>> Monday, July 30, 2007
Yesterday, I finished my first Half IM in Chisago City, MN, and it went well! Pharmie and I got a good early start, and hoped for a good day.
After getting set up in transition
Drum-roll Please! Introducing the new (and improved?) HAIRLESS Steve!
I FEEL SO NAKED!
They’ll be more on the “path to hairlessness” later this week, so stay tuned! Anyway, while Pharmie and I were leaving transition, someone stopped me. “Hey, you’re Steve, right? I’m Jeremy, and I follow your blog.” He was a nice guy, doing his first Half IM. We wished him luck and hoped in the water.
The swim was calm. Nothing too fancy. I peed for the first time in my wetsuit. Twice actually. It was a strange feeling having that warmth slowly filter to all parts of my body. Weird. And not a sexy weird. (I almost titled this post “I’ve never had that much urine all over me for that length of time!”) I knew I was making good time for being a lousy swimmer. I wasn’t pushing too hard; I just felt smooth and calm and fast (fast for me). I was hoping I could finish in about 44 minutes, so I can’t complain.
I headed out on the bike. I felt like I was going too fast. I kept telling myself to slow down. I was speaking to myself out loud like a crazy man. “Steve, take it easy – you’ve got a long ways to go...” I kept going fast. My average was near 20 mph over 20 miles in. I was thinking that I’ve never averaged 20 mph for any race distance – a year ago at the LTF Olympic, I averaged just over 19 mph for the 25 mile bike. I was really concerned that I was moving too fast and would die around mile 40, but I couldn’t slow myself down.
Around mile 14, I caught up to Pharmie. She started a few waves in front of me and had a 9 minute lead. She was doing good and moving fast. We talked for about a mile, and then I took off. The bike was rarely flat. It was good IM WI training, although the hills are more impressive in WI. There was a good killer 3/4 mile hill around mile 40 that hurt, but nothing too deadly. My average stayed high. Around mile 48, my feet really started to get sore. My toes on my left foot were going numb, and the ball of my foot was tingling like crazy. I was very uncomfortable. I got through it and headed to the finish with an 18 mph average. I had NOT expected to do that good on the bike! I attribute it to my hairlessness. When thinking about every possible scenario, my finish on the bike yesterday was about the best I could have hoped for!
I took my time in T2 and did a few leg exercises to get my knee in good shape to start the run. It hadn’t been bothering me at all on the bike, but I knew it wasn’t going to be 100% for the entire run.
I kept moving on the run. I ran past Jeremy at about mile 2. He wasn’t having a great day. I wished him luck and kept going. Jeremy, if you’re reading this, don’t give up on triathlons – if they were easy, everyone would be a triathlete. I had some sharp knee pain around mile 3, but I altered my stride a bit and got though it. I stopped for 2 minutes at mile 4 to do a few leg exercises for my knee, and took off again.
The run was an out-and-back, so I got to see many people that were much faster than I on their way back towards the finish. A few miles in, I ran into Cindy from Tria (where I worked with Margi, my PT) and shouted to her. She was ROCKIN! A few minutes later, I ran into Rural Girl. I’m not gonna lie – she looked a little beat up, but she was moving great!
I stopped for a quick water at every water stop, but kept moving. I stopped to walk for about a minute 2 more times, but all was good. I wanted to have my average closer to 8:00 miles, but I had such a good swim and bike that I couldn’t be getting too greedy. I knew I was going to break 6 hours easily. Again, the BEST scenario that I had worked out had me finishing in about 5:40. I was close enough. It was a good day. Mission accomplished.
My official results:
• 1.2 mile swim - 44:35
• T1 - 5:08
• 56 mile bike - 3:05:13 (18.0 mph ave)
• T2 - 4:00
• 13.1 mile run – 1:48:15 (8:16 / mile ave)
• Total - 5:47:13
As I waited for Pharmie to finish, I talked with Rural Girl and her family. She’s a got a real sweet family! We ate our post-race meal together. I had 6 Swedish pancakes, 6 wheat buns, and a yogurt. De-lish! I saw Rural Girl a little later, and she was carrying around a little box. I knew that was good news! She ended up placing first in her age group, and she was ecstatic! Congrats Rural Girl!!
Pharmie came in a few minutes later, taking nearly 20 minutes off her time from last year, and she felt great about it!
I feel real good about this finish. A few more good weeks of training, and I think I’ll be ready for IM WI!! Stop back shortly for more photos from Chisago Half IM and the story of me becoming hair-free!