Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Revolution 3 Cedar Point Full Rev. took place on September 12 and it was a fun filled day. The official race report is can be found at http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=226825. But there is so much more to the story
My last week prior to the race, work decided to make thing interesting and I had a few crisis es to deal with. It took all focus off thinking about the race. In fact I really seemed almost more excited about the fact I had gotten into Ironman Canada for next year. But I had to push off my departure for Cedar Point by a day and my plan to pack and get my car tuned and get a haircut were replaced with an extra day at work waiting for people to review my report. I didn't even know if I would have had to come back on Friday until late Thursday night. Fortunately that part actually worked out and I only had to take care of the car Friday morning before hitting the road around noon. Got to Cedar Point at about 8:30 pm but I discovered Panera Bread has awesome black cherry smoothies to go with that great bread. Followed a car with a very nice bike on the roof since I sort of knew they were headed my way. Finally got there and missed all the pre race get together with Team Trakkers in the park but I just checked in with Tammy and went to bed.
The next morning I went out my backdoor to the beach and the swim practice. And the Team Trakkers, Tri Slide demo. Met Carol on the beach and soon saw the rest of my green clad teammates. SO I got to sneak up on people and spray them down with Tri Slide then get some pictures and do a practice swim. If I didn't feel good about the race at this point that swim just freaked me out. I never thought a lake could be so rough and the 5-6 foot swells beat me up on the ways out, didn't let me swim parallel and stay on line and pushed me way off line in the way in. From there I headed to the Trakkers tent and got a 1 on 1 session with Robert form First Endurance for about a half hour before he had to head to the airport. From there I gave away stuff, and hung out till around 1:30. Then I packed up my transition bags and then wheeled my bike to the beach and carried it to the Transition and then listened to the athletes meeting and ate a Turkey sandwich and pizza sticks and went back to the hotel, turned on the TV and feel asleep.
In the morning I made up my 4 bottles of EFS and 1 bottle of UltraGen and mixed one more for breakfast along with some chomps. Didn't pick up some bagels the night before. Filled my EFS liquid shot bottles and headed over to transition. Got weighed and body marked, put my stuff on my bike and then got my tires pumped up and then it was 5:30 and I went to the changing tent and got changes and just sat in the dark and reflected a bit. I zoned out and still wasn't in a racing mindset. At 6:30 I visited the porta potties and then headed up the beach to the swim start. Now my stomach just didn't feel good. I sat down on the beach and dropped off my dry clothes bag. Then shifted the start back a few minutes for the pros to start at 7:00and the pro women at 7:03 and then it was time to shuffle towards the shoreline.
I absolutely love the feeling in those last few minutes. You can feel the tension in the air as everyone was lost in their thoughts. My thoughts were still, "what am I doing here today?" Not the most positive thing. But then the horn went and we trotted to the water and started wadding and wadding about 200 yards out. But that spread things out and then I was swimming nice and smooth and bam I felt great. Then swim was pretty uneventful I swam straight and the lake was about 75% calmer and I just got into a nice smooth rhythm. Half way we were up and wadding to shore and then running down the beach for leg number two. That messed with me for a while but I got back into control. The lake got a bit rougher that loop but it wasn't too bad. Stayed smooth and warm and got thru the swim well.
Transition was slow and uneventful till I got out to my bike the dropped my glasses and got my butt kicked putting on my arm warmers (one inside out), and then got going.
The bike started off smooth as I trailed one of my Trakkers teammates as I got a drink of EFS and got into rhythm and shifted up to the big ring and started riding. I tried to make sure I kept in a few gear lighter and didn't push too hard, but I was cruising along and then caught Jamie as the guy in front of us nearly ran into the cone. Was going good until we got off the causeway and hit a bump and my aerobar and headset both rotated. I pulled the aerobar back up as best I could but I really should have stopped and fixed it right there since I could already tell it was uncomfortable. I did good for about 40-50 miles and then my back started hurting. My legs were fine but it was not comfortable in aero. Plus the wind was starting to pick up. Bjorn Anderson Powered past me at around 45 miles and he was flying. I was drinking my EFS every 5 miles or so and taking a liquid shot every 10 and doing well keeping up with my nutrition. Stopped at special needs at about mile 50 and got my new bottles and liquid shot flasks and stretched my back and then got going again. Did not have any other props catch up to me so Bjorn was way ahead as when turn for the second loop. The second loop was just a real pain in the back and then the wind picked up to just make things worse. With the wind and back pain I started to fuel less frequently as my mind was distracted by the pain. That started a bit of a downward spiral as I was slowing due to my back and not fueling due to the wind and back and by the time i made it back to the causeway I was really ready to get off that bike. My butt, my hands, my neck, other parts I care not to mentions joined my back in screaming out in discomfort. That causeway just ket going and going and the road was rough. Both of my teammates passed my back in the last 2 miles but at least that distracted me from the pain for a bit. Finally we reached the end and turned into the parking lot and finally the dismount line. Woo Hoo. Started out averaging 20 mph ended up about 16.75 mph and average about 18 mph overall. Still my second best ironman ride but I felt rotten. Mainly because i only had 1 flask of EFS and a bottle and a 1/4 of EFS over the second half. The best nutritional in the world doesn't do much good sitting on my bike frame. And to think Robert even talked to me about this the day before.
T2 was long and slow over 10 min, but I put on some sunscreen and gooped up my feet, drank a full bottle of UltraGen and then headed to the Porta Potty. Right there I had a wardrobe malfunction as my zipper picked right there to break. So I got to run the marathon with an open top showing my chest, but no sunscreen. Started off and shuffled onto the marathon course.
The run started off very rough as I shuffled along and just vowed to shuffle to the first aid station. Saw the leader and second place pro just before reaching the aid station which was cool. Started off taking water, and grapes and tried Cera Sport. Hate to pan something but that stuff was flat out nasty and I didn't have any EFS. Shuffled to the next aid station and got a banana and grapes. Saw a guy go down and stayed there to make sure he was ok and got some help, looked heat related. They called the ambulance and dumped water on him and when he seemed in good hands I moved along. Turns out one of the folks helping him was the minister who gave the invocation this morning. He put his race aside to stick with this guy and and help him to the end walking most of the second loop, which was very cool to here the next morning. For me, i said a little prayer and had that moment. I was hot and dehydrated and not feeling good but I asked myself the question "DO you have what it takes to see this thing to the end?" Yes I do I said to no one as I shuffled away to the next aid station. I settled in to water, cola and grapes each aid station walking until I got all the grapes down, and then off. But about mile 5 my legs started to come to me and my shuffle finally evolved to a stride. I was feeling better and the crowd was great as a couple people told me they saw me on the bike and it felt good. Same with the silver wigged group. I hit a bathroom break at mile 7 which was a good sign and I came out and start to actual run. From mile 9.3 to mile 16 I actually ran my best segment dropping from a 12 min mile to a 10:26 average. I kept it up and actually started feeling good and interacting with the crowd, talking to the other athletes who needed a boost, and most of all thanking the aid station folks. Kept my routine but was running good. I made it around to the end of the first loop and it was tough to see that 26 mile sign and have to turn the other direction. Skipped special needs (only had a sweat top and bag of chomps). Caught up to Jamie right as we left the park. He looked rough and I shouted some encouragement but had to keep moving. The second loop was actually fun, I kept walking the aid stations and stopped for a second pit stop at mile 20, but I was running pretty well from aid station to aid station. The crowd stayed great and the police support at each intersection was also great. As I reached mile 21 and had the miles down to 1 hand, I started to think "when is sunset 7:15 or 8:15? Could I actually get a PR out of this? The sun was still up so maybe. My legs started getting heavier but I was feeling so incredibly positive and pushed along. The sun set about mile 24 but I got to see an awesome sunset going across the road to Cedar Point. Had the aid station worker tell get me the grapes without having to ask and cheer me on, I felt good. Just got a quick drink on the last aid station but seeing that 25 mile sign was a beautiful sight. I passed a guy coming into the parking lot and he cheered me one which was cool, I was cruising along and passed 2 other people. Of course at the same time seeing the folks heading out for lap #2 was a bit sad. Must have been tough seeing the looks of joy and excitement on the faces of the athletes finishing up and knowing you still had a ways to go. I hope they all finished and go the chance to feel my joy. Coming into the park and thru the rides to the carpet and the video screens and boom there was my picture on the big screen. I had the chute to myself so i pumped my hands and waved my arms and got called in by Whit. Felt great. Saw 13:05:59 on the clock 2 min short of my PR but later found out that was from the pro start and my official time was 12:53:29 a 10:30 PR.
Didn't expect much but kept with it worked through the hard time and had a great experience for the marathon and got a PR despite not getting my best time for any of the disciplines or T1 and T2 for that matter. Very Satisfying. Great race and a great time.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This has been a very strange year for me. I discovered First Endurance products this winter and they worked so well for me I had far and away my best offseason every. I rode two 500+ miles months and a 668 miles month in February and was seeing my performance improve considerably. Got to my first tri of the year, Rev 3 Olympic at Knoxville and was having a great race right until I went flying over the handlebars of my brand new Kestral. From there my season changed abuptly. I got back up to finish despite trashing my hands, face, wrist, and ribs as well as my bike. I finished almost out of spite looking like a zombie. But from that point on my season was just messed up. I had to heal up and recover for most of the next month, which got my back in the water just in time for Rev 3 Quazzy. I decided since I wasn't going to be competitive I might as well do something a bit different and did the Revolution (Olympic on Sat and HIM on Sun on a very challenging and hilly course). I did fairly well in the Olympic and then survivied the HIM but a month off of serious training just made it really tough.
From there I just seemed to loose my enthusiam, and had a really hard time putting some good training together. The best thing that happened for me was going on vacation to Puerto Vallarta , Mexico and having my wife throw down the gauntlet and say no sweaty clothes for 2 weeks. Surprisingly that was just what I needed. I had a great tmie and when I got back my enthusiam had returned and my body was finally snapping back. Had a great month of August 640 miles bike, 125 miles run and even some good swim numbers.
So here I am, 7 days before an Iron Distance race. I really have no idea what to expect. I feel good but I don't know if my base it there. This is my first Iron Distance on my Kestral which shoukd help, I been using my UltraGen which is great stuff, got my EFS and EFS Liquid Shot. I should be set.
So what do I try and set my sight on a PR? Qualifying for half max? Just finishing? I have not idea what to expect. So I think I am going to throw any expectations out the window and just let whatever happens happen.