Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Race Report: Amica Ironman 70.3 Run

I was in the middle of transition in T2 when I saw my rival on the bike (to whom I've been referring as "Pink") run out before me! Considering I got into T2 first, I found this completely unacceptable so raced out without doing one key thing: taking off my bike shorts.

I may have failed to mention this before, but I wasn't wearing proper tri attire for this race due to typically poor planning. Instead, I'd devised a plan in which I'd wear tight black shorts for the swim and run and wear bike shorts over them on the bike. It was a great plan but would have been better if I'd executed the last part. No big deal, as it turns out. Also, I dropped Pink after maybe a tenth of a mile.

But back to the run. It consisted of two loops. Here's a handy dandy map. I've taken the liberty of marking the spots that were torture.

From approximately mile 1 to mile 2.5 was basically uphill. And the majority of that was in the sun with no shade and no water. At the end of the biggest part of the hill, I was grunting at every step. It wasn't my finest moment, but hey, I got up the hill without walking. As an aside, they were giving out wet sponges to cool us off and those were life savers. TMI Alert: I even put ice in my bra. It was hot!

This part of the course was so hard that I started to really worry about the Ironman and wonder how I'd ever be able to do twice that distance. Fortunately I spoke to another friend of mine who also did the race and he said it made him think the same things. AND HE'S ALREADY DONE AN IRONMAN. That made me feel a lot better. Plus, I really did come back to my senses once I got off that hill.

The second time was even more of a struggle and the only reason I made it without walking is that I read 5:40 on the clock as I was entering my second lap. I knew that if I managed to push through and not walk, I'd have a good chance of breaking 7 hours. So every time I wanted to stop and walk (which was almost every step at some point), I thought about breaking 7 hours. Even though my run had slowed to what couldn't have been much faster than a crawl, I made it up again.

But this time, my sense of dread lasted a little bit longer. I was in a "just get through it" mindset until about mile 10.5 when I had an epiphany: I was almost done. 2.6 miles was all that stood between me, a revenge medal, pizza, and potentially even a sub-7 hour finish. At that point, I went all out. I was passing people left and right. Many of them seemed bewildered by it, too. It was a fine time to turn on the jets. And once I reached the barricades leading up to the capitol building, I started an all-out sprint to the finish. The clock read 6:47 as I crossed and with my swim start taken into account, I finished in a little over 6:42. That's a full 26 minutes faster than the one I did in May!

The run itself came out to 2:10 and change, which I did not expect at all. There were points in that run when I speculated that my time would be 10-15 minutes slower than it was in May. Guess not!

All in all, it was a good race. Despite my battle with the run course, I'd do it again.

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