Thursday, June 22, 2006

Macon Rock 'n Rollman Half Ironman

On June 4th I raced the Rock 'n Rollman half iron race in Macon, GA. I've raced it twice before, and decided back in February that I'd do it again this year, so I pre-registered. However, at about the same time in February, I caught the bike racing bug. Therefore, I had done almost no running and swimming from February to June (maybe swam 3 times and ran 3-4 miles per week on most weeks).

I decided to go ahead and race, just take it easy on the swim, and maybe even DNF and skip the run. The swim went ok. I was slower than in prior years, but last year's course was shorter than it should have been and it was also a wetsuit swim last year - unlike this year.

I figured that all my bike training would result in a much quicker bike leg. I planned to try a reverse split ride where I finished strong, so I limited my heartrate during the first half of the ride to 150 bpm. I had a great first half - I felt strong and averaged about 20.5 mph, which was about a mile per hour quicker than last year. I was also careful about eating and drinking enough.

During the second half of the ride, it became more and more difficult for me to keep my heartrate at the desired level (I planned to keep it at or right beneath 150 bpm, then finish the last 5 miles in an anaerobic scream). By the end of the ride, I found it difficult to generate any significant power, and my heartrate was hovering around 135 to 140 bpm. I don't think I bonked or got dehydrated (I ate and drank plenty and didn't feel bad). My only guess is that muscle fatigue did me in (I was at or below threshold heartrate, so I doubt it was a lactic acid buildup - plus, I think I would have felt muscle burn in that case). Bike time was about 1:53, I think - a minute or two slower than last year - very dissapointing.

I decided to go ahead with the run, but ran very, very slowly. I finished the race in about 5:51, which was about 35 minutes slower than last year.