yesterday was the black diamond half ironman. i was not terribly nervous about this race, i think i was more just ready to have fun and for the season to be over so i can start getting ready for next season.
i drove down to enumclaw morning of the race and for the first time in my 4 years of racing black diamond, got there early enough to get a much coveted spot in the parking lot. go me!
so i get there and pick up my packet and take my sweet time getting all set up in transition. i chatted with some ladies and by the time i was finally set up i still had over an hour to my start. crap. i guess there are some disadvantages to getting there really really early. so i went back to the car and listened to some black sabbath and almost fell asleep. whoops.
anyway, 8:30 rolls around and i wander back to transition and start getting into my wetsuit.
9:05 and we're off in the water. this was a rough swim. The water itself wasn't rough but the people were. I had a lot more body contact than i've had all season and i never felt like i really could have an open line in the water for more than about a minute or two. on the plus side, it wasn't as cold as it has been in the past. i mean, don't get me wrong, it was freaking really cold but not TOO bad.
The swim is a two loop diamond shaped swim. by the first 1/4 of the swim, I was passing dudes who had started 4 minutes ahead of us. My swim felt solid but not fast.
T1 was pretty uneventful. running up from the lake, i had to kind of "excuse me" to a bunch of people who were more trotting than running but everyone was cool and moved aside. I got a little tangled up with my wetsuit and my neoprene chip strap but managed to get untangled and get off on my bike fairly quickly
The bike was fun. i really love this course. i have raced the black diamond olympic distance race every year since 2004 and have always loved this bike. the half course this year was simply a double loop of the olympic course with an additional small loop added in the middle to make it an even 56 miles.
i definitely held off a little on the bike just because i could feel some twinges of light cramping in my calves and because i didn't want to make my run harder than it was already going to be.
looking at the results it looks like i picked off a few women in transition and a few more in the first few miles of the bike. i think i was also passed by three women on the bike. i hate being passed but i had to keep reminding myself that i needed to just chill and race my own race or i would regret it later.
all in all the bike was fairly uneventful. my nutrition was good although i probably could have taken in some more fluids. i believe i managed to put down a good 700 calories along with 6 thermolytes which is great. the only problem was that by the end of it, my stomach was starting to feel kind of ... not right. this problem will rear its ugly head during my run.
T2 i kind of took my time. I didn't want to forget anything. i got my socks and shoes on and stuck some thermolytes and an extra gel in my back pocket. i also grabbed a flask with some E-Max to sip on during the run. i put my visor and race belt on as i was running out
so i'm going to tip-toe around this a little bit because i don't think anyone who reads this blog needs to know the gory details of this run.
i started off easy but feeling good. little by little though my stomach started hurting more and more. i drank a little at every aid station and sipped on my E-Max but nothing was making me feel better. then, at around mile 5, my stomach ache turned into full-blown gastrointestinal meltdown. to put it lightly, i was in and out of the woods roughly every mile. i would run for a little while feeling strong and little by little, i would have to go again. it just ... hurt.
i wasn't wearing a watch so i have no idea how much time i lost with all of my little pit stops but it was definitely a fair amount. every time i started to run at my race pace all the jostling would make me just have to go again. it sucked, it just totally sucked.
in the last mile or two of the run i got passed by two women in my age group who would end up taking 1st and 2nd in the age group. i hadn't even realized i had been winning my AG until i saw the results.
that said, i finished and i'm proud of myself for toughing it out and getting through it.
In spite of everything, i have to say i'm actually quite happy with my race. i feel like i did the best with what i had and made it through it. i really wanted to break 5:20 and but for my GI problems i likely could have but that's not really something to dwell on.
I was not able to eat anything until about 10:00 because my stomach just wouldn't accept food. TR and i did though end up going to the starcrossed cyclocross race which was freaking awesome. i felt bad because i missed the JFT2 bbq due to my stomach issues but i probably would have been no good at any bbq at that point.
anyway, at starcrossed, i was wearing shorts and one of the photographers took a picture of my still bodymarked legs (because i suck at like ... washing myself properly) so here's that for your viewing pleasure.
all in all, a nice way to end the season. power over adversity ... right?
5 months ago