Rev3Half (Cedar Point) 09-2010

I haven’t done a full 70.3 since 2007. In 2008 I got screwed out of it due to Steelhead getting turned into a Duathlon. Soon after I decided to re-learn to run (Ronbo v2) which took a good 18mo and knocked me out of the distance for 2009. I just wasn’t able to run. Then in November 2009 I had my surgery to repair my diastasis recti (split abs) and remove excess skin from the 100+ lbs of weight loss. Which sent me back to zero again. So I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to pull off this year. I couldn’t lift 50lbs until March 2010 and that’s 3 months later to START the season. So I picked a later race to shoot for, hoping I would have enough time to build. I did only one sprint (June), one Oly (July), one Xterra (Aug), and then the Rev3Half (Sept). Each was a test to see “IF” I could progress to the next level. I did some misc 5ks and 10ks in there too, but they were really speed days and to again, test and see IF I could race the distance. By End of July I was convinced I could survive the distance.

 

I wanted to do Steelhead 7/31 but CoachCarole talked me out of it. What’s the point in “surviving” when it’s going to require all the recovery? Especially if it’s survival-only?? She didn’t say I could not… but she was very emphatic about it being unwise – which is as close to a “no” as she tends to get. I can be as stupid as I want, she just does the best with me she can!! LOL  I opted to race less, but race better. Rock on. Quality not Quantity. I sorely disappointed my drinking buddies at Steelhead, and for that  I’m sorry Lbut I had to make this call and CC was right.

 

The Rev3 series always does things near where there is a family friendly venue. In this case, Cedar Point. Never been there, but heard it was awesome. Talked to DW and we decided to make a whole family deal of it, so we pulled the kids out of school ½ day Friday and got them back ½ day Monday (raising us to rockstar status in their eyes and rockstar status in their friends… being pulled out of school TO GO TO CEDAR POINT? HOW COOL!).

 

So we pull the kids from school Friday, head to the inlaws about ½ way. Sleep over, get up early, and father in law drives us there (since I’d be in no shape Sunday to drive back). We managed to get the bike IN the van, which was a huge relief as the external mount was untested and nobody wanted my new bike splattered over the highway! We arrive about noon, right on plan for park opening and begin the adventure…

 

I grab my packet, since it was right at the entrance, met up with CC and said howdy. But the hotel was way the heck around the park. So we haul back to the van, get to the hotel and check in (took forever!). This is where it got weird. I split from the family since I needed to get to the course talk, get in a 15min swim, run, and bike. But I didn’t have time to reassemble the bike and figure out how to haul it to transition, so I asked how to get there. Hotel says it’s a 4-8min walk or take a shuttle – 15-20min. I start walking… and walking… and 16min later I’m there. Late. Crap! Then it starts raining. I dumpster dive and grab a subway bag and wrap up my phones. Try to listen. Once they start the USAT talk, I bail. Get shuttle back to hotel (20min!). Get bike and stuff together. Shuttle back (no riding allowed in park or roads around it). Ride in parking lot. She’s being funky. Visit bike techs. GREAT bike techs!!! Ride more. She’s good. Put her to bed in transition. Hey, I’m famous, I get my own name plaque! Transition spot is small… Hmmm… need to consider that tomorrow. Shuttle AGAIN back to hotel. Get shoes. Go run. Get goggles. Go… crap. NO SWIMMING signs everywhere. So what is there is a tsunami brewing!! WUSSIES! It’s pouring out too (like I care, I’m going swimming). Find the outside hotel pool open and besides the pool lifeguard kid shivering his azz off, it’s empty. So I do my swim there. Get out, back to room… my kids come CHARGING down the hall (water spraying everywhere… apparently they got rained on at the park!! LOL) and get up into the room. It’s now FIVE!  I just spent FIVE HOURS  getting around and getting ready. Harumph! Time to eat!

We figure out there is NOTHING race suitable to eat there onsite and even if there was, it was PACKED. Since it was raining, everyone was back into the hotel. We leave town. Find a great place to eat. Wait FOREVER. Eat. Great food. I want beer. No beer. Tomorrow beer.  Spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken, bread, and a couple slices of my kids’ pizza. Perfect!

 

Back to hotel, get kids in bed, spend 90min doing the OCD routine. Realize that this is the first time in almost 2 years I’ve done the OCD routine. I’m ready. Mind, body, and spirit I am ready for this day.  Bed by 10:30. Up at 5:30. Have never slept better. I’m ready.

 

Grab father in law’s van and drive to transition. Setup my crap. Loose my room key in porta-potty. Walk back and forth a few times like an idiot. Get my bag tossed back in van. Put van back. Sit and stare at van a million times thinking “what did I forget”. Decide nothing, lock van, toss key inside, shut door. I’m committed now.

 

The swim start for the full was just going off, so I walked and watched that. I needed more coffee though and the free stuff was gone and I had no money. Figuring my good looks would get me NOWHERE on that accord I went to the front desk and begged them to refill it suggesting I might die or at least cry if it wasn’t refilled. Decided to go find the Half start. Found it. Still have like 90min. Crap. Wander around looking for coffee or scraps of food from the dumpsters. Ya know, normal stuff. Finally after my feet were mad at my walking barefoot all this time I went back to the start and the coffee station was fully loaded. Poured myself a big cup and started working on it. It did it’s ‘magic’ and I anointed every bathroom from one end of the hotel to the other. Mission accomplished. NOW I’m ready!

 

Still had an hour. So I found a spot and started stretching and kept doing that forever. Like 45min. I was one loose mofo. My biggest fear was having my back cramp up during the race, so I was trying to avoid that. Mission accomplished.. I hoped!

 

The weather was awesome. Low 60’s and overcast. YIPPEEEE!!! Forecast was for mostly overcast and maybe 70. I could not have asked for anything better.

 

Walked down to swim start and got in and did some warm-ups. Water was fine temps (70?) and mild waves, nothing significant. Yesterday there was 2ft waves and some of the bouys are in Canada right now I hear. Watched the early waves go and finally wandered into line. I seeded myself about 2 rows back and center. Just where I like it. This is a run-walk-wog-swim start because the water is shallow. Not looking forward to that part.

 

It’s our turn. I don’t have a watch. That’s intentional. I’m going to race, not monitor. I’ve FINALLY come to the conclusion that I need to let go of the tech which doesn’t help AT THE MOMENT. A watch on the swim doesn’t help. Therefore, no watch. So we start! We run… we walk…. We wog…. And wog… and jesus-f-in-C will you morons just SWIM! It’s almost above your waist! I’m watching the carnage to the sides where people BEHIND went to swim and quickly overtook the woggers… so I waited until the guys ahead of me went in…. and then I passed their sorry azzes. I was in full competitor mode, something I haven’t seen in over a year… maybe two… ME LIKEY !

 

So quickly I pull ahead of the majority, with maybe a dozen ahead of me.  Some moshing, but I just shove anyone out of the way who’s running into me because they are off course or just being rude JBy the first bouy the mosh is over and I’m in reasonably clear water. Having some trouble sighting but I settle in and get to work. Up into the first turn there is nothing interesting.. I catch some prior wave caps, my shoulders are screaming, breathing is fine, I’m just in crappy swim shape. I’m getting passed by some guys in my waves, but I just let them go. I know I’m not in great swim shape, I’ve been a massive slacker for a year, I get what I deserve.

 

Around the first turn and immediately I run into move caps from another wave. Quite a few, actually. Zig Zag around them. Got picked up by 2 guys in my wave, both convinced to pinch me out. One coming from left, one from right, and both want the space I occupy. A shove to the left… a shove to the right… and they’ve both convinced I am in THE BESTEST spot ever. But the thing is they are going off course! So screw them, I stop dead. I mean dead in my tracks. And they both veer off out to Canada. Screw ‘em, I readjust and head for the proper track.  About this time some other color caps pass me, which tells me the relay dudes are kicking my ass. Whatever. Hit the second turn and I see land. Sighting was hard at this point, so I just focused on the landmark. I think the waves were picking up because I could not find the bouys. I have no data but instinct to prove this, but I think the swim was long.

 

So as I stood up and started running I saw the guy next to me with a watch so I asked what time, he said “under 38”. Ouch. That’s by far my worst ½ Iron swim. Whatever, I cannot say I’m surprised by it so I wasn’t discouraged. Up the beach and off into transition I go. No problems with wetsuit or gear and the path was groomed well.

 

In transition I switch out my stuff and get going, nothing special.  Had to run some guy mounting WAY before the mount line, but got a nice clean mount and I was off. Spun easy and fast and worked on getting HR down. Some belches to clear out the lake water as well.

 

My focus on the bike was simple. 150HR and under 200watts at all times and trying for 185-190 watt average. It was SO flat, especially at the start, that I was flying 22-23 for huge periods of time. I knew this approach would net me a slow time but legs which could run, which was the experiment. We’d done this test in training several times and came up with these numbers so I knew they were good. I should EASILY be able to hold a 12:15 pace and maybe 11:45 pace.  That’s the plan.

 

We started heading down subdivisions and stuff with kind of crappy pavement. So had to be careful and had to ignore the guys passing me, which was hard. Also had to NOT chase down people, which is what I usually like to do. Nope, had to tell myself – hundreds of times – EXECUTE THE PLAN.  Once we got into the downtown I was a bit nervous as there was traffic EVERYWHERE. The cops did a good job of keeping people off the course though. FINALLY we got out into the country and I could really settle into Aero and just pound out the miles.

 

The first 20 miles were pretty unexciting. I felt good. I ate on schedule. I drank on schedule. I kept HR down. I didn’t watch watts so much but generally I knew they were good (I was wrong by the way). Around 25 there were some hills of substance including one very steep short one. This one was tricky and I did think  about slowing down, but in retrospect I took WAY too hard. I was just loving my high speeds with low efforts and I felt invincible. I’d pay for this folly later.  I should have watched the power like a hawk. Instead, I watched the HR like a hawk. I needed to do BOTH.

 

Miles 30-40 were pretty normal the sun finally came out and the temps climbed felt more than 70 (later I found out it was almost 80). I was slowing, mostly due to the wind picking up noticeably. I stuck to the plan. I met up with SuperGrover (neighbor in transition) and chatted a while. Dropped him eventually, he was heeding my advice from transition – don’t hammer the bike (this was his first half).  Then some guy flew up and told us we missed the half turn… Huh?!? WTF? SuperGrover and I consulted and checked bike computers and signs of miles and decided this guy was nuts. He was.

 

Around mile 45 I had to pee. So I did. Good thing I didn’t stop Jbut it smelled. Uh oh. I was drinking to plan so it SHOULD NOT SMELL. Not good. Too late to grab any more water. I had 3bottles clearly, it wasn’t enough. Dammit.

 

Around mile 50 we’re heading back and the wind is getting wicked. I had 2 disposable and 1 expensive water bottle. Can you guess which one flew out of the back-of-bike-bottle-launcher? Dammit. I’m doing like 12mph for stretches. I’m getting tired. I should not be getting tired. This is easy exertion so I should be FINE. The slow speed, the distance from road signs was saying the course would be 58, which pissed me off, and in general… I was getting bitchy. Not good. Further told me my hydration was off. I stuck to the plan, I was almost done. I’d drink some more in T2. It was 58.3 miles in 3:02 so 2:55 for a standard 70.3. eh, I wasn’t expecting much. I can do 2:40’s but I cannot do that AND run. So I had to give some bike time back.

 

BIKE INFO:

  • 58.4 miles
  • 185 watts avg (196 normalized)
  • 69 cadence (boo)
  • 18.84 mph
  • 150 HR (perfect to plan at least)

 

HOWEVER… 1st half was 195watts, second 177 – that shows I was uneven. And I felt it. I got tired around mile 50. 19.52mph vs 18.3mph. Also, I had a 5s interval @ 557watts (1:13 into the race), 30s @ 397watts (1:13 in), 1min @ 315watts (1:11 in), and 2 min @ 253 watts (1:11 in), 3min @ 243 watts (0:32 in), and 4min @ 235 watts (0:31in) – all of these are over/near FTP. So I WAS NOT LEVEL in my power output execution. Now, most of these happened around same point so it seems there were (2) main events – around 31min in and 1:11 in which I screwed that up. I suspect I paid for it later. ALL my surges -0 even going out to 10min @ 212 were in the first half. So I may have nailed the HR I needed to watch power a bit more and level it out. Lesson learned!

 

Coming into T2 I was feeling okish again. I was happy to be done with the bike but upset that I was happy to be done. HOWEVER, first the first time I ever I was thinking – ok, I’m ready to run. Normally it is along the lines of “OH-FCK-Here comes the hardest longest part of the race”. Instead I’m thinking – I will run this faster than the bike. Dammit.

 

I grab my stuff and head for the porta-potty only to be intercepted by CC!! Whoo hooo!! Hi CC!! She tells me to flip my number around and asks how I’m doing , I tell her pretty good, head to potty to find them all occupied. Decided to bag it. Rip the stupid number trying to flip it around front. Curse. Keep going. Spend the next several minutes trying to reattach it only for it to rip more. Finally jimmy-rig the stupid thing and pay attention to my pace.

 

Goal is keep mile 1 over 12:00 at all costs.I’m prone to rip one out around 10-11 and that’s just too fast for me to hold.

 

Mile 1 I work to work the  kinks out. My back didn’t bother me on the bike and it wasn’t bothering me here either. I was floored and pleased. It took me a good 1.5 miles to get into a groove. Soon after 2 my bladder said you MUST take care of me. So I dove in the bushes. The promised porta-potty per aid station didn’t happen (at least at mile 1 and mile 2 was busy). Again, it stunk. DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT! I know that means I’m majorly behind on my hydration and I’m not happy about it. I think I lost an Amphipod bottle in those bushes. I dunno. It was gone and it was dead to me because I wasn’t going back. And this was a COOLish day. If it was hot I would be SCREWED.

 

Although I want to say I spent the rest of the race working on catching up, I cannot tell you I did. I actually cannot tell you what the hell I did. I was out of it and spacing out a little and I just didn’t have the mental focus to remember how much I drank. So what I did was drink whenever I thought of it and at least one cup at every aid station. Computing it now I think I had 50oz in Amphipods and 4oz x 12 stations = 98oz = 35oz/hour – this is barely enough and I suspect I was already in deficit. ASSUMING I actually had one at every aid station. I think so… but I wasn’t all the way “right” and I bet I was coming off a deficit (24oz/hr off bike and strong pee smell means I’m short).  I didn’t eat enough – I brought 300cal/hr and I had 400 left over. That’s 181/hr which is about half of what I need. Why didn’t I? Well, I was confused. I couldn’t remember when I was supposed to eat next. It was supposed to be every other mile, but that was 25min and it should have been every 20 – but then I was trying to adjust it and… well, I screwed up.  I tried some cerasport and just spit it out, couldn’t take it.

 

Also, I didn’t sunscreen enough. I didn’t think I would need know, I was wrong. I burnt.

 

Miles 1-3 were across the causeway and exposed to the sun. A nice breeze compensated. Miles 4-9 were in town and were a mix of hot and exposed, shady, along shore and in a mostly-dead downtown. I did get onto the film coverage for the lead male and female and got some encouragement from the bike pacers JUsually they just tell me to get the hell out of the way!!! LOL

 

Things got hard around mile 5. I was dropping the pace and couldn’t seem to get it back. Prior to that it was work, but I felt good about it, strong and confident I could hold it. By mile 7 it was really hard. The heat started to hit me and the pace dropped. I stopped mile 8 to do a squat and stretch my back a bit, that helped a LOT. But by mile 9 I was hurting bad. Considering I had only a few runs over 8, I cannot say I didn’t expect this. And this is FAR later than in all prior races. So I was just increasing the effort with every mile in an attempt to simply HOLD the pace. My quads were screaming at me to stop. My body was tired but I was determined so I kept going. I was thinking “HOW IN THE HOLY HELL AM I GOING TO DOUBLE THIS DISTANCE IN JUNE?!?! What did I get myself into?!!” and having negative thoughts. Knowing them well, I pushed them aside and focused on soft fuzzy bunnies and other happy thoughts JMile 10 was a trudge. Back onto the causeway. Working on small goals – run to that telephone pole, no that hill, no that tree, and so on. The hill on Mile 11 about killed me. I walked the crest. It REALLY hurt. I have no idea why I ran up and then walked after. Dumb. The downhill was great.  I could see the park now… I could hear the announcers by mile 12. I decide that I can suffer any amount for 1.1 miles so I decide to leave it all on the course and puke at the end if needed. I suck down the last of my water and lay into it. Finally coming around the parking lot I’m thinking “good lord please make the finish line soon after transition” – and as I round the corner of transition I see CC!!! She runs with me for a bit (arm in sling and all!) and asks how I’m feeling – my response “IT HURTS. IT SUCKS. ALMOST DONE.” She says “You bet, only 2 miles to go” I say “BULLSHIT!!! IT BETTER BE CLOSER” she laughs and says “oops, I mean less than half a mile!” (I think it was an honest mistake) LOL. It was actually far less. I dropped her (like that will happen EVER AGAIN). I round the corner and the finish is less than .1 miles away. I add some MORE effort into it to finish strong. The crowd isn’t too excited so I start whooping them up. I see my wife, boys, and mother in law and they try to get some pictures – I had no energy for high fives. I cross the finish with style and then I’m done. OMG am I done. I get to the chip girl and I just look at her as if to say “if you think I can bend over to get that chip you’re nuts. She grabs it from me and they give me my space blanket and some water. I am having trouble breathing. I haven’t had asthma issues and ages and NOW I do?!?! Fook! I need to walk so I do that , my family gathers around and my oldest boy starts jammering away – I can’t breath well and I hand off my water and I just spit out the words I-can’t-talk-give-me-minute so mother in law takes the boys to go do the rides while DW is clearly trying to decide whether to call the medics over or not. I CAN breath I just cannot breath WELL. It’s improving, slowing, so I just keep walking while DW makes sure I don’t keel over DW is awesome, in case I haven’t mention that lately. So are my inlaws. She’s got my post-race bag w/ recovery drink and ibuprofen and so on. I ask her to mix up the drink while I keep walking around. I’m starting to feel better within a few minutes although the tightness is not gone – it’s less. It’s in my throat, not so much my lungs and it’s kept me from talking normal for hours. Maybe I strained my vocal cords whooping up the crowd.  Who knows.  What I do know, after walking around is my legs hurt. My quads are done. I’m pleased, because although I don’t know my exact time I know I kicked the holy hell out of my PR and I raced TO PLAN (more or less) and I raced to my current potential.

 

But most importantly… for the first time in a LONG time… I see how much MORE potential I have. I’ve been stuck, for 2 years, without massive development. My first 3 years were nothing BUT development. The term “Ronboing” a race became commonplace because race after race after race I would just knock down my times. For 3 years I did nothing but knock down records. Then 2 years of going backwards SO that I could go forwards again. Well, I’m ready to move forward now. Onwards to Ironman Cda 6/26/11.

 

RUN SPLITS (from GPS not from their signs)

Mile 1 – 12:06  avghr 158 * feeling good

Mile 2 – 12:14  avghr 161 * pee stop VERY Dark. Dangit!

Mile 3 – 12:18  avghr 165

Mile 4 – 12:08  avghr 166 * feeling the work, but not bad

Mile 5 – 12:30  avghr 166

Mile 6 – 12:25  avghr 168

Mile 7 – 12:39  avghr 167 * HOT feeling very HOT

Mile 8 – 12:56  avghr 169  * first stop to stretch about 20s

Mile 9 – 13:12  avghr 164 * wheels starting to come off

Mile 10 – 12:58  avghr 167 * loosing energy and really focusing on small goals to keep going

Mile 11 – 13:53  avghr 165 * the hill on causeway sucked ass

Mile 12 – 13:35  avghr 163 * agony from here on out. Every step my legs were screaming and breathing was ragged.

Mile 13.1 – 11:11 (12:34 pace – my watch thinks course was .2 short) avghr 169

I have a feeling if I would have started at 12:30 pace and held that, I could maybe have held on. The effort was a MASSIVE negative split. But the overall was a 12:44 pace so we’re talking tiny increments (if I did 12:30 through I would have shaved only 3 min).So I think it went just fine. There was no negative splitting by 6.5 I was hot and tired. By 10 I was increasing effort to keep pace from degrading any FURTHER it was already slipping. Alternatively, if I hadn’t surged so much in the first half of the bike I might have been able to hold 12:15 or better. Considering my training, I bet I could have. So my bike was MUCH improved from prior races but still I sabotaged myself a bit on the run – and probably not to much gain either.

I’m picking nits though. Maybe if I gave up 2 min more on the bike I’d get 5 on the run? Whatever. Who knows. That’s the fun on Tris, so many variables that you need to compute on the fly.

 

SELF REVIEW:

  • I pulled the swim out of my azz.  I’m ok with the crappy time I deserve it.
  • I’m disappointed about the bike, to be honest. I thought it would be better. I didn’t execute perfectly. I screwed up my hydration – it was “to plan” but it wasn’t “enough”. Must roll with the changes. I’ve done 45 tris – I should know better. I do know better. I failed to execute.
  • My run base is lacking, but I knew that. I didn’t have a deep enough well to dig from when it got tough and my pace suffered.  This is no surprise. It’s a giant leap from my 18min miles of 5 yrs ago but it’s not enough and I now KNOW I can get these paces down.
  • I have to learn to track hydration/nutrition better on the run, period.
  • Reducing racing this year helped me perform better.
  • Listening to my coach is a good idea. After 5 years I’m starting to do that… nobody sed I wuz smart
  • Great improvement overall.

 

P.S. the finisher medal rocks.

p.p.s. Rev3 organization rocks. Highly recommend anyone who can, do, race with them. They did a top notch job.

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