Monday, April 07, 2008

Race Report: Great Clermont Olympic

There's a lot to say for specificity of training. Leading up to this race, I've trained more than I ever have in my triathlon career. The vast majority of my training, however, has been at Ironman pace - long and slow. Emphasis on the slow - I am The.Bigun. Which brings me to the race.
First of all, we stayed in an awesome hotel! The Fairfield Inn in Clermont, minutes from the race - for 89 clams we had a suite, with a couch and flat screen TV separate from the "bedroom" area. Good stuff. Excel Man still doesn't believe me that our room was WAAAAAY nicer than theirs, but if it makes him feel better, than fine.

Pre-race mistakes. You'd think I'd done this enough to not make many mistakes anymore...and you are right. I forgot nothing. Drank plenty. Salt tablets. Body Glide. Oh yea, breakfast...turns out we rarely do stay in a hotel, and since we had to be the first one's at the race (Excel Man's MO...we are late if we are NOT there at least 2 hrs prior to the start of a race - I kid you not), I totally forgot about eating prior to this race. Behold...what do we see? Yes! The Golden Arches of diet defilement. Two, count'em two Egg McMuffins and a large OJ later, I had my pre-race nourishment IN MY BELLY! Excel Man wisely opted out of the Arch d' Golden plan. His big pre-race mistake...leaving his bike on the back of his car all night. Did anyone else at the motel leave their bike on the rack all night? NOooooo! Did we know it was going to pour down rain all night? YESsssss! Guess who's bike computer didn't work until mile 25. That's right. Excel Man. His bike computer started working just after I was fighting off the urge to release Egg McMuffin #2.

Conditions were perfect for racing. Water temp was 74.5 - and it was still wetsuit legal. Morning temps were a little chilly, but once the sun came up, it was T-shirt weather. A slight breeze kicked up just prior to the start of the race. No biggie. After 2 hrs of setting up, stretching, warming up, stretching some more, meeting Moonpie and Cindy Jo, writing my thesis, watching the entire LOTR trilogy (ok, just being obnoxious about getting the race a little bit early), we lined up at water's edge and waited for the start.

I was psyched for a race. I had my race plan in my head - go hard as long as I can. That starts at the water's edge. I did something I rarely do. I ran out into the water. I did 2 - yes 2 dolphin water kickie things and started swimming hard. I quickly tried, successfully, the "two-right, two-left" Blink-approved breathing plan. I really thought I was swimming fast. I was around other yellow cap'ers at the first turn, and then, well, old habits reared their ugly head. I found myself swimming out to the middle of the lake, all alone - CRAP! After triangulating back to the 2nd (last) turn, I don't know how much time I lost - but I didn't gain any, that's for sure. I made an awesome line coming back in, scraping my left arm on TWO water buoys on the way in. All that effort got me a 35:30 swim. Disappointing, but interestingly, I was not waisted as usual leaving the H2O.

3:47 later, I was heading out on the bike. Good grief. I've had it! I'm cutting the legs completely off my wet suit. Ok, not totally off, but I'm gonna take a good 4 to 6 inches off the ankle, and see if I can get my big feet out of there any easier. I got pinned, yet again, by my Ironman wetsuit. Tacboy might have something to do with this....hmmm.....

The bike course is a crazy steep, up and down, crappy surface 24.8 miles. 1800' of elevation gain does not make for a course suited for this 249 lb'er. I didn't' get my wheel covers as I'd hoped, which would have added 1lb to my total bike/rider weight - after those 2 Egg McMuffins, however, I'd have hardly noticed. My average speed for this little jaunt was dead-on 19mph. So I guess I've gotten faster in the past 2 years - 1.5 mph faster over 40k - but for some reason I thought I could do 20. Interestingly, after the bike was over, I wasn't totally baked like I usually am after a 40k and a 1.5k swim.

1:27 in T2 - I had to go back a couple steps for my Garmin - thinking back, other than maybe rushing a bit more, it was a successful, stress-free transition. At least I didn't have to wrestle anything.

I got to running at a 9:30 pace, and fluctuated with the hills and my attention span. I should have worn the HR monitor - I made a conscious decision not to wear it, as it was just "one more thing, right -" but it would have probably told me that I didn't work hard enough on the run. It was a hilly run - a good 850' of elevation in to go 58:30, or a 9:37 pace probably wasn't that bad. I had some knee issue at the 2.5 mile mark - took a couple of walking steps and did a quick stretch - it still worked, but just a little twinge of pain. Other than the water at the aid stations being ICE cold - crimeny! Pouring a cup over my head at every station - my common practice - was absolutely frightful after the first one.

Good grief, if the only thing I can complain about for this race was water at aid stations being TOO cold, well, I can tell you - this was a spectacularly well-run race. I'm getting to really enjoy Sommersports' races - think Great Floridian Iron Distance - someday....

Overall, a lackluster 2:57:44 put me 5th of 6 Clydesdales over 40. Certainly this was a "C" race, and I will not change my Iron Focus over the upcoming weeks to try and get ready for St. Anthony's (SA) Olympic - it's just kind of weird getting done with a race I used to get smoked at, and still not even come close to a PR. I've got a big 2-week training block between now and SA's...then another recovery week before the race. SA is a flat bike and very flat run - and my wheel covers have arrived - things will be different in 3 weeks.

Post Race - Outback. Mmmmmmm. After Excel Man and Green Eyed Lady had enough of Trisherpa Di and me, we hung around another hour for the arrival of Cindy Jo and Moonpie, who waited at the race for a friend's trophy. I don't know what it is right now, but I don't have a taste for beer. I mean, I tried a bunch of different ones, and finished them to "give them a chance" - but I just didn't like a one of them. We had an awesome time getting to know both of them, and look forward to seeing them again in 3 weeks when we all do SA together. Coolness!


Fe-lady said...

Triple brick workout...and with all those hills in a more-than-respectable time! Congrats!
Love how you talk about breakfast and dinner! :-)

IronTriTim said...

Focus on what matters, when you cross the finish line at CdA this race will just be a distant memory.

Spokane Al said...

Racing a tri in T-shirt weather in
April - in my dreams!

Great job and terrific report. You are well on your way to the big one Big.Un.

S. Baboo said...

Nothing sucks quite as bad as swimming well and off course.

Go they make a bell-bottom wetsuit? You should look into that.

Anyway, it's a workout, a story and a good time with friends...great job!

TriScanner said...

Bigun, it's good to know there are others out there with nutrional "issues". I call it a PR if I have a settled stomach at the finish line. Oh, and love the podcast!

Mike said...

Great race report. Sub3 for a hilly course can't be all bad :) Enjoying following your progress.

Supalinds said...

Great race hit all the important points: breakfast and dinner. And you are officially my hero for eating not one, but two egg mcmuffins pre race!!

Second, hilarious pre-race low-down. Wrote your thesis, etc. LOL.

You did a dolphin kick, wtf? I would drown head first if I tried that. Good on ya.

As in the words of Bold - "no pictures = did not happpen"

I'm off to Di's blog!

Oh great race, btw!!!

Brent Buckner said...

A good workout with great friends!

Comm's said...

Good job on everything but the McD. But hey your a Bigun, its allowed.

You went sub 3 on a C race.

greyhound said...

How many neoprenes were killed to make that wetsuit?

Good race.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dude -

I enjoyed the race.

I'm still shocked at your pre-race breakfast....not 3, 4, or 5 hours prior to the race but to eat what you did <2 hours before the race and be able to hold on to it is truly legendary.

Below is the link to Coach Gordo's article on IM nutrition. You may want to practice it a couple of time in simulated 1/2 IMs at IM pace before CdA.

I just quickly scanned the article again but didn't see anything about Egg McMuffins and OJ :^)

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

Great race!

I'm soooo thinking this is how I will feel next weekend at Rage. No Anaerobic training yet. I'll be dying!

ShirleyPerly said...

Great race and race report!! I'd love a sub-3 on a course like that. Nice to hear the event went well. I know a few folks from my tri club who did it too.

Bolder said...

good job on the 'c' race.

one step closer to iron.

Mark said...

It was great to meet you, sir! You need to correct your tastebuds so you can get back to what's important - beer!

Anonymous said...

With all of the extra time I have before the race I visualize swimming in a straight line! :^0

Michele said...

Money in the bank. heck of a great deposit too. Sub 3 on a "C" race. You are awesome.
Loved the report, will go check Di for pics.

FunFitandHappy said...

Sub 3 in a hilly C race?