First, thanks to all of the volunteers for helping make this a great race once again. We couldn't race without you!!
Onto the race....I didn't do particularly well, and fell well short of my goals, but have to find some positives and some lessons, so here goes:
Woke up at 4:30, drank 3 Boosts = 750 calories, and drove the 45 minutes down to Camp Blanding. Got there in plenty of time to relax and take my time setting up transition.
Walked the transition area, swim in to rack; rack to bike out; bike in to rack; rack to run out....Quick 10 minute warm up run; 5 minute warm up swim....ready to go....except the weather wasn't....
It was REALLY foggy, so much that we couldn't see even the first buoy from shore....so they postponed the start of the race for a 1/2 hour for the fog to lift.
I went off in the first wave, which meant there were plenty of people to swim over me as the faster swimmers in the later waves went by, which they did. Overall I felt pretty good on the swim. My goal was 40 minutes, and I was actually a bit surprised when I got out of the water and saw 45 minutes on my watch.
Based on my latest swims, 40 minutes was probably a bit too aggressive of a goal. A 40 minute swim would be a 2:40 / 100m time, and my my split in the last ocean swim was 2:55 / 100m. The 45 minute swim put me at 3:02 / 100m, which is in the ballpark for me, although still a snails pace by comparison. The faster swimmers literally finished in 1/2 that time....With all of the swimming I've been doing with the group, I thought I'd have improved more than this by now, but I suppose any progress in good....And I did make progress, swimming 3 1/2 minutes faster than last year. Not huge, but progress none-the-less.
The good news is that a 3:02 pace in the IM swim = 1:57. Slow as hell, but good enough to finish before the 2:20 cutoff...plus it's a wetsuit swim, which should help me go slightly faster.....
I had a relatively quick transition, downed a couple of salts with a sip of water, and was off on the bike.....
One of the cardinal rules of triathlon is nothing new on race day. I'm amending that rule slightly....Nothing new the night before race day either...
Lori & I went out for dinner to a Japanese steak house on Sat night, and the food was great (as well as the company). Unfortunately, my stomach and gi (gastrointestinal) didn't agree on Sunday.
Almost immediately from the time I started biking I had a wicked side stitch and stomach cramps. Uggghhhh....NOT FUN.
I tried sticking with my nutrition plan of alternating water and gatorade endurance every 10 minutes, with a gel and salts at 45 minutes. After almost throwing up for the second time, and realizing that I didn't particularly enjoy the combined taste of lake water, gel and gatorade, I stuck with sipping water.
I felt like I had a pretty good bike split considering, although was 30 seconds slower than last year as it turns out. In comparison, last year my training was for the HOT and I tapered for a couple of weeks, versus this year where this was a training race.
Trying to find a positive, I sucked it up and pushed past my stomach issues, changed my nutrition plan so that I didn't keep doing what already wasn't working, and the bike performed flawlessly.....Also, I managed to keep my intensity way up in Zone 4 (just under lactate threshold), which is where I wanted it for an Olympic distance.
After another pretty quick transition, time to get my run on....Typical run strategy: run from aid station to aid station walk the aid stations.
First mile always sucks, so no big deal. First aid station grab some water, walk for 30 secs or so....onto the next aid station.....same thing.....
That's about the time when my gi issues became more than a minor (or not so minor as the case may be) annoyance. GI issues = no digestion = not enough carbs/glycogen in the bloodstream & muscles = BONK.
My plan of running from aid station to aid station changed to run for 5 minutes, walk one. There's one and only one way to finish a race = keep moving forward...so I did. Up and over the hill at mile 4 and back down again at mile 5. By now it was run 2 minutes and walk one.....
With .2 miles to go it was time to get past the pain and just finish, so I started accelerating for the last two minutes. I had to laugh when I crossed the finish line at just below a full sprint and the announcer said it looked like I could do it again.....Ummmmm.....not so much......
Goal: Sub 3...Swim: 40, Bike: 1:18, Run: 55
Actual: Swim: 45; Bike 1:24; Run: 1:08
I finished the race 50 seconds faster than last year, all of which was from the swim, since my bike time was 30 seconds slower this year and my run was 2:46 slower this year.
Other positives (I'm searching for anything): T1 was 20 seconds faster, T2 24 seconds faster.
The Week in Review
Goal: 10 Hours, Actual 9.38
Goal: 3 hours
Actual: 4.25, 4.05 miles
Tu, Th 1:30 group swims, Sat 30 minute group swim + race
Goal: 4.5 hours
Actual: 3 hours
Mid-week rides were right on target. Weekend ride was initially scheduled for 3 hours and the I rode just under 1 1/2 in the race. Higher intensity/lower volume = acceptable for a recover week, although I have to make sure to get back on track volume-wise with this week's 5 hour ride.
Goal: 2.5 hours
Similarly to the bike, mid-week runs were on target, and the weekend run was originally scheduled for 1 1/2 hours.
Coming up is a shortened Base 3 period, with two training weeks and a recovery week in week 3 to do the Palm Valley 1/2, basically an unsupported 6 hour training day to hopefully improve on my nutrition plan and work out at an intensity in zone three, versus yesterday's zone 4.
After Base 3, I'll only have one more 4 week base period, and then it's taper time.....
Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....
4 weeks ago