Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vineman Race Report

Fact:  I finished in 12:38:12
Swim:  1:13:19
T1: 4:00
Bike: 6:37:49
T2: 2:57
Run: 4:40:07
Bathroom Stops:  Approx: 7

Going into this race, I was flat lined a bit emotionally.  I know that tapering can bring on a bit of a depression but I wasn't really down in other areas, just kind of not hyped like I expected.  I think part of that had to do with the truth about my fitness being exposed to all, my self, my family and all the people that I've been blabbering about this race to both on-line and in person.  I wasn't sure whether I would need to find someone new to cut my hair because I didn't have a reason for melting down on race day.

I also had set a goal of 12-13 hours with a hope to be closer to 12 and a fear that things could blow up.  So I went into this race partially enthusiastic but also with some impending doom or foreboding. 

Race morning:  Crazy scene at Johnson Beach.  There was a huge line of people squeezing into a very small space and no one seemed to be able to wheel a bike, carry their gear, flex their muscles, while checking out bikes and competitors.  Also, I've never racked by age group and it was a bit weird.  Body marking is kind of hap hazard and a guy happened to be in my isle when I arrived so I was marked.  I set up transition, took a gel, didn't have water, sunscreen, wet suit on, posed for pictures for my dad and then went racing.  Not even time to think about that last little squirt at the potty. 

Swim:  Warm water, chaotic start, a bunch of bumping but nothing major.  I keep hearing about people getting angry about contact when swimming.  It was a weird the first time I touched the river bed.  It is fine pebbly gravel that really isn't painful to hit or even walk on.  As much as possible, I tried to swim but if I couldn't swim without dislocating my shoulder, I would stand and move at an angle to get in water that I could swim in.  I should have pre-swam/waded the river to find the deeper channels because swiming is faster and more fun than wading.  Also, on the Wednesday before the race, I had ripped my right big toenail back about 3 mm and it was tender and could easily get wrecked more. 

So I swam and swam, the back portion seemed deeper, I made the turn and then swam more and it seemed pretty easy.  I was passed some but noticed that I was mostly in a group of orange and silver caps which meant I was swimming with slower people from the early groups. 

I was stunned when I exited the water at 1:13.  My 1000 yard pace is 1:40 and so to pace the 2.4 miles at 1:45 and feel fresh was great.  I just took things steady and didn't let the traffic get to me.  Amazed to read how many triathletes feel angry during the swim.  The swim is what it is and wave starts mean that you will keep meeting people who can't swim straight and occasionally most of us (meaning me) will swim into the bushes.

Transition:  Not much to say except the carpet was small, people should stay of the carpet if they are going to walk slowly and no one should be allowed to stop for pictures.  Also, for those who recommend running up the hill, that is a great idea if you don't have plastic on the bottom of your carbon fiber shoes.  No traction and I almost gave up trying to get up the hill.

Bike:  Awesome ride, love almost all of it except for the constant exploding bladder.  I rode all on RPE although I did have my GPS.  I just wanted to ride fast but not at a pace that would cook my legs.  The ride was beautiful and the roads were interesting.  It was a great mix of winding narrow with some breaks on smother roads which allowed a bit less concentration.  The worst was the Chalk Hill Section on lap 2.  We had a some headwind, and the road is horrible.  Trying to stay on the elbows in the rough stuff to negate the wind was hard, especially after flying into Geyserville.

T2:  Once again, if you don't want a fast transition, get out of the way.

Run:  Not much to say except they had hills, it felt long and it took a long time.  I walked uphill and though aid stations that I used.  I just kept running at my "new" pace which is pathetic but worked.  NO knee pain or IT band issues.  Just fatigue.

Nutrition:  No problems except I stopped at   way too many potties.  My bladder was the most pain causing thing of the day.  I didn't have stomach problems or energy drops and even ate stuff that I shouldn't during a race like peaches.  I saved flat Coke as a prize for lap 3 of the run and it was good!

So, there's the report.  I will be posting another picture and video based report soon thanks to my brother and dad being a big part of my race day.

Mush:  My brother really made this race amazing for me.  It was a gift from him and his wife and he used it as a chance to get my parents out for a visit.  Being with family and having my girls with family really made the trip great and helped divert my focus.  My brother shot some great video (Yes he says the same thing each time he sees me) and their footage via the scooter makes me look really fast.

Finally, thinking about my wife and girls and then seeing them on the bike and run really helped me.  They have sacrificed for me to do this and I'm grateful.

Recovery:  I had an uncomfortable night on Saturday but since then, I feel pretty good.  I have climbed up and down stairs, with luggage and even though I'm tired, I'm not injured and will start swimming soon.  In fact, I've recovered so quickly that I regret not trying to go faster.  Okay, now I' showing off but I'm really more proud of the fact that I can walk stairs than my time. 

Conclusion:  I've worn the finisher t-shirt for a significant part of the last three days.  I feel good about my race and will soon pick a plan for my next.  My fears and doubt are gone, sure I have lots to improve and want to challenge myself more, but I am now and Iron(distance) man.  No one can take that from me, not even that small voice of doubt that I carry with me.

1 comment:

  1. Great job Chuck. I was actually looking out for your red Felt bike so I could say a hello, but in the whirlwind of event I forgot about it. Hope to see you some other time.