Monday, July 16, 2012

Racine 70.3 - Top Gun

As I was thinking about this race, I realized taht everything that happened could be captured within the movie Top Gun.  So in an effort to keep myself sane, I am going to dedicate this race report to Top Gun.

For those that need a reminder, here is the opening scene.

Overall, here is a high level summary of my race:

That about sums it up.
So the plan for Racine was easy. Take the swim out fairly hard, but not crushing. Relax on the bike and hold around 250w. Maybe lower if the day called for it. And then the run...

My race preparation was pretty simple. The day before I started hydrating with Gatorade and water. I did not take any salt-sticks as I was taking in more than enough electrolytes with the Gatorade perform.

Overall I was feeling a little lethargic about the race. I don’t know exactly what the problem was. I’d had some good workouts leading into the race and two years ago really enjoyed the race overall. I suspect that recently I’ve just put too much pressure on myself to perform at a certain level. And in doing so am setting myself up for failure.  Quite frankly I suspect the level I expect is a level I am not capable of...yet.
Anyway, the day of the race came and I got up pretty early to get prepped. Roughly 4am. I had a small bowl of cereal, two ensure shakes, and some digestive enzymes to settle everything down. Overall I was feeling good and had taken in about 800 calories. I topped it off with a bottle of Gatorade, carbo pro, and gu of about 400 calories. So pre-race I took in 1200 calories and 900mg sodium in preparation for the hot day.
The Swim:
We had a long wait for the start of my wave as I was in the dead last age-group. In any case, the race start came and I put myself into the front of the pack this time. The horn sounded and we had a fairly lengthy run in shallow water before swimming. A couple guys ran out REALLY fast, but within about 10s of swimming I went right past them. By the time we hit the first bouy I was well into the lead, or so I thought. After the first turn, some guy went ripping right past me. My first thought was to draft, but he was swerving all over the place and it was tough to stick with him. He ultimately went into the crowds of people and I lost him, but knew he was ahead of me.
Right at the final turn bouy I found him again and tried to draft with some success. Ultimately we hit the shallows together, but he was dead. I took a quick glimpse at him and literally ran right past him in the shallow water. Hit the timing mat in about a 26:30. I had the fastest swim in my age group, and was 18th overall. I beat out all but a couple age-groupers and many of the pros.

I would sum up the swim like this...

I'd also like to add a little shout out to Jeremy Angle who had a great race and a great swim.  But as far as the swim goes I'm Maverick.  (For some reason the remaining videos can't be embedded)

Look at the birdie!

Remember Jeremy...If I didn't like you I wouldn't poke fun.  You may have beaten me on the day, but I was leading out of the water and off the bike!!! 

I'm coming for you!

That's right, Ice Man...

Much longer of a run than I remembered. My T1 time was over 4 minutes…which was slow. But as usual I got my socks on. I also had some trouble with my bike shoes and helmet. A roll of electrical tape had fallen into my bike shoe, so I had to take it off, pull it out, and put the shoe back on. In any case I lost 15s to crap like that. I was also situated in a spot where I had a long run with my bike both coming in and leaving.

The Bike:
The plan was to hold about 250w, maybe less. Leaving T1 there is a small hill. In order to get away from the crowds I cranked up that hill. But its so short I didn’t feel like it had any real impact on me. Once I was out of the crowd I got aero and took off at my pace. Overall the first 10 miles I was right on target but noticed a little burn in my quads and some real soreness with the saddle and in my glute/hamstring.
The next ten miles were pretty similar, but overall I was questioning myself a bit.  For the power I was holding, I expected to feel a lot better.  And then for 5 miles after that I bumped it up 5w. Ultimately for the rest of the ride I dialed it back. I really wanted a strong run, and pushing the bike hard isn’t how to do that on a hot day.

I got off the bike in about a 2:25. Looking at the results I’m a little surprised. I know I am not an uber biker like some of the studs out there. But I was in first place getting on the bike and 11th place getting off the bike. I lost 10 spots and rode a fairly strong time. I had no idea that was the case at the time, just a little retrospective surprise.

In any case, I got off the bike and was feeling reasonably good. I wasn’t overly fatigued. I was worried about my glute, but that soreness usually goes away when I start running.

Overall getting off the bike I felt like this:

Volleyball Remix
So the goal was to PR the run. A couple years back I ran a stand-alone 1:36. I’d like to think I’m faster than that today but have no real proof.
In any case once again I hit mile 1 and both quads cramped.  I have no explanation for this.  I was running fine at a 7:30ish type pace.  Slower than the 7:15's I originally planned.  Things were going well, and then wham.  I stopped twice at the first aid station, once for fluids and once to stretch and massage my quads.  I started running slowly after that and things seemed to be doing okay.  But they held me back the rest of the day.
After that the run seemed to be going okay.  My first 6.5 miles were around a 7:40ish type pace.  Considering the conditions, not bad.  I passed Scott around mile 2ish, but we missed each other because I was running so fast.
Around mile 7 I hit the first of the two minor hills on this course.  I made the decision to walk the back half of the first hill and then walk most of the 2nd hill to save my quads.  After that I started running again. 
Sometime very quickly after that....

On the last leg I came across Scott and his family again.  Here is what was going through my head...
Take the shot Mav!!

I think what frustrates me is that had I held back at the beginning of that run and simply held 8min miles, I really think I could have held that for the majority of the race. In doing so I would have saved 12 minutes and probably not suffered nearly as much.

Overall my race position was fine.  I was 15th in my age group.  Even if I had run well, I probably would not have broken he top 10.  I could have gone from 104th overall to around 50th, which is a fairly big difference.  But realistically not a big deal. 

My problem right now is confidence.  Espcially running.  I've had a couple bad races now, and am not sure what to think of the situation...
  You have a confidence problem.

 I need to get some good races under my belt.  I suspect I need to re-evaluate how fast I really am as compared to how fast I think I am.  There appears to be an obvious disconnect.  And I need to get ready for Vegas. 
 You're going to Top Gun

If I'm not careful I'll go in feeling like this:
Cougar's lost it!


  1. Did you break out in song at all? "You've lost that loving feeling!"

  2. Thanks for the shout out and I hate to burst your bubble "Mavrick" BUT your calculations are inaccurate. Total race time for you coming off the bike was 2:55:44 and mine was 2:54:47. Even if you add in T2 time I was "ahead" by 55 seconds or so ;).

    Just remember, we fly for fun and never loose that loving' feeling.

    You sure did have one hellavu a swim...nice work!!!

    Jeremy "Ice Man" Angle