No matter the time or distance, I enjoyed every moment. While clearly it wasn't a PR, I consider the race a great success.
Our first baby Elliot Grace was born five weeks prior to me reaching the starting line. The joys of being a new dad outweighed the time commitments of training. While I did do some great rides with Thomas Brunold, I cut short the few 4+ hr rides. Swimming was twice a week for 4-5K total -- not much but enough to finish. Running was good; I got the mandatory 2+ hr runs in but completely faultered when doing the last 2 hr run three weeks prior - my body was too tired from lack of sleep.
With Elliot still a few weeks old, Adrienne had to stay home. I made the trip alone arriving Wednesday afternoon. Race was Saturday.
I started in the middle, three rows back. I swam with feet the whole time and chanted "swim daddy swim" which was the slogan on Elliot's race day cheering outfit.
The changing tent was packed. I got my stuff and ran with shoes and put them on at my bike.
I had a lot of traffic all the way to Hawi. The first penalty tent had 20+ guys in it that I rode with. My power was erratic. It wasn't much over 200 watts (ave) all the way to Hawi. After the turn around I saw the next penalty tent filled with another 20-30 guys - many of whom rode around me.
I did well with getting down from Hawi but shortly after waikeloa I entered a gray spot where I didn't hold much power. A lot of bike traffic passed me those last 30 miles. I really didn't care; instead, I focused on hydrating, food, and salt tablets.
I got off my bike and my legs felt good running to the gear bag. Inside the tent I put on my shoes and got sunblock.
Okay, I'll admit that I knew that I was going to walk some aids stations when I ran out. The weeks leading up to the race gave me the perspective that I needed to be conservative and just finish. Adrienne and I did the race together in 2011 and I recalled a few of those memories during the run.
I never stopped running until mile 9 when we turned right off of Alii drive back toward Kualani hwy. Then I ran to Palani and walked up the hill to the Queen K. From there I ran the whole time but walked every single aid station. At Kona, the aid stations are nice and long and I enjoyed walking slowly through them.
Near the end of the Queen K I felt good enough to pick it up and roar down Palani like Adienne and I did in 2011. It was fun. The finish line came up quick and I soaked up the moment crossing in 10:23.
Immediately after and subsequent days later, I felt good.
Next year I'll be doing short course racing and being a dad while Adrienne gets back into training. She's doing Ironman WI.
A "C" race yielded a "C" like time. With Kona way out there in October I got a later start to formal training. Going into the race I did only did one or two bike workouts above zone 1. This put me way behind the others - Zucco, Girard, Iott, Bishop, and Bowe - coming off the bike.
Swim went good. I had tried the brand new Kayenne goggles that got redesigned (small fit version) and had the left lens fill up with water. Still I did just fine with a low 28 swim.
Bike was comfortable. I rode around 245 watts and ended the day with 241 NP and 233 ave. When I saw that it was the same as last year but I was 3 minutes slower, I took a close look at my race photos for my bike positioning. I didn't like what I saw: aerobars titled too high, seat too low. Once I got home I reviewed my fit coordinates and found my seat was 3 cm too low and aerobar tilt off. I wasn't surprised because I didn't use my bike last year for IM WI and I hadn't taken a look at it since it was shipped back to me from Specialized for repair in Oct 2013. Oh well. 2:28
Run felt great. Last year I felt horrible. I didn't focus on anything other than my breathing - no stitch this time. Ran most of the miles at 6:2X-6:3X with the hills at 6:40s. Came in at 1:27:00 flat for a 6:3X ave.
Overall, I came in 6th in the AG. The others in front had clearly circled this race as an "A" race ready for war. Initially I felt embarrassed about how I did but after talking it over with Pierson I got some perspective. Next race is Racine and that one is an "A" race.
Things to remember:
- 900 CarboPro calories on the bike with Nuun tablet = great
- 2 salt tablets on bike (cool day)
- no drink on run until mile 7 (only had coke)
- no side stitch entire day
- lunch = Jimmy Johns Turkey Tom; dinner = 2 cans of Campbell Chicken and Rice soap, 2 salt tablets
- breakfast = 2 powerbars, MuscleMilk, 4 salt tablets, bottle of Gatorade with PreRace added; done by 5:15; race start was 7:30
- 5x15 sec breathing exercises with EMST150 device race morning around 4:45AM
2014 is another Kona year. The race is already on my mind despite snow in my driveway. I hope to start formal training in March and have a great finish there. Kona is a hard race. I watched a number of great guys this year stumble to a decent finish on Alli' drive. However, not one of them smoked it. If that doesn't scare you, you're a fool because it scares the sh#t of out me. Guys like: Rick Lapinski, Matt Ancona, Joe Kurian, Mark Harms, Steve Johnson, Adam Zucco, Luke Lengfeld, and Mike Lavery. The one guy I was particularly excited about watching was Harms. That guy is professional material and his race at Kona was spectacular! He came off the bike in the top 10 amateur and quickly worked his way up near the front before melting in the lava fields. He gets my vote for best performance (among my friends). (Thomas Brunold gets second because he rode his bike like a Mad Man at IM Wisconsin.)
Sponsorship has changed for 2014. Zoot is going to be providing me with equipment to stay comfortable. I look forward to representing the brand. Last year, I got their tri and bike kits and it was by far the best fabric I've worn.
Adrienne was in Kona racing this year. I got to sit back and enjoy the view. Here were my many observations for when I race there next year.
- Splush drinks in the new FLOE water bottles (insulated). Freeze them the night before; have second in an insulated envelope in bike special needs
- Spend the first 15 minutes on the bike cooling the body by cold water on head/body
- Chemical Instant Ice Pack in run bag; run out of T2 with it on head covered by hat
Pacing & Strategy:
- Start way left
- First 200 yards continues to determines the swim group; swim hard and fast to get with the right group
- Under bike the first 30 minutes to get body cooled off
- Ave/NP watts of 220-230 is plenty to ride and be near the 5:00 mark
- Run up Palani very, very slowly. The pros did it at snail pace; the ag'ers tried to go faster up it than all the pro's.
- The out and back on Alli totals 10 miles; the out and back on Queen K is 16 miles including the Energy Lab; the out and back for the Energy lab is about 4 miles
It was a great outcome this year. The biggest factor for the improvement was getting a coach, Mike Pierson. I'll give credit where credit is due.
I'll tell you I felt fine the whole race until the second loop of the run. As I turned around, I said to myself " you don't want to do this but you have too." At mile 23 the pace fell way off (9:03 pace versus 7:00). At mile 22 a guy in my age group caught me but I saw him coming miles ago. He was running faster and ended with a 2:58 marathon. Also, I knew that the next guy was two miles back having ran past him and two or three guys in my age group in the first mile.
A few other notables for my sake to remember:
- day before meals: breakfast (muffin, banana) lunch (IHOP 2 eggs and potatoes) dinner (2 cans of Campbell's Chicken and Rice soup) 12 salt stick tablets during the day, sports drink, no water
- race morning meals: breakfast (3 powerbars), MuscleMilk bottle, 2 salt stick, 8 oz sports drink, done by 5:15 AM
-EMST150 - 5 breathe strengther exercises about 20 seconds apart around 5:00 AM
- tire pressure at 105 psi
- 2000 calories of carbopro on the bike
- gum on the second loop of bike
- 8-9 Salt stick on bike (caffeine type)
- Had some water from each aid station on bike portion
- Red Bull in special needs bag
- Scicon 430 CC bike bag: Tufo S3 lite spare, 2 CO2 with tire adapter, razor blade, zipp valve extensor
- 5:12 bike split 229NP 219AV 89 cad
- Sports drink only first loop of run; Coke only second loop; took in 8-9 Salt stick
- Red Bull in special needs
- Breath Right Nasal Strip until it fell off late in bike portion
- I had to hang on to the Joule computer for the entire bike section because the cradle was too loose. At the first two bumps on John Nolen Dr it went flying forcing me to stop and go back and get it.
- Thinking a yellow jacket hit me in the bike shorts, I had my head down and not looking up which caused me to swing over the yellow line. A Marshall soon arrived and gave me a stop and go penalty.
Important thank you's:
- Scott Bowe
- Thomas Brunold
- Lane Brostrom ( I rode his bike because mine broke the week before the race )
Ironman Wisconsin 9:37 Waupaca Tri 1st OA Mighty Wolf 1st OA 70.3 Kansas 4:25
2012 Race Schedule
2011 Race Schedule
70.3 Racine 30th OA
70.3 New Orleans 69th OA
American Triple T 3rd
2010 Race Schedule
IM Wisconsin - 36th 9:50
Pigman HIM - Ouch!
Door County HIM - 7th
High Cliff HIM - 20th (flat tire)
American Triple T - 2nd Team
2009 Race Schedule
IM Louisville - 56th 9:53 Pleasant Prairie Oly - 2nd Camp Whitcom Mason Sprint- 1st Tri-ing For Childrens Oly - 3rd Got Energy Oly - 1st Lactic Edge Sprint - 1st American Triple T - DNF J-Hawk Early Bird Sprint - 1st
2008 Race Schedule
IM Wisconsin - 68th 10:04 High Cliff HIM - 2nd DeSoto (American) Triple T - 4th J-Hawk Early Bird Sprint- 2nd