Race Report — Echo 1/2 IM Distance — T2, the Run, and Post-Race

T2
Watch Time: 3:30.5
Yes, I know, a slow time for T2. My only defense is I had to dodge crowds because most of the sprinters and some of the Olympic distance people had finished and their families were in the transition area. Not cool people. I got a little feisty with some people and I even heard one person who was not racing say, “What is his problem?” I turned around and shot that person a look and I think they immediately knew what my problem was and they called their several children they had brought with them into the transition are who were playing in the aisles to their side. Bad karma point for me, but I got people out of my way.
I also took a little extra time as I had not done a terrific job of cleaning off my feet after the swim and I had a couple of small pebbles between my toes. So, I took about 30 seconds and cleaned my feet really well before I went off on my little jog.
The Run
13.3 m – Watch Time: 2:15:50 – 10:13 m/m – 157 bpm Average
It was hot. Can I say that again? It was hot. I was talking with one of the RD after the race and he told me his thermometer measured it at 101 by 2:00 p.m., right before I finished the run. This race is done well for the most part and they have aid stations at every mile. We ran along a dirt trail for the entire run and it was comfortable on the knees, but there is also no shade along this lake. Did I say it was hot?
The first aid station was at mile 0, so I took five cups of water and drank them all. I seriously thought I had put my head in a microwave. My legs felt fine and my race was going according to plan as I had gotten on the run course at about 3:30 total, giving myself the chance for a 5:30 for the race. But after the first mile, I knew there was no way I would be able to sustain a 9:00 m/m pace for the entire run. I ran the first mile in 8:40 just to test and I knew it was too much to ask of my body. So, I set my sights on my other goal of a sub 6:00.
There was never any point that I thought I wanted to quit. The heat was horrendous, but with the aid stations at every mile, I really hydrated well. I estimate that I drank about 20 ounces of water at each aid station for a total of 260 ounces of water, which is just over two gallons. I took a couple of Enduralytes at mile 6 and 10 to make sure I was absorbing it properly. I did not want to dehydrate and DNF because of something I can control.
So I kept plodding along. My stand alone ½ marathon PR is a 1:34, but I wasn’t breaking any records that day. My wife had written me a note that I read before the run and it really got me thinking about how lucky I am to have the life that I do. I thought about my son and being able to look him in the eye and say, “Boy, you just are going to have to try harder,” because during that race, I did. I thought about an Ironman and laughed out loud. For right now, I am not planning on an Ironman, but I am definitely leaving my options open.
Like I said, the course was hot, which severely limited the number of spectators. Even at the finish line, there was one gal with her kids and the volunteers. Everyone else had either packed up or had found some shade to get out of the sun. Man it was relentless.
So I came within about 100 yards of the finish line and I knew what I was about to accomplish. I knew I had my goal in my sights and I could just enjoy this moment. There was no applause, no fanfare. But when I finished, I knew I had just reached a milestone in my life. It was a cool moment.
Watch Time: 5:49:05 – Average Heart Rate: 158 bpm
Post Race
The only shade even within a mile of the finish line was at the volunteer tent where they were giving water to the finishers. I kicked a volunteer off of the cooler she was sitting on and sat and drank my water for 30 minutes in the shade. This nice coed tried to make conversation with me, mostly to make sure I wasn’t going to pass out on her. I really just wanted to be alone with my thoughts, but I talked with her so she didn’t make me get into an ambulance or something.
I got it together after about half an hour and a couple of sports drinks that they gave me and waited for my friend to finish. That is right, I beat him. No, I smoked him. He came in almost exactly 50 minutes later and was really hurting from the heat. But, no mercy for the weak – he now owes me lunch.
Loved the venue, the distance, the volunteers, everything. I stopped at a gas station and got a 44 ounce Coke for the drive home and called my wife and let her know I was alright and to get a babysitter so we could go for steak.
So here we are the day after and I am not sore. I thought I would be, but I am just tired. I have been eating everything in sight, so I know my stomach feels fine. I know I can do this distance again and improve my time. This race is the USAT Rocky Mountain Regional Long Course Championships, so I am not real confident in my age group rankings as I race in the dreaded 30-34 age group. But, I feel really good about my effort and the training. My last race of the year is an Olympic at the end of August, so I will be ready to really fly on that one.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...