“Mind is everything; muscle, mere pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind.” - Paavo Nurmi
This quote was what I was banking on going into Beach 2 Battleship Half Ironman. I wanted to PB at this race and I wanted to go under 5:30. I was fully aware that this was an optimistic goal with how bad my hamstring has been. But I was going to go for it and I was prepared to hurt for this.
Beach2Battleship Half Ironman
Wilmington, North Carolina
Oct 20, 2012
Wilmington, North Carolina
Oct 20, 2012
The days leading up to the race were pretty uneventful. I drove down with one of the Nacho's and we did the drive in one shot. We arrived at our hotel which had complimentary breakfast AND fresh baked cookies at 5pm everyday! We did the routine race check in, bike check in, short workout, and race meeting the day before the race. Then we had dinner with the rest of the Nachos in their RV for some carb loading. Race morning, I had some oatmeal, coffee, and Boost.
We drove to the site and parked in the race parking lot only to get completely disorientated in the dark. We were parked less than a 5min walk to the transition area but for some reason we headed in the opposite direction and walked for about 20min before we realized we went the wrong way! Ha! That was a first! Luckily we got their early enough that we had enough time to make the walk back and still did body marking, tire pumping, and getting the bike all prepped with nutrition and fluids. Then we took a trolley ride to the swim start since the race was a point to point race except for the run.
|the real battleship in Wilmington|
Swim: 27:24 (2km)
The swim was in Wrightsville beach and it was in a channel so that meant swimming with the current. Boy did I choose a year of fast swim times! I was hoping for a sub 30min swim. I was told it would probably be even faster. I was in the sixth wave and it was hard staying behind the start line as the current really was pushing us. I swam backwards a few times to stay behind the line. The gun went off and I started swimming hard trying to get out in front. Not to far into the swim my Garmin strap broke off. I took a chance swimming with it, it stayed on just fine on my training runs but I never did get it repaired after Savageman. So before I lost it in the water I grabbed it and swam with my right hand holding onto my watch. I was basically swimming one handed as I had my right hand in a fist. After the first turn buoy, I was lost. I really wasn't sure where the buoys were and where to go so I was following a group in front of me. Then I lost them because I somehow made a wrong turn and was redirected by a lifeguard. Oops! Not until I saw the swim finish did I know exactly where to go. And the swim felt long to me for some reason. It felt like I was swimming forever. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the Garmin and it read 26 something min for the swim! Woohoo! Yup, another fast swim but I was 12th in my age group. Guess I made a few too many wrong turns! Got out to the wetsuit strippers, then ran the half km or so to transition to meet up with Limey! Nb: I had the fastest T1 time in my age group! ;)
|run to T1|
Bike: 2:47:38 (90km)
I got on the bike and was ready to giv'er! I recently purchased a Quarq crank which means I can now race and train with power! I was very excited for that! My powertap was just on my training wheel so when I raced I depended on feel and my heart rate. Now I got real power for everything! I had no power goal though so I just pushed. I was expecting a pancake flat bike course and it wasn't quite that. There were a few long steady hills but nothing Savageman-like. The big thing was the head wind we were facing. Most of the ride was a head or a cross wind since the ride was point to point. I was doing a lot of passing during the ride and it felt good! My legs were feeling it though and I knew I was gambling a bit for the run. However, I also knew that I probably could not run as fast as I would like to so I took this chance. I was happy with my time and I averaged 32.5km/hr and 189 Watts! Woohoo! My past goal watts was 160W so this is huge! The ride was about 500m long but no big deal. I did have the 5th fastest bike split in my age group which moved me to 5th! Another rare occasion of my bike split placing higher than my swim split!
|hammering the bike|
Run: 2:07:48 (21.1km)
Now for the run. In the last 10km of the bike I took two extra strength Advils in preparation for a painful hammy on the run. I started the run with great feeling running legs but an immediately painful hamstring. I just told it to shut-up and to go away and I managed to ignore it for the most part. Since I wasn't running with my Garmin which I left with my wetsuit I had no idea of my pace. I knew I was running a pretty fast pace for the beginning and maybe it was too fast. But I was hoping to bank some time since I was inevitably going to slow down. Who knows, maybe if I paced it better I would have run a bit faster. I just focused on a fast turnover and ignored the pain. However, I did notice my gait was changed and I was completely compensating for the right leg. But I was so focused that I did not let it bother me. I somehow managed quite a bit of passing but I got passed as well. The last 5km were a struggle as my left leg was cramping up quite a bit while my right leg was barely moving through. I must have looked funny. If the run was any longer I would have been in trouble as I was really cramping up in the finishing chute. I ended up averaging just over a 6min/km. One of my goals for the year was to run a half IM run in under 2hrs, I'll have to wait til next year. Oceanside was my closest attempt but I knew it was not going to happen today. I had the 18th fastest run time in my age group. Yick!
|in the finishing chute - almost done!|
Finish: 5:28:15 (6th place AG)
New Half Ironman PB!!!! Woohoo!!!! Soooo happy!!!!! I managed to hold onto 6th place overall in my age group out of 59 finishers!!!! I was 35th female out of 306 finishers. I was barely able to walk afterwards with the pain but with time I was getting more mobile. I am extremely happy with my last race of the season! And again, surprised at how mentally strong I was out there and how focused I remained despite the pain. Now for a long rest before the 2013 season and hopefully a fully recovered hammy!
Afterwards, we headed down to Charleston, South Carolina and surfed at Folly Beach. Here is a group pic of the Nachos after our surf lesson: