I'm a half Ironman! :)
Overall it went well. I finished. Goal one. 2nd in my age group. Goal two. Under 5:30. (26 swim 2:45 bike 2:10 run were my goals; actual times (not official) 25 swim, 2:38 bike, 2:17ish run for total time of 5:22). Goal three. Smile on the bike. Goal four. Running the entire run. Bonus goal!
Race preparations: nothing like creating your nutrition plan the day before the race. JT gave me some calorie advice, which led to the decision of two bottles of highly concentrated Powerbar Endurance drink for the bike, with water in the aero bottle, along with two Gu's. Run plan included two packs of Cliff Shot Blocks, a Gu, and salt tablets. This morning I had a bowl of oatmeal at home and a berry Powerbar and a vanilla bean Gu at the race. Last night's pre-race meal was courtesy of the parents and their need for reminiscing. (They lived in SD in the pre-Rachel years of the early 80s) We went to Anthony's Fish Grotto on the bay. Stephen and I opted for the salmon fillet. What we got? A fried, greasy rectangle slab of something resembling the taste of salmon. I only ate half because I knew it'd upset my stomach.Race Day: 5am wake up call. Finished up lose ends and drove to Coronado. Set up my rockstar transition area which was super close to the swim in/run out and right next to the big washing feet pool. Found my parents and got my body marking done; by the time I knew it, it was already wetsuit time. I did a quick warmup, running along the beach and hopping in the water for a quick out and back. Wished Toly and Brendan luck and then were off. Five min later it was me.Swim: Two loop U course, liked by a 200 yard run. Surf entry (sweet!) wasn't bad at all and before I knew it I was turning at buoy one in the lead. I started passing the first wave white caps at the 2nd buoy. Caught the surf in and then had to engage the legs for the run back to the start. I looked back into the water and could barely see another pink cap. Jeepers, I think the club race is more competitive. Another surf entry; this time the waves got bigger. I remember passing a lot of people, but the course wasn't that crowded. Where was everyone going? Anyway, I finished strong and felt awesome. Heart rate was under control and no signs of fatigue. Man I love the swim.
Bike: Headed out of T1 feeling ready. Mounted my bike to find that my rear break was rubbing (even after checking it before taking it off the rack). I had to pull over to adjust it, but after that it was hammer time. :) Four loops makes for an interesting race. Most people wouldn't prefer it, but as a swimmer I'm used to repetition. I attacked it similarly to the way I'd swim a 400. 1st lap paced, 2nd pressure, 3 strong and 4th hard...with a spin out finish on the bike to get my legs ready. I was anxious on the first lap, made it to the south turn around wondering again, where is everyone? Finally started seeing some women heading down. Alright, let's settle into a pace and see where it takes me. Tried to stick to the nutrition plan as best as I could. Two girls caught me and we were jocking back and forth. On the fourth lap I was like, "screw this" and hammered ahead. Then, out of no where, a third, new girl goes flying by. Passed Toly on the final portion of my fourth lap and chatted with him for a bit while spinning the legs out. Headed into transition not knowing what was going to happen with the legs. I knew I pushed hard, averaging 20.8mph with a time around 2:38 and ended up second off the bike. Sweet!
Run: Warning, pee story ahead. FYI no porta potties on the race course. I actually have many pre-triathlon pee stories from my competitive swimming days...that probably shouldn't be repeted. Back to the race: Totally forgot (after reminding myself on the bike) to put body glide on the arms. Mistake one. Chaffing by mile two. Darn swimmer lats. Opted not to take the salt tablets on the bike because it was clowdy and didn't seem hot. Mistake two. Calves were like bricks for the first 3 miles. Trudging along. Luckily I did bring them on the run and swallowed 3 at a time at every other aid station. I think I took 15 over the course of the run. Lifesavers. I ended up eating only eight shot blocks. I drank water at every aid station and dumped another one on my head. Drank three areo bottles of water on the bike. Mistake three? Uh yeah, at mile two I had to pee. I finally had the courage by mile five to just stop so I could start to pee. Had a conversation with a random male competitor who also had to pee and stopped like 500 yards before me. Mile seven, had to pee again, but waited till after the soft sand portion to pull over. WTF?! Three women passed me during the first four miles and then after that it was men only. After mile six (the turnaround) I started passing people! What??! This is fun! After mile ten I realized that wow, I am now entering non-charted territory. I had never ran more than 10 miles before this race. Wow, I'm still running and feel strong. On one of the overlap portions I saw a woman. No, you will not let her catch you. One more solid attempt at the soft sand and it was a long two mile beach run to the finish. I headed into the tunnel and my eyes teared up. I was going to finish a half marathon, running the entire time. I was going to finish a half ironman, faster than my goal time. Heading out of the tunnel I saw Stephen. Going into the final turn I saw my family and my roommates. Heading into the finish shoot I saw myself achieving my goal. Finishing. :)
Ouch. It's amazing how fast you go from feeling good to feeling not so good. Sat in the chair, removed my timing chip and chilled. Got a hug from Brendan. Peed, again. This time in the bathroom. :) We waited around for my award. Headed home to say goodbye to the family. Took a much needed shower. Had my first Double Double from In and Out. Yum.
Currently, I'm hobbling. Pretty sure this will last for a couple of days. But totally worth it. I'm a half Ironman today.