Sunday, June 5, 2011

My 70.3

Even more than 24hrs later I am still finding it hard to put into words what I am feeling following my first Half Iron 70.3!

Macon, Ga is a furnace kind of HOT. Fridays high was 103 degrees. Race morning was very warm and only got warmer.

Here is the ugly truth of the day....

swim - 45:13 (includes beach and ramp to T1)
T1 - 3:22
bike: 3:22:29
T2 - 3:28
run - 2:56:45 (my SLOWEST EVER)
Total - 7:11:26

Number Started - 265
Number Finished - 234

Finishing Temp - 98 degrees

Swim: I had never seen what 1.2 miles looked like in a lake before race morning. Something I would change looking back now. I somewhat freaked at the sight of what we would be swimming. That is a LONG WAY. Water temps were 86 degrees and just like that we were swimming. I was passed and I also passed other swimmers. I was a zigzagging machine :) . Overall it went better than I thought.

Bike: The course offers NO SHADE past mile 10. One roller after another made it hard for me to find a grove and this resulted in mashing to heavy of a gear. I did manage to take in 3 fuel bottles along with 2 bottles of water. Dropped my GU and Chomps early on and did not stop to get them. The last 5 miles were really difficult for me. I felt "off" but continued to just get the bike finished.

Run: I was so disoriented coming into T2 and had to sit down just to get my mind straight. As I began running I felt very nauseated. I wanted to quit but instead I walked the entire first 2 miles. I have NEVER had to do this before. The entire run course had NO SHADE. We were cooking out there. Once I committed to finishing I just hung on the best I could. Walk/Run from station to station taking in water, gu's, salt tablets and dumping cup fulls of ice in my sports bra. It was not until close to end that I started taking in flat coke and that alone began to help calm my stomach. The entire run course was one walking zombie after another.

I was more than an hour past my goal finish time. This is always a hard pill to swallow. Still I learned a ton of lessons from the day. I DID NOT QUIT! IMKY in August is my "A" goal and this race offered a lot of positives for me to take in.

So I am glad to have raced. I am glad to have finished. I am glad there is tons of room for improvements. This is what it is truly all about. Pretty amazed by everyone that even started Saturdays event knowing how brutal of a day it would be.


** Update - Full blown-head-cold has set in. Explains so much of why I felt the way I did going into the race on Saturday. :/ Oh well....onto another day.


Neese said...

the heat yesterday was brutal! I just read about the Chicago half losing a runner :( -- so glad you had your hydration and walked instead of ran. you played it smart considering how you were feeling and you finished. So proud of you - good training for your ultimate goal.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first half ironman! The heat sounds brutal, brutal, brutal and I know what southern heat does to the I can't even imagine being out there on the course for 7 hours! I admire you for sticking it out and finishing!

Colleen said...

Oh Robin... that sounds brutal! You are one tough cookie for getting through that! Trust me... most races aren't that hard! Love your attitude! You should be very proud of yourself!

Kit Kat said...

Good job under very difficult conditions. There's a lot that can happen in 70.3 miles and even more in 140.6. These are learning experiences. You're one step closer.

Grey Beard said...

Congratulations on the finish Robin. Living to fight another day sure beats the alternative. Good decision to finish, but safe and sane, and with lessons learned.

Meanwhile, my friend Joan and her husband DNF-ed the Eastern Sierra Double from Bishop to Mono Lake due to freezing rain and 30mph winds gusting to 50. They did a 600km Brevet 2 weeks ago, so as stalwart as they come.

The weather this year is just scarey. You have to account for it when competing.

Matthew Smith said...

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on this HIM. That is such an accomplishment by itself. Secondly, that is WAY TOO HOT. That is blistering! I'm just impressed that you finished it. Way to go and press through the pain, heat, disappointment etc. I think you did awesome. Great job! On to IMKY!!!

Karen said...

Congratulations on your finish! If you can finish in those kind of conditions, you can do anything! I was hoping the water would at least be cool but 86 is pretty toasty ... I think I would have taken off for my run rolling a coller behind me, ha ha. You should be so proud of your finish, amazing!

Wes said...

Yes Yes Yes! You nailed it. This was not an "A" race for you. You trained through it. You weren't feeling well. The conditions were brutal. Yet you crossed the line. I saw that smile on the bike. Way to go, Robin!! That's the kind of stubborness that will come in handy on Iron-day!!

Runner Mom said...

The Hoods are so PROUD of you!!!! Can't wait to sit down with you and hear the complete details. You made very smart decisions out there. We know about those heat issues!
Love you!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

CONGRATS!!!! It sucks racing in heat like that. Way to keep going and finishing!!! So happy for you

Matty O said...

Uhhhhhh ouch! Could you even breath through that heat?! wow!

Here are my thoughts. You played a smart race out perfectly. Things weren't going your way and you kept your cool and did NOT get frazzled. I commend you on that.

As for the heat... as much as it sucks to say it, I bet Kentucky is going to be VERY similar to this race temperature wise. You have a great advantage to plan for this for your A race.

Great job. Sometimes our goals don't work out as planned and you have to adapt to survive, you did this wonderfully!

Keep up the good work!!!

Marlene said...

So you were SICK (and just didn't know it yet) AND battling relentless sun and heat - you are a TROOPER! I can't believe you did that. Well, I *can* believe it of course but WOW. Congrats on your first 70.3!! Lots more to come! :)

Stuart said...

Don't be too hard on yourself; there is always more to be learned from harder races than easier ones!

Great job for gutting it out to the finish line!

Judi said...

IMKY has no shade either. HTFU. :)

Bob said...

Under those conditions I would consider an hour over goal a powerful accomplishment. I just did a 5K in 91* and lost a minute per mile, can't imagine what this must have felt like. Here's a chart I found about heat adjusted performance degradation:

Estimated temperature at finish...Slower than goal pace
55-60 degrees.....1%
60-65 degrees.....3%
65-70 degrees.....5%
70-75 degrees.....7%
75-80 degrees.....12%
80-85 degrees.....20%
above 85.....forget it

Grey Beard said...

Interesting chart Bob. Have a URL for that? I've always distinguished between external work - IE: the stuff that shows up on a power/duration curve, and internal work, like digestion, massive blood flow required for dumping heat, processing extra water and electrolytes, sub-optimal digestion processes with excess heat, etc.

I've been guessing that as much as 25% additional work has to be done by the body when it is under heat stress (combo of heat & humidity), mostly due to the massive extra load placed on the heart and lungs in what is a progressively vicious cycle.

I don't have the equipment to do a good test, but if someone like Kit Kat, with both a HR monitor and Powermeter wanted to do some tests, I'd be very interested in the results.

My hunch is, at the limits of heat stress, 25% is too low. It may approach (or exceed?) 50%.

Caratunk Girl said...

Congrats on the HIM finish in crazy HOT conditions!! I remember looking out at my first HIM swim and thinking...holy $hit, that is what 1.2 miles looks like? Is that course LONG? You did GREAT!

I dropped some of my stuff too on my last HIM bike. We need to come up with a better system! That bike sounds so hot - way to stay hydrated/fueled!! You were VERY smart in this race!

That head cold made things even harder - the run is the toughest part of any HIM I have done, and again, you played this smart.

IMKY will be hot too, but I would say keep training in heat, work on nutrition/electroyte consumption in training - because mentally/physically you are 100% solid and totally READY!! Only 80ish days away!! :) Keep up the great work!