My first half of a half ironman

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK.  I have a blog and have NOT been blogging.  Oops.  I even received a very nice comment the other day asking me to recount my experience at Muncie.  Do to this very sweet gesture, I thought I would pop on in and say HELLO!!!!

Things here are going well.  I'm teaching spinning, helping cyclists, and I am leading rides all over the Columbus area.  I've got a nice part time gig that pays me to encourage people to ride their bikes.  Pretty sweet.  I still need to make some more cash, so I am finally sitting down at the computer and sending in job applications.  Otherwise, I have been keeping very busy with house stuff, helping out friends, training and the like.  I've actually had one of the busiest summers on record, but I think I'm ready to get back into more of the real world again.

Anyway - Muncie.  I was supposed to race my first ever Half Ironman on Sunday, July 7 in Muncie, IN.  I trained, and I was ready.  Well, mostly ready.  I hadn't swam much in the month before the race, but I knew I would make it through.

We pack the car on Friday and drive up to Muncie.  We hit the expo, and I opt *not* to buy the IM 70.3 t-shirt with the logo made out of the racers names.  Thanks goodness.  Why thank goodness?  Within 15 minutes I was treated to the news at the 2pm racers meeting that the distance had been cut to a modified Olympic distance race due to an expected heat index of 115 degrees the next day.  WHAT?  A modified distance?

Did I mention that a massive storm had hit central Ohio the week before the race leaving us without power and living in 100+ degree temps for the eight days leading up to race day?  I was CONDITIONED.  I was living my life, clearing trees, working outside - all in 100+ temps.  I was ready for the heat.

I get the decision for legal reasons.  They have to protect folks, and we all know that on race day some folks show up who are not quite prepared for what they are about to do.  With 115 degrees, even the toughest athletes were going to be tested.  Still, I was heart broken.

They shortened the swim from 1.2 miles to 1 mile; the bike from 56 miles to 30 miles, and the run from a half marathon to a 10K.  Shit.  There was nothing to do but roll with it, so that's what I did.

The hubs and I grabbed dinner that night (and I treated myself to a big beer with dinner), and we were up at 3:30 Saturday morning to head to the race.  Since all the pressure of completing a half was off my shoulders, I just decided to go with it and enjoy myself.  Evidently it was a good strategy, as I had a great freaking time.

SWIM - ONE MILE - 41:19
The water temp was 85 degrees (swim in a hot tub before?), and the swim was relatively laid back.  I just kept a nice steady pace.  It seemed like it took forever to get to the first buoy, but once we were there the rest of the swim went by like a flash. Out of the water, and I felt great.  Time to bike!

BIKE - 30 MILES - 1:34:50 (18.9mph average)

Bike course was fast and flat.  I even rode aero a good chunk of the race!  Again, I just tried to have fun with it.  I didn't want to burn up my legs because I knew I had a 10K to run in major heat.  Therefore, I just had a good time with it.  I think my cheeks actually hurt a bit when I got off the bike because I was smiling through the whole damn thing!

RUN - 10K (6.2 miles) - 1:06:30

Run was HOTTTTTT.  They collapsed all the water stations from the half marathon into a 10K, so that meant there was a stop nearly every half mile.  I told myself to walk through each station and drench myself in ice.  I didn't want to end up with an IV or in the hospital.  The walks helped, and my final time showed that when I was actually running, I was at a 9 min/mile pace.  I had 14 walk breaks I think?  So hey - I'm pretty damn happy with this time.  The volunteers were great, and I had a blast.

FINISH - 3:30:09, 58/79 30-34 Age Group

I finished feeling awesome.  Probably too awesome.  Which means I didn't work hard enough.  But that's okay - I had a freaking blast and the photos prove it.

While I am super bummed I didn't get to claim the completion of a 70.3, I'm not sure if I will be looking to reschedule one this year.  They are pricey, and I don't really have the cash to spend.  Plus, I'm a little burned out.

I did just race the Giant Eagle Olympic Distance tri this weekend - I PRed both the Olympic Distance - a 2 hour 51 minute finish (13 minute PR from this same race last year), and I even PRed my 10K time during the race (57 minutes).  With that finish, I am feeling great about the season - we'll see.  Maybe I'll HALF it this year.  Maybe not - to be continued!!!!


Katie Duffy said...

Nice job on the PR's, and especially on maintaining a positive attitude about the Muncie mess. I've been wondering what happened and how you felt and whether you even made the trek out there after hearing about the course being shortened... I'm really glad you posted, I miss you!

Erica Elia said...

So awesome! Good for you! Erica