Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ironman 70.3 Kansas Race Report

Overall I had a great day and accomplished another goal by receiving a spot to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida.

Before I go into the results and talk more about myself I first have to say thank you to Theresa for not only putting up with my training and triathlon obsession on a daily basis, but for also being the best support crew anyone could ask for. Not many people could handle being with me for 4 days straight around a race, then manage to take pictures and update twitter while running all over the course trying to find me.

Also, there is no way I would have improved this much or gone into the race with so much confidence if it was not for the Endurance Nation team. Thank you to Rich, Patrick, the November Out Season Group, Jim and everyone else that. Knowing that the team was tracking me online was very motivating during the race.

Now back to the race report, there are two different ways to look at my performance at Ironman 70.3 Kansas, either…

I did not do a good job at estimating my ability and therefore my race plan was too conservative.


I did not execute all that well but got lucky and I was able to hold it together and have a great race.
Anyway, here are the results and the details:

Swim 37:30 70th AG / ~650 OA
T1 2:22
Bike 2:22:50 4th AG / 39th OA
T2 0:54
RUN 1:22:04 1st AG / 27th OA

Total 4:25:40 8th AG / 24th OA

Leading up to this race I felt pretty good about my swim. I had been swimming the strongest I ever have in the pool and very consistently been hitting my 100 yard intervals around 1:35 or slightly faster. I did a 2100 yard swim in 37:00 in the pool and figured the wetsuit, race day, and a draft would easily get me a 35 minute or slightly faster swim no problem.

I lined up about 2-3 rows back and a little to the side and the swim seemed to go really well. I just swam, counted my strokes, focused on my form and sighted every once in a while. The water was pretty murky and I couldn’t see in my own hand much less feet in front of me so I never really got a draft. However, it felt like one of my best swims ever, as I felt strong and kept passing people from the waves in front of me, then I got out of the water and saw my time was 37:30. I guess I just took it too easy or under estimated the importance of getting on someone’s feet.

On Saturday we drove the entire course and rode on the hilly sections. It was a really good thing I did this as the course was much more challenging then I expected. I would say this course may actually be tougher then doing 56 miles of the IMWI course. It is constant hills, so I picked few of the biggest ones and climbed them a few times.

I felt really good getting on the bike and I thought I was taking it really easy, but every time I looked down my power was over my goal watts. I kept trying to take it easy but kept putting down slightly higher power numbers then I wanted.

I was really worried as I was flying by people , but I felt strong and kept going. I really took it easy on the up hills, but didn’t really lose much ground and then on the down hills I made up a ton of time on most others. The last mile I really eased off to make sure my legs would be ready to run.

After seeing my bike time and still feeling great, I was fired up and ready for the run. I managed my fastest transition ever at :54 sec and was then off and running. I tried to follow my placing plan, but I could not slow myself down. I even slowed down to almost a walk through the first few aid stations but my splits were faster then I planned. Therefore in the middle 7 miles I actually ran a little easier then planned just to make sure I wouldn’t blow up. When mile 10 came around I was still feeling good, so I throw my plan out the window and just ran. I ended up with the last 3 miles at just over 6:00 min/mile and my garmin has my final .1 sprint at a 4:45 average pace.

The highlight of the run was that I basically ran within about 20 feet of Chrissie Wellington for the first 5 miles of the run until she turned off for the finish and I had another lap to do. She was smiling as usual and very friendly to everyone. For the entire run she was the only person that passed me which was a really cool feeling, of course the faster men were already done before I started the run.

I don’t have the exact run splits handy, but they were all over the place between 6:00 and 6:30, which is by far the worse pacing I have done in a while.

Post Race:
After about 20 minutes in the medical tent to ice my legs, I wandered over to eat and check the results. I was really excited about my time and was sure I would be in the top 5 of my age group, so I was a little disappointed when I saw I was 8th. Everyone is getting really fast as there were 12 guys in my AG that went under 4:30, and 11 of us were within about 9 minutes of each other.

Anyway we went back to the hotel, showered, got some more food and then went back for awards and roll down. Roll down was not supposed to start until after awards, but we got back early anyway and luckily Theresa heard the announcer from the parking area say they were doing roll down. So I sprinted over to the expo area, literally as they were giving away the 2nd to last roll down spot for my age group, which I got.

Lessons Learned:
- Time to learn to swim, it’s pretty pathetic that I was 4th on the bike, 1st on the run, and 70th on the swim in my age group.
- For me less is definitely more as far as nutrition goes. I had one bagel with PB for breakfast, one gel pre-race, 500 calories of infinit on the bike, one gel on the run, and water whenever I felt like it. That’s pretty much it and it was more then enough.
- I either under estimated my ability, or went to hard and got really lucky on the bike. IMWI will not be so forgiving and I need to really focus on getting the pacing right and not going too hard for the first 30 minutes to hour.
- Same thing on the run, I could fake my way through crappy pacing during a 70.3, but I need to get my act together for IMWI.
- Even if there are people walking and blocking the run course, don’t go around a cone to pass them. I was stopped by an official and had to stand and wait for about 15 seconds after she lectured me about passing “off the course”.
- Always stay around the race site during awards and roll down as I found out the schedule is subject to change and if we waited until after the awards to go back I would have missed getting a Clearwater spot.
- Did I mention, I have a lot of work to do on the swim

I'm also very proud to say that I took two days completely off after the race and just swam this morning as my first workout since the race. A few more days of taking it easy and then it is time to get serious about IMWI.

1 comment:

  1. Your run time is kind of ridiculous, hopefully I can come close to 1:23:00 during a half-marathon, let alone in a halfIM. Florida bound! Congrats, again!