Updated: Dec 30, 2019
I have completed my first Ironman 70.3 race after my recovery on November 3rd! It has been a very long since my last race and I have missed every minute of training and racing during my injured days. Antalya was not in my race plan during this season as I was planning to race as relay, but I had to shift to individual.
I have been trying to train since September 1st and I still needed some room for becoming fully ready. Therefore, my only aim was to finish the race. I had no plan for PB or something. The race was actually me vs me! :) Unfortunately since I have returned to training, I missed some activities due to physiotherapy sessions and I gained weight! I was like 81.5 kg on the race day! Normally, I have to be 73-74 kg for my Ironman race. I felt like potato!!
Anyway, it was going to be weekend getaway with family. I have given my bike to my team as it was going to be delivered with a truck full of bikes :) It cost me 350 TL (60 USD). It was better than bike transfer by plane. I did not have to worry about transportation to the airport and the transportation in Antalya as well.
We went to Antalya with Pegasus from Istanbul (SAW) on 2nd of August early in the morning. It was a nice trip with our baby. She was very calm during flight! (cross fingers) We have also arranged our transportation from Antalya Aiport to our Hotel, Innvista. It cost 220TL (38 USD) including return to the airport. It took around 30 minutes to the hotel.
As we arrived, I went to the registration area quickly and attended race briefing. It was organized in the Land of Legends. Perfect hotel! Our hotel was very close to it, but considering the size of Land of Legends it took some time to reach the area :)) After that, I took my bike and made some adjustments and went to the T1 area to deliver it.
There were two different transition area. The race took place at Kadriye Beach. It was 2 loops. First loop took 1100 meters and the 2nd took 800 meters. The Second Transition was inside the Land of Legends area. We were going to take our bikes from T1 and leave them at the T2 area inside hotel area.
We had our lunch and dinner at Innvista Hotel, but we didn't like the food. It was not a good quality as we experienced in other all-included hotels. I had a spaghetti, and Turkish pide with few pieces of meat in the evening.
On the race morning, I woke up at 4.45 am and had my last arrangements. I had a Crepes with Nutella and Honey. I also drank tea at the breakfast. I, then, went to my room and took my bags. I took the shuttle at 6.30 am. I was listening some pump-up songs.
It was an Australian exit and I took part at 30-35 minutes section. I knew my capabilities. Normally, I would stand at 30' or less part :) Anyway, I finished swimming in 36 minutes with average pace of 1:57/100m. The first loop took 23 minutes and I struggled with the second part of swim due to sudden changes in my pulse.
I was happy with my condition on my way to T1 (it took 6 minutes 27 seconds), but I always kept reminding myself not to push too much! I tried to kept my speed around 31-32km/h and finished the bike part in 2hr 51 minutes. The course was not spectator friendly, it was a flat road with a nice view and well-established roads. Our only supporters were the police officers who blocked the roads. :(
At T2, I spent 4 minutes. Then, it was time to run.
The run course was inside the hotel and it was nice to see some people and supporters around. It was the worst and fun part of the race for me. It was a hot weather and I tried to fuel myself carefully. It took 2 hours and 21 seconds to finish the run. I was hoping to finish it in 2 hours, but it didn't happen unfortunately. At the beginning, I was slowing down myself and kept my pace steady, but I couldn't manage the same pace after 8th km. It was probably because of my lack of training, but I had only one thing in my mind. I was going to finish the race! I thought about all the struggles I had to deal with during run. I thought about the good days and my comeback! I did everything to finish it. I didn't push myself, but I tried to keep going no matter what! In the end, I completed the race 5 hours and 59 minutes. Broke the sub 6 hours :)
My wife and daughter were waiting for me at the end. It was very nice to see them. I look forward to keep them wait (if she doesn't want to sleep :)) in IM Bahrain 70.3 on December 7th :)