Last week we shared the story of a Garmin triathlete completing her first Ironman and promised to follow with the tale of another Garmin triathlete who completed her first half Ironman. Sara is a prototype specialist at Garmin who creates models for Garmin products through all of our product lines and works with our engineering team and Chicago Store to fulfill other requests. Outside of work, Sara takes every chance she gets to travel, challenge herself and experience life to the fullest. Sara used the Forerunner 910XT in her training for a heated race in the Heartland — Ironman 70.3 Kansas. Find out her perspective on “voluntary acts of personal punishment” and her thoughts on the 910XT as the triathlete’s training tool.
I felt pretty prepared for this race. I can tell I trained well in each discipline as I didn’t have any injuries or serious muscle fatigue or soreness (out of the ordinary) during the race. Happy about that. Also was thrilled I didn’t get a flat tire, get hit by a car or forget my running shoes. However, I mentally break down when it gets that hot. Maybe it’s because I’m such a practical person at heart that I see exertion of one’s self in extreme conditions to be left to war, famine or pure survival. Since this was strictly a voluntary act of personal punishment, it seemed a little odd to be out there running through the maze of cones, like cattle. Nonetheless, I was silly enough to do it too. Yes, I am coming to terms with the fact that I have become a bored city slicker, challenging myself to extreme athletic feats, desperately seeking that sense of accomplishment in life. It’s natural to want to challenge oneself to the next harder event (start out with sprint distance, then Olympic, 70.3 and ultimately the full Ironman).
I felt a little bad for Sunita, Rajat, and Peter, who had driven to Lawrence to stand in the heat and cheer me on. I figured I better do them the honor to muster through and finish. Was seriously debating throwing in the towel at mile 2 on the run. The swim didn’t bother me. It truly was the choppiest lake swim I’ve ever done, but I surprisingly was extremely calm and just powered through it. I remember thinking to myself that I’m really happy my parents took us to all those swimming lessons. I had rode the bike course prior to the race twice, one of the times we did it was Memorial Day, which was equally hot and windy as it was on race day, so no surprises for me there. It was awesome to have the volunteers give us water at the three checkpoints. I mainly sprayed it on myself to keep cool. I was wearing my Camelbak so I had plenty of hydration on me.
The run. I ended up walking more than I care to admit, and I truly don’t feel accomplished on the run section because I walked/ran so slowly. I started to feel a little queasy in the stomach prior to getting off the bike and had a feeling my run was not going to be an enjoyable experience. I had a towel with me that I dipped in the kiddy pools full of ice water, that was the ticket right there. It helped a lot, however it seemed like it was forever until I could get to the next aid station to do it again. The volunteers again were awesome on this portion, spraying us with hoses and giving us ice. I want to write them all thank you notes!
Sara’s advice to triathletes considering a Forerunner 910XT for swim features:
For a triathlete, I feel this watch is pretty awesome. One of the best features of this watch is having the two alerts (time and distance). Most triathletes have a distance or time goal in mind when they swim. This watch allows you to pre-set an alert to vibrate at either a specific time or distance interval. The vibration feature is much superior to a beep or key tone alert. When you’re wearing a swim cap and you’re underwater, everything is muffled.
The display is big enough that I can read the watch while I’m doing a flip turn to see what distance I’m on, which is awesome, especially when swimming more than 200 yards at a time, (it’s easy to daydream). It has a backlight that lights up every time you press lap for added readability while swimming. It has a whole slew of data fields to choose from; I default mine to three. I use interval distance as the largest field on top for easy readability while swimming, the bottom two data fields or interval time and total distance.
If you are a data freak as most people who buy our products are, the 910XT uploads to Garmin Connect wirelessly and you can keep track of your data that way.