Oh, The Pain

I can’t understand why I both love and loathe this event.  In the last 3 years, using several different training strategies, my times have all landed in the same 4 minute window.  This year, I finished in 6:24.

kicking it in

And of course, the inevitable BUT.

I had a great swim, totally relaxed and this year I decided to hammer my transitions — amusing but true.  I flew out of T1, managed not to lose my biking gloves which I had planned to put on while riding, and attached that heinous first hill up from the lake.  It was then, Wildflower through a new curve.  Sure, I was prepared for heat and excited that temps were going to stay near a reasonable 80 degrees, but I was not prepared for wind!  No, please not wind, and please not the first relatively benign first 20 miles of the race into a head wind. Ugh.

I would persevere, keep grinding and watching solid bikers of all age groups pass me like I was on a beach cruiser.  I hit the nasty grade feeling ok and actually passed like 30 people on the hill and if not for some cramping in my left hip I would have mashed my way home a bit faster.  Unfortunately, the bike time was mediocre (I blame the wind — the pros were even 10-15 minutes slower this year), and the wind sucked the moisture right out of me so I think I was a bit dehydrated.

The run is always mental, and this year, I pretty much phoned it in.  I was in far better shape than the 2:22 I walk/loafed to.  I was a bit queasy and my legs were spent, but I am realizing to get myself under 6 hours, I just need to raise the pain threshold and bear it.

That said, it is always gratifying to finish this beast of a course and my finishing mile was quite speedy if for a few hop skips due to sudden cramping in my calf.

my brother finishing just a few minutes behind me

Oh, and my transitions were my best EVER. Amusingly, I took off my bike gloves with a mile to go and jammed them into my tri-shorts.  Around 4 miles into the run, I discovered them working their way down my backside.

My brother Durdam turned in a fine performance for his first Wildflower (and first half IM) finishing just 2 minutes behind me and he had the guts to run the entire way!

I will break 6 hours at some point.

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