Sunday, August 03, 2008

Steelhead half Ironman race report

Short results:
23:13 3:11:01 3:11:51 6:54:13 1846 4
RUN1 2.? mi. (23:13) 1:13/100m 1967 4
TOTAL BIKE 56 mi. (actually 54.x?) (3:11:01) 17.59 mph 1866 4
TOTAL RUN2 13.1 mi. (3:11:51) 14:38/mile 1846 4
T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 3:50

Long grueling story:
Swim involved a 1.2-mile walk through powder sand to the start. I had brought a pair of throwaway running shoes but my feet are lousy (2 surgeries, etc.) and my feet got tired from walking without my orthotics in the deep sand and abraded from sand in my shoes. Surf was big (4-5 feet and quite rough, unforecast ~25 kt winds) and hardly anyone (out of ~2700 entries waiting to start) went in to warm up. They wouldn't have been able to support it - the kayaks never went in the water. I had resolved to attempt to round the first buoy but if it was too difficult (and it looked like it definitely would be) to DNS. Too dangerous for a not-very-strong swimmer like me.

They announced the cancellation of the swim (hurrah!) and we all walked back to the start (another 1.2 miles in deep sand, after which my feet were pretty messed up) and somehow through the huge clogs of people we rearranged our transition areas and walked to the start of a ~2 mile run leg and lined up in waves, about an hour after the scheduled start.

Run1: About 2 miles up and down a hill - I took it easy for a warmup. Somehow I got a bug embedded in my eye and took most of T1 trying to get it out.

Bike: The course is rolling hills throughout but none terribly long, and I just tried to stay focused, work hard, and keep my heart rate between about 150-160. I had been in the first wave and it was a bit discouraging to be passed the whole time - the course was full the whole ride but well-supported! I tried some different nutrition (Nuun) but still got nauseous about halfway through - I think I'm going to cut out the longer stuff because it's just a big battle with my weak stomach the whole way (and that's what it was the rest of the day, trying to figure out what to do for my stomach to stave off nausea). Came back to transition in I think a PR for the distance but the course was almost 2 miles short - have to check my Garmin data when I get home.

T2 was a bit slow due to extended portapotty break.

Run: Started the run at a jog and felt okay for the first couple of miles but then my feet started getting quite painful (they're in pretty bad shape today, the day after). I ended up walking more in this half marathon than I have in years, and battling stomach issues - but (after my DNF at Eagleman) I was determined to stick it out and get the medal.

They took us back through the deep sand on the finishing straight for one final difficult patch, then finally the finish line.

Got the medal. At least I finally got a sub-7 half, which is what I wanted, but not exactly this way!!! I guess I got 4th in the over-40 Athenas, same as I did here 2 years ago, but I think it was (again) out of only 4 finishers in the category.

Hitting the road today to head for home!


amybee said...

What a day!

It makes sense that they cancelled the swim, although I'm sure you are a little disappointed.

I would have hated that walk on the sand too.

You toughed it out under adverse conditions, placed well and have a cool medal.


MamaMaven said...


ShirleyPerly said...

It would have been terrible to have another triathlete die during a swim segment so I'm glad they cancelled (heard that 8 have died the past 2 yrs!).

Congrats on finishing both runs and the bike under tough conditions.

Kathy said...

Congrats on finishing what sounded like a very tough day out!!!

I would have hated the swim being cancelled as it is the only bit that I'm actually good at, but safety comes first!

Well done.

LBTEPA said...

WELL DONE on finishing on a very tough day

Brent Buckner said...

Congratulations - well done to push through under adverse circumstances!

jeanne said...

how miserable for you! but it sounds like a very smart decision to cancel the swim. But look at your bike speed!
You TOTALLY deserve a medal for a day like that!

Rainmaker said...

Congrats on the job well done! Especially given all the last minute changes, I know how that can throw folks for a loop.

21stCenturyMom said...

Congratulations - you did it.

Do you take salt pills at all? I used to have terrible issues with nausea until I discovered the magic of salt pills. It changed everything. If you don't use Endurolytes or Ecaps or Thermotabs you might want to check it out.

Kona Shelley said...'re doing great Nancy!

Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

Good job! Too bad about the swim, that's usually my favorite part. And what's up with your feet? Do you no have the sexy toe socks? :-)

Comm's said...

First off, love the hair.

Second, you look like you have lost weight. A lot.

Third, you beat me. I couldn't do a sub 7 half right now.

JenZen said...

Howdy! Saw your post plugged on the Endurance Sports Bar site and dropped by. CONGRATS on the race!! WOW! Way to stick it out and finish!