9.Twelve.20Ten – Harvest Moon Triathlon

Sunrise - Morning of Harvest Moon Half Ironman

Sunrise - Morning of Harvest Moon Half Ironman

My Harvest Moon race recap actually starts the day before…on Saturday, I attended an “Advanced Bicycle Mechanic” workshop at REI.  As I would like to be more comfortable doing bike tuning & adjustments (I spend way too much $$ on bike tunes), I had been meaning to register for this workshop for quite some time.  I finally did…and sure enough it fell the day before the Harvest Moon Half IM.  I did not think it would be a big deal because I envisioned sitting in a chair for most of the day listening to an instructor and doing some bike tinkering every so often.  I was wrong.  Although both my instructor (Rick) and the class were great and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone wanting to be more comfortable with bike adjustments, I was on my feet standing for seven (7) hours straight…not ideal “pre-race” activities.  I have done enough races that I typically do not rattle easily, but this had me concerned because my dogs (feet & legs) were barking (tired) on Saturday night, and I had 70.3 miles of swimming, biking & running in the a.m.  Packet pick-up was a breeze, and I was able to relax with Molly (and some yummy Z Pizza) for dinner.  After dinner, I packed up my tri gear and then fell asleep reading the latest issue of Running Times.  I was so tired I decided to shave my legs on Sunday a.m.

So…Sunday a.m. came way too soon, and I decided that my time would better be spent sleeping than shaving my legs, so I opted to do this race semi-hairy.  Since I think one (1) of the major reasons male triathletes shave their legs is for the intimidation factor (“look at those muscles!”), I decided to wear pants instead of my normal shorts to the race.  I would be the “mystery” triathlete…is he serious (i.e. are his legs shaved?) or not (i.e. does he have hairy legs?).  Other racers would just have to wait & find out!

I grabbed some breakfast (a bagel and juice) and Molly and I loaded up the Jeep and made our way to the Aurora Reservoir.  The line to get into the reservoir was rather lengthy, so we did not get parked until about 45 minutes before race start (7:20) and one (1) hour before my wave (7:45am).  Setting up my transition area did not take too long and there were not any lines for timing chip pick-up nor body marking.  Of course, when you mistake a random spectator holding a marker as an “official” body marker, that helps.  Thank you (again) to the nice lady who not only marked my # and age, but was educated enough to know exactly where it went!  😉  Even better, after a short run warm-up to the “far away” restrooms, the lines were also short!

I was in the 4th wave, and with 5 minutes between each wave, I was able to watch the elites go off and then do my warm-up.  For a race of this distance (1.2mi Swim + 56mi Bike + 13.1mi Run), I do not do much of a warm-up.  With the exception of my short run to the restrooms, my warm-up consisted of basically getting into the water to ensure my wetsuit & goggles were feeling OK and then doing a few short intervals to get a feel for the water temps as well as the position of the sun for sighting.  Nothing too crazy, definitely nothing too strenuous.

Finally, it was time for my wave (Men 30 – 39) to start.  The pseudo-gun went off and away we went.  The race thinned out pretty quick, but I had a bit of difficulty getting into a rhythm.  Finally, I got comfortable and was able to stroke-n-sight my way out to the turnaround buoy and back.  My increased comfort helped with my pace as I was able to pass a number of people on the return trip.  Of course, everyone had on the same colored caps, so I am unsure if I was making progress on other Men 30 – 39 or simply catching up to slower swimmers in the previous heats…I like to think that it was both.  😉

After the swim it was a semi-long run up the beach to the transition area.  I opted to NOT do a flying mount onto my bicycle because the duration of the race did not necessitate the few seconds it may save, and I wanted to ensure my shoes were on well & velcro’d nice as I was going sockless.  Once on the bike I was starting to get into a rhythm when I noticed my aero-drink system affixed to my aerobars was rattling.  Apparently, as I went over one of the early bumps on my bike, the velcro strap came undone.  I fiddled with it for a bit while riding, but reattaching it securely proved unsuccessful.  So…I stopped about five (5) minutes into the ride, got off my bike & re-velcro’d my drink system.  I was a bit upset that I lost some time, but figured I would be riding for 2.5 hrs, so 20 seconds was not the end of the world.  The rest of the ride went well as I felt strong throughout and the weather was kind (read:  not a lot of wind).  I have been working on my nutrition for long course races and was pleased with my consumption of Sport Beans (basically Jelly Beans), GU, Gatorade & water.  I took a long pull from the Gatorade I picked up at the last aid station to try and be “topped off” prior to starting the run.  Near the end of the bike, I pulled my feet out of my cycling shoes and did do a flying dismount because those are pretty easy and I actually think dismounting w/o shoes is easier than dismounting with shoes.  Go figure.

I entered T2, found my spot, racked my bike and started to pull on my socks & running shoes.  I was wearing socks and “normal” running shoes because of the distance of the run and my “triathlon” running shoes gave me some nice blisters during my last race (I think they fit well w/o socks, but not so well w/ socks).  I ran out of transition and onto the run course and got some cheers from Molly.  Thanks Molly!  I settled into a decent rhythm and took a look at my watch.  To break five (5) hours, I “only” needed to run a 1:57 for the ½ marathon.  That definitely seemed doable.  As I was running along, I would check my splits from time-to-time and do the calculation “If I can run X pace, I will finish with Y.”  Initially, it was five (5) hours…then it was a personal Course Record.  Then it was a Half Ironman PR (4:48…2010 IM Boulder 70.3).  At some point, I realized I “only” needed to run 8 min/mile and I would smash my PR and break 4:40!  I was getting excited!!  With about one (1) mile to go, I was still feeling pretty good and I pushed it to the finish.  As I neared the finish line I saw Molly cheering and the clock reading 4:3x:xx.  I was stoked!!

After I crossed the line, I hugged Molly (who was nearly as excited as I was with my PR).  We then made a beeline for some shade and after a few minutes I got some food (yummy veggie tacos) and then indulged in my favorite long course triathlon post-race item:  SODA!!  I (very) rarely drink soda…but after one of these races, I absolutely love it!!  Oogave Natural Soda was at the race and I enjoyed some Cola & Root Beer (and a few sips of Molly’s Grape Fruit…think Sprite).

Final Results:  4:38:05!!  5th in my age group!

Thanks to Molly for all your help and cheers (and pictures) !!

Mile High Multisport (MHM) Max... Getting ready to race!

Mile High Multisport (MHM) Max... Getting ready to race!

Stretching for the swim...

Stretching for the swim...

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

Out of the water... heading to the bike!

Out of the water... heading to the bike!

Max riding shoeless... prepping for flying dismount.

Max riding shoeless... prepping for flying dismount.

Bringing it in with speed!

Bringing it in with speed!

Finished with a Personal Best!

Finished with a Personal Best!

Happy to be done... time to celebrate!

Happy to be done... time to celebrate!

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One Response to “9.Twelve.20Ten – Harvest Moon Triathlon”

  1. Diane Jokerst Says:

    Good job Max! This indeed is exciting. We will see you at one of the next races. D & J

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