Sunday, June 8, 2008

Matt's Mooseman Race Report

I have so much I'd like to document here. I'll try to stick to my race day here and include the other stuff in another post.

Friday afternoon/evening: Mid 60s and rain all day. Vashaw's arrive (Shawn, Amy, Fiona). Cerra's are staying at a cottage down on the lake. (Craig, Tamara, Madeline, Levi and Eleanor).
We met the Cerra's down at Newfound to do packet pickup. Genine had to wait until the next morning because her entire team had to be present and show ID.
We also picked up Gabe's (Alexa's Brother) wetsuit from the rental company for him, he would be arriving after registration close for the night.
I also bought some tinted goggles for Esther as the sun can make for tough sighting.
After perusing the tents quickly. Shawn, Craig, Amy and I drove the bike course so that Craig and Shawn could do some visualizing. Shawn drove much of the course in aero position on his steering wheel.
Then it was time to get back to the house for the dinner Genine had prepared.
We got back to find that Esther had arrived. Eric and Ryan (Eric's son) picked up Esther from airport and brought her up to the farm.
Adam Malkin (Genine's co-worker and runner for her relay) arrived a bit later because of traffic but there was a ton of food. Summer Spaghetti, Squash Casserole, Grilled Chicken, Chocolate Cake (my birthday is the 11th, we celebrated early).
Anyhow, it was a full house, 14 people. Very fun, that's what this place is all about.
We got a phone call from Team C5 + Heather and Gabe. They made it to the Carb Load dinner hosted by Mooseman. I was glad to know they were "in town".
We didn't do a good job of getting to sleep early I think it was a bit after 11 before I was asleep.

Saturday: 4:30 Wake up. I had packed the car other than having the bikes on. So I did that first thing. The Decaf Coffee was brewing and I had my PB&J breakfast and Green Machine Juice to wash down the Electrolyte Capsule and Allergy Medicine.
We left to the race at just about 5:30 the parking lot will fill fast and we have enough stuff that we'd prefer not to walk. Oddly enough the Cerra's arrived exactly at the same time so Craig, Shawn and I were parked side by side. Very convenient.
Walk down to transition to setup. This turned out to be the only weak spot in the Mooseman experience not that it was a big deal. We had to be marked before entering transition. I'm not sure what kind of markers they were, but the numbers were unreadable before the swim start.
Team C5 showed a bit later and the pictures could begin. Heather was going to use our camera for the day. I brought a bunch of extra stuff with me for them just in case, as they are first timers. I gave Gabe and Lidia GU to tape onto their bike and Gabe needed Body Glide. I'm always amazed at how fast pre-race time flies.

Finally it was time to walk to the far end of the beach for the Swim Start. Well Esther wasn't going to need the tinted lenses, we stood around for over a half an hour waiting for the fog to clear enough to see from one buoy to the next. Many photo opportunities as a result.
Finally they decided we would swim a modified course. We'd swim to the 2nd buoy, then turn left and swim towards a fire boat?? Not sure what boat they were talking about, you couldn't see it from shore. Then to a buoy and back to shore at the far end of the beach. We don't know how far it's going to be. I don't have many gears swimming anyhow so it's not like it should change my efforts in terms of pacing. Esther is only doing the swim leg and is racing to beat me. So I have to drop the hammer on the swim.
I line up at the front and to the right. When I'm pulling hard I track to the left, I thought it should be a good plan. Water temperature is 58-60 degrees. I go out hard for a couple minutes. My face is freezing!!! I figure it will pass, from becoming numb or from my rising temperature.
As I'm sighting, I start to look for someone I might be able to gun for and draft off of. Unfortunately, I end up in a pod of 3 of evenly matched and I'm in the center. At the 2nd buoy turn I see where everyone is headed but I don't know what Boat it is we are supposed to be swimming towards. So I am truly just following the pack. (good thing I'm not the best swimmer and leading, ha ha). I am still in this pod of swimmers, I decide to see if I can just draft off one of them for a bit, rather than swimming beside him. For some reason when I do this he starts to add breast stroke as his sighting method. Maybe he's tiring out? OK, that plan isn't going to work for me. I try to finally just leave this guy behind. I now see the buoy we are headed for so I keep digging. Because I track left, I take the turn at the buoy too close and I'm in the churn again getting smacked around. Next thing I know I'm back in the center of a 3 person pod and I think it's the same guy to my right. UGH!! Well I can see the finish at the beach, so I turn it on and go more strokes between sighting. Still tracking left badly, I have to correct every time.
I reach the beach, I work on finding my balance. I'm already on dry land before I have the top of my wetsuit off. Not a big deal, better than falling over. Swim 17:04 for .6 miles. Not sure if that's real miles or swimmer miles. I came out of the swim thinking I could have done better because of feeling trapped in, but my results seem to be in line with reality.
161/730 overall in the swim.
(Esther beat me by 12 seconds.... Grrrr)

T1: 2:03, I felt this transition went smoothly enough. Maybe I'll have to learn how to run barefoot and put my feet in my shoes on the bike to save time. Although I am suspect of how my balance would be doing this if I had only been out of the water for a minute.

Bike Map: I had my polar watch for HR, I find the information helpful. I don't have the IR adaptor to download my exact stats but I can adjust them later. If anyone is curious about what I think my bike zones to be. Check out this post.
Starting the bike HR is at 177. Ugh! My running max is 188. So this is very high. I know the bike course well so I think I can manage to bring it down. My thoughts start to think about miles 5-7 starting off with Devil's Hill. I know I can catch my breath leading into it once I make the turn in Hebron. I'll be curious to see my HR graph to see how much of a "break" I really gave myself.
As I was approaching Devil's Hill you could see the bikers packing up, climbing/grinding up the hill. Instead of thinking "Oh man, here it is!" I was actually thinking, "Oh man, that would be a great photo!"
On the 2nd climb in that section, I started to get a look at the bike numbers of the people around me. 212 was the easiest for me to remember because it's NYC's area code. Once I was on 3A and going downhill. It was time for a GU and gatorade. I've been concerned with bonking on the final third of the bike leg. So I took 3 gels with me and two bottles.
Miles 7-13 were enlightening. I was managing to overtake people on the downhills. Hold my own on the flats, but I was giving back my gains on the climbs. I became very familiar with 3 other bikers. 212 being one of them. I was also realizing how close my calves were to cramping. They were very tight. I'm guessing because I probably climbed those hills much faster than I normally would... or the cold water? Who knows..
Miles 13-15.5 I just hammered my way into Bristol. It's the easiest section of the course as long as traffic isn't a factor (which it wasn't). I was really feeling good about my race so far and I started to think about the last 18 months of training for this. . How when I was just starting to run, when I'd want to quit, I'd think of Dan, Mom and Nathan and finish the workout. Well now I also started to think about the fact there were 10 of us racing today, Friends new and old....I have to admit I was fighting back tears. It was a good thing tho'.
Miles 15.5-19. Gu time again. It's not terribly hot. I don't feel that I'm losing fluids but this is the last section that it's going to be simple to take in fluids in terms of the road conditions and being far enough away from the run. As people pass, I am reminded once again, that my climbing is costing me time.
Miles 19-24. Some good rollers in through this section. There were 3 or 4 of us that were loosely grouped. I feel like I've been with them since Devil's Hill. Every climb they were ahead. I could take them on the downhills. Well I was behind them on the downhill from 21.5-22.5 and sadly was unwilling to cross the double line to pass. I ended up being on my brakes a large portion of that distance. Ah well.
Fortunately the hill/turn at 23.25 was well staffed, you pick up a ton of speed in a hurry, you want to know they have "traffic" under control there.
Mile 24-Finish. I know there is one small bump of a hill from here to the beach. I hop up out of the saddle, yell to the other guys "There's only one bump between us and the beach! Hammer It Home!" I'll be curious to see what I managed for my speed through this section, I felt that I was pouring it on in aero position because I was so thrilled to have survived the bike!! It could be that I was only flying emotionally.
As I passed the view of Cardigan, I didn't look, but I could hear my mom saying "you can see the fire tower today" :-).
Up over the bump, hammer to the fishing bridge, hop out of saddle to stretch it out a few times. Switch to a higher cadence from the bridge to the park. Walk it into transition.... I've definitely gotta learn to leave the shoes on the bike.
Time 1:24:09, 19.4mph over 27.5 miles (new PR for average speed at any distance).
Avg HR 171, Max 186.
One last comment about the bike course. 5 signs before every turn!! That's how you mark a course!!!
208/730 overall bike

T2: 1:53. The C5 Crew was cheering me as I was putting my socks on for the run. Unfortunately, I also had to get my watch off the bike which probably took :30. Maija is probably reading this saying "Are you kidding me?!!? GO!!!!!!!" :-)
At dinner that night, the C5ers said the same to me. I think it was "Dude, some people did the bike/run transition in like 30 seconds, you've gotta move it!"

The Run: 10K. This is going to be interesting. I've only run about 8 miles since May 3rd. I actually emailed Esther asking if she would be willing to be my runner this weekend. (She was already there to be the swimmer for my wife's relay team). You can read about my last minute knee adjustment here. Anyhow, what has been my strongest event for the last 2 races has become a bit of question mark for today.
I was feeling pretty good starting out, it starts out nice and flat so I knew I'd have time to get my running legs going. Not far into the run I see someone familiar running towards me. It was Esther, after finishing her swim went out running. She spots me and begins to cheer "Go Matt!"
I think after that there was the pro photographer in the middle of the road. I knew I wanted a picture of myself running with the "hands as moose antlers" as this is something, Nathan and I used to do. I believe I got my picture. (The other was a shark fin on top of your head while swimming, I couldn't expect the photographer to get that shot tho' :-) )
Well when I hit the first hill just past the first mile I guess, my left quad cramps up on me. I have to slow to a walk. Then try to run again. Still unhappy. I stop completely. Flex my leg as hard as I can, putting all my weight on my left. Then start running again. What do you know, it worked!
Back on the move, I didn't lose much time there. Unfortunately I know there are more hills to come. Well when I hit the first big hill, they had a stereo system jamming a U2 Song. I don't typically run with music. Well I rallied with this song. People were on the return loop running towards me. I started clapping to the beat hands up over my head, grinding it up the hill. I think it might have helped them too, they were no longer grimacing, they were smiling/laughing at me.
Finally approaching the turn around. Which is down a steep hill towards the lake. A ton of people were just ahead of me on their way back up. So when I got to the water station/turn around most of the volunteers/kids were filling up cups and not ready to hand anything over. I yell out to them to get their attention "Do we swim back to the beach from here!?!?". They hand me a couple cups of water and I'm 5K from finishing.
But first, back up this hill. At the top of the hill were a couple guys playing hand drums. Once again, clapping to the beat, rallying up the hill.
I honestly don't know if I've passed anyone during the run so far, I may only be losing positions along the way but I know I'm giving it everything I've got as my HR monitor has been showing me 180+ nearly the entire run.
At about mile 4-4.5 I spot one of our "Team Jerseys" Craig is running up the hill at me. I give him a shout on the way by. I keep wanting to up the pace but it's just not there. I spot Gabe and cheer him on as he goes by. Then I spot Shawn, WAHOO!!!
I kept looking at my watch to see how much further I had to go, and I kept trying to speed it up. As I was approaching the turn off the road into the park and into the finish line. Everyone starts yelling nice hat! Awsome hat! I knew the guy with the moosehead for a hat was approaching. Once again, I try not to let anyone pass me, too bad, I'm already in top gear. Ah well I'm into the corral psyched to be finishing, they are announcing my name, crowd cheering, awesome, I left it all out there, it was a great race.
10K 51:15 8:16 pace.
Avg HR 180, Max ??? I'll have to graph it. it's saying 196 which I believe is impossible.
293/730 overall run

2:36:23 total time.
218/730 overall
163/418 Male Competitors
38/68 Age Group

Individual results
Relay Team Results
Mooseman Pictures

1 comment:

esther said...

you DROPPED THE HAMMER!! (12 seconds is nothing if i'm only doing 1 leg). way to go matt!!