Run with Eric + triathlon

2010 Wildflower Long Course

A quick summary of my race day. It pretty much sucked so I'll skip the usual preamble and get into it.

Swim, 31:04. My worst swim ever in a half-ironman. As normal, I lined up front right and made a beeline for the first buoy. My usual approach is to swim about 50 strokes (roughly 100m) hard then settle to a rhythm. I did that and as I got the buoy and started to dial back the pace, I felt my heart start to race and felt very out of breath. Even though I was breathing every other stroke, I just couldn't get enough air. I pulled up briefly and very quickly realized that if I paused for much more than a few seconds, I was going to get swam over by my entire wave. So I made a 90 degree turn and swam about 20 yards water polo style to get some clear water, where I just rolled over on my back and tried to gather myself. I was breathing like I was running a 100 yard dash and for the first time ever in a race, I started looking around for the lifeguard. After a minute or so, my breathing became more regular and I decided to press on. Every couple hundred yards or so, I would start to get short of breath again and when this happened, I pulled up... took a few deep breaths and continued. The end of the swim didn't come fast enough... I was glad as hell to be getting out of the water. I honestly thought I swam closer to 35 or 40 minutes... maybe I cut a buoy or something. I walked up the ramp and debated with myself whether to pull the plug or not. But, I seemed to be feeling a little better and what the hell, I paid my entry fee, might as well see the bike course. It was a very slow transition... I just calmly got out of my wetsuit and got my bike stuff on. No rush.
Bike - 2:56. After the miserable episode in the water, I just got on the bike and started pedaling easy... about the same effort as a training ride. When I pressed the pace even a little bit, my breathing rate would speed up again so I said F that and just took it easy. I noticed about 20 miles into the ride, my shoulders were getting tired in the aero position, so I was shifting around more than usual. After the race, I noticed that my saddle had tilted down slightly (probably from a bump). Figures. Aside from that, I just tried to ride steady... no big efforts and took every opportunity to let the heart rate drop on the flats and downhills. No problems really going up Nasty Grade, I just rode it in my smallest gear (39x27) and spun.
Run - 2:04. Two freakin' hours, I'm still shaking my head at this. It felt more like four. The wheels fell off completely. Ran the first 3 miles at about 8 min pace. Got to the big hill at mile 4 and my HR and breathing rate went through the roof. It wasn't a feeling of increased exertion, it was more like my body didn't know how to react to any change in effort level. Walked nearly a mile, jogged from mile 5 through Redondo Vista to mile 8. Walked (again!) up the little hill before the descent into the pit. Ran all the way down to the mile 10 turnaround and walked back up. Managed a weak jog/walk from mile 11 to the top of Lynch Hill and then ran the rest of the way home down the hill.
Final result was 5:39. By far my worst half ironman result ever and 32 min slower than last year. 55 min slower than Oceanside just five weeks ago.
I'm at a loss. While training has not been ideal, there was nothing that would have led me to believe that I would fall apart like this. Leading up the race, I was feeling more tired than usual, but I chalked that up to allergies. Now, I am suspecting there is more to it.
Very disappointed in this.

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2010 Wildflower Long Course + triathlon