Comeback Progress

Blowing off the cobwebs from this blog. Whoosh! Wow, something appears to be missing. Why, yes, there is something missing. I never wrote a race report for the Ironman 70.3 California race. Well let me get that out of the way with a brief sentence or two. Here goes:

Crappy swim. Decent bike. Crappy run. Crappy race. Perfect, a tri-crapthlon.

Back in January, someone warned me that the Oceanside race would be ugly if I didn’t make progress on dropping the weight that I gained since Ironman Coeur d’Alene last July. And on race day in latte March, it showed most evidently on my pathetic 2-hr plus half  marathon that day, which was more like a mental tune-out cramp-run-walk.

Today, I am thankful for that ugly race wake-up call. I’ve lost a total of eight pounds (five of them since the race). What a big difference it made today on my La Jolla Half Marathon performance. Not only did I run through the entire race, but I executed a good race strategy and worked  through an almost-cramping right calf during the last 3.5 miles of the race.

Eric and I running up the Torrey Pines Reserve

Eric and I running up the Torrey Pines Reserve

I started out the race with Eric Heiser (who was shooting for a time of 1:44). My only goal for today was to do better than two hours, with my “ideal” time goal of 1:50. I paced with Eric through the first six miles up Torrey Pines. Because we went out a little faster than usual, I even had time to make a bathroom pit stop at the Torrey Pines Reserve. Because I was able to hang with Eric like the old days for six miles, I realized my 1:50 goal was very doable.

And although my PR for this tough course is 1:40, I was very pleased with my execution of the Torrey Pines hill and the climb up to Prospect Street during the last mile of the race.  I think it was  my strongest hill performance that I’ve had on this course in the last four attempts. After the first climb up Torrey Pines Reserve, I pulled back a little bit for the next two miles, and stayed within one minute of my pace goal. My thinking behind this was to avoid cramping, which has happened all the previous years I have done this race by the time I reach the La Jolla Shores at mile 11.

After about 9.5 miles  I felt the cramps coming again in my right calf. But I truly believe that because I held back a little bit, I was able to finish strong up the last climb and hold off the cramps until after I crossed the finish line.

So there you have it. Eight pounds lost and a much better half marathon race in line with my current weight. Official time 1:50:28. I hope to be back to my Ironman weight (12 more pounds to go) by July, and then I would like to lose an additional 12 pounds by October.