Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Harvest Moon 1/2 Ironman

Post Hy-Vee it was a few days to hang out with the family, celebrate my 24th birthday and recover for what was going to come the following weekend. Flew back to Boulder on Thursday evening, and entered my 2nd race in as many weeks on Sunday at the Harvest Moon 1/2 Ironman. The WithoutLimits crew put on an amazing race, one of the few that are non-corporate run, and the scene was so much more laid back and enjoyable! I have always believed that my heart will be more in the long distance races someday, and so I decided with a full race season under my belt, I would attempt to just have fun and complete a 1/2 Ironman. Have fun?? I guess so!

Got up at 4am on Sunday morning, and headed down to the Aurora Reservoir with my friend and training partner Gui Campos and his wife Patricia. Good news was the weather was slightly starting to break and it was only supposed to be in the mid-80's for the whole day, much better than the 90's with humidity back in Iowa, or 100's in Boulder the week before. We arrived at the Aurora Res around 6am, got parked and transition set up for the 7:30am start. Being my first 1/2 Ironman, I was going in with some slight lack of knowledge and definite personal experience in fueling for a 5 hour triathlon. I have done 5 hour road stages before during cycle races, but never the physical punishment of a swim/bike/run. But I was confident in my abilities and what I had laid out. So lets move onto the race!

Pre-Race Food:
    Oatmeal, Almond Butter, Cinnamon, Strawberries, Banana, Coffee
     Breeze Bars Cocoa Espresso Bar

PhotoGui and I!

Swim:  27:38 (1st out of water, 8th overall swim)   STRAVA

    Pretty easy and laid back swim start, went off the front of the group and no-one ended up being within 2min of me out of the water. Swam through the group ahead of me as well, made me feel good about where my swim has progressed from taking 1.5 years completely out of the water. Still improvements to be made, and I am anxious to keep putting in the work in the water for next season!

Bike: 2:28:42 (1st off bike, 12th overall bike)   STRAVA

    After an un-eventful T1, I was on the bike for my first 56mile TT test. Settled into a rythm for what would be a 2.5 hour test. Thanks to Coach Grant and teammate Allen, the Carroll 85m and Disk wheel set up was awesome. Some stiff south winds made for a somewhat difficult East/West and North leg on the course. But the Slice and Carroll set up allowed me to catch all but 10 people on the course. Nutrition on the bike included a Breeze Bar right away and 3 Peanut Butter GU's for food. GU Blueberry Brew fueled the liquid calories. Felt as though I paced it very well, and ate enough......was it enough, probably not...continue reading!

Run: 2:10:22 (2nd Overall, 130th overall run)  STRAVA

    OUCH.... KABOOM...... That is what happened to me on the run. The first two miles went pretty well, and then my body just quit. 11 miles to go, and I had nothing left. Don't know how many times I ended walking on the course to finish, I lost count after 15 or so....Disheartening to say the least, but when I think about it, all I had come to do was finish my first 1/2 Ironman. I ate 2 GU's on the run, had a couple cups of flat coke/gatorate, and so much water, but it didn't help. I had never run longer than 45min after a bike, and only longer than 13.1miles say 5 times in a single training run. Coach stresses that the underlying fatigue of HyVee 7 days before added much more to the equation then you could expect too. So I lost my chance of winning with 3 miles to go, after having a 20min lead out of the water and off the bike. Did I already start my legacy as a Chris Lieto prototype (always getting passed after leading off the bike) I SURE HOPE NOT! But I was able to finish something I never thought I would, and had a great time.

OVERALL TIME: 5:09:23 (2nd Place AG, 44th Overall)

Photo: 2nd Place in first 1/2 Ironman ever.

Post-race, had some good food at the race venue from Wahoo's Fish Tacos and an always welcome Mix1! A pretty sweet plaque now sits in my room reminding me what hard work, dedication, and never giving up leads too. Enjoying my few days off here, and ready to start building towards next season! Thanks to GU Energy, Breeze Bars, Mix1, Coach Grant Holicky, FasCat Coaching personnel, and everyone who made this first season a success!

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