Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What happened in Florida?!

I have to say this right off the bat, I am not sure how people talk about themselves on these forms so often. One of the reasons I write less frequently is that I feel pompous when writing about myself, and even more so when describing something I do right.

So, as a follow up to Florida I will explain what happened. I am VERY happy with my race. Here is how it went:

The swim- Very non eventful, the water was perfect, and you could wear a wetsuit which made the swim quick. I wanted to go as easy as I could in the swim as I knew might fight would be later in the day. I came out of the water in about 56 min that was right about where I thought I would be. I was comfortable, relaxed and smooth the entire swim.

The bike- I had to stop 3 times in the first mile because I thought my SRM was broke. I felt as if I was barely touching the pedals and I was well over 300 watts. My plan was o average about 230 so this was somewhat alarming. After checking calibration several times, I realized what was actually happening was I was tapered! I felt fantastic. There were very large groups out there. Packs were passing me quite frequently. I have my mind made up that this was simply not going to bother me. I would let each one pass me, and just let them live with themselves if they were cheating or not. A couple times I would be my 7 bike lengths off the back of a large group, and I have to tell you honestly there is still a major advantage to that. I never stayed with one very long as they usually would start surging, or I got off the bike a couple times to deal with special needs, or go to the bathroom. Towards the end a group passed me and one of my best friends was in it. He explained that it was impossible to get around them and he was just going to hang off the back (legally) and wait for the run. I decided with less then 20 miles to go to hang around Mark and see what happened. He had sub 9:15 experience and it was just nice to see a friend. We came in to T2 together, my split was 4:56 I think, and I felt as if I had paced myself perfectly! I felt almost fresh. Other then going to the bathroom A LOT, my nutrition and SRM had done their job. I was very excited to finally get a chance to run an Ironman marathon.

The run- I started the run at 6:00 into the race. My wife Lindsay and my mom were at various places on the course to cheer. It was great to see them. I told Lindsay that I was putting forth what felt like no effort, but was still running 6:30 pace. I knew that wasn’t going to last, so I tried to slow it down and run 7:30 which was my “best case scenario” for the day. He next mile was 6:45. Trouble hit in the form of my fuel belt rubbing my race number to shreds. I knew that if I lost my number I could be disqualified. So after several attempts to salvage the number I decided the fuel belt (with all my special nutrition) had to go, bad choice. At this point I was 4 miles in, still running sub 7 pace, feeling great and thought if I can carry a couple bottles I have more nutrition in Special Needs, I would be OK. I drank the 2 bottles quickly as I hated carrying them. My pace had lowed down to about 7:05 pace. I still felt good and had a choice to make. I could slow down now to 8 min miles, and most likely run a 3:30 is and go around 9:30 and that would be so great. OR, I could roll the dice, and shoot for a 9:15 effort. I figure I can probably run a sub 2:50 marathon fresh, and if I feel this good could maybe pull off a 3:15 on the day. I felt that I would have to get this far into an Ironman again before I could do this and feel this good, so might as well go for it, and see what happens. Well, needless to say my legs felt great but the lack of sodium from mile 4-13 really played a number on my stomach. At the half way I was 1:40 with 2 bathroom breaks, at special needs, feeling queasy I didn’t want to drink much so I slammed one bottle and left the rest. I started to feel great again, but it was short lived. I just wasn’t getting in enough sodium and calories. Now I was running like 9:30 pace. I was now hoping to break 9:45. J I threw up at mile 20 which felt great and my first instinct was to run hard in for the last 6 miles, and not drink or eat anything. I thought I feel good physically, let’s just run the last 6 fast as I don’t feel sick now, and get this over with. After a half mile I was out of gas, and needed to walk for the first time, just to get some food and drink in. that blew my time up. So I jogged it in for a 10:02, which is still almost an hour PR for me.

In conclusion, I was happy I went for it. I had fun out there for the first time, but realize I probably have the most fun with the half Ironman races. I learned a lot, it will only make me a better coach for the athletes I coach. In my next insert Ill add a story about one of my athletes.

No comments: