Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weekend Race Report

As I mentioned last week, my brother and I both had important races over the weekend. Kelly competed in the Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon in Silverton, Colorado, and I raced the Muncie Endurathon half-ironman triathlon in Muncie, Indiana.

I’m happy to report that both races went well. Kelly finished an extremely impressive 36th overall, and clocked a final time somewhere around 39.5 hours. It sounds like he’s doing well. He’s planning to post his full race report soon at dailymile.com. One interesting tidbit from his race is that he actually fell asleep a couple times while running.

As for my race, it was an interesting day filled with weather that ran the gamut from scary storms to sunny skies. After arriving at the race at ~6:30am on Saturday, we learned that due to impending storms, the race heats were going to be “accelerated” to get everyone in and out of the water quicker. Thus, I hurriedly arranged my transition area, ran to get body markings, and then realized that everyone from my heat was already in the water! I sprinted down to the beach, waded into the water, and claimed a starting position just before they announced, “30 seconds” until the starting gun. Not exactly a relaxing start.

The swim went really well despite the choppy waves and water temperatures well above wetsuit regulations (most triathletes pray for race water temperatures below 79 degrees, at which point they can wear wetsuits, which make swimmers more buoyant). My swim training has been severely lacking, and so I was really expecting the worst. Amazingly, I finished the swim in 31:30, which is my fastest swim in the last three years at the Endurathon.

By the time I transitioned to the bike, the weather had certainly taken a turn for the worst. The sky was dark, and heavy rain poured down in sheets. Despite serious visibility issues and dangerous conditions, the cool rain was refreshing. The Endurathon offers a very flat bike course, so I was able average 19.5 mph for the 56-mile course. Even at that pace, I was passed left and right by men, which is always mentally discouraging.

After the bike, I ran into the transition area, where I found my running shoes half filled with water. Yuck. Reluctantly, I rang out my socks and trotted with very heavy feet to the run start. The first few miles are always tough coming off the bike, but this time my feet really felt like cement blocks. Eventually I got into a groove and started passing the same people who passed me like I was standing still during the bike. Take that. The sun and heat also came back during the run with a vengeance.

I ended up finishing the race in 5 hours and 19 minutes, which surprisingly, earned me the top spot in my age group. There were, however, only 18 people in my age group. Nonetheless, it was a solid race effort, and I feel good about how my Ironman training is progressing. I definitely need to increase my speed work on both the run and the bike, and stop worrying about my minimal swim training. I’m happy to have to have completed my first race of the season, and remain injury free heading into the very tough training weeks ahead.


Kristin said...

Wow! I admire your dedication!! I cheered on the Ironman athletes this past weekend here in Klagenfurt, Austria and I was just totally blown away. Actually, the female winner actually set a world record on this course. Good luck with all your training and the race!

kristinleigh said...

Thanks, Kristin. I saw that you ran a 10k in Austria recently. How'd that go? I liked the pic of the man in the speedo :)

Soupe said...

Awesome job Krit!