Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ironman Racine 70.3 Race Report - 2011

Here it is; my 2011 Ironman Racine race report.  It was crazy hot from the time the sun came throughout the day with a heat index of over 100 degrees F.  I was fortunate that my wife was there to cheer me on and good friend Eddie was racing as well, it was good to see familiar faces on the coarse.  Several people from were there as well!

My recovery is going very well!  I did a short swim yesterday and had a massage with Marsha at Escapes Spa - Therapeutic Massage  She works wonders and today I'm feeling much better.

Overall Time was 5 Hours 58 Minutes
Warmup:  Did a little swimming / water acclimation.  The water temp was 66F and little to no wakes.  It was a beautiful morning.
  Swim:  Perhaps my best swim ever! I felt great and stayed with my pack. Everything seemed to be there for me. We did swim against the current, while it was barely noticeable at first, the final few buoys were a struggle. I was able to find someone to draft off of and this was the first time that I was able to move from one persons draft to another and successfully hold their pace. I did get stuck a few times behind some slower swimmers from the group who launched before us.  I still need more work on speed, but I'm getting there.

T1:  I utilized the wetsuit strippers and had to wait for a second for their help. Got in to T1 and didn't rush.

   Bike: Wow, it was hot before I started my swim and I definitely felt it on the bike. I didn't push the bike as I knew that I hadn't trained to race this bike. I wanted to save energy for the run and had high hopes of nailing my run. I felt that I held a good cadence on the bike but OA it was 67. I did coast a lot but my OA cadence should have been much higher! I started out holding a solid 20-22mph pace. I opted to slow a little to hold for the run, but near the end of the bike I felt spent. It was just crazy hot!

Speedfil - if you don't own one, buy one! It's a 40oz container, but I refilled it at each aid station. I also had 1 bottle of Fluid with me. Never felt the urge to use the bathroom, so I know I was sweating out a lot more than normal.

What would I do differently?:  Spin baby, spin.  My overall cadence was WAY too low by the midway point in the race.  I should have known better.

T2:  T2 went well, but again, I took my time. I felt the burn in my legs so I let them rest for a bit. Started up the Garmin 410 and let it sync, took some MAP and SaltTab and I was off to run.
   Run:  I was hurting when I left T2. I knew from the first step of my run that this was going to take a LOT longer than I planned. I'm not exactly sure why I was so cramped and I have a hard time believing that it was solely the heat. Water and nutrition intake was good on the bike. Supplements were right on during the bike - so that leaves me with pre-race training. I made the immediate decision to take the Hal Higdon approach to running and followed it strictly for the entire first loop. I knew that it would cause my OA run to be slower than planned, but I wanted to be sure that I could finish the race without letting the cramping stop me. Again, nutrition and supplements were right on. Second loop I did pick the pace a little and limited my breaks. I hoped that this would still give me a sub 10min/mi time. At the last turn-around I stepped it up and then paid for it. I did take another minute walk break about a half mile before the finish. Then I took final stretch in with a sadly slow stride. Turns out that only 2 of my miles were sub 10 min/mi. So apparently my walking intervals was longer than Hal Higdon would approve of. Per the Garmin data (reviewing after the race), while I was running I held 8-8:45 paces. Thankfully the good citizens of Racine were out again in full force soaking down everyone with cold hose water! I took a bath at every opportunity and put ice down the front of my shorts at every other aid station. I took in oranges at every opportunity, grabbed a sponge and kept it cold and wet.

What would you do differently?:  I let my training fail me here. I should have been doing bigger and longer bricks over the past few months!

Post race:  Ate a turkey sub immediately and drank some water. I hate ice baths, but if one was available, I would have dove into it! From there I was able to watch several people cross the finish line; including Madison firefighter Rob Verhouse who did the event in full turnout gear, helmet and Scot Pak as well as Iraq War veteran Melissa Stockwell of Chicago who completed the race with an artificial left leg.

All in all this was far from a PR for me at this distance but I cannot complain, I had a great time.  My training was focused, but not specific enough and my volume was WAY under where I should have been for this race. I knew that going in. I knew that I was prepared to finish, but hoped that I could still race it.  Ironman did a great job organizing this race. The only fault that I can point out is that one aid station ran out of cups - but with the heat and people taking 'extras' it does add up. I had a good time and hope to be back next year.  I can't wait for the Lansing Legislator in August and then the Rev3 Cedar Point Half Iron Distance.  I'd love the opportunity to get another 70.3 in this year, but at $250 I won't be able to swing it.  I have high hopes for a full distance Ironman next year, but we'll see how this year progresses.

Again, my sponsors are the best! Take time to visit their websites and try what they have to offer!

Trinity Multi-Sports for the extremely comfortable tri kit!!

Fluid for the best recovery drink mix!

Marsh at Escapes Therapeutic Massage for a great pre and post race massage!

My family is the best.  Much thanks to Becky's parents for watching the girls this weekend.

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