Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rev 3 Maine Matt's Race Report

When we were going to arrive for this race wasn’t determined until a couple days before we actually left. Both of us had things we needed to take care of at work before leaving, because we are going to go for longer than just the weekend.
On the way up Friday, we stopped at my brother’s house. We had a nice visit, stayed the night, then we got out the door early with plans of a practice swim at OOB.

Genine hadn’t been feeling well so when we got there and saw that the ocean was very, very calm, we decided the practice swim wasn’t going to be necessary. We familiarized ourselves with the layout of race. Picked up our race numbers. I worked on the rear brake of my bike for awhile. (it’s been sticking). Then checked our bikes in and headed for our hotel, which was up in Portland. (about 20 min away).

Next we headed into town, Old Port part of Portland. It was very nice. We found a pub for lunch then walked around a good bit. Genine didn’t get enough time here. She really likes Portland.

Not really knowing how parking and such was going to go. We defaulted to our normal, get up way too early (3AM) drive down to the race site park and sleep in the car until transition opens. (Genine can never fall back asleep, so it’s not a great plan). Parking certainly didn’t become an issue either. If we do the race again, we won’t be in a hurry to get there.

This is only my 2nd triathlon of the season and it would seem that I didn’t have my race morning very well prepared. After I set up my transition, we went back to the car. We figured we’d finish preparing there and walk to the start, carrying our wetsuits. Then I realized I still had my car key, so I had to set the car to lock, then go back to transition and leave the key there. Now suddenly I’m feeling a bit more rushed. I didn’t eat much of a breakfast because we didn’t have a kitchen and nothing else really sounded that good. Not a great start for a half iron.

Swim: Ate a pack of Shot Blocks 15 or so minutes before my start. Going into the swim hoping that I’ll be able to find some feet again and get pulled around the course. That happened for maybe 20% of the swim. The water is cold about 60 degrees. I definitely got the face freeze/ ice cream headache at the beginning. I felt that I swam a really good line the entire time. Which was good, this was a smaller race so it wasn’t a matter of just staying within the pod. There was plenty of open water for you to swim in. It did require me to sight more frequently.
I reached the timing mat in 41:33 which is a time that would have upset me a couple of years ago. I just haven’t been swimming much so I can’t be upset with it. My Garmin measured the swim as 1.4 miles. I have no idea how accurate that is as I’ve not done enough measured open water swims to know.

T1: This is a long jog to transition but really not much longer than Mont Tremblant. I’ve got .46 miles but I made a pit stop that most people didn’t do. During T1 I went from 42nd in my division to 52nd.  Overall 60 people passed me in T1… Ah well. Obviously if I was feeling competitive I wouldn’t have made the stop.

Bike: I’ve done a bunch of riding this summer, I’m going into this hopeful that I might break 20mph over the 56 miles. Of course this is because I went into this thinking that there was only 800ft of elevation gain. (my garmin shows 1800-1900). I did know most of the climbing would be in the first half of the ride and nothing was going to be terribly steep.
This is my 2nd race with a power meter. To be honest, I haven’t done any true testing to know exactly where I should be in terms of power. I’ve just been looking at all numbers after my rides and evaluating how they felt.  
For the first half of the ride, I found myself in familiar spot. I would only be passing people on flats and down hills. They would pass me on the climbs. I went back and forth with 2 people enough times that it was somewhat comical.
Around mile 30 I see a biker laying in the road up ahead not moving. There were a couple people already taking the bike off the road and motorists pulled over on the opposite side of the road. The person was not moving. It really creeped me out and put a pit into my stomach. I have no idea what happened but it took some time to shake that off. We do this for fun. That looked like the opposite of fun.

Then I realized we reached the point in the course where gravity was going to be in my favor and I was feeling strong, so I started pushing.

My HR was well above my typical training rate, so that gave me reason to be a little concerned. My legs felt great tho’, so I figured I’ve got to keep at it. It was really enjoyable. Not that I was passing many people, it was just really fun to dig in and actually ride fast for a good long while.
I finished the course in 2:45:49. Which you would think means I hit my first goal of the day as that would be 20.26mph average. Unfortunately, my garmins measured the course at 54.25 miles. Which drops me in to the 19.7mph range. I’ve posted on some forums to see if my measurement was correct. That’s still a good rate tho and certainly a PR for that distance. What’s funny is I don’t have total ride time showing on my garmin screen, so I had no idea what my time was until after the race.
Other metrics to note.
AVG HR 150. Mont Tremblant was 148
AVG Power was 46W higher than Mont Tremblant.
Ride started at 52 degrees and finished at 72 degrees.  (garmin temp) Mont Tremblant was 62 the entire ride.
I moved up 4 spots in my division, 39 places overall.

T2: 2:50 Lost 1 spot in my division.

Run: Heading out of transition, I was certainly glad for the very flat start. I knew there would be a short climb ahead but was hopeful that the legs would be in run mode by the time I got there. I also started to think about the 2 hour run goal. I have no idea why I thought that was possible. I ran a 2:09:00 at Timberman back in 2009 and I was about 25 pounds lighter for that race. I guess I was thinking, I’m running and biking much more than I did then. This should be possible.
Thank goodness I don’t get sympathy cramps. Once we hit the incline, there were a number of people that went cruising by me, only to pull up quickly because of leg cramps. I was thankful that at the moment, I was feeling good.
Once I reached the Eastern Trail I just settled into a groove. I watched several of the bikers that I had been trading places with me early on the ride pass me by. I wasn’t surprised. I was glad to have held them off as long as I did.
I had my EFS gel and was taking water at the water stops. I stopped to walk the aid stations to make sure I got all the water down and one over my head to keep cool. I was feeling pretty good.
At the turnaround, I had someone ahead of me that would start running away from me just as I caught up to them. Then they would walk and just as I would catch up, they would start running again. After doing this about 3  times, he decided that he would just run along with me at my pace. Which was fantastic because we just chatted our way along through what would have been the toughest part of the run. It took my mind off of the task at hand and before I knew it we were back on the pavement heading back to transition. There was one little hill where I tried to change my stride up and my legs sent a strong message that I shouldn’t do that, unless I wanted to start cramping/walking. Which was disappointing because I knew that the 2 hour run probably wasn’t going to happen. I guess I shouldn’t have walked the aid stations either.
I got to the finish in 2:02:15.  About a 9:20 pace. A 2:09:xx had been my previous 70.3 best. So I’ll take it.
Moved up 2 spots in my division.
Oddly enough Overall I dropped 11 spots in the first 3 miles but then by the finish had reclaimed the 11 spots and improved by 2.
 Curious about my HR chart here. My pace didn't pick up. I always wonder if this is a hydration issue. I was very tempted to use my camelback at this race. I seem to require a ton of fluid. Maybe I should have used it.

Total Time 5:41:17  Previous best 5:55:45.  I’ll take that too. (although I’m curious about the 1.75 mile bike deficit, that could be an extra 5 minutes added on)

This was a great race to finish my triathlon season. It left me feeling good about my current strength and fitness, even tho I’m at my heaviest weight since 2007. Obviously, I need to get my eating back under control. I’d like to get into next season with this level of fitness without the extra weight to carry around. I can’t help but think about getting back into swim shape as well. I’m giving up 7-10 minutes during the swim, which used to be my strongest event and the one I looked forward to doing the most. Recently, I’ve just been getting through the swim, which is boring.

Next up is the NJ Gran Fondo. 107 miles and 8000+ feet of climbing. Hopefully the legs recover in time.