Kona out cold.
On Monday I had a nice 4000m swim. I was going to call it a day, when Ted asked if I wanted to do some 25's of fly. I told him I was going to sprint the last one. I think he was a little shocked. I have two speeds for fly, all out for a short distance or slow for lots of fly. I rode the bike in the early afternoon. I focused on some pace work for the half. I dropped of my bike for a tuneup.
I took Tuesday & Thursday off from workouts.
I had a good swim Wednesday morning. I went to pick up my bike. There are a few issues. It will have to go back. Once I got back, I rode my bike and ran with the dogs.
On my drive to work Friday morning, I saw a porcupine in the parking lot. I thought it was a raccoon because of the size. I stopped the car and looked closely. I didn't know we had porcupines in Washington. I swam enough just to get a feel. I have so much leave left, that I have to start taking a day off every week, so I decided to head home and get a quick bike/run in. I have a special relationship with valve extenders. I went to pump up my race wheels and figured out the stem valve shut. I had to take the tire off and broke a tire lever in the process. I put the wheel back together. I headed to Enumclaw to pick up our packets and drop off our bikes. At first they weren't going to let me, but after enough sweet talking they agreed.
Lee and I met up for dinner at my fav sushi spot in Dupont. He wanted to go check out the Viszla puppy at the pet store. I knew if we went, we were leaving with the puppy. Sure enough, I walked out with a puppy. I couldn't put her back in the small space. On the drive home we named her Kona. I picked the name because of her unpredictability and the race I will be at next year. My suggestion for anyone interested in a puppy. I wouldn't buy one the night before a race. I took he out several times through the night. The highlight of sleeping is waking up wet. It wasn't from sweat. :-(
I headed out the door at 5:30am. I met up with Lee and Karen. On the drive up, I forgot to grab Gatorade for my run bottle and the pump. I think it was due to erratic sleep. We pulled into the parking lot just before 7. We all agreed that it was nice not having to worry about loading & unloading the bikes. We chilled in the car and took Kona out of the kennel. Luckily, Jess was only swimming and could watch Kona during the race. We set up our transition area and then back to warm up again. I love having lots of time to not stress about a race. I headed out for a short run to warm up at 8:30AM. I made sure everything was good to go and donned my wetsuit.
SWIM - 29:45
It was a little crowded at the beginning of the race. I am always amazed at how many people sprint in the first 200meters and then die hard. I passed a lot of people before the first buoy. I felt pretty good. I saw a few people ahead of me and tried to close the gap with no luck. I picked up the pace on the second loop. I cannot figure out why my swim is over a minute slower than in 2005&2006. I was 10th out of the water. I had the fastest T-1 time by 21 seconds. There were guys who out swam me by 30 seconds, but their transition times were slower by double. I remember looking at one of the guys as I was heading out. I think he was looking at me with disbelief.
Bike - 2:22.42
I was passed by a guy within the first few miles. He ended up winning. It took several miles to get comfortable. Then another guy passed me. After mile 20, two guys passed me. I had enough. I decided it was time to get into the race. One of the guys was a relay guy, we'll call him IOARSCIC (I'm on a relay so cheating is cool). Can you guess who the other was? Crowieto. The pace felt good, so I let them do all the work. I was worried about drafting, so I kept a good distance. The IOARSCIC drafted and blocked. I am pretty sure he didn't get any penalties. He would pass and then stay next to the center line or he would get passed and draft then repass within a few seconds. The funny thing is Crowieto was called for drafting. We caught and passed everyone in front of us except for the eventual winner. He looked strong. Crowieto finally got tired of IOARSCIC, so he jumped on a hill. I wanted to go. My motto was, "Bike for show, run for dough." I watched him ride away. I figured he put 2 or so minutes on me. IOARSCIC and I kept playing the pass/repass game. I finally decided to stay behind IOARSCIC and to mentally prepare for the run. I was in and out of transition with the second fast T-2. I knew there were two guys in front of me and a relay. Scratch that one guy. Crowieto was in transition with his clothes on. I knew he mentioned he would probably only run a few miles then pull out. I didn't think he would stop in T-2.
RUN - 1:28.53
I started with a cramp in my side. After a mile or so, it was gone. I knew there was someone behind me, but not sure how close. At the first out and back I figured he was a minute behind me. I got into a nice groove after 4 miles and started to increase the gap. Now the guy in front of me was doing the same thing to me. I finished 2nd overall.
My goal for the race was (28:30, 2:23.00, under 1:30 on the run=4:25.00). At first I was a little disappointed because I thought my time was 4:28. When I saw the results I was very ecstatic. The time was 4:24.11. I looked at my watch and saw my run time. I was looking at the minutes not hour. Duh!!! The bike, run, and total time were all lifetime bests for the half iron distance.
Karen had a great race too, considering that her shoe had a lump in it. She was 6th overall and 1st in her age group. Almost forgot, she was the fastest female swimmer. For Christmas, I ordered double doors for every entry way in their house.
On our drive home we stopped at Sonic for a shake and burger. It was yummy!
Last night, I slept well and stayed dry. :-) I tried to clean house with little luck. Kona decided to pee a few times and poo once in the house. :-( I swam 1900m. Karen and Lee helped me with my stroke. Karen also video-taped me, so I could look at it later. I changed my body position, which translated into higher turnover, but faster swimming. I added two strokes per 50 but subtracted 4 seconds. Hmmm, will this work. I think so. I changed my swim goal for Arizona 55:41. Qualifying for Kona is the real goal, but this would be icing on the cake.
I'll use this coming week to recover. Less than 8 weeks to go until Ironman Arizona, watch out.