Monday, November 8, 2010

Silverman 2010: Half Iron race report

My streak of PR's is still alive. I am struggling to put this race into words. I use this blog as a diary and a method of connecting with other athletes. I have been putting in the time and effort to have a huge race. I didnt have a huge race. I needed the extra fitness and I am a better athlete for it but I am just not happy. The only mistake I made all day was not having my watch charged. ROOKIE mistake. All day not knowing where my heart rate was or my pace. Here is how it plays out.

The Swim: Last year 44:00, this year goal 45:00, actual 51:00

With the new swim venue I was wondering what would be different this year. The new swim venue is Lake Las Vegas which is a pretty little community of homes that are set around this man made lake. The water was very, very cold. The visibility was poor. The swimming lane was quite narrow and was the most physical swim I have been a part of. Including an elbow to the back of the head, which at the moment didnt seem like that big of a deal, but I had a small cut. No biggies. I had some stomach issues that carried over to the bike but didnt necessarily carry over to bad performance. I didnt put a whole lot of time into the swim because I thought the bike and run were just so much more important. I dont like swimming enough to get super technical with it and really work on it. I was a much more efficient swimmer than last year. Last year I went out waaaay to fast on the swim to get that 44:00. Which is so slow. The end of the swim was me getting pulled out of the water and then quickly had my wet suit ripped off. Wetsuit strippers are amazing.

T1: Last year 7:52, this years goal: 5:00, actual: 8:35.

So frustrated with this time. I was so foggy. I had a little hamstring cramp. It is a new venue and there was a lot to run. Covered 3 times the distance compared to last years t1. I dont know what to say, except it was too damn slow.

Bike: Last year 4:15:42, this years goal: 3:50, actual 4:14:46

Really? 25 min slow? I didnt take into account the difficulty of this course compared to last years. I certainly didnt expect the 25 mph or so head wind. Sure last year I couldnt climb the sisters and I did all 3 this time. But I am so disappointed with this time. I did a much harder course, with wind, and it was faster than last year but it is 2nd slowest bike split in my age group. I fought back lower back spasm and quad cramps the whole way. I ate a buch of pretzels or just licked the salt off. It really helped the cramps. I still felt like I pounded. The times away from the wind were faster or on track with training. One thing is we cannot control the elements. Moral victory here but I would like better results.

T2: Last year 8:19, this years goal: 4:00, actual: 6:29

not too bad. But sheesh what have I been doing? Why arent I faster? I was starting to get pissed. WHY AM I GOING SO SLOOOOW. It sure felt good to stand. My legs were still cramping up a bit. Am I in trouble for this run? What will I do if I am slower than last year? I am gonna have melt down if I am actually slower. Off I go.

Run: Last year 2:55:16, this years goal: 2:20, actual: 2:47

These running legs are not happening. The first 4 miles as I am trying to use my mathematical skills, am I going to be worse than last year? I dont know what I am going to do if I am worse than last year is all I kept thinking. The cramps slowly start to subside and I starting to pick it up. I can feel my running conditioning taking over. I start to think I am ok. I start to run a lot more. I wish I had my watch. I bet I had a 20 min negative split. I felt so much stronger than last year. I ran so much more and faster when I did run. I passed a lot of people that I was going back and forth with. I could have kept running if I needed to. I actually got stronger as the run went on. I took gatorade and water at every aid station. I tried chicken broth and I really liked it. From mile 4 to the finish I had no cramps just fatigue. I never had any pain per se. I just felt so much stronger.

Overall: Last year: 8:11:17, this years goal: 7:00, actual 8:08:01

WOW. Really? It is actually hard to write this all down. I am slightly ashamed. ASHAMED? about finishing a half Iron distance triathlon TOO SLOOW? Not just any triathlon either. This race course is RIDICULOUS. I need to race somewhere else. May be I am being unfair to myself. I just do not want to be a finisher. I want to be in the mix. I want to be fast. May be thats just not me? I dont know. I needed every bit of the fitness I gained this last year to be 3 min faster? I am not ok with that. It continues to be an issue for me. May be my goal setting is screwed up? May be I need a cycling coach. To the people who are not familiar with triathlon its a crazy event. Its not crazy to me. I hate being 4th to last in my division. Losing by 2 and half hours. I just need some time to goal set. I like training. I like to challenge myself.


I would to thank all my "groupies." I will post some pics in the next few days. Every body came out in full effect. It is was very special to me to have all of you out there. Its a long day to watch one of these events. I appreciate it. Thanks Karl for always looking out for me.


Chuck said...

Congratulations on the accomplishment! You are being way to hard on yourself. It is unfair to compare your time with last year if the course is different. I understand that you are disappointed, but to be even slightly ashamed is ridiculous! How many people do you know that could even finish a Half Ironman?

I know that there is no way I could!

RockStarTri said...

Dude, don't be ashamed. Sometimes we learn more during events that don't meet our expectations than the ones that go according to plan. You had a lot of choices to make during this race and you chose to do what you could "ON THIS DAY." All you can do is all you can do.

Be proud.

TRI-james said...

Ron – It is hard to compare the same race year to year. You are different. The conditions are different. Do you think it was realistic to think that you could cut 25 minutes off the bike AND 35 minutes off the run? To run a 2:20 half after the bike is the equivalent of running your best half marathon ever (I would say for us mortals adding 15 minutes to your half marathon PR is realistic).

I know it is difficult but try to be thankful with the PR.

Karl Stutelberg said...

Dude, fortunately or unfortunately (I am not quite sure yet), you live in the city that hosts one of the toughest triathlons in the world, and you chose it as your first (and second) HIM. I mean your annual HIM. Also, you put all your eggs into one basket each year to try and have a great race. It is hard not to want to be your best on that day and pray for the best conditions, but it is a 1 in 365 shot (those odds suck even for Vegas). Try not to be too hard on yourself. Even the best in the world can be well prepared and DNF on race day (Haile Gegrselassie). Be upset and disappointed enough to keep the fire inside burning harder next year, and the year after, and the year after. What does that mean? It means MORE. MORE of everything. It means a marathon in 3 months! It means can your body handle running 40-50 miles per week for a while. It means a few century rides along the way. It means more hill climbs. It means more open water swims. It means breaking two hours in the half marathon! It means getting up for that run/ride even when you feel like crap. More OD and sprint tris, more local road races, more PRs, more group rides. It means "see you next year Silverman!" How hard can you push? Find a little bit of energy somewhere to push more. It involves sacrafice sure, but it is worth every minute. Remember it is all about the journey. You have had a great year with some amazing experiences. Now, lets go make some more!
Damn, I should be a football coach.

Caratunk Girl said...

First, congratulations on your race and PR! That is awesome.

Secondly, I want to smack you around for saying you are ashamed!! No need of that - I understand you are disappointed - I have totally been there. Disappointed is OK - it builds character and fans your flames for the next race.

But really, if I hear that "A" word from you again, I am flying to Vegas and whooping your butt.

Here is an A word for you: Accomplishment.

You trained hard for MONTHS and went 70.3 miles - AND YOU PR'd!! You know how few people even have the guts to toe the line?? Things might not have gone as planned, but shake off that disappointment, hold your head high, learn from that race and take it forward with you to the next.

You can't really compare year to year because each race is a different journey and brings you different things. Write down the lessons learned in this race so when it comes around again, you can keep moving forward.

I will shut up now. Awesome job. You finished with a PR!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great race! I understand where you are mentally. I had a bad race and it messed me up for several weeks. But I now have an idea of what I need to work on and that is where I have been the rest of the year. Take this as a learning experience and you will improve. Don't give up because you are a great athlete!

Tracy said...

Ron - to PR on the Silverman course is a huge accomplishment, espcially given the wind conditions on the bike. Don't let the fact that you didn't meet your ideal goal get you down. You had some aggressive goals for the race this year - both on the bike and on the run. Take the time to reflect on all the lessons from the race and your triathlon career will improve tremendously. No race is a failure - only an chance to learn from ourselves. (this coming from someone who walked the marathon last year.)

Swim - everyone was slow on the swim (I was 9 minutes slower in the full distance. Ouch!) It's a new course, new water and different feeling.

Transition (both of them) - Both transitions were longer this year, so here was no way that you would be able to cut time - you can't say the transitions were slow. Those are some good times for the length of the transition areas.

Bike - Always a brutal course. I do think this year's edition was a little more challenging. And the wind on the bike path was horrible. 8 Miles of hell, that's what I thought! Take heart in the fact that you rode faster, despite the challenging conditions. That reflects on the growth you have made in the last year.

Run - After 6 years, I still do not have that run dialed! To be able to come off the bike, dealing with the cramps and spasms and wind and wind... (it was really hot this year - even I was not ready for it) and still be able to run that much faster then last? You should be thrilled with that performance.

P said...

I have to agree with everyone else here - be PROUD of your PR!! It's called the World's Toughest Triathlon for a reason!
Those transition areas were the longest I've ever seen, and I think it was particularly cruel to have to climb that mountain to get out of T1.
Focus for a bit on all the things that went well - biking the three sisters (brutal) and finishing the run strong (so hard to do after a long day) - and I think you'll see what the rest of us see: a GREAT race!!

Anonymous said...

My man...silverman is a BEAST...period. You battled through race day adversity and still were able to cross that line. I know you're upset and I can understand where that comes from. Use it to focus yourself for the outseason and next season. You obviously had some improvements from last year and finished the run strong...take that to your want-to bank and collect interest for next season. I'm proud of you for beasting it out on an incredibly challenging course...bravo, my man!

Steve and Camilla said...

Congratulations! Please don't be ashamed. I just did this one too. The swim was the toughest one I have done too, my slowest time at 39 mins too, fighting for a space all the way. The bike - holy (bad words) that was tough, you're so right the head wind after the sisters was just brutal and the run? well, nothing about that was easy. You're amazing, don't be ashamed.

Carmelo said...

Great report. Congrats on your accomplishments.


Docrunner @Tri2Thrive said...

Wow, congrats. I can see your point about your goals, but for someone like me, I'm amazed at the mere accomplishment of 70.3 and to do it in anywhere near 8 hours! I just finished my first Tri, a mini-Sprint, and finished second to last!

But, being a Tri-newb, I'm proud I finished. I'm sure if I train my butt off, and do the same Tri next year, I will also have much higher expectations of myself. But, keep in mind how few people actually even dream of doing these crazy marathons and Tri-s. Great job!! Congrats again!

felog said...

I just stumbled across your race report.

Nice job on getting it done! Silverman is a TOUGH course and finishing should be the goal of everyone.

"I like training. I like to challenge myself." -- This is what is most important!

Happy Holidays!