Challenge Williamsburg

I am giving a go at two half iron distance races this summer and prior to this race, I had not figured out my nutrition properly to have a full race. Challenge Williamsburg was the first race where I did not blow up on the run due to poor planning (but rather 95 degree temps and 80 dew point). I ended up 7th overall in 4:18 on what was a relatively difficult day for all athletes with a fairly high attrition rate. 

Swim: 26:12 was about 90 seconds behind the main group of Chrabot, Collington, Montgomery, and Andressoni. I could see John Kenny leaving T1 as soon as I was getting in, so I figured my swim could not have been that bad. We started in waist deep water and dolphin dove/high stepped for about 50 meters before swimming. I was sitting on John Kenny's feet (he has a very distinctive kick and swims a good line, so I knew it was him) for about 600 meters. I felt like I was overheating and just a little outside my comfort zone in the 82 degree water. One more surge from the group popped me, but I also had a decent lead on the group behind me. I swam the rest of the swim alone.

Bike: 2:17:52 (24.2 mph) and 170 average HR. I consumed about 80 g of carbohydrates/hour and two bottles of perform/ one bottle of gatorade on the course. I aimed to get another bottle but the crazy humidity made for a slippery bottle and I missed it. I rode the first 35 minutes fairly aggressively (HR in the 178-180 range) as I could see John up the road. Chris Leiferman passed me and was absolutely flying. I tried to go with him for a minute but my HR spiked to 183 and that was not sustainable. Later, John, Justin Park, and I had a little group going but I am admittedly not very good at the USAT stagger rule, so I was overly conservative and that did not help. As a result, we split and I lost about a minute and a half to John. I was riding comfortably with them, but we had an official right next to us for five miles and I was constantly zig zagging to make sure I kept a stagger. That is definitely something to work on.

Run: 1:30. Oh man this run really was a game of survival. I went out feeling completely comfortable and run 12:00 for the first two miles and was not breathing hard (HR in the 160s), but the heat absolutely ate me up. The run was four loops of 3.275 miles with half in a rolling trail and half on what felt like the surface of the sun! I passed Mike Hermanson and John early on, but Mike passed me back at four miles and I was just focused on finishing. After that, I could feel myself stop sweating so I stopped at the next aid station and got two waters, a gatorade, and ice down my kit and held ice in my hands for the rest of the run. If I had done this from the start, I don't think I would have felt so badly but four decently hard miles early cost me. 

Finish: 4:18 and 7th. About a month ago, this would have gained me 800 euros, but after the prize purses were cut, I did not get that. I am excited to feel like I have figured out the half distance a bit more and will race Challenge St. Andrews half with more confidence. In two weeks is Philly Tri!