Never Stop Chasing Raspberries: Vineman 70.3 Recap + Blog Hiatus

Today’s post comes with a bittersweet note. You see, while this is my first half Ironman recap, it is also my last blog post. After a lot of consideration and restless nights, I have decided to take a blog hiatus. It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog, and I have completed all my goals from a 10k, half marathons, full marathon, sprint triathlon, and now a half Ironman…

Which leads me to my Vineman recap! After a long road trip up to Sonoma County with my friend Gaby all day Friday, the festivities began with a course preview early Saturday morning.

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After the course preview, everything from packet pickup to eating dinner was a blur.  I remember the excitement on everyone’s face, but it hadn’t hit me that I was doing a half Ironman. I kept telling myself that once I cross the finish line, it would be real. Once the medal was wrapped around my neck, it would be real.

Race day morning started with an early wake up call. My body was surprisingly ready for what was ahead, more so than with other races in the past. Even though I woke up at 3 a.m. I somehow managed to get into transition 10 minutes before my swim wave started. Normally in that situation I would be freaking out, but I knew the drill: mount bike, put wetsuit and swim cap on, and anti-fog the goggles. Once I headed over to the swim start, all the girls in my wave started joking around in the water.  Everyone was happy.

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After the horn went off, I started swimming with a big smile on my face. It wasn’t until the first foot hit me in the head, that I realized I where I was and what I was doing. That’s when I told myself to get my shit together and start swimming at race pace! So I swam as fast as I could. The swim course was perfect because it was a simple out and back. You could stand up at almost any point during the swim making this the perfect race for someone who isn’t as comfortable with swimming.  At the turn around point, I remember looking at my watch thinking that I wouldn’t hit my goal time. Then I remembered it was a shorter swim on the way back!!! I came in exactly on my goal time of 45 minutes.

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The transition from the swim to the bike went pretty well with one small mistake. The transition zone was divided into two areas, and I headed in the wrong direction for a split second before making way to my bike. The bike course was absolutely beautiful! We rode through rolling hills of vineyards, forests, rivers and gorgeous wineries. Before I knew it, the 56 miles of biking were over and it was time for the run.

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The run started out strong. I was able to stay on pace for the first 6 miles. Around mile 6, we ran through a vineyard. Butterflies and dragonflies were fluttering all around me! It was the stuff from a story book. There was even a mist machine! The aid stations were stocked with grapes, white nectarines, and tortilla chips. I’ve never been to a race with so many goodies. One might think this would be my best half marathon yet! However, I hit a wall around mile 7. My joints started to ache and there was shooting pain in my foot. I remembered this pain… it was the same pain I had during the marathon. That’s when I told myself to run from hill to hill. It wasn’t long before I came across mile 10, then mile 11, then mile 12… I was almost there! I made an effort to pick up the pace and run to the finish. The next thing I knew, the most beautiful finish line was right before my eyes! My total time was 7:07!

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After all is said and done, I feel like I’m leaving the blog on a high note! I now know that I no longer need this blog to keep me accountable for living a healthy life. My lifestyle has changed for the good. I will continue to train for Silverman, and I just signed up for Oceanside 70.3!  And who knows?!  Maybe I’ll even do a full Ironman one day.  Anything is possible, right?!  #neverstopchasingraspberries