Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Race Report - RUN - 70.3 New Orleans

I jumped off of the bike and ran through transition. It went fine. I put on my bright blue, super light weight cushioned training shoes. I ran in a duathlon in these shoes last weekend and they felt great - super fast. The duathlon was a 2 / 10 /2 so I figured that the running was about a third of a half marathon.

My feet started to hurt jogging in transition. This would be a log run. I ran out of transition and down a grass hill and then onto the concrete. My heart rate was low - a low steady conversational pace - lungs felt fine. My legs were fatigued but they felt good. I knew that at this pace, not even having to pick it up and 'race' the run I could sustain 8 minute miles (or at least low 8 minute miles).

Not even a half mile into this half marathon my feet were killing me. I am a fore-foot / mid-foot runner and the balls of my feet were aching. I saw a guy sitting on the curb and getting something out of his shoe. I thought about it - it seemed like a good idea. Maybe there was a steel plate or something in the my right shoe. I stopped, sat down and took my shoe off. Nothing was in there. I rubbed my foot for a second and adjusted the quick ties. I hopped up and started running again. I was staying with a group of runners and just trying to make time. The first mile marker came up and I was running a near 9 minute mile. These first couple of miles were tough. I slowed to a shuffle at the first water station. I took a gel and drank two cups of water. Right around the 2 mile mark or so we had to run up a short bridge - I walked it - the feet were hurting.

At this point I knew I was going to be out there a while. I was getting passed occasionally and I passed a few (the sick and the hurt). There were a few racers really having trouble with the heat and cramps and the usual. They were keeping on and I was glad that I was not suffering to the extent that they were. I kept my spirits up by hamming it up with the crowds. There were 3 ladies with feather boas cheering on and I spun them up. I was high-fiving any kids on the course. Not your usual high-five but really giving it to them - I was having fun but really hurting between the lines.

I saw a bag-piper in City Park and yelled for them to crank it up! At this point my feet were hurting that I was running in the grass at all opportunities. Out on Elysian Fields there were some ladies cheering up some ripped guy in front of me - saying 'Now there is a real man'. When I passed I told them that they were looking at another real man. I'm not shy - I got my crowd support to say the least.

I was walking all the aid stations. I was eating gels and taking water. It was really just my feet that were saying stop. Elysian Fields felt forever. The mile markers slowly passed by. After about mile 7 I was walking 15 seconds at every mile marker and walking the aid stations.

I was doing the math in my head for my finishing time. Sub 5 hour (super fantasy - not going to happen time) was out the window at the start of the run. Sub 5:15 soon fell out of favor. Sub 5:30 was still possible.

The time between mile marker 11 and mile marker 12 was an eternity. I can not believe how long this mile took. I told myself I was not going to walk any more after mile 11. I ended up taking a couple of quick 15 - 30 second walk breaks. I could not help it. These were the hardest 9 - 10 mimute miles ever.

I saw the runners ahead of me turning right off of Elysian Fields and I knew that was the last push to Jackson Square and the finish. I turned the corner - there would be no stopping now - and the road looked long. My watch read about 5:26 or something close. Just a little further. Someone yelled and said only 800 meters to go - damn, half a mile! There was a lot of celebration right in front of me. Someone was pumping the crowds up - that was not me I was in tunnel vision mode and pushing through to finish this up. I passed the guy celebrating and ran ahead. I saw Jodie at the finish line and gave a fist pump. I crossed the tape at 5:30:21 - and I was very humbled by the race.

SWIM: 40:20(2:07/100m) T1: 3:05 BIKE: 2:42:48(20.64MPH) T2: 2:19 RUN: 2:01:49(9:17/mile)

169 / 101 / 85 - I think that is: swim / bike / run ranking. Age group was 89 / 329.

Well after the race I saw the bottom of my feet - they were all cut up! Next post will be after the race and lessons learned.


The Athletic Mom said...

Hey! I loved reading all your reports on HIM New Orleans....if I'm not "expecting" this will be done next year, being that I live 40 minutes NW or NOLA

Oh yea, the BT blogger widget I found here:

Missy said...

Hamburger feet, ouch! Always so many good lessons to take away. The urge to walk when it hurts is so great.

Ulyana said...

Wow, what a race! What an accomplishment!

That really sucks about your feet! But it's so great you finished!!!! And it's such a great time... I can't imagine running that pace after swimming and biking for so long. Great job!

Kristin said...

Are you sure you weren't running right with me? Someone told the bagpiper to play and that's when I envisioned a funeral :) "Hurting between the lines" is an excellent way to sum it up. I had a really great race and great day but there was a lot of pain. It was worth it though!