Monday, July 21, 2008

SoRT 2008 Race Report

Gearing up for this race I was relaxed, but I didn't hold much hope in the PR I claimed to want back in January. My "on" weeks have been good. My "off" weeks have been plenty. And the two weeks prior to the race, I was choosing mostly sleep over workouts. This left a big gap after two good, hard weeks.

Having not done much in two weeks, I relied on the fact that I have done this race every year and just know it. I saw zero evidence of any speed in the workouts I had done. I was concerned about a bust year. As a result, the end goal was "to just have fun".

On the good side, I think I know what I'm doing in transition now. I'm completely relaxed and handle setup from a semi minimalist perspective. I had bags in case it rained, but got rid of them last minute as it appeared to be clearing up. I was calm entirely up to the gun.

During setup everyone was talking about the water temperature. It was reported at 55F (official USAT reading in three spots). That's "numb your feet" cold, folks. Looking out at the lake, I wondered "am I the only one who sees the fog and not the lake?" Shortly after, they announced a rolling delay in the race. Long story short, it was pushed from 7am to 8am to wait for the fog to clear.

About 7:00, I headed down the beach to the start. I got in the water to get acclimated a few times. Yep, it was cold. Though, I discussed with another entrant, "It's going to be a good day."

At 8:15 the horn for my wave goes off. I hit my watch. We were out of there.

It was cold getting in. It was cold on the hands and face. I'm not sure it was worth all the whining I heard. But it's fun to be miserable about something. I'm not small. If I was smaller, maybe it would have felt a lot colder.

I lost count of buoys and wasn't sure how many there were in the first place. The next thing I knew I was going for that final yellow buoy. Whoops, there is another yellow one to go way around out in the lake. I wasn't too far in before I noticed this. A few minutes later I was walking the sandbar and pulling off my stuff. Getting out of the water I glanced at my watch. I see "about 40 minutes" and smile, then I realize the swim was probably short.

Nothing eventful in transition. I'll have to wait for official results. I'll guess "about 2-3 minutes". Maybe 7.

Out on the bike, I took it stupid slow for a while. In the past, I have done this with some success. I break the bike into thirds and follow a slow, medium, harder strategy. And it's much nicer to be passing folks at the end of the bike. I didn't really follow a rigid eating strategy on the bike, and this may have contributed to my pace on the run.

I kept an eye on my likelihood to break three hours. My bladder and my "PR" were fighting each other. Finally at mile 45, I figured it would be a shame to lose on both accounts. I stopped at the aid station. Some guy went by me on the right, just before I went to turn in. He apologized and I was happy to narrowly miss a crash. Right after that I pulled up to the port-o-let and promptly set my foot down on what must have been ice. Next thing I knew I was picking me and my bike up. No big deal, but I don't want to be "one of those guys". Too late. I have a small knee road rash to prove it.

The last miles of the bike are nice and smooth, mostly downhill, and one of the more fun parts of the race. I cruised in somewhere around 3:05 - 3:10.

T2 was also uneventful. Grabbed my shoes, shirt, race number and took off. Hopefully I PR'd that one.

The run. Who turned up the temperature. I think it was warm, but I was overheating. The first loop I broke it down and it didn't even seem that long. That second loop I was falling apart. I was really over heating. My knee started complaining about mile 8-9. In lieu of tweaking it further I opted for more walking than I want to admit. I never completely gave up on running, but my run/walk ratio went way down.

The whole family was waiting down by the lake to see me run in. They are real troopers.

After I finished, I hobbled back to them to tell them I was going to eat. I was very hungry.

I grabbed a few sandwiches, some fruit, beans (the beans guy loaded me up like he was afraid he was going to have leftovers), and a soda pop. Sitting down to eat, I ended up chatting with Ron Ottaway, the reigning world champion at Ironman Hawaii in the 70-74 division. It sounded like he put down a 5:3x at Racine. Wow.

All in all a great day.

Post-OP. I am more sore than I thought I would be.


Team Brazo said...

Glad it went well. Hard to believe that the water temps were only 55 -- that is crazy cold. I did the Xterra in, I think, low 60's and that was hard to get my breath. Back to the WORS races now to get ready for the Fat Tire?

SugsCandy said...

Sounds like it was a big day! Congrats on your finish. Hmmm, and I thought I worked hard at the sprint triathlon (guess again) maybe someday I can join in doing that long of a race....