IM St. George 70.3 – Jen Datwyler

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Sheila always reminds me to “celebrate the victories”.  I decided to heed her advice when I sat down to analyze this race.


Jen and Sheila pre-race.


Gear check!

Hands down, getting to the start-line of this race was the most challenging in all of my triathlon career.
Victory #1: Although my “injury/condition” has kept me from running the way I had planned, I was able to train the bike and swim with no pain. Thank you Jon K!
Victory #2: My bike sustained damage that was actually repairable when it flew off the top of my car at 80mph on I-10  3 weeks prior to the race. I thought it was totaled. Thanks to the expertise of Chris Townzen, I  was “back in the saddle” a week after the  incident.
Victory #3:  A death in the family and my father-in-law’s heart attack on the Monday of race week had me 90% certain this race was going to be a no-go.  My father-in-law had 5 stents placed, and went home the next day. The funeral for the other family member was scheduled for the week after the race.
So…. after some physical and emotional stress, I was packed and headed to Utah!
 I have been working hard on my swim this season. I have increased the frequency to 4 days per week.  Although these session are shorter the intensity is higher than it has ever been for me.
The water temperature at Sand Hollow reservoir was a perfect 64 degrees. It was fun to start with Sheila.  These swims always seem to start fast, I was able to hold my own for the first 100 yards  , ( I usually swim too hard, get winded, hyperventilate, panic and take a few minutes to slow down, talk myself off the ledge and regroup). I was able to maintain a solid pace and finally found a draft for the last 500 yards or so.  Victory #4.
Time: 37:11 (25th)  last year 37:33 (28th)
T1: One of the perks of being an “ALL World Athlete” is prime location in transition. 1st rack in both T1 and T2.  I probably should have been faster given this gift , but alas, time was 3:34.
Bike: Whew! Last year I was 6 weeks out from IM CDA. This year I could definitely feel a difference in my fitness!  The course was a little bit different this year. I am not sure if it was easier or harder, but  I certainly struggled in the hills.  I also chose not to use my disc wheel cover. I was nervous about transporting the bike and did not want any more complications.  This was my 3rd time on my rebuilt bike, complete with new saddle.  I  focused on my hydration and nutrition and was really glad to see T2.
Time:  3:01:41 (19th)   Last year: 2:55:01 (15th)
T2: 2:31 ( including potty stop)  last year 3:03   Victory #5
Run: This course is gorgeous but harder than any I have done.  Sheila did a great job of describing it. Long hills that don’t seem to stop until mile 9 or so.  There is no shade and by now the temperature was in the high 80’s.  I kept telling myself a slow jog was still faster than a walk. Using this mantra I was able to run the entire thing with the exception of walking the aid stations. This was a hugh Victory! #6    My longest run was 9 miles leading into this race. I was really nervous about how my “condition” would hold up. My groin never once flared up during the run. Victory #7.
Time: 2:07:46 (22)   Last year: 1:56:25 ( 14)
Victory #8 is the one I am most pleased about.  I was able to push out the negative self-tallk throughout this race. I knew I was slower, I knew I was struggling, but  I was able to remain tougher mentally than I have in many of my past races.
Overall: 5:52:43 (22)  Last year 5:35:24 ( 14)
It is hard to look at times this year vs. last year. I know in my head that circumstances were much different this year, but in my heart it is hard to see it on paper. I know where my weaknesses are. I am committed to improving for the remainder of the season.
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