All things considered my training was ok going into Pumpkinman, it wasn't perfect especially my swimming, I could certainly get the distance done and have fun but how was I going to do, " I had no clue". Its been an up and down season this whole year starting since getting injured last August before IMMT, I'm kind of writing off this season as a rebuilding year in both fitness and confidence. I mean racing only 2 triathlons in a year isn't going to get me where I really want to go but it was all I could do. Anyhoo, coach Pat put me in a really good place and we god knows he has had to tweak my schedule more than once ( I won't even give you the number). Okay, lets chat about the day.
As I was leaving home at 3:40am I needed to stop off and get gas on route 128 south in Beverly, as I headed out onto Rte 128south it was dark and I was still a bit tired, as I was driving by exit 22 I noticed something really weird, to my left traveling right beside me was a car going south on route 128N, I didn't believe it, rubbed my eyes and took another look,, " Holy Shit", I couldn't believe my eyes, WTF, this car was traveling fast and going in the wrong direction, "HOlY SHIT, HOLY SHIT". I immediately grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911 and got put through to the state police, they kept me on the line so that I could describe the car and tell them where it was traveling, everytime I saw an on coming car I started to cry, I would tell the dispatcher/policeman on the phone, OMG there is going to be a crash, somethings going to happen, please get here fast. They needed me to stay on the phone and follow him so they could get the exact location of where he was traveling, eventually after what seemed like 20 minutes they were able to get him right before Reading, Mass, 3 State Police cruisers for 3 different directions cornered him off and he pulled over. Thank God is all I said in my head and told the dispatcher that the vehicle had pulled over and nobody was hurt, we hung up. I then had to turn around and head back on 95 to head to the race, at this point I was getting nervous because it was 4:20am and I didn't know whether or not I was going to make packet pickup in time, Kat told me to be there no later than 5:30a so I really had to move it. That being said I was still very shooken up about what happened, afraid to see another car on the 128N side of the road as I was now driving on it, just freaked me out a lot. I still think about what happened quite a bit since Sunday, just insane and very scary. What could of happened.
Anyway, I got to the race venue on time thank goodness, got all my stuff ready, packet picked up, saw some friends and headed to transition. I saw my friend John Young briefly, gave him a hug and wished him luck, he is such an inspiration to me in so many ways, I hope he realizes that he touches so many peoples lives and hearts, just a true ambassador in my opinion. As I got transition set up my phone rang and it was one of the State troopers who had pulled over the vehicle this morning and he wanted to call and say thank you for what I'd done and to make sure I was ok. He told me that the man was completely beligerent and drunk to holy heaven and thank goodness nothing happened. I think he was still in shock. I wish I knew what happened to the guy.
On to the swim start, started walking to swim start, a sense of calm was over me, the weather was absolutely perfect, saw some friends, Amanda, Jessica, Mironda and Meaghan and then went to my corral. I knew my swim was not going to be my best and not even close, I had no top end speed just lots of aerobic base, so I knew that what I should do is to just swim my zone 1 pace and keep it long and strong and not get my HR up too high, we had a big hill to climb to transition and I wanted to set myself up for a good bike/run. Siting was a bitch, the sun was right in our eyes, even with my goggles it didn't help, mulitple times I had to stop to try to find my way and on the second loop it just got completely congested. It was what it was, my HR was great coming out of the water.
33:53 on my watch, they got me at 34:07. Really slow, really really slow, but zone 1 pace spot on.
3rd in age group, whatever.
Bike: The bike course was fun, just enough small climbs and just enough long flats to really build up speed. Good bike support out there and good markings to make the course easy to follow. On the second loop the wind started to pick up, it wasn't too bad, I did start to notice my right groin and my right hamstring started getting sore and I knew this was because I hadnt spent enough time in aero in training, I had spent more time in aero in training this year than in the past so it was better but I knew this was the reason. I started complaining in my head that my run was going to suck if this pain didn't go away but I just tried to stay positive.
2:52- 19.4mph- Getting better, high zone 1, low zone 2 HR average, spot on. Thus this is an improvement in my bike performance in a race keeping the HR where it needed to be. So hopefully my run was going to be good.
Run: 2 loop course, and I really liked it. I have to say again, it had enough climbs, flats and downhills to make the course interesting. The volunteers were awesome, tons of stuff to get on the course and the most important, the sponges were super cold when I got them, "perfect". I felt good coming off the bike, the right groin and hamstring went away after about a mile, I was able to get off the bike and keep my HR where Pat told me while averaging an 8:15 for the first mile. things slowed a tiny bit after that to keep the HR where it needed to be but I was ticking off 8:35's and I didn't want to push it till mile 10 if I had anything left. I loved seeing all my teammates on the course and friends, the weather was great, the wind was blowing hard at times but it was really fun. At mile 10 I knew I needed to pick up the pace, I ended up averaging an 8:05 for the last two miles and bumped my HR from 158 to 164 by the time I finished.
1:52:xx, 8:37 average. Best time I've run off the bike in a half ironman ever, and I know I can go faster.
5th AG F45-49. Overall time; 5:24, pretty dam close to my personal best ( did Patriot a few years ago faster but the swim was about 9 minutes short, so who knows)
It was a good day for me and I'm happy with my performance given the year I had. Besides Baystate marathon coming up in mid October I have a lot of thinking to do regarding what I want to do for races next year. I know in my heart I really want to do an ironman but don't know which one would be good for me and my family and what would be practical. I've signed up for 3 ironmans over the last 1 1/2 years and I've not made it to the start line of any of them, I don't want that to happen again. Do I concentrate on building more speed at the half distance and do 2 of them next summer and maybe try to qualify for the World championships, is it even possible, I'm not sure. What I do know is that I had fun at the Boston Triathlon and at Pumpkinman and know that I continue to love to train and compete. If anyone has any suggestions let me know, maybe the Triple T or the Zufingen, but regardless getting to either Kona or the 70.3 world championships is on my bucket list of wishes.