Florida Challenge Triathlon - Race Report; Part 2

Florida Challenge Triathlon - Race Report; Part 2

Post by L. M. Eden » Sat, 30 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Anyway if your still with me .... Transition #2, take off my cycling jersey and reapply
sunscreen (in retrospect a good use of my time as I saw many sunburned people at the awards
ceremony).  Slip on my running singlet, with a course map and GU convinently locate in rear
pocket, and head out of the transition.  Pick up a bottle of Gatorade with ice ... Ah! Tastes
great, since it is now after 12 noon and the sun is hot.  Say hi to Lee and give him a brief
descritpion of of bike woe's as I had out on the course.  I strike up a conversation with
another BOPper, Brian we jog along together at a reasonable clip talking Tri's of course.  My
goal on the run is to keep my heart rate between 165 and 175 bpm as I figure this is about 5
to 10 bpm below my AT.  I can accomplish this with a combination of running the flats and
briskly walking up the steeper hills.  Mile 2.5 is the LOW point of my race, I begin to
walk, Brian moves on without me, I feel isolated, hot, fatigued; I think I'm never going to
make the cut-off time, perhaps if I pee I will feel a little better, as I have not done this
since during the swim.  I find the nearest bush, ah well a little relief, but I'm still really
discouraged at this point.  I reach the mile 3 aid station, take in some fluids, then have a
nice downhill jog.  Then suddenly the course turns up a steep hill ... wait a minute, this is
not the way I went on my bike yesterday!!!  A brief walk up the hill and then the course turns
onto a shaded dirt path.  Is this a mirage?  Am I becoming delusional?  NO, its really shade!
 Feeling quickly relieved I take off running again, I catch and pass Brian, then another guy,
then I see a woman up ahead.  I'm straining to read the age on her calf ... "is she 38?"  No,
she's 34, my age group, I'm totally energized.  i blast past her after a brief greeting.  This
cannot be true, I'm not last, I'm not even last in my age group.  Mile 4 aid station is
located near the end of the trial, its hard to force myself to slow down to drink, but I do,
peering back over my shoulder to see how much I've distanced myself from the 'other woman'.  I
can still see her and she is running again, time to move on.  Run to the mile 5 aid station,
now I'm evening run up the smaller hills.  Drink more and then move on, trying to expand the
lead I now have on this woman.  I pass another guy as I cruise downhill to mile 6.  I feel
invincible now, I have no trouble running at a good clip keeping my heart rate in the 165-175
zone.  I grab a couple of cookies and keep on running.  I know that all the hills are now
behind me and it's only a flat 7 mile left around Lake Minneola.  I see Lee again as I pass
near the transition area, I toss him the GU packets out of pocket.  My intestinal crapms have
disappeared since I stopped consuming this stuff, in fact I'm not sure if I ever want to see
this stuff again!!  I'm still on a roll, another shaded mile, the shade is really great now as
its between 1 and 2 PM and heat is brutal.  I pass numerous people now who are walking.  I
feel really good until 8.5 miles, then BONK!!!  I cannot get my heart rate above 155, and I'm
alternating walking and running, every step is an effort.  Mistake, at the last 2 aid stations
I only took in water.  I'm trying to hang on until th mile 9 aid station to get some glucose
.. of ANY variety.  I make it, I eat 3 cookies and drink some Powerade.  I continue to
struglle until around mile 9.5 when the sugar finally kicks in.  I'm on a roll again, I have
my heart rate back up into the 165-175 zone and I'm feeling great, particularly as I pass
those 20-30 year old macho looking guys who are walking (Whoop's my feminist side is showing
through, no flames please).  I'm doing great until mile 12 then suddenly I hear beep, beep,
beep, I cannot get my heart rate down below 175.  I feel my face, its dry.  That's definitely
a first for today, and I know I'm in trouble now, but I can slug on through one more mile.  I
get a drink and I look back down the road, what do I see, a woman, no it cannot be the 34 year
old I passed earlier.  I take off, beep, beep, beep, I ignore it, I won't be passed this late
in the race.  She catches me, we run together for a couple of minutes, but she is obviously
much fresher.  I look at her leg as she goes past, 38 R, ah it was not her (34 yr old).  I try
to make myself feel a bit better with the consolation that I'm still not last in my age group.
 As I approach the finish line I pass several more people walking, including the very buff
looking 29 year old woman who I sat accross from at dinner last night.  I want to say hi, but
I have no energy left to.  Lee starts trying to run with me and talk to me, I ask him to go
away as I am totally focused on reaching the finish line, which is conveniently located at the
TOP of the hill (jerks I'm now thinking).  I cross the finish line, trying to smile for the
camera man.  As soon as I cross the finish line I grab Lee for a kiss and support.  I'm really
overheated by now.  Fortunately, the shower is located only about 10 steps from the finish
line (another kudo for the RD).  Lee helps me over there and supports me while I take off my
running singlet, shoes, and socks.  I stand under the shower for 5 to 10 minutes while Lee
brings me drinks.  As I stand there I look over at the medical tent which is now full and I
feel very lucky not to be there.  I suspect that if the race had been even a mile longer I
might have been there.

We go and collect my things from the transition area then I sit in the truck with the air
conditioner running while Lee loads my bike, etc. (what a great husband I have).  As I'm
sitting in the truck I watch a gut who has just finished walk up to his wife and 2 small
children, he being puking repetitively.  His wife grabs his arm and walks him over to the
medical tent.  I'm really feeling lucky right now to be in reasonable shape.  We head back to
the hotel and I ask Lee to stop at the store and buy a bag of ice, as I'm still not sweating
and I'm starting to feel not so good again.

We get to the hotel and I run cold water in the tub and dump in the ice.  I know that this
will not only help me get my temperature down, but it also might help me to be less sore
tomorrow.  I get in, initially it cold, but it begins to feel good.  A shower, then we head
over to the post-race awards ceremony.  Pizza and lot's of Coke, I'm feeling better already (a
lie I keep telling myself, at this point).  I receive my finishers medal ... yes now I feel
'worthy' to call myself a triathlete.

In summary, it was a great race with a challenging course and excellent race management +
volunters.  I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a tough 1/2 IM.  The weather was
brutal at 92-93 degrees with little to no shade on the course.  The hills, particularly on the
run were, well, ridiculous. My reflections on the race were:  I was happy to have met my goals
of finishing and not ending up in the medical tent.  I also exceeded my slightly un ambitious
expectations in that I was not last overall, in fact I was not even in my age group ...
yeah!!!! Future goals ... 1) I've really got to work on improving my swimming, 2) watch my HR
monitor more closely during the bike, perhaps I could of pushed a bit harder her, 3) do some
of long runs during the heat of the day, not always in the early AM, 4) practice/train running
up hill more, and 5) figure out why I had GI cramps and how to prevent then in the future.    
But, NEXT time, ah well thats another story.