Race Summary

Finishing Time: 12:55, not my best time but I’ll take it.

SWIM:  The swim was a rolling start.  We were corralled according to our projected swim time.  I forgot my timing chip and was waiting for my wife to drive to the race start and get it to me so I wasn’t able to get to the 1:05-1:10 corral.  I didn’t think it would make a difference but it did; I was hasty to find a set of feet to draft off of and I latched onto someone who was slower than I wanted.  I  was frequently jabbing my hand into his toes; his toenails were so long that they took some skin of my left index finger.  I thought that the draft was so good that I had to slow down to take advantage of it, kind of like when you stop pedaling to freewheel when drafting behind someone on the bike.  The reality of it was that I was following someone who was too slow and going at too comfortable of a pace.  I checked my watch at the end of the first lap and saw 40 minutes,… 10 minutes slower than my target.  I reentered the water only to be surrounded by others who swam just as fast as the guy with the long toenails.  I ended up finishing most of the second lap on my own.

TAKEAWAY: Rather than getting so preoccupied about someone to draft off of, I should have settled into my own pace FIRST and then find someone at my speed or faster to follow.  Bottom line is that I should have started in the appropriate corral.

Swim Finish: 1:22

 

THE BIKE: My plan was to go VERY easy the first 12 miles, build into my desired heart rate and hold it from mile 12 into 40, do occasional 20 minute intervals of what I considered ‘higher intensity’ riding from mile 40-80, and then finish the bike strong from mile 80-112, all while ingesting calories for the upcoming marathon.

This was probably the best executed bike split I’ve ever done, despite it not being my fastest.  For the first time in 8 Ironman finishes, no cramping or muscles twitching on the bike.  But it was too well executed; during the athlete’s meeting, they mentioned several sections that were really bumpy and that it was recommended that you stay off your aero bars when you get to them.  The course was riddled with water bottle cages that had broken off because of the bumps.  I kept telling myself that I did NOT spend all this money on my bike to ride upright and that the 80mm deep wheel in front and the disc in the back were meant to be ridden in aero.  So I rode over the bumps in aero position and my crotch paid for it; I brutalized my prostate!  By the end of the bike portion, it felt like I had been kicked in the groin several times.  The last few occasions peeing on the fly, it felt like I was peeing needles.

TAKEAWAY: don’t ride over bumpy roads in aero.  There’s nothing more awesome than the sound of my disc while going downhill at 35 mph……wump wump wump wump.

Bike Time: 6:02:54

THE RUN:  My strategy on the run was similar to the bike; hold back for the first 6 miles, settle into a pace from mile 6-20, and then drop the hammer the last 10k.  The moment I started the run course, something was off.  My lower back hurt like hell to the point where I had to stop and attempt to stretch it out.  The problem was, I couldn’t even bend forward to stretch it because it hurt too much.  The first 2 miles was more like a walk/jog session with intervals of stopping to try and massage my back.  At mile 3, I poured some ice cubes down the back of my race singlet.  The ice settled over my lower back and made the pain tolerable.  I was able to run somewhat comfortably but at slower pace.  Much of the course was on hard packed dirt and rocks with several sections on a cemented bike trail.  I wore racing flats…and felt every single rock I ran over.  I was sooooo jealous of the people wearing the fat-soled Hoka shoes that I vowed to get myself a pair after this race.

I got into a groove, settled into a comfortable pace, and made it to mile 20.  It wasn’t going to be the 4:20 marathon I wanted but it was going to be comfortable… maybe around 4:45 I thought.  I was concerned because I hadn’t peed for the entire run (3 hours,…no peeing) so I tried to force one out in a portable.  It felt like peeing needles again, the volume was VERY low, and it came out pink.  I freaked out figuring that something was REALLY wrong. I thought I must be extremely dehydrated so I basically had Thanksgiving at the next aide station to get the salt, carbs, and fluid back into my body.  I ate pretzels, drank Red Bull, had soda, water, and even a cup of Gatorade.  Shortly after loading up, I had so much food sloshing in my stomach that it was hard to move my body. Miles 21-24 were a pathetic shuffling and I finally broke down and walked most of mile 25,…the walk of shame.  I managed to jog the last mile and sprint to the finish but it was painful.

TAKEAWAY: I need to become a better runner…(period!!)  I should have really loaded up on fluids the first few miles but was so pre-occupied with my back pain that I was only taking little sips and drenching myself with water at each aide station.  Looking back, I really think the back pain and peeing blood were the result of riding aero on the bumpy roads.  I had done at least 4 overdistance rides (up to 7 hours) to make sure my lower back was conditioned for the duration of the bike portion.  My last overdistance ride was 116 miles and I felt FINE running afterwards.  I should have ridden upright on the handlebars over those bumpy roads!   It’s the morning after the race and it still feels like I’m peeing needles.  Don’t wear racing flats when running on trails.

Run Time: 5:14

Final Thoughts: I wanted to beat my PR of 12:09 at IM Wisconsin 13 years ago but learned that it wasn’t going to happen yesterday.  I feel that I’m a better endurance athlete now than I was back then but some poor choices didn’t allow that to show.  I’ll swallow  my 12:55 along with everything I learned and take it to my next race.

…I love my rear disc….wump wump wump wump.

Dave

End of first big training block & weight loss.

Yesterday’s workout was a little more focused:
5 hours 3 minutes on my fluid trainer, 109 bpm average

5.13 mile run, 136 bpm average, 11:40 pace

3583 calories on 1 gel (100 calories).


Not being on trails helped me to focus a little more on target heart rates and it looks more like my target will be around 125 bpm on the bike and 135 on the run, give or take 3 beats per minute.

As far as nutrition goes, I’m looking at 1 gel every 2 hours while on the bike, assuming that I’m more fat adapted by race-day.  I’ll definitely have to test my target heart rates and nutrition plan on the actual road.

With 15 weeks left before race-day, I feel more prepared than I’ve ever been before.  I’m going to take the next week off to try and absorb a heavy 3-weeks.

Current thoughts:

  • I’m an awful 186 pounds; I don’t think I’m going to get much faster as a runner in the next 15 weeks but if I drop at least 25 lbs. as planned and my strength stays constant, I’ll be able to punch out a faster run pace.
  • I looked over the bike course and it appears that it’s loaded with rolling hills, more of a reason to be lighter.
  • I swam on Saturday, focusing on a very ‘GENTLE’ catch, relaxing my arms a little more, and I felt ONE with the water.  Plan on swimming tomorrow morning so we’ll see how this ‘GENTLE’ catch works again.

I ordered a set of 15 portioned food containers to help me with my food prep.  I like them because each compartment is somewhat insulated from one another.  My goal is to try and create at least a 1100 calorie deficit daily.  I’m looking at dropping close to 30 lbs. by race day, but will still be happy if I only drop 20.

Here’s the workout profile for Sunday’s epic brick:

The Bike: https://flow.polar.com/training/analysis/1258107332

The Run: https://flow.polar.com/training/analysis/1258108208

More to come…

Improvement

Rode 82 and ran 4 this Sunday.  Numbers were better with more controlled efforts.

82 miles, 127 bpm average, at 18.7 mph.  Last week’s averages were 17.8 mph at 133 bpm so I think I’m settling into my aero position.  Bikecalculator.com suggests that my wattage is up to 125 watts!!

Last Sunday I was at 111 Watts so definite improvement.  We’ll see how it goes next Sunday.

Dave

First Ride on the Javelin Barolo

So I finally got fitted on my Javelin yesterday.  Gala, the fitter at Tri-Zone in Los Alamitos (www.Tri-Zone.com), asked me what type of position I wanted and I said “AGGRESSIVE.”  It was a Retul fit and the fitting process took 3 hours.  Gala reminded me that my aggressive position may take some getting used to and that I might have some neck strain but I figured I can get adapted to it.

I took her out on her maiden voyage this morning and was pleased to say the least.  I rode 100.8 miles in 5:37:43.  The following link is my ride data:

https://flow.polar.com/training/analysis/1213239232

I averaged 17.8 miles per hour.  I’m excited to know that I have 131 more days to get faster.  One interesting thing is that not only did I ride in aero position for at least 96 miles, I was also wearing my BioLogic pollution mask to exercise my muscles of inspiration and to breathe clean air.

masked rider

One cool thing about this mask is that it’s a deterrent to keep people from talking to you on the bike trail.   A disadvantage is that I can’t drink water from my SpeedFill hydration system without pulling the mask out of the way.

In short, I’m pleased with my progress and attribute a lot of my fitness to the time on the roller and fluid trainer.  What I didn’t mention is that if you go back in the archives, my average speed when riding 10-12 miles was around the high 16 low 17 mph range in the middle of last year.  Now I’m averaging almost 18 mph for 100 miles.

bike on garage.jpg

I’m only gonna get faster.

Dave

 

Big Bike Training for Ironman 

The bike is your foundation for Ironman racing.  It’s the longest leg of the race and where 3 major things occur:

  • Recovery from the swim
  • Fueling for the bike
  • Fueling for the upcoming  marathon

You have to have the bike fitness to accommodate all 3 activities; go too hard on the bike and your muscles will suck the blood out of your gut making it impossible to digest any calories.   Run out of fuel and you lose your chance at achieving a favorable finishing time.

So my ‘low-to-medium’ intensity pace has to be between 20.4 mph and 22.4 mph for 112 miles in order for me to break a 5h 30min. bike split.

I’ve got a long way to go.

Dave