This was the first time I raced the Ironman 70.3 Racine half Ironman. The race has a long history, well before Ironman took the race over an incorporated it into its 70.3 series. This is generally a regional/Midwest race, but I spoke with a number of individuals from around the Country (and World). In fact, in my transition rack alone, English was not the only language spoken.
I was apprehensive before the start as I have been having some bad luck racing this year. So, I *needed* a good race here. The race did not turn out as I hoped or expected, but it was a good effort by me. I should probably be happy finishing 109 out of 2227 athletes, including a larger pro field than I am accustomed, but I expected a better end-result.
Race morning was warm and humid, with temps projected to go into the 90s. I set up quickly in transition at 5AM and made my way down to the swim start.
I did a nice long warm-up swim with some pick-ups. I think I am beginning to be one of those athletes that needs to be very well warmed up before exertion; it could be due to my advancing age.
The swim was uneventful, but a positive given what happened last weekend. I simply got into a group of swimmers and was somewhat pulled through the course. My sighting was good too. I expected a little faster swim, but all was well for me as this seemed like a solid performance.
The bike started great; but (thought) I forgot my speedometer headset at home. And without a speedometer or HR monitor, I had to gauge my effort by “feel,” with the notion that the bike course was flat and I might push a little harder than normal. I seemed to be controlling my effort, with the only bad thing being the massive (severity and number of) expansion cracks! Absolute taint killers.
Everything continued to plan on the bike until about mile 50; and out of nowhere my hip flexors were screaming . . . so bad I had trouble riding in the aero position. I had to sit up, slow down and probably gave up ~ 10 minutes here. At this time I do not know what to attribute this to . . .
I could not wait to run (as is usually the case), mainly so I could change my position and give my hips a rest. For the most part things were OK, but whatever issues were driving my hip pain manifested itself in my left foot. I had a very sharp pain every step on the toe pad of my foot. It worked itself out by mile 6 or 7, but it was painful and I lost some time stressing about it.
The run was exceptionally hot and my calves and hammies were starting to cramp at the end of the run; so I know I gave it my all. And while I am accustomed to running 10 – 13 minutes faster for a HIM run, given the heat and other issues, I was OK with the effort.
I did not stick around to see if I got a qualifying slot for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas. I did this race last year and do not wish to go back this year.
All in all, my split times were disappointing as I thought (know) I could go faster. However, things ultimately played out OK and I *needed* to have a solid effort like this. I also must remind myself that I am peaking for an Ironman mid-August. And since I tend to peak to early, my result was season-appropriate.
Note: I found my speedometer head unit in the “secret compartment” of my back-pack when I got home. Nice.