Fort Morgan Half Marathon 2002
Between 1/2 IM CA and this past weekend – roughly three weeks – I biked around 600 miles. I picked up my running and swimming too. I went into this race confident but pretty tired from the week – lots of long rides, heavy lifting, speed work, LT rides etc. “Taper Schmaper” was the motto – this was quoting my tri-God friend EC.
Now – why would I do this? Just to see what would happen if I change things up a bit.
So I arrive in Ft Morgan Friday night – eat a pizza and have a coke with Tim Dolan who has come to exact revenge on the race from last year. And boy does he get revenge!
We get up early and are at the race site at 5:30 AM. I feel tired but I’m ready to go mentally. I did my warm up run of 1.5 miles and feel pretty good. My legs are springy and I feel ok –
I hit the water for a short warm up and feel good. About 5 minutes of swimming and I am ready to get this thing started. I take off near the front and I can see that the water is so shallow people are walking the entire thing – waist deep. C’mon people it’s a triathlon. If you don’t want to swim, go to a duathlon – no swimming in those either. Anyway – I hit 1/2 way in 12:42 and realize that this is not going to be measured correctly – oh well. I exit in 25:17, and head out less then 2:00 later (1:5. I hit the bike course feeling strong. I settle in and let the HR monitor take over – I normally do NOT race with a monitor but I wanted to try some different things – well I was at LT right away – right at 155 – I held this for 3 miles trying to catch some faster swimmers – I was about 31st out of the water (of around 80 or so). I settle into a HR of 140 and cruised the bike – I had my camelback on and I have never used this in a race but this may become a normal thing – it worked great! I was also sipping my Sustained Energy – I had about 900 calories in my bottle – I knew I had to finish it before the ride and have a few shots of Hammergel – (Raspberry today – I usually race with Espresso). About 20 miles into the ride I was in 27th place – my goal was to come off the bike in the top 20 – then run a few people down. I had to pee two times – but this week I just coasted and let it go – I slowed down to say 9mph one time BUT I didn’t lose time by stopping like I did in 1/2 IM CA.
The bike was completely flat with a little wind but nothing too severe – the forecast was for 98 degree temps but I doubt it broke 90. I finished the bike in 2:31 and caught a few people at the end – still not sure what place I was in but I thought I was around 22 or 23. I came into transition and had my socks, shoes, hat and water belt on in 0:50 – great transition and I was off!
Now – this was going to be interesting – no crowds to motivate me, no trees for shade, no hills for change of pace – just one long flat out and back between huge farm fields – talk about mentally challenging – add to the fact there were only 80 people doing the race and you were solely responsible for motivating yourself. I hit mile 1 in 6:40 (oops a little fast) -the miles clicked by but I never felt in rhythm – I was just plugging away really – catching a guy here or there – I get to the turn around in 47:44 for 6.55 miles. That is 7:17 pace – I was in 17th place and hoping to pick up a few more spots. I kept cranking along – seeing the athlete in front of me that I wanted to catch – finally at mile 8 I catch him and now I need another person to catch – this one would be harder as this athlete was much further ahead – well I worked hard and caught him at mile 12 – and really had to turn it on to make sure he wouldn’t try to catch me – and he didn’t. I finished the run in 1:36:17 a few seconds faster then 1/2 IM CA run – a good day’s work. I positive split the run by about 1 minute.
My final time was 4:35:50 – good enough for 15th overall, and 5th in my age group. Also, a PR of 22 minutes for me. I have always had trouble with 1/2 IM’s – they are starting to get easier though – understanding the right pacing and nutrition it takes for a 5 hour day it not easy. Well that is my race re-cap! Take Care and race smart!