first let me say that the day didn't start off all that great so I knew it was going to be more of a test of will then time. That being said, I finished, I'm happy :-).
swim - 39:16
t1 - 1:53
Bike - 3:17:04
T2 - 3:39
Run - 2:47:28
Total - 6:49:18
At least I beat my goal times for transition ;-)
Hold on, this might get a little weird, it's 5pm right after the race and I wanted to get this done while it was fresh in my mind.
Woke up at 4 AM, watched some weather channel, got up and went to get some breakfast. I had my normal grapenuts, raisins, milk and 16 oz of water. My stomach was a little off, I attributed it to nerves. Finished packing the car, got dressed, wasn't sure what to wear as the water temp was right on the border, 79, so I planned for it to not be wetsuit legal, but brought a change just in case. Grabbed a powerbar and some ultima for the drive and headed out at 5:30.
while on the drive the powerbar was making me nauseous, not a good omen, so I only got half done. I arrived at the race at 6:10 and even though it was posted that 90% of participants would be able to park at the site, I saw all the cars headed out and took the first spot I could find about 1 mile away. It was pitch black so I grabbed everything, pumped up the tires and headed to transition. Found out it was wetsuit legal, and also that I forgot all my food for the bike back at the car. So got back on the bike and rode out to the car, changed in the car, grabbed the food and headed back. Got back at 7, luckily I didn't start until 7:20 and they were running a little late. Tried to eat again, no luck, so I put on the wetsuit, put the final touches on the transition setup and went down for a warmup swim. The water felt good, and I felt really good swimming during warmup.
Started off in the middle, didn't get beat up too much though, managed to get out ahead of some of the guys and found some feet to follow. Water wasn't too rough at the start, but that all changed at the first buoy. There were 5 buoys out, then turn around, so for the next 4 buoys, it was really rough. I started getting nauseous again so I slowed a little until it went away. I was able to pretty much go straight and steady the whole way out but ended up with a bunch of yummy lake water in my mouth. The way back on the other hand was awesome, I could feel the waves and pushed when they got behind me and helped. While going out felt like it took forever, coming back seemed to go by too fast. Got out, looked at my watch and thought not bad for that mess. Yes I wanted 35, but it was just too rough. My coach said everyone was having slow times, so that made me feel better.
Went by real quick, got my wetsuit off, shoes on, helmet and glasses, downed a gel and headed out. I even ran with my bike out of the transition.
Not sure what happened here as I have ridden the route a couple times and managed to do around 3:10. I figured with the adrenaline I could do 3:05. Started off and my lower back was hurting. What the hell is that. I never hurt my lower back swimming. And it didn't hurt before, oh well. The first part of the bike I took it easy, enjoyed the weather, made sure to get some non lake water fluids and some food. Still felt good, stomach hasn't bugged my since the first part of the swim, I was eating on the half hours, and drinking when ever. I had loaded the bike with 88 oz of ultima and I got a water bottle at each stop to pour on my head and grab a quick drink. Surprisingly, I was passing people on the hills, but getting passed back on the flats. My legs felt good out of the saddle and climbing, but in the saddle I couldn't maintain the power to keep them off. At the half way mark on was on track for a 3:10 but I knew the last part up pee ridge was going to be uphill into the wind so I was still trying to save some for the end. It was when I turned onto lower river when the wheels started coming off. It was hurting more and more on the uphills and I was running out of strength. Then, I wasn't able to eat anymore as the nausea came back. So I shifted to the small ring and starting spinning it in. When I got to pea ridge, I was able to eat again so I had two more crackers. It was somewhere on pea ridge road when Evil Bill took over the brain and started the we aren't going to finish this, why even bother starting the run? At mile 55 I screamed out loud, why won't this (expletive deleted) bike course end? This didn't help.
Rolled into race site and took off the shoes and noticed my toes were a bit numb. This mad it not too easy to run, so I walked to my bike spot, changed my shirt, lubed up with some chamy butter since my arms were showing signs of chaffing. Put on socks, shoes and hat, grabbed my hydration belt and headed out.
Ok, Evil Bill is in complete control, Stomach is saying no food, lower back is killing me. So I start to run, what else could I do? Anyway I notice right away that it doesn't hurt to run. I think without that little surprise my day would have been over right there. Ran to the first hill, saw my coach again who cheered my on and told me to pace myself. I had already decided that in order to finish I would be walking all the hills. I think there are 148 of them on this course, but I started up the first one anyway so she wouldn't see me walk and get nervous. After the corner, walk time. So if you've never run the duke half course, you're lucky, but you probably don't know what kind of hell awaits. I did it once as part of a relay and I think I told Cindy at the time that it was the hardest half marathon I had ever done and if I ever told her that I was going to do the whole race, that she should talk me out of it ASAP. I guess she forgot that, or it never happened, I prefer the former :-). First two miles 26 mins, I'm flyin, but then next two miles 24 minutes, hmm, I'm getting faster. Stomach is not complaining anymore, had one gel, one salt tab and 16 oz of ultima. Walk breaks are starting to pay off. All of a sudden, Good Bill pops up next to me. He kinda looked like my head with wings coming out of the ears. He is floating there and telling me if I want to finish, I need to let him get back in charge and get rid of Evil Bill. Sounds good to me, then I don't have to talk to him anymore and look like a crazy person, so Good Bill takes over and we banish Evil Bill to the back of my overcrowded mind. Hey, am I running up hill, stop that. Whew that was close. Time to turn around and do all those hills again. What fun. hmm, I'm hungry, but don't want more gel, already had 3, got 1 left. What should I try? Good Bill says Melisa really liked the oranges at white lake, try on of those. Are you sure? I mean my stomach has been buggin me all day and now you're telling me to eat some citrus. Are you nuts? Good Bill replies, Whose in charge here? and has Melisa ever let you down? OK OK, Next rest area, I'll have some water and an orange. Man, that was the best tasting orange I've ever had, maybe I should go back and get some more. Focus man. I guess I can wait for the next water stop. Long down hill here, feel fairly good, coming up to the loop around and Evil Bill comes back. This hurts, are you nuts? let's slow down and walk some more, you'll be lucky to break 7 hours. what's the point? Shut up Evil Bill, Good Bill and I are going to finish this race even if it takes 8 hours, which it's not as I only have 5 more miles to go and I can walk it faster than that. Hmmm, I think I just said that out loud. This guy is looking at me funny, oops he is about to go the wrong way. "Hey Dude, it's that way, you go that way, then it loops back out this way". He looks at me like "Is he talking to me, or himself again?". So I say it again, and this time it appears he believes me and goes the right way and says thanks. Long walk up to the water stop, more oranges, more water, start running. Good Bill says why don't you start thinking of titles for your blog entry, that will take you mind of all this wonderful pain. OK, how bout "Up and Down", "7 hours of hell", "Next time just shoot me instead", All seem good maybe we should just call it "Title", No that's kinda lame. Maybe I should stop talking to myself. No, this is fun let's keep going. I got it, see title above. Now what am I going to do, I got 3 miles left to go. Oh well, let's just enjoy the pain. ooh, water stop, more water, oranges, those were even better the the last water stop. Ok, this is the last hill, stomach says, "No more oranges". Bummer :-(. Hey where the hell is that 12 mile sign. Did I miss it or is it up ahead? I missed it, there is the 6 mile sign for lap 1. good news only 1 mile to go. down hill to the road, run it home. half way there. walk break, let's walk for a few to get ready for the picture. Ok run again, there is the finish line. Sprint, yeah right. Jog more? ok. Step on the name mat, here them call out my name, Evil Bill screams in agony and goes away to hide.
That sure was fun. I could use a gatorade, power aide, any kinda aide. No aid, just soda and water left. Crap, it's on the ground, I have to bend over to get it. After a minute I slowly bend over and grab a water. I think that hurt way to much. I need to get back in the lake. Back in the lake, foot cramps every time I step on something. finally the cramping ends, I go in more. This feels goods. What the hell is biting my toes? I think I'll get out now.
I guess you can tell I made it home alive, but it was touch and go there for a while so I am going to wrap this up so I can goto bed.
When I signed up for this race I was looking for a challenge. I got it. I finished, I didn't have "it" today, but I still made it to the end so I am happy. Now if only I had gotten that percocet...