What a great IMAZ race report from Jenn.
The conditions at Eagleman were just flat out perfect. I always like to start with a good meal and get that in early enough to digest and get out of my stomach in time for the swim.
Breakfast around 5:15 AM, I had my typical pre-race meal.
- 2 Bananas
- TJ Ezekiel Bread with Honey and homemade Almond/Peanut/Flax Butter spread
- 1 bottle of Gatorade (Natural from Whole Foods)
During T0, I just had a 12 oz bottle of HEED / TJ Electrolyte water. Swim start was around 7:35. That meant this was 2 hours & 20 minutes prior to the start of me racing.
Breakfast Nutrition Details
- Calories Consumed – 1119.8
- Calorie Deficit – (0)
- Carbohydrates (g) – 309.8
- Sugar (g) – 61.8
- Protein (g) – 19.8
- Sodium (mg) – 755.0
- Potassium (mg) – 1465.7
- Calcium (mg) – 187.2
- Magnesium (mg) – 258.6
- Caffeine (mg) – 0
- Fluids (oz) – 47.7
The swim I was pretty hydrated and had to go twice was a good sign I was hydrated. I did not catch any fluids coming into T1 though I was looking for some Gatorade to keep hydrated.
Swim Nutrition Details
- Calories Consumed – 0
- Calories Burned – 433 (approx. 650 cals / hr)
- Calorie Deficit – 433
- Fluids (oz) – 0
During the bike, I carried my revised 1/2 IM mix I have been using all season. My primary bottle is 24 oz bottle with 3 scoops of unflavored HEED with TJ Electrolyte water. Second bottle had 2 scoops of HEED. Third bottle that had just 1 scoop and I drank 1/2 of it in T0. Last couple races I have not gotten to the 3rd bottle so I was going to get so water on course if I needed too. I was pretty good now that I have a speed fil hose to sip on and stay aero. Just sipping along the way. I was also good in getting 6 salt pills spaced out over the course. The temps were cool but this is Eagleman and maybe it was a little bit of cramp insurance.
Bike Nutrition Details
- 1 – 24 oz. bottle containing 3 scoops HEED with TJ electrolyte water
- 1/2 – 24 oz. bottle containing 2 scoops HEED with TJ electrolyte water
- 2 – Cliff Shot Blocks
- 6 – Salt/Stick pills.
Bike Nutrition Analysis
- Calories Burned – 2169.17 (approx. 850 cal/hr )
- Calories Consumed – 466.0
- Calorie Deficit – 1703.2
- Carbohydrates (g) – 152
- Sugar (g) – 32
- Protein (g) – 0
- Sodium (mg) – 1550
- Potassium (mg) – 518
- Calcium (mg) – 132
- Magnesium – 66
- Caffeine (mg) – 0
- Fluids (oz) – 84
On the run, I planned on mixing up Gatorade and soda (Pepsi I believe) for calories and then water in there as well. If memory serves me correctly, there were 10 aide stations I ran thru so that’s what I based my numbers on. As usual, I needed to take some tums because of the soda and not being a soda drinker to settle my stomach. I almost PR the run, cramp free and the heat was most likely around 84 degrees by then and the humidty was starting to kick in.
Run Nutrition Details
- 4 oz cup soda every other water station (5x)
- 4 oz cup Gatorade the other aid station (5x)
- 4 oz cup water (5x)
- 2 Tums antacids
Run Nutrition Analysis
- Calories Burned – 1,515.8 (850 cals / hr)
- Calories Consumed – 383.3
- Calorie Deficit – 1132.5
- Carbohydrates (g) – 105.0
- Sugar (g) – 105.0
- Protein (g) – 0
- Sodium (mg) – 316.7
- Potassium (mg) – 87.5
- Calcium (mg) – 0
- Magnesium (mg) – 0
- Caffeine (mg) – 62.5
- Fluids (oz) – 40.0
At the end of the day, I was able to PR overall time, PR bike split, and 12 seconds from a PR run split. Other than my feet screaming from blisters, the energy level were there. I was cramp free for the most part and was pretty fresh. Plus had some reserves to sprint thru the chute. It was a fantastic race for me personally.
Final Nutrition Totals
- Calories Burned – 4,088.3 (806.9 cals / hr)
- Calories Consumed – 1,969.2
- Calorie Deficit – 2119.1
- Carbohydrates (g) – 566.8 (4.36x RDA)
- Sugar (g) – 198.8
- Protein (g) – 19.8 (0.35x RDA)
- Sodium (mg) – 2621.6 (1.75x RDA)
- Potassium (mg) – 2071.2 (0.44x RDA)
- Calcium (mg) – 319.2 (0.32x RDA)
- Magnesium (mg) – 324.6 (0.77x RDA)
- Caffeine (mg) – 62.5
- Fluids (oz) – 171.7
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
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
Amen to that. Alyssa works with my wife and just raced Kona. What an amazing result she had on a very brutal day – even by Kona standards. I love the picture of the 3 bikes being “draft legal” and poor Alyssa gets the dreaded red card when she’s the lead bike. This is a great report because it keeps perspective of why triathletes do what they do. It’s about the lifestyle, training with peeps, amazing volunteer support, and the journey of putting the hard work that takes months to complete. Our families make sacrifices while on long rides, trips to various races, etc. I certainly will also take the suggestion of enjoy the entire trip and experience up in Placid. We are going up Thursday before the race and treating it more as an experience, I have a feeling I will enjoy my first full to the fullest. Especially if I can get Blair to race the Saturday kids race.
Here is here race report!
I have been reading some year-end race reports and man I just love this nutrition report that Iain wrote. I have read race reports which talk about event specific stuff like road, landmarks, local tips and tricks. Look at all this data and I’m a data junkie. I realize that nutrition is a very personal topic and you have to dial in what is right for your own body. Let alone if you have or choose a restricted diet. This certainly gives a retrospective of what you did to come back to and how to dial nutrition in. I certainly think this is a great idea to keep this level of stats going forward. I know what I did on my last 3 races but certainly not at this level of detail. I try for 300 calories per hour on the bike but Ian is 30+ lighter and consuming 100 more. I’m spending this offseason reading books like Eat & Run and Thrive Diet from ultra-distance vegans to get insight on how they are going so long and their nutrition. I certainly need to get this dialed in because I prefer to train and race using whole foods if possible.
I just love this race report. Ann is one hellva writer. Hearing others talk about having all those little mental answers seems to be a reoccurring theme that I need to have ready for IMLP next year. I know the mind wants to quit well before the body is finish. I experienced that first hand doing my first 1/2. I believe this is just a natural defense mechanism. It’s great to see others get thru this and drive towards their goals to be in some very elite group. Plus hearing the “Best Day Ever” will doing a full, is just pure motivation and what it’s all about – having 140.6 miles of fun!
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!
Wow, I have to say, what a great venue to race. I just love the fact that transition was beach front. Keep in mind, this would be a perfect family friendly venue since the family could hang out at the beach while watching you swim point to point and then while out on the bike and run and just come back near transition around when you would be expected back. We got there on Friday and man the surf was rough. SO much, I has no desire to even get in that water since you could see white caps to the horizon. On Saturday, we rode the run course and then did a quick brick. After racking up in T-0, we hopped in the truck and drove the bike course. This gave us great intel about road surfaces, turns, etc. This was helpful since we were never able to ride the bike course ahead of time.
Well, the swim we had to walk down to the swim start and swim north. I was pretty happy we bought some disposable clothes to keep warm. Even with the 1 mile walk, my feet were comfortable with the socks and was keeping warm with the 50 degree weather. I also noticed that my hand looks a little dehydrated with the sunk veins. Not sure if this was also because of being somewhat cold once I had my sleeveless wetsuit on. I was in the 8th wave or so there was a lot of traffic in front of me. The swim temp was around 70 degrees. Once the gun sounded, I started to run in. It took me until about the first sight buoy after the first turn buoy to get settled down and comfortable. Not sure why I was so anxious but I just remembered, just smile and have fun. The water was amazingly clear and without taste. I actually could see bubbles and follow them. I would not say I was drafting anybody but certainly the closest I have been to doing that ever. Since we were swimming north, I was also able to sight on the shore. The buoys just clicked by. Before I knew it, I was turning back to the beach and thought I had a decent swim. After all, I was swimming with my caps and was passing some other caps of waves in front of me. I really do not remember seeing any caps pass me but I was staying to the inside. Up the beach and off into T1.
In T1, I was able to find my bike pretty easily. The guy across from me “dropped” some powder in front of his bike and that provided me a great landmark of this very long, two aisle transition. I put a bit of body glide on the feet, helmet on, I was good to go.
Once on the bike, it took me until about the first 15 miles to warm up. It was high 50’s and I really did not have anything else on besides my tri kit, shorts, cleats, glasses and helmet. I also noticed that the back of my neck was starting to really hurt – like it got sun burned. Not that would have happened that quick but really had no idea why. I now realize that my wetsuit rubbed my neck raw and I need to put some glide to help protect it. My goal nutrition wise was to still do my 300 cals per hour that I trained with and used for EM. I got a bit behind at the 1 hour mark and caught up. I also noticed that my HR would just spike up when I least expected. I thought I was fairly hydrated going into the race. I was just hoping not to repeat Rumpus. Once I got my first bottle done, I started to switch out and put my empty bottle in my back pocket. No sooner did I have it secured, I hit a bump and off it went. I was like, OK, that’s was an empty no biggie. A mile or two down the road, another bump, another bottle but a full one this time. I was like oh no. I was just down to a single bottle for another 2 1/2 hours or so. I started to finish about halfway mark, climb one of the steeper little hills and make a left turn, then a guy also most cut me off. The ride back west, was pretty uneventful. Once I got back on the main drag that headed south, there was a group of us that were trying to race, keep our distances, yet climb these hills and get thru the aid stations. At the last aid station, things really started to collapse in. Of course that happens right in front of an official and I get my first red card ever. I thought it was a cheap foul since I was braking into for water. I ended up severing the penalty right in front of T2. I was able to make the most of this time by putting my shoes back on the bike all clipped in, finish what little was left in my final bottle, and think thru transition. Once the 4 minutes passed, I put my shoes on and was out of T2 fairly quickly.
On the run, I knew it had a pretty step hit to get up to the campus. Plus getting out to this hill, I tried to keep my pace right and not make up time lost. Plus the penalty also slowed down my sense of speed and did not have that typical over pacing on the run that happens right off the bike. I got up the hill pretty good and maintained a pretty good pace. At the aid stations I was taking on water and throwing some over my head. I also noticed that my race jersey was really starting to rub me raw in the arm pits. After the first loop, I also started to drink coke. Missing an entire bottle, I was a bit nervous and wanted to get in some calories. Things were going great until I got out of the campus and started to head up the hill. This was around mile 9 to 10. I kept negotiation with myself that I would walk/jog up the big hill coming out of the campus to finish strong. When I got up about 2/3 up the hill, the wheels started to fall off. I walked up the last 1/3 and man that really hurt walking. Much worse than running. At the top of the hill, I found my stride since it was all downhill from there and finished strong back to chute.
Once the race was finished, I went to the food tent. Man the selection of food was so bad. Again, just not stuff that fits my diet or my stomach can handle post racing. I tried to stick to some liquids and refuel with what I could stomach. Plus I had no money to get a post-race massage. The 10 hour ride home the following day even with taking an ice bath post-race, I was still super stiff. I certainly was going to get that massage next time thru. I was hoping I would run the entire run since that dug at me about Eagleman. I certainly had doubts I could repeak let alone beat my previous PR. Here were my splits:
Swim – 40:49
T1 – 4:11
Bike – 2:40:06 or 20.99 mph
T2 – 2:40
Run – 1:51:13 or 8:29 m/m
All and all, I PR’ed with my second 1/2 of the year and really enjoyed myself. Certainly a race I would bring the family to next time!
Let me start off to say, I’m an engineer that is very analytical and detailed oriented. I’m a research junkie and on a diet front, super picky on what goes in my body. So my apologies for all the details in advance. I also try to stick to whole foods and avoid things that are highly processed. I also stick to plant base proteins. That certainly limited certain choices I would have to make so I will put that caveat out there too. Also being my first half and second year of racing, I have very little racing experience to fall on. I wanted to have my homework in place and figured the more I’m prepared on all fronts, was the best I could do without the racing experience. I also ATC questioned peeps all the time for advice, tips, talk through strategy, etc. Hearing that race experience was invaluable for somebody who has so little of it. Everyone had said, once you get up to 1/2 and full length distances, it becomes more of a nutrition and mental preparedness.
To help mentally prep, I focused on setting some goals. I had the under this hour time goal like most. But I wanted more details. There is a consistent theme about goal setting, you have to write your goals down. Not only did I write my goal down, I broke it out into each split and wrote those times down. That way I could visualize it every day to see it come to fruition. So I started doing my research and figured what I would put down for each split. I then added the totals up and was like wow, that is very, very aggressive and well under my hourly number. I have a post-it on my work monitor with the splits written down. I looked at that every day. That was step 1. The next step that was recommending it was to share these splits. The idea here is now that it’s out there, you have more accountability and skin in the game to hit those goals since more than just you knowing it. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator if leveraged correctly. My coach certainly knew my goals down to the splits and was like wowza you have some work in front of you. I did not plan for an extreme day either way – nice and pleasant OR triple digit heat fest. I knew I would have to deal with the hand that was given to me. At the end of the day, this was really helpful to get me through those build weeks that were tough and tiring. After getting my swim start, I then back into time of day and where I should be based on the various landmarks on the race course. That way if I forgot my watch, it died, etc. I could ask somebody what time is it? I would then know if I was x minutes ahead or behind my plan. I like redundancy that way I had a backup plan and keep the math simple.
After asking a bunch of peeps what they do for nutrition, it was repeatedly stated it’s a very personal thing. Listening to this advice, I had to do my own research and testing of it as much as I could. My race in Bumpass posted a personal best time, but it was a nutrition disaster. It was a great lesson learned and come to Jesus I needed to get this figured out. For me, I cannot eat solids or gels when it gets hot or at higher heart rates. So I decided to take an all liquid approach. The next challenge was to figure out how many calories to intake and where to start with that. I was able to find some research that said you take your lean muscle mass and multiply that by 2 to get your cals/hr. Now my challenge was figuring out my muscle mass. I was getting an adjustment with Dr. Michie, I made an off the cuff comment on how I would like to get my percent body fat calculated. To my surprise, he was able to measure it. He gave me a ton of detail. With my muscle mass being 163 lbs. that means I could baseline my calorie intake at 326 cals/hr. I’m able to carry 3 bottles on my bike, I figured I would have each with a 300 cal mix figuring I was going to do a sub 3 hour bike, I should be safe in that target burn rate. I also saw research that you need protein at these distances to slow your body down from cannibalizing the muscle. I have to admit, I’m not sold on this theory because I cannot believe you can process the protein timely enough while your racing. I also pinged Hammer for nutritional contents and they provided me a wealth of information and transparency. I started with doing 3 scoop Perpetuem mix. My stomach could just not handle that much protein. So I dropped to 1 scoop and added 2 scoops of HEED. I also mixed it with SmartWater that has electrolytes instead of regular water. That would help on top of the salt pills. That seemed to work in my case. To prep for Steelhead, I want to try a custom Infinit mix for reasons discussed later. I also woke up at 3:30 and had 2 PB/Honey sandwiches and several bananas with Coconut Water. I took in around 1k calories 4 hours prior my swim start. That was enough time to get everything digested. I have been training with 24 oz bottle. My plan here was to take cheap bottles and toss them at the water stations so I would not have to bother switching them from holder to holder and take the time off. I went to BD and asked for the bottles. I then realized I would be going from a 24 oz bottle to 21. That’s 9 oz less fluid so I punted on that idea knowing I did not want to give up that much fluid.
Days before I started drinking coconut water to make sure I was hydrated. On Saturday after a quick little brick, I then was back on it. Both Mike and Kerri suggested I start taking salt pills the day before. I also ordered virgin Bloody Mary’s knowing they are really high in salt when you add in the old bay. Plus being poolside now, I really could have used an adult drink. It was so nice to feel prepared, relaxed, and enjoying the moment and time with my family. I also jumped in the hotel elevator and ran into this guy with maps and he asked have you raced here before with such a deer in the head lights look. I said no but I have trained on it several times this year. That certainly confirmed my level of calmness I had all week. The other race checking thing I never thought of was to release the pressure from my wheels. I did the morning brick and inflated my tires. The heat went up so much, I never thought to release the air pressures as the heat built with the bike sitting outside since this was my first overnight check-in. Thank you Mr. Atwell since he heard several pops while working bike check-in.
Trying to get some fast swim karma, I asked Alli to body mark me. She even put a little smiley on my calf. For my swim, I honestly figured there was no shot being wetsuit legal. Also sitting on the sidelines last year, I figured there is no need to stress over something I had no control over since I saw so many people getting worked up about it. I planned on it being non-wetsuit for several weeks. As the week went by, the question I has trying to figure out if I have the option to wear a suit what to do. Give up the buoyance and burn more energy or risk dehydrating since I’m such an excessive sweater. Knowing it was going to be hot, I was leaning toward no suit. Plus I would then be an hour later start which meant more heat on the run. Race morning, It was wetsuit legal so I did not have to make that decision. Once I got in the water to start, I opened the neck up to let water in. The was to keep my core cooler and slow my sweat rate down and “flush” the suit out. The second part I knew was a good sign that I was fully hydrated. I was amazing relaxed and chatting with Jeremy. Plus when somebody’s wife wished him off, it lightened up the entire mood. The horn blows and I was off. I started with a little breast stroke to let the true swimmers go and not fight them. I then got in my groove. Until the first turn, it was a little crowded so I was going between free and breast to deal with it. Plus I have been fighting a sinus cold (that goodness I trained with them before), I would have to hack a little bit and then continue. By the second turn, I was moving. I also was able to stay with my freestyle which was a big achievement for me being new to swimming. Every time I would stop to hack the snot out of my head/throat, breast stroke and I would open my suit to keep my core cool. On the way out, I took another Lahey suggestion and got hosed off by the fire hose to get the salt and slime off of me. Plus got a quick Gatorade I was into T1.
I took Jeff’s suggestion of rolling down my socks for T1. I knew I had time to get my feet taken care of since that was the key to me running the run. Got out of T1 and on the bike. I took it easy until the graveyard and noticed the time of day on my bike and said darn, I must of had a great swim. On the bike, I knew I had to stick to Zone2. With the depth in this field, there a going to be crazy fast people. No chasing anyone and stick to my race. When guys went by me, man they flew by me. I did see a couple smiley faces on those calves and was like Alli gave them too much speed karma too! 😉 I also turned the zone alarm on my watch that chirped every time I hit Zone 3. I knew I had to pick my spots on when to use it. I wanted to reserve is for Egypt. Going down the road I was on track with my nutrition plan and was taking salt pills at twice the race I trained since it was getting hot. I also noticed that my HR would drop when the wind changed and I could push it a bit and still stay in Zone 2. By the time I got to Smithfield Rd in 1 hour, I remembered the training ride with Jeff H., Mike L., and Michelle F. and Mike saying 1 hour to here is a great split. From that ride I also saw seasoned riders stand up to shake things out. When I would get too close due to traffic, avoid drafting, and have a lower HR, I would drop a gear and stand up. The extra drag backed me off and I could handle the little HR spike to keep in Zone 2. By the time I got to Egypt, my mouth felt like I had this sugar paste all over it. I planned on getting water at this station if I needed it and a guy with no depth perception, this is hard to train for. I was lucky and grabbed a water bottle in the first try. I squirted my face and then my head to help keep cool and tossed it. Also at this point, my “soft tissue” was screaming since I’m still trying to find the right saddle and was starting to get a little bloated feeling. Mike told me that he kept Tums and Advil in his bag with the salt pills. I popped a Tums and that settled my stomach. I then was fighting a head ache. Remembering the Simple Science lessons about how Advil delays recovery times even though it eases the pain, I wanted to avoid the Advil as much as possible. I ended up just losing the head strap on my helmet and that release of pressure was a Godsend. It went away by the next mile. Knowing my bike split was pretty solid at this point and my HR was starting to drift (like when I did my training rides), I just backed off a bit and kept telling myself, set yourself up for the run. End of the day, I only did 5 miles in Zone 3 out of the 56, the rest in Z1 and Z2. Very pleased there. Second best bike split I have done there and those were without the heat and swim.
Got to T2 and switched out my socks. I also put more body glide on my feet to take care of them. With a hit of sun screen, I was out and running.
On the run, I was really looking for my first ice station. I was hot and sore. I also kept my pace low to get adjusted and just tried to keep my feet moving. Once I hit the aid station, I walked through it. Dumped a cup of ice down the front of my shorts and bam, the soreness was gone. I also took a hit of Gatorade. By the time I hit the access road, I was getting tight on my right front ribs. Maybe from coughing too much with my cold, dehydration, or all of the above. The next station dumped another ice cup in my shorts, ice water over my head, then drank ice water, and used the remaining ice and held that where I was cramping. That helped me run through that. By the time I got to the turnaround, I looked at the time of day and was still ahead of my goals. On the way back in, I took a page from Macca’s book and started doing Pepsi because I was fading with the heat. I knew I would get the sugar rush (even though it’s HFCS and I just hate that stuff) and kept going. The pain in my front right shin was starting to hurt but still manageable. I could also hear squish with every stride and new all the water going over my head and down my legs was collecting in my shoes. The whole time, I was going, man I wish I had those PI with the drain holes in them. I knew blisters were coming based on my history. By the time I got to the neighborhood, my HR alarm was going off like crazy. Then when I made the turn at the water and started to get cold chills which was a first for me. At the same time, my HR jacked to Z4. Knowing I had time, I started to walk. I was ahead of plan and could back off. I also said, I still have Steelhead and there is really no need to take the risk and push through this. I took my time through the aid stations to really ice up and cool my core. I then saw water buckets. Another Godsend. I took an entire bucket and bent over to dump over my head and neck. Then Janet had that wonderful hose. After a nice shower, I moved on. I could then see the finish, I looked at my watch and still saw time to spare. After a quick walking break, I was back running. Then the finish line rush came and I was in the shoot before I knew it. The cheering crabs made me smile and I could totally enjoy the moment. I got to the finish line and the dude in front of me is rolling. I’m like man I want to cross this and not step all over you! Finally done but really not sure what my final time was. Got the ice towel and hit the fire-hose station and cooled off. I was so happy to get out of those shoes.
And how did my splits hold up? Here are my results vs. my stretch goals set back in January:
Swim – Beat by 13 minutes
T1 – Beat by 1 minute
Bike – Short by 8 minutes
T2 – Met
Run – Short by 2 minutes
Overall – Beat by 2 minutes
I am sincerely grateful for the help that fellow crabs gave me. With all that wealth of information and racing experience, I was able to pick and choose what worked for me and my situation. And a huge shout out to Kerri for helping being so prepared for something this large. Also having the patience to answer the most mundane questions and smacking me back in line when needed/deserved. I was really able to enjoy race week with such a level of calmness. I feel that this was such team effort to help me reach a crazy stretch goal I put out there back in January. Thank you all so much!
Now, it’s time to recover, regroup, and plan for Steelhead.