I showed up to Hawaii with some questions. Is this something that I can do? Does training on my home course make it easier for me despite one of the most grueling courses in the world? Am I trying to do something that isnt for me? Can I compare the 2 Silverman events to anything else? Is this goal of Ironman doable? I have experienced many changes as a person and the evolving me is trying to let myself be less conscious. I used to analyze and over think. I am able to avoid that problem. This trip has helped teach me that. I was able to train daily and still hike, swim, walk, drive, and not have any consequences. I believe in me. That is something I have never admitted to. This time around this race was not about a Kona slot. Who knows were I will be in the future. This race was go somewhere not silverman and see if I can do. I cannot say that I put up some amazing times or that the big triathlon companies want to put their clothes on my back or anything. What I can say is that I got ready for a 1/2 Iron triathlon in 9 weeks and I put up a 53 min PR at the 1/2 Iron distance. I came in under trained on the swim and with a rented bike. How did my day go you ask? Here we go.
Swim: Goal 50:00 Actual 51:12
Hapuna Beach was incredible. This is a man made beach that was very hard to swim. The sea life was a distraction. I literally had to check myself and get it together. HEY YOU ARE RACING HERE. lol. The night before at the race meeting the staff mentioned a typhoon off the coast of the Philippines that would influence our swim. 5 foot swells they said would arrive at or around swim start. The beginning of the waves began in waves of 3. Big waves then no waves. I never noticed them. 1800 people in at the same wave. This was the thing I was most concerned about. With Kona slots on the line will these people take me down to get there before me. Answer NO. It was physical though. The course was a box that required me to keep all the buoys on my right except the last buoy, go left and get to shore. The first turn is supposed to be the most troublesome. I took it a bit wide and was out of trouble. Then I wanted to take the second turn in stride as a result of the 1st turn and took it a bit wide. So wide I went a bit off course. One thing in triathlon is for sure. Never find yourself alone, if your alone something is wrong. Yeah about 5-10 min off course, lol. It was so cool out there. I right myself and get back into the churn. I was happy for keeping my arms going the whole time, no breaks. I also was trying something new this race. One outfit the whole day. I have leaned out enough to pull off a triathlon suit so why not? Overall, happy with the swim but I know this is an area I must improve on.
T1: Goal 3 min Actual: 5:54
I thought since I wouldnt be changing that I would be out of there quicker. A long beach run and a shower didnt get accounted for. I could have spent a little more time in that shower. The timing chip rubbed me raw all day. I would have made sure that was cleaned off if I had to do it again. The organizers did a wonderful job of having turf/carpet to run on. Very feet friendly. I had no issues with gearing up, getting on the bike, and getting off.
Bike: Goal 3:30:00 Actual: 3:28:33
This what I came here for. They kept saying, dont empty the tank on the bike the run is hard. I said no way. I want to kill this bike split and put my run to the test. I needed to see what I am made of. So I attacked the little bits of this course to Hawi. Including this race I had 3 training rides on Queen K. SO AWESOME. I wanted to know if I am just slow or is it the place I ride a lot. The route was simple. Queen K make a R go 5 miles then uturn to Hawi. Uturn at Hawi and head back. If you break down the 3:30 time goal that is 16 mph. I went the first 5 in 18.5 mph, the next 24 miles in 15.75 mph, and the last 29 in 16.03. I laid awake at night for the last few months wondering what the wind was going to be like THIS day. The training ride showed my what a bad day would be like. The only windy parts were 5 miles before the turn around in Hawi. Of course there would be wind there. If thats the only wind then I am in amazing shape. The fun part was I passed a lot of riders. Fancy tri bikes in aero position and were smaller than me. BYE. I attacked and felt strong with the exception of 2 places. The 5 miles before Hawi with a 20-25 mph head wind and the "dead spot." Can I first tell you the pros were unbelievable. I had spots were I was averaging 30 mph and they went 40. Awesome. The dead spot happened when the tail wind stopped and the terrain turned back to up. If you look at the hill profile you will see it. I started breaking. I was on pace for a 3:10-15 bike split. I started to go down that negative route. Then I ate a Tri3Bar. They were outstanding. I perked up and hammered it out. I now have a bank of memories to draw from that allows me to persevere. That was very fun to live. Get it done, get off this bike with some gusto, dont coast in there, finish like you belong here. Mauna Lani Drive was a welcome site and cruised into T2.
T2: Goal 3:00 Actual: 4:54
I wanted to get some shade. The changing tent was empty so I sat down and took a minute to cool off. I got some petro jelly for some chaffing, got ice water, and boy did it feel good to get off my shoulders and get on my feet. My arms and shoulders were blasted. In fact my hands were totally useless by the time I got off the bike.
Run: Goal: 2:20 Actual: 2:43:47
As I began the run I noticed the lack of shade. The run course was not observable prior to the race. It was a golf course/housing development. We ran right down the middle of grass, onto the cart path, out and back, out and back, up hill down hill, concrete, asphalt, and NO SHADE WHATSOEVER. Easily the hottest I have ever been. For the Vegas people this run is equivalent to running down the middle of the river mountain loop trail in the middle of the day. Yeah, I am not doing that so I wasn't THIS heat trained. In the 3rd mile I felt the blisters start. I think they are more like burns. Each foot with 2 blisters. I did the best I could with the circumstances. I tried to take one mile at a time and battle each mile for under 10:40. Didnt happen. A small victory for me is no cramping. I think I figured my needs. NOT SUGAR. I had an all fruit smoothie and a muscle milk 3 hours before start. I alternated between water and Ironman Perform (which was outstanding) and I had 2 bars on the bike and one on the bike. In and out of grass, concrete, asphalt, and then there was HELL. Miles 8-12 were brutal. 2 miles down and 2 miles up in the desolate lava field and no redeeming qualities. I suppose thats what I signed up for but dang, it was brutal. I know that I can persevere through anything now. I can feel it coming together. The heat and the blisters drained my run but, all in all, it is what it is.
Overall: Goal 6:47 Actual: 7:14:20
Lofty goal again but I have training to back it up. I missed it by 1 min on swim, 3 min on T1, made up 2 min on bike, 1 min on T2, and then missed the run by 24 min. Not that far off each and the heat got me. Ok so the heat got me on the big island of Hawaii on a half iron distance triathlon, I can live with that. I had a blast. 70.3's not silverman are WAY more fun. Dont get me wrong the silverman is a great event but the bike is brutal. The run course is brutal. I think if I ran the Kona course in the early morning I can do it A LOT easier. Just the way it was. I am ecstatic with a 53 min PR and I am ready for the next adventure. The next 1/2 iron will be in my back yard. No silverman this year, it will be pumkinman. The bike is brutal. I must get my climbing on point. I think I may get my tri bike going. We will see. My back never gave me trouble. I was muscle sore there but no bid deal. In the aftermath my blisters are trouble, minor muscle soreness, and ready to rock. I would like to send a big shout out to my wife. She is most amazing, supportive woman I know. Thanks honey for encouraging me to do that.