Week 16 – Welland Half Iron

28 06 2010

Not sure where to start… so lets go right to it:

Left to right: Hans, Bryan and Carlos

Swim: 2km, 29:36 (1:29min/100m)

What can I say? It was an AWESOME swim. I actually took it really easy, since I really didn’t want to go to hard just for a few extra minutes. I paced myself through out the swim and I even got a bit of a draft. The whole time I was thinking “Am I taking it to easy?” It really felt like a long swim and I could not believe my time when I checked my watch. I saw Carlos like 3 m in front of me (couple seconds).

Bike: 90km, 2:47 (32.3 km/h, 153 bpm, 197W, 90 rpm)

I started the bike very easy too, as my HR always goes up when I stand after the swim. It took about 8 minutes to bring it back to 150 bpm, while doing 170W. I was just behind Carlos, when he had to stop: Flat! Sucks, but I knew he had all he needed, so I kept going. I had 3 bottles of Infinit, 1 of Water and 5 gels. Yes, I know, I had too much to eat! The exact opposite as IM France. And boy I paid for it… I’ll tell on the run part.

So, started easy and slowly increased my pace:

  • The first 25km at 185W, 153 bpm;
  • 25-50 km: 212W, 153 bpm;
  • 50-75 km: 200W, 155 bpm
  • 75-90 km: 181W, 154

The problem was that at the last 25 km I started to feel a bit my stomach. I was burping quite a bit and I couldn’t stay in the aerobars anymore. I started to stand and move more as the course is FLAT, it is like being on a trainer, barely changed gears. at the last km I almost missed a turn too. I couldn’t quite figure what the police officer was pointing (if it was for me or the car behind me).  I almost came to a stop since I couldn’t see anyone in front or behind of me… but fortunately I was on course.

Run: 21.1. km, 2:10, 9.8 km/h, 153 bpm

OMG, I started to run (after a nature break at during the transition) and I noticed that this wasn’t going to be a good run. My stomach was HURTING, the three Infinit and the five gels were trying to come back… and they were very determined! I was trying to hold it in, otherwise I thought I was going to dehydrate for sure. This was a 21.1 km battle. To make things worse, it was 28C and I have no clue what the humidex was, but it was a LOT.

Do you know the run/walk protocol? Well I created a new one: Run/Walk/Burp! Every 500m I would stop and fight the gels. There was one time it came back with so much strength that I decided it was time to let them out… but when I look in front of me, there was this old  couple walking towards me on the trail, and I just could not do it in front of them. That would have been too much for them. I’ll spare the details, but it wasn’t pleasant, lets just say I cough quite a bit.

Anyhow, I gave in. I walked quite a bit and I did NOT have fun on the run. I was very upset with myself the whole run. Well, 2 hours and 10 minutes later, it was over.

Thanks for my wife, Beatriz, for taking care of the dog and me!

A few things I think could have been better organized at the race:

  • Bike course marking: there were a couple intersections with no sign and just a police officer. It was tricky when I was on my own. I also heard some other people complaining about the same thing. Not a big deal, since I got it right!
  • Not sure it was the heat, but I could have used a couple more aid stations.
  • Finish line didn’t have the time! Never seen this before. I finished and I had to rely on my watch until the results were published on-line. They were also printing some results there too.

In the positive side, the water bottle exchange had some nice bottles! I was happy to through my old ones away and get these! The aid stations had gels, Infinit, Cola, Water, etc… The run had some shade (close to 50% of the course). I think this is a small race that has some potential, specially due to the timing in regards IMLP. But the organization of the Subaru series is unquestionably better.

Lessons learned: seriously, I’ve been doing triathlons for 3 or 4 years now. It is about time I learn the nutrition. This was my third Half-Iron and I got it wrong?? Come on! Anyhow, I will be doing some adjustments during my training next weekend during my Brick (6:10 hours bike and 30 min run). I’ll reduce the GU and have more Cliff gels.

Actually that is a funny part I’ve been using GU for years, but the last month I haven’t been able to find GU Chocolate at the running room close to my home, so I’ve been using my wife’s Cliff Gels. Turns out, now that I have GU Chocolate, that I’m more comfortable with Cliff. Go figure!

Anyhow, I’m not super happy with the final time (4 minutes and 50 seconds above my target), but I think it is great to make these mistakes on a not so important race, rather than at my A race, IM Lake Placid. Having said that, I’m so surprised how much I improved on the swim vs. Bike and Run. It is really the sport that I’m focusing the least.

Well, back to the white board… back training the next couple days and see if I can get this right!

Week 16 summary is:

Not a lot of volume, but the intensity on the 1/2 Iron was much higher, plus the learning are priceless!

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