I always think that I like half Ironmans. And I really do like them, when they go well. I have just run the numbers and I’ve done a dozen of them since 2007. My second one ever in 2007 went incredibly well. I managed to win the third which was a local race and my rivals were directed off course for a brief detour. My sixth and seventh in 2010 as a first year pro went ok, but with minor meltdowns on the run (made swim group, great rides each time, slow runs). Last season I had a great race at Rev3 Wisconsin Dells and did all three sports well. Sadly it was also the smallest paycheck I’ve gotten in a pro race. So in total that is 2 great races, 4 ok but with minor blowups, and 6 full on explosions. Unfortunately Muncie 70.3 this last weekend has to be filed under ‘full on explosion’.
This was a real downer. I made the swim group without issue. The water was right at temperature limit for wetsuits so it got quite hot the 2nd half of the swim. I was hot and bothered coming into T1 and lost a few seconds then took a few miles to get rolling on the bike. I felt fine for the ride but rode slow. I was a full 10 minutes of Starky’s monster 2:00 ride and 5 minutes off the other 3 guys in front of me. A mediocre ride would be no problem if I ran well off it but I was still wrecked starting the run. Running slow off a great ride is one thing but running slow off a mediocre ride is a big old bummer. I felt alot of feelings in the 24 hours after the race and not many of them were good.
There were two good things about the trip. On Thursday I stayed in Racine with my online-only friend Steve Brandes. Steve friended me on Facebook many years ago and has been liking my statuses and photos ever since. Going to meet him I was fairly sure he was a lonely 350 pound woman who would almost certainly murder me in my sleep. To my surprise he turned out to be the person he appears to be online. We talked triathlon nonstop from the time I arrived to the time I left and we probably could have kept talking triathlon for another week. It was amazing. We share certain grumpy attitudes about many things, in particular the abundance of self-declared “experts” in triathlon. My Norwegian friend Jorgen wants to come to Minneapolis next summer and roadtrip to an Ironman and I’m already working on Steve to join in. Jorgen is pushing for Challenge Penticton but I’m arguing for Lake Placid. Other Minnesotans are more than welcome to weigh in on the debate, IMLP, IMMT, IMC, or Challenge Penticton Anyways it was a real pleasure to hang out with Steve and I think I’ll be able to peer pressure him into racing a summer Ironman with me next year.
The other positive was that I showed amazing restraint at the race expo and did not start a fistfight with my sworn enemy, Wisconsin pro Blake Becker. Blake and I are both pretty riled up for the Gopher-Badger Ironwar coming on September 8 at Ironman Wisconsin (get your tickets now!). Needless to say, words were said at the expo but I kept my cool and no one got hurt. The Gopher-Badger Ironwar is really going to be spectacular. Front row seats are still available. It is going to be just under 9 hours of heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat Gopher on Badger action. It would be impossible to over-hype what is going to happen.
Time to rally and get back to work!