Sooooo, it seems like every 1/2 IM I do, my finish time gets longer and longer. I guess I could come up with the excuse that it was hot and humid as hell, but everyone else seemed to manage the heat and humidity and I am not one to make excuses. As with most of my races, there was a good, an ok and an ugly. The morning began with some excitement, as MyKaren and I tried to get breakfast at the Ashland WaffleHouse at 4 am. At 4 am, the clientele is interesting enough, but some redneck boys decided to have a scuffle in the parking lot just after we walked in. Some thumping ensued with shouting and finger jabbing and all that. Some dude's t-shirt was all stretched and torn, and it all seemed to be a passing thing, when someone called out that a guy had a gun. OK, at this point, MyKaren and I were looking for a safe place to duck, and I was thinking that it I got shot going to the race that I would be totally pissed off. The wait staff was calling the police, yelling about the car make and license plate number, and the waiter guy was being held back from going out to get in the mix. We see the cops screaming towards WaffleHouse and the gun toter's friends were yelling at him to leave..he squealed out just in front of the cops, but of course they caught him. As everything settled down, a woman returns to her seat at the counter, and starts going on about the gun...evidently she was the person towards whom the gun was pulled (which was why the guys in the restaurant were so pissed, "them homeboys can shoot at each other all they want, but don't pull no gun on a chick"). She says "it was a damn 22, if you gonna pull a gun, pull a gun, don't pull no damn 22 pistol." So much was wrong with that, we just ordered our food and got out of there....
Good was my swim time: 40:03, best ever, some 3 minutes better than Timberman and 15 minutes better than my first 1/2 IM swim 2 years ago. Clearly, I am getting the swim. I found out later that many people had trouble in the beginning with breathing in the swim, some had a great deal of trouble. I think that no one realized that 68 degrees would be cold, given that the air and water temp were the same at race start, so we were all surprised at how difficult the first part of the swim was in terms of breathing. Everyone knows what it is like to put their face in cold water. I had some scared minutes, when I just could not get my breathing going correctly, even with some stern talking to. I finally held my breath for as long as I could as I swam, and somehow that worked. The swim was nice, some chop, but not bad, and I just tried to swim with the best technique I could. I really thought my swim was a 46 minute swim, I could not tell where I was in the pink cap pack, but I did much better than I could have expected.
I got to the bike, and felt a little woozy, but that is not unusual and get out on the bike course. I do not have an odometer on my bike right now, so I've been riding by feel and I just tried to go at a slightly uncomfortable speed. No weird bike stories, there was some horses with Hispanic riders, riding along the side of the road at one point, but the ride seemed to go well. I tried to eat the food I had brought with me, and took water refills at the water stops, so I thought I was doing ok. My bike time was 3:25 something, not bad, not great, but ok.
Then the run...well, I can say it was my own damn fault as usual, I just do not seem to learn how or what to eat on the run, so I bonk. And I stagger on, nauseated, weak death marching in the heat and sun. I was kind of dizzy with an upset stomach when I started the run...I ate part of a Gu and had 4 bottles of Endura on me. I thought I was going to pass out during the first lap, as I staggered on, I was waiting for the white vision edge that would signal I was going down. Didn't happen, and I did make sure I ran some part of every mile. Not sure why I didn't just stop. So, MyKaren catches up to me at the end of my 1st, her 2nd lap. She berates me for not taking electrolyte pills, so I start taking 2 every water stop, along with coke and water. No food, because I am stupid. Needless to way, the 1/2 marathon time was not my best one ever, but I did finish and maybe now I'll get the fact that I need to have a nutrition plan FOR THE WHOLE RACE and then stick to it no matter how I feel.
IMUSA is looking more scary each day. I can only hope that I get everything figured out by then. Next up, Torture Fest....I am scared about that as well waaaaahhhhh!