2014 St. George 70.3 Race Report
|The author (background), just scant seconds from discovering that his swim googles are sitting in his bag at T1, sitting alone and feeling abandoned. Pictured from L to R are Elmer, John, Diane, Lori, and Broo|
After a fairly easy packet pickup, T and I spent some time making sure our bikes were ready. We had decided (too late, as it turns out...) to have Millcreek Bikes put sealant in our tubular tires, and when I first inflated T's rear tire, the sealant blew out of the valve and made a nice little mess. Unfortunately, that sealant evidently caused the valve to not fully seal, and T would find out at about mile 20 that the valve was stuck open and there was not a way to get it fully closed. Fortunately, mile 20 was at the Coral Ridge condo, so it wasn't too inconvenient. But a big bummer as she was primed for a great race after a 33 minute swim and her bike and run were in pretty good shape for an early season event... lesson learned -- get the "new things" done at least 2 weeks before the race!
Race morning dawned clear and sunny, with the forecast predicted a high of 96 deg F, which I welcomed as I do fairly well in hot races (being a scrawny little guy). Logistically, we could have driven out to T1 a little bit earlier, although we all had plenty of time to get the bikes staged and porta- potty visits accomplished. And, as mentioned above, I had somehow left my swim googles in my swim bag at T1, and had it not been for me running across Gina Maxwell, who had unfortunately dropped out of the swim, my race would have started a bit late!
To make a long and painful story short, I commiserated with, and thanked Gina, borrowed her googles, and made my way into my start wave, about 10 minutes before the gun. The Sand Hollow reservoir had "heated up" to a tolerable 60 deg, but I still went with my DeSoto hoodie. What I didn't have time (or really, inclination) to do, which I should have done, was a warmup swim in the lake -- although this definitely would have taken some time and effort to accomplish, as there was no "warm up" swim area designated. This race only gives you 3 minutes between waves, which is just about the amount of time that a steady freestyle stroke will take getting from the shoreline to the start line -- no opportunity to settle in, do some warmup drills, etc. And, of course, as I customarily do in my first triathlon of the season, I went into some weird anxiety attack when the gun went off and couldn't get my breathing to settle down. So this lead to a series of "rests" doing breaststroke and a little backstroke until shortly after the first turn buoy, when I managed to settle down and begin a steady freestyle. Definitely something I need to address with some mental focus and relaxation techniques as well as more open water swimming practice.
As I jogged out of the water, I decided to try out the wetsuit strippers. They did help getting my top and bottoms off a bit quicker than I would have managed, and I also think that putting vaseline on the wetsuit itself on the outside cuffs also helped. Just before leaving T1, I also stopped for a nice dosage of sun screen lotion on my back and shoulders. After an uneventful hop on the bike, I started churning my way around the Eastside of Sand Hollow reservoir after hearing the shouts of encouragement from Diane and Lori.
|Looking very happy to be away from the water and back on solid ground (or at least rubber).|
My bike plan basically revolved around starting slow and then tapering (joking, but I was wasn't at all sure how my bike fitness would hold up)... I was assuming an FTP of about 205 watts so was shooting for an average wattage of 160, with up to 185 or so on the climbs. The bike felt a little uncomfortable for the first 10 miles or so, but I didn't get the normal ITB pain, and credit goes to all of the foam rolling and trigger point work I've been doing at night. At mile 20, I rolled past Brook, and he mentioned that he saw T standing at the side of the road in front of the Coral Ridge development, and I immediately suspected a problem with her rear tire -- unfortunately it turned out that I was right. Sorry, honey!
But I continued to focus on keeping my power effort as constant as possible and was managing to hold 160-170 watts on the flats fairly easily. The weather was perfect for a bike ride and the aid stations were awesome. Most athletes that I passed were doing a good job on staying to the right, but there were a few knuckleheads who merrily stayed well over to the left and I had to either go way to the left but a couple of times was forced to pass on the right -- each time accompanied by a hard stare as I went by. Come on, newbies, read the rules and follow them please...
Before I knew it, I was entering the dreaded but scenic Snow Canyon and relegated myself to keep the power from spiking and put in a steady 180 watts on the 5 mile climb. The legs still felt pretty strong and I continued to pass lots of athletes who had started in waves ahead of me. Stomach was no problem and the EFS drink mix was going down well. Was drinking about 8 oz. of water every hour and all systems were green as I steadily made my way up the canyon.
|Picture taken on our Training Camp weekend!|
|Very happy to be running down the homestretch!|
The rest of the run went by fairly quickly; I just focused on "staying in the box" and counting steps, keeping cooled down, and taking in coke/water/perform. I walked nearly all of the aid stations while I doused myself and took in fluids; this seemed to keep my legs pretty fresh as I started off again. Never did see Elmer... it turns out that he was in an ambulance at mile 3 as I passed him, and then somehow missed him on the way back. On the final couple of miles, Diane and Lori were going crazy with the cowbells and shout outs -- much appreciated! I also saw Gina Maxwell and former marathon client, Michelle Weaver on the final homestretch down Main Street. Good crowd to welcome all the triathletes across the finish line, and I even managed to jump at least 6 inches off the ground in an attempt to touch the finish line clock.
|Sorry, didn't buy this awesome photo! Actual|
finisher time was 5:52:36
My nutrition plan worked pretty well for me; these are the basic numbers:
Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter, banana, 1.5 scoops of Ultragen and water (500 cal).
Pre-race: one dose of UCAN with water 45 min prior to start (90 cal)
Bike: 700 cal of EFS grape drink in one water bottle. Also took one gel, one bonk breaker bar from an aid station and half a banana (about 150 cal). Drank about 2 1/2 bottles of water on course.
Run: About 4 oz of water and 3 oz of either perform drink or coke at each of the 10 aid stations, so about 300 calories from fluid and one gel.
For my next Ironman, I'll probably go with about the same numbers, except I might also take some UCAN in one water bottle to augment the EFS sports drink. I'll also be sure to take some Pre-race and Energ-Ease pills on the bike and run for a small boost in energy.