Friday, April 13, 2018

Dear Ironman PLEASE put the race back in racing

Oceanside 70.3 2018 is in the books!   This is my all time favorite race even though I leave a piece of my soul on the strand every year, its a deceivingly hard ass race.  Bike is legit with some climbs, nothing epic but enough to work the legs and add the last 10 miles of TT into  a headwind and a run that looks so nice along the ocean but it's on concrete and has a few bitchy hills and is just plain hard.

This was my 7th Oceanside, not my best and not my worst, I gave it my all out there and that is all you can ask for.

Swim: 26:42  I have been wanting to break 27 for 7 years and it happened this year!   I swim hard in a 1/2 IM, get in and get after it.  If you have the fitness you can go hard for 1.2 miles.  When it gets uncomfortable you put the pressure on.  Its not an all out effort but it is way above comfortable.  Yes the swim was relatively open with the rolling start, as we are not swimming over other age groups but more on that later, I'd prefer a dog fight of a swim.

T1 3:53- goal was to break 4min,  This is a long ass transition- you run and and run but when I got to my bike I sat down, pulled  the rest of wetsuit off, glasses on, helmet on, shoes  on, race # on, up and out.  I practiced this on Thursday and found I am faster if  sit down and do it all.    This is free time and easy to work on.  Clean transition.

Bike: 2:46:21 I am consistent on this course,   I have ridden between 2:42-2:46 for 6  of 7 years.  My power was nearly the same as the last 2 years,  I race this at 82% of FTP 1.04 VI.  I always guage my bike by the last 10 miles- if the power comes fairly easy then I know I did not override, bit I am struggling I know I may have hit the hills a bit too hard.  I felt good  on these last 10 miles, aero working hard but strong. This is a 1/2 IM so the effort is always just above what is comfortable.  It's knowing that yes my legs hurt, yes I am tired, but I can still run off this effort.

T2 2:24  last year was 3:35 and year before 3:50 so this was great too.  Again sit down, socks on, shoes on, up with hat in hand  and running out.

Run: 1:47:31 UGH I wanted a 1:45, hoped for it, there is no hoping in 70.3 or Ironman,  and I know better than to hope for it.  I am a few weeks shy of run training due to my colossal dumb ass fall 12/16 that sidelined me for 6 weeks.  So was once again chasing run fitness, seriously the story of my triathlon career.   Mile 1-3 came way to easy and I was dialing back, dialing back, it feels like walking.   Every 20- sec I would look and slow it down to 8:00 pace.  Mile 4-6 8:00 felt great, but mile 7 it was holy shit this next 6 is going to be a mother.  Coming up that ramp the 2nd time was painful, Coach was at the top so I knew I would get some encouragement.  This is where the mental prep comes in - its not IF, its when it gets fucking hard and be ready to suck it up and get after it.  Based on coaches feedback I had to hold my pace and that was getting hard.  This is when I go deep inside, focus on cadence, tucking my elbows, looking for the next fcking aid station, wondering if they somehow moved it,  ah there it is  and the begging begins "coke, coke, coke"  When I am in the hurt locker I go to coke.  From there it was one segment at a time, up hill, down hill, just get to the turnaround,  pray my competition is not on my heels,  I see her and ok looks like she has not put much time into me.  Pick it up, okay that is not happening, hold your pace, okay that is not happening  either, just fucking run as fast as you can and get to the finish line.  The last 3 miles were just about digging deep and getting there.

Soon after crossing the finish line I was in 1st, as I was the 1st i my AG to cross the line, then I was in 2nd then 3rd and a few hours later back to 2nd.  Why, because Ironman has insisted in"making it easier" with a rolling swim start" With a rolling swim start you line up by estimated swim time, not with your AG not a mass start. The reason being it is"safer", which I don't buy. Sure it is a more enjoyable swim as you are not swimming over slower waves and the slower swimmers are not getting swum over,but hello this is a race! .  This is an  Ironman 70.3, why does it need to be "more enjoyable?"  This enjoyable start takes the racing out of the race, I cannot race head to head with my competitors as I have no idea when they started.   Ironman why don't you have 3 waves? .  Pro (they still get to race head to head), Competitive Wave - anyone vying for a podium, worlds, Kona, official placement, and then the Open Wave.   Rant over...I just DONT get it.   Okay so "they" say its what the majority wants, but look at the 3 women I was racing with, we have all been racing 10-15 years! Cater to your long term athletes.

Back to the race, so I was 2nd by 50 seconds and yes I am pissed but I honestly did not have any more to give.  I took a bit of a risk mid run to pick up the pace in hopes of breaking a competitor and I paid for it the last 3 miles.   I dropped my chain or lets say it was already dropped coming out of transition which was probably 20-30 seconds but not 50.  In any case...  Looking back to January when I was on crutches not sure I could get ready, I am happy with the result and with the race.

On a side note,  I really think the strength work helps in those last 3 miles, when I am breaking down, the strength works kicks in.  Lot more to do on that front for me, but committed!

Fueling... more on that in another blog but it worked!  Gatorade endurance and Gatorade Carb Energy Chews on the bike,  Gatorade and Coke on the run.  No GI issues, no Imodium!  More calories on the bike this year - 310/hour and all was good!

And my 11 chickens... racing with 11 of my athletes was amazing.  It made leading up to the race so much fun and less stressful for sure. I was focused on what they needed, were doing etc.  We did dinner Thursday, shake out workout Friday along with other D3 athletes and I saw most of them Sat AM in transition. Racing alongside them simply make my day!  Congrats to all.