Monday, July 23, 2007

How to finish an Ironman 70.3 on 150 calories or less

This was supposed to be my race for the year. I got the sweet new TTX flying a disc and all, got good training on it and even ended up having no real knee pain leading up to the race. For the most part I as ready to set some PR's in this Half Iron Man this year.

Let me start with a few pre race items that should have tipped me off of the following weeks events. On Wednesday i did a 2000 yard swim at the local pool without stopping in 32 minutes. As a pool swim goes without stopping I thought it went pretty good. On thursady night I got a nice leisurely ride of 20 miles on the TTX. All is well! Friday night went to bed at a decent hour but woke up at 4am, not the worst thing but I figured I can get some well deserved sleep then on Saturday night. Let for Racine got checked in at hotel, dropped off bike and got registered at the school. So far so good! We decided to meet my brother and his soon wife to be for dinner. I opted to go with my liquid diet of some soup while the others enjoyes some of the best smelling Tex-Mex food I have ever seen. We ended up leaving after 3 hours of chatting and relaxing. It really took my mind off of things that were going to happen the next day.

The next day....

Had the hotel people give us a wake up call at 5am. I really din't need it since I was so nervous about the next day that I figured I only got about 2 hours oif sleep. Well it is better than nothing! I rolled into transition with plenty of time to spare meeting up with my fellow trash talking buddy Jeff. At that point I really felt rexaed walking down the 1 mile beach to the swim start. It was kinda surreal. Nice cool water, great temperatures and hell I am doing this for the third time. Never in my life would I have thought that I would be completing my third Half Ironman distance race. That was the phrase of the day "finish my third IM race, no matter what."

The Swim-
At first I thought and heard that the water was cold. I got the wetsuit on slipped in the water and it was great! the gun went off and I hit my swim stride right away. I was not going to push the swim as I am not a strong swimmer. I swam just like all my training swims. Long efficent strokes to save energy. I felt real good the entire swim but it did feel like an eternity. I have never exited the water after a mile point two of swimming feeling like I really could have done more. Not an inprovement on last year in time but my swim conditioning is way ahead of where it was last year.

T1- Zipped in and grabbed my helmet and sunglasses. This is one of the first years I forgot to clip my shoes to the pedals. I could have gained a few secondes doing that. All in all it was still faster than any other year I have done this race.

The Bike-
I was going to attack this course on the new bike. I was confident and ready to roll on the TTX. I got off to a great start I was averaging 23mph for rthe first few flat miles. From there things felt a litle weird. I was in a very bent over aero position and I got major heartburn. That can be explained by the Acute Gastritis i was diagnosed with last week and the neves kicking in. I watched my average go down and and down to a very depressing 16.7. I just couldn't get comfortable, couldn't get into a rhythm. I got to the first aid station took on some water and an Infinit sports drink. WOW did somebody mix that a little strong! It hit my trampoline of a stomach and came right back up. While this was happening i hit a bit of a rough spot and my bottle of water was catapulted out of the bottle holder behind my seat. Oh well I will just have to use up a gel and the remainder of the water in the aerobottle. Well the gel didn't really agree with me either. Lets just say that water was the best thing at the time. About halfway throught the bike I recognized Tracy from TeamRaceAthlete on the sponsored bike. I asked her how it was going so far and then I told her about the stomach troubles I was having and she offered my a NUUN tablet. It smells just like the bottle caps candy from childhood but dissolves into a flat coke like liquid. Wow did that stuff work! I felt pretty good, the nausea went away and I could finish up the bike.
Total nutrition - 1 gel, 1 NUUN tab, 2 oz of sports drink and 3 water bottles worth of water for 56 miles of hard riding.
2 hurls to get rid of all of the above.

T2-rolled in with the shoes still clipped in felt pretty good and even changed shirts for a clean dry one to run in.

The Run?
I left the transition area I saw my wife we said a few words and I took off. I started walking at first and then ran right up the hill. I ran till the first aid station and grabbed a water and an ice water. Or what I thought was ice water. It turned out to be the Infinit and then I proced to return that to the ground after I drank it. Almost to the turnaround I took a slat tablet to get some sodium in me. I proceeded to get one down and as i was taking the second one down, well the stomach revolted and said no way. A bit up the road, Tracy saw me again and gave me another NUUN tablet to make it to the end. That woked fro a while but I then realized that ice water was the only thing I could do. I had to keep somewhat hydrated. Well I finished the run with a similar second half split so at the least I was consistent.

Lessons learned-
NUTRITION, NUTRITION, NUTRITION! I was properly trained for the swim and the bike but not trained for the nutrition over the long haul. You just can't do an Ironman on water and one gel. You taake in 250 calories but expend 3000, it comes from somewhere. That somewhere is your muscels. That is why I just took a nosedive towards the end.
Pain is only temporary. This is so true! I saw a lady holding this sign 100 yards from the turnaround on the run. It just got to me. Yea, it hurts but I was also thinking that I committed to myself that I was going to finish no matter what. While dissapointed with my performance I was doing a lot of self talking afterwards of not doing Ironman Wisconsin in '08. While this is something that i do want to do I might consider doing a 101 mile event instead of a 140.6 mile event. Having completed the 70.3 miles it might be the next step. I just do not know...


Blogger Tri-Thomps said...

Way to stick with it. Sometimes it is just about continuing to move forward. Also, it's another important lesson learned on your way to IM Moo '08.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Triteacher said...

OMG! I can't believe you even finished. You make me doubly grateful for my ironclad stomach. Sounds like you need to invest in some NUUN tabs. Have you tried real food in your training rides? Sometimes pb&j in a tortilla hits the spot for me. Other people do cooked potatoes. Wonder if that would work better...

8:49 AM  

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