bike: VERY windy. Windier than I expected. Also very boring. I kept zoning out and people would pass and then I'd think "oh crap", speed up, get tired, stop and zone out again. But I had a great fueling plan. Luna bar in the first 15 minutes, drink every 15 minutes, and starting an hour into it a gel every 30 minutes. Thanks guys for the advice -- hammer and gu are great companies!

Transition 2: I don't remember this one. Except that my right foot felt like it was numb -- time for new, larger and better fitting bike shoes.

Run: I love to run. It's probably the 1 sport of the 3 I could do any day at all. However, I've never competitively run more than 10 miles EVER (only in training...) so I had no clue how to really pace myself. I need to sign up for some half marathons to practice this. I kept thinking if I run any faster, then I'm going to be hurting and not be able to finish the last 3-4 miles. Well, I did hurt, but not like I probably should have. At that point, I didn't care. I was only competing with myself mentally, and mentally I told myself "just finish the race... There will be others in the future".

Around the 11 mile marker I passed by my parents, giving the thumbs up and smiling the whole time, waving at them as they took pictures. As they cheered me on I yelled back "I'll be done soon! See you at the finish!"
The last mile I picked it up a little bit, almost sprinting across the finish. Man, it felt SO good to finish!

Overall: It felt awesome to finish -- and to finish feeling well and smiling (some people looked like they were going to seriously die on the run course). I stood and took pictures with my parents, walked around a little, smiling the whole time...passed out on the grass for a half hour and had a gigantic piece of carrot cake...mmmm! It felt good not eating Gel #7 (4 on the bike, 2 on the run) for the day.

I hope to do some more half's and of course, improve my times majorly. Now that I know it's possible I will definitely push myself harder for the next one. However, I think I'll pick a race with better scenery and water!