I AM A HALF-IRONMAN! Woohoo!! I did it! It was by FAR the hardest test of my physical endurance EVER. It wasn't your typical W. Texas weather (neither are the hills and inclines...but who knew there was a big red hole/canyon in the ground E. of Lubbock either). It was not the scorching heat and bright sun, but the winds of the TX plain were VERY evident, some 25mph sustained, and some 30-40 gusts. The swim wasn't bad, nice and calm, overcast. About 5-9 miles into the bike though, the heavens opened up. It didn't really "pour" but it did come down, and with the wind it was coming right at us pretty hard. I have been told it hailed too, tiny ones, I thought it was just hard painful rain, nope, apparently it was hail. With the twisty and steep hills, it made it a little dangerous out there. Anyhow, I'll have a full race report, but here is the nitty gritty:
Swim: 33:42 (1:45/100m)
Bike: 3:11:20 (17.56 mph)
Run: 2:02:52 (9:22 min/mile)
So, I knocked my swim goal out of the park; the bike was right on goal--with the wind we had out there and the rain, I'm happy here. When I wasn't into the headwind, be it cross wind or tailwind, I was doing 18.5-22mph, I think I rarely say 17.5. I saw lots of 15.5 in the headwind, and a lot of the higher speeds otherwise. I actually really enjoyed the bike, despite the conditions. It was my first time with bottle hand-ups and I had NO problems with them. The transitions were pretty close to where I wanted to be, much better than some of my other tri's, and some pretty far running b/w bike in/out and run in/out--so fairly happy at these. Run- I won't say I'm disappointed, but I know with training this will get closer to my just plain run times. My back was KILLING ME when I started, I can't think of when I've been in that much pain running--Praise the Lord that I took Excedrin with me. Once it kicked in, it wasn't bad. If I bonked nutrition wise, it wasn't till about mile 11, I have been low on run volume and I know why that is the reason. I need a few more long rides with some longer runs following, and some longer runs in general. So not disappointed--I still went sub-6 and this a tough course and in tough conditions. For throwing in a Half-Ironman just two-months out from it, not too bad. LOTS of lesson's learned from this that will completely help me out with Longhorn 70.3 in Oct. The only "injuries" I have are the nasty blisters I get under toenails. My second toes on each food are perpetually without them (and yet still get blisters), will probably lose one big toe nail, and then a 3rd toe. Tried multiple things, this is just my perpetual issue. Oh well, could be worse.
Now, a few days of good recovery, a 5K (that I may or may not run hard), and then back to training--to include the Disco Tri in 2 weeks. As painful as this felt at times today, it was pretty fulfilling too. I write a race report that I keep in my BeginnerTriathlete.com log, and will cut and paste it into here once it's done. Thanks for the support!