Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tupper Lake Race report

Tupper Lake 2008

Chem lab for the race actually started a day early. Everyone in the house wanted to get a jump on preparing the race day nutrition, so out came the Carbo pro, accelerade enduralytes, everything-you-can-imagine-lytes etc. The cooking has begun! This time everyone pretty much kept their tested formulas, so there was no mixing of powders.

Went to bed relatively early and actually slept, instead of my normal tossing and turning on pre-race night.

Race Day

Got up and had my traditional peanut butter on toast breakfast with some coffee. Since we had checked in the day before we were in no rush to be there first, so when we arrived the place was already pretty crowded. Got online and picked up my timing chip and headed into transition.

The day started out looking like it was going to be raining so like everyone else I had setup everything under a plastic bag. Went for a bathroom break, came back and put on the wetsuit ( waist high), and went to my coral I had a purple cap, which I believe was the 5 or 6th wave. While waiting I was looking for some of the RwPers. I spotted Ram in one of the waved behind me and Adam who was in the same wave, but the others were nowhere to be seen. Adam as usual was on the ground doing one of his stretches and speaking to a number of people about Lake Placid. It seems every time I see Adam at a race he is thrown on the ground performing a Hip flexor stretch. I think I have even seen him drink in that position.

Anyhow the weather seemed great for a race, a bit overcast not cold and not hot, perfect.

My wave went in and the swim was fairly uneventful ( except that I did get a foot in my face early on in the swim) but other than that it went smooth. In fact I have never had such a relaxing swim in any race. Ever. My sighting was spot on, I did not push myself at all and I finished at a nice time of about 40 Minutes. I felt so relaxed in fact that I started to play around with stuff I did not ever do like Drafting off other swimmers. Twice I did it for about 5 minutes each. It works! It was just a beautiful swim for me.

That was my objective to have a good swim that did not stress me so that I could preserve my energy for the Bike. This was rewarding because I did spend time working on this and had done some Open water practice to work on sighting.

Total swim time 40:32

I headed over to transition and stripped out of my wetsuit. Ate a gel and some water.

Transition 2:33

My bike I felt strong, admittedly I had a secret mission in this race that ultimately would undo my overall race time. I wanted to crush last years bike average. I don’t know why that was so important but I just did. The real problem was that I did not train this year the same way I trained last year. Last year I had much more by way of long rides and quality training leading up to the race. This year I have been plagued by unexpected business travel and longer days at work. Which pretty much kept me from training the way I did last year. Yet despite this I had a good base from earlier in the year and I thought I could parlay that into a good solid ride. The first half of the ride was fairly strong. I was pushing the whole way, even on the downhills, I just upped the gears and cranked away. There were some good headwinds to deal with as well as the hills.

Just before the turnaround at 28 miles I saw my buddy Phil zipp by on his return wearing his rocket man helmet. Another sighting I saw on my way back was my friend and RwPer Bill on the side of the road, he was doing the “What the F!!” hand waves and I believe he was screaming at his bike. It turns out that was his 3rd flat on THAT DAY.

By the end of the ride my legs started to cramp up. This was highly unusual for me. My legs do not cramp up when riding. But they did now, this was probably due to the fact that I never ride the way I was riding at Tupper. I usually allow my self a break on the downhills, something I did not do. Then the real pain began, my ITB started to flare up. Until this point I did not know I had one ;) Earlier in the week I did have a nagging ache during a ride but it went away over the week. But now it came back, on both legs.

By the time I got off the bike my legs were aching and I had already been suffering leg cramps. This despite the fact I had actually taken all of my bike nutrition. In the end I managed to basically match last years bike time. But I was zapped. My legs were stiff and in pain.

Bike time 3:05 Ave speed 18.3 MPH

T2 was uneventful Time 2:32

The run started off bad from the start, I knew that I was going to have problems so I was attempting to stave off any cramps by keeping a slow steady pace, that worked for about a mile, then the leg cramps began, I attempted to offset them by taking in gatoraid, gels and as many electrolytes as was possible at each and every aid station. These aid stations were super well stocked!

This strategy worked briefly, but my ITB was flaring up so I could not pickup a good pace. At about Mile 4 or 5 I saw RwP teamates Josh, Christine running along with Tom. Christine jumped off and joined me. Josh went on with Tom. Christine had done teh Sprint earlier and was not on Medic duty I guess.

It was good to see Christine and have the company, although all she heard out of my mouth was a bunch of whining about my leg cramps and ITB interspersed with casual chit chat.

Our conversation went something like this:

Javier- “ So hey How did your race go?”

Guru- “ It was good not my best but overall…..”

Javier “ Argh!! My calf is strangling me!!! mommy!”

Guru- “Ok lets walk it off”

Javier –“ Ok so you were saying?”

Guru- “Yeah it was a good race but I was not really trying to win anything”

Javier – that’s good because you should….( stop in my tracks due to a charlie horse that almost whipped my foot back so far that I nearly kicked my own Ass)

So that’s basically how it went.

After about 4 miles we saw Adam at an Aide station and Guru went to give him some company because I was nearly done with my run. There was still about 2 miles to go when I saw Josh. It was like Magic, I know I left him behind somewhere, but there he was, he came out and started to run with me, asked me How I was doing, and I told him “All the legs in my muscles are cramping up”, yes I was delirious at this point.

He accompanied me for about a mile and took off to another RwPer.

Finally I stumbled on in to the finish.

All in all, it took me 2:30 to finish a freaken 13 mile run. An 11 min/mile pace. A full 30 minutes slower than last year.

Final time: 6:14:21

Despite not having the best tme by far, I actually do not feel too bad about it for a number of reasons. First I did good on the swim which is big for me because that has always been my weakness. Second I can ride as fast as last year if I wanted too but also I KNOW that doing so without the right training will be painfull.

There is nothing good to say about the run. I was a whiny cretin that had enough fortitude to push through and finish. Interestingly enough because of that , I am not concerned about being able to finish the IM. Although I may be a bit whiny while doing it ;)

I have learned what I need to do for it through this race which is after all why this race ultimately was supposed to be, training grounds for the BIG race.

First I will have to take in more electrolytes, I need to figure out my sweat rate and compensate to help put off the cramps.

Second, I need to look at the race as a whole and not 3 different races. What I do in one will setup the next event and ultimately the whole race. For IM I will ride at a very comfortable 14-15 MPH. Thus preserve my legs for the Marathon portion. In short I need to develop a race strategy and use it.


PJ said...

Nice report! Way to gut out that run and finish. There's nothing worse than wanting to run but not being able to because of those cramps. Sounds like you and I have similar race "plans" for IM-Moo. I don't know about you, but patience is one thing I've always lacked and I have a feeling we're going to need 112 miles worth of it on September 7th....

Javier said...

Patience. Thats about right. No patience. But I have learned my lesson at Tupper. Plan my race beforehand and stick to it at the race.

Pam said...

way to tough it out. I know how paralyzing leg cramps can be. Now you know what you need to do to ROCK IM MOO!!!!!!!