Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Coming to an End, Time for Running

This week marks my official start to training for the fall running season. I plan on continuing to swim and bike for cross training purposes, but i am now done for the year with triathlons. I gotta say, i can't wait until spring so i can do some more. I did 2 sprint tri's and the Spirit of Morgantown half ironman. I still think a marathon is tougher (because you just don't stop for 3+ hours), but the half ironman was a challenge of a different kind.

First off, the swim. I felt great the whole time. Having a wetsuit makes a big difference and i am now proficient enough where i can siwm a couple of miles without much problem. Doing it quickly is a different story. But when i finished the 1.2 in Morgantown, i could definitely have done another 1.2. In fact the biggest issue i had was equipment related. My goggles were so fogged, i ended swimming about 1.5 miles or so. Was out of the water in under 45 minutes which was my goal.

The bike was brutal. Several sustained 5-7% grades with one super nasty 12% grade hills. Why i chose West Virginia for my first half i really don't know. Met my goal of finishing in under 3 hours though.

Next, the run. a super dull, super hot/humid experience. i spend every water stop (every mile) dumping 3 large glasses of ice water on my head and trying to keep the will to keep going. Me + 90 degree heat + 90 percent humidity + running = not fast. Had some cramps too, but i know i can break 1:45 if its cooler.

All in all i broke 5:45. If i ran what i wanted to, i would have broke 5:30 (which is my goal). What a challenge though. The marathon will definitely be the toughest part of an ironman if i ever get there. Maybe in a few years. I already have 3 or 4 half ironmen for next summer lined up. Besides, if i can do half marathons (regardless of the bike/swims) in the summer, i will definitely help my running season times. In fact, i've done more long runs this summer (by a factor of 5) then i ever have before.

But now its fall and its time for Asheville in less than a month to kick it all off. Then, the big event comes early (in less than 2 months). Chicago!