I ran the perfect race at the Mooseman Half Ironman this past weekend up in New Hampshire. I did this race last year as my first half and I absolutely fell apart - it was really hot last year, really humid, and I'd never done a race lasting more than 4 hours. During the run (death crawl, really), I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I wanted to do a full ironman if a half was this painful. I seriously considered dropping out of Beach2Battleship. But thankfully, I did not! And this year's race was so much better!
We rented a house with Luke, Leighton, Scott, Amber, Mel, and Iwan right on the lake - we weren't as close to the race site as last year, but that was okay. Mark did his first outdoor triathlon on Saturday and he ENJOYED it, so I was thrilled. While he was doing his race, I spectated for the first time (I never realized how exhausting spectating could be!). It was great to hang out at the Team Z tent with everyone - such fun!
I raced on Sunday - the weather was perfect, cool with low humdity. I started in the last wave, actually got in the water 15 minutes before my wave went off to acclimate to the chilly water, and made a conscious effort to properly sight and stay on track - and was rewarded with my fastest 1/2 iron swim time of 36:47. The water was even feeling rather nice by the end of the swim, though I was glad I had a neoprene cap. Transition was slow, as usual, but I didn't forget anything when I went out on the bike.
I again made an effort to concentrate on my race - eating every 10 minutes for the first 45 minutes of the race and 15 minutes thereafter and alternating plain water with NUUN when I ate. I enjoyed a nice meal of fritos, power bars, and power balls (not the lottery kind, unfortunately). I never felt bloated or over-full like I normally do when I eat on the bike so I worried that I didn't take in enough calories, but it turned out to be perfect. I also concentrated on keeping a steady cadence and pace - I really wanted to average over 17 mph for the bike portion. It was a hilly course, but I managed to do it. Final bike time was 3:13:39 - about 11 minutes faster than last year, I think.
Then I started the run, after a slightly faster transition. I took my NUUN with me, planning on ditching it with Mark on the second loop. I planned on starting off slow and conservative so I didn't burn out, trying to stay in low zone 3. The run this year felt awesome, especially in comparison to last year - it absolutely flew by so quickly, I only walked when I took water three times (I'm not good at drinking while running) and it was fine. I probably ate too much at the beginning of the run, but felt better once I backed off. I really don't need to drink as much as other people need to - I usually feel pretty bad when I drink too much water. Anyway, I finished my run under an hour and fifty minutes, with 1:49:41 and I was thrilled. I felt great during the whole run, kept a steady pace, and even picked off a girl in my age group near the finish.
My overall time was 5:47:08 - a PR by almost 30 minutes. It was a stacked age group - I finished 14/27 and 62/214 women overall. I far exceeded my expectations - I did want to break 6 but didn't know if that would be possible this time because I raced a really hilly half ironman the weekend before (Black Bear up in PA). I think the weather was really helpful, but I also feel like I was trained and pretty ready. I was so much happier this year after the race than I was last year.
I'm going to take about three weeks off from training starting on Monday next week because I'm leaving for Nepal that day!! I'll be back on the 4th of July and I plan on starting up my Ironman Training in full force for Ironman Florida. I'll do a few smaller races in July and August, as well as the Calgary Half Ironman (where I also get to see Christine and Ryan!).
On another note, I also found out that I was chosen to be a Sugoi Brand Champion - I need to get on their website and update my information and order the gear. I was pretty happy to come home from Mooseman to that news.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!