Sunday, September 18, 2011

Racing on Cigarette Smoke & Alcohol - A Half-Ironman Double Whammy

Nice hardware, baby.


This is the first time in my life that I have raced two Half Ironman events so close together, but yesterday, just 6 days after 70.3 Half Ironman World Championships in Vegas (which you can read about in the post below), I raced the Grand Columbian Half Ironman, which now features a brand new, brutal course designed by the cruel folks over at TriFreaks.

And between these two tough races, I broke every recovery rule in the books.

As the author of the "Lightning Speed Recovery Secrets" article (an essential read for anyone wanting to bounce back quickly from a triathlon) I am sheepishly admitting that after the race in Vegas I drank profusely, hung out in cigarette smoke infused casinos, spent lots of time on my feet, forgot to wear compression gear, and pretty much did everything you shouldn't do when trying to recovery quickly from a race.

Knowing this, I nearly dropped out of the Grand Columbian just 2 miles into the treacherously hilly bike, when my legs were screaming at me to quit torturing them. I figured I'd toasted them, and tossed a few too many drinks their direction down in Vegas.

At this point in the race, I had come out of a windy and choppy open water swim in 3rd place, and made it up a very steep climb out of transition - which is a lovely new addition to an already difficult bike course.

Although I wanted to quit at this point, I stuck it to the hill, had a brief 2 minute recovery descent, then hit a 3 mile climb up Almira Grade, which is one of the tougher hills I've climbed on a triathlon course.

Once again, my legs felt toast.

But finally, about 25 miles into the bike leg, my body seemed to come alive, and when it did, I made a decision to put down the hammer while I was feeling strong, and rode off the front, coming into T2 with a sizeable lead.

The new Grand Columbian run course is basically a steep descent, 10 miles of relatively flat running along the river, and then a steep climb to the finish line. I ran away and never looked back, winning the overall title for the second year in a row, and this time winning by 10 minutes.

Splits:

29:22 swim
2:38 bike
1:28 run

I used all the same gear I used in Vegas (see that race report below) - so a big thanks to my sponsors for making this happen.

Next stop in 3 weeks: Ironman World Championships in Kona...
Post a Comment