Monday, June 14, 2010
REV3 Quassy 1/2 IM, the race!
So picking up where I left off, after my morning a snapping some silly pics and taking in some coffee, First Endurance PreRace and some water, I headed down to the beach and sat down at the water line by myself thinking about what was ahead of me. The half is never a distance to take lightly, especially if you want to do well. I have only done two official half IM's, both being Greater Cleveland Triathlon, one of which was changed to a duathlon due to the Lake Erie Washing Machine. I was hoping that even though Quassy was said to be a tough course, that I could still top my half ironman PR there. The 2007 GCT time (5:43) was the time to beat as the 2008 GCT half had a 1.5 mile run instead of the 1.2 mile swim which is hardly the same thing.
I lined up on the beach and prepared for countdown and ran into the water as far as I could before hopping in to start swimming or rather just being in the madness. Elbows and feet everywhere! The swim start was so rough for me. I just could not seem to get any clear water and for some reason this led to a lot of anxiety in the water which I tried to calm myself down from. Additionally I was feeling like I had drank too much liquid which was not sitting well and I just sort of felt sick. I was mentally checking out in a major way. Yet, the one thing that keeps you going is the fact that too many people know you are doing this and quitting is not an option in this circumstance.
About 2/3 of the way through the swim around the 2nd corner, I let out some crazy long loud burps that would make any man proud. Finally it seemed to settle the fluid overload issue and I was finally getting some clearer water and started to get into a groove....better late than never. It was just not a good swim and I never felt smooth like I had just a few weeks back at Knoxville. Oh well, thank goodness that was over with! 1.2 m swim: 41:54 (Overall Place 111, Division 22)
T1 was pretty smooth. It was a decent run up the carpet to transition and I grabbed everything as quick as possible and got moving in 2:01. Thank you trislide!
Once on the bike, I was thinking about coaches words to take it ez on the bike, real EZ the first 20 miles then pick it up as I go through 30/40/50. I was spinning up the hills much more than I ever do and I felt great. I was passing a lot of people. Does this mean decent biker or really bad swimmer? ;-) . Regardless I was feeling very good and conserving energy with a modest pace. I was letting the downhills rip a bit but the roads were wet from rain (which never really got us) and I had a slide which scared me a little so I dialed it back some. In hindsight I wonder if I should have pushed a little harder in the latter miles instead of saving the legs more for the run which fizzled anyway in the heat...more on that later!
So once I got on the bike I sipped water from the aerobottle. I took in 4 electrolyte pills total and used a gel flask in my bento box which contained FE Vanilla Gel. It tasted like Vanilla Pudding and I was digging it while singing the Banana Puddin song, of course singing Vanilla Puddin! I took in a few drinks of the EFS Sports Drink. Pretty much I sat back and relaxed on the uphills and used them to refuel. I never did take any aid from the bike stations but I can tell you that I was excited about the roar coming from the Trakkers aid station at mile 29 on the bike course. What a rush and I even got a free show from teammate, Ryan...to friggin funny!
My lower back was a bit sore and I stretched it out when I had a chance but all an all I felt like it was a solid pace on the hills that still conserved quite a bit for the run. 56 mile bike split was 3:00:24 at 18.62 avg mph. Aghh, I was so close to being under 3! Oh and was it me or were there a lot of frogs squished all over the place??? ICKY!!!! (Overall place 47, division 12....I like that overall drop of 64 spots!)
T2 was pretty uneventful, probably could shed a little more time there 1:37.
Out on to the run course, I was feeling pretty good. Obviously I had the rock hard brick legs but the first couple miles were downhill and I was cruising along. I was trying to keep it conservative but downhill makes it hard to judge. About mile 3.5, I hit the uphill which I think went to mile 8. About this time I think it must have been 150 degrees and 200 percent humidity. OK so maybe I am exaggerating, but I could feel my chest tightening and I backed the pace way down afraid my asthma could come on ugly if I was not careful. I was alternating between pepsi, water and FE gel walking the aid stations while I melted. After mile 8 we were treated to some more downhill...thank goodness. The other thing at this point that I was thankful for was shade. I was probably adding on a bit of mileage getting myself on the shady side of the road. About mile 10 I was starting to come out of the funk that started a mile 3.5 and began to get back into a regular turnover and was able to move forward at a better pace. When the hills came at mile 12, I was happy to know the end was near and started closing on some of the people in front. Finally the 13.1 mile run came to an end with a time of 1:52:16, 8:34 pace. That was somewhat disappointing to me. I really thought on a bad day I would be at least 8:15 but probably closer to 7:45 but I think the heat and hills just got to me. (Overall place 39, division 9)
Total half time was 5:38:13. So still a PR from the 5:43 and I think it is fair to give myself credit that it was a tough course. Hands down to REV3 for another spectacular race. I enjoyed the course (well maybe not the whole run :-) ) and thought it was gorgeous. REV3 sure brings out some tough competition and now I am looking forward to some local races before the big finale at the REV3 Cedar Point Full IM!