Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 5430 half Iron race report

I can't start my race report without talking 1st about how much I loved Boulder Colorado. It was absolutely gorgeous & an endurance athletes dream city. My wife & I have agreed we want to move there once I retire. 7-8 yeas depending if I want to max my retirement or not.The swim started out in the Boulder reservoir. I was in wave #5. I stated out feeling great & reached the half way point in 20 minutes. For some reason I fatigued at the three quarter point & slowed slightly. Looks like I need to start working on more distance per swim. I finished the swim in 43 minutes 20 seconds. My 2nd best time at that distance.

As I was running into T1 I heard an entire group of people start yelling encouragement for me. It took me surprise because I was so far from my normal stomping ground. I didn't think anyone would know me by name. I was in the zone though so didn't stop to see who it was.I had a fast T1 time of 1 minute 36 seconds. Especially considering how large the transition area was.

I started the bike on my new Cannondale Carbon Slice & my HED 3 wheels feeling excited, yet nervous. I had set my goals high for today's race. I wouldn't be happy unless I set a new 70.3 PR. My old PR was 5 hrs 58 minutes on a much easier course & in much better weather & altitude conditions. The bike course was two 28 mile loops. Half way through the first lap I was feeling like I was keeping a faster speed at low zone 3 than I had at any of my other 4 half irons. But that was just a feeling with no facts behind it because I had no magnet on my HED wheels. I was riding blind. A hint for anyone wanting to do this race. Use heavy duty tires. There were more flats on this race than anyother 3 I've ever done. seriously, I probably saw 25 people on the side of the road. That's just the people in front of me. Who knows how many flatted behind me.

At one of the aid stations on the first loop one of the volunteers dropped the gel she was trying to hand me. I turned back around & peddled by her a 2nd time to get my race nutrition. I wasn't willing to risk going on without the gel because I may of risked running out of energy later in the course if I failed to eat enough early on. On the 2nd loop I dropped the gel. 3rd loop was a success but getting it on the 3rd try didn't help me feel better about the time I'd lost circling around in little retarded circles.On the beginning of the 2nd loop I felt great. Much less fatigue than I had ever felt by that point in any other 70.3 distance race.

I finished the 56 mile bike in 2 hrs 51 minutes keeping an average speed of 19.6 miles an hour.Another great transition time of 1 minute 45 seconds.When I started the run I felt my legs burning in areas I don't usually fatigue that much at. I knew that was because I'd only trained on my new bike for 2 weeks, one of those being a taper week. I was a little worried how my legs would handle the stress later on the run.I most definitely ran the first of the two 6.5 mile loops too fast. I was averaging a little faster than an 8;30 pace. At the beginning of the 2nd run loop I hear some guy screaming & yelling encouragement to me again. He was behind me but was running up to me pretty quickly. After 13 years working in a prison people running up behind me screaming like that can make me pretty jumpy. I looked behind me as I ran with my fight or flight instinct in full swing! Turns out it was my coach Pete Alfino. He drove out to the race from Highlands Ranch Colorado to watch me & a couple of his other athletes race. He was so pumped up when he saw what time I may finish the half in that he got onto the run course & started running with me. He was shouting for me to continue kicking butt, to watch my heart rate & not let it get to high to ensure a strong finish. About that time a race official ran onto the course screaming at my coach to get off the course! It was quite amusing seeing the official yelling & chasing my coach as my coach was yelling & chasing me. I must admit that gave me one heck of a boost seeing someone so excited for my race going as well as it had up to that point.I didn't feel the negative affects of the fast run pace until around mile 9. By that point I knew I was racing well, but I needed to try & continue running at a descent pace & avoid bonking or falling apart. It was going to be close. At mile 10 a fellow Clydesdale passed me & that gave me the motivation to ignore the exhaustion, dig deep, & pick up the pace. It was a real battle until the 12.5 mile mark when I kicked in the after burners. I was hoping to run fast enough in the last .6 miles to either blow my fellow competitor out of the water, or get far enough ahead quickly enough that he would slow down thinking it was no use trying to hang with a pace like that. I use that strategy a lot in the tail end of races. It seems to break peoples will when they see someone they have been keeping up with jet off like a speeding locomotive. Most of the time when I use this tactic my competitor slows down enough thinking it is pointless to try to keep up, that even if I fall apart before I reach the finish line I have created enough of a gap that he's unable to catch up.

My best half Marathon time of 1:58:45 was set in Dec 06 at the Tucson half marathon. I broke my half Mary time in a Half Iron with a of run time of 1:58:07!!!Total finishing time of 5:36:24!!! Broke my PR by over 22 minutes!!! Finished 8th place Clyde. They grow them fast in Boulder. The first place Clyd was in the 4:40's! 2nd & 3rd place Clyd were both 5:22. Only one second seperated the two.


Sluggo said...

Awesome job Cody! You are getting smoking fast.

Steve Stenzel said...

NICE PR!! Way to go!! KILLER bike split!