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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.

4 comments:

  1. 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:

    http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/widgets/

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

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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!

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