After 2 years of training, juggling, setbacks and triumphs I have finally pulled the trigger on my first iron distance event. After this weekend's half ironman i feel totally ready and plunked my money down for the chesapeakeman ultra distance tri on 9/25 in Cambridge, Md
saturday was my off day and my daughters first soccer game of the year. she played tough and despite being a little one wasnt afraid to mix it up with the bigger kids. then it was off to a community park event so my daughter could ride some ponies and the boy could learn about muskets and WWII german weaponry from reenactors. back home for some dinner w/ our friend frank and his girls and the traditional prerace building of kitchen cabinets. went to bed around 10pm.
snuck out the door around 4am had a breakfast of pb crackers and fig newtowns w/ powerade zero on my drive down to delaware. arrived just as the parking lot opened and the rain began to fall. hit the registration tent before the crowd showed up and went back to my car. I decided to close my eyes and try to center myself before all the chaos grabs hold of me. well centering myself makes me have to poop. off to portapotties. portapotties before dawn are clean but dark, scary and inefficient. i grab my bags and bike and head off to T1. I get set up and break out my 9 year old never been work Orca longsleeve wetsuit that I got for doing Team in Training forever ago. surprisingly it fit. felt like a second skin. eventually we are kicked out of T1 and walk down to the pond.
they send us in the water and tell us to go to the first bouy about 200yds in the pond for the start. we walk out then start swimming to the start. As I reach the bouy I look up and see half the wave has left. a guy in a kayak says the race started 45 seconds again. D'oh!! well off I go. the suit is great but my stroke just doesn't feel quite right. I try to relax and focus on getting from bouy to bouy. I miss the initial rugby scrim bdue to my brilliant strategy of letting the crowd go first but still get a kick to the jaw and to my ribs
(right where it's tender from my crash last week
). the water is murky and I taste a lot of grit. yum. about 3/4 I notice the suit is squeezing my bladder. HARD. so I decide to really break in my suit.
out of the water in around 40minutes. was hoping to do better but oh well. a 1/4 mile run to T1. check my sugars 82 perfect I pop a gel and some meds and give denise and update text and 7minutes 15 seconds later I'm off.
it was still drizzling when I got the bike but that's fine with me cause I apparently can't handle the heat. I focus very hard on keep my HR below 145. I want to ride conservatively and save my energy for Mile 10 of the run. so I ride and eat every 15 minutes and test my sugars every hour and everything is working out fine I feel great and my sugars are steady. the course is rolling hills and boring but again that's fine cause this is a training day not a race. i tell myself this constantly as people pass me or I see someone ahead of me. that I'm not in it to win it I'm here to cover the distance and be ready for my first iron distance in two weeks so today is not a day to play hero. by the end of the bike my neck is sore and my tummy feels full but legs and lungs feel fine. I can do this one more time but it will be a grind. 3:09:14
T2 I jump off the bike and give Denise a call as I lace up my shoes. blood sugars are still holding steady. I pop another gel and i'm off. 6:33
I hit run and am grinding gears as I try to find my legs. I am tellling myself to slow down and keep my HR below 155. I calm down and get into a groove but the first six miles I strain against my HR limit. I hit the turnaround in around 58 minutes and my sugars are still fantastic despite the bars, gels and watered down gatorade I've been snacking on. I figure I'm close to 6hrs
(a barrier I've never been able to break in my previous 3 halfs
) I decide I've been disciplined enough and it would be cool to go for it. So I set phaser to kill
(actually more like hurt feelings but whatever
) and run by feel. The miles go clicking by. I gain a running partner along the way a high school sophmore doing his first half. We chat for a couple miles but I lose him at an aid station. i hit mile 10 and tried to push that much harder but this is also the base of the one bad hill of the course ahead of me I see people walking. I hit it no problem and enjoy the long downhill to mile 12. I am booking pretty hard but think I have a small cushion to breaking 6hrs
(but am guessing cause there are no clocks anywhere on the course and I started my watch late
) i hit the last turn and look for the finish clock and it's not there. I cross the line and stop my watch. Run time 1:51:56. i pass a lot of folks and get only passed by 2. I'm tired but could have run all day
official time 6:00:03. GRRRRRR
still this was my best Half ever. no cramps, no walking, no blowing up. A PR by 20 minutes for the distance and 40 minutes for this course. definitely would have broken six if this was my goal for the year but it isn't. My goal this year is to cover 140.6 and this was an excellent test for it.
I'm so done with a training plan. sick of figuring what I should be doing and how hard. today I had it and just ran at lunch again. no heart rate monitor or plan just me, my feet and the heat. pushed it when I wanted to took a detour up a tough hill just because. I felt a like a dog let off it's chain.
But me being a triathlete I can't let a workout go without crunchign some numbers 3.95 miles in 35:30. ahhh all is in balance now.