Endurafit Ironman 70.3 Eagleman 2012
5:43:48 52/140 AG, 744/1849 OA. 12 min PR (2005)
Swim: 29:53, 11 AG/ 194/OA
Bike: 2:45:44, 53 AG/755 OA
Run: 2:21:39, 68 AG/978 OA
Power details: AvgW = 161, NP = 168, HR 145 avg, TSS 166, IF .78, VI 1.01
When I signed up for this race, Fran & I decided to make a bit of a vacation out of the event. We arrived on Friday, stayed at the very nice (buy pricey) Hyatt Chesapeake Bay resort. We planned on spending an extra day seeing the sights in St. Michaels on Monday and heading back on Tuesday. If you have the chance to do this, I would highly recommend it. We had a great time all around.
One of my key race strategies is to always get the adminis-trivia taken care of as early and painlessly as possible. So before we checked into the hotel, we went straight to the Sailwinds park and took care of race registration. After a brief tour of the so-so-expo, we checked into the hotel.
Saturday was spent sleeping in late and getting a big breakfast at a diner just down the street at the Cambridge Diner (another thumbs up recommendation), I went out for a quick shake-down ride on the race bike and make sure that my new Lazer Tardis race helmet was fitted well. Afterwards, we hung out by the pool and relaxed.
Race morning I got up a bit earlier than planned as I was wide awake, and I started my normal pre-race routine. Breakfast consisted of my standard pre-race meal of two Lara Bars, one banana, pint of Orange Juice, and two cups of black coffee (approx. 750-800 cals). Afterwards I loaded up the car, and drove over to the race venue. Fran was wisely opting to sleep in then hangout by the beautiful Hyatt pool, and be served drinks by the hotel staff. She’s always been a lot smarter than me.
Because parking is so limited at the race venue, and the remote shuttle-serviced parking was so far from transition, I wanted to get to the site very early and score one of the limited parking spot within easy walking distance. Over the years of racing, I’ve found that there is no reason NOT to show up as early as possible on race morning. It’s a strategy that allows me to get my transition area set up quickly, with minimal hassle, and limited dancing around the other athletes. I tend to absorb stress from other athletes in transition, so having some quiet time to setup and get out of transition quickly is key to maintaining my ‘mellow’ before the race. I’m also able to take care of necessary biological business without waiting in very long lines. After a bit of waiting, we were getting called up to the start, so I wandered over to a grassy spot near the swim start, got into my wetsuit and waited for my wave to be called.
My AG was wave 4, after the pros, 50+ women and 55+ men. For some reason that I could not understand, we had to wait 18 minutes between the 3rd wave and our start. 10 minutes of that time was in the water lined up on the start line.
The start line was pretty wide, however most of the athletes choose to stage themselves near the boat ramp. That seemed to add a bit of distance to the 1st buoy, so I staged myself much further out from the rampt This turned out to be the smart move, because within a hundred yards, I was in clear water and moving along.
My swim strategy was to stay smooth, with long and strong strokes, 10 breaths on the right, head up to sight, 10 breaths on the left, head up to sight, wash, rinse repeat for 30 minutes. I didn’t have any serious problems sighting until I lost the 3rd turn buoy and went a bit wide. That probably cost me a minute. I started catching some of the prior wave swimmers on the final stretch to the finish, so I knew I had a good swim.
In T1 I started fat-fingering my gear so I forced myself to stand down for a moment, the follow my T1 plan smoothly, but a bit slowly. I really need to practice my transitions, and learn to race w/out socks.
My plan on the bike was to measure out consistent power through the entire bike course. Since the course is pancake flat, and the forecast called for light winds, I knew that sticking to my plan would be completely within my control. I just had to focus.
I knew that I was well ahead of my AG competition after the swim, but knew that would not last long. I got passed by my 1st AG competitor within the 1st mile, and the second passed me by mile 3. No Kona slot for me.
My fueling strategy on the bike was to take sips from my 2X strength HEED bottle every 20-30 minutes, alternating with hits of my Hammer Gel flask every 15-30 minutes, and take water bottles off the course. Since the temperatures were going to reach the low-mid 90s I also took 2-3 endurolytes every 15 minutes. This gave me about 900 calories on the bike. I was running low on HEED toward the end of the bike course, so I need to re-think this strategy a bit for IMLP.
I completed the bike without serious incident and felt 100% in control of my power output the entire time. I only noticed a bit of headwind in the usual location between 40 and 48 miles, so I just altered my gearing to keep power output consistent. The only issue was some serious chafing from my new Cobb saddle. I learned the hard way that I really can’t wear thinly padded tri suits with this seat.
In T2 I took some extra time to re-apply spray on sunscreen, knowing that the run course has NO shade. My run strategy was just like my bike strategy. Go out easy for the 1st 3 miles, settle into a steady pace through mile 10, then suck it up and push through the finish. Because of the heat, I had planned on walking through the aid stations to get hydration and throw ice into my race suit.
I managed to do ok through mile 9ish, but the wheels started to fall off from the heat, and lack of long run preparation. I was trying to maintain a 9:20 pace at this point but had to keep backing down to walk breaks when the heat would start to overwhelm me. I limited the walk breaks to 30-50 steps, then start running again. I was managing to pass some folks along the run, which is something that almost never happens in my races, so I felt that my overall race strategy was working.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the results. I did a lot of things right, and that resulted in an unexpected PR. I know what strategy elements worked well, and what I need to tweak for IMLP in July.
One additional point. Fran bought some new Coppertone Sport Pro spray on sunscreen for me to use in my workouts. This stuff totally rocks. I used it before the swim, and reapplied in T2. Using an SPF30 formula I did not get ANY sunburn, despite the swim, sweating profusely and dumping gallons of water and ice on myself during the bike and run. If you have ever raced Eagleman, you know how easy it is to get badly sunburned. This stuff is da bomb!