I Feel Like Almost Half a Man (Ironman, that is)

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I have been too busy to write a recap of last weekend’s Half-Ironman Tri in Racine and I’m still too busy (and I’m hardly exaggerating) but I thought I better write a quick note in case anyone is wondering how it went.

Well, the swim was cancelled (reportedly 51 degrees) so I still can’t say I have completed a Half-Ironman (when I signed up for one some twenty years ago, the swim was cancelled that day too) (thanks, Lake Michigan!)

I was disappointed, but what could I do?  They set us off two at a time, the professionals first, and then the rest of us in order of our race numbers and I was 1542 out of 1600 so I spent an hour just watching people take off before I got to go.  My goal for the bike was around 3 hours and I did it in just over (though my GPS had the distance measured at only 55 miles).  The course was flat but it was very windy, so I was happy enough.  Some people flew by me in the first third of the ride but I passed quite a few others on the back half, especially on the uphills and long stretches into the wind.  I was pleased, especially because my longest training ride had been only 45 miles with a 15 minute break at halfway.

My upper shin bone had been bothering me for over a week before the race so most of race week I was limping around pretty good and not even sure I could run.  I iced it aggressively and used half a tube of Arnica gel and thankfully it recovered.  I felt good off the bike and though I didn’t count, I passed hundreds and hundreds of people on the run, which made the 13 miles go by pretty quickly.  I averaged 7:25 per mile, right around where I hoped I might be.  I felt pretty good on the two-loop course except on the two short uphills near the start of each loop.  I didn’t check my splits, just kept looking ahead but my GPS had me at just over 7 minute pace for the first half and then slower for the second.  This makes sense as I slowed to take my gels, stopped and walk to drink a few glasses of water, and even ducked into the Port-a-Potty just before ten miles (it was a cool day, great for running, and I obviously had no dehydration issues).  After that stop, I felt good enough to push to the finish but ran out gas and had a rough stretch between 11-12.  But I felt better towards the end and was able to finish strong and enjoy it too.

Recovery week has been okay (though, as I said, I’ve been busy).  I took a couple days off, have done a few runs without much of that shin pain, and survived my nephew’s Bachelor Party on Saturday, a day that started with paintball in the woods at 9 a.m. and ended in a downtown bar at 2 a.m. (Last Uncle Standing!).

All right, got to go.  Things to do, places to go, people to see…..

 

 

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