Yesterday I participated in my first half ironman of the season. My main take away is: ouch. I'm sore in parts of my body I didn't know I could be sore. It was one heck of an adventure otherwise.
Like all triathlons we start with the swim. Devra woke up with me at 4:30 and helped me get ready. The morning was a lot warmer and more humid than I would have liked but it is Florida we're talking about. The water temp was 78 degrees fahrenheit which is the highest temp allowed for wetsuits. Being brave (insane), I decided to take this one without a wetsuit. I've never done the 1.2 mile swim without a wetsuit so it was a nice change of pace to do it without a wetsuit.
The water was very choppy race day. In fact it was so choppy and wavy we lost sight of the buoys with each wave. On top of that the undertow was so strong it stopped us in our tracks every time a wave passed by. On the way back to shore a lot of people got dragged off course. It was really difficult fighting the currents to make it back to the right spot but I managed and got the swim done 15 minutes slower than anticipated.
The bike portion was the best of the three. I averaged 20 mph over the length of the 56 miles which was amazing for me. The course was flat and fast. We were also blessed with overcast skies which kept that brutal sun at bay. Otherwise nothing was special about the bike.
The run was the worst part of the race by far. At it was the one part I was the most disappointed with. I more or less walked over half the run. The heat and humidity were too much for me to take. There was an aid station every mile with water, Gatorade, ice cubes and sponges. I used at least two sponges at every station to cool off but it wasn't until mile 5 I started to open up, cool off and get my heart rate under control. From then it was slow and steady to the finish line.
Other than a bad run the race was great and I'm glad I did it. Now I need to focus on my run and second transition and I'll be ready for ironman. At this point nutrition is my worst enemy.
Now it's time to enjoy a few nice Florida days with my lovely lady.
Here are my stats from the race. Not good but at least I finished.