Thursday, October 29, 2009


I earned a spot on Team USA for the 2010 Long Course Triathlon World Championships in Immenstadt, Germany.  I'm pretty stoked.  Also, I'm pretty motivated to get my butt back in training.

Redman Half Ironman Mini-Report

The Redman 1/2 was a crazy race.  I haven't had a good 1/2 Ironman since my first one in 2005, so I agonized quite a bit going into the race over how to pace myself for the various events and over what kind of times I could expect.  Despite having spent a ridiculous amount of time analyzing my past results, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.  I did know that the lingering shoulder injury and the resulting time away from swimming weren't going to do any wonders for my swim time.   I decided to play the swim completely by ear, ride the bike more moderately than I did at Gulf Coast (where I wasn't planning to run at all), and then try to hold 8min/mile pace on the run (which my running leading into the race led me to believe was possible).

The day of the race, just after setting up my transition, the bottom fell out of the sky and we were hit with a veritable monsoon.  There was 6" of water in the transition area, stuff was floating around, and it was cold!  Some parts of the bike course were impassable due to flooding, so the race directors postponed the start to decide whether or not to cancel the race.  There was a full IM distance race being run concurrently with the HIM, and the HIM was the national championship, so the gravity of this decision was not lost on anyone.  Eventually they decided to start the race, with a mandatory dismount through one portion of the bike course.  At this point, I was pretty much numb with cold, which may have had an impact on my swim leg.

I had a great swim.  I don't understand how, or why, but I finished with a better swim time than at Gulf Coast, and was one of the first in my age group out of the water.  My shoulder didn't hurt.  All day.  Not at any point.  I am beyond mystified.

On to the bike.  I had a terrible bike leg.  I'm not sure why.  I don't know if I was subconsciously saving too much for the run, or what.  I did find an inch or so of water in my rear disc wheel after the race (that probably resulted from pushing my bike through the water hazard instead of carrying it over it), and that may have sapped a little energy, but overall I didn't feel strong at all.  And I got passed by lots of people.

I had a good transition, and then was off on the run.  The run was fun, because much of it was through puddles hundreds of feet long, and it felt way more adventurous than your average triathlon.  I had struggled a bit with my choice of shoes for the 1/2 marathon- wear the heavy long distance shoes, or the light Newtons with no cushioning or support.  I had opted for the Newtons, which meant that I was carrying about 6 pounds less water than I would have if I'd chosen the other pair.  Lucky choice.  I held an 8 minute pace throughout the run, and finished strong. 

I ended up with a 21 minute PR.   Overall, a pretty good race, though I almost certainly could have done better.  My shoulder mysteriously didn't bother me all day, or the day after.  The day after that, however, it was clear that I had set back my recovery pretty significantly (pain galore- well deserved), but I was glad I had eked out one last good race (triathlon) for the season.