Tuesday, July 19, 2005
The Muncie Endurathon
This past Saturday was the big race--the half Ironman. My goal for the race was just to finish, but I figured I would probably do between a 6:15 and 6:30. I didn't really mention to anyone, except Dave, how nervous I was about this race. The week before I had broken out in hives and had many sleepless nights. The nervousness showed as I started the race.
Looking forward to the swim.
The swim was daunting just looking at the course. From the starting line you could not see all the buoys on the course. The swim went off in 8 different waves and I was in wave #5. It was a no-wetsuit swim, but I swam in mine anyway since I really had no realistic chance of placing. As my wave got started, I freaked out and couldn't get my heart rate down. I was floundering and treading water by the first buoy. The people on the boat yelled to check if I was alright. I said yes and really I was but my pride was destroyed. I said to myself, "my parents would be disappointed if I dropped out this early." I yelled back to the boat, "um, I don't think I really want to do this." They yelled back that they would send a canoe. A man on a surfboard swam up to me and he said I could hold on for as long as I needed until I was ready to continue. I held on until I saw a friend swim by and heard the next wave go off. I had already wasted five minutes but I reminded myself that I just wanted to finish. I started to swim and didn't stop again. My swim time including the run up the hill to the transition was 48:15. My watch coming out of the water said 46:00. Too bad I wasted 5 minutes or else I would have had a really great swim.
After the swim running to the transition.
Heading out of the transition to the bike ride.
I knew the bike would be long and lonely, but to tell the truth, I kind of enjoyed the ride. The bike was flat and it rained the whole time. I think these were two conditions that really helped me. I enjoyed riding in the rain as it kept things cool and leveled the playing field. I finished the bike in 3:10:30 which is about 20 minutes faster than I expected to go.
It stopped raining just in time for the run which was pretty hot and steamy. I had done a smart thing in the transition and had placed my running shoes and socks in a plastic back so I started my run with dry feet. I began pretty quickly doing in the 8:00s but slowed down as I began walking through the waterstops. I caught up with Grace around the 3 mile mark and ran with her until 5 miles. She took a long stop there and I kept going. Run time = 2:04:40.
At the end of the run and still smiling.
Overall, I had a good time. I smiled a lot, waved to people, thanked volunteers, and just remembered I was there to finish. I did better than expected which has kind of left me feeling empty and wondering if I could have done better if I tried a little harder. I'm done with triathlons for the summer, but I will keep up with the swimming and biking because it has helped my running and because maybe I'll do it again next year.