Monday, June 11, 2012
Ironman 70.3 Kansas Race Report
Wow...ok So it's been a while since I've blogged...ok. Here goes. This season has been more or less a success so far for me. My season opener was the Chain of Lakes sprint triathlon in Alexandria. I was accompanied by my brother only, which was in and of itself a change of pace as far as "support crew" goes. It's a pool swim in Alex and with my swimming abilities I had the fortune of going off in the last wave (elite apparently) which meant I started at something like 11 am...after getting there around 7:30. Long story short, good swim, wet and windy bike, biffed it in T2 on a wet timing mat, good run, good start to the season, minor road rash to show for it. Next race...Fargo half marathon. Again, long story short, I reached my goal of under 2 hours with a 1:59:34. May not seem fast to you runner people but it's been haunting me for years and has been to this point the race of my life. Next race, Dewey Du. Very solid effort for me. My run speed has really been improving and I was able to "showcase" it so to speak at this race. I did both 5k runs around a 7 - 7:30 pace which for me is unheard of at any distance and had a very solid bike at 22 + mph...again fast for me. I walked away with 6th overall and won my age group, thanks in part to the absence of a certain pair of brothers who shall remain nameless. Ok...now for the Kansas race report Quote of the day? "Don't bonk. Stay on top your hydration and all that shit." A good luck text message from my favorite brother the night before the race! Heat and wind are two words which best describe this race in a nutshell. This race was one of the most fun race experiences I have ever had. We arrived in Fargo Thursday night. We left Nicholas with Grandpa on Friday morning and set off for Lawrence, KS! After a looooong drive we got to our camp site and set everything up. We went into town for a late dinner with some fellow racers and returned to our campsite late for a short fire. We made our way to bed in our little tent and I actually slept pretty well. We got up the next morning and walked the couple hundred yards to check in for the race. I got all checked in, signed things that I think say things like I won't sue the WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) if I drop dead during the race, and we walked around the Ironman store and bought a bunch of stuff, including an updated size of "when I grow up I want to be an Ironman" for Nicholas. I spent the rest of the day getting my gear in order, checking my bike in, knocking out a couple of short tune up workouts, eating, and drinking. We did go back into town for some Dairy Queen and to see a movie. We went back to camp and made some spaghetti for dinner, had a nice fire and went to bed early. I slept well and the alarm went off at 4:00. Race Day! Booya! Got up, got my caffeine, breakfast, and hydration in me and we set off for transition - approximately a 5 minute walk. I set up my T2 with my running shoes, hat, and some nutrition and then met back up with Leah and headed down the hill to T1 and the swim start. I set up my T1 including my towel, bottles, nutrition, helmet, and sunglasses, and made my way back out to Leah. Everything is going well at this point. This is not a full Ironman and so it was not a mass start. For this reason I had to wait until about 7:25 for my wave of M30-34 to start. USA triathlon has a rule that you race in the age group of your age on the 31st of the year. Yuck but oh well. So I mentioned the wind. It was a very bumpy swim. After an in water start, I swam through my wave and several of the waves in front of me as I passed people in several different colored caps. Favorite swim moment was everyone apologizing for peeing as we waited in water for the start. Turns out my swim was 4th in my age group. After a respectable and efficient but not lightning fast T1 I was out on the WINDY bike. My bike was average for me. It was not the hardest course per se but the the wind intensified the degree of difficulty. Head winds uphill sucked, tail winds were fun. Cross winds going downhill at 45 mph with deep dish wheels were sort of interesting as I had to hang on like none other to avoid catching a gust and getting blown over. I didn't blow over though. Finished the bike around 19 mph. Not as fast as I would have liked but what can you do. Nutrition and hydration went well so I seem to have that nailed down. Favorite bike moment was the woman cheering in the middle of the hill yelling how Kansas is flat, which it isn't. Now onto the run...grrr run. After about 3 miles of the run I knew it would be about survival and not speed. Seeing as how I am not Lance Armstrong and cannot hold my heart rate at 185 + for close to 2 hours, I was not able to run the entire time. In fact, there was a large amount of walking involved. My brightest moments were when I saw Leah multiple times and I smiled each time I did. Especially when she gave me some lovely ice cold water to pour on and in myself. The run was hot as hell. Hats off to those who can run in that heat, but I can't. I wish I could. I don't know if it's physical, mental, or what, but I can't do heat well. I hope I can figure it out one day, but I haven't yet. I wore my cooling shirt and was able to shove ice down my back but like I said, it was about survival. I finished in 6:24 and was very happy to be done for the day. Ate lots, drank lots, showered, left, drove home, and that's how it went. Could not have done it without Leah, as always, who took great care of me, as always. Although this was not my best or fastest race, I had an amazing time camping with Leah, and loved soaking in the Ironman atmosphere... My future race plans include: This season I intend to race on June 30 at the Minneman Olympic Distance triathlon in Oak Grove, MN. Next up will be the Maple Grove Triathlon on August 25, held in conjunction with TRISTAR111 Minnesota. My final race of the season will be the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7. All 26.2 miles. Why? Because it's fun remember? And I would also like to announce my intentions to race Ironman Lake Placid in July 2013. Thanks all for reading. Thanks for all your continued support!!