Legend 100 took place on Sunday in Lawrence, Kansas. It was scheduled as a tune-up for Ironman Boulder. This was way more of a “tune up” than we bargained for!
Friday: We left home shortly after noon and stopped at Kyle’s Bikes to have Kyle “bless” our bikes before the race. Thankfully we did, since he found and removed a small piece of glass from my front tire. Thank you Kyle!! Mojo held her own in Kansas!!
Saturday: After breakfast, we drove one part of the bike course that we haven’t ridden in previous Ironman Kansas 70.3 events before going to the race site to check in.
We also went down to the transition area to check out just how flooded it was. While there, we found the Iowa flag on the perimeter of the transition area.
The afternoon was spent preparing for Sunday’s race and kicking the feet up to relax.
After an early dinner, we put our race number tattoos on before heading to bed early.
Race morning: The alarm went off at 3:30 am and it was already 78F and really humid. This can only mean one thing…it is going to be a rough day at the races. I followed my wake up call with getting ready to race, preparing breakfast and heading out the door at 4:30 am to Clinton State Park. Transition was approximately a mile from where we parked, so we knew we would have to leave early if we wanted to get to transition by 5 am when they opened.
Pre Race: After rolling into transition (we didn’t have to check any gear or our bikes in on Saturday, so we rode our bikes the mile to transition), I set up my gear, hit the toilet a time or two, donned my wetsuit and headed to the swim start.
Swim: Time to get slapped by the water
The Iron Hippie started at 6:30 am, Allen started at 6:33 am and my wave was to start at 6:36 am. My goal was to beat them both out of the water. When it was time to start swimming, I was thankful there weren’t a lot of people in my wave. The first loop of the swim was somewhat choppy, but it wasn’t too bad once I figured out when to breathe and not drink half the lake. After completing the first lap, we exited the water only to get back in and repeat the loop.
When I entered the water for lap two, the women’s Olympic distance swimmers were filing into the water RIGHT. IN. MY. WAY. Thankfully the race director was on the dock and was yelling at them to get on the other side of the barricade so I could have somewhat clean water. Clean is relative since the lake was flooded (it was murky and had a lot of debris), it was full of swimmers (more entering the water every 3 minutes) and the winds had picked up making that chop even worse than it was during the first lap. This loop was MESSY!! There were a LOT more people and the waves were no longer small. They had definitely grown in size. I did my best to keep my focus and not worry about all of the people I saw swimming toward boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. “Just Keep Swimming” was definitely my mantra. With about 500 yards to go, I noticed a familiar face. With every breath I took on the left, Allen was staring me in the face. I knew he would try to hold on and swim my pace, but I also knew I could beat him out of the water. Now the question would be…will I also beat the Iron Hippie?!?!?!?!
As I exited the water, Kay (our SUPER spectator) was there and told me that the Iron Hippie did in fact beat me out of the water, but only by about 30 seconds.
Swim Time: 1:16:04 (2:22/100 yards)
I was hoping for about 1:10:00, but with the water slapping me in the face for 2 miles, I was pretty happy with this time.
As I approached my transition area and stopped moving, this is what was going through my mind, “WOAH!! Where did that dizziness come from?!?!?! Am I sea sick???? I’ve never been sea sick before!!! I don’t know what that feels like. I think I might be. I better sit down to finish getting this wetsuit off and get my bike gear on. That’s better.” When I was ready to stand back up, I was no longer dizzy and was ready to rock the bike. It just so happened that the Iron Hippie was too…
T1 Time: 6:04…apparently sitting in transition cost me more time than I thought.
Bike: Time to get beat up by the hills and winds on the bike
I’ve raced the former Ironman Kansas 70.3 distance at this venue twice, so I knew most of the bike course and I knew it would be challenging. I had no idea we were going to get beat up so badly!! By this time of day, the temperatures were at 80F (with high humidity) and winds were from the south/southwest at 13 mph, which isn’t bad. But as it got closer to noon, the winds increased to 21 mph with gusts up to 28 mph and the temperatures climbed to 87F. Speaking of climbing did I mention that we had ~3000 feet of climbing with most of it into the headwind?!?!?! Well, needless to say, the Iron Hippie is a stronger cyclist than I am, so he took off. I got to see him plenty as there were 4 out and back sections on this course. At the last turn around, I knew he couldn’t be more than 2 miles in front of me.
Bike Time: 5:24:27 (14.8 mph)…this was a sure sign of the hills and wind beating me up!!
As I came into transition, there was carnage everywhere. People were literally laying down in transition on the ground. Beat up from the ride, so I had to maneuver around them to get to my transition spot. I thought I quickly transitioned to the run…I guess I was slower than I thought.
T2 Time: 4:58
Run: Time for the sun to torch us
Where is that wind?!?!?! I would love to have the built in air conditioner right now!! Being back in the park meant we were surrounded by trees that blocked most of the wind. As I left transition, Kay told me that the Iron Hippie was about 7 minutes ahead of me. I was pretty sure I could catch him, but there was no guarantee. Boy was it HOT!! Anything could happen…
We had a 3 loop run course, with the first 2 loops being about 6.5 miles each and the last loop being about 5 miles. By the time we made it to the run, it was 92F and still humid!! Because we were relatively protected by the strong winds, we got TORCHED!!
I caught the Iron Hippie at about mile 5 and I decided to put my pride on the shelf and run/walk with him to the finish. With Ironman Boulder being our “A” race and with only one more build before we leave for a long vacation in Colorado, we decided that we needed to save face and go into damage control mode. It wasn’t worth not being able to complete our last build and be properly prepared for IMBoulder. We ran when we could and walked when we had to. It was great to see Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara out on the run course multiple times cheering us on!!
The highest temperature of the day was 94F and with very little breeze, we felt like we were running in an oven. On another note, the amount of moths that we encountered were RIDICULOUS!! They would land on us and we would carry them on our backs for a while before wiping each other off. I felt like we were monkeys grooming each other. If I never see another moth again, I would be overjoyed!! At this point, we didn’t need to carry any extra weight…even if it was minimal 😉
Run Time: (or should I say walk time) 4:22:49…We were definitely torched and cooked on the run!!
We crossed the finish line together, hand in hand, hands held high and smiles on our faces, despite being slapped, beat up and torched throughout the day.
Finish Time: 11:14:19…Far from the goal time of 9-10 hours, but done. Persevering required a lot of #heartandcourage on a day like today.
I felt good for quite a while…I was hungry…I ate two hamburgers (without buns) and a bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, drank a Gatorade and plenty of water. I had peed twice on the run course, so I knew I was properly hydrated. A special thanks to Osmo Nutrition for the Active Hydration that replaced all the salt I sweat out and helped me prevent cramping!! Afterall, #womenarenotsmallmen and the hydration worked perfectly for me!! The Iron Hippie and I went back down to transition to get all of our stuff, since Allen went to the medical tent after he finished. At this point, I noticed I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.
Hello heat stroke…I could have done without you today!! I packed up my stuff in transition and Allen’s. I grabbed all of our (the Iron Hippie, Allen and mine) transition bags, gear and my bike, hopped on a gator and got a ride back to the car. At the car, I decided I needed to lay down in the back of my vehicle. I was lightheaded, dizzy, my lips were numb and my muscles were starting to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t cold and I wasn’t dehydrated (I had peed at the start and finish of the run). Allen decided to join me and Sam wiped faces with wet wipes…
Once the Iron Hippie arrived with his bike and Allen’s (thanks to another gator), we had a group photo taken at the car…
I’ve raced in the cold, rain and high temperatures before, but this was the worst race conditions I’ve ever raced in. Hopefully this means that Ironman Boulder will be mild in comparison.
Thank you to Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara for enduring a very long, hot and miserable day as you cheered us all on to #belegend finishers!!
What are the toughest conditions you’ve ever raced in? Have you ever had to change your race plans while racing to go into “damage control” mode?