Monday, July 19, 2010

Racine 70.3 Results

So I've gotten enough facebook comments and people texting to get this piece out here a little quicker.

Racine 70.3 was this weekend and everyone can read my last couple postings to get my thoughts going into the race. I'll post my Saturday and Sunday events.

As with all IM races and many bigger races I had to check my bike in the day before. I really hate that. In this case athlete checkin and bike checkin were in two different locations. I didn't care for that as I first went to the race site not realizing I had to go to festival park. Oh well.

I had been watching the weather a lot due to potential storms/heat/wind. I wanted to know what to expect and properly hit my nutrition/hydration based on the day. All in all the weather was pretty good.

Race Day:
Got up at 4am to get some food in me. I had one small bowl of coco crispies, one ensure shake, one banana, and 2 scoops of heed through the morning.
As we drove in I took in some more fluids...but was pretty full. Aimee dropped me off at tranisition so I could get set up and then I had a long wait before my wave started.

I took some time to hang out with fellow GG's. Jeremy, Beth, and Dan were all nearby and we talked for a while. All of us were in later waves. Then we started our walk down the beach to the swim start. I took another saltstick and the last of my Heed.

I started in the front of my group. However this wasn't the entire age group as we started in 3 waves. I hit the water pretty fast and was in a lead group of about four people. Right at the first turn one guy made a break and I tried to stay with him. But he had gotten a jump on me and I wasn't in any of his draft. And at that point we started running into the crowds from the previous wave. At that point I lost him as it got very crowded. I swam over to the right in cleanest water I could find. Then it got even more congested. I ran several people over as they were swerving all over the place.
I think I passed the majority of the 3 waves in front of me and actually felt like I was moving pretty good. I could tell by looking at the course prior to the start that it was going to be pretty accurate and certainly not short.
I made the final turn to come to the beach and it was pretty clear. I got out of the water in a little over 28 minutes. However the timing mat was way up the beach near the transition so it took about 90 seconds to get there. Final swim time 30:01. At that point I knew breaking 4:45 was a long-shot.
Looking at all the times I suspect the course was actually a hair long and I should have been swimming harder. Both Lanzas beat me and I should have been closer to them. However they also started very early and didn't have to deal with the mass of slow people I did.

Got through transition okay...took my time to get situated.

Nutrition - 1 bottle of 600 calories Heed and Perpeteum. 2 gu's with caffeine. 6 electrolyte tabs. about 5 bottles of water.

Everything started really well during the ride with one problem. Apparently I hit the lap button on my garmin twice and as I started it showed me in T2. So as I was riding I had to reset it into multisport mode/bike mode to get power readings. No big deal as I could do that while aero. But I lost all my swim/T1 time on the watch. So I had to mentally add about 35 minutes every time I looked at my elapsed time. No big deal.

The goal was to be at 250 watts at the halfway mark. As I got to mile 15 I was sitting at about 255 and could tell I was going a bit hard. So I dialed it back and was a little above 250 at halfway. I do not have average speed on my main screen, so I quickly took a look and was shocked to see a speed of 22.5. I knew Racine was a fast course, but 22.5 was way faster than my predictions. I can't help but think that some of my position tweaks helped as there was some wind on the bike course and I was still going fast. My last flat Oly course I hit 295 watts and only went 23.3mph...but today I dropped a full 45 watts and was not that far off.

At that point based on my power, speed, and legs I decided to dial it back just a hair. It was pretty warm out and I really wanted to have a solid run. I really kept up on my fluids and calories. As I started to feel a touch tired I took a gu with caffine as a pick-me-up.

As I approached town I took another look and was right at 248 watts and my speed had actually bumped up to 22.7mph. I was surprised and very pleased. To finish my ride I came in at about a 2:28. I don't know my exact splits.
Looking back I know a few more long tempo rides would have helped me stay near 260 watts and possibly gotten me over 23mph. Either way I was very pleased with my split and still felt pretty good.

T2 was pretty quick as I only needed to get my running shoes and visor on. I was shocked to see Jeremy Angle in T2 with me. We rode once together and he was very strong. Between my pacing with power, better position on the bike, and better nutrition/hydration I stayed with him the entire way. In fact we finished with the exact same bike splits.

Coming out of T2 it was pretty hot and there was no shade. But I ran out and was feeling good. The first mile has 2 hills and they are the only two hills on the entire course. I hit a 7:50 even with the hills and felt strong...but had to pee. I quickly stopped at the aid station to go. I'm just not able to pee on the bike or while running. Call it a mental block, I just don't think its going to happen. In any case it was quick 20-30 seconds and I was on my way. I figured it was better to do it early rather than disrupt my rythm later.

Miles 2-6 were all held at 8:00 - 8:10 pace and I was still doing well. I was taking an electolyte tab every 2 miles and a gu every 2-3 miles. No problems.

As I hit mile 3 a storm rolled in. The temperature felt great...but it was short-lived. After about 20 minutes the sun came back and where it had rained (not on me) it started to evaporate and get hot and REALLY humid. It was just nasty. I don't know the actual temperatures but it had to have been 85+ degrees and it felt like 95 with the humidity.

Mile 7 - slower due to the heat and hills... 8:20.
Mile 8-11 were all around 8:30 as I started to get a bit tired and the heat took its toll. But hell...8:30's for me is still pretty good overall. Especially since my focus has been all on Oly's and not the 1/2 iron distance.

Approaching mile 10's aid station I could see jeremy in the distance. I was shocked because he ran in school and should have been much faster than me. At that point I knew he was having a tough day and had thoughts of beating him since I was still feeling pretty well, although tired.
Coming into mile 11's aid station he walked through and I passed him. I really wanted to stay behind him until the end so he wouldn't see me. But as he stopped and walked I slipped past and hoped he'd miss me in the crowd.
Alas it wasn't meant to be. He saw me and caught me in seconds. We chatted for a few and were both feeling the effects of the heat. He picked up the pace and was probably going 7:45's or so. I tried to stay with him for that mile but he was pulling ahead.
At mile 12 the increased pace really took its toll and I had to walk through that aid station and dump water and ice all over myself. I had been the entire way already, but I was really suffering at mile 12. I started running again and couldn't get a rythm going...and had to walk for another 45 seconds or so.
At that point I was really pissed at walking this late in a race so I started running again and just forced myself to keep going. there was no shade so walking would only prolong the agony.

I finished up with a run split of 1:49. As I look at my results, that is where everyone beat me. So despite a really solid run for me, it remains a very significant weakness. I was actually with Justin Henkel the entire way...until the run. I think I know where my focus will be for the remainder of this season and the off season.

My finish time was a 4:53:13. So I was very happy to break 5 hours. After the ride I had hopes of breaking 4:45 but would have had to run a 1:40ish. That is awefully fast for me considering where I was last season.

All in all a very successful race.


  1. Great job Eric! Good to see that you're happy with the outcome and considering last year, you did a remarkable job. Running requires running and you haven't done a lot of it.

    Good luck at Tri'ing for Childrens.

  2. Awesome blog about the event, it sounds like you and I are in the same boat... keeping up with everyone until the run. If you have any tips and you start pushing that run into the low 1:40s be sure to drop me a line :)

  3. All I can say is congrats, congrats, congrats!