Monday, October 29, 2012

An Experience at First Half Ironman

I raced my first half Ironman on Sunday in Austin, Texas. This was quite the adventure!

I had no legitimate expectation for this race except to finish and to get a feel for what these longer distances had to offer. I also wanted to measure my nutrition-intake accurately, so as to avoid bonking and what not!

The swim—7:30 am start time. In-water start. 1.2 mile, counter-clockwise, triangular-shaped loop in the Walter E Long Lake.

The interesting factor that morning was the cold. It was 40-45 degrees. Happily, the water temp was 71 but we didn’t have that buffer when we got onto the bike soaking wet! For that reason, I chose to throw on a cycling jersey and arm warmers in T1. I also had booties on my bike shoes. NONE of that helped. Within 2 minutes on the bike, I was frozen solid and everything was numb. I didn’t complain or get discouraged because I knew everyone felt the same way. I exited the water, 14th in 26:57.

The bike—A single, 56 mile loop. Interstates and back country roads. Very rolling.

I started out at what felt like a good clip. A few riders came up on me and I hung with them for several miles before I thought my front tire was going flat. Turns out it wasn’t and by the time I realized, those guys were gone. I kept on pace and hit my nutrition as necessary. I felt pretty drained at the end of that ride and my eyes were completely bloodshot, not sure why… I hit T2, 19th in 2:26:31.

The run – 3 loops. Rolling with a fair amount of turns. On dirt and roads.

I jumped off the bike and felt good in the first 3 miles. My feet didn’t regain feeling until the 3rd mile but that didn’t stop me from running hard out the gates. For good measure, I carried a gel the entire length of the run. The wind really started to pick-up and it seemed it would hit us at the worst parts of the course. After the first lap, my output went downhill from there. At that point, I wasn’t looking to run anyone down. I was simply looking to finish! I took that gel at the 12.5 mile mark when I was forced to a shuffle because every part of my legs was on the verge of seizing. At one point, I kid you not a butterfly passed me on the run! I crossed that tape happy I didn’t DNF, 19th in 4:21:05.

I had intended to be very conservative in my efforts so as to avoid running out of gas, so to speak. However, in each of the three disciplines, I got overly excited and went out too hard, subsequently paying the price for it later on. I’m glad I finished my 2012 season with my first 70.3. Do I wish it was a better result? YES. Will I always get the results I desire? NO. Nonetheless, it was the experience I was going after and I now know what it feels like. I also have a newfound respect for that distance and for those who race it!!

A BIG thanks goes out to my amazing sponsors. I love your support and really can’t succeed without you. Thanks very much for a successful 2012!! Zico, Champion Systems, Xterra Wetsuits, Skechers, Kask Helmets, Gu.

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


1 comment:


    Hahaha, I know you were here for bizness, but I would have loved to come watch you race! Congrats on your first 70.3 and make sure you let me know next time you're in Texas!