So on Sunday I completed my 1st triathlon of the season. The High Cliff Half IronMan.
I was signed up for the Mohican 100, but things changed so I figured what the hell, I can do a Half IM with little training, NO PROBLEM!!
I setted out for my 3 hour drive to the race early that morning. It was going to be a beautiful morning. I really hoped I had everything, because I felt like a real newbie getting my transitions setup next to my bike.
After that I went for a easy swim warm up. The water was pretty green, pretty green with algae, thick enough that you could not see your hands sometimes. So I was thinking, I know I'm going to have some of this inside of my mouth, kinda of gross, but unavoidable. So what does happen when you possibly swallow algae? Do you start peeing green or something like that?
So registering late I was barley in the 11th wave start out of 12. With the 12th wave only having a few people. So 20+ minutes later, I was off trying to complete my longest swim of the year.
I had this theory of swimming outside so not to get hit that much. Which usually works for me, but I was zigzagging everywhere and going way outside swimming more of a distance I should have been. But I tried to swim the best I could and just stay relaxed out there. Then on the last turn I saw one of the support Kayak's. So why is this Kayak paddling parallel to me?
"Total crap-ola" I must be the last swimmer out there. Now I was disgusted, I knew I was a slow swimmer, but dang it was not a fun feeling. Eventually the kayak stopped paddling in, meaning I was not the D.F.L. swimmer. So I looked back after exiting the water. I only beat a couple of people. I was pretty disgusted and walk to my lonely bike at T1.
So off to the 56 mile bike I go. My longest ride to this point was 30 miles, so I was not sure how fast I would be able to go, but I set time goals for myself nonetheless. So after I started on the bike I started sneezing and getting a runny nose. Shit!, was I getting a cold or having allergies. For the entire bike ride, SNOT was running down my nose in a steady manner. Pretty annoying and I was not having any type of fun out there. I was able to hold a steady 18-19mph pace the first 30 miles, but then the wheels fell off, and I was getting fatigued on the bike, and my avg bike pace dropped dramatically. My body ached alot from trying to stay in an aero position and I just wanted to click my bike shoes so they could change into trail shoes and go for a easy trail run.
So after a slow ASS bike ride, almost wiping out at one point because I was not paying attention to the road, I was agonizingly done.
So after T2 and putting my trail shoes on, I was off. I knew alot of the 13.1 mile run was on trails, but could not really remember how much it was. So the signature of the race is a big long hill after T1 and T2. So we had to bike and now run up it. My trail instincts kicked in and I ran/walked up the hill.
So after that, I had some peace of mind, a comfort zone at least. I was running on trails now, even thou my quads were cramping from the bike ride I tried to keep a steady pace. Lots of shaded trees and softer surfaces made it feel like "home to me". I guess that comfort zone was really kicking in.
So after a decent 13.1 trail run, I was done with a time of 6 hours 25 minutes. My second slowest Half IM race to date. Slower than my race time 2 years ago on the same course. So I was a little bummed about the whole time thingy.
But I got my "Wake up" call to start triathlon training. Uhhh, ultra trail training, makes you a better runner, but not really a better swimmer or biker. Ding! Ding! daaa..
So with my plans to finish a non-corporate labeled IronMan by the start of winter (The great Illini). I really need to start triathlon specific training. Even though I finished the race, I was not a "happy camper" during the race.
I do have PR race goals for IronMan as well, besides just finishing it. I will still trail run and maybe do a trail race before that, but I need a better training balance these days with lots more swimming and cycling.
Because I guess there is something to race specific training and suffering less. I think I needed this race to remind myself of that theory once again.