When I was a kid, my dad used to introduce my mom as "my better half" at Rotary Club events. I think if I tried that today I'd be dead. Quick. Luckily, this isn't about that: this is about the Delaware Diamondman Triathlon, a Half Ironman distance event, September 9. This was my third half, and hands-down my best results in a half, so far.
Overall time: six hours, 24 minutes. My other two halves were 7:05 last September, and 6:46 last May. A 40-minute improvement in a year!
Swim (1.2 miles): 50 minutes (50:41). Really it was 44 minutes, but there was a 1/4 mile run from the end of the swim to the transition area, where the timing mat was, so that run time was part of the swim time. And then there was that porta-potty on the way... May's half-swim was 42 minutes, and last September's was 54 (and that was all swim). So the swim is still my weakest leg - I'll work on it after the marathon!
Bike (56 miles): 2:55, at an average speed of 19.1 mph. That's my best showing on the bike in any triathlon so far, regardless of length. May's half-bike was 3:31, and last September's was 3:28.
Run (13.1 miles): 2:32, not be best showing, but given that it came at the end of a great bike leg, I really wasn't pushing the run, knowing I was going to come with with a new PR (personal record) for a half. May's half-run was 2:31, and last September's was 2:38.
The good news about the run is that, taking it easy, at about the mid-point of my aerobic heart rate zone - running in the mid 140's beats per minute range - I felt good, finished strong, and was not empty at the end. Follow that up with a stand-alone 14 mile run last weekend at 2:13 in the same mid-aerobic range, and I'm feeling very confident about the marathon, now.
In fact, I'm finally ready to set a target. I think I can finish the marathon in 4:30. Last year, the male winner, Hosea Kimutai, finished in 2:17; and the female, Maryina Bychkova, in 2:40. So we're not talking fast at 4:30, but although my goal is to finish with the best time I can...my real goal is to finish.