Rev3 New England
I did it!
I finished the Half Ironman I set out to do.
Now, this wasn't the race I was expecting to do. But with my Ironman cancelled again, I needed something to finish the season with.
I had been training anyway, so why not try again to complete the Half.
This was the first year for this race, but Rev3 has been around for a number of years, and they have a good reputation of putting on a quality race.
And that they did.
This race was tough. Mostly due to the hilly bike course, and the mundane run. Lots of changes in the couple of weeks prior to the race due to road construction, so they did the best they could under the circumstances.
It was a small field, which was strange...only 150 doing the Half. An Olympic distance was also going on, so add another 150 people, maybe.
The swim was great. A nice clean lake. I can't even try to pronounce it, but most people just call it Webster Lake. It is good sized, and lots of boats. But at 7am...not a soul. It was a little choppy, but nothing crazy. I completed the 1.2 mile course in a good time, 36:33, which averages out to 1:48 per 100 yards. I'll take it.
I had a quick transition, and onto the bike. It was a hilly course, 2 laps and tough! The coolest part of the course of being able to complete 2 laps of the Thompson Raceway road course, before heading back out to complete Lap 1. Starting Lap 2, was hard...as in, OMG I have to do all that climbing again? Yes. But overall, I'm still really happy with the results. Averaging over 16.5 mph for the 56 miles. Thank God for those downhills (I hit 41 mph on one of them--eeek!)
This time, no cramping. No problems. It seems either a) I got my nutrition figured out, of b) my body hates the Patriot Half.
Another quick transition, and onto the run.
This is where things get interesting.
The run course was 2 "laps", out and back through a couple of neighborhoods. It wasn't difficult, but it became monotonous. The nice thing was seeing all the runners with you...several times.
But as what usually happens, my body starts to break down. My knees start to hurt--a lot. This time however, my feet started to hurt to...right on the balls of the feet, which you kinda need to run/walk.
I ran the first 4 miles pretty well, taking it nice and slow, but then the body started to rebel more and more. I made it a goal to a) finish, and b) I could walk, but for no longer than 2 minutes at a time.
This is what you do with yourself when you race. You make promises, deals, prayers. Anything that will get you through to the finish.
I promised myself as I entered the last neighborhood which was 2 miles from the finish, that when I exited, I would run the entire distance to the finish (about a mile). Seeing the overpass, with the name of the lake on it, made me realize I had done it. I had only a 1/4 mile to go.
I did it, and it felt good. My body didn't feel good, but I was so happy to finish the race. And I came in under my goal of 7 hours. Woo Hoo!
During that run however, I began to wonder...am I up for the challenge of a full Ironman. This race took a lot out of me. Yes, my knees hurt, but this was a little different.
This time, I thought about my own "mortality".
Not so much dying, but just how much can my body take before it quits on me...for good.
Maybe I'm not made to be an Ironman.
My dad's voice came into my head, but not so much in a bad way.
When I was in college, I played softball. My sophomore year, I was almost cut from the team, and told that I would be a utility player. I would sit the bench...a lot. Of course, the first person I called was my dad.
He listened, but then he said something that at the time didn't mean anything.
"Sometimes, our bodies can no longer do what our minds think it can."
Of course, I took that as a challenge, and stayed on the team, and ended up having a pretty good year. In fact, I ended up staying on the team throughout my college stay.
But on the run course, his words came back to me. And this time, I didn't take it as a challenge.
Maybe more of a warning.
Maybe my body is telling me that it is not cut out for these long distance races...at least not the run portion.
So now that the Tri season is over, I have some soul searching to do. I'm still training...I do have a Half Marathon and a 10 miler coming up over the next couple of months, but one thing I know is that I do love triathlon.