Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spirit of Racine Half Ironman '06 recap

Spirit of Racine.....I tried this race last year for my first half and had the worst performance of my life. There was a lot of trash talking between me and a friend of mine Jeff (JWM). We were talking smack last year and this year too.

Quick recap of '05: 107F, anywhere from 4 to 6 foot waves, 2 vomits in the swim, 4 more on the bike followed by a 2 hour visit to the med tent for dehydration and my first DNF.

Fast forward to 06.-----> Got into town on friday late around 11pm after dropping off the kids and went to get some well needed rest. Saturday morning had my last bit of solid food at the hotel. New strategy this year of liquid clories only till after the race. From here on chocolate Ensure Went to registration and got a free pair of underwear from the Jockey sponsor. Go figure? Now it was starting to set in. The reality of I am doing a half IM tomorrow! I went to bed at 10pm and fell asleep right away. My wife shut the light off at 10:20 after reading and I woke up.....for the night. Not good. Nerves started to kick in, flashbacks of last years miserable race and getting a DNF. I tossed and turned got up 3 times and had more ensure for calories and decided to get packing to head down to the transition area around 6am. Met up with JWM and Joe Ryan and the nerves started to go away (thanks guys, I needed it). The horn went off and all nerves were gone and I felt great.

Swim - Water was cool and refreshing quite the opposite of what I was expecting. Swim was smooth woth some 1 to 2 foot rolling waves. An incredible (for me) time of 49:15 which included a 1/4 mile walk to the transition which I walked the entire way waiting to throw up. I didn't this year and I knew the swim went great!

T1 - nothing special, just socked up and went!

Bike - I was aiming for a 3:30 split and the new course really lent itself to that. Nice and smooth with out too much wind. I had to stop on the side of the road after a mile out. My aero bottle fell out and there was no way I was going out without it. Stopped lost 4 or 5 minutes re-attaching it. Those damn velcro straps suck when you are in a hurry! Took 2 water and 2 Infinity at each available area and downed all of it before I got to the next one. I was trying to get as much liquid nutrition as I could. I ended up pulling a 3:14 bike split a PR for me!! For next year I will be putting in more miles on the bike. Up to this race day I have only 500 miles in on the bike. Just think if I would have had more miles in (like double that) I will definately be under 3 hours.

T2 - pulled in and saw my wife standing at the end of the isle. I gave her a kiss and then changed socks, threw on the running shoes and set off on the deathmarch.

Run - I have had trouble with the ITB since the Madison Marathon in May. 3 Cortisone shots later and we are in Racine ready to go (or so I thought). I walked up the hill and then started to jog a bit. Went through the first couple of aid stations and the ITB started to flare up. I knew I was in trouble now. I kept on pacing with some girl and we got to talking during walk breaks (she was in pain too) and decided to pace together. I saw JWM and didn't realize I motivated him to get going so I wouldn't catch up with him (previous trash talk threat of beat JWM. Saw another training partner of mine and he offered some words of encouragement to keep me going. I never caught either one of them as the second half really hurt and now starting to hurt both ITB's so there ended up being more walking than running. I stuck it out and saw the last downhill to the finish. Adreneline must have kicked in and I ran as fast as I could to the finish and crossed the line at the clock time of 7:33. Crossed the line did some math and figured that I might have made my 7:00 goal. I finished the run at a miserable 2:53. 53 minutes off my run goal but finishing the entire race at 7:03, 3 minutes off the worst case finish time goal.

Overall impresions - I didn't beat my goal time, I didn't beat JWM but I did beat the course this year. I was on pace to break 6 hours but the ITB kept me from running the last half of the marathon so I had to walk it. After chasing the demons from last years race I will be wearing a smile about this race for a long time to come. I can now say I have finished a half IM. I realized that day that I am now ready to goto the next level. I asy this as I know what to different this time and I know where I need to improve for the "long haul". In the mean time, I will rehab the knee and look towards next year.


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