I truly had the BEST time today being Ashley’s #1 fan as she completed her first Half Ironman! I am so proud – she rocked it out (and this was her very first triathlon, period!).
Sometimes being on the sidelines is just as fun as running the race. 😉
Our day started REALLY early. My alarm was due to go off at 3:55 AM, but I didn’t get into bed until midnight, and then I got serious pre-race jitters. I KNEW I wasn’t the one running the race, but I was still super nervous. Funny, huh?
When it was finally time to get up, I made a Green Monster and two large coffees. The Green Monster had 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 a banana, and 2 cups spinach. Mmmm.
I drove to Ashley’s house and then we carpooled to Disney World, where the race was being held. After waiting in line for the bus, we were carted off to Wilderness Lodge for the Half Ironman.
I’ve raced in a sprint triathlon, a triathlon relay, and an Olympic triathlon, but none of the races I’ve ever been to were even CLOSE to the size of this race. The transition area was HUGE. In fact, you have to check in your bike the day before the event!
Ashley laid out all of her stuff, and then we walked over to body marking.
And then it was time to line up for the start! There were so many competitors (2,200) that there was 16 or so waves! The race officially started at 6:20, but Ashley’s wave wasn’t until 7:00.
Finally, it was her turn to complete the 1.2 mile swim:
I walked to the dock to get a clearer view of Ashley. I could find her in the crowd for a long, long time!
While Ashley was swimming, I dug into some of the food that I packed for myself. I knew I was going to at the course until 5 PM and seriously doubted Disney’s ability to provide inexpensive, healthy, and vegetarian food. The one thing I’ve learned about healthy eating on the go is don’t expect venues like this to provide much, unfortunately.
I started off with an almond butter sandwich:
Ashley popped out of the water just as I finished my sandwich! You’ll have to refer to her own race recap for official times, but it took her about one hour to swim 1.2 miles.
I followed her to transition and talked her through getting geared up for her bike ride. And then she was off again!
While Ashley was riding 56 miles (which I estimated would take her at least 3.5 hours), I decided to go back to the car. I tried to nap in the driver’s seat, but it wasn’t working… so I laced up my running shoes and jogged around the Disney parking lots. Which elicited a lot of strange stares from tourists AND was just as boring as it sounds. Fortunately, Disney parking lots are huge so I didn’t have to do much looping.
In the end, I did:
- Distance: 3.6 miles
- Duration: 36:04
After my fabulous run, I munched on Israeli cous cous (a pre-made kind from Costco) with arugula:
And roasted broccoli and cauliflower:
Then, I creatively changed in the backseat of Ashley’s car (sorry, Mickey) and headed back to Wilderness Lodge to watch her enter T2.
I was nervous for a while that I missed her, but then she suddenly appeared! She finished the 56-mile bike ride in a little over 3:45.
In T2, I suggested that she start stretching out, and she immediately began doing yoga poses. Major LOLs!
And then she took off on her Half Marathon(13.1 mile) run! I was really nervous for her (I’m such a blog mom) because it was SUPER hot outside, and I saw several runners actually collapse on the course. Very scary! But she faired well, and everytime I saw her on the run course (3 times!), she looked happy and excited.
While she ran, I munched on an apple and a banana:
And I sat under a shady tree and read several chapters of Eating Animals. I promise to give my full review of the book when I’m done, but basically it’s kind of preaching to the choir for me. I think it’d be a great book for anyone interested in the environmental and philosophical reasons for going vegetarian, though!
And then… nearly 8 hours after she started, Ashley crossed the finish line! I whooped and hollared. She looked SO GOOD for someone who had just swam, biked, and ran for 8 hours. Clearly, she’s in amazing shape and knows how to listen to her body during endurance events.
I thought she’d want to sit down or relax, but she seemed perfectly fine! I was AMAZED. I am dead tired after my long events.
I pretended to do my own version of a triathlon (on dry land, where I prefer it!):
Haha. That was easy! Half Ironmans are for sissies. 🙂
And then we drove home! When I got back, I had two oatmeal chocolate cookies and another Green Monster (I was seriously craving a smoothie after a long, hot day in the sun):
My Husband has been studying for his very last board exam all day while I was out having fun. Poor Husband.
I’m off to make dinner and fantasize about maybe one day doing a Half Ironman of my own!
Congrats again, Ashley!
Aw, this is lovely! Congrats to Ashley on such a huge undertaking and accomplishment. And kudos to you for being by her side the whole day. What a nice Sunday evening story. 🙂