2006-08-20 8:53 PM
So, I've been been doing triathlon for two seasons now, and at the end of my first season I thought, I'd like to do a 1/2 next year. So I signed up for Pigman in Iowa, because it was relatively close, later in the season, and I've heard a great race. Plus, about 6 of my teammates and a few from the area were going, it made it all the more fun. I followed the training plan from Triathlete Mag (well, the weekend long workouts, but that's it. No speedwork--hate it--and not nearly as much swimming). I wanted to break 6 hours. Here's the breakdown:
1.2 mile swim: 35:32
T1 (transition was all uphill from the entrance ot the exit): 2:55
56 mile ride: 2:52:42 (avg. 19.5 mph)
T2 (again, ALL up a steep hill) 1:46
13.1 mile run: 2:00:46
Overall, 5:33:39 ! OMG, WTF?
This was the hilliest bike course I've ever been on. At the course talk, the guy said, "Just a couple of rollers between this town and this town." Rollers my ass, those were steep hills. Rollers are the hills that go down fast and pop you back up. There was no "popping." I used all three of my front rings (thank got I got the bike with 3 rings), and at some points, I was going 7mph. Also, a lot of people lost time because there was BELIGERANT traffic the entire course. The cars were buzzing riders, stopping in front of them, passing them then merging back into the middle of the lane while bikers were in it, and some guy in his SUV tried to race me to the park entrance. I won. Then there were dogs on the loose, and fortunately, my teammate who was not racing grabbed two of them by the collars and preoccupied them for a while. But my nutrition was good, and I averaged 19.5 mph (mostly because I hit 35+ mph going downhill).
Then the run. Oh, it all fell apart at the run. The first two miles out of the park are steep downhills. At 2 /12 miles, it is flat flat flat. I ran as slow as I could--even shuffled, but still averaged 8mm during the first 2 miles. But I had heard advice to walk through every water station. I had a gel at mile 3, and realized it had been an hour since my last food source. So I ran for another 45 minutes, did the first half in 58 minutes, and finally convinced my stomach to take another gel. That was mile 8. After that, the walks at water stops became longer and longer. At mile 10, I was tired of running. I wasn't hurt, I wasn't cramping, I just...didn't want to exersice anymore. Well, I wanted to stroll. And my back was hurting. So I ran again, until 10 1/2 miles, when we went back up the steep hill. I didn't feel bad walking, because everyone was. So I ran/walked the entire last 3 miles (I'm sorry, ran/shuffled), and still managed 9mm, and finished the half in 2 hours. Could I have used another gel? Yes. Could I have used one earlier, between that hour on the bike and mile 3 of the run? Yes. Did I have them in the pocket, YES. Did my stomach really want them? No. Will I train with more gels and salt tablets next time? Yes.
I am amazed. But during that long long run, I got to thinking...do I really want to do an Ironman? TWICE that? Do I really HAVE to? At the finish, I started crying for three reasons: I was happy to be done, I was emotional about my time (had no idea I could do that), and I had convinced myself that IM Madison was out next year. Until, of course, my friend laughed and said, everyone thinks that. Then called her friend later and said "Yeah, she says no way to IM, but she has no idea it won't be any worse," and they both laughed. Apparently, that's the way it goes? (IM peeps, you can chime in here).
So, yeah. Tomorrow I've got the day off. I will rest rest rest and eat Cookie Crisp. I am sore, but happy.