Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ironman 70.3 florida race review

awesome, awesome, awesome is all i have to say. what and incredible experience. was it easy? no. was it FUN? no. was it hard? yes. was it a living hell? yes. was there controversy? yes. will i ever put myself through that hell again? you betcha.

What an awesome awesome day. From about 3 minutes into the swim, i was questioning my decision to do a half ironman. I had a great swim, tough, tough bike leg and the toughest run i have ever done in my life. Did i love every minute of it, YES.

So the swim was pretty awesome. It was a lake swim and the water was 84 degrees. yip thats right, 84 degrees. no wetsuits. i started in the LAST group of the day, which was pretty shitty, 2400 athletes in front of me made the race filled with traffic but it was ok in the water. it was a bit crazy in the beginning but after about 5 minutes found some clean water and just paced myself and made sure i made it to the end of the swim.

I came out of the water after 38 minutes which was exactly where i wanted to be and ran up the beach to transition which was about 300 yards away. my T1 time was just over 4 minutes which i felt was a great time. My bike ride didn't start great, i lost a water bottle at the mount point. and you know you get into the mindset where you cant slow down to go back for it, so i didn't. i was off with just 3 bottles but i knew there would be more available on the route.

The bike route was fast, before i knew it i was averaging 22 mph and was heading for  probably a 2:30 bike time. the big trains of bikes was also helpful as people were getting bunched up and there was a bit of drafting going on. i think this is pretty common now days in triathlon. i know they have to tell you you cant do it but there just isn't enough marshals to police it. then all hell broke loose, about 90 minutes into my ride i got the worst cramps in my ass. yeah, thats right , my ass, it was so painful i could sit on my seat in the aero position. i either had to stand or i had to sit up straight on my seat with no hands on my handle bars.

Can you imagine all these people flying past me on the flats in the aero position and here i am having a sunday cruise on my bike. it didnt seem very funny at the time and eventually someone came up to me and asked me if they could get some water from me so that they could take a salt tablet. the guy was nice enough to give me one as well and about 10 miles from the end my ass muscles relaxed and i could use my glutes again. i got my average back up to 19.9 mph by the end but the damage had already been done. I finished the bike in 2:48 and i thought the worst was behind me.

T2 went fast, a little over 3 minutes including a pee break. and i headed out on the run in my new brooks ravenna racing shoes. i loved my shoes so much i bought a second pair for races. if you haven't done a 70.3 before, your legs feel like you have run 13 miles about 1 mile into your run. the run was a 3 loop course, great for spectators but not so great for us. about 3 of the 4 miles was on a grass road on the side of a canal with huge tees on both sides. you might say, well that seems nice. on the contrary, it was hell on earth. it was hot, humid , miserable and no shade. not to mention the sand, bumps and ditches. it was a tough tough run, and after the first loop, i knew i had to do it all over again another two times.

So, every second of my 2:04 run was brutal. every second my body was telling me to walk a little and then i could run again when i cool down. but i kept telling myself that i could walk after i crossed the finish line. it was tough, as probably 70% of people were walking, but i kept telling myself, this is a race, walking is not an option. and i didn't, i finished the race in 5:39:15. just 2 minutes slower that my real goal.

it was awesome, awesome , awesome. if you have the balls, do it.


  1. Way to tough it out Jason - great race!

  2. Congrats on an awesome race and finishing so close to your goal time! Glad you're ready to take on more.

    Multiple-loop courses are mentally tough, huh!

    Great race report.

  3. Yes! So good to read the post-race report. Well done!!!
    I'd love to do an athlete feature with you on my blog sometime.