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Monday, September 12, 2011

Vegas Race Report

Well what would this race be with out some adversity. My triathlon life so far has not been a cake walk. You talk to some pros and they just do the work and everything works for them. I have always had a struggle weather it was the sickness before Muskoka, or the car problems in Calgary. All that aside I am still making improvements so when I do have that flowing year the results are going to be exponential. With that said lets break down the trip and the race.

So save a work day, and with it being in Vegas I was able to grab a direct flight Thursday night at 9. Not to say that Thursday wasn't totally stressful. I seem to have a problem of over booking myself and Thursday was no different. I had work 7-3:30 then class 4-5:15 and then be at the airport by 7:30. As you other triathletes know, triathlon trips or "Racecations" are not to be confused with "Vacations". Racecations are all work and triathlon being as specific as it is everything must be accounted for. I don't know what it was about this trip but I felt uneasy leaving. Thinking back now I think that I have just be come so comfortable with traveling to race or train I had accounted for everything and it felt easy. It felt to easy, but I guess I now just have my systems set up and thats why its so easy. I was stressing for not reason. Like any trip once the wheels picked up into the plan I felt relaxed. There was nothing I could do now, but deal with the problems as they come.

I grabbed a quick nap on the 2hr 45 min flight and we were in Vegas by 10:10 Vegas time. Grabbed the rental car which ended up being a hummer haha, hit the grocery store for some good food, and then hit the hotel for a sleep.

Friday like any other work day we (my aunt and I) were up earlyish around 7:30 because we had work to do. So we went and grabbed some breakfast and headed down to the expo for nine. Like last year the expo was top notch and American sized big. I have some great pics I will upload later. I met Chris Leito who was a D bag and Craig Alexzander who is a gem. I acutally was able to talk to him, and we reminisced about Muskoka, and I grabbed a set of newton runners. From the expo and check in we moved to the race sight to go check it out. I gotta say they do not mess around in Vegas! WOW! it was picture perfect venue absolutely gorgeous. It felt like we were not even in Vegas it almost felt like we were in France the way things were set up.

From there we grabbed a quick nap at the hotel and then we headed to the banquet. Once again purely top notch. This event really made you feel like you were on top of the world. They had a drumline, slide shows, and good quality food. I found out there that it was worth the money I spent to get the good swim skin because a lot of people got turned down. After this we were pooped and back into bed early.

Saturday we were up at 5:45 because we needed to get the race sight for the practice swim between 6:30- 8:30. I did my mini triathlon and everything was in order. Picked up my racing flats which came in just in the nick of time, to go in my race bag and dropped of my bike. After that tried to stay low key and eat good food and get good rest.


4:45 Wake up:

Up early had my pre race meal of a couple boiled eggs a banana a wrap and then started to hydrate it was a total of about 700 cals. Got to the race site in time to set everything up and then just try and get in a good head space. I was relaxed, again with this race almost to relaxed. Going in I was ready to give it my best. You can not be disappointed if you just give it your best. But you also must remember that your best is always changing. As part of some of my pre race thoughts I was running the last 6 week block through my head.

Starting with the positives:
I have done the work.
Half Ironman distance doesn't scare me anymore
I got out to hills 5 out of the 6 training weeks
I have done everything in my power to do well here

The sickness knocked me out for 10 days and hurt my physiology (tight hip flexers, muscles loss, never fully recovered running speed)
Felt a little tired

The nice thing about racing at worlds is that its all the best athletes. Racing other Half Irons in the 18-24 cat your go off last, the group breaks up into the fast and the slow and then you are catching the slow people of the other age cats. At worlds the whole field is fast so it was easy to find someone to draft off that was swimming at my pace. I felt good in the swim I felt strong the whole way and I was suprised at my time because it went by a lot faster then past swims. Out of the water around the monster transition run loop and up the switch back on to the bike.

33:09 (1:44/100)


The bike, everyone wants to know about the bike, this is my office, and I went hard. With the stupid late start it was already getting hot at the start of the bike course. The hills were not terrible and the up hills were nicely balanced by the down hills. Bryan because I know your racing here soon, you have nothing to be scared of. Muskoka is way worse, conserve you power on the down hills get into a nice tuck and power the uphills you will be fine. When there was a windy flat section thats were my prairie roots shined like 24 carrot gold and I lit guys up. The last 5 miles into t2 were pure up hill just to really punish you going on to the run. Coming into those final miles I knew I had to build a buffer if I wanted the 2:30 bike split. I was able to come into the climb at about 22.7 and came off it at 21.72. Coming off the bike I was feeling good I just need to have the strong run and I would be laughing.

2:34:43 (21.73 mph)

Here is that adversity. I started out and I could feel that climb in my legs my quads were tight, it was a feeling I had never experienced, and I have been doing more then enough brick workouts short and long. The first mile or two were normal little hurt waiting to get my legs and really lay the hurt down. However things did not go the way I wanted, they started to go down hill fast. I was almost in a panic I had never felt this before it was total nutitional failure I was slowed to the death march. At this point I was worried about finishing, I watched my average mile time fall off the radar. It was a tough mental moment to know that even my best right now could not get me the time I wanted. I saw my dad on the side he knew I was hurting. I tried to stay calm and looked back on my nutrition. I had my salt, I had my cals, there was one thing left. Hit the cola and hope for the best. So thats what I did the next couple aid stations cola and water. In two miles it was like a brick to the face BANG I was right as rain you wont believe it but my mile times came back down to 6:20!!! It was a relief to see my normal fitness. At this point I knew I couldn't get the time I wanted to I moved my thoughts to enjoy the day your at the world champs and finish strong. So thats what I did I finished as strong as I could and that was the best I had that day.

Here is a commentary on my splits:

RUN SPLIT 1: 1.21 mi 1.21 mi (8:12) 6:46/mi

Feeling good here following my plan.

RUN SPLIT 2: 3.22 mi 2.01 mi (17:53) 8:53/mi

Things not looking good here taking sodium pills sticking to plan waiting to get my legs and start crushing.

RUN SPLIT 3: 5.4 mi 2.18 mi (20:22) 9:20/mi

Now worried about finishing slowed to a death march. Wobbling not myself. Telling myself to enjoy the day.

RUN SPLIT 4: 7.72 mi 2.32 mi (20:29) 8:49/mi

Running nutritional analysis on myself, evaluating where did I go wrong decide to hit the Cola hard!!

RUN SPLIT 5: 9.9 mi 2.18 mi (16:08) 7:24/mi

Get hit like a rock to the head absolutly crush the 3 miles of uphill.

RUN SPLIT 6: 12.88 mi 2.98 mi (20:38) 6:55/mi

Stay calm and bring it home strong just felt good to be normal again. Enjoyed the day and was just happy I was able to finish strong. Great learning experience.

A dispicable 1:51:30 (8:35 pace)

In conclusion, its over that was what I had on that day and now its time for some well earned recovery and to set up next year. Three positives on this race:
1. Had a great swim and great cycle.
2. Learnt more about nutrition.
3. Was able to adjust on the fly and get back to normal.

I just have to be happy with that, keep my head up, get back to work and earn those improvements. But for now its time to celebrate, I am in Vegas!! Until next time,

Happy Training!!


Ironman 70.3 Worlds Vegas:

Swim: 33:09
Bike: 2:34:34
Run: 1:51:30
Total: 5:03:40

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Straight To The Top

Well its been a long, hard, and successful season. If I include my spring running block I have been going fairly steady for about 25 weeks. Needless to say after this race I am ready for some real rest. Not the couple days and then easing back into training rest. I mean rest until I feel 100% then I will focus on my fall running. Don't get me wrong I still want to bang out at least a half marathon before the snow hits. But I am determined to fully recover.

This last 6 week block has been hard. It started out with the sickness which lingered around for just over a week. Then because its August the last month of summer here, everyone wants to get the most out of it so there was lots of trips to cabins, which was good because I got to hammer the hills but it was still extra work, but good work. I think it was mainly the sickness that kicked my ass and it was really hard to get back in gear.

But coming into this final taper I am really just focusing on rest. All the hard work is done, and now its time to get paid. I know Vegas is going to be hot so I have been doing my best to acclimate, I got my nutrition plan worked out and ready to go, got the swim skin for the warm water, the bike is set up and ready for me to put the hammer down, and got some new racing flats so hopefully no blisters. I dont think I have felt more prepared. I do have 6 half under my belt now. I am really excited to go out and enjoy this one, pain and all. Its the end of my season and I am going straight to the top.