Fastest swim of my life.
I put socks on in 'T1', partly because my feet were cold, and partly because I knew I'd put them on in T2 anyway, so went ahead and did it here. Glancing at T1 times it looks like I was pretty average. Hard to get excited about transitions when you have decided it's a training day.
This was a solid HIM effort. I fell asleep once and let the effort slip, but when two people passed me, I picked it up again and finished strong. I think with another hard year of training on the bike I can become very much FOP on the bike. Time will tell...
For some reason, the volunteers were ripping the tops off the bottles (or was that just mine?), so when I exchanged my water bottle, I ended up with a bottle that also gave me a continuous spray of cool water as the water sprayed out the front in my torpedo bottle mount. Kinda nice, I guess. Good thing it wasn't hot or I'd have wanted to DRINK that water!
What would you do differently?:
Maintain focus all the way.
Also pretty average.
As planned, I went pretty hard out of the gate. My last reliable time check was at 6 miles, where my watch said exactly 40 minutes, so 6:40s. That's good for me. The next time I looked at my watch it said 50:00, so obviously I had missed mile marker 7, where I was supposed to slow down. I put the brakes on, and all was good until just after mile 12. Something twinged in my right calf and suddenly it was pretty painful. I slowed WAY down and cruised to the end. I guess tomorrow morning it will be clearer what happened, but I think it is not serious, just a strain.
No warm-down -- the last 5-6 miles of running were my warm-down. I did try to stretch that calf out a bit. Then I saw Randy and we chatted for a minute, grabbed my post-race pasta (which was OK if you left out the mystery meat), packed the car, and drove home.
The Halfmax folks did an OK job -- there ere some glitches. I don't blame the RD for canceling the swim. Indeed, I applaud him for making a decision that he felt was right and in the best interest of the athletes, despite knowing that it would be unpopular. Still, I am massively disappointed. I think there's an argument to be made that I would have gone something like 4:35 or even quicker for this race, but I'll never know.
Oh, but I did qualify for Worlds!
Last updated: 2009-12-09 12:00 AM
Overall Rank = 77/478
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 16/73
I got a good night's sleep. Next morning I woke up, had some coffee and half a bagel with almond butter. I sipped sports drink and water the rest of the morning, and ate a small piece of Cliff bar.
When I got to the race venue, I felt ready. I felt strong, a bit nervous, but very confident that I would smash my HIM PR. By a lot. The news that the swim would be wetsuit legal was welcome as well and added fuel to that fire. After setting up my transition area, I sat down for a minute to reflect on the race and how I got here. Over 500 hours of training since last April, all geared towards this race. And all of that work was about to pay off. I felt great.
I was walking over to the transition area for warm-up when I saw that a meeting was taking place. Well, it didn't take long to realize what was being said -- the swim was canceled because of bacteria levels in the water. I felt as if someone had punched me in the gut. I was devastated. I literally thought I was going to cry. I sat down and put my head in my hands for a moment. Those 500+ hours of training suddenly took on a new meaning. The race that was to be my HIM PR was no longer a HIM, and therefore no longer a PR.
OK, get over it. This is a race, for fun.
So, I had to figure out how to make the best of a bad situation. I decided that I would make it a hard training day for B2B. I had various thoughts -- the bike course would be open until 1:00, so I probably could ride it (or most of it) twice and ditch the run. But that plan certainly wasn't in the spirit of the race, and I still thought I might take a spot at Worlds if I qualified, so I decided to race the bike at HIM effort, and go similar effort for the first 7 miles of the run, then back way off and finish without killing myself for training this coming week.
Anyway, the race would have everything except the swim. We lined up TT style at the swim exit ('first come first served'), ran to 'T1', and took it from there. I stood in line for a long time, freezing my ass off. I ran a couple of times to warm up. Lots of people had socks on -- some even had SHOES on -- but I took the RD at his word when he said we should be as we would have been exiting the swim, apart from wetsuits, so I went barefoot. (Maybe some people swim in shoes. I don't know.) It didn't cost me much time.