My swim wave went off at 6:23 in the a.m. I was not happy about this. An 8:30 start would have been great. Thus I needed to be up at 4:00 a.m. est. Luckily for me Jen's BFF Dawn was also racing and offered to pick me up from the hotel. This worked out great and at 4:50 we were on our way to transition. I am terrible about eating before races..I have the awful feeling that if I eat anything I will end up in the porta potty for 2 hours and miss the race. However I was able to eat half a banana.
A quick note on Dawn..or "Don". She had decided to race the Olympic distance aquabike only the day before..when I found this out it helped me to feel like less of a wuss. However when I found out that the day after the race she was scheduled to have microfracture surgery on her knee I felt like even a bigger wuss. (She also took second in her age group)
|Dawn getting the gear out of the truck to walk to transition|
We got to transition and I set up my gear..which was a lot less than usual since I did not have to worry about my race belt or nutrition for the run. The nice thing about Rev 3 is everyone has a preassigned spot. Mine was some what near Matt..who is way too freaking chipper before a race. Once I get through the nerves and anxiety of finding out where the nearest porta potty is I tend to be calm..but MattyO is down right pumped up. After I dumped my gear I went and found the rest of the crew.
|Jen, Angela, Jen and Jason at transition. Angela was the only one smiling|
|Jen's fake smile for the camera - Thank God I get better looking and slimmer as the day progresses.|
We had to walk about a quarter mile down the road to the swim beach..which I did not care for since I had to do this in bare feet. Once down on the beach everyone got ready for their swim waves. Jason's went first followed by my wave with Marc and MattyO and then Jen's wave followed four minutes later. I am guessing there were about 100 people per wave.
I usually don't worry about the swim until I am about 15 minutes into it, then I wonder what the hell I am doing. However, the week before we left for Maine I watched Shark Week on t.v. They showed Great Whites eating seals off the Massachusetts coast. I had no idea Great Whites swam that far north..and of course I look like the biggest slowest seal of all in my wetsuit. What made matters worse was the night before the local television station was showing a Great White ripping into a seal off the coast of Cape Cod. Luckily my daughter was there to calm my fears...Hope the sharks don't eat you dad! Thanks..
|MattyO, myself and Marc|
|The family made it down for the start of the race. (Kristine helping me keep my gut sucked in for the picture)|
Of course, within 40 feet my left goggle filled up completely with water so I swam with one eye the entire race. My hope was to get on somebody's feet and follow them around the course so I didn't have to sight..this did not happen. I am guessing I added a bit of yardage to my swim from being off course.
|Coming back in..the furthest buoy is the half course and the closest was the olympic.|
|Exiting the water|
|Had to stop to say hi to the family|
So out of the water, up the beach and through the streets we ran. As I described in detail in my last post we had to run about a third of a mile to the transition area..this turned out to be nothing. I ended up talking to 2 different people on the run up and the crowds made the distance feel like 50 yards.
I got into transition and I took a long time. I wanted to make sure I had everything with me as far as nutrition. Since I knew I just wanted to finish the bike without feeling like crap I double checked everything and even wore a cycling jersey. I also had a camelbak with about 70 ounces of water in addition to 2 - 24 ounce containers of Skratch. I probably could have ditched the camelbak and rode with another water bottle but since I did not have my bike set up with behind the seat cages I did not want to try and ride with a bottle in my jersey pocket. Obviously anyone who has read one or two of my blogs knows about my hydration issues.
TRI-DORK ALERT only info triathletes might be interested in. I have been working with Dina from Fuel4mance as to my race nutrition and she basically wanted me taking in about 250 calories per hour on the bike along with about 1500 mg of sodium. I was taking two salt tabs every 30 minutes and that coupled with the sodium in the Skratch got me to the goal. I was also supposed to eat half a clif bar at 30 minutes the other half at 1:15 and then take gels at 2:00 and 2:45. I took two salt tablets immediately at the transition area and drank some Skratch out of a 3rd bottle I had in my transition bag. I was able to eat the first half of the clif bar but could not get the second half down so I took a powerbar gel instead. At 2:00 I ate some powerbar chews that I had in my jersey pocket just in case and then I had my last gel at 2:45. Unfortunately at one of the bike stations I yelled for a gel, opened it up and started to take it without looking at it first. It was double latte. I freaking hate the taste of anything coffee like and almost puked right on the bike. I ended up going through all 70 ounces of water as well as the 48 ounces of Skratch and took probably about 8-10 ounces of water at two of the bike stations.
|Seriously how un-color coordinated can a person be?|
I was off on the bike and feeling pretty good. I wanted to average about 16.5 mph. This is what I did at Racine last year on a totally flat course..so I though if I could maintain that on a course with a couple of hills I would be happy. My coach had called me the night before the race and asked where I would try and keep my heart rate..I was thinking to myself..115 sounds comfortable..She was not happy with that answer so I kept upping it until she reluctantly agreed to 140 to 145. When I checked my garmin after the race I had averaged just about 140 for the entire bike portion.
The course was beautiful for the most part. Country roads with trees protecting you from the sun for most of the day.There were rolling hills that required some effort to get up but rewarded you with a great downhill and some free speed on the other side. There was only one hill that was a problem..it was short but steep. The real issue was that you didn't see it coming..you were on a downhill in your large gear when you suddenly hit a hard left turn and out of nowhere is this hill. Thus you need to frantically downshift hoping your mechanic did a great job with your gearing or try to muscle up. The guy next to me tried to muscle up and actually ended up falling over on the bike. I also spent most of the day playing cat and mouse with a group of about 10 women which kept things interesting.
I actually felt good enough on the bike with enough energy to pass a number of people in the last ten miles and ended with an average speed of about 17.5 mph. So I was super happy, especially since the course had about 1400 feet of elevation gain. I also slowed down/stopped twice to give stranded cyclists my extra tubes. ( I could also probably cut some time off by learning how do that whole farmer blow thing...however I just can't..so I end up carrying a package of kleenex in my jersey pocket and slowing down to use those..what can I say..I'm just civilized.)
Getting back to the transition area and not going out for the run felt very weird. In fact I almost thought about going out on the course and seeing what I could do. However I wised up, handed my timing chip in and went to hang out with the family and watch everyone come in.
TRI DORK ALERT This was probably a good choice because even though I felt great on the bike I did not really fuel or hydrate the last 30 minutes where I was pushing it. I had taken in a lot of water and had not needed to use the restroom. In fact I think the first time I did was about 4 hours after the race had ended and I had been drinking post race beverages. Thus the nutrition/hydration is still an issue..but we are improving.
So..how did the real athletes do.
MattyO came in at 5:21. I hate Matt since he is doing that kind of time at 205 pounds His wife Heather came in at 5:53. Jason manged to finish in 5:36 and that is with having a broken spoke on his bike that he had to repair.
|Matt, Heather, Jason and myself|
Marc ended doing a 6:09 for his very first half. He probably could have done a 5:45 but he swam off course on the swim, took a wrong turn on the bike and when he left transition to start the run he turned and went down the finishers chute instead of on course...thus he probably did a 72.2 rather than a 70.3 mile race...We love ya Marc!!
|Marc after the race getting some well earned R&R|
|Jen and me..(See I do get slimmer and better looking as the day progresses)|
|Jason with two potential triathletes for next year's race|