back on the ironman track

In 2012, I raced my first 1/2 Ironman. Quick summary, I was happy to finish but ran out of gas in the run and thought I could do better.

finishing it in 2012

finishing it in 2012

In the second half of 2013 I focused on strength training. I really liked how the increased strength made me feel. That led to me crush Tough Mudder on my third attempt at that race. That's when I decided I was ready to tackle the 70.3 distance again. So I got back on the tri training schedule and skipped a work meeting to sign up for Vineman -- which sold out in under 4 minutes.

ready to start

My 2012 time was 6:24 and I publically stated my goal was 6:15 for 2014. And I was so close.

LegTimeDiv RankDiv %Improvment
Run2:37:50241 (!)26%-21%

T1: 10:33
T2: 6:30

river view

The river is lovely, but sometimes too shallow to swim in

I was in the top half of swimmers, yay! 52nd percentile in my age group and 59th overall. I was almost 5 minutes faster than 2 years ago.

beat that, Jaden Smith

My T1 was still extremely slow. 9/10 were probably faster than me. I won't be able to speed this up without buying a tri suit. I'm fine with that.

my glorious orangeness makes an appearance

I noticed during the bike that my HR was around 160, 10bpm faster than normal. And I burned 2000 calories on the bike alone. 200 more than 2012. The bike course was lovely. Lots of green around me all the time.

I came out of T2 a few mins past 4 hours. It appeared I would easily meet my goal since I can run 13 miles in about 1:55 when fresh. I figured 2:05 was doable in a half.

But that's when the spasms started. The first ones were in my right quad. It was the precursor to cramps and I was hoping everything would settle down and loosen up. And it did, for about 1/4 mile.

I pretended to run whenever a camera was near

Then the spasms picked up and spread to my calves. Like LeBron James, I was done. I didn't admit defeat right there but I knew I was unlikely to run much more at all.

And I didn't. I could go a couple hundred feet before the spasms would start. I tried to run again dozens of times after varying periods of rest before I gave up and walked the rest of the way.

But don't think I am unhappy. I realized I had a new goal. I was in real danger of not finishing. It was painful to go on and if my muscles got too tight I would have had to stop. I wanted to. A lot. But I wanted to finish too so I did that instead.

It was 90 degrees out there. As you can see from my times above, I ranked the same in my age group for the bike and run. So lots of people were walking. My friends in a different age group both puked from what I assume was heat exhaustion. It was hot.


Now everyone asks me what's next. What race? What distance? I'm not sure. After two 70.3 races where I was unable to do my best I still have a desire to conquer it. But if I decide to try again, I think it will be 2016. For now, I'm going back to strength training.

I am pretty convinced weight training is the healthiest kind of workout and I was loving it last year. Stay tuned for what comes next.