Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Going, Going, GONE!

Unfortunately, I think I am talking about my base fitness. I have attempted to throw in a half Ironman (Spirit of Racine) as Lindsay decided she wasn’t going to do LP. It was a good effort, but I think Im reaching the end of my pre built form and am in need of some retooling here soon.

Racine was an experience. The water was 55 degrees which just sucked. Add to that the fact t was so foggy they delayed the swim by an hour as you couldn’t see the markers. I was one of those people saying “just start the swim, we will sort it out. After all, I can stand here and see the next marker, when I get there, ill be able to see the next, etc.” Insert foot in mouth now. I took off well and made it to the first can in first or second depending whose hand was leading at the time. This guy and I went clear off course as we couldn’t see s*!t. Damn. I told myself to make the adjustment and just forget it. I did, was able to swim back up to the leader and tried not to think about time I could have put on the field with the same effort. Exit the water, here we go.

On to the bike, within 5 miles I was in the lead. I wanted to bike aggressively today to try to find some limits. 5 miles in both nutrition bottles were ejected. I decided it was worth stopping and going back for them. When I did that a guy caught me and he rode very well. He and I exchanged the lead in what seemed like 15 min increments. I know I put in some serious efforts to shed him and could not. I felt like he did the same, but I dug deep to stay with him as well. Neither of us drafted at all, but it always is nicer to have company.

On the run this day I took out of T1 in first but was fighting leg cramps straight away. I think my position is a bit too aggressive for the longer stuff, need to adjust this before IM. This guy passed me and was just a better runner, period. I was holding on OK running about 6:40 pace and was told to take a wrong turn by an official. It only cost me about 3-4 min of actual time, but mentally I could not get over it. I felt cheated. I felt like on a day I had to fight so hard to run descent, I didn’t need that. I also knew if I continued to focus on this, I was doing more harm then good. I was talking to Macca after a race he did this year where he too was lead off course. He was obviously upset, cost him the win, but he continued to fight.

So continue to fight I did. I tried my best to get back down to 6:45 or better and just could not. With every passing mile I became more discouraged. I decided to let myself have a pity party but on a double loop course also did not want to give up as I knew several athletes out there. I knew with 2 miles left when I started thinking of miles in terms of 8 min segments, I was done for.

I finished in 4:16, solid even with an admittedly short swim, but not the result I was after. I have considered dropping out of Steelhead, but took some advice to just finish that race then work on Kona prep.

I will tell you this. I have raced all over. The competition here in the Midwest is tough. If you’re having a bad day, you can really drop off quickly. Solid athletes all over for sure, but I was impressed at the depth here.

Justin H. seems to be coming back from a serious injury and while I hated to get passed again, was so happy to see him returning to form and run a 1:20.

That’s it for now.


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