Sunday, July 17, 2011

Racine Half Ironman 2011

Today Ryan ran this "warm up" race for Louisville Ironman at the end of August.  If anything, this race gave him a real taste of just what the weather could be like the last weekend in August!  With temperatures hovering around 95 degrees and heat indices around 105 I was just happy to see him cross the finish line, or really, I was just happy to see him standing each and every time we saw him.  The race was a tough one for him and for us as spectators (smile).  But really, it was extremely hot, extremely sunny and a pretty dang tough race for Ryan.  We both have different ideas about his final time.  I'm pretty sure he finished about 5 minutes shy of 6 hours, and he thinks he was about 5 minutes over.  In any case, with a goal of hitting sub 12 hours for Ironman, a few minutes here or there of 6 hours for the half sure isn't bad. 

Ryan had to be all set up in transition by 6:30 am so while he was getting his bike/shoes etc set up, here are a few shots I snapped before the race started:

The lake was beautiful that early in the morning.  Aside from the thousands of racers heading off to get set for the swim it was quiet and peaceful.  I just wished we had had time to stop for a nice iced coffee for me!!

Here are just a few pictures of the swim to give you an idea of just how many people there are and just how insane they all must be!!  Actually, this swim start is NOTHING like Ironman, Wisconsin.  That is a sight I will never forget.  I liken it to what I imagine the scene in the water near the Titanic would have looked like moments after the ship went under.  That was truly an amazing sight to see!!

Here were a few of him coming in and out of transition from the swim to the bike.  As you can tell, it's really hard to get a good picture of him where he is A. looking at you B. paying attention and C. making a reasonable face....jeez!  You would think he was more concerned about something else!! 

It's fine, at this point Dan, Ellyn and I are avid race supporters.  We know how to do it right!!  In the 6 hours that Ryan was racing the three of us (and Lily) found breakfast for ourselves, (after a long hot walk and a LONG wait), saw Ryan at all of his transition points as well as a bonus sighting when we didn't realize the run looped past our chairs, drank a beer or two, and logged alot of miles walking around from place to place.  We sure didn't complete a 70.3 mile half Ironman, but we did pretty well for ourselves!!

See, I told you it was hard to get a good picture.  Or, maybe, that's what a "good picture" looks like after you run a half Ironman in 103 degree heat!!

I think, more than anything, this race was a real wake-up call for Ry as far as is training goes.  Two years ago when he did Ironman he was WAY less busy with work.  He had the hours to put in for the training.  And, I think having never done one before, he was far more neurotic about getting his training in and making sure he was doing it by the book.  Today when I asked him how he felt about this race he described it like this:
"It was soul crushing.  I feel like that race chewed me up and spit me out". I asked him if he wanted to blog this post as I'm sure you all would find it more interesting from his point of view, but he said no.  I asked if he had any words to say about the race and all he said was "It was F-ing HOT!!"

All in all, he is home safe and feeling tired, but overall not too bad!!  1.5 months to go before the real deal!!  I have a feeling I will be seeing a lot less of Ryan over these next few weeks as he will be doing a LOT more training!

UPDATE:  Here are his race times.  I can't seem to get the formatting to work correctly on this so the last number in each row is his Division Rank and the second to last number is his overall rank throughout the race.  We believe there were about 2,000 racers for this race.
TOTAL SWIM1.2 mi. (35:55)1:53/100m42555

TOTAL BIKE56 mi. (2:47:51)20.02 mph53281

TOTAL RUN13.1 mi. (2:32:14)11:37/mile837106

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