70.3 California Race Report by Rebecca Korb

I can't recall how Rebecca and I got introduced on Twitter but I believe it had to do with a Pukie from BDD.  Since then we have exchanged tweets and she is a true inspiration.  Running 10 miles at 4am.  Telling me she has never seen the sunrise on a run because she is DONE by then.  How incredible is that?  Well that is only the beginning.  Rebecca completed her first half-Ironman at the 70.3 Ironman California like I did.  I wish we had been able to meet at the race because it would have been awesome to be able to race with a friend and root each other on.

I recently read her race report and asked if I could post it on my site and she agreed.  So here is Rebecca's race report.  Enjoy it then head over to her site and start following her because she is an incredible person, let alone triathlete and Mom.  

Giving 100% to be Half an Ironman

By Rebecca Korb

  So about 6 years ago I decided it was time to start taking better care of my body.   I had had two children,  was approaching 30, and knew that if I didn’t start doing something now I would never get back to what I felt like before. This led to running. Not a lot of running. It just started with running home from the park. Then out around the neighborhood.  And then eventually I got into it.  Did my first half marathon which of course led to a marathon and that was it. I was hooked for life. But then I had a chat with my dentist.  He was a marathon runner and said how he had been doing triathlons recently.  I thought, “Well, I can run OK, and I swam in high school.  How hard can biking be?”  And that is how I got into triathlons just a little under a year ago.  I did a sprint and olympic last summer but wanted to train for the big one. A full Ironman! But I needed more time to work up to that so this summer it is all about 70.3! I signed up almost 9 months ago for the Oceanside 70.3.  It fills up quick so you have to sign up way in advance.  But finally the day of the race had arrived. I had been working hard for 4 months in preparation of the race. And the day was finally here. We (husband came along for support) got to the race around 5:30 AM. I got all my stuff set up, went to the mechanics tent and had them pump my tires, ate some food, and eventually got my wet suit on. I was the 17th wave of 23. I lined up with my corral and waited.  I have never been to a race of this size or with this many big time triathletes  competing.  It was pretty cool to watch them start and know that I was going to do the same course that they were! So it is finally our turn. The start here works by you swimming out to a couple of buoys and the starting from there, rather than running in from the beach.  I really liked this!  It gave me a good chance to get acclimated to the water before I had to swim.  I am a strong swimmer so this time I lined myself right up front! The horn went off and we were off!  It was a very protected swim so we didn’t have much in the way of waves to contend with until you got out to the turn around.  And even then it wasn’t that bad.  I just focused on swimming strong and trying to pass as many different color caps as I could. I felt good the whole swim.  But I was very happy to get to the exit.  1.2 miles, 33:53 for the swim.  15th out of my age group (122 in age group at start of race). Since this was a big race that meant the transition area was big so you had to run pretty far from the swim exit to your bike. Got in transition, got wetsuit off, got bike stuff on, grabbed a bite, and got the heck out of there. The bike was my biggest concern.  It was the last discipline I picked up and it is one of the hardest ones to find the time to train properly.  But I have worked hard on my cycling and just needed to have a little confidence in myself that I could do this.  And guess what? I did! The first 20 miles went great average close to 20 mph (very good for me).  My back started to get a little sore but there was nothing I could do about it. I knew I had some climbing in my future.  And at mile 30 it began. And the first one was short but a doozy! I heard it was a 9% grade. Many people were off their bikes walking it. I vowed I would not get off my bike.  And I didn’t!  After that climb we had about 16 more miles of climbing to go. Nothing as bad as the first one, but still some hills to deal to get up and over.  At least for all of the hills you could see the summit and knew when they would end.  We were also contending with a head wind but I just kept counting down the miles till I could get off the bike.  My back and neck were very sore at this point but the only way to make them better was to get done with the bike ASAP! SO after finishing the hills, riding 10 more relatively flat miles into a head wind, I was done with the bike. 56 miles, 3:20:42. Back at transition again.  I was in a little bit of a daze but happy to get the run started.  I got my bike stuff off and my run stuff on, thought about using the bathroom, but just wanted to be done! I started running and felt so slow. The miles had never felt so long.  So it was to my great surprise when I would look at my mile splits and see that I was running sub 9 minute miles. Exactly what I wanted to run! My training had really paid off.  I was also extremely hungry at this point so I made sure to eat to oranges at every aid station.  The run was an out and back that you did twice.  Sounds kind of boring but it was nice to run past familiar terrain and people during the run so it didn’t feel quite so long.  I even saw one of my training friends late in the run which was really encouraging.  My husband was able to find a good spot and catch me running by a few times.  My splits were pretty consistent and luckily I got a little second wind for the last half.  With all that I had done that day I was so excited to be in control of my race and feeling strong.  Yes I was tired, but I still felt strong. After 13.1 miles in 1:56:46 for the run, I finally made it to the finish!  34 out of over 100 that finished in my age group (I lost a few spots during the ride; next time I won’t!) I was shaking! I only cried a little as I was approaching the finish but I was so relieved and proud to have finished this race that you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!  I got my medal, and my hat and I went into the medical tent for some ibuprofen for my back.  Once I did that I made my way to get some food and found my training buddy again.  He asked what my time was.  I had no idea at that point.  I wasn’t timing myself from start to finish.  I had asked someone on the course what time it was while I was running since I knew I had started at 7:30 AM. By doing the math in my head I knew I was close to finishing to my ultimate goal time which was 6 hours.  But I was second guessing the math and I wasn’t quite sure.  After I had gathered all my stuff and made my way to exit I saw a table where they were printing results for you.  5:59:41!!!!!  I screamed I was so happy.  I wanted to do 6 hours so bad but really didn’t think I could for my first one.  It was amazing.  I have never been so proud of an accomplishment! In closing the day was magical.  The support from the marines, to the spectators, to my twitter friends, to my family, and to my husband was absolutely amazing.  I couldn’t have done this without so many people cheering me on. Now…Just four more months until Vineman 70.3 in Sonoma California.  Think I will start training tomorrow!  
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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