Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Try Charleston Half RR

The Try Charleston Half was my first half iron distance race. 

Friday (The Day Before)
We arrived at the KOA campground around 2pm.  We settled in, and setup camp.  We could see across the water to T1 and the swim start from our campsite.

You can see the white tent setup there for check in and getting your chip.  A closer look at the lake can reveal this:
So I planned on swimming in the middle of the pack with people all around me!

We went over to the Trek Store to pick up my packet.  Got a nice bright yellow t-shirt.

We came back to the campsite.  I got my numbers all set, helmet, bike, run.  Then I took GL over to transition.

#379, Green Lightning, Ready to Race
The little name placards were kinda nice.  Not exactly Rev3, but not bad.

Then we headed out to dinner at the Mellow Mushroom.  All kinds of beer on tap, which I avoided for water.  We got the Ceaser Salad Pizza.  May not sound good, but it surely was.  The pesto sauce and chicken on it were excellent.  Got back and crashed by 9 pm.

Saturday (Race Day)
I planned on sleeping until 4:30, but I woke up at 4am to use the bathroom, and then I was just up.  I ate one and half bagels with cream cheese, 4 fig newtons and a banana.  I drank some water and then walked over to T1 about 5am.

Dropped my wetsuit and helmet off at my bike, got my timing chip, then waited for the shuttle to go over to T2.  Rode over there and dropped off my run shoes and race number and some shot bloks.  Rode the shuttle back and then setup my T1 for a quick transition.  By that time it was 6:05am.  So by the time I visited the bathroom a couple times, ate another banana, got my body marked, it was time to put on the wetsuit.  But could I?  Didn't see many people with them on at that time.

Then I heard them announce the official water temp at 76.5 degrees.  YES!  That practically made my whole day already.  Got the wetsuit on did a short warmup swim and then it was time to corral
I'm in there somewhere with a silver cap on.
Swim: 39:13 Officially 25/39 AG, 115/208 OA
Actually swam 38:26 as the official time counts running up the hill and taking off the wetsuit. Got kicked in the right eye not more than 200 yards out.  Had to turn around on my back and get the water out.  First lap went pretty smooth (though I did get kicked in the face again, but not so bad).  Not a big fan of the 2 laps, as that means 5 turns on this course.  I felt good on the back side of the triangle, but when I hit the homestretch, I felt pretty tired.  Then when I was about 200 yards from the shore the Sprint swim wave hit me.  So I had to dodge all the doggie paddlers and back strokers.

I was pretty happy when I got out of the water and saw my time in the 38 min range.  I wanted to break 40 (modest goal, I know).  So that was good.  What was bad, was having to sit down in the dirt/mud while the wetsuit strippers helped me get my suit off.  1.29 miles?  Guess I need to learn to swim straighter!

Transition 1: 1:34 Officially
So it took me a good 2:30 from out of the water to on the bike.  I had dirt all over my back and had to wipe my hands off on my wetsuit because there were covered in dirt.  Hit a shot blok, threw my shoes on and headed out.

Bike: 2:18:37 Officially 2/39 AG, 12/206 OA
Weather was warm.  Felt good, only got a chill a couple of times.  So I just hammered from the get go. 

First 10 miles I averaged 24.5 and I kept waiting to slow down, but it didn't happen until I hit a head wind at 50M.  Averaged about 24.3 for the first 50M, then 21.5 for the rest.  Luckily that brought me home with a 24.0 average.  Splits were pretty consistent.
No problems with nutrition. I hit a shot blok every 30 minutes, and drank my maltodextrin mix every 5 miles.  I didn't really drink that much but still tried to get a water bottle at the handoff at 30 miles.

I'm sure the guys at the water station handoff are still telling the story.  Some idiot comes flying in at 24 mph, misses the first bottle, veers over into the line of volunteers (who all jump out of the way), then does manage to grab a water bottle and jam my thumb in the process.  It is a miracle I didn't kiss the pavement.  I was laughing out loud going down Hwy 17 and my first foray in to the bike water bottle handoff.

Transition 2: 1:32 Officially
Dismount was flawless.  Found my spot easy enough.  Sat on the ground to put shoes and socks on (never did that before).  Hit a shot blok, grabbed my number and off I went.

Run: 1:34:32 Officially 5/36 AG, 21/202 OA
Stopped at the Port-o-John about a half mile in, didn't stop the watch (on purpose) so the first mile was 7:39.  Held back as much as I could the first 5-6 miles because I didn't want to die.  Started to have to work at the 7:25-30 pace around mile 6.  Still felt good.  Came home last 3 miles were 7:15, 7:05, and then brought it with a 6:34 closer.
So I negative split as I ran 7:23's the first half and then 7:15's the second half.  Passed 2 guys in my age group in the last mile.  (Actually 3 guys, but I think the 3rd guy was 6M behind me).  A double out and back course has got to be a real runner's worst nightmare.  I can understand that they do it for aid station purposes, and I will say the number of volunteers was awesome.

Finish: 4:35:25 Officially 5/39 AG, 26/208 OA
I'm ecstatic with my time for my first Half Iron race!  Shattered all my time goals.  Swim in 0:40, Bike in 2:30, Run in 1:40, and Finish in 5:00.  I went faster on the bike than I ever thought possible.  Really broke through some mental barriers there.  Turns out I was right about the pacing on the run.  I thought it would feel slow at first.  Overall the run pace worked out well.  Full Results here.

Setup Events had this race unbelievably well organized.  Tons of volunteers made the run really enjoyable.  Only complaint would be getting all dirty to get the wetsuit off.  I will definitely do this race sometime in the future.  Not in 2013 though, as I will be running the Boston Marathon.  Maybe in 2014 as a tuneup for Louisville???  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Closing out March

March had its share of ups and downs.  Got some good rides in on the weekends

27, 750 yards,  12 swims, 10:56
Missed a couple of swims.  Sick one day and didn't swim after I fell running the next day.  Pretty low total for for the month.  I haven't been doing drills because I didn't want to kick with my hip, plus I've been playing around with the watch.

321.8 miles, 10 rides, 14:52, 21.6 mph average
Great March for riding!  No trainer rides (yeah!) Started riding on Friday nights, and doing intervals.  Shortest ride was 30M again and slowest ride was 21.1 avg.  Been keeping up good pace as well.  Did a 37M at 21.9 as well.

Getting Muddy!  Did a nice 41M ride in steady rain. HTFU!

70 miles, 13 runs, 8:21
Still only running 3 days a week.  An easy, interval, and a tempo.  Started doing bricks every Sunday as well. 

Lifting and excersises 2:50
I've begun logging my core and hip exercises.  The exercises are 10min/4 days a week.

407.5M, 35 S/B/R workouts, 36:59

The last Sunday's tempo ride gave me a lot of confidence for the Charleston Half.  Rode 45M at 21.8, and then ran 8M at 6:27's.  I want to ride faster and run slower at Charleston, so we'll see how it goes.  The hip seems good now.  We'll see how it goes as we progress to 10M+ runs.