IMAZ 2014 Race Report
This was a tough race for me even before it started. I in no way mean to make any excuses, just telling you how it is. I had just done Hawaii, I did well there considering, but my body got pretty dehydrated and wasn’t quite right for a bit of time after. Combine that with coming home to finalize getting financing for my new house and then actually having the closing and the move 2 days prior to leaving for Arizona Logistically it was a super hard thing to pull off.
To be honest too, I was so mentally consumed with all of this going on, the motivation to keep training was at a year low. I was excited for next year, so I still loved the idea of training, just not in the present if that makes any sense. As the weather turned and the trainer became the weapon of choice I just hadn’t transformed into indoor riding mode and basically my attitude was terrible. LOL, poor Tanya had to deal with the brunt of this frustration, no doubt introducing her to new aspects of our relationship which she weathered like a pro.
I did know this – If I could just make it to race week, even though I did have the added stress of working the expo tent all week, I would be amongst friends and excited to race! This did not disappoint. Working the booth, standing all day wasn’t ideal, and new for me, but I enjoy seeing all the athletes there and it was a lot of fun.
Pre swim was pretty normal. I had the usual bathroom nerves going on, but knowing the weather was supposed to be cool I elected to try to not over drink leading into the race and thought I had that covered. (More on this to come). Of course at the last min I felt I had to go the bathroom again so got in a line that seemed longer than the registration line… getting the job done I then headed off to the swim start. The line was so long to get IN to the water I couldn’t believe it. I had to be “That guy” and somewhat force myself to the front, of course getting all the looks like I was being a dick, but I wanted to say, “I swear I am going to swim 55 or better, I’m going to the place I really SHOULD be, I swear”. I have always thought swim caps should be colored based on swim times.
Once in the water I went to where my friends and I had discussed starting and like magic, we all found each other. The gun went off and Trevor and I decided to start to execute our plan to swim in close proximity. He and I seemed to be leading our area but I believe we missed the front group as they just chose a way different line. It was very hard to tell with the sun, etc. We all traded leads a bit, I found myself leading most of the way out then not for a bit, and then most of the way back. At about 500 meters to go I just fell off the pace slightly but told myself to stay calm and smooth and all would be fine. I got out of the water less than 30 sec behind Trevor and was quite glad to be done.
Tried to run and put helmet on the same time and make quick work of the transition. Good thing too because it still took me a ton of time to catch up to Trevor and the front. The course is flat or uphill into the wind for about 17 miles then flip it and come hone 3 x. I had a plan to go out hard to try to separate myself from the field and maybe even deliver a mental blow to some of the stronger runners in the group. I knew some of the guys who I would be racing and on my best days they are simply still better runners. I had decided to play the cards I had in my hand and that was to bike solid. I think looking back I did start out a little hot as I averaged 296 watts for the first 50 min before the descent. In that time I moved to the front of the race, and to Trevor’s credit he was about 20 meters behind me still at the turn around. We FLEW coming down the hill and I could see some of the top guys were still right there. This told me people like Scott had an awesome swim, but were also riding strong and I needed to keep the pressure on.
That is when I had my first feeling like I really had to pee. So I went and it was pretty yellow while a lot of it so I thought I had hit my hydration quite well. Not diluted, but enough that I wasn’t dehydrated like Kona. What became strange was after the first loop I already had to pee again. So I did – A LOT. Wow. Ok, I must be more hydrated then I thought so I really tried to not drink too much till that stopped. My nutrition was pretty spot on. I let Trevor lead us up the second loop for over 30 min telling myself that I need to keep my effort in check and I wanted to see at someone else’s pace if we would still maintain the position on the other guys. The gap didn’t grow as much at all, but it definitely was still getting larger. So that was a good sign. The second climb with Trevor leading we ended up dropping to 254 watts for that climb, which was spot on the race watts I wanted to average.
On the way back down I went to the bathroom 2 more times and was getting HUNGRY so I made sure to stop and get special needs which meant putting a foot down, but it was worth it. When we flipped for the third and final loop I had to pee again, and after this one it took me a long time to re catch up to Trevor. I knew then I was getting tired. So I decided to be a touch conservative and rode at about 235 watts on the way up this time.
I had a pre-determined plan to not push hard the last 30 min back to town and speeds were high regardless. I put about a 200 watt limit on myself as that still kept us over 30 mph. Trevor got a flat with about 8 miles to go and now I was riding solo. I took it as a sign to relax even more and… pee… again... holy crap this was going to be one of these days…
I was first age grouper. I had to change clothes, thought I moved pretty quickly but surprise, surprise had to pee. I started to run about 7 min pace but in the first 2 miles had to stop two more times. This was getting ridiculous. At mile 4 I ducked into the bathroom and went again, this is when Trevor took the lead from me. I actually was feeling quite well despite being a human sprinkler. I was trying to run him down and catch up but a few times I would get close and have to stop for another bathroom break. UGH!!
I was telling myself a lot now that I simply couldn’t afford to give these guys this amount of time on a run where they are already better runners then I am. It was what it was though. I was trying to run a bit quicker then I should have but at this point I figured “F-it” and if I blew up, then so be it. I told myself lets just make it to mile 10-13 then we can reassess. I made it about 10 miles in then just got pretty darn tired. At that point my only goal was to break 3:30 which meant if I could just hold 8 min miles or better I should. I would speed up to sub 8, then try to back off, then have to back off, then got some nutrition and would speed up again. Hey, at least I stopped peeing! J
I have to be honest, I was making all sorts of deals with myself like run 2 solid, 1 easy, but they never actually pan out. I just kept trying to keep running. It frustrates me if I am honest I don’t run marathons off the bike as well as I am capable. Perhaps it’s over biking, but I don’t think I would drop 30 min if I biked 10 min slower. I would then be eliminating all the cushion I have over the better runners. I think it just needs to all come together and it also very hard to tell just 4 weeks after Kona. Besides that, I like the way I race. I like pushing it and while it took some time for me to figure out the 70.3 races, I know it will click for Ironman too. I have done so many sub 9:30 I only want to try to PR now at IM races if I am going to do them and to do so I need to take risks. Taking risks means exactly that, putting yourself in the best position and try to execute. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.
At the end of the day I went 3:30 marathon, and 9:19 for 6th overall AG’r, but still 5th in my division which is insane. LOL. It’s all good though and I am looking forward to aging up without these dudes for at least a year. J It was nice to see Trevor who I coach kill another Ironman. It was also awesome to see Scott Johnson have a HUGE PR day a well going 10:33.