Race: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman
Executive Summary – The radio DJs saying that it was a good day to be inside with the AC cranked made me chuckle.
OA – 74th
AG – 6th (I always finish out of the money)
Pre-Race: I got there at about 5:15 AM. Parking was easy. I got the the transition area and was happy to see that my bike was well protected by the garbage bags I had put on it from the storm. It made for one less thing to worry about. Dropped the kids off at the pool a few times, while getting my timing chip and body marked
swim: I’m glad that I got to see the first couple waves go, it made it clear that there was a sand bar about 15m or so from shore. I lined up in the front row of my age group, and went for it at the horn. Was surprised at how quickly the first turn buoy came. So I turned and realized, man these waves are tough. Then I realized that I didn’t sight for the next bouy. Fortunately, I wasn’t that far off course. THings were pretty smooth IMO, a few waves made it interesting. I spent about the first two bouys of the straight away in someones draft. At that point he started to slow down, and we started to catch the Elite Age Groupers, so I broke away. The rest of the swim was uneventful until the turn to shore. Every time a wave came through, I felt like I was getting pulled backwards. I was the second out of the water from my starting group, but I ran past him on my wave into transition, so ended up with the fastest swim time for my AG. Was happy to see my split on the watch. +1 minute in the bank for goal time.
AG – 1st
OA – 16th
T1 – I took my time. In planning my race I wanted to be out in under two minutes. Got out in 1:30. Total time in bank 0:01:30.
Bike – The bike was uneventful. I tried to take it easy out of town. I kept it in the small chain ring up front until I got to Highway V. I figured that since it was freshly paved it would be a good spot to open it up a little. Only things I noticed on the bike: The road at the first aid station was ROUGH. Other then that nothing worse then I’m used to. The second intersting thing was that at about mile 40 I passed the eventual womens winner thinking “Man, she’s having a bad day.” Gained a little bit more for the bank ~ 3:00 minutes up on my goal pace. I put it on cruise control the last 7 or so miles once I figured I was way ahead of my goal pace.
AG – 8th
OA – 96th
T2 – Got in and felt fresh, ready to run a fast race. I figured that since I hadn’t gone too hard on the bike, I shoudl be able to handle the heat. Not to mention I was confident in my late day running, since I do my long run Tuesdays as my way home from work. Was a little slower then I wanted, but it averaged out with T1 to be the desired amount of transition time.
I “charged” out of transition up the hill, saw my wife and said hi, and then got to business. I planned to break the run into 4 5ks. Doing the first with about a 7:45/mile pace, building into it, and then seeing how it went from there. About 1/2 way to the zoo, Natasha blew by me going 100 mph, but I stuck to my game plan. My stomach felt a little rough, because I didn’t eat/drink quite right on the bike (got to work on that). I clipped off the first mile at 8:00, followed by #2 at 7:00, and #3 and 7:00. Once we turned on to the road with the turn around, my world exploded. My HR went from mid 150’s (high but managable for a HIM run), to mid 160’s like a rocket. I decided right then and there that I needed to switch to survival mode to finish the race. Beginning at mile marker four I began walking the first minute of each mile. THis kept me going at about 8:45 pace until the 1/2 way point. Combined with my good first 3 miles, I did the first loop in what I had termed my “acceptable” run pace. Unfortunately, I had to start adding in 30 second walks in addition to the minute walk every other mile or so on the second loop. By mile 12, I actually started to feel like I could run som emore. I don’t know if it was knowing I was almost done or what, but I started to feel a little better.
In sum: WHile I’m disappointed with my meltdown on the run, I am happy with the experience. My bike and swim were awesome, and I finished the bike feeling fresh. I’ve come away with a strategy to do things for my next warm day race (Please don’t be IMWI), to prevent the implosion. Ultimately, I think that my IM goal time is still realistic based on what I saw from my self today.
bike: was very solid and strong
run: was going good until about 3.5 miles, then hr started to go up because of overheating.