Finally, I’ve made it to my first real race of the year. On one hand, I was really happy to be racing a 70.3. On the other, I knew this wasn’t the course for me. The bike was hilly enough that it would use my weight against me, and kill my bike strength. The run was hilly enough to be dangerous to my weak hamstrings and overall poor running. It was going to be a tough day. But, I was running better than I had been in a while. My bike was strong. And most importantly, I knew I was out to enjoy the day because the course took the pressure off of a PR.
I was really excited for Lana though, this was her first 70.3. She sure did pick a hard one! Anyway, on with the race report.
Distance 1.2 Miles
The swim was at Tommy Bartlet’s Water Show. It was probably the coolest swim venue I’ve gotten to swim in. I remember being 7 years old, watching the water show with my parents on vacation. It was pretty cool to be swimming in that same spot.
It was a TT start, which is odd, but it was run well and things went off great.
I metered my effort by breathing, and I think I left way too much on the table in the swim. I finished feeling like I put out a pretty leisurely effort, and I was shocked and surprised by my time.
There was a long uphill run, on asphalt, up to T1. That part wasn’t so much fun.
Distance 56 Miles
Pace 18.58 Mph
I had ridden the course, so I knew the bike was gonna be tough. And, it was. I targeted .8 IF and felt great at that power level. I was averaging about 21 mph until the 3 big climbs hit. Then things got slow. I tried to hold my power even, but just getting up the hills and making forward progress meant riding at 100% IF a lot of the time. It was a climber’s course, which favored the very lite. That isn’t me. On the second climb, Seth flew by me looking especially strong and I’m pretty sure saying something like “weeeee, this is fun!” Ok, so, maybe that wasn’t what he said exactly, but I sure did wish I was built to climb!
I operated in 15 minute intervals. Every 15 minutes I’d do my best to hold .8 IF, eat a ¼ of a poptart. Drink, and reset the clock. Lana and I were recently watching Battlestar Galactica, and I was reminded of an episode we had recently watched where the cyclons attacked every 33 minutes, and so for days, the fleet lived 33 minutes at a time. Every 15 minutes I’d “reset the jump clock” and go again. It worked really well, and was a great strategy I’d use again.
After the big climbs, my pace picked up again. I’d have averaged 21 mph, if I could have just removed those stupid hills. Maybe I’ll stick to courses that work for me a little more next time.
I was feeling just a little weak towards the end. I think I could have used some more calories overall, but it was a good ride in a bad place.
Out on the run I felt pretty good. I knew it was hilly, I knew I was a weak runner, I wasn’t expecting much. I held back on the first 5 miles, and kept it fairly easy. I saw Emily (aka Captain Blood) right out of T2 . In the athlete meeting the day before, we were warned NOT to swear at volunteers, and there was Emily in a volunteer shirt. I suppressed the urge and kept jogging.
About 5 miles in I picked it up a little bit, and turned the effort up to about a 7/10. I saw Seth again, and he was going really hard. And then came the hills. They were rough, and the downhills were worse than the ups. My hamstring issue flared back up again, and I was just hoping to avoid injury. I walked a few of the hills, and I knew it would kill my pace, but there was just nothing I could do. I saw Lana, about 3 miles behind me, after the turn around. She was looking tired but strong, and I was really relieved to see her. We both always worry about each other when we’re racing at the same time, and I was glad to know she got off the bike without any mechanicals.
About 10 miles in I tried to turn it up again, but it wasn’t happening. I was pretty much done, and I just held my pace. I rolled into the finish feeling like I had raced, but with just a little in the tank. My push was limited, because the PR was off the table. But I had a great time, and had a good race. I was saving that PR for cedar point in a few weeks.
Post-race, Rev had Brats and potato salad. It was very “Wisconsin” and pretty tasty I thought. I ate A LOT of potato salad, which is a bad idea in general, but it was pretty tasty that day. Later on I watched Lana finish and we walked over to recover our bikes before joining Lana’s parents for pizza, and pancakes the next morning!