This last weekend Cathi and I went up to Boise to participate in the Ironman 70.3 (Half Ironman)
Here's the official results:
There were 1401 total athletes participating. There were 205 people in my division. So just considering my division... After the swim I was 8th (96th percentile), after the bike I was 43rd (79th percentile), and after the run I was 79th (61st percentile). Another reason why I think it's a good decision to hang up the bike, put some air fresheners in my running shoes and stick with swimming. Time to focus on the channel!!!! And nothing but the channel!!!!
Details, details...... if you are bored and have nothing better to read:
I took the bus up to Lucky Peak Res. at 11:00. I got my bike all ready and found out that you had to have all of your stuff in a bag. You couldn't just load up your bike and transition real fast the way you set it up. It just had to be in the bag. Lucky for me I have a very simple transition.
I then spent two hour trying to rest in the shade of a tree as it was a completely clear and hot afternoon. I saw Bryan Child and we chatted for a bit.
Swim: I was in swim wave 7. I started at 2:18. I was behind the first row of swimmers behind the buoys. Within 10 seconds of the start I passed the guy in front of me and could see there were about five guys in front of me. Within a couple minutes I started to see red caps which were from wave 6. Then a few more minutes, the next colored caps. It was exciting. I kind of felt sorry for the slow people from the waves ahead of me.
I was bilateral breathing the first couple minutes, but because I was pushing it so hard I decided it wasn't worth it and did breathing just to the right. I was really pushing it. When I did sight I found that I was right on course so I didn't have any major course corrections to make. When I got out, I stopped my watch right on 29:00 even. Nice. I was hoping for about 30 minutes.
My bike transition went very fast. I didn't use the wetsuit strippers that the event provided. I could get mine off faster than using those people. I got to my bike which was right on the edge of the row. From the time I got out of the water, ran up the ramp, got to my bike changed, and ran with it to the bike out, it took 3 and a half minutes, which was actually pretty fast.
Bike: The ride down from the dam was fun. I was getting up to 39 miles per hour. But the winds were fierce. This route was way more hilly than I anticipated. Here's the map of the actual data from my GPS. I was SO glad for the water stations that the event provided. I would have been in HUGE trouble without it. I only had 1 x 6 ounce gatorade and a 12 ounce water bottle. That was it. I don't know what I was thinking assuming that would be good enough. Every 15 miles they provided a station where volunteers held out 16 ounce bottles of gaterade. They were ice cold and delicious. I would have seriously died without those! The wind was brutal, and some of those hils were pretty long climbs! 18.7 mph average. On a flat course with no wind I would have been disappointed with that speed, but I was pleased with how well I did considering those hills and the strong headwinds.
Funny thing that happened while finishing my bike ride: I was going around a corner about 7 miles from the bike finish. We biked through alot of neighborhoods and many people were out on their lawns clapping and cheering. There was a group of college aged guys there clapping and cheering right close to the curb on a corner. As he was clapping and cheering for me just as I got close he yelled out. "Right on, Clydesdale division. Keep on going! Nice job!". At first I was just a tad TO'd. But then I realized, technically I'm right on the borderline of being a "Clydesdale", if there really was such a division for the 70.3 which there isn't. It's just age divisions. After looking at many of the pictures that Cathi took, I realized why he said such a thing.
When I finished the bike it was at the bottom of a hill so it felt good to finish really strong. The dismount was good and the run to locate my transition area went very smooth. I sat on the rocky ground as I applied Vaseline to my feet. Put on socks and shoes and then applied Dr. Hoys to my knees and lower back. My transition for the run took 3:04.
Run: Cathi had a lawn chair and was waiting right there at the turn around point, which was only a block from the run start. She was jumping up and down smiling and cheering and it made me so happy to see her. The first two miles were the worst part of the whole run. I had to walk for about 20 seconds four times during those first two miles, but after that I felt better, got into a groove and made a deal with myself that I would only allow myself to walk during water stations. Which was a fantastic arrangement because it gave me enough time to drench myself with the sponges they handed out, get two glasses of water, one glass of coke, and half a banana. I really took advantage of those aid stations. But once I passed it, I resumed my rather slow run.
When I got to mile 6.5 where the turnaround point was I saw Cathi way up ahead of me standing on the course jumping up and down and cheering for me. I ran up to her and gave her a big kiss on the lips and ran on!
I wanted to get a 10:00/mile pace which for me is really slow. I ended up going 10:36. But that is expected when I walk through the 50 yard long aid station line. So I was actually not disappointed with my run considering that the first 2 miles I wanted to die. I felt like a machine after mile 4. I just kept an even rhythm and pace and kept my breathing down so I didn't get too exhausted. I knew I had a full 13 miles to do and didn't want to stop and stretch, or have to throw up like I saw a ton of people do. I WOULD ONLY WALK WHEN DRINKING OR EATING FOR THE 1 MINUTE OF AID STATIONS every 1.5 miles.
When I got to mile 12 though I could faintly hear the crowd at the finish line. I picked it up. When I got to Mile 13 which is where they have an aid station. I didn't stop. I picked up my run into a full out sprint. What helped is that some guy next to me was doing the same thing and he was trying to beat me. I really turned on the after burners and he was left in my dust. The crowd was really cheering everyone on. It was great! I felt so good. I stopped my watch and it read: 5:53:39.34.
I was so glad to be done! I saw Cathi at the start of the run, the turnaround point at mile 6.5 and at the finish. She was such a great support! I had such a good time and glad that I did as well as I hoped. I wanted to get a 5:54 and I did it by 20 seconds. How close is that!!? Given a 6 hour race getting with 20 seconds of your goal? How's that for knowing my limitations?