FINALLY getting around to posting up my race report for Silverman. I had the text all typed up, but hadn’t sifted through the pictures yet. There were hundreds, and I somehow managed to whittle them down to the ones included here…
After an EXTRA LONG night’s sleep (went to bed early + end of daylight savings).. Minh and I woke up to the pleasant sounds of race announcements outside our window…
Part TWO – Race Day
I thought we should wake up early to make sure we had plenty of time to get ready. Full distance was off at 7AM, Half distance off at 8:30AM… and we woke up at 6AM… why? I don’t know.. but that’s the time I picked. I should have slept in longer, since I had more than an hour of down time before the race started, but it was nice to be up and eat and be completely ready.
The swim was a MASS START at 8:30AM. Over 1000 swimmers all starting at the same time… it was a little intimidating. I stayed off to the left and near the middle since I’m not a fast swimmer. I ended up making an EXTRA big loop around the buoys, which probably increased my swim distance and time, but kept me away from elbows, feet, black eyes, and punches in the gut. The swim felt like it lasted forever… I was definitely happy to be done with it.
Here’s a quick look at how to T1 like a World Champion… Macca-style…
My T1 (in comparison) was much slower and not as graceful…
The bike course was killer… by far the toughest bike course I’ve ever had to ride. The first half of the course through Lake Mead National Recreational Area wasn’t so bad. There were some nice long hills, followed by some long descents for recovery. I was pushing hard up the hills and flying down the descents as fast as I was comfortable (sometimes faster than I was comfortable with). I got passed by a lot of athletes, but I also passed a lot of athletes, so I was feeling confident in my pace. That was until we left the Lake Mead NRA.
Riding through Lake Mead NRA was more difficult than riding through Santiago Canyon, and more difficult than the second half of the River Mountain Trail Loop and then through Henderson to T2. What made the second half of the course so difficult was a few things compounding on eachother:
- fatigue from the first half of the course with the hills and descents
- a long, seemingly never-ending gradual climb
- head winds or cross winds the whole time
- three very steep “sisters” in the middle of the long, seemingly never-ending gradual climb
- very little downhill recovery time
The second half of the course seemed to last FOREVER… and I seemed to be going SOOOOOO S-L-O-W-L-Y that it was incredibly frustrating. It was a much harder bike course than I was prepared for, but I also had a great time riding it. It definitely makes you PUSH yourself, even if you weren’t in a race.
FINALLY got to T2 and handed my bike off to one of the lovely volunteers who disposed of it as necessary. By this time, I was ready to be rid of the thing and get my run on. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t exactly ready to get my run on. I didn’t eat much while on the bike (three gels, two bottles of HEED, one packet of Clif Bloks, some Gatorade), so I figured I’d start fueling at the beginning of the run. First stop I took half a banana and some water. Second stop I took a gel and some water and Gatorade. Third stop I took a handful of pretzels and water…. and then my stomach started to church and ache and running became nearly impossible.. so I had to slow to a walk. For the next few miles I only took in water and had to walk.. A LOT… which made my run a lot slower than I wanted. I would alternate between walking and jogging, but the jogging was very difficult. Overall.. my legs were fine… it was my stomach that didn’t want me running..
What also made it difficult were the HILLS on the course. Some of those hills seemed never-ending.. just like on the bike. Who would have thought a desert city had so many hills??? I never would have guessed. I also am always so surprised at how long a half-marathon actually is. There were times during the run when I thought I was getting close to the finish and there’d still be 3 miles left.. and those three miles seemed to last FOREVER. I don’t know if my head could handle the crazy mind-games… luckily I survived.
After getting through the finishline and getting my medal and t-shirt.. I went straight for the food tent. I was STARVING. I barely ate anything all day on the course, so I was happy to see all the food they had available for us. Two different pastas from Macaroni Grill, pizza (the local pizza store actual had to close down to support the race), chili, milk, sodas, water, cookies, pretzels, bananas, etc. etc. etc… I grabbed a plate-full of pasta, a Coke, and a bowl of chili. It was the most delicious post-race meal I’ve ever eaten. By-passed the massage tent and headed out to meet Minh.
I was definitely a lot MORE SORE after the race than I was after Oceanside… but I survived.. and I had a GREAT time. Still debating whether to come back. It was a great race and an awesome, challenging course. It was also one of the most well-organized races I’d ever been to, with nearly as many volunteers as there were athletes. If I ever DO decide to compete in this race again.. I’ll definitely need to be better prepared.
SWIM – 0:50:24
T1 – 0:05:45
BIKE – 3:55:19
T2 – 0:03:07
RUN – 2:35:30
OVERALL – 7:30:03
Silverman… They don’t call it the “World’s Toughest Triathlon” for nothing…. trust me.