It’s been awhile since I blogged, but I thought I’d do so for the awesomeness that was the Utah Half Ironman!
It was not as physically challenging as I had anticipated, but it was much tougher mentally than the marathon. So, how’d it go? Read on . . .
I met all 3 of my goals for this race:
- Don’t die.
- Finish before the time deadline.
- Don’t be dead last.
(I just noticed that there is a lot of death in those 3.)
The nice thing about swimming in the Utah Lake harbor is that it is very shallow. So when I had a cramp in my calves I could just stand up and stretch them out. And when I got tired of swimming, I could just walk. So, I beat my expected time by a whole 15 minutes! Did you know it is possible to get seasick when you’re swimming? Good thing I could walk it off during the actual swim. I think I swam farther than anyone else though because every time I looked up the buoy I was aiming for was in a different place. I swear someone kept moving it. Luckily the rain stopped right before the start and I didn’t have to worry about huge waves and lots of wind like some people have in their races. The water was also kind of warm, which was nice. I didn’t have to wear the wetsuit.
After running like 500 miles from the water to T1, I was ready for the bike. Did you know that it is possible to feel seasick on a bike? Especially when you’re already a bit queasy? Biking is actually my strongest event so I made good time on it. That is, until I got a flat at mile 10. Silently cursing (okay, maybe not so silently), I got off and did the equivalent of the rain dance as I tried to walk in biking shoes while holding the bike up with one hand and taking the wheel off with the other and avoiding oncoming traffic and bikers all at the same time. After getting the spare tube in and the tire back on and the wheel on the bike in a pretty fast time, I was feeling good. Then, I tried the CO2 cartridge and the tube inflated, then immediately deflated. Hmmm, I must be doing something wrong, I thought. So I got out my last CO2 and tried again. No luck. So, I pulled everything off again in that rain dance maneuver and finally got everything back together. Only I didn’t have any more CO2. So I started walking the bike for about 5 minutes until someone had pity on me and gave me some CO2. After that, the bike ride was fairly easy (after all, this is billed as the “flattest and fastest half in the west”).
By the 56th mile, though, I was pretty glad to finally pry my butt off the bike seat and start the run. I was most worried about the run because I’m just not that fast and haven’t been training long. And the greasy pizza promised for the finish line did not give me any impetus to run faster. The “great” thing about the run part was that it was 2 laps so you could curse, er I mean cheer on, those who were completing the final lap when you were just starting your first. I was able to run the first 2 miles before I decided that I needed to breathe and keep my heart from beating outside my chest. So, I ended up walking and jogging every other mile after that.
The good thing about finishing near the end is that most people are gone and all the promised pizza is cold. But, at least there was not a line for the free massage and I didn’t have to wade through a bunch of bikes and stuff in the transition area since almost all the bike rack things were gone. Thankfully, they left mine and a few other racks up so that we could easily tell where we had to go.
After finishing, I thought that the half of me that was now an ironman was my legs. Why else wouldn’t they move easily? Now I wonder if it is my head because I’m seriously considering doing it all again next year! Especially since a kid who finished after I did got this huge trophy! He explained that all he had to do was go to a specific sprint-length race, an Olympic-length one, and then this half. So, you mean I can pay money to hurt myself and then get a big trophy? Oh yeah! And don’t try telling me that I could just buy a trophy without the pain because I’m not listening!