Monday, August 20, 2007

The Great Buckeye Half Ironman.

I am happy to say I've completed my first half ironman race this past weekend.

The race was held at Caesar Creek State Park about a 3 hour drive from my home. I drove down Saturday afternoon listening to the new Harry Potter book on tape, and not knowing where I would spend the night. I first stopped at the race expo to pick up my race packet and then I drove the bike course in my car. I had a good idea of the terrain because I biked part of the course back in July but this time I was able to follow the freshly marked 28 mile loop course.

I then drove to the nearest Holiday Inn and inquired about a room but when I heard 98 dollars I said, "no thank you" and walked next door to Max & Erma's for a Tuscan Chicken pasta dinner. I enjoyed the meal and then drove across the street to a Budget Inn and got a room for 48 dollars. I think I was the only one from the race that stayed there because I didn't see any other triathletes around. I spent the evening cleaning my bike and oiling the chain. By 7 PM I was snuggled in bed reading Fantastic Voyage for about an hour before my eyes got too heavy to keep open.

For race morning I woke up at 5am to overcast clouds and comfortable temperatures. I ate a banana, a Cliff Bar, and drank a sports bottle of HEED.

The swim consisted of 2 loops in a rectangle formation. I wore my wet suit and enjoyed that little extra buoyancy which I think helped my swim time. I swam steady with some efforts while getting out of the way of some people that were swimming too close to me. I have to say I had a good 1.2 mile swim.

The bike portion was my favorite. We had overcast clouds most of the time. The course was rolling. I found myself passing all kinds of people but no one in my age group. I couldn't have finished the swim ahead of every one in my wave and I knew for sure I wasn't the last one out of the water. It turned out 3 guys did get ahead of me on the bike and the rest were behind. I rode with my bike computer displaying my average speed. My goal pace was to average 20 miles per hour which I was comfortable doing and managed to finish with an average 20.1 mph for 56 miles.

My first 2 miles of the 13.1 mile run I averaged a 6:40 pace and realized after 3 miles I was pushing the pace too hard. The sun was out and I was getting hot. I think around 4 miles my legs felt heavy and stiff as a board which reduced me to lots of walking. I was wondering if I depleted my electrolytes and by mile 6 I took a electrolyte pill and wondered if and when it would ever kick in. By mile 10 my legs felt revived and I was able to run strong the last 3 miles without any walking.

Even though this was my first half ironman triathlon I was happy to complete it in 5:07:06 I know what to expect in the run and I'll remember to take some electrolytes and to not push the pace early in the run.

A link to the race results.


Deb said...

Congrats!!!!! Harry Potter (LOVE IT!) on the way, a good deal on the hotel, family and a killer half Ironman under your belt. I'd say it was a good one. ;)

JenC said...

Wow, that is a fabulous first half-Ironman time! Congrats!

Iron Eric said...

Way to go!! You kicked some serious butt and really good. I am taking some notes from your blog. You really know how to race well!!

E-Speed said...

Lou what a fantastic swim time for you!!! You did great. 5:07 on your first sounds really good to me! Glad you had fun and were able to think on your feet and get moving again at the end of the run!

Colleen said...

Rock on! That is so exciting! I remember the feeling after finishing mine! You are a true inspiration!

Brian said...

Congratulations Lou! A fantastic accomplishment for the year 2007. What's next?

DaisyDuc said...

Woy Lou, that is a fantastic first half performance!!!

Sounds like you know where you need to make refinements in the future!

Lana said...

Congrats!! What an awesome race, and an awesome finish time!

Tri-Dummy said...

That is an amazing time for a 100th HIM.

Great job. Placings?

GP said...

Super awesome! Thousands of congrats! What a fantastic race!

Charlie said...

Congrats, that is a great 1st half.

Jodi said...

Wow, your swim has come a long way! Great job on your first half! What a showing!