Fireworks or blowing up

Sadly it was the later for me and the former for Darren at the Longhorn half today.

I had an average swim, probably about 34 mins and was out on the bike pretty quickly and surprisingly way ahead of my schedule and pace. I went through 50 miles with an average speed of 21MPH and pushed hard to maintain it to the end finishing in around 2Hrs 44mins, way quicker than planned and that would cost me.

Meanwhile, Darren was 5th out of the water and had just caught the leaders and the lead car when he punctured. He fixed up the tire and got back to work as quick as he could. He came in to T2 in 14th.

I started to warm-up on the run after a slow start, Darren was flying when I saw him. He recovered all the places he'd lost except 1st, a great result.

Me? I got to mile-4 on the run with a struggle, my feet hurt, and I was badly bloated, or at least I felt that way. Got to the 6-mile mark after walking at least 2-miles, did a quick calculation and decided that it was going to take me another 1-hour 30-mins to finish, decided to quit. Not worth the pain wouldn't make it in 6hrs. Oh well.

When it came to the awards, Darren actually got 3rd. Got beaten by an age grouper in an entirely different wave, by just under a minute. I have some sympathy for getting robbed for 2nd since Darren would likely have chased him down and beaten him had he been able to see him, but since he was in a different wave... oh well.

It was an epithany for me. No Ironman in 2008, no more half iron distance triathlons. Next year I'll be back at the Longhorn for the Aquabike. A quick look at the results suggests I'd have either won, or come second this year, overall. And heck, I know I can't run so why bother?

NEXT UP LAF 5k next Saturday.

I'm so sorry for you
I really thought you looked great at my "station" at 969/Blake Manor (I picked this spot because I'd read your previous posts and thought it was the best place for encouragement... aka COWBELL)

I wondered what happened to Darren because you had posted he'd be at the front and I was puzzled when I didn't see him till 15-20 people passed. He probably didn't hear me but after I saw his number (posted on seatpost) I yelled, "GO DARREN!!!" and rang my cowbell a lot. I'm not sure what Brits think about cowbell... but our training groups here love it for motivation!

Once again, I'm truly sorry you had so much foot pain. I was out there anyway for my friend Carolyn who did her first Half Ironman, and was glad to at least talk to you to find out what happened. Hope Darren made his flight okay.

I saw a couple people at my bike "station" with "Chicago Tri Club" on the side of their tri-shorts and I just thought.. I'm sorry.. who knew it'd be like 95 degrees in October?? My friend Rob did do the aquabike and you know, I think even I could get behind that.. Aquabike all 'round for next year! tell Darren he did a great job!

It was smart to pull out
In the office at 5:35am the day after an(aborted) half IM race, without any pain, says it all.

The foot pain was just a symptom for my DNF not the cause. Unlike many for whom yesterday was a test of character, mental fortitude, physical achievement, it wasn't for me. I'd had a clear 8-weeks of of training, the question was could I go under 6-hours, not could I finish?

I've done three HIM races before, so I knew I could finish, they were hard and relatively painful. Once I realised I wasn't going to be able to go under 6.30hrs I decided there was no point it going through the pain. Thats not to minimize all those that did complete the race and who went through the pain, it just wasn't for me.

So Darrens on his way home, I think he had a good week. As always, thank you for helping out! and yes we "brits" get the cowbells and do appreciate the encouragement!
Re: I'm so sorry for you
Yes I did hear you shout my name and at first was a little puzzled but then remembered mark said you would be on that stretch of road.

The encouragement from marshalls and spectators was awesome the whole way round and I am very glad I stuck in there and finished, making the podium was a huge surprise as I thought I was maybe top 5-7 at best and I think a couple dropped out on the run.

Thanks again Mark for a great week, loads of great sights and memories and yes I think Aqua Bike could be made for you!

Pretty good bike and swim
sorry the run didn't quite go as planned.

It's be pretty cool to win the aquabike next year - go for it!

I admit it, especially given the painful conditions (and the close to home course), I'm thinking of doing Longhorn next year - the half, not the aquabike :D

FYI, there are Irondistance aquabikes ....