Coming in to this race I really didn't know what to expect. I had never done 2 Half Ironmans back to back before let alone 6 days apart. I contemplated signing up for the Race on Sunday after bombing in the 105 degree heat that was Eagleman but I waited a few days to see if I still wanted it. After having a decent ride on Wed morning I pulled the cord and dove in. Then I had a terrible run on Thursday, which made me question what I was doing even more. Friday AM I taught a spin class in the morning, and then swam some, still really wasnt feeling 100% and up to racing. Around 4pm I decided to go out for a quick run just to see if anything changed so I popped on my shoes and headed out for a quick 2 mi run. It was like my body forgot about the day before and it wanted to run, both miles seemed to come off at a sub-7 minute pace effortlessly. This gave me some confidence and I suddenly was mentally back in the game.
Run 13.1 Miles (13.11 GPS Measured)
1:30am Saturday wake up to drive the 175 miles to Freetown, MA to get into Transition by 5 get registered and have everything done and set nice and early. I left some extra time for traffic, which fortunately I didn't hit. And Made it to the Race Site by 5:15am. This was another first for me so it was going to be an interesting day. Breakfast at home consisted of a bowl of oatmeal. Took a bagel with PB& honey for the drive which I ate around 3:30am. and a bottle of Clif Shot electrolyte to sip on the way up.
Registered and got a nice low #, 17 which I took as a good sign. When the volunteer was body marking me, she was confused as I had my number from last weekend still burned into my arm, I told her it was from last weekends half, she just looked at me and shrugged. Got everything ready and went for a nice easy warm up swim. The water was like and ice bath compared to last weeks 80 water, but for me it seemed the perfect temp so I didn't overheat. I swam maybe 10 minutes just splashing around getting used to the water and trying not to expend too much energy, since I knew I was already depleted. Got out of the water and downed my bottle of UCAN 30 mins before the swim and spent the rest of the morning sipping my pre-race cocktail.
Swim 1.2 mile (1.37 GPS measured)
I registered for the elite wave because I didn't really care about winning my age group, I was going for overall time, and I felt that the earlier I started the better. Being in the elite wave there were only 13 people so we had a nice small wave to contend with. Ironically enough the gun went off and it was probably one of the most violent swim starts I've had so far this year, but only initially. I tried to stick with the main group as long as I could and I could see them maybe about 10 seconds ahead of me after the first two buoys, one thing the race directors need to change for next year is having corner buoys in a different shape or a different color to signify turns. After the third buoy there was another orange one in my sight line so i honed it on that one, but I couldn't figure out why I couldn't see the pack. maybe a good minute later i got hit with a kayak paddle telling me to turn around because I was swimming to the wrong buoy! Apparently I wasn't the only one who made this mistake in talking to some other competitors after the race, so I turned around aimed for the correct buoy and forged ahead. I had no idea how many people were in front of me, and but all I know is I could no longer see them and I thought with the exception of the guy who was drafting off of me for what seemed like the entire swim, I would be last out of the water. I felt good the whole time and just kept on going, not letting the mishap bother me, I figured it might have cost me a bit of time but there was no use in fussing over it, I could no longer see anyone so I just focused on the finish line. I came out of the water in 4th position in the elite wave, but 7 minutes down from the eventual winner.
Bike 56 mi (GPS 56.6)
After a quick T1 I headed out on the bike at this point I still didn't know where I was so I just decided to put my head down and ride. I remembered it to be a fast course, but I also remembered last time I did it and it was advertised as "flat" being a little upset with some of the hills. This time the hills felt non existent and were actually a nice change of pace to get out of the saddle a bit and change position etc. One thing about racing in the front is that its lonely, there was one racer who passed me in transition that I was following for quite a bit from a far but I eventually lost him, other than that I didn't see another racer until I saw people coming out of transition for their first loop. I got a split that I was about 12 minutes down from one of the volunteers at a turn, and I was surprised I lost that much time, I thought I might be picking some time up but I didn't let it bother me, I felt good, and I was positioning myself for a great race. On to the second loop I started passing some of the people in the back of the back, didn't see any of the other elites until about mile 45, I passed him which then put me in 4th place. On the back end of the course I ran into a continuous stream of people doing their first loop and it was nice to just have some company out there, the winds had really picked up so my speed suffered a bit, but I just kept riding steadily and consistently. Felt amazing about 2 hours in to the bike ride and just continued to pass slower riders from the later waves. I hit 2:20 and downed the rest of my nutrition, I wanted to let everything settle in before the run so I took the pace down just a notch to spin my legs out. I hadn't seen anyone else from the elite wave until about mile 55, when someone came by I told him he was now in 5th place and I wasn't going to chase him since at this point its all about the run anyway. I decided I was going to take in much calories this week on the bike and it seemed to pay off, all in I took about 960 calories before all was said and done.
2 Scoops EFS+1.5 Scoops Clif Shot Electrolyte+ 1 Saltstick pill
1 400 calorie Flask EFS liquidshot
Run 13.1 Miles (13.11 GPS Measured)
I came off the bike feeling amazing, maybe almost too good. Within the firs 1/4 mile I had already caught the guy who passed me on the that few miles of the bike. I looked down at my pace and saw a low 6 min pace and I decided I needed to calm myself down a bit. I could see the next competitor up ahead so I zoned in and started to see if I could catch them. At the time I thought I was in 4th place, so eyeing the 3rd place male I was licking my chops thinking maybe I could manage a podium finish so my pace for the first few miles might have been a bit too fast for my own good. I hit mile 2 and I was still running sub 7, but I was running on feel and nothing else, mile 3 was mostly uphill and saw my pace drop to a little over 7 minutes but still focusing on the 3rd place male. I was slowly closing the gap and I still felt awesome, within miles 4&5 I got a bit closer, and then I started to fade a bit, about mile 6.5 I got passed back by the guy who passed me on the bike, that took a little bit of wind out of my sails but I kept forging on. Then I noticed something, the 3rd place male that I thought I was chasing had a ponytail, then I realized I was chasing down a woman, and I was still in 5th for the guys. Don't get me wrong I wasn't upset that a woman was in front of me, I was upset that I thought I was chasing down another male, and I wasn't. I was actually quite happy when I found out the woman I was trying to chase down was a top age group champion and a sub 10 hour Ironman finisher. I started to take coke at the aid stations because I could feel my fade was costing me, the great thing about this course is they have aid stations every mile, so I was running thru them while taking as much in as I could. Coming into mile 9 there was a volunteer that was a little slow getting what I needed, and it cost me mentally. Since I was pretty much running alone at this point as the 2 people I was chasing were about 1 minute ahead I got into a habit of shouting what I needed about 50-75 yds before I got there so they could have it ready and I wouldn't have to stop, I got into a nice rhythm and was working for me. When I hit the mile 9 aid station the volunteer was a bit slow on grabbing what I had requested and the exchange was botched, everything ended up on the floor and I had to stop and turn around to actually get more. This was the first point in the run that I had walked at all. I turned around got what I needed and just walked for a minute to regroup. Up until that point I was in a sort of zone where all I could focus on was catching the two in front of me, but after turning around and walking for that minute, I never saw them again until the finish line. They had opened up more than a 2 minute lead on me and with all the turns on the course I never got to catch another glimpse. I decided i was going to take 20-30 seconds at each of the last aid stations to walk and make sure I got all the nutrition that I needed in. At one point one guy came running by me like I was standing still, I was running about a 7:30 pace and he was just cruising, looking at the results afterwords he ended up with the number 1 run split on the day so I don't feel that bad! The next few miles were lonely, there was no one in front of me to chase and no one behind me to run from, and the shaded areas of the course were pretty much in the past. I made sure to take coke at all the last 3 aid stations to keep me nice and alert and focused. I finally hit mile the 12 aid station and stopped for my last break, it was then that the volunteers across the street at the bike aid station started to yell at me to keep going, they let me know there was someone closing in, I looked back and saw someone about 1 minute away. I was determined to not let anyone else finish in front of me so I picked it up for the last mile. My 7:19 mile included a 30 second walk break so it was more like 6:50. To make the course a little tougher they stick the worst hill on the whole course about 12.5 miles in to the run. There was a couple of volunteers walking up it when I was running it, so I decided to ask them who's idea it was to put that there. They laughed and gave me some words of encouragement telling me I looked strong and that it probably didn't matter that the hill was there anyway. I looked back and it seemed I had dropped the guy who was closing as I could no longer see him. Turned into cathedral camp for the last 1/2 mile or so still digging with everything I had. All I knew at that point is that I was about to PR my half marathon within a half ironman until I saw the clock. I was actually going to PR my overall time! I tried to pick it up a little more even with nothing left and crossed the line in 4:47:45, a PR by 2 mins and my highest half Iron finish @ 14th Overall
Avg HR: 153 (zone1 pace for me)
Mile 1 6:27
Mile 2: 6:43
Mile 3: 7:06
Mile 4: 7:18
Mile 5: 7:02
Mile 6: 7:40
Mile 7: 7:39
Mile 8: 7:50
Mile 9: 9:12
Mile 10 7:53
Mile 11: 7:49
Mile 12: 8:20
Mile 13: 7:19
Mile 13.11 6:38/pace
1 400 Calorie Flask EFS Liquid Shot
13 Cups Water
8 Cups coke