Wow! We were blessed with a great day for racing on Sunday. Slightly overcast and chilly at the start. The elite wave went off just after the sun came up over the water. What an amazing sight. They are so very fast!! I got in the water on the 5th flight (old ladies ha ha) and spanked the swim! It took about 5 minutes for me to get comfortable, but given the water was 70 degrees I was happy to have my wet suit on. Steady rhythm and out of the water in 44 minutes.
Transition was hilarious. The wet suit strippers unfortunately stripped off the bottoms of the girl next to me (so much for public nudity being prohibited) so she was mortified and I couldn’t stop laughing. I had trouble finding my bike in the sea of bikes but then got changed and off I went. I had to keep a steady heart rate during the bike so I would have something left for the run. I also had to make sure I took in enough nutrition and drank enough so I wouldn’t be dead before I started to run. Rolling hills are your friend, but some killer turns were nasty. I only passed 4 people that were actually moving forward. The other 12 or so were either crashed (sorry Diesel) or were somewhere between throwing up or passing out. Being the stellar cyclist I am (NOT), I think at least 2000 people passed me on the bike.
Oh well, I still got through faster than my goal and after a smooth transition started to run. Well, you may call it running but it was more like a slow crawl at first. Then a walk. My stomach was in knots. After a quick trip to the port-a-potty and a little vomitus, I was feeling much better. Guess I actually ate too much on the bike. I was 4 miles in and started to actually run. The run was three loops so I got to see my awesome cheering section of sherpas three times. They reminded me on the last loop that I would make it under 7 hours if I just kept a steady pace (which at this point was 10 minute miles). Boy did it get hot on the run. Thank God for the cold towels, wet sponges and water stations about every mile. It was amazing to me how many people were walking and crawling at the end. Some were even staggering. I finished with a strong charge and made it in at 6:57:59. Yea! An hour faster than I predicted, and under 7, so Janet’s prediction came true. All weekend she was chanting 6, 6, I know you can do it in 6.
A cold Shiner was my reward after the finish line and a good time was had by all. Worst part of the whole weekend was the drive home (and the sunburn)…Thank God Janet was on sherpa duty and loves to drive! What did I learn? Patience and perseverance mixed with a little stubbornness will get you through, but a few more long bricks probably would’ve helped me take an hour off my time. Off season a new bike is definitely in order and oh yeah….wear sunscreen!
A great first Half-Ironman experience! Funny thing, I hurt a lot less the next day than I did after my last marathon. Guess I will have to try another one next season…who knows maybe even a full in 2011!
Run Happy my peeps!
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