Monday, September 15, 2008

Deer Creek Toyota Challenge - Winds from Ike!

I'm exhausted mentally and physically! It took all my will power and physical strength to finish yesterdays gruelling race. This was the hardest triathlon race I've ever done. Even one of the top finishers said that. I'll blame it on the weather. The temperatures rose into the high 80's to low 90's. The sun brightly shining to fry any exposed skin. And then the winds were blowing. It seemed to grow stronger by the hour and we felt it.

By the time the start of my half ironman race began the calm waters had turn quite choppy. The first lap of the .6 of a mile loop seem to go well but during the 2nd lap we were swimming against the choppy waves and when you would lift your head to spot the buoys you'd get smacked in the face with the lake. As I was nearing the last set of turn buoys I noticed one was missing. I made the last turn and had the waves bring me to the swim exit. Later I heard from someone that one of the turn buoys had blown away.

I made it in and out of transition without messing around. For the bike portion we had 3 loops of an 18.65 mile route. The first loop I felt good and averaged 20 miles an hour. The 2nd loop was when I really noticed the winds picking up and that brought my average down to the 18's. The 3rd loop I had thoughts of not running the 13.1 miles. The winds were so strong that so much energy was exerted just to maintain a speed from getting blown off my bike. I heard someone did get blown off their bike.

I'm not sure what motivated me to even attempt the run other than the realization that people were out running the 6.55 mile loop 2 times. I figured I'd take it one loop at a time and see if I could survive. The winds were the most vicious across the dam. Going out over the dam was OK because we had the winds to our backs but coming back the winds put a stop to many runners. Some of us had to lean into the winds or get knocked over. After a little over 5 hours of getting whipped around from the winds I was ready to call it a day at the turnaround point. I think the mental battle was telling me to finish the last loop no matter what. As long as people were still out there, male and female, young and old, I had to go on.

I am happy to have finished and glad I didn't throw in the towel. I know if I'd quit I'd be kicking myself today. I didn't have any fueling problems or cramps but just over all exhaustion. A little rest and I'll be OK.

This week I hope not to swim, bike, or run. I don't know what kind of exercises I want to do but if I do something it'll have to be easy and different from what I normally do.

Some stats from the Race Results:
184 entered the race but only 144 finished.
I finished 74th overall - middle of the pack.