Friday, November 1, 2013

And the Half Ironman is....

The Pumpkinman Half Ironman on 9/7/14!!!

As of yesterday, the money has been paid and I'm registered!

Okay, so first, it's technically a half iron-distance race. It's not run by World Triathlon Corporation, who put on the Ironman and Half Ironman branded races and own the trademark names. However, it's the same type of race. For my purposes, I'm going to call it my "half ironman" because that's how everyone else refers to their 70.3 distance races, regardless of if the race is one of the trademarked races or run by another organization. Just wanted to get that straight so no one gets riled up!

What is a Half Ironman? It's a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles of running. An Ironman, the full distance, is double all of those distances.

I had been considering three other races, one of which was an Ironman branded race, before I made up my mind a couple of weeks ago. Every time I'd search for race reports, I'd always find discussions on triathlon forums and every single time it came back to people enthusiastically recommending Pumpkinman. Even if the person requesting opinions had stipulations Pumpkinman didn't meet, such as where they'd travel or time of year. I had originally been drawn in by the big production the branded Half Ironman events would be (Timberman, specifically). I wanted to see the logo at the finish, even if I was only (only?!?!?!) doing the half distance. I wanted to buy every piece of race merchandise I could get my hands on (like I can afford that after how much these races cost!). But part of me was weirdly dreading the day registration opened. It just didn't feel "right." It felt like more of a production than I wanted. I was also already agonizing over the race weekend logistics. I didn't want to HAVE to check in my bike the day before and I didn't want to deal with what was looking to be a huge parking hassle in the am (apparently you have to get there REALLY early to park close by). So I kept on looking and kept on seeing Pumpkinman. I searched for Pumpkinman race recaps and was hard pressed to find even minor complaints.

There are quite a few pros to this race: 

- The course still has challenging rolling hills, but is also not as insane as some others. It's just about an hour from Boston in southern Maine and if I absolutely had to, I could drive up and check in early on race morning. While that would not be ideal, it leaves me with an option if my schedule or finances don't permit a hotel stay. There are plenty of hotels in the area and all are affordable, so I can book later if needed. It's also in a beautiful scenic area. Love it!

- All three legs of the race are two loops. Even the swim! You swim .6 miles, run onto shore, jump back in and swim .6 more! Some people hate that, but I actually think it will be mentally easier to break it up. It will probably be physically harder, but it's always my mind that gets in the way. I love that the bike and run are two loops. I used to think it would be torture to go a long distance and then be like, "what? Do it ALL OVER AGAIN?! Are you CRAZY?" I think back to the three half marathons I've done and imagining that if it was a two loop marathon I'd have to do it all over again. Oh heck no. I have a friend who had the same thought and later did a two loop marathon and said it's totally different. Different prep and a different mind-set going in. Well, good, because I'm going to have to bike 28 miles, come almost back to the transition and then get back out there and do the 28 again. This is AWESOME. I plan on driving the course (if not riding as well) ahead of time, but during the race I will have a chance to race it twice and adjust the second time. Same thing for the two loops of the half marathon at the end.

- It's small, only 550 racers in the half iron, but there are tons of volunteers and spectators. All of the racers really feel like they're special.

- Uh, you get tons of free stuff! 2 shirts (race shirt and finisher), a backpack, other random swag, a full Thanksgiving style dinner with dessert and free Shipyard Pumpkinhead beer!

- Did I mention free Shipyard Pumpkinhead? My FAVORITE?

- There's more, I'm sure, but the cold medicine I've been taking is melting my brain.

Did I mention I'm sick? I caught a cold Tuesday night that knocked me on my behind. Down for the count. Writing this is actually taking more energy than I really have to expend, but the cold has turned into laryngitis and I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT DANGNABBIT!!! Also, I'm really bummed. Our one month weight in for my partner training is Wednesday and I had managed to lose about 5 lbs and they're all back this week. I don't know if it's the extended couch time or what. I've basically been eating fruit, english muffins and homemade (low salt) chicken soup. Like, two meals a day of broth, tons of veggies (I even added kale!) and chicken. It just sucks. I was doing so well and it is going to sound like, "but but....(a bunch of excuses)..." and no results. I didn't expect to lose more with the lack of exercise, but I hoped to maintain.  I had been spinning my wheels for a long time, not making any progress because I wasn't doing what I knew I needed to. Now that I'm having some results, it sucks to not be able to be like, "look what I did!" It's 5 days away so maybe I will go back to normal.

Ok, pity party over! Back to the race:

Since some of you may want to know what my projected times are, I'm going to paste some of the text from the email I sent my trainer below. I will say that these are VERY ambitious times. The swim is the least ambitious because I think I am really capable of that speed if I put in the volume I plan to. I'm joining a pool down the street from me with wide open hours that is supposed to be fantastic (and cheap!). I miss chlorine sweat. I REALLY miss my swim class but the gym membership is too much money there (and I already have a primary gym membership so I can see my trainer). I'm going to try and get into one of the non-member slots. I missed it last time.

The bike is pretty ambitious, but I have been holding around that speed fairly often on 20-25 mile rides. These are "fun" rides too, so I know that once I get into the real meat of the training I should do well. The run is the wild card. My pace is the pace I've aimed for during training for my last 2 half marathons and I missed it by a LOT. A LOT A LOT. Like 1:20 a mile slower, a lot. However, I think in the back of my mind I knew that no matter what I could complete the distance. In the half ironman, you have to complete each leg of the race by a certain time or you get yanked from the course and earn a DNF (did not finish). You'll see the cut off below in bold and my projected time to the right.

Swim 1.2 miles (cut off 1hr after last swim wave, will probably be in the second to last wave) - 50 minutes projected time

The swim is actually a 0.6 mile course swum twice. The though of just doing a bit more than the half mile swim I'm used to and then getting out, getting back in and doing it a second time makes me feel much better than the thought of waiting at the start and looking at a long 1.2 mile course. (Nerves will be my main issue here)

Transition 1 - 10 minutes (60 minutes total)

This race has a HUGE hill (you'll see it on the site) going from the swim to T1. They actually give you a separate time (there's a prize for the fastest) for the hill and T1. 10 minutes should still be good though

Bike 56 miles (cutoff at 12:30, about 5 hours in for me depending on swim wave)-  3:20:00 (total time 4:20:00)

I figure I can maintain between 16.5 (3:23:00) -17mph (3:18:00), so 3:20:00 for the bike leg is good. I've been riding 20-25 miles easily and maintaining between 15-18mph with some faster portions. Here is the map with elevation. The Cohasset tri has a similar course (harder hills actually) so I can go do multiple loops of that one to practice.

Transition 2 - 5 min (4:25:00 total)

Run 13.1 (3pm cutoff ,7.5-8 hrs into the race depending on when my wave starts)  - 2:20:00/10:40 min mile pace (6:45:00 final time)
Same plan as before: Closest I've been to this is 2:36:00/11:58 pace. Will actually train and not cry about it this time. Should be able to run faster. Haha.

So, you can see I don't have a ton of room for a meltdown. I don't have room to not train and wing it. I definitely don't have room to not lose the 15-20 lbs I've been hauling around the last few years. Don't get me wrong. Triathletes are all shapes and sizes, that's part of what I love about this sport. We're all accepted and supported and cheered for. However, it hurts my race. It's not fun for me anymore when I know I have so much more to give. One day I was with my trainer, doing walking lunges while holding two 10 lb dumbbells. I was whining about how heavy they were and then it hit me...I used to weigh that much. My current weight plus 20 lbs. I used to always haul that around. It was part of me and I couldn't escape it then. I can't imagine how awesome it will be to hold those dumbbells another 20 lbs down from now. Actually I can!

Well, hopefully that's all coherent...haha. Have a great night everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment