I haven’t written a race recap in quite some time. I am going to get back to it in order to take mental note of where I am and where I want to be.
I got down to the race start around 5:00am Sunday morning upon which I was notified that the water temperature was 72.1 degrees. The wetsuit cutoff is 71.9 degrees for the professionals. I instantly knew it was going to be a LONG swim. As much as I want to be a fast swimmer, it just hasn’t happened. A least with a wetsuit I get a bit of buoyancy. Without one, my ice hockey player body sinks! I put on my swim skin after a 20 minute warm up run and got into the water for a short 5 minute warm up before the race start. Instantly I felt the murky, lifeless river water pulling me down. The gun went off and I was left in the dust by some of the best swimmers in the sport. I knew this would be the case so I stayed calm, positive, and stuck to my own pacing knowing it would be a long day if I didn’t. I finished the swim in 34 minutes. With the lower wetsuit temperature professionals have I need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to best combat my lack of a swim background/physique and overcome these short comings.
Once on the bike I definitely felt the urgency to make up some ground on the field. I took it out hard. I really enjoyed attacking this course. I pushed hard on the punchy rolling hills and stayed on the pedals over the top and into the downhills. This is my type of riding. Unfortunately, this type of riding is not conducive to fast running. For the first hour my normalized power was 351w. Sounds like a lot but at my 185lbs that is 4.17watts/kg. The fastest guys are well above 4.2watts/kg. With the headwind and the constant power rollers throughout this course, being a bigger guy I only averaged close to 24mph for the first hour. I need to be about 2 mph faster than that at the Half Ironman distance to be competitive with the top cyclists. I finished the bike with an average wattage of 337w and normalized power of 345w. 24.21mph for a bike split of 2:18. The fastest riders in the race rode 2:08. Here is the link to my Training Peaks power file if you’d like to see a breakdown of the effort, Vineman 70.3 Power File. Goals for the bike in the coming training block are to keep pushing the power and possibly lose a few pounds. My normalized power over the past three races, Victoria 70.3= 334w Coeur d’Alene 70.3=330w and Vineman 70.3= 345w. I am getting stronger and faster, I just need to keep doing what we are doing.
On to the run I took it out of transition feeling pretty good. I didn’t have the fresh feeling I had at Victoria or Oceanside, but it wasn’t a totally flat feeling. I wasn’t going to let the fatiguing legs from a hard bike break me. Mental strength is a tough obstacle when racing hard and I was going to make this a positive for this race. Being so far out of podium contention, I knew I needed to get some fitness out of this opportunity. I came out looking to run sub 6min/mi pace every mile as my goal. Once again, the course was hilly. I was fighting hard to get the most out of my body, but I could feel/see the mile times dropping off. Come mile nine, I still was asking a lot from my effort, but the mile times weren’t corresponding. For a break down of my run here is my Vineman 70.3 Training Peaks run analysis. I fought off the fatigue through the finish. Finish time was 4:18.
One thing I didn’t touch on yet is my nutrition for this race. I have been taking 2 scoops of my Infinit blend along with 6 Gels for a total of 1000 calories while on the bike with 3 water bottles. Last Sunday I came up on the aid stations while they were a bit unprepared so I failed to get the extra 2 gels I needed for the entirety of the ride. In my haste to grind out the bike course I neglected my hydration as well. This lack of calories and hydration played a part in my run fall off, this I am positive.
Live and learn as we always do, right?
Thanks to Skechers Performance, Giant Bicycles, Infinit Nutrition, Base Salt, Altus Sports, Coach Gerry Rodrigues at Tower 26, David Tilbury-Davis Coaching for all of the support you give me day in and day out. On to Ironman Vineman.
Listen to the Tower 26- Be Race Ready Podcast Here