For those who like to look at data here are my power numbers for the bike and my run pace and splits. I was happy with my pacing in the race. I hit my pre-race power numbers but it just did not turn out to be as fast as I thought because of the wind. The run was a good little surprise. Enjoy!
I got to New Orleans on Friday evening and headed to my sister’s house to stay with her and her boyfriend. I have never been down there so it was a pretty cool experience. For the last week I have been checking the weather, reading what people thought about the weather, and hoping that the crazy winds would die down enough to allow us to swim. When I woke up on Saturday it was POURING which was crappy because I wanted to get out of the house and walk around my where my sister lives, and get my pre-race bike and run in without getting soaked. Luckily the rain stopped around noon so I was able to walk to the store to get some food then go for my shake out run. I then headed to the race expo. I ended up riding my bike and was kind of able to get see some of the downtown area. I heard right before I left there would be no swim and it would be a duathlon. I was pretty mad about that but I was happy they made the call early so I could mentally prepare for the race. I picked up my packet, headed back and made myself some pasta.
I took a short nap then we all went to this amazing burger place for dinner. Then they told me there was a self-serve frozen yogurt place and obviously we had to go. I know, I know, probably not the best pre-race meal but whatever. Needless to say I was full and tired by the time we got home. It was time for bed but not before I downed my bottle on Ensure to get some calories in me.
I woke up at 4 so I could have my meal and for this race I was trying something different. Instead of a bagel and peanut butter 2 hours before the race, along with my Ensure 3 hours before, I tried out 2 bagels and PB and the Ensure 3 hours before the race. I did this to see how my stomach would feel since I would like to start my Ironman races with a body full of calories. It worked out well and I felt good. Got to transition right at 6:10 and set up my spot which was really just putting my bike and helmet in transition since I needed my shoes for the first run of the day.
It was kind of cool being able to actually see the pros start since most of the time they are in the water before I get to see them. I was in the 11th wave to start and my plan going into this run was go at a nice pace but nothing too fast because I did not want to expend too much energy before the bike. This turned out to be not a good plan and I lost about a minute to the others in my AG which lost me like a few places but whatever.
2 mile run: 14:31 44th AG/253 overall
Now it was on to the bike. This was my first race with my power meter so I wanted to keep at around 200-215 watts on the bike which for me is 80-85% of my FTP. I did not want to push too hard because I wanted to be able to run well off the bike. The first few miles of the course was on some awful roads. To make it worse the winds were very high and we only had one lane on the road. This made for some very busy and packed roads. For the first 10-15 miles I was riding on the left passing people and hoping the wind, and poor handling skills, would not send someone into me. Luckily that did not happen. I was hitting my power numbers and making sure to race my race and stay within those numbers. I had to keep telling myself the big picture is Ironman Texas.
The ride was pretty uneventful scenery wise but there was an abandoned Six Flags that my sister told me about that I saw on the way back into town. Coming back into town for a few mile stretch was brutal with the wind. Luckily people were spread out so I really did not have to worry about anyone blowing over. The good thing about this course was the roads were closed so we did not need to compete with cars driving next to us which was a huge plus, especially considering the wind. The last few miles we went over a few bridges and the downhill was scary for me because my headset somehow came loose so the wind and the speed of the downhill’s made handling basically impossible so I was just trying to hold steady and hope I didn’t crash. All in all, the bike went well and I hit my numbers which was good but my time was not what I was hoping for.
52 mile ride: 2:20:17 22.2 MPH @ 204 av power and 211 norm power 23rd AG/167th overall
Finally it was time to test out my running legs! Coming into the race I wanted to see how fast I could run this 13.1 and my open half marathon of 1:21 a few weeks ago gave me confidence that I could run a mid 1:20’s race. So that’s exactly what I planned for. I left transition and told myself to start off running some 6:40s then settle in to a 6:30 pace. But my legs just wanted to go. I figured I would go with it as long as my legs could take it because this race did not mean that much so if I blew up I would know where my limit is. The miles were ticking off and my legs kept going. I breezed through aid stations; water, coke, water, sponge, perform, ice. Basically taking anything I could. I was looking for my sister and her boyfriend because I knew they would be on course. I finally saw them at around mile 4 and they were near a spot where a guy was announcing out of his car and she got him to announce my name as I went by and I got a nice cheer from the crowd which felt good. But then he said “see you in like 7 miles!”. Now I know exactly what mile I am on the course at all times really but just thinking about it that early sucks mentally.
At the half way point we got to the transition area where we rounded a circle that was full of people who was pretty fun. It’s always nice to get a little push from the crowd. But then it was on to loop #2. Legs still felt good so I kept at it, although I slowed down a little for a few miles in the middle. I kept telling myself that I would start to push it a bit at mile 9 and that’s what I did. But by pushing it was more like thinking I was going faster but in reality just going the same pace. I didn’t really start to pick it up until mile 12 when I ran a 6:16 mile but then I really turned it on. 1.1 miles to go meant I had like 7 minutes left and all I wanted to do was finish. I got back to the roundabout near transition and I saw someone in front of me who I saw on the bike and I noticed he was in my AG so I decided to make a play on him. About a half mile to go there was a little uphill and I tried to sneak past him but he saw me and pushed to re-pass me. Then it was on from then on. We were basically sprinting from then on out and I managed to get some distance between us which was great because I was not sure if I could have kept that pace up. I turned a corner and saw the finishing area and it was a spring fest from there. I am not one to trot to the finish. Not sure why but no matter what I like to sprint to the finish. Made it to the finish line. Finally the day was over!
13.1 mile run: 1:25:45 6:33 min/mile 16th AG/87th overall (had 6th fastest run split in my AG!)
Final time : 4:02:46 16th AG/87th Overall
After the race I ate like 15 Oreos they had at the food tent then headed back to my sisters to shower and go eat. I had fun racing but was disappointed to not have been able to swim but whatever. This next paragraph is not for the faint of heart and if you are not a triathlete I suggest you stop reading here because it is kind of gross.
So one of the good things about the race is that I proved to myself I can pee while running. Super gross I know. Who pees on themselves on purpose?! But when minutes and even seconds can determine placing and all the money I spent to make myself faster on the bike and run I am not going to stop and waste time unless I really have to. I have been able to pee on the bike but I just wish I could do it while pedaling. The peeing while running was something I have never tried nor something I thought I could do. I think I peed 3 times on the run and the first time I was thinking about stopping but I thought I would try it and wouldn’t you know it, it just started flowing! I am sure everyone watching was grossed out but I made sure to wash myself off after each time. Well enough of all that pee talk. Less than 4 weeks until Ironman Texas!!!
I think this is a first. Two posts in a week! Here is my race report for Sunday’s 1/2 marathon. It will be my first race report so I hope I don’t ramble and jump around too much. Well enjoy…
The day before the race I had a LONG ride. I went for my first 100 mile ride. So after the ride, and during it, I kept telling myself that the race did not matter and I would just worry about the ride then figure out how I would run when I woke up Sunday. I ate some post ride pizza, took a cold bath, put on my compression tights, and relaxed. I tried to do everything I could to get my legs ready for the race but, again, I knew the race was not a big deal so I was pretty relaxed. The crazy thing about Ironman and 1/2 Ironman training is that 13.1 miles is kind of normal to me. I was not worried in the least bit about running the distance since I have done it tons of times before. So winning the mental battle before the race is always a great thing. And here are my splits if you don’t feel like reading!
I could not sleep Saturday night for some reason so I tossed and turned and woke up at around 4-4:30. I decided to get out of bed, drink some coffee (which I rarely do), and see how my legs felt. I was shocked that my legs actually felt pretty good. They were tired but they weren’t too sore. That was a nice surprise. I ate my pre-race bagel and drank water and Nuun then headed to the bus to head to the race.
The morning was basically perfect to run. It was in the 50’s and was overcast and not humid. I started to think of a goal time and thought 1:25-1:30 sounded good. So I was planning on running around 6:35-40 the first mile then see how I felt. About a half mile into the race I started running with this group of 4 runners and we talked a bit and were all planning on running around 1:25 so I decided to stick with them until I couldn’t anymore. Well luckily that didn’t happen!
First mile went well, I felt good but the first mile always does. Miles started ticking and my legs felt great and I was not really breathing that hard. Two of the guys I was running with picked up the pace but another guy I was running with and I kept the pace steady and let them go. For the first 6 miles we were going at a 6:15-6:30 pace then we saw one of the guys who sped up and decided we would try to catch him. We started to pick up the pace a bit and kept checking the time he had on us. 20 seconds, 17 seconds, 15 seconds…5 seconds…damn 10 seconds…yes! 5 seconds. Then we made the pass. He tried to keep up with us for a while but he told us he was just too tired and went out a bit too fast.
At mile 8, we looked at each other and asked how we felt. I told him I felt “surprisingly good” and he said “good”. We then decided to pick up the pace a bit. Mile 8 was at 6:06, mile 9 6:08, mile 10 6:03. Holy sh*t we were cruising! We hit mile 10 and looked at our watches and decided to go for 1:22. 5k left, during later parts of races I remember what Chris McCormick said in his book when he got tired late in races, “I can do this, I have ran ____ miles plenty of times.” 5k was nothing. So we kept pushing. We started passing a few more people. Mile 11 was 5:59, 12 was 5:57. Now it’s time to kick! With about a half mile ago we really started to push, there was a little uphill and I turned it on to make a move on the guy I was running with. But when we started to really sprint I felt him right there. This was my first real sprint to the finish, like a real sprint. And when I crossed the line I was DEAD tired. I looked at my watch and saw 1:21:16 for a final 1.1 miles of 6:31.
Now the only thing I was thinking about was getting back to my girlfriend’s place, get food and rest up because I still had an hour run and a 45 minute bike left to do Sunday! I have said it many times but this Ironman training is NO JOKE.
It’s that time again! Another month has passed and I have filled up another Excel spread sheet with my training hours and distances. Unfortunately, this month, like in February, I had glute spasms that cost me some cycling time but I have since started seeing a PT and doing strength exercises and so far so good! Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t come back again because I am 3 weeks out from 70.3 NOLA and 7 weeks out from IM Texas so I cannot afford taking time off from cycling. Well here is what my training looked like in March.
60:48:14 total training time (highest total to date)
Swim: 10 hours and 49 minutes totaling 34800 yards
Cycling: 28 hours and 12 minutes totaling just under 500 miles
Run: 20 hours and 10 minutes totaling 158 miles
I also had a few hours of cross training to total up to that 60 hours. Another good month of training and I finally got a race in on Sunday! I also went for my first 100 mile ride Saturday. The body is feeling good and I can’t wait to race 70.3 NOLA in a few weeks. I will have a race report for Sunday’s half marathon up sometime soon (I hope).