I just got around to reading Katie’s report, and am looking forward to seeing some more from others who are finishing up their 70.3s…
For what it’s worth, Katie, I’ve done about 8 or 10 half iron distance races and can honestly say I’ve probably only really paced things at a close-to-ideal way across the three sports once… <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>maybe</span> twice. Sometimes weather (rain; heat; cold) interferes with the best of plans; sometimes it’s just a bad health/energy day; sometimes I’ve gotten focused on beating my bike PR at the expense of my run; and other times it’s just that my plan didn’t match my fitness level (usually NOT in the way that left me more running energy, of course!).
I see this entire sport as something that equates to science + art + a dollop of luck. Once in a while, ALL of those pieces come together and you get a close-to-perfect day, and it feels incredible. At the same time, the days where everything doesn’t come together are still some of the best experiences — you get to walk away being proud that you overcame a freezing downpour, or feeling sick from the start, or running in 98 degrees, or not taking enough nutrition on the bike, or working through cramps on the bike and run (I’ve done almost all of these, by the way). Altogether, that’s what makes this sport so great — you can always take something away from your training and your race — usually something you can apply to life in general — even if it’s a hard learned lesson that wasn’t much fun at the time!