Vineman 70.3! 07/20/09
I can now say that I have completed in my first Half Ironman!
I’ve been racing olympic triathlons for over eight years and this year, I decided to step it up to the half distance. I’ve been building up for this all year. I raced Alcatraz, silicon valley oly and a week ago biked the 50m Livestrong challenge.
Going into the race, I was in the best biking shape I’ve ever been in. Two and a half weeks ago, I strained my left calf running a speed workout at 7:30 pace. The physical therapist said lots of rest, ice and massage were needed. I also walked around with a compression sleeve to help. On race day, I still didn’t know how the calf was going to hold up, but I was optimistic. My goal was to do well in the swim and bike and then just try to finish the run.
My swim wave was late at 7:58am. The pros started at 6:30 and there was a lot of waiting around. The sun was already out, but it was mild out for my start. The water was a balmy 75 at the start. The 35yr age group had it’s own wave, so it wasn’t too crowded. I felt good on the swim and tried to push it. It was strange to see some people running in the water…it was so shallow at points that it was faster. I even tried it a couple of times to get away from those pesky swimmers that can’t swim straight! I exited the water feeling strong and left t1 in just over 37min.
After holding back on the hills of last weeks 50m Livestrong challenge bike, I was ready to really see what I had. I have trained heavily for the bike and it has become my favorite discipline. I felt strong the whole way and my nutrition was spot on with accelerade and accelgels. I finished three bottles of accelerade,four gels and picked up two water bottles as well. It was starting to warm up on the bike, but I felt strong and enjoyed the scenery. I finshed up the bike in 2:50 and left t2 around 3:30. I was surprised by that time as it crushed my targets.
I started the run with a 8:30 mile and the calf was fine. This was the first time running on it since straining it. At mile two the calf tightened up and I decided to play it safe and steady the rest of the way. My main goal was to finish and my phy therapist told me slow and steady would allow me to finish without stressing the calf.
It was very hot on the run with reports of around 96′! I alternated between water and gatorade endurance at every stop. Even with the heat, my nutrition was spot on without any cramping throughout the race. I was also eating cliff blocks that work well for me.
I was wearing my CAF (challeneged athletes foundation) kit and ran with some great people on the road. The dedication they show it amazing. During the last two miles, I ran with one ex military guy that lost his leg. I was overwhelmed with his spirit and dedication to the sport.
I finished in 6:01 and was thrilled to finish and get around my 6hr goal. Even more impressive was my swim and bike, as I can only imagine what I could have done with a healthy calf. I will be back next year to try to break the 5:30 barrier! I have also started to look into the Aug 1st vineman aquabike that would highlight my swimming and biking shape…we will see if the family lets me escape once more this summer…