The pre-stuff. Sorry about the length. Again, thanks to my wife my biggest supporter! About 7 weeks ago I started a new job that requires me to travel on average 2 nights/3 days a week. With that, my training volume dropped off. I had shaved off 12 minutes off my Columbia time, breaking 3 hours.
This was my first official 70.3. I had just started doing Tris last year, Columbia being the first. I heard and knew Eman would be brutal and was lucky enough to win an entry into this year's event.
I knew my training wasn't where it needed to be and with all the bantering via email metioning heat, wetsuit legal and such - it was in my head. I remember George Schlossnagle's comment in all the threads - something about "If you're concerned about the heat, roll it back" Thanks George. I had a nice, long exhale.
The night before we had dinner with Erin (doing Eman) and Joanne (AV), Debbie, Kelly, Tricia at High Spot in Cambridge. Lots of fun and great way to get relaxed before the race.
Race day. I knew when I pulled up my wetsuit all the way a few minutes before going in the water and started sweating it was going to be a long day and I just wanted to survive the heat I knew would be there for me on the run.
Swim - 37:44. We no sooner hit the water at the start bouys and the annoucer said one minute and the horn immediately went off. No time to think about it, just go. Nice and easy pace. Felt like it was more like 1.4 with getting off course slightly, swimming wide. There wasn't a lot of bumping, so that was nice.
T1 - 5:29. No hurry. Already hot in the suit. Wanted out. Made sure I had my bib on. Didn't want to get DQ'd over something simple. Always have trouble getting my wetsuit over my ankles.
Bike - 3:22 - Took it easy, no push. Trying to save some for run. Looking back, it didn't matter. Took 2 salt tablets every 1/2 hour. 5 bottles of fluids total. Stopped at the last water stop to refill the bottles and grab some gatorade and a banana.
T2 - 4:17. Again, no hurry. Double checked everything, again.
Run - 3:11. Did a slow shuffle for the first mile. After mile 1 I noticed 1. I felt as if I needed to have a great belch or throw up. Either would have made me feel better. 2. I felt my core was extremely hot/overheated. Walked the next 8 trying to cool down and get my head around what I was experiencing. Every stop - ice on each side and down the back, or in my hat. Managed to rest enough for a good solid run, walk, run for the last 4 miles. I did manage to get the last quarter mile in a good pace.
Some thoughts I took away:
1. I was getting through mile 3 and wondering how/if I would make it. At that point I saw an ASA team pushing through on the way back in. I knew it may be a slow pace, but I would finish. About mile 5 I was lucky enough to meet a woman who was battling brain cancer. Just inspiring.
2. While on the bike I was wondering my times have been slower. Then I realized a few months ago I took my aero bars off my road bike. Never made the adjustments on the seat. Time to have a fit done.
3. Wondering why I felt the way I did on the first part of the run. Am I taking in too much air before I get fluid from my squirt bottle or are the blocks/gels I use just not sitting right.
I plan to do this event again. I know I have better time in me. My challenge is finding the balance for training while on the road.
But I would like to say the real reason I enjoy the sport is all the great people I have met. That's the fun for me. Everyone's been supportive, encouraging and just plain fun to hang out with.