Chinook 2010

Race Report 2010

  • No HRM… I’m stupid and left it at home
  • No spare tubular… I’m stupid and left it at home
  • Swim. COLD!
  • Bike. No fun
  • Run. Totally incredible

There’s basically all you need to know… but I’ll record the day for posterity sake, I’m sure one day someone will want to remember it even though today I don’t really.

Tapered my running after completing 40 runs in 40 days on June 9th, big bike weekend prior and consistent swimming during race-week. Rested up enough to get TSB back definitively on positive side for the first time in 36 days. Still tired on Thursday, felt good Friday and felt physically great on Saturday morning despite being mentally not so great… impacted by some forgetfulness (see preamble).

Swim: Goal was to practice drafting in the open water as much as I could but keep to a moderate effort. Started front row and with a little beach run I was way off in front of the pack, got off to a moderate effort start, no need to hammer as people were just gingerly getting going due to the cold this all seemed really weird to me, then things started to pick up at maybe 300m, at which point people started to pass me, I tried a few sets of feet as they went past and held some for a while each but eventually lost them all. By 500m I had picked up a good draft and held it until maybe 800 feeling just steady. At this point I got pretty dizzy, not because of waves I don’t think, probably a cold head, but I just grimaced and dealt with it, trying to focus on three stroke breathing until the end of the first lap. I passed 5 people on the beach run and caught some feet upon re-entry but quickly lost them and swam by myself at a steady pace till 1500. At this point I got a draft and held it to the finish again. Got a bit dizzy through the same section, this was the shaded part of the lake so that’s why I’m pretty sure it was a cold-induced dizziness. 19th/120 on the swim.

35:48 – distance was supposed to be 2km but everyone seemed to think it was a bit long. I swam totally within myself but did think that I had swum a very straight line and had kept the pressure on. I thought for sure this was going to be closer to a 33min swim until the results went up. Disappointed but not surprised based on a recent 1 hour swim TT last week where I managed only about this pace.

T1: Hands were a wreck in T1, luckily the strippers got me out of my suit and I was on my way. I decided to run hard to try and warm up at least a bit before mounting the bike. In retrospect I do think this was a good decision, I did get on the bike relatively quite a bit warmer than leaving the lake.

Bike: Race plan was to average 150bpm, having no HRM (see preamble) I was going to just try and average an RPE of 14/20 and 16/20 on the big hills, which would likely get me around 150bpm under race circumstances. Out the start I felt like the bike was all a strange muscular effort and breathing/HR was low… Did not feel like I was strong on this bike at all… I’m strong on the road bike right now, the TT bike was not feeling great. Eating and drinking got underway and was doing OK, pulling in lots of people and I’d worked my way into fourth. I was certainly not feeling strong on the bike, searching around through different cadences and not able to find something that felt good and strong and fast. Similar trouble to early May on the TT bike for the first time in the season, just couldn’t get in a powerful groove.

Flatted my rear tyre at about 30kms. Very frustrated with myself and had a big internal debate about what to do, kept riding while I would decide but focus was lost. Dad was parked maybe 5km up the road and I opted to stop, and put my training wheel on the rear at 35kms and accept a DQ for the race for accepting outside help and then get going. Did the swap, and spent the next 10miles not focusing well, not riding hard, not doing anything right. Got more frustrated with myself, sad, angry… etc. At halfway I tried to turn things around a bit but struggled to do so. Average pace picked up due to general downhill and sections of tailwind, this was probably deceiving as I felt a bit better about it but wasn’t really making up as much time as I could have been. I caught myself dropping into easier gears when I probably shouldn’t have been, certainly not having fun at this point. Then started to get an achy lower back… race plan was to avoid having this happen as I anticipated it meant I was going too hard. When it happened I backed off the intensity, this was the wrong choice as I was already going too slow, I was likely just out of practice on the aeros and should have kept pushing. Wrapped up the effort with 1km to go and rolled into transition in third place off the bike.

Last minute announcement that they’d be serving HEED instead of gatorade despite posting otherwise on the website. I had tried HEED before and know that I do like it so this wasn’t going to be an issue except that they’re slightly less calorie dense and I didn’t know what size bottles we’d get. (Aside: Oh well, this is what athletes deal with when corporate multinationals decide to adopt targeted marketing campaigns… do you think this makes me want to buy more Gatorade now? Honestly, what kind of marketing genius thought this policy up?) 340 calories gatorade. 300 calories HEED. 260 calories powerbar and a banana ~120calories. No gels. = 1020 calories. Ate two hammergels, raspberry was nice, and drank HEED on the run at every aid station where I could get a volunteer to pay any attention to me, this was not a majority of aid stations unfortunately.

2:38:10 96 km. Second overall, 7 minutes slower than last year. 6 minutes slower than fastest cyclist on the day. Map (started at about 2.5 km into ride).

Run: My plan was to run a strategic combination of MAF heart rate governed pace and tested MAF pace from two weeks ago. This was ambitious, and became more ambitious when the heart rate strap was left at home and I was now basically going to have to run purely according to pace and RPE (goal 16/20 – cap 17/20). Brick was super and I felt great going out onto the run, felt fresher than in any transition run in training, highly motivated to try and redeem my day with a good run split as I had done a lousy job on the bike and was going to get DQ’d after the race anyways due to the wheel change and I knew it (because I planned to request it). Split the first 500m in 2:02 (exactly MAF pace) and was mighty proud of myself. Ran through to 4kms basically all at MAF pace except for the aid station where congestion (with Olympic race) caused trouble with me trying to get what I wanted, ran myself into second place, soon caught by Jeremy in third, we ran together from 5km through until 10.55km (halfway). I felt like I was taking it easy here and just cruising along next to him despite logging a couple splits below 4:00 pace here. As we passed transition I ducked in where I took a quick pee and he got maybe 80m up the road. I subsequently lost a bit of time to him through kms 11-16 despite lifting the effort level. I struggled to run 4:15-4:20 pace and got a bit worried when I split one at 4:30 pace. I pulled my socks up then and started to focus on the finish line and my pace improved. I actually started to gain back on Jeremy through the fourth quarter of the run meaning he faded even harder than me, which is what I anticipated based on his breathing when running side by side, but his fade started quite a bit later and in the end he ran the fastest split of the day so who am I to suggest otherwise. Kudos to Stefan for the win, good bike ride and good run, when you get both right you typically have a good day, and he got both done quite nicely indeed.

Splits: Green is up heartbreak hill, which has been re-landscaped and re-paved and is nowhere as steep as it was last year. Blue is the pee break.

Photo from gallery: Weblog Photos

1:30:09 Placed second overall in run, goal was to run within 2% of my open half marathon PR, which I certainly did, only 22 seconds slower that my PR, and considering a porta-potty break, this is totally impressive.Map.

Overall: 4:44:06. A hair over 2 minutes off my time last year. Similar swim, 7min slower on bike, 9 min faster on run. I went and talked to the race director afterward and told him that he needed to DQ me for outside help, he wasn’t really sure that he wanted to do that but in the end that’s what he and the other official decided. This was a very costly mistake, mentally it cost me on the ride a lot, and cost me some really good data from the run, what was my HR actually doing during the third quarter of the race?

Lessons learned:

  • I need to log a lot of time on the TT bike in the next 2 weeks, even if it’s all easy, riding that bike allows me to feel powerful on that bike and that’s what’s necessary for me to ride to my potential. I also think I’m going to experiment with raising the seat up a bit to de-stress the quads slightly. I also think I should probably try to almost ride in the aerobars by a large majority until Ironman, or at least never go a week where I’m not logging at least some serious time on it.
  • Swim frequency needs to stay higher than it has been. 4 day weekends between Thursday nights and Tuesday nights have caused some trouble I think, it means the Tuesday swim is almost always a write-off in terms of getting in some quality swimming as it’s hampered by re-familiarization with the water.
  • Run – I’m doing well. Hopes are high for continued development, but some tougher run sessions lie ahead, when I lifted the effort level in the third quarter I actually dropped in speed slightly. Negative splitting my longer runs should become a strategic plan.
  • I discussed how to avoid costly mistakes like forgetting gear with my mom, there is no easy answer. I had everything packed, and then double checked, and then left one bag on my bed when loading the car. I have a checklist, but these things only work when things go according to your plan. The best laid plans are only plans. What do you do?

Chinook is behind me for 2010, and I’m looking forward: two weeks until the GWN. I will be mentally stronger on July 4 than I was on Saturday, I’ll also be considerably less rested, faster? who knows, but it will be fun to mark myself up against Paul Tichelaar’s anticipated sub 4 hour time. To wrap up I’ll re-post a quote that I scooped from the EnduranceCorner website today:

“Feelings are a choice.” – Scott Molina

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