Sunday, July 20, 2008

Half an Ironman

It's over! I'm still working on thoughts...I have a lot of random stories from the day but let's just go through the basics.

Unlike other race eves where I toss and turn, I slept like a complete brick and was not happy when the alarm went off at 3:30 am. Got up, got my stuff organized, got the car loaded and we headed out at 4:30 so we could get to Guerneville by the time transition opened at 5:30. Got my bike set up at transition, walked the dogs around town, set up the rest of my transition and got body-marked. Watched the pros go off at 6:30 (they are so fast. they breathe every stroke and are so high out of the water!). Hit the porta-potties a few more times. Got tired of shivering (air temp ~50 deg) and finally put my wetsuit on an hour before my wave.

1.2 Mile Swim: The water was a balmy wetsuit-legal 70.5 degrees. We all oohed and aahed when our wave was allowed in because the water was so much warmer than the air. I knew this one would take me a while longer than everyone else - planned to just focus on my pace and sighting along the way. The swim went about as expected - I hit just barely under the time I was expecting so no surprises there. It's really hard to swim upriver into the current.

T1: About the same as always. I'm pretty fast in transition. Grrrrrr that they took all the other bike racks down and stacked them in the runway so I couldn't get through while jogging out with my bike. 3:04.

56 Mile Bike: I pushed hard to hit my goal time. I also had to kill 2 minutes stopping to pee at an aid station. Felt really good for the first half of the ride, just powering up the hills I had hated when we pre-rode them. Turned into not-so-happy-Molly at the turnaround, when our headwind turned into...a stronger headwind. I really had to fight to keep my pace. I did great on the big hill that other people were walking, but I was in pain the last 10 miles. My knees were toast from pushing hard uphill. I could not believe I had to run a half-marathon still. I beat my goal time by nearly 7 minutes!

T2: Quick transition, just wanted to get on with it. 2:34.

13.1 Mile Run: This hurt from the get-go. I was moving fast for the first mile but not happy about how far I had to go. I think I quit triathlon about 6 times! But, I motored on and didn't let myself take a walk break till I'd completed the turnaround and hit the 7-mile mark and could calculate what I needed to maintain for my finish time. I walked a lot during the run, but somehow still pulled off a pretty good time after everything else I'd done (2:13).

I had a nice bout of wheezing after I crossed the finish line. Not being able to breathe is always fun.

Jeff was my saint for the day, being my support crew and cheering me on. He kept me sane before the start (though I was uncharacteristicly not nervous), drove all over town to cheer for me at various points on the course, and hauled everything back when I could barely move after the finish.

My original goal when I started training for this race was 7:30. Coming into today, I had a semi-secret (not so secret after I blogged about it Friday) goal of 7:00. My final time was 6:42! It's slow by HIM standards, but no complaints here.

Now excuse me while I minister to my brutal sunburn (I swear I wore sunblock) and have 1 beer and pass out :) There are photos and videos from the day. I'll get around to uploading at some point.


LadyPatsFan said...

You are totally awesome. Congrats on a great event, and congrats on a terrific time! I can't wait to see the pics, but get some well deserved, and well needed sleep first.

SWTrigal said...

Uh, 6:42 is NOT slow by HIM times in my book-that is great! Congratulations..that run hurt..

katiemc811 said...

CONGRATS!!! what a great accomplishment. here's to a speedy recovery :)

Elayne said...

Wow, congrats on smashing your 'secret' time goal, must have felt great to see that finish time on your watch. Sounds like you had an awesome race.

21stCenturyMom said...

6:42 when you were expecting to go 7:30 - THAT IS HUGE!


I think I had more fun out there than you did, though.

Andra Sue said...

Congratulations on your finish, not to mention beating your expectations by almost an hour!!! Awesome job out there. :)