The Half-way to Ironman Triathlon

This was to be my second Half-Ironman Triathlon, back at Lake San Antonio where I completed my ever first Triathlon back in May 2005. The weather was truly amazing, at the same time last year the it was be raining and cold, but this year was different in many ways the and weather was just one factor. At last year's practice weekend, I had never even ridden 56 miles before I started out, but with a whole year of training and nearly 3000 miles under my belt since then I ready to tackle the cycle course again, plus a I had a shiny new bike to put to the test. The coach went over the details of the course, despite listening carefully and having already cycle the course before I was to get lost the ride.

I got up at 5:30am on Saturday morning, had breakfast then headed down to the lake in my car. All my stuff was jammed into the boot of my car with my bike beneath it all, it took much longer than I expected to find everything and get my transition area setup and I needed every last minute to get ready.

The water was a good temperature for this time of year and the lake was calm this made for a better than expected swim. I managed to swim mostly straight and get out of the water in an acceptable time. After I left the water I ran back up to the transition area, the Tri Team were in the car park getting ready for there swim and my friends cheered me on went by. I transitioned at a casual pace and headed out on the bike, their was some initial confusion on where the bike course went to begin with and despite the fact I done it twice before I found myself taking wrong turns and going in circles, I lost a little time but soon got back on track.

Soon enough I was out of the park and on Interlake Road, I started off easy gradually speed up as I continued, I refilled my water at the first stop at Interlake and Jolon Rd. I continued power through the next stretch with an average speed of over 20mph. I passed the second water stop, without refilling and went towards, "Nasty Grade". For the past 10 miles I had been experiencing some pain in my left leg, the previous two weeks (Double Century and then an 80 mile ride) were catching up with me quickly but didn't let this get to me. Managed to get "Nasty Grade" at a steady pace.

The payoff after climbing "Nasty Grade" is some some great views and an even steeper descent. This was the part of the ride that had been praying on my mind the most, would I fly-off the road or take a bad turn like I had down last August. I went as fast I could while still maintaining complete control of the bike and managed to 45mph on the decent. From then on there are a still several good hills to climb to get in to the park. I reached the transition area, applied a lot more sunscreen, took a quick bathroom break and continued out on the run.

I started the run with memory's of last years painful run flooding back, I knew I needed to take it easy so aimed for a 10 minute mile pace while trying to keep my heart rate low. Keeping my heart rate low wasn't really working, it seemed to only want to go up and settled at 173 just below my lactic threshold threshold. I took the hill on mile 4 easy, walking some of it this did help a lot but the feeling I had when reached the bottom on the other side was exactly the same as last year. My stomach felt weak and bowels undeniably distressed, luckily a water stop was just up a head at mile 6. Unfortunately a much needed facility was not available at this location and a tree was recommend, I really needed more than a tree but when push comes to shove (such a bad choice of words) I had to make to do. I still had 7 miles on the run to go and my heart rate remained high, I kept drinking and eating what I could as I went a long.

As I ran through the campsite and remembered the music and cheer from the year before. The next few miles down to the pit seemed to last forever. As I reached the bottom of the pit, I could tell from the look my coach's face, I was not looking too good. But I got some more water and some food and continued on, 3 miles to go. I always like to tell myself at this point that it is really only 2 miles, as the final one it downhill and therefore a freebie :-)

I let gravity carry me down the hill faster and faster, as my heart rate rose quickly as sprinted final 100 yards. When I arrived that the finish it took me a minute before I could speak as I caught my breath. To speed my recovery went to soak my legs in the lake.

A great day of training with the team, thanks to coaches and volunteers for putting this event together!

(Above me some of my team mates)

Triathlon Details:
Total time: 6 hours 14 minutes

About 1.2 miles with a long transition, I didn't get my exact time for this somewhere between 30-40mins.

Cycle (click here to view in Google Earth)
3 hours 2 minutes
159bpm Average Heart rate
188bpm Max Heart rate
18.2 mph Average Speed
45 mph Max Speed

Run (click here to view in Google Earth)
2 hours 35 minutes
173bpm Average Heart rate
139bpm Lowest Heart rate
188bpm Max Heart rate
10:48 Pace (when moving)
11:11 Pace (including stops)

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