I think this is my fourth time doing this race. Coming into the race I was feeling pretty good about my level of fitness and my shot at breaking 5 hours. That was my goal. Sub 5 at a half-ironman distance event. I knew I could cruise the swim and still have a decent time of around 31 to 32 minutes. The bike was going to be the question mark though. In years past I was never really able to hold the Watts I wanted to and feel good coming off the bike. This would usually lead to me averaging around just over 20 mph. Anyway, here is my story of the race.
This year was the first year I would experience the new swim start they implemented. It is a rolling start, where 3 athletes start every 10 seconds. It is still broken up into age groups, but it does help space out the swim start. I felt pretty comfortable the entire swim and kept my breathing under control. Nothing exciting happened and I ended up going 31:30. A pretty good start to the day. I was happy with that.
SWIM NOTE : My friend Jan beat me in the swim again.
This is where the race became frustrating for me. The last time I did this race my goal was to hold 200 watts. I couldn’t do it, barely held 185 average in 2013.
To compare 2013 and 2015
Weight: 157 158
Avg Watts: 185 215
Max Watts: 397 502
NP: 195 222
Avg HR: 141 142
VI: 1.07 1.04
Time: 2:45:39 2:43:53
All this on the same exact bike. I barely picked up 2 minutes for pushing 30 Watts more. Obviously I really need to look at my bike setup and my position on the bike. That was just a huge disappointment to me. I knew after the first loop there was a problem when I only averaged 20.3 mph. I managed to finish at 20.5 mph, but at that point my goal of breaking 5 hours was pretty much shot.
The run was just a long run for me. My head wasn’t into it and I was thinking about what went wrong on the bike. My total time was 1:46:16 for average pace of 8:07. Not that great.
Overall I actually ended up with a PR by 14 seconds. 5:07:39. I’m happy that I was able to get a PR, but I was looking for about 10 minutes faster. Especially on the bike. I will do some testing with different positions over the next few weeks to see if I can figure out how to get the extra speed while maintaining the watts. I’m happy with the fact that I’m able to hold the power numbers, but I need to find out why I’m not getting the speed out of it.