Monday, June 13, 2011

Kansas 70.3 - Redemption!

Background Info
Previous Best HIM Times:
Racine 70.3 2010 (very flat) - 5:05:35
Pigman HIM 2010 (somewhat hilly) – 5:11:41
Goals and Results for Kansas 70.3
  • Not walk any of the run – The closest I had come previously was walking 2 aid stations in Racine. I was able to run the entire run at KS 70.3!
  • Sub 5 hours – I thought this was really going to be a stretch due to the bike course, and thought I would be 5:05 or 5:10. I succeeded in my goal by going 4:56:48!
  • Top 5 in age group – I had looked up last year’s results and saw I needed to be sub 5 hours. I did end up 5th in my age group (missed 4th by 8 seconds)!
  • 70.3 World’s Slot – There were 4 slots given to my age group, and I missed it by 8 seconds. I did not stick around to see if it would roll down to me since I wasn’t going to accept it anyway because of IMWI.
Time Data:
I took a look at my previous race results and last year’s KS 70.3 results, and came up with some time goals to get under 5 hours.

Bike Data
TSS: 160.9
IF: 0.779
Norm Power: 168 watts
VI: 1.03
Power: 164 watts
Cadence: 93 rpm
Speed: 20.8 mph
We camped in an RV with several other people from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. Great time! I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked, but it wouldn’t have been any better in a hotel room. It was very nice logistically for the weekend.
Sunday morning we were up at 4:30am, had the standard egg sandwich, strawberries, and coffee breakfast, and then headed out to T2 and T1. Race information packed said T1 closed at 6:45, but we were being yelled at that transition was closing as we were walking down the hill around 6:30am. This did not leave much time at all to set up T1. The woman with the number next to mine, but on the other side of the rack had her gear on my side right where I wanted to place mine. I scooted her stuff over a bit, but nicely kept it on my side of the rack. Her bike was also racked incorrectly, which I had fixed the night before, but she ‘fixed’ it back.
As I unpacked my gear, I pulled out my running hat. I thought about carrying it on the bike with me, but decided to leave it behind. I quickly got the rest of T1 set up with only one additional mistake…I turned on my garmin, but didn’t load up the program.
I wore a full wetsuit. The water did not feel too warm, and was nice and calm at the swim start. I started on the far end of the buoys since there seemed to be a lot less congestion that far out. I have a swim background, so treading water didn’t bother me, especially in the wetsuit. The first few hundred yards of the swim was great, and then the waves started. I wasn’t sure if it was a boat or what was going on. I was able to get into a good rhythm without too much difficulty. I never really chocked on water, but did have to spit water out a few times. At the first buoy turn, the waves were head on. The worst part was around the second buoy. The swim seemed to take forever, but I had no idea how long I was in the water.
Unlike pretty much everyone around me, I ran to my bike instead of walking. The swim took a bit of energy out of me, but I was still good. My helmet did not go on well, and I had to take it off to adjust the straps and then put it back on. This happened at last weekend’s race, too. I need to practice more.
I had place my garmin strap on my arm, but had the garmin attached to the bike. While setting up T1 I turned on my watch, but had forgotten to pull up the workout to use. I got it started while running out of T1.
I tried to hold my watts down on the way out of the park, but got a little excited and pushed more then I should of. As soon as we were outside, I settled in for the rest of the first 30min. For the rest of the first section, I kept my watts in goal around 173. But, after the first turnaround, they started to drop. While racing last year, I held 163, so anything above that I was fine with. I also wanted to save my legs for the hills towards the end of the route.
I grabbed water at every aid station to top off my aero bottle. I’m not sure exactly how much water I went through, but each of the 3 times I filled it, I used almost the entire bottle of water. I also had a small bike bottle that contained 3 scoops each of Sustained and HEED mixed with water. My watch was set to go off every 20min to take in a few sips from my feed bottle. I consumed pretty much all of the 600 calories.
On one of the long hills, I dropped my chain. According to my Joule, it took 12 seconds to get going again.
As I was nearing T2, I took my garmin off of my bike and attached it to the watch strap on my wrist.
As I dismounted, my right shoes came off the pedal. I quickly picked it up and carried it into transition. My bike was almost at the end of the rack that had the birdhouse in its row. My stuff was very easy to find. I quickly got in and out.
I quickly found a pace that I thought was MP + 30”. I took a look at my watch to verify, and it was showing me MPH. I tried to switch it to tell me min/mile, but gave up. I ran the entire run by feel. The first time up the hill went well. The second time I was a bit more difficult. I knew as soon as I got to the top, the rest would be much easier. Miles 9-11 seemed to go on forever. At the last turnaround, I thought there was a good distance behind me to the next woman, so I waited until the last mile to kick it up a bit. When nearing the finish line, I pushed with what I had left in me. My garmin took run splits every mile. For the first 9 miles, my pace was pretty consistent from 7:35-7:45 pace. Miles 10, 11, and 13 dropped to 7:50 pace, with mile 12 being 7:36.
I carried a flask around my waist that contained 4 packets of banana hammer gel mixed with water. I had tried straight gel on a training run, and it was hard to swallow. The first half of the run felt good nutrition-wise. The last third of the race I felt I was slipping. The thought of drinking more of the mixture was very unappealing and I thought might be accompanied by throwing up. I did take in a few small sips, but that was it. I need to get this figured out before IMWI. I ended up having about 200 calories for the entire run.
Final Thoughts
I’m happy that I was able to handle the waves as well as I did. Being a swimmer was definitely an advantage on the course that day.
I ran out of gears on a few hills. My bike still has the stock cassette on it, and I know I need to get a new one. I also need to practice changing from the big ring to the small ring to not drop my chain.
I really believe holding back on the last half of the bike really helped my run. The time I lost was more than gained back on the run. Also, the support on the course by EN and all the spectators helped as well. I had run an open HM in April at 1:36, and my previous best open HM prior to that was 1:42. I’m still in shock that I was able to do 1:40. I do wonder that if my watched did tell me my pace, would I have ended faster, slower, or about the same.
I was able to obtain the confidence and motivation I need to begin training for my first Ironman. I don’t think I will ever feel I have fully mastered the HIM distance, but I took a huge step forward last weekend!

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