Florida 1/2 Ironman race report(very long)


Chris Janus

I'm a long time lurker and haven't posted in quite a long while. I love
to see the race reports and finally have put together my own from my
race at Disney this past Sunday. Sorry for the length.

Woke up at 5 after a decent though not great night of sleep. Since I
had put most everything together the night before and already checked my
bike in at registration, I threw my bag over my shoulder and headed to
the race. As I pulled out of the hotel, I realized I had left my bike
bottles in the hotel refrigerator. Turned around, got a key and ran
back up to get them. Now it’s 5:35 and I’m back on the road.

Get to the Stol-Port parking lot at 5:50 to catch a bus to the start.
Everything goes smooth as I set up my transition station. Grab my
goggles and swim cap(no wetsuit, water is 82) and head to the start line.

Pros take off at 6:40(men) and 6:43(women) and then I’m in the 4th AG
wave at 7:01. I just hang out in the water, watch the pros take off and
do a little swim warm up. As the 2nd wave takes off I head to the start
section. There are about 50 guys in my wave(I think there were 4 35-39
waves). With the horn, we’re off!!

The course is a large triangle in the Fort Wilderness lake at Disney.
Pretty clean but very dark due to the tannins from the trees. The first
length of the swim goes pretty good and I’m feeling strong except for a
little pain in my left shoulder. Luckily, the shoulder loosened up
after 300 meters or so and never felt it again. By the time I make the
first turn I feel very comfortable and confident. The second length
seems a little longer but I’m still doing pretty good. At the second
turn into the final length, I’ve gone off course a little and lost some
time. The final length(probably 600 meters or so) is tough. Physically
I’m doing ok but it’s starting to feel like a long swim. Lots of
swimmers all around now from earlier and later waves. I’m having a hard
time keeping on course and thus make the swim longer than it should be.
My goggles have fogged up and I need to stop and rinse them out so I
can site the buoys. After a brief stop I’m back on my way and see the
final few buoys. Then I’m out of the water!! 45 minutes and change.
Not as fast as what I was hoping for but without a wetsuit, I’ll take
it. Now it’s time to get on the bike.

Get to my bike in transition and everything is going smooth. I get my
socks, shoes, gloves, helmet, and sunglasses on with no problem. Grab
my race belt and realize its come undone. Trying to get it back
together was like threading a needle knowing I need to get out of
transition. Finally after what seemed like forever, I get the belt all
set and head off to the bike start. The bike start was over a quarter
mile from my transition station!! Running through sand and over bridges
in bike cleats it took me 3 minutes to get there, making my total
transition over 7 minutes!!! Not good.

OK, I’m out on the bike and everything is going great. The first 10
miles are uneventful and I check my average at 16.8 mph. Feeling good
and except for some tightness in my left hamstring. Hoping it will
loosen as we go. Hit 20 miles and still sitting at 16.8 but my
hamstring is still bothering me. So far the course has been mostly
flat. 20-40 miles, we encounter some rolling hills which allow me to
get out of the saddle going up and rest on the downhills. This helps
out a lot with my hamstring. At 30 miles I’m still at 16.8. My goal
for the bike is 3:20 and this will put me right there. By 40 miles,
I’ve picked it up a bit and hit 16.9 for an average. By 50, I’m sitting
at 17.0 and finish strong at 56 averaging 17.2 for the ride. 3:15 and
change on the ride for 4+ minutes better than I was planning. We have
to run the same distance back in transition so I lose more time in
transition I wasn’t planning on.

I get back to transition and put my running shoes on grab my hat and
slap on some sunscreen, take 3 Endurolytes and drink half a bottle of
Gatorade endurance. I’m off on the run felling pretty good except for a
stomach cramp which started during the last few miles on the bike.
Thinking the cramp was caused by my position on the bike, I’m hoping it
will go away soon. My legs are feeling good as I head out on the first
mile. I’m a little worried at this point about the heat. It’s already
above 80 with high humidity and very sunny. Hopefully the course will
be well shaded.

I pass mile 1 in 9:29. First sign of trouble. I was hoping to run 9
minute pace the first 6 miles. I write it off to transition from bike
to run. I hit the first water stop and decide to walk through it and
hopefully alleviate the stomach cramp which is getting worse. I drink
several cups of water and Gatorade, eat a couple orange slices and I’m
off. 2nd mile goes by in 10:33. Again not a good sign but I walked
quite a bit through the water stop so not too bad. Stop at the next
water stop and do the same thing and run a 10:50. At this point I’m at
3 miles and my cramp starts to go away, good news. The course has
provided no shade thus far, bad news. The heat is really starting to
affect me. The course has been on asphalt and grass so far. Hot and
dry. I continue to stop at the water stops and take as much as I can
and my mile splits continue to rise little by little. By 6 miles, I’m
taking walking breaks every third of a mile or so. At 6 miles, you
either head to the finish line(2nd loop) or you head back to the
beginning of the loop. So I head back to the loop. Mentally I’m
feeling good knowing I don’t have to retrace my steps anymore.
Physically, I’m hurting and it’s now 87. I know I’m going to finish but
I also know I’m not going to hit my goal of 6:30. So I do the only
thing I can, push on and do the best I can today.

The rest of the race goes pretty much the same. Walk breaks and running
while taking in as much water, Gatorade, pretzels, oranges, and ice as I
can. After resuming running shortly after mile 9 I feel a cramp in my
left calf. If I push too much, it will seize up on me. I need to take
it easy. By mile 10 I’m feeling the same cramp in my right calf. I can
continue to run but pushing it too much is risky. At mile 11s water
stop, I hear them yelling for a medic. A guy has fallen and his calves
are seizing. He’s grabbing them and screaming with pain. They
volunteers(who were wonderful on the entire course) are attempting to
massage them without much success. I don’t want the same outcome for
myself so I have to keep the running within myself.

Finally I hit mile 12 and can hear the cheering from up ahead. 1.1
miles to go. I push ahead and hit the ‘fork’ between 1st and 2nd
loopers. It feels great to turn right to the finish line instead of
left for another loop. As I head to the finish line I decide to finish
with a flurry and push it. My left calf seizes up completely and I have
to back off. I mange to run across the finish line, just barely.

I finish in 6:51 and change. An hour better than my worst ½ Ironman but
12 minutes slower than my best and 21 minutes off my goal. I did the
best I could on this particular day. I can’t ask for anything more.

Chris Janus

Harold Buck

In article <[email protected]>,
Chris Janus <[email protected]> wrote:

> Woke up at 5 after a decent though not great night of sleep. Since I
> had put most everything together the night before and already checked my
> bike in at registration, I threw my bag over my shoulder and headed to
> the race. As I pulled out of the hotel, I realized I had left my bike
> bottles in the hotel refrigerator. Turned around, got a key and ran
> back up to get them. Now it¹s 5:35 and I¹m back on the road.

That's why I always have a morning checklist!

Thanks for the report!

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night,
and party every day.
Then it was every other day. . . ."
-Homer J. Simpson

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