Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
What a FUN Adventure this was! I was lucky enough to be joined in Puerto Rico by husband-extraordinaire, Randy, and a wonderful host, Isis. We were both spoiled by all things Puerto Rican…good food (restaurants and home-cooked by Isis!), beaches, rainforests, and a spectacular race-course.
The minute I stepped on the island, I fell in love! While we were waiting for Randy’s flight to arrive, Isis took me to check out the race-course. Although, we kept getting caught in torrential downpours and came back to the car soaking wet several times…with each part of the course, I couldn’t help but think, ‘This is going to be FUN!”
The days between 70.3 Brasilia and San Juan, were spent trying to get recovered and also doing a few workouts to keep the body awake and ready to fire on all cylinders come race day. Unfortunately, I picked up a stomach bug in Brazil, and for most of the days between races, I was trying to just keep food in. As Sunday drew near, I had to press any doubt about the stomach issues from my mind and get ready to race as best as I could. Thank goodness for Imodium and Pepto Bismol 🙂
The day prior to the race we checked in to the race hotel, Condado Plaza, and were spoiled with a nice room located at the swim start. I went for a swim in the laguna and made sure to give all my rings to Randy…I’d been told that their shimmering and sparkle would attract the barracudas…let’s just say while I was out there swimming alone and saw something looming below, I picked up the pace and headed to shore! Grateful that the next day I would be surrounded by other swimmers. You know, they say, you only have to outswim the other person, hopefully I’d be okay 🙂
Race morning went smoothly as we zipped in and out of transition. With everything ready to go, I headed up to the hotel room for 20min of light stretching and music, then it was GO TIME. The gun sounded and we were off. My swim was okay, not my best, but not horrible either. I came out just ahead of Helle and then almost face-planted as I exited the water, thank you to the volunteer that saved me! It was a long run to transition and I decided to throw on some running shoes…Helle got a little ahead of me and that is where she would stay for the rest of the day…out in front! Once on the bike, I tried to get into a good rhythm and go. However, I felt flat and the word that kept coming to mind was that I felt ‘weak’. While it is honestly how I felt…no time to dwell on that, so I switched that off and was determined to race the best I could. The course was gorgeous and I am amazed that the race organizers were able to completely shut down the course to traffic. I think pretty much every pro had their own police escort and I couldn’t help thinking, “Dang”, Amanda, you are so spoiled, how many other people get to go flying down the highway as fast as they can on a bike with a police escort and amazing view?!
After 56miles, I was greeted back into transition by cheering crowds and volunteers. I headed out on the run course still in 2nd place and was still determined to run fast. While my body and legs had other plans for me, I stayed in the game mentally and actually loved the challenging run course. My lead cyclist (they had them for the top 3), rode ahead of me and after one lap, she asked my name. After that, as she road ahead, she would announce that I was coming, scream my name, and got everyone cheering, how awesome is that?! My time in Brazil must have definitely helped with my heat acclimation… as I kept thinking, “Man, we got lucky with this weather, this isn’t bad at all.” Come to find out after the race, it was pretty hot out there! Crossing the finish line was a bit of mixed emotions, disappointed with my race, but also happy to have another podium finish under my belt and grateful that I get to do what I do!
A huge shout-out to all my sponsors and supporters for making all this possible! To the city of San Juan and island of Puerto Rico for the hospitality. Hope to be back soon!