Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Five minutes

I almost broke 11. Missed it by less than five minutes! Here is what happened. It started out reasonably well although my stomach was a bit upset in the morning. I swam a 1:22:34, which may have been a tiny bit faster than before since I started out about 20 yards behind the line. My trusted goggles also leaked the whole way and I had to stop several times to clear them. I ended up with a bloodshot eye nevertheless.

My first transition was very slow. I was unsure as to whether to wear a jersey or not as I felt pretty cold. I fiddled around for too long with my arm warmers, and I took too long to find a seat in the tent. 

The bike leg was great and I rode my best time ever. The first loop had a headwind and things did not look good. But on the way back I cruised at 25-30 mph and so I was several minutes ahead of schedule at the first turnaround. Then the wind shifted and also died down a bit, and there wasn't such a big difference anymore between the out and back stretches. The second loop was OK too and now I was on track to break 5:15. But on the third leg my right knee started to hurt and I got some pretty bad cramps. I probably did not do enough long rides this time, and I also should have worn my race shoes before. There was a difference between the cleat positions and I am sure it affected how my knee felt.

Even so, I finished with a 5:21:04, a new PR for the course and averaging nearly 21. The run was another matter and it started out quite poorly. I had severe cramping and had to walk several stretches. It got a bit better as time went on but I knew I wasn't on pace for a four hour marathon. I also needed a potty break. On the last lap, I got on the Mill St. bridge, 51 minutes and a 10K to go, if I wanted to break 11. I knew it would be nearly impossible given my crampy legs, but I tried. I needed an extra 4:55. Marathon time, 4:10:10, definitely slow.

Total time: 11:04:55. 14/135, 456 overall.

As for Hawaii,  it took 36:21 minutes too long. I know can get half of that from the marathon and a bit more from the bike, but to get the rest I would have to learn how to swim faster. 

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