The day started off like any other race day. Early to transition, did all the right things (nutrition, hydration, etc.), got little sleep, check and check. Nothing new here. I felt about as ready as I could have been. It’s not my first ½,IM, but my first WTC event. It was an exciting morning. The weather was nice, and it good to see fellow MMTC’rs getting ready. It looked like a perfect day for a race.
Swim: 54:41 (ouch); Div. Pos. 150. Expected time: 45:00-48:00
I knew this was going to be bad. But I didn’t think it would be this bad. My swimming this year has gotten worse. I don’t think there is one thing wrong, I think it’s all wrong. My wife tells me I’m thinking too much. All I know, is I feel like I’m swimming on a treadmill. I went into the water with the attitude that I would just enjoy the swim and start my race at transition. Even though I’m not as good at swimming as I should or have been, I really like the open water (especially when there are places to stand). The only bad part of the swim was, there were a couple guys faster than me, but could not swim a straight line to save their life. They kept swimming into me. I’d see an open line, swim it, then get T-Boned. Yes, they were that bad. They must have swam 2 miles with all the cris-crossing. Other than that, what could I say? Time to move on
I took more time than unusual. Probably because I was trying to figure out went wrong in the water instead if concentrating on getting out on the road. I had my bottle of sunscreen out ready for a hot ride. Mistake #1. I realized I forgot to actually use it, after I left transition. Apparently you have to apply it for it to work. Who knew? Saw Scott in T1. We chatted as we got ready, then I headed out.
Bike: 2:58:31 (18.82 mph); Rank 141 Expect time: 2:55
My goal was to be under 3 hours. Success... The weather was calm, a little overcast, and the humidity was low. It was a beautiful day for ride in the country. I’ve ridden the course twice before and really did not like it very much. It’s long, hot, windy, and rather boring. But today I was really enjoying the ride. After about an hour or so I heard someone call my name. It was Emily, passing me (as if I was standing still). I guess boredom tends to remove all concentration. (i.e. I had slowed down a bit.) So I sped up to say hi. I haven’t seen her since our rides together in last year’s heat. We took turns passing each other for a few miles. After the 30 mile water stop, she disappeared. I bet she had a killer time because I never caught back up. I’ve been having issues with my back and neck while riding. Dr Antico really worked his magic this week. My neck was fine until mile 52 and the back didn’t hurt until, well Monday. I had not put in the miles as I did for last year’s 1/2IM. But I was happy with the ride none the less.
All I was concerned with was not forgetting the sunscreen. How this took 3:50, I don’t know. I’m usually quick in T2, but I guess when you’re tired and hot, time seems shorter than it really is. I left transition, saw Jan, gave her a kiss, and took off.
Run: 2:01:58 (9:18/mi); Div. Pos.: 92 Expected time: 1:49
I really felt comfortable running and the legs felt fine. Mistake number 2 (or is it 3 or 4?): I realized I forgot my pre-run nutrition. I was so worried about sunscreen I forgot that I hid my drink mix under the towel, out of the sun. So now I have to settle for what they had at the aid stations. I always wondered if that mix really helped. And the answer is: Yes, most definitely. The first 3 miles were brutal. It felt like I ran into an oven. My goodness it was hot. At mile 1 I saw a port-a-potty. I needed one badly. So did the guy in front of me. And there was already someone inside. I had to go so I waited. Mistake number ?. It took almost 3 minutes. Somehow it didn’t register that I was now very far behind. At around mile 4 I saw a friend, Grace. She was waiting for her hubby, another HF’r , Keith, to make his way back on the run. Keith is a very fast runner, but I was hopeful that if it would be a while before we crossed paths so I would have a chance of matching his overall time. Well, no such luck. I was dying on the run and didn’t even know it. We saw each other when I was at mile 5. He looked like he just started racing. I then started see a few others on the run (Jim, Emily, Carlos). It’s an easier day when you suffer amongst friends. I walked every water station; drank as much as I could tolerate; and poured ice down my shirt on my head. Did I mention it was HOT? I hit the turnaround in an hour. Still not realizing that I should have been there at 50-55 minutes.
Now the Gatorade was getting to my stomach. I can’t tolerate that stuff on a hot day, but I needed fluids. After the race Jan told me the temperature on her PDA showed 98 degrees when I started the run. Did I mention it was hot? At mile 11.5 I finally realized I was running slowly and was wondering what happened to my engine. I couldn't get out of 2nd gear. A young lady passed me. She said she had been chasing me for the last 2 miles and that I couldn't quit now (I was walking to the last water station). I guess that was all the inspiration I needed. I started to run and caught her quickly. I said to her it was her turn and asked if she was coming. She said not at that pace. I was finally into 3rd gear. I ran the last mile at 7:50 and sprinted to the finish line. Better late than never I guess. Too bad.
I was really happy about the day. I felt good. It didn’t bother me about my time until I saw it the next day in B&W. A PR would have been 5:54. I ended up at 6:02:53. Div. Pos. 92. I’ve been beating myself up all day over the run. It’s my best leg and I blew it. Mark said it right. No matter how many times we do these, it’s the little details that make or break a race.
Big shout out to Heather for the tent/food (and to Kim for the glide). Congrats to everyone. It was a really fun day. Traffic on the other hand, not so much. It started before leaving Cambridge. Before the bridge we stopped at McDonalds. Now I do not normally visit this establishment, but I wanted a milkshake and we were already 2 hours in traffic. So who comes walking in? Richie Cunningham. If you want to know what a world class elite eats after a 1/2IM. It’s (2) quarter pounders and a McCafe. I see a commercial here.