Monday, September 24, 2012

Rev 3 Cedar Point – The Race Report That Didn’t Happen

So here it is.  Cedar Point was my A race for the year.  The goal of this year was to build on the bike, and build on the run, so that I could get some revenge on my 140.6 performance at IMWI. 
The Plan
Swim - I worked hard in the pool this year.  I suffered a lot.  I swam so hard that I spent as much time gasping for breath at the gutter as I did swimming I think.  And I improved.  A lot.  My best guess is I’d have gone around 33 minutes in a wet suit, give or take a minute.
Bike – My 20K TTs have always been strong.  This year I really worked to spread that fast out over 56 miles.  My best 56 miles was done in 2:38 in training.  That was two months before Cedar Point, and I was sharp.  On a clear day, on a very flat cedar point course, with agreeable wind and a taper, I was optimistically expecting 2:23.   The power numbers were working out.  It would have been great.
Run – My run still really wasn’t where I wanted it, but with some help I have been able to improve my comfort at the marathon pace speeds tremendously.  I ran a 2:09 on a hilly course, a month before, but my coach and I believed I had 1:55 in me on race day.
So, That’s 33 minutes + 143 minutes + 115 minutes + 10 minutes for transition = Right at 5 hours, give or take. 
That would have been a phenomenal time. 
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.  The day before the race we did the normal pre-race stuff.  I stood in lots of lines, got my bike set up, did some 10 minute shake down workouts, etc.  Then we got some food at the Outback Steakhouse in Sandusky and went to bed. 
I jumped up out of bed around 4am, ran to the bathroom, and threw up.  My brain went into triage mode “Maybe it was just nerves, I thought.  I’ll be ok… that’s stupid, you don’t get that nervous…ok, first thing is you need to get your prerace breakfast in you so you’re ready to race in three hours.  PB&Banana sandwich time!”  But I was nauseated at the thought of eating, and found myself in the bathroom throwing up again.  There was no way.  I was getting sick over and over, and I knew that was it.  My race was over.  I told Lana, and posted something on facebook so people wouldn’t be watching for my splits.  And I went back to bed.  The next 24 hours were a blur of vomiting, watching myth buster reruns, and sleeping.  At about 2pm I trudged through transition to pick up my bike.  For the most part I hurt too bad to be sad I wasn’t racing, but when I saw folks out on the run course my heart was broken. 
The next day, I was mostly back to normal.  I woke up wanting food, which was a good sign.  And as I ate, the feeling of loss really came over me.  I was so fit, would I have really broken 5 hours?  I don’t know.  I never will know.  I remembered back to a day a few months ago.  I worked all day with Lana to stain our deck.  Then I went out and did a long run.  And then I finished staining the deck.  I was so tired I was dead on my feet.  There were so many days like that, were I had sacrificed sleep, comfort, and sanity to build for my race.  I felt really cheated; I worked really hard, but didn’t have anything tangible to show for it. 
And then something great came out of it!  No, just kidding, not really.  There’s no happy turn of events to report.  I still feel cheated.  I still don’t have anything to show for it.  I may or may not have broken 5 hours, and I may or may not ever be in that place again.  I’ll never really know.  All I can really do though is move on and focus on the next race. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tri-The-Illini - 01:10:55.8

2nd Place AG
16th Overall
After not racing cedar point, I wanted one last triathlon for the year.  So, I jumped into Tri-The-Illini, which is one of my favorite local sprints. 
I was heavily prepping for the Indianapolis Marathon, and my body was tired, so this was a B race at best.   The last mile of the 5k would be my 52nd mile run this week, which was a big step up from my normal 35-40.
Race morning was cold.    Lining up on the cold concrete pool deck was brutal.
This swim wasn’t my best.   It was a snake pool swim, and whenever I do those I always get screwed up in the lane lines.  My GPS data showed about 1:40/100 moving pace, but all my screwing around really cost me.   Oh well, no big.
52.7 seconds
Not a bad T1 for me…
14.5 Miles
22.4 Mph
So, my biggest goal for this race was to try to keep the bike in check.   Typically a triathlete will ride a sprint at about 92-98% FTP.   My coach felt that my bike was so strong relative to my running that it was what was keeping me from running closer to my 5k pace in sprints, so he wanted me to hold way back, towards the 90-92% range instead of my normal 95%.   I was a little nervous I’d be giving up to much, but, I was willing to take the chance.
Unfortunately about 2 miles in, my power meter went out and I was flying by RPE.   I don’t now, but I’m guessing based on my pace, that I maybe slowed down just a little bit too much.   It’s hard to say though, as the second half of the bike combined a steady head wind with a false flat and made it really hard to judge effort.
Not bad.   My feet were so cold I had a hard time getting my shoes on fast.  
For about the first 400m I just couldn’t get my feet under me.   I was running about 8:30, giving up a ton of ground, and getting discouraged.  But then I just sort of relaxed into it  and got my effort up.   I did a good job negative splitting the course, and actually finished the last 400 at about 6:40/mi , or around 20sec/mile faster than my 5k pace.  In the end, I was about 30 seconds per mile slower than my open 5k PR, which is pretty darn good.
 So, lesson learned, until I can get my bike and run more in line, I have to slow down a bit on the bike to run faster.