Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reality Check - 2008 Ironman CA 70.3

Well, for better or for worse, the 2008 race season is now in full swing. Yesterday marked the start of what is probably going to be a long year.

Going in to this race, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I had put in the same amount of training as I had for the same race last year, but for some reason, I did not feel as ready. In the past couple months, my already lacking swim form had deteriorated. My bike felt fine, but my feet had been bothering me on the run since my foot sprain in October. Plus, school has been kicking my A$$, so quality training was really difficult thing to achieve. So, with that being said, I went into this race expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.

The worst didn't happen, but this was definitely not my best race.

I felt really relaxed on race morning. My stomach felt fine, with no real butterflies. I only had to go to the bathroom once at the race site (compared to 3 times last year). I chatted with Bethany and Caroline in transition, and before I knew it, we were in the water.

The water felt surprisingly warm this year. That was probably the only good thing about this leg. Like I mentioned before, my swim form has been TERRIBLE lately....and that made me feel TERRIBLE in this race. I could not for the life of me find my rhythm. I felt extremely awkward in the water, and I was exhausted by the turnaround. I saw bright green caps, light blue caps, and red caps pass me. Then I saw dark green caps pass me. Oh, this was bad. People that started 16 minutes after me were passing me! Absolutely deflating! This is where the "reality check" started to come in to play. 1.2 miles....I swim that distance all the time with no problem in the pool. This was hurting though. I kept on thinking about how much work I'm going to have to do to be ready for 2.4 miles at IMAZ in November. Masters Swim and private lessons....I definitely need to do something!
Other than the 1/4 mile run through transition, T1 was pretty fast. Momo was volunteering, and was situated near my rack when I arrived. It was good to see a friendly face after such a horrible swim! I do, however, want to apologize to Momo for being such a "Debbie Downer." I spent most of my time in T1 complaining to her about my bad swim. Next time, I promise I'll be more positive! :) I saw plenty of other TCSDers volunteering in transition as well....Brian Long, James D, and Kevin K just to name a few. Thanks guys!

The bike is usually the easy portion of a tri for me. Not this time. My legs that seemed super-fresh on my little 10-mile bike check on Thursday were nowhere to be found! Just disappeared. Even with the tailwinds on the first 20 miles! I found myself a little off pace after those first 20 miles, and then it was time to head inland an into the miles. There are a couple of good climbs on the back side of Pendleton, however only one of them is worth any worry. I made it up that one, slow, but I made it up (many people walk their bikes at this point because the climb is so steep). That's where the fun began. This race is usually known for headwinds heading west back to transition for the last 10 miles. For some reason, I was feeling headwinds heading SOUTH through the hills. This wasn't good. Miles 30-45 were painful! When I reached the last stretch, there was NOTHING left in the tank. This is where the "reality check" came in again. I need to spend a lot more time on the bike before IMAZ!!!!

T2 was quick, but I saw Farah and James D as I was running in with my bike. Again, it was great to see so many friends.


For some reason, the run was the easiest part of the journey for this race this year. Of course it was painful, but I was easily able to just get in the "zone" and get it done. It helped that I got to see friends running by on the 2 loop out and back course. Plus, there was "The Love Stop," the TCSD aid station that I got to run past 4 times, and get words of encouragement from Pat, Courtney, Darrell and a bunch of others. Again, I was pretty deflated coming off of the bike, but was able to put on a smile for Pat and the camera....

This picture (3 seconds later) shows how I really felt though.The run did get better as time went on. My feet were numb for the first half, but I felt great for the last loop!

So, this was not my best race. But I took a lot away from it.
  • I have A LOT of work to do before IMAZ
  • My carbopro/motortab mix is Wonderful! (plus a red potato)
  • You can't get a PR in every race
  • When a race is not going your way, try to put on a smile and have fun. We do this for fun, right?

The Breakdown:

  • Overall time: 6:26:32 (33 minutes SLOWER than last year)
  • Swim: 48:16
  • T1: 4:14
  • Bike: 3:24:18
  • T2: 2:19
  • Run: 2:07:27