Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Square Lake Long Course Race report...and big news?

I'm going to make it short...sort of. My apprehension about swimming 1.2 miles was well documented in the last few posts.  As it turns out, it wasn't as bad as I thought. The weather at the start of the race was warm, but not windy which was good from a swim stand point. This is a small race and there was only about  200 entries so it wasn't crowded, which was also good.
This was a 2 loop swim course and each loop of .6 mile was approximately 20 minutes, which is good for me and better than I had anticipated considering this was my fourth swim since February.

The transition was slow (but deliberate) and after going up the 68 steps from the beach to transition, I took of my wetsuit, dried off my feet, put on my socks, slipped into my bike shoes, and jumped onto my trusty steed. Without having ridden this distance (54miles) before, I took it slow and steady. I also realized it was getting hot and that if I wanted to finish in good shape, I better take it slow. I chugged up the hills, pushed little on the downhills, and tried to maintain a steady pace on the flats. Problem is that the course has false flats that tend to make a person work harder than I anticipated. I didn't let it bother me though, I was having a good time.
Drama showing her America pride!
Half way point, mile 27. Bottle exchange too.
I finished up the second loop about 5 minutes slower than the first, but I stopped at mile 40 to take a pee in the bushes. I passed 3 people and got passed by 2 people on the second loop, but I was feeling decent. I knew that it was getting really hot out and I felt that I was doing well nutritionally. I had two 20 oz bottles of Gatorade on the first loop along with 2 Gu's. The second loop bottle exchange had Heed and water. I took a bottle of each and had 2 more Gu's on the second loop and finished both bottles.
I pulled into T2, grabbed my shoes, grabbed my handheld water bottle and took off.

The run started OK and I tried to keep it slow. I ran the first 3 miles at about a 9-10min/mile pace and then I was really starting to feel the heat. I had passed a handful of runners, but soon realized that this wasn't sustainable.  At one of the aid stations they were talking about a few runners to needed medical attention due to the heat and one was even taken by ambulance. It was at this point I decided to take it easy and just focus on finishing. I did a run/walk combo and talked with runners that I caught up to or that caught up to me. I met several nice people, but one lady who I ran/walked with was like myself (married, 2 children, etc) and she is doing IMAZ in November and this was sort of a training run. It was at that point I had made up my mind about something that was on my mind for quite some time, but I'll  get to that in moment.
I finished up running (jogging) the last couple miles with my new friend (Dana). I wished her luck in November and let her hit the finish line alone (in case she wanted to get a finishers pic).  I saw my wife and youngest daughter shortly before the finish, so I picked up my daughter and headed for the finish line for the best finish pic ever!

You think I'll have a tan line all winter?

Now that the half iron was done, I had a decision to make. Ironman? IM Wisconsin was on the same day as this race and I knew that general entry opened the next day at 12pm. I had already planned on taking off half the day on 9/12, so the question lingered in my head all night.

So I soon realized that only hotel rooms fill up faster than Ironman general entry, so I booked 3 rooms by 9am that are near the finish. I then waited 3 more hours to sign up for the race and after filling out page after page of questions and securing my children's future in Community College, I got in!

On 9/9/12 I will line up with 2500+ other triathletes to find out if we have what it takes to endure 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running.  It's only 50 weeks away and I'm already nervous. Time to put up or shut up.



  1. Congrats on the race!!!

    And congrats on signing up for IMWI, get your hill work all season in. Excited to follow that journey

  2. Congratulations on committing to the distance. IMOO was my first and second Ironman and no matter how many more I do, wherever they are, I will always LOVE Ironman Wisconsin the most. The swim is so cool. That bike course is insanely fun and the run course is amazing. So well supported. You are going to love the fact that you picked this one as your first!!!