Wow, I suck at keeping up w/ this blog site. Oh well. Next weekend is my next race – Chelanman at Lake Chelan in Eastern WA. Nice area, and i’ve heard good things about the race. Winter training was going pretty good until I had a freak accident on the bike. Wound up bruising my knee cap (bone bruise underneath) in March. That took a LONG time to heal. Wasn’t untl about 3 weeks ago that it didn’t hurt anymore to walk down stairs. That derailed winter training quite a bit. Couldn’t run, couldn’t bike for several weeks and have been lightly doing each for several more. At this point, my only goal for this upcoming race is to finish… Probably the right goal anyway given it’s my first attempt at this distance. But still somewhat dissapointing given my original goals for this season. Going to be a busy few months. Chelanman next week, Lake Stevens 4 weeks after that and depending on the weather I think I’ll do the Black Diamond race again (I’ll do the 1/2 IM rather than the Olympic though) in late Sept. I don’t really be properly trained for any of them, but it still sounds like fun.
A few notes to start planning for next years 1/2 Ironman races (1.2mi swim, 56mi bike and 13.1mi run).
Races I’m doing for sure
I’d like to do a few other races as time and schedule allow including:
- Another Olympic distance – TBD where, but in late spring/early summer
- Maybe a 1/2 marathon, probably not until fall so maybe the Seattle 1/2, or even the Lk Samm 1/2.
- Another 70.3 – maybe the Black Diamond HIM in Sept
Totals for 2010 (for comparison later)
- Swim: 80 miles
- Bike: 1600 miles
- Run: 340 miles
- Longest training week (4 of them): +3 miles swimming, +100 miles biking and +20 miles running
- 3 pairs of headphones ruined
- 2 pairs of goggles ruined by chlorine/abuse
- 1 water bottle lost
Things to figure out
- New values for LT and FTP
- Nutrition needs
- TBD other
Black Diamond race report (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run)
Tough race, not so much because of the course, but because of – well everything else.
Up at 5AM, get dressed, pack and head out the door by 5:40. Hit SBUX for a bagel and coffee. For some odd reason our local SBUX has decided to replace the plain bagel with a “Hawaiian sweet bread” version. Quick bagel review: There’s a reason Hawaii is not known as the bagel capital of the world.
Mistake #1: Only having a bagel for breakfast at 5:45 and nothing else until I was on the bike at about 10-10:30
Arrived at Nolte State park around 6:30 and got inline for packet pickup and body marking. It was about now that the rain stared to pick up from a light drizzle to a steady downpour.
Hauled all my stuff to transition, found the bike/run exit gates, and spent some time looking at the course etc.
The swim is 2x around deep lake (twice around the 4 red buoys in the picture below)
Side note: Somebody knew what they were talking about when they named this deep lake. Not even 5 feet from shore and the water was already over my head. Thankfully being in deep water doesn’t bother me.
They start all the Olympic men together so there were 173 of us in the water at the same time. When the horn goes off to start swimming there are a ton of people around you. I lined up near the right-front of the group. First 200 yards or so were brutal. Got kicked a couple of times, and was swimming between two people. We kept hitting each other with our arms until the field got a little wider and space opened up. After about the first 1/2 mile the course opened up pretty well so the last 1/2 mile wasn’t bad at all. Raining lightly when we started swimming.
Here’s where the race started going south… When setting up my biking stuff, I put my shoes down, helmet on top of it, then glasses inside. Covered the entire thing with a grocery bag to keep them dry while it was raining. When I got to T1, I took the bag off and – no glasses. I only ride with glasses occasionally so if it had been a decent day I would have left w/o them. But today it was raining pretty good so I wanted to make sure I had glasses to keep water out of my eyes. Opened my gym bag where I keep everything, no glasses. Open the side pockets, no glasses. Was just about ready to give up when I noticed the grocery bag I had used to keep everything dry had a pair of glasses sticking out of them. Turns out when I pulled the bag off everything, somehow the glasses got stuck and came out/off with the bag. Wasted about 2 minutes looking for those things. Finished getting shoes on and headed out.
Somewhere between the time I got clipped in, to the time I finished one complete pedal stroke I noticed – it hurt. Everything, quads, hamstrings, calf. My best guess is that because of the cold water and rain I needed far more of a warm up than I had because the first 10 or so miles were just painful. Legs felt dead and my hamstrings were cramping a bit. Not fun. And even though I finally warmed up, I never made up the rest of the lost time on the bike. The rain kept up for much of the ride.
Mistake #2: Long story short, I have only one water bottle cage on my bike. I have another cage (two in fact) on my mountain bike that I keep meaning to put on my road bike but never have. Well, I’ll be putting that second cage on ASAP. I finished my water bottle by about mile 15, and didn’t have anything to drink for the remaining 10 mile ride. By the time I finished the bike I was pretty thirsty.
Mistake #4: Only had one Shot Blok on the bike, so my total nutrition for the morning was 180 calories. Which would have been just fine if I had more for breakfast.
Happy to get off the bike I was hoping for a good run.
Never really have challenges in T2, this one was no different – helmet, bike shoes off, running shoes on. Except this time because I was pretty thirsty, I took a huge swig of water from the bottled water I keep in the transition zone (to spray water on things if needed). Then grabbed a cup of water and took a gulp from that one on the way out of the transition zone.
Water sounded so good in transition, then about 1 minute into the run the big gulps turned into stomach cramps. Not really a side stich, but actual cramps. So instead of a good run, I slowed to a pace that let me keep running but not make the cramps any worse. Worked fine as I could keep moving forward but I skipped getting water at the 2nd and 3rd aid stations because my stomach was still a bit flakey so no water then either. By about mile 4 my stomach was fine but by then I think the lack of water, food various other issues through the day had its affect. I never really picked up the pace.
Happy to be done, and it was a tough day, but totally enjoyed the experience of the longer distance. Had a headache until about 5PM (I’m guessing from the dehydration) and am still kind of thirsty today. Lots to work on over the off season, but a big part is going to be understanding and figuring out proper nutrition and hydration for the half IM.
I’ll take the next week off completely. Will probably hit the Dr.’s office though as I’ve started to have some pain after running that I think needs to be looked at. Off season training and setting next years race schedule starts in a few of weeks.
Beaver lake is a 1/4mi swim, 13.8mi bike and 4.3 mile run – Kind of an odd set of distances for a sprint, but since the lake is about 2 miles from my house it sounded like a great option to get some more experience before next months Olympic race. It wasn’t until later that I found out the race is considered one of the tougher sprints around here because both the run and bike (in particular the bike) are on hilly courses. Not only was I sure to get in some good practice, looks like I was going to get in a good workout too.
Didn’t really do anything special here – got up (at 4:50 AM….) had breakfast, put the rest of my race gear together and headed out. Since the lake was so close I decided to skip dealing with parking and just rode my bike in. Got to the transition area about 6AM and found the place pretty much to my self (just me, a few volunteers and the local ducks).
So I set up. It’s interesting that you need a packing list to remember all the crap to do a race (biking shoes, running shoes, goggles, HR monitor, bike, wetsuit etc.). and amazing how simple all your stuff looks when its all put together.
after I was done I had plenty of time before hitting the lake for a warm up swim, so I took few shots of the lake and race setup
Swim (0:08:27 – 1:55/100)
It was 48 degrees this morning (seriously, WTF happened to the summer here) so a bit cold when we were waiting around but the water thankfully was plenty warm. We were the 4th swim wave to leave. When the horn sounds you’re swimming in the middle of 30 people all kicking and flailing about. It’s kind of crazy. I’m pretty sure I kicked 1-2 people behind me, but didn’t get kicked by anyone in front of me so it wasn’t too bad. First 1/3 of the swim was hard because the sun was in you face and it was hard to sight properly. Thankfully there was a large house with white columns almost right behind the first buoy so you could use that to help guide you. After you rounded the first buoy the next 2 were out of the sun so sighting became easier. Drafted with another person in my group for the last 1/3 of the swim and managed to catch up to the last few people that were still in the water from the wave in front of me. Good swim, all the practice in the lake this summer has helped a ton.
Slow’ish transition, just wasn’t thinking it through all the way. Nothing else really to say, got out of the wetsuit, put on my bike shoes, glasses and helmet and headed out
Bike (0:50:09 – 16.1MPH)
Slow ride for me, I knew the course had a long hill, but I really had no more details than that. The first part of the ride passed pretty quietly, the decent down the the valley was fun, got over 45mph on that section. Then a short section through the valley on a major highway. That kind of sucked, but finally turned into some side roads which begins the uphill segment back. Turns out the long hill is both steep (starts out at 4% but then quickly goes to 9-10% grade for a good portion) and long. The steep section was over soon enough but the length is what makes tough. Didn’t get passed much, but didn’t pass much either. Riding into T2 I was pretty sure I had paced myself well on the bike and was expecting to have at least a decent run.
Helmet off, bike shoes off, running shoes on. No real problems. Grabbed my race belt and I was on my way.
Run (0:35:23 – 8:12/mi)
Felt surprisingly good as the run started. Toughest part of the run is typically the first mile or so as your legs adjust from pedaling a bike to, well, running. Leaving T2 I caught up with the same person I was trading places with on much of the bike. He was running a pace that felt good, so I hung in back and just paced him for about the first mile or so. After the first mile the hills kick up again and the guy I was pacing started to slow down a bit. By about 2.5 miles I passed him and just focused on getting up the next few hills or so before we got to the flat before the finish line. Last mile or so were a bit tough – started to feel like crap, my heart rate was way high for most of the race and I was starting to feel it now. Thankfully I’ve run this part of the course many times this year so I knew I was close enough to the finish that I could push through and keep going. It helped a bunch that the homeowners around Beaver lake were all out yelling like crazy and supporting the run/bikers that would pass by. I probably picked up a few seconds/mile in my pace just because of that.
- Special note to the two 17yr olds that passed me on the run. You know when I was 17 I could have… well actually – when I was 17 I was a smoker and couldn’t run then either.
- I suffer from bike envy – About 25% of the bikes in these races are worth well over $3k. Silly what it costs to loose 1/2 pound of weight on a racing bike these days. I want one.
- Average HR was 103% of LT, probably doesn’t mean much to most people but what that means to me is either:
- My LT is set wrong
- My crappy Polar watch is getting ready to die.