Temperature: 65 degrees @ start
Official Time: 1:39:18
Place in Division: 3/8 (Athena)
Place in Gender: 103/218
Overall Place: 320/532
My Mental State: Leading up to this event, I had a lot of mixed feelings. In recent days, I had switched from the Sprint distance to the Half Iron Distance and back to the Sprint and was left questioning whether or not I had made the right decision. It wasn't until the day prior to my race that I was confident that I did the right thing. But, when I woke up on Saturday morning, as my friends raced the Half Iron event, I wasn't jealous. I didn't feel like I was missing out. If anything, I felt relieved. Proof that I was supposed to race the sprint.
|post-race glow ...|
The Bike and Run Courses: I absolutely loved the last two legs of this course. The bike was mostly flat (or false flats) with a few gentle rollers. It was totally suited to my giant quads and to my personal preference of not liking to have to haul my 160 lb frame up hills. The run course, as described, was PANCAKE flat. After a slight climb out of transition, we ran an out and back along a bike path. Other than a lack of shade in some sections, it was ideal.
My Bike Speed: Although my bike split indicates a speed of 17.2 mph, I actually averaged 18.7 while moving. The combination of a long run from T1 to bike mount and slick conditions that had me fumbling while clipping in, ate a huge amount of time. Let's just call it as it is: Transition FAIL.
My Run Split: I had two goals heading into the run. First, don't give up. And second, hold the pace I run in training. Having not raced a Sprint in over two years (and even that was a joke), I wasn't sure of the pacing and just wanted to feel strong. There would be no blowing up after the first mile of the run. I was controlled and consistent and I averaged an 8:49 pace - exactly like in training.
Beating the Pain: I'm not really sure that a half Ironman is any more challenging than a Sprint. I think you just approach it differently. Kind of like how a marathon and a 5K can be equal in many respects. When it comes down to it, regardless of distance, you just have to beat the pain. You have to outrun it or silence it or ignore it. I accomplished that on Sunday, something I haven't been able to do in quite some time.
Podium Finish: When I finished racing, I was psyched. I felt good. I raced strong. Then, I found out I finished 3rd in my division. It was just icing on the cake.
|yes, I realize none of us really look like Athenas ...|
Transitions: The transitions in this race were crazy long. A quarter mile run from the swim (thankfully in grass). A considerable run to the bike mount. I know that logistically, it couldn't have been set up any other way, but still ...
Open Bike Course: I know it can be a challenge to completely close roads during a race, but it would have been nice. On two separate occasions, I got caught behind a slow moving vehicle (as in slower than my bike) and couldn't get around. Kind of frustrating considering that a few seconds can make all the difference.
My Transitions: Um, yeah. For all my training, I really suck at transition. I nearly fell mounting my bike. Perhaps, practice once in a while would help.
The Swim: This open water swim was supposed to be 750m. Not a single person that I talked to clocked less than .6 miles. Personally, I came in at .658, which is 1060m. Thing is, I didn't swim off course. I literally hugged the buoys. Oh, and then there was the chop and the cross-current. Needless to say, the swim wasn't the highlight of my day.