So the day before the race was really hectic. I woke up and did a brick at 5AM 30 minute bike, 15 minute run. Then got tons of stuff ready including luggage, transition bag, food, drinks, breakfast, etc. Then began driving 5 hours plus picking up Bike Rentals for my sister, brother, and girlfriend for their sprint on Sunday. I was late to the athlete meeting but I still got it all in because they started late. I learned that the bike course was changed a bit from the original change. It was fine by me, I’m just here for the ride, as long as the length is the same, I’m good. It was hot out and I wondered if it would really cool to the low 60s by the next morning. Got my packet and dropped off my bike before heading to the hotel. Dinner ended up at Longhorn, just about the only place that could be any good near the hotel. Had this Chicken dish with mashed potatoes and brocoli that just rocked. Very happy.
Woke up race day 3:30AM and started eating. Had a banana, apple sauce, Ensure Plus, and grape juice. Went downstairs and toasted 2 pieces of bread and had some butter on em. Saw the first triathlete at the hotel and gave him a nod as he left for the race, he was doing the half as well. I had everything set and ready to go and just had to fill up my drinks by 5 (I work very slow in the early morning). I was off and once I was there got an okay parking spot and went to set up transition. Everything was really dark, but going smooth until it started raining. My worst nightmare when it is cold, I had to put on my wetsuit double time to avoid having a miserable time putting it on wet. Everything went okay and we rushed under this hut area with all the other triathletes and froze while we waited to go down to the water. Eventually the rain let up again and the mass of people ready for the mass start all went down to the beach to wade into the water and do a little warmup before the race. The big problem was that we could not see anything through the dark air and limited visibility due to rain. Everyone was looking for the buoy. The race director finally called up everyone to the beach and so I was worried it would be canceled, but he spoke to us about the race for a minute and revealed that there was another course change, from the 13.1 mile loop to a 6.55 mile loop, this made me upset because I hate having to see things more than once and I already am going to have to do that on the bike. Nothing I could do though, so we all saw through the clouds and we could see the first buoy. The race was delayed by 15 minutes, but when it was time, a waverunner went out with a light so we could sight better.
I’m ready, I’m ready, got my ear plugs in, wetsuit on, goggles set, swim cap on, I’m ready, wait why are people swimming? Did I forget to mention that my ear plugs were in :). So I see people running and running, and it is not very deep so I do the same, then my legs started feeling like they were putting in effort so I dove for it, but I was moving faster running through the water than the people who decided to swim the first bit. So we’re swimming now and It was nearly impossible to see the buoys, especially when it started raining. The first buoy seemed to take a long time to get to, but I felt my 10 minute timer go off only a little before it so I knew I had to be moving fast. Now the second buoy felt really long, especially with waves in my face and I kept finding myself 50 yards off course and had to correct myself too much. I had no idea where the beach was coming around the third buoy, and just followed everybody, but still fell off course for some reason. I was also really burning up in my left shoulder. My shoulder was burning real bad and felt very tired. That might explain me veering mostly to the left. I’m coming out of the water feeling like that was the slowest swim in my life, but I take a look at my watch and BOOM 33:00 exactly.
Started running to transition. My wetsuit was half off and I didn’t know how the strippers worked so I watched one person and then jumped on the floor and in .5 seconds it was off. Ran into transition and realized I had to pee. I thought to myself, ehhh, it will go away on the bike, then I thought… No bathroom for 28 miles? We need to go! But I’m at transition freaking out because everything is soaking wet: socks, shoes, bike, glasses, helmet. I then start running around not realizing that the bathrooms were straight ahead. I sprint and do my business, head to the bike and glasses, helmet, socks… wait, I can’t see now, take off glasses and put them in my tri suit just incase I need them later. 2:48 Transition.
I run and hop on my bike and I’m off. I was having trouble getting on my shoes for the first half a mile because it was uphill, but eventually got em snug, then I realized I hadn’t hit “lap” on my watch to switch to bike. I hit it twice on accident and now it says T2, so I had to reset and go to bike again. Really slowed down my first two miles. Decided I needed to catch up and started getting a move on. Passed a good bit of people in the beginning and had some fun back and forths with people for a good portion of the race, but I almost saw no other racers for the last 10 miles. The bottle hand offs sucked so I only ended up getting one bottle and am glad I took my 30oz of gatorade and 25oz. of water with me. Also, it rained and the tape holding my gels to the bike didn’t hold up so well so I had to take them off and put them in the back of my tri-suit. I lost one gel in the process which I wanted towards the end of the bike and the guy at the aid station wasn’t very good at giving me one. Otherwise, my nutrition went pretty well, not as planned, but pretty well. Getting off the bike is so fun so I pull my leg around and run off. I’m feeling good. Really good when I see BIKE TIME of 2:35:05. My goal was under 2:48.
This went smooth from what I remember except everybody wanted me to look at them and I fumbled with my stuff a few times but got everything good to go.
Like I said, I was feeling goodoff the bike. My goal pace for the half marathon was 9:00 miles. My first mile was just getting into the groove and my watch beeps: “8:12.” Wow, I don’t want to burn myself out. A girl came up behind me looking to do a 2:00 half marathon like me so we kinda kept pace with each other and talked for the first 6.5 miles or so. The course was a 2 loop, 6.55 mile course. After the first loop, I pulled ahead of her and I guess her knee was bothering her, because from then on, I was feeling real slow. At about 7 miles, the real pain started to set in. At 8, I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t as tired or in as much pain as I was. By the 11th mile, I had to convince myself to keep going when every bone in my body wanted to lay down. The 12th mile was just horrendous, uphill, painful, unbearable, to say the least. Going into mile 13 I just knew I could pull off 1.1 more miles. I push myself, feeling like I wanted to crawl instead, but go hard and at 13 miles, I notice that we are not very close to the finish line… oh no… Ended up as a 13.4 mile run. I must note that my biggest annoyance was twice going 2 miles without any water because there was only like 3 or 4 aid stations on each loop. I would rather there be one every mile so I have a choice to skip it or If I’m really needing it, can go. Also the aid stations would make you stop and choose what you wanted from the tables instead of handing it out. That made it all the more miserable. The run was hot and I forgot to bring my sun glasses because I didn’t need them at all on the bike. I don’t know if any of that had to do with my slowness towards the end, but I will never know.And here are the run splits:
I had no feelings, pain overtook my body. I just ran through and used all my strength to put my fists as high in the air as I could. I wanted to collapse. To sleep and just fall down. I had cookies and stuff and actually came in 3rd in my age group, but left before awards… Whoops. total time 5:16:16. The reason you see 34 minutes on my official results is that they didn’t split the swim until I was in transition: