"We will never know our full potential, till we push ourselves to find it.” – Travis Rice
Headed to Cambridge Saturday afternoon and hit the expo. Very excited to see “Crowie” and the other Pros. I’m new to triathlon, but Crowie has already become one my favorite athletes to look up to (boyish of me...haha) Anyway, headed to transition and racked my bike. My “mentor,” Carlos Acaron, gave me some pointers while in transition. He wanted me to practice the run from the water to my rack, the run from rack to bike start, and then bike in to rack. It definitely helped Sunday morning, even though my transition times were horrible! He also told me to head over to the MMTC tent and introduce myself b/c I needed all the support I could get for race day…haha… I agreed! I met great people and they reassured me that race day would be a success and that they would be cheering for me! Left Cambridge, ate dinner around 6pm, and in bed by 10pm (late, I know).
Woke up at 3am! Got everything together, ate my plain bagel with almond butter, grabbed a water bottle, and left Grasonville at 4am b/c of the 45-minute drive ahead. Ended up on Oakley St. by 5am with little parking to spare. Headed to transition and had everything setup quickly. Finally, headed to the MMTC tent and hung out!
1.2 mile Swim (43:31)
Heard it was wetsuit legal and I debated on wearing the suit. After weighting everybody’s opinion at the MMTC tent, I decided to go with the wetsuit. My confidence in the wetsuit outweighed the possible cramps and slow T1 time (that’s how much I love my Xterra wetsuit…lol). Jumped in the water before start and was able to swim for 2 minutes, then it was time to start this LONG day! The horn goes off and I decided on being close to the front of the pack (over 100 guys) for some reason and I regret it now. Everybody is swimming fast and I decide to pop my head up for one second… KA BOOM… elbow to the eye! Wow that hurt! Fix my goggles and get on with it. I sighted really well. Tried the drafting approach a few times, but surprisingly I picked the slow people to draft (even with my time). Felt great throughout the swim till the last .2 miles. I felt the calf cramps coming on. Good thing I did pull workouts in the pool. I just used the buoyance of the wetsuit and left my feet up and “pulled” myself the last .2 miles.
Remember that elbow to the eye? Yeah, my head was throbbing. Nothing I can do about it now. Focused on getting my heart rate back down, chugged a bottle of water to get rid of the possible cramps, took a salt stick cap, and headed out. Oh yeah, it might of took me a minute or two to get my wetsuit off…haha..
56 mile Bike (3:27:41; 16.2 mph)
The bike started good. I made sure to go slow and keep my cadence high to get the blood flowing to my legs again. At the same time, I was taking in water and HEED to make up for wearing the wetsuit and preventing those cramps from coming back to haunt me. At one point, I think my average on the bike was 19.5 mph! I felt great. Then, all those extra fluids that I took in sitting around for my swim wave (wave 12 by the way) and what I gulped down the first 20 miles of the bike, I had to go #1. I stopped at the 2nd aid station to do my business. After, picked up another water bottle with some ice for my aero bottle and I was back on the road. Taking in my carb drinks (HEED / GU Roctane) and water every 5-10 minutes. I focused on rotating between a salt stick cap or gulp from my gel flask every 30 minutes. It seemed to workout well until… My “frank and beans” started to go to “sleep!” I have experienced the “beans” going to sleep before, but never the “frank.” I tried to focus on getting as much riding time in with my new tri bike as possible. The aero position is definitely something to learn and get accustom to. I do need to see Mike Stone @ Princeton Sports that everybody talks about and finally get a bike fit! Anyway, that feeling didn’t go away till I got off the bike. Remember I said I was averaging 19+ mph, yeah that was gone when I was sitting up most of the 2nd part of the bike and stopping twice to go #1 and later in the ride to get a break and pick up more COLD fluids to help with the run coming up…
Bike Nutrition (800 cals):
1 bottle of GU Roctane powder (240 calories); 1 bottle of HEED (100 calories); 3 salt stick caps; 3 gels (300 calories); 1 Honey Stringer waffle (160 calories); 4 bottles of H2O. I felt like I did a good job with nutrition, but what do I know. It was my first LONG distance triathlon…haha…
Finally made it HOME! Got off the dreadful bike and focused on getting my HR back down. I ended up changing my socks as well to prevent blisters the best I could. Grabbed my running cap, fuel belt (with water bottle, new gel flask, and 3 salt stick caps), and 1 serving size packet of HEED. Stopped at the transition aid station and asked for water and ice so I could mix in the HEED with COLD water. Filled it and off I went into the inferno!
13.1 mile Run (2:53:08; 13:13/mile)
I can run a 2-hour Half-Marathon, so I figured I give myself an extra 30 minutes on that. 2:30 was my goal. Boy, was I wrong! The HEAT was outrageous! No shade at all. With us slower people, we end up being in the heat of the day (between 1230pm-330pm)! Anyway, I proceeded to do a 10:00 split for the first two miles and then it just started going down hill. Next, I adapted a walk .25 mile and then run .50 mile. That lasted till about mile 6. Then, it became a “jog” till you feel a crazy cramp in your leg somewhere and start walking. It’s so funny that I say that b/c I took in a TON of fluids! At least I thought I did. Just about every aid station I was drinking water and/or Gatorade (there were 8 aid stations)! Throwing water on my body to cool off and also adding ice to my running cap to keep my core temperature down. I think at times my hair would freeze for 10 seconds and then my body realize it was over 100* with the heat index! Anyway, I somehow made it to only 2 miles left! Those were the longest 2 miles of my life! I had nothing else to give. I turned to walking completely about a mile before this point. I was in complete survival mode. At the last aid station, a volunteer asked me 10 times if I was feeling okay (Full Disclaimer: Over 300 people did NOT finish this race b/c of the heat or other issues). I guess I looked that bad…haha… as I was dumping cup after cup of water on my body! I knew I had to finish this thing. I made it this far, no stopping now. I started to “jog” again till something in my legs wouldn’t agree with it and before I knew it I was “jogging” down the finish chute! Kate was standing right there waiting for me and cheering me on (p.s. she gets the Wife of the Year award for being in the heat all day and supporting me completely throughout this journey). I crossed the finish line and received that medal that will help me remember this day for the rest of my life! What a day it was!
Run Nutrition (200 cals):
1 bottle of HEED (100 calories); 3 gels (300 calories); 3 salt stick caps; God only knows how many cups of water and Gatorade; blue raspberry snowball (delicious calories)
1st 70.3 complete and FINISHED! Learned a TON through this experience. I will be back next year and hopefully to break 6:30!