This is my ‘A’ race and the only half IM that i will be doing this year as i most likely will need to forgo the half full tri in October due to family obligation. Going into the race, i felt pretty good because i am a stronger rider and runner than last year. (at least i thought i was..). Both my bike wattage and heart rate to hold zone 3-4 run have shown improvement over the course of 8 months of base, build and peak period. Did most of my workout in basement this year except swim because i want to be able to spend more time with my baby boy who is now 11 months. I did 5:28:46 last year so i was aiming for PR if the weather co-operate. I fine-tuned my nutrition plan this year because i realized i was having calorie deficit last year in the bike leg which gave me the cramp in mile 8. I felt i am ready.
Swim: 50:51 (Pace: 2:38/100m)
When i heard wetsuit is not allowed, i know my goal for PR is going to be more difficult but i am still hopeful. I decided not to swim alone this year. I know i am a poor swimmer but i did manage to catch a few feet in the first 500 meters which is a surprised to me and makes the swim more eventful.
Bike: 2:38:37 (Pace: 21.2 mph)
As usual, when i came out of the water, most of the bikes around me already gone. My overall ranking for the swim was 1114. Nutrition on the bike went according to plan, took in 2 bottles of infinit(375 calorie per bottle) and 2 bottles of waters. Heart rate was consistent but wattage started to drift at the second half of the bike. [Mental note: Need to work on this]. Mile 50 came and the wind were stronger which slowed me down to 19mph for a good distance. Came back in with 2:38:37, was shooting for 2:25:00 but i will take it.
Run: 2:11:10 (Pace:10:01)
Plan here was to switch between 10 minutes of 8:00 to 8:30 min/pace and 5 minutes of 8:30 to 9 min/pace. If all things fail, stick to 9 min/pace. Mile 1-2, focusing on high cadence and averaged at 8 to 8:30 min/pace. No tightness in quad this year for the first mile which gave me even more confident that my run was going to be okay. The heat finally caught up with me at mile 3 and my HR shot up to 10-15 bpm higher than my HR at targeted pace. At this point, i wasn’t sure i should maintain my pace or heart rate, then i decided to maintain my HR and focus on mile 6-9 which was the toughest distance in this part of the race. Then everything fell apart at mile 8, both calf tensed-up and every time i took a bigger stride, it would become tighter. It was not painful so i know i could still push harder but the HEAT...i was tossed. I remembered thinking whether i would pass out if my temperature didn’t go down. I spent the next 5 miles at 10-10:30 min/pace and finally i reached the finishing line safely.
Stuck around at the MMTC tent for only a short while as my son’s face was red like a lobster. Poor guy...
Thanks to all the volunteers, the food was really amazing.
Post Race thought:
This is the race that i don’t have much “what if” thoughts after the race because i know i have given my best. Disappointed, most definitely. After approximately 800 hours of training(which 2/3 of those hours on my basement), i didn’t get the results that i wanted. However, i also feel very proud for just completing this brutal race. Well, i guess this is racing.