ChelanMan, Long Course, Chelan, WA – 7/16/2011
(seeing as I’m doing my next race in < 12 hours, it’s about damn time I get this one written!)
My anni-tri-versary! … or something. This is the race where it all started for me last year, except instead of a sprint distance, this year I bumped it up to the Long Course, or half-iron, or 70.3, or whatever you’d like to call it.
After learning some hard lessons with the heat and my own hydration needs, I decided to down a bunch of gatorade (and water) the day before, both to make sure I was hydrated enough as well as boost my salt intake (one quart is 20% your supposed daily requirement). I think I had three, but it may have been four.
Due to not remembering to make a room reservation until FAR too late, I ended up staying somewhere a bit nicer than I can usually afford. That is, I couldn’t afford it but didn’t have a choice. In any case, it was very nice.
For my carbo load the night before, I went to Sunset Bar & Grill, and had a truly fantastic chicken marinara something or other. It was huge, delicious, easily digestible, and did I say delicious already? Because it totally was.
I went to bed a bit later than planned, because the athlete’s meeting was at 7pm, and my motel was a 20 minute drive away, and I still hadn’t done all my night-before prep (mostly just arranging my gear in my transition bag and going over my list several times).
I still had at least 6.5 hours of sleep, which is pretty good, actually. Nerves can sometimes make it much less. I woke up at 4am, showered, sun-blocked, and scarfed my pre-race meal of pasta and chicken that I’d brought with me. I also downed another quart of gatorade, and set out for the park.
After setting up transition and checking that neither of my brakes were rubbing (as happened in Auburn), I warmed up in the lake and got ready to kick some ass. My own, mostly.
The first part of the swim went alright, but after the first turn it dawned on me that we were about a third of the way through and I still had loads of strength left in my arms. I picked it up a notch and ended up completing the swim in just 43 minutes, at least 5 minutes faster than I’d planned on.
I set out on the bike, and set a blistering average (for me, anyway) of 16mph for the first 30 miles. Things went rather uphill after that, and my pace slowed, but I ended up with a 3:43, which was 17 minutes faster than I’d hoped for. WOW!
I did a great job of following my plans for nutrition (alternating perpetuem solids and gels every half hour) and hydration (bottle of cytomax an hour). I was also very fortunate that the previously forecast 80+ degree sun turned to 70 degree clouds, so heatstroke was no longer a concern.
Somewhere in the first dozen miles I picked up a click-click-click noise coming from the bike, but couldn’t figure out what it was. I knew I should stop and investigate, but you get in this weird head space where you feel like, as long as you keep going, everything will be fine, but if you stop, it might be something that’s actually wrong and it could ruin the race. At mile 16 I finally made myself stop and look, and found a staple half embedded in the rear tire. Thank goodness I’d stopped before it had pushed in enough to pop the tube! Moron…
When I set out on the run, I was pretty tired, but definitely felt like I still had a full 13.1 miles left in me. No walking this time! I knew where I was time-wise, and felt I had a pretty good chance of beating my 7 hour goal. By then, though, I was so pleased with my swim and bike splits that I didn’t really care of I blew out on the run and didn’t make it in time. It would still have been a damn good day.
After the halfway point, I started asking the aid stations for the time, and then did the math to figure out how I was doing. As long as I kept on pace, I’d make it, but hoo boy, was I ever getting tired! Everything hurt. To top it off, at mile 11 it felt like I had a pebble in my shoe. I paused, ripped off my shoe, and found nothing, so I kept going and tried to ignore it (I later discover it to be a pointy leaf that was stuck to my foot, inside my sock).
I still had enough gas left for my favorite part of every race: the sprint finish. I was going so fast, though, I broke the clock! Actually, it ran out of batteries right before I got there, but my final time ended up being 6:51:04. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
The again went to Cantina Caverna for my traditional post-race feast and pina coladas. Well, colada, actually, as I then had to drive the 3 hours home (because I couldn’t afford a second night in the motel). I am so never, ever doing that again, I don’t care what I have to pawn to afford the room. That sucked!
In the end, I improved my half-iron time by almost 2 hours, and had a blast doing it. Now I have to get my ass to bed so I can do even better tomorrow!
swim: 43:03 / bike: 3:43:02 / run: 2:18:35
(distances: 1.2 / 56 / 13.1 miles)
placed: 16/17 in my division, 141/190 overall.