While I am happy with my overall result, I feel like I made a lot of mistakes.
The swim was the most brutal swim that I have ever been in. I was kicked, hit, punched, slapped, pushed, and everything else that could happen. That being said I think that I violated quite a few people as well. It was a swim start and all the guys under 30 were in the same wave. It was pretty aggressive. I made my way towards the front of the pack, but it did no good. I had to stop to fix my goggles a couple of time. That never happens. The women started a few minutes before us and we quickly caught them. Then I caught the group in front of them. A couple times I ran into some massive person that was sitting still treading water and trying not to panic. My wetsuit was rubbing on my neck. That also never happens, I must have put the strap in a funny position. Another rookie mistake. I am such an age grouper.
The first transition went well although I have still never tried the flying mount. Mounting my bike, I put my foot on top of my shoe and somehow pushed it off the pedal. I had to stop and put my shoe on like everyone else. Come on Rory, get it together! I took off pedaling and realized that I had no liquids. No water bottle, nothing. I knew that at mile 9 there was an aid station so I just hoped to make it there. The bike was 3 loops. I started pretty conservatively because I don’t think that I have ridden 56 miles at one time this year. At the aid station, I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade. While trying to take a sip and thank the volunteers I somehow managed to squirt the Gatorade up my nose and into my eye. I guess I was squeezing the bottle really hard. I was very thirsty! The first bike loop was faster than I expected. The course was flat and we had a bit of cloud cover so the temperature was perfect. The second loop went well except for my penalty. The three lanes came together to one lane with no shoulders. A dozen people came together and as we tried to get in front of each other two guys in front started talking and going the same speed. There was no way to go forward, back, left or right. The ref pulled up and gave at least 8 of us either drafting or blocking penalties. We were all yelling at these two guys to move, but it was too late. Whatever. The bike ended well and I was excited for the run.
The run started well with the first mile a 7:04. Mile 2 was a 7:10. I was hoping to run 8 minute miles, so this was feeling good. I know that my last two half marathons that I ran were a 7:10 pace. Then it all slowly deteriorated. 8:00, 8:30, blah blah blah. The last four mile were hard. I was definitely shuffling. I think that people were cheering for me because I looked like I was hurting.
Overall, I am really stoked about the time though. 5:01 is almost 15 minutes better than my last half. Of course comparing Kona to Tempe isn’t really fair. I will post pictures as I get them!