I’m not sure why people described this run to me as relatively flat. I drove about 6 miles of the course two days before the race and saw a bunch of small but sharp hills. I knew then that I was going to be in for an interesting run leg. But I felt confident in my training and knew that no mater what I can tough out a half marathon no mater what, there was nothing going to stop me from crossing that finish line.
I crossed Bike dismount and ran to T2 located at the back of Windsor High School, If you ask me the distance of the dismount and bike rack was a bit far. I racked my bike, sat down on the grass and started to change my shoes. I took my time because I wanted to bring my heart rate down. I snapped on my fuel belt loaded with plenty of GU’s for the next 13 miles and put on my visor. The plan was to get a quick stretch at T2, I was going to pull my leg back for 20 seconds each to get in a small stretch before starting to run. As soon as I pulled my right foot back it felt tight and decided against it. I headed to the port-a-potty, no line, peed and then I was off on my run.
I shot out of T2 fast and I had to quickly tell myself to slow down. I’m sure that the first mile was my fastest. The first GU on the run was taken on the bike as I entered T2. Next time I wont be doing that. I think its best to transition then settle into the run taking the GU at mile 2 or 3 when I find my groove. Anyway I was on the run and closer to the finish line.
The goal was to do a sub two-hour run and I knew that all I had to do was keep a 9 minute mile pace to get it. I tried to control my breathing and not think of the heat. 3 miles into the run the short little hills kept coming along. Plenty of people walk up but I tried to keep moving slow and steady. I was happy, I knew the run would be tough but that’s what I was out there to do, challenge myself. There are water stations almost every mile filled with Gatorade, Ice and Water. And I drank water at every single one of them.
It was at about mile 6 when I started feeling a cramp coming on in my right hamstring. It forced me to change my stride to shorter steps and compensate with my left leg. This is where my mental coach really kicked in. “You could do this” I kept repeating over and over in my head. I didn’t want to stop because I feared the cramp would get worse. I started walking through the aid stations to drink my water then I kept running on to the next one. I ran through the winery and I was hoping I could make up some time on the softer surface but the legs weren’t moving any faster. Starting at mile 8 I was grabbing ice and dropping it down the back of my jersey.
Short continuous steps was the new plan and I kept at it. Cheering people on along the way and chatting with those that ran next to me. although I was in pain I was having such a great time out there. At mile 11 I actually drank some Coke to try to get some more sugar in me, kind of a last kick to push to the finish. Although my right leg was shot I was still doing good for my sub two-hour run and sub six total time.
I spotted Windsor High School and my daughter hanging from a light pole cheering me on. I rounded into the coral and she ran next to me as my wife filmed me and cheered. “Finish strong baby” I could hear her scream through the cheers of all the other spectators. I heard “Congratulations Jaime Martinez” as I crossed the line and collected my medal. My mind was blank, I didn’t really register what happened, all I wanted was water and to sit down somewhere. but I just stood there waiting for my wife to get to me so I could hug her and my kids. I did it, I finished my first Ironman 70.3. Total race time 05:31:08, I got my sub six.
Nutrition on the Run:
cup of water at every station
Gatorade at every other station
3 – Gu energy gels
1 – cup of coke at mile 11