Dr. Stephen Bolt, D.M.D. for telling me that 10 min miles were weak, and I should just stop trying. For telling me that I would get beat by most of the women at the local 5k. For telling me that I wasn't athletic. For telling me I shouldn't go for the marathon in my first year of training. For telling me that there was no way I would qualify for Boston in my first marathon. I can't tell you how much this got me through my first year of training. Honestly though, you really have been a big help. Thanks for answering all my n00bie questions and providing me the perfect amount of motivation.
I missed the last 7 weeks of cycling due to a knee injury. I only managed to limp through ~200 miles total over those last 7 weeks. Considering I was banging out ~160/wk average for the 18 weeks leading up to the injury, 200 over 7 weeks was a drop in the bucket. Those 7 weeks saw a lot of titty-babying, laying around feeling sorry for myself, and whining. Ultimately, I decided I could adjust my goals and have a go at sub-11 despite my knee injury. I was stuck with no real way to estimate effort/pace for the ride considering I had no way to measure the lost fitness without compromising my taper. After reviewing my data, I noticed all my race rehearsal rides were at a heart rate of 122. I have never trained by HR, but I always wore a monitor during training so I could evaluate the day if it turned ugly. I felt very fortunate to have the data and a new, attenuated goal.
Back outside, I dash to the beach and seed myself in front of the soccer moms but behind the old guys. Everyone is in the blank nervous gaze phase. Me and Emily are just chatting and enjoying the moment. Eminem's "Loose Yourself" starts playing and I heard a rather muffled bang as the vocals start.
After the bang came the rush of the entire crowd as a solid push into the water. I gave Emily one last good luck smooch and told her I was proud of her for making it to the start, then off we went.
|All over the beach the day before|
the race. None on race day
I didn't rock the bonnet,
the little one did. Neither of
us were cold
Swim Chip Time: 54:59
Age Group rank 48/61
|Transition 1. It's a hike on |
cold asphalt and toe sickles.
I hit the ladders and there was a fluster-cluck of folks meandering through the showers, wetsuit strippers, and showers again. It was a ~300 yard dash across concrete and asphalt to T1. It felt like I was running in jello because of frozen feet and cold concrete. I scampered through the changing area, stuffing my wetsuit into the sack, donning arm warmers and my helmet. I ran to my bike and realized my gloves were still in the grass at the tent (not IN the tent, it was full of guys huddled up around the heater). I ran all the way back to grab the gloves, back to the bike, across the mountain-lion (bike mounting line for the non-tri readers) and onto the course I go.
8:25AM 112 mile Bike
Air temp: ~51F dropping to 41F over the next 2 hours
Winds: 15-20 NW with 30mph gust
Goal time: 5:30ish, just stay below 122 HR, and take what I get.
Nutrition goal was 1700C and I completely abandoned it.
So, less than an hour into the day and my race fell apart. Within the first mile, my water gets shot out of my cage. Great, my mouth is full of salt water and all I have to drink is a 10:1 calorie slurry. Mile 2 sent my calories off the back of the bike at a speed bump. As I retrieved the bottle, I got trapped on the shoulder by a parade of my competition. No worries though, I have no real expectations on the bike. It was cold, but I "knew" the forecast had it warming up by 10:00am, and I "knew" I had 90 minutes of suck-it-up so I could rock the fast race kit. I started evaluating my heart rate to try to stay below my 122 ceiling. With a 129HR for the first hour, I realized that I never had a 2.4 mile swim preceding a 5 hour bike before. My metric was essentially useless, so I just went by feel. I just pedaled along, easily. I had removed the MPH from my cyclometer, so I wasn't freaking about the crazy winds cramping my style. But it was the worst wind I have ever been in. It was just dangerous. If Kona is worse, I'm not cut out for it.
After 90 minutes, I was cashed out. I was defeated. I was dressed for a high-50s dry ride and was in the middle of a 41F rain/sleet mix. I had played through every scenario of quitting. I prayed for a flat, for my knee to start hurting, maybe I could just ditch it. I knew I would have to have abrasion to justify a DNF or get pulled from the course by an EMT. At mile 35, I mentally bagged it. I pictured myself with an M-Dot tattoo on my calf with the DNF below it. I imagined wearing my B2B shirt with "QUITTER" in sharpie across it. I was fine with that. I didn't care if I had a (i) drawn on my forehead, I just wanted to be warm.
|I'm loosing some Tri-Karma points |
for posting this hijacked picture. It just
makes the story so much better.
Around 12:30, the sun popped out for about 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes gave me some clarity. I reassessed my situation. If I could get off the bike before 2:30 without blowing up, I could still make a sub-11 finish. I was around a 4:30 ride time, I need to average ~20 mph for the rest of the ride. That just happens to be what I estimated that 122HR to be on a flat course. Since I had been doing all this resting, my HR had become a rather useful number. I refocused and dialed in a steady ride back. At this point, I knew I had beaten the course. I had a sense of victory. I felt like Rocky. I took the beating of my life, but I just need one more round.
Bike split Chip time: 6:04
AG rank: 30/61
Total pedal time: 5:36
pouting time: 27 minutes
Bike data http://connect.garmin.com/activity/125811408
|This was a photo I found of the bike racks. |
This is not 2011, note the blue skies, ours were grey.
|T2. So glad to be off the bike.|
New goal is a sub-11 finish. So I think I need a 3:44 marathon.
400C out of the planned 500C goal
600mg of Caffeine out of the 650mg planned
|Heading out from T2. The clock is on the 70.3 finishers time|
I saw Emily just before the turn around for the second lap. We exchanged a high-5 as we passed. I knew I was going under 1:45 for the first lap, so I needed to see the race clock below a 9:15 to squeak under sub-11. As I rolled in, I saw an 8:45:XX and started pumping my fist in celebration. This was my third time to slay the ironman dragon, and I still had a half-marathon ahead of me.
1st 13.1 @ 1:43:56 7:56min/M average
|Cobblestone and brick roads |
in downtown Wilmington
|This is the best picture we have of Emily's finish. |
I clearly remember you saying you would never do this.
|Thanks to the 'rents for race support. |
They had a tough day too. I think we all were unprepared for the weather.
|Clearly she is tougher than I am.|
|She crossed the finish line still feeling great and looking good. |
I dont know how she does it. I am always a wreck.
|USS North Carolina|
|I am so lucky to have found such a good friend. Thanks Dad.|
|Of course, the next day was beautiful.|