Didn’t I just race? I feel like I did. I signed up for this race before I signed up for Muncie 70.3 since it’s very popular and tends to sell out – plus I was planning to do TryCharleston at that point. I wanted to PR at Lake Logan since it’s the only Oly race I’ve done twice (and Over the Mountain was 5K long on the bike), but after I finished Muncie and realized it was 3 weeks away I realized that was not very reasonable. So I took a full week off after Munice and decided not to worry about it too much and do what I could to prepare in the two weeks leading up to it.
My main focus was the run because it defeated me so badly last year (compounded by the miserable run at Muncie), so I decided to cut a swim workout and add a run. I talked a friend into joining me so for the past two Wednesdays we headed out to ICAR to do hill repeats. This was exactly zero fun but I’m glad we did it and we’ll probably continue doing it (if anyone local wants to come out and be miserable with us).
Onto the race. This year Setup decided to add a Half distance race to the weekend and it was on the same day as the international race. Both sold out – so that says something about the popularity of the race. Unfortunately…the race venue is not well suited for 1000+ people all at once. There is only one way into the area and it’s a single lane, windy, narrow road so you could imagine there was a GIANT backup of cars trying to get in on race morning. I drove in with a friend and it probably took us at least 30 mins to travel the last mile into the race site and just barely had enough time to grab packets and get set up before the race started. Leaving the race site afterwards was a mess as well. There is only one entrance/exit for the parking area and…it crosses through the run course. So next year they will 100% have to do something different if they want to do the half distance race again, but it sounds like the race itself went very well. My suggestion to Setup would be to move the international race to Sunday – the half needs to be on it’s own day.
Also, some general comments on the half distance (based on comments from others since I didn’t race it obviously) – the bike course is short. It was advertised at 52 miles, but for some reason people seemed surprised by this? It’s only 52 miles. It starts on the olympic course, then continues north when the olympic course turns to head back to transition. It sounded like it was pretty challenging with a big hill out near mile 40, then the big hill during the last mile that everyone has to climb. There were some complaints that the swim course was long, but I’m guessing this was GPS error/non-straight swimming that caused this. Some also said the run course was short, but I’m not sure where they went wrong. Overall, I’m going to say this was a really good (challenging) half distance race.
The olympic race was unchanged from last year, so I won’t re-hash the course (it’s over here if that’s what you’re looking for).
SWIM (1500 m):
The swim at Lake Logan is traditionally wet-suit legal and this year was no different. Lake temp was 68.5 with the creek dropping down into the frigid range. I really didn’t have any issues swimming and the men were spread out enough by the time I started catching them that there was no #wallofdudes. Good swim – just a little bit faster than last year.
Time: 21:17 (5/138 Overall, 1/9 AG)
T1: 4:59. I absolutely could not get my wetsuit off. I’ve been practicing taking it off in-water, but this was not really an option at Lake Logan so I waited, then couldn’t get it over my feet. Very annoying.
While I didn’t have a bad bike…I feel like I kind of wimped out on the second half. I could have gone faster but I intentionally slowed down on the second half because??? No good reason at all. What’s done is done, but next time I need to suck it up a little and go hard to the finish. I mean, seriously, it’s only 25 miles. Still, 3 mins faster than last year.
Time: 1:17:17 (52/138 Overall, 4/9 AG)
Nothing to see here, just fartin’ around in T2.
I’m really disappointed in this run. I really thought I was doing better than I did and I felt really good at the finish. So I guess this means I could have run faster and just didn’t. The good news is that I think the hill repeat workouts were definitely beneficial. Since the first 3 miles are uphill (the entire way), I set my run/walk interval at a half mile/1 min since the distance of the ICAR hill is about 0.5 miles. I certainly walked far less than I did last year and felt much stronger. On the last 3 miles, I tried to power through, walking at the aid station because I was feeling very thirsty but apparently I was not running very fast because I was a full minute slower than last year. So that was very irritating since last year I felt like death during the run and walked a whole lot more. The only good news was that I felt like I could have kept running…like I could have gone and done the second loop with the 70.3-ers. So maybe I felt strong but slacked off? It’s not clear but I felt good about finishing well and sticking to my chosen intervals.
Time: 1:06:18 (7/9 AG ARG)
Total Time: 2:52:22 (63/138 Overall, 4/9 AG)
Just off the podium, but the girl in 3rd was like 20 minutes faster, so really not close at all =). Still, it is a 3 minute PR from last year and I feel like my training is headed in the right direction. This is definitely a favorite race!
PS. One of my friends/co-workers qualified for Kona at IM Canada last weekend…then did this race and got 2nd! He is an absolute nut! But awesome.