I think I’ve nailed down the 2014 race schedule. Oh my! 3 1/2 IM’s and a Full. Plus some fun races in between. My goal was to race in the spring and fall. That way I can maintain a solid base during the summer and spend time on the boat!
San Juan or White Lake 70.3
Maryland Olympic Du
IMFL is certainly special since I’m racing on the CTF NF Endurance Team! My goal is to raise $5,000 while working with my Annapolis Tri Club peeps to raise $50,000 across a 10 person team. Here is a link where you can make a donation. Also, don’t forget that some companies offer a matching contribution where your money can be doubled!
Well, for the first time, in a long time, I had a fantastic time racing. The weather and wind conditions were perfect. Going into the race, I really did not have expectations because I’m trying to keep focused on IMLP. So when Sherry asked me what time do I think I will be finished, I started jotting down some times. Before I knew it, I had a pretty high bar to meet. I have to say, I came in the race in a great mind set. Nerves were doing great. The rain kept me out of the pool and having to attend a viewing/funeral, forced a bit more rest than I was scheduled for. I’m guessing it was a blessing that my body needed.
For dinner, I had a large caesar salad and baked sweet potato. I have to say, that just hit the spot. Plus a scoop of ice cream with the kids. In the morning, I had a honey / homemade nut butter sandwich on TJ ezekiel bread. Plus 2 bananas and a natural gatorade from Whole Foods that has less garbage. Pre-race I had about 12 oz of electrolyte water and 1 scoop of heed. This was in my 24 oz water bottle.
The water conditions were very nice. The tide was rolling out so I would be fighting the current going out. My plan all along once I saw the tide tables, was to stay inside the sight buoys. This kept me out of the traffic and not getting run over. I got right into my swim groove for the first time. It was so nice. No swim start panic, just straight into freestyle. As I was approaching the first turn buoy, things start to get a little choppy. It felt more like boat traffic, than anything. When, I made the turn, I kept getting pushed back towards the park so the current must have been rolling more than I thought. Made the second turn buoy and could see the park. Plus I could see all kinds of color caps and they were the waves in front of me. I was swimming great, sticking to free style, and before I knew it I was knee deep water. I could walk in and start to strip. I have to say, this was my best swim ever. It might not have been a PR time wise, but it was a PR all around swim from start to finish. A swim I really enjoyed.
I was up into transition and was able to get out of my wetsuit super quick. The body glide on the calves really helped. Downside of having big legs. Got my shoes, helmet, glasses on and ran thru the mud. Went past the mount kicked the mud out of my cleats and I was off.
The bike got going and really started to crank it up from the gate. As I was riding, I kept feeling like the rear wheel was out of balance. My thought was I had some mud on it that was causing it. By the time I hit church creek, I was cruising right along. I kept sipping my primary fuel bottle (3 scoops of HEED and TJ electrolyte water). Even though the weather was perfect, I was taking salt pills about every 20 minutes or so. I also ate a cliff block. By the time I turned left onto Smithfield Rd, I was at 59 minutes and I knew that was a great first hour. As I was approaching Hoopers Island Rd, I reloaded with a second HEED bottle. This bottle had 2 scoops of HEED and TJ electrolyte water. I get up to Key Wallace and still was noticing the wheel having that out of balance feel. I was still going good on taking salts and I did another cliff block prior to getting to Egypt. Once on Egypt, I was feeling for wind. Nothing. I was like oh my, the beast is behaving today. Riding without HR, I took a peak at my watch and was loving the pace. I was holding steady at 22.7. I then noticed Rinny on the side of the road cramping up. I was like oh my, I did not expect to see a pro still on the road let alone her. The ride back to Hudson Rd was just grinding in setting the legs up for the run but I was feeling great. Best bike feeling I’ve had at this distance. Then once I got onto Hudson, it got super crowded. I finally said this is too big of a cluster dropped the hammer and passed the larger pack. I was also nice to see that the run course was pretty light on runners going out. I was thinking, I must be doing a great split here. Got thru the access road and thru the neighborhood. Turned right at the school and than pop! More like BOOM!!! The rear wheel finally gave out. I was not going to change a wheel out for the last mile. I jumped off the bike and started to run. Then a volunteer said, it might be easier to run without cleats on. SO, I reclipped the shoes into the pedals and start to run barefoot. I was going so slow and so badly wanted a 2:30 split, I said heck with it and soft pedaled back in and dismounted.
OMG, what a mud pit coming back into transition. By the time I got to the rack, my feet and legs were covered in mud. I took the 3rd bottle that I drank in T0, I washed down my legs then dried them off. My feet were slipping a bit in my tri shoes on the bike, so I wanted to dry them off best I could. Helmet off and visor and running shoes on, I was out on the run.
Well, by the time I got out of T2, I really had to pee. I was trying to pee on the bike but kept thinking that my speedfil bottle was below me. I ran by the first set of porta potties and did not want to wait for a line. Hit the second set and aid station after mile 1 and saw an open one. Ran in and it seem to take minutes in there. Got done, grabbed a cup of ice because I was really getting hot and down the shorts. Sip of coke and was back on the run. I then passed the #1 female pro. This was a great sign since I was a mile up from last year or so. As the ice melted super quick, I noticed that my feet were starting to slide around and blisters were coming. I then reached the school, saw my coach coming in looking strong, and we exchanged shout outs. By mile 3 or so, the blisters were screaming. Just screaming. I knew I just had to keep running and get thru it. Each aide station I would either throw ice down the shorts or water over the head. Just alternating. I was then switching back between soda and Gatorade. About mile 4, my stomach was starting to get upset so I popped two tums. Then around mile 5, I had to run more on the shoulder that had some pitch. My feet really started screaming. I had to get back in the road and off the shoulder. I got passed by some peeps that were going at a great clip. I was able to hit the turn around and heading back in. This is when I noticed the run getting a bit more crowded. Coming back, I started to see some faces I knew. Then I got lucky. A guy passed me at a pace I could jump on. I said, I hope you don’t mind me tagging along. He was a local and a ton of people knew him. It was nice getting some juju from people cheering him on. I would get thru the aid stations a bit ahead and that help pushed him back up to pace. It was nice hitting the one around mile 7/8, a volunteer ran up and handed me a coke because they were not ready. It was amazing he helped me out that much because I frankly did not stop to wait. Amazes me what people do to help. By the time we hit the access road, I hear him shout come on Crab because I was starting to fade. That got me back up to pace and striding. As we headed into the neighborhood, more cheers. Heck, I took it as they were cheering for me. By the time we hit the mile 9 or so aide station, my pacer fell off. I yelled back but frankly did not want to break stride and stop the momentum because my feet were on fire. When I hit the last aid station, I dumped cold water over my head, then another cup on my arms because I was really starting to get hot. Then I could see the park. I looked at my watch and knew I was close to 5 hours or just over. I just did not have that gear to pick it up to finish strong for that last 1/2 mile. By the time I hit the chute, I passed one last guy sprinting in. So happy I was done. Got my ice towel, finishers medal, then hit the firetruck to cool off. That is one of the best parts of this race. Firemen hosing you off with very cold water showers.
I was happy that my family met me after getting hosed off and to hear, well we did not think you would be in so soon. We then got a quick pix on the podium stand. Went back to the ATC tent and had a cold beer. That was so refreshing. Well, I knew my feet were bad but I had to get out of my shoes. I went back to get my flips and noticed how bad my feet were. I said, I should hit the medical tent because those army guys know how to deal with blisters. I was in the med tent for some time and they treated me and put bandages on. All and all a great day.
Going into Eagleman, I had very little taper because of Placid. The training volume certainly made these distances very manageable and put in perspective. I’m so stoked I had a PR. Knowing that I lost several minutes with the flat and having to pee, I know breaking 5 is in reach. A PR on the bike, missing the PR on the run by 12 seconds, it was a fantastic day.
Overall 5:04:15 (PR)
Swim – 40:22 @ 2:05/100m
T1 – 2:33
Bike – @ 22.11 MPH (PR)
T2 – 1:59
Run – 1:47:22 @ 8.11/mi
Looks like long course nationals are going to Rev 3 Anderson! That means that Blair might be able to race with me that weekend since Rev3 also has the Little Rev family style races the day before. Much better venue and logistics than OK. Whoot Whoot!
The conditions at Pocono where overcast race start at 48 degrees. Temp stayed in the low 50’s on the bike and never really got warmed up. With that cold of temps, I figured my sweat rate would not be high enough to warrant salt pills. I certainly did not take in as many calories on the bike as planned. Somehow this low calorie load worked out and I did not bonk. Plus I PR’ed my run which was a good sign.
Breakfast around 4:15 AM, I had my typical pre-race meal.
- 2 Bananas
- WF Organic English Muffins with Honey and Almond Butter spread
- 2 8 oz cups of TJ Garden Patch veggie juice.
- 33.8 oz bottle of SmartWater.
Breakfast Nutrition Details
- Calories Consumed – 904.2
- Calorie Deficit – (904.2)
- Carbohydrates (g) – 317.2
- Sugar (g) – 49.2
- Protein (g) – 27.8
- Sodium (mg) – 2,272.6
- Potassium (mg) – 2,577.2
- Caffeine (mg) – 0
- Fluids (oz) – 49.8
During T0, I just had a 12 oz bottle of water and no nutrition. Swim start was around 7:40 since they were running a bit behind on the waves. That meant this was 3 hours & 25 minutes prior to the start of me racing.
The swim I was pretty hydrated and cramp free. The fact that I had to go twice was a good sign I was hydrated.
Swim Nutrition Details
- Calories Consumed – 0
- Calories Burned – 380 (650 cals / hr)
- Calorie Deficit – 380
- Fluids (oz) – 0
During the bike, I carried my 1/2 IM mix I have been using all season. 3 24 oz bottle with 1 scoop Perpetuem, 2 scoops HEED with smartwater. Drinking this was another story. My HR was such a yo-yo the nutrition was just killing my stomach going down. Next season, I really want to switch to a more whole food based nutrition plan.
- 2/3 bottle of (1 scoop Perpetuem, 2 scoops HEED) with smartwater
- 6 oz Water at station 2
- 6 oz Water at station 3
- 1 antacids
- 200 mg ibuprofen (aka Vitamin I)
Bike Nutrition Details
- Calories Burned – 2,324.0 (872)
- Calories Consumed – 223.3
- Calorie Deficit – 2,100.7
- Carbohydrates (g) – 52.7
- Sugar (g) – 5.7
- Protein (g) – 2.0
- Sodium (mg) – 123.3
- Potassium (mg) – 58.3
- Caffeine (mg) – 0
- Fluids (oz) – 33.3
On the run, as soon as I got out of T2, I ate 1/2 Banana. Then knowning that my nutrition plan on the bike was so far behind, I hit the coke at each aid station (10 in total). I’m guessing on the amount per cup so I will just round up to 42 oz to keep the nutrition calcs simple. Some were full, some not so much, so I just average things.
- 1/2 Banana
- 4 oz cup Coke each water station (10x)
- 4 oz cup Water each aid station (10x)
- 2 antacids
Run Nutrition Details
- Calories Burned – 1,559.0 (874 cals / hr)
- Calories Consumed – 492.5
- Calorie Deficit – 1,066.5
- Carbohydrates (g) – 133.5
- Sugar (g) – 127.0
- Protein (g) – 0.5
- Sodium (mg) – 44.6
- Potassium (mg) – 221.0
- Caffeine (mg) – 113.3
- Fluids (oz) – 80.0
At the end of the day, I was able to PR overall time, PR swim time, and PR run time. I think this was more luck, than smart nutrition planning. I never felt close to getting that bonk feeling. Plus it was my best feeling run with minimal pain and also was able to run the entire run for the first time.
Final Nutrition Totals
- Calories Burned – 4,263.0 (806.8 cals / hr)
- Calories Consumed – 1,620.0
- Calorie Deficit – 2,643.0
- Carbohydrates (g) – 556.0
- Sugar (g) – 187.5
- Protein (g) – 32.3
- Sodium (mg) – 2,563.9
- Potassium (mg) – 2,914.9
- Caffeine (mg) – 113.3
- Fluids (oz) – 196.5
I have been fortunate enough to qualify for US Long Course Nationals next year. In reading the August USAT board minutes, it appears that Anderson SC is being proposed by the sub-committee. That means it moves to Rev 3 in Anderson SC in October. This gives a couple more weeks between IMLP and this race to recover and train. This is certainly doable. That should be fun and something I can bring the family to as well!!!!
In case anyone’s interested, here are the minutes.
Well, I wanted to get 3 1/2 IM’s in and I was debating between Half Full, the Skipjack, and Poconos. A small group was heading north and I could not convince anybody to head out towards Columbia so signed up for Poconos. This was the 2nd year for this race. Plus with issues last year, the revamped the course this year. We left early Saturday morning and man this was some logistics that really took some planning. T1 was about 15 miles away from T2. I had to check my bike in and my run bag on Saturday. That also meant that I had no access to either one after that. I could bring some things to T1 Sunday morning but would not have access to T1 stuff post mounting of the bike. That said, I had two sets of socks, 2 body glides, etc. for each bag. Plus my kitchen sink tri bag had to stay in the car which I really had zero access to once I got dropped off. This certainly played on my OCD tendencies of trying to remember what/if was in what bag etc. I finally said, ok, this is my “C” race and so be it. I’m just going to have fun. Doing my recon lap of the run course I realized man this is a hill going out. What we really did not know what the exact turn around spot since it was not all that well marked distance wise. So at the top of the hill where we thought was half way, we stopped and turned around. I then did a quick run when we got back and that told me that my jacket would be way to hot run in. We then drove the bike course. This was helpful and we really knew and got to see firsthand the sink hole. It was as deep as my knees. We were running out of light and missed a turn and really got lost. This was not a good sign since we really never got to see the last 16 miles or so.
Race morning man it was a cold 48 degrees. The water temp was 64 degrees. The swim course seemed a bit different than marked. The sight buoys bowed out on the swim back and made watching the pros interesting. After all, those are guides and the turn buoys are what you have to follow. Again I was in wave 8 with yet another hot pink swim cap the same as Steelhead. This time I elected for my full sleeve suit since it was pretty cold out. I also walked down to the beach with my disposable socks to defer the investable. Once my wave was called, that cold water took me forever to use to. Having swimmers ear and not being in the pool for 2 weeks, I knew my swim would be rusty until I got going. Compounded with the water temp, this really took me a while to get comfortable. Basically by 1/2 mile in, I got settled and could stick with just free stroke. Not sure if I finally said the heck with it or my face was so numb anyway. Plus I was able to keep with my wave for the most part doing mixed stroke but when I made the turn back, I sighted on the final green turn buoy and took the straightest line. Keep in mind, that was inside of the sight buoys but I know I was doing ok. By the time I got around the last turn buoy, I was starting to kick to get blood flowing in the legs and then took my time out of the plywood ramp figuring it was going to be slippery.Got into T1 and man that took some time. I had to fold and stuff my wetsuit into a small bag. Plus make sure my goggles, cap, etc all got in there if I wanted to see them again. That certainly took extra time in addition to putting arm warmers, a vest, UA beanie plus the usual stuff. I already had toe covers on my shoes. I started to run out of T1 and went past the mount line and was off. Started at a pretty good pace out of the park and then started down the mountain. People were just dive bombing that hill. It was super-fast with a great road surface but man it was more than I wanted to descend. Plus my quad were shaking they were so cold. It was about 51 degrees at this point. The out and back was nuts. Drafting everywhere and all I kept thinking is where is the official because I did not want a penalty. Now about 10 miles into the bike, I had to pee. I was like what the heck since I already broke that seal twice on the swim. The first aid station was cluster. You had to dismount to get stuff vs taking things on the fly. I guess this was because the out and back was on the other side of the road and not your typical ride on the right shoulder. It made sense so you would not have cross traffic coming down the mountain and people finishing the out and back. But, it still took some getting used to. My pace on the first hour was crazy fast. I was like I cannot keep up at 24mph and have a decent run. I tried to keep it within Z2/Z3 but then the hills started. I would jack right up climbing (even sitting in the saddle and a higher cadence). Granny was my friend and I used her often. On the descends, things were fine. Now with my HR yo-yo every time I took nutrition, my stomach felt like crap. I just could not stomach anything. I also really had to pee. By the time I hit mile 40, this was starting to get painful. I did take some water at the next aid station. Again, the climbing, even the liquid calories my stomach was not having it. Once I made the turn (that we previous got lost on), I was majorly cramping around my kidneys. It was hurting so back, I could not get aero. I had to ride the horns all the way back in. Plus, it was hurting so bad, I could not even let things go while on the bike. Yes that did cross the mind but the body was not having it. I was about 2 miles from town when I saw people waving slow down. See a guy that looked pretty bad shape, man did I hit this bump. I darn near got airborn. Ah the joys of no depth perception. Able to regroup, that just meant I really needed to PEE. Once I racked my bike, run shoes on in record time, belt, visor, and then portipotty. It seemed like a minute in there but so good. I then raced out of T2 pain free.
I got running and we went thru town. Knowing that this was a pretty big grind up as you left town, I kept my pace. Also realizing that I did not take on hardly any nutrition, I was taking coke more than water on the aid stations. This time as I was running thru the neighborhood, I was seeing a lot of pros coming back in. Maybe I noticed them more this time. I was previously luckily to just catch the 1st female around mile 1 as she was coming in. This time, I was much further out and seeing a lot more pros out there. I was like ok this is pretty good and I’m running ok. Once on the main road the run got pretty boring. I was not able to find anyone to talk to and pass some time or pace. People were passing me at a much faster pace than I wanted to run or the opposite. I then started the big climb up to where we thought the turnaround was. Once we hit the summit, we were down the back side going out another mile or so. Talk about a ball buster. At that point, I was starting to see some peeps and cheering them on as they were me. Once I reclimbed the hill and back down the other side and was thru the next aid station, I was truly blessed to run into a 23 year old who was about the pace I could keep. We started chatting. That really helped get thru that boring section. During that stretch I also saw a car that look like mine, had Maryland tags, had ATC tags, wait that was my car. Then I saw this crazy lady hanging out of it cheering. That certainly brought a smile to me when I needed it. Plus this was about mile 9 or 10 and the wheels were starting to come off. He was struggling too. We were able to talk each other thru it and maintain our pace. About mile 11, I looked down and saw we were going in stride at a 7:45 pace and he was picking it up. I was happy with my pace and told him have a great race and he hit the gas home. Once we hit town I was expecting to turn right back to T2 but was told to turn left. This was quite a shock. Next thing I know I’m running down main street into a block party. This was freaking amazing. The chute was blocks long and people just screaming, cows bells ringing. Next thing I noticed I was across and they were removing my timing chip. Running the entire time and never walked a single bit. I was elated. When I saw the timing splits, I was even more elated because I negative split the run which was a major goal for this race. Getting a PR was the last thing that crossed my mind with swimmers ear, not running as much as I wanted to prior. The rest did me great. Third 1/2 IM and Third PR.
I got a bottle of water and downed that. Then walking around I got two well-deserved cookies. Next up was the massage tent. I looked at the guy and he said put your name down and I’m about 45 minutes out. Walking around a bit, my buddy Jeff then crossed. Having nobody else nearby, I was like Starbucks. I tucked away $10 in my tri tank and it was still wet. We walked up to the counter and said the two biggest coffees $10 can buy. She was kind enough to calculate out scenarios and give us our drinks. After that, it was massage time for me. That 15 minute leg flush was money. The masseuse hit my left IT band and I damn near jumped of the table. Next up BEER. After all, it’s Oktoberfest season and they had it one draft. I know that this was the last thing my body wanted / needed after I went thru but my mind was like oh my that was yummy! We then packed up since the storms unloaded and everyone was in safely. Then fueled up and drove home. The next day I saw my Chiro and that leg flush did wonders. It was the cleanest I have been on the table and by today, I was walking around fine.
I think this race gets a bad rap for being a mountainous course. It was hilly but I never saw anyone on the bike walking up a hill. The town support was amazing and overshadowed the PITA logistics. I really enjoyed this race that was not too far from home. Granted, getting a PR does not hurt either but it was a picturesque bike and the town support was again amazing. Final result was 5:17 and my splits were the following:
Swim – 35:45
T1 – 5:27
Bike – 2:44:12 or 20.46 mph
T2 – 4:29
Run – 1:47:10 or 8:10 m/m
Even though that bike felt horrific, I was able to PR the swim, the run splits and overall time was a PR. What a great way to end the season!
I just found out that I qualified for Long Course Nationals. It seems that anyone in my AG with a time better than 5:25 gets in. My Steelhead time did that. Right now that’s being hosted by Halfmax Championship out in Oklahoma. This year the race is in September. Very, very tempting. Will I have enough gas in the tank after IMLP to keep training? Decisions, decisions.