Well E-man 2010 is in the bag and looking back, I believe one of the hardest races I've ever completed.
It was truly an amazing experience and one I'm glad I had some experience under my belt in order to help me complete.
Found a great homestay in Cambridge and spent Saturday in around town just relaxing. Out to dinner with my MMTC homies, Had a little smack talkin' with Bill Wheeler so my competitive spirit was high for race day. No way could I let Jelly fish catch me!!
Race morning nothing special. Got to the park plenty early and hung around the tent talking with everyone and staying relaxed as possible. Mental checks over and over to make sure didn't forget anything. Oops forgot my skinsuit! An easy jog back to the house for it and all was great.
Walked over and watched the pros exit the water and noted their slower then usual times. This gave me a clue as to the swim course either, it was long or it was a tough current going out to the first turn buoy. Mentally this helped me some as I set my swim goal off their times and expected to be out of the water in under 40 minutes.
Swim - 40:47 - I thought the first turn buoy would never come! But after that things seemed to go better. Around the second turn and I realized I could stand up, so I did, and proceeded to jog about 100 yds relaxed my shoulders got my breath and then back to swimming! Again, with about 200 yds to go I stood up and proceeded to dolphin dive the rest of the way in! Out of the water and into T1. I felt good about my time considering what I had observed earlier.
T1 -1:51 - goal met (under 2 mins.)
Bike 2:36:21 - 21.5 avg. - The bike felt great the entire ride. My legs were fresh and I could maintain my cadence between 90-100 the entire ride. I was also able to stay aero for the entire ride, a good sign for me.
My heart rate was right on target at 155 -158 too, so I was really excited about how the day was going.
Stomach was good, fluids taken without problems and mentally the miles were ticking by quickly. When this happens it usually means I'm feeling good(which I was).
At mile 53-54 I felt a slight tweek in my quads and this can mean trouble ahead. But no cramps up to this point so into T2 a bit "stiffened up" but man it always feels good to get off that bike and stretch out into T2!
T2 - 2:28 a bit slow but OK. I ran the wrong way at first out of T2. A race prep mistake that cost me a few seconds. ALWAYS KNOW YOUR TRANSITIONS!!! I failed to walk through my transitions prior to the race and paid for it here.
Run - 2:02:35 - I believe this was my slowest E-man run ever. I've done this race 7-8 times and this was a tough one!
Man was it hot! Out of T2 and onto the course. OK legs feel kinda good, I could maintain my turnover but my pace was way slow. Check of the old heart rate and it's OK(155-160). This tells me one thing. It's going to be a slower day then hoped for.
So I go with what my body is telling me. Keep this pace don't slow from here and maintain that's all you can do for today. "It's the one who slows down the least that has the best run!"
Around mile 4 my legs finally realized they were running and actually loosened up some and I felt slightly better. I was hitting the aid stations hard, usually grabbing two cups from the first volunteer and two cups from the last volunteer as I exited the aid station. Also dumping ice everywhere jersey, shorts, back, visor anywhere it would stay for a few seconds and cool me down. Saw all kinds of club members out there, thanks for the "go Chip" shouts. At one point the guy beside me said "man your popular, aren't you".
Walked through some of the final aid stations but was able to maintain until the end. The last few hundred meters I really had to work at keeping the cramps away and was doing what I call the "keeping the cramps away shuffle" where you kinda run on your heels because if you get up on your toes at all, the calves will cramp! Glad to see the finish line for sure on this day!
total time - 5:24:02
A challenging but rewarding day, thankful to be able to do what I love and have the support of my family and all the great MMTC club members.
I especially want to thank the tent volunteers. They drove down the morning of the race. Most rising around 3am for the drive, cars loaded with food and then stayed all day and helped over 50 racers! then drove home!!
I know of no other sport that has people who would do that! It still amazes me when I think about it. We are lucky to be in this brother/sisterhood of triathlon. Thanks to CTA for a class event.
I'll be back again in 2011. Come and get it Jelly!!