Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Official Kona Race Report

A long story, but I'll try to condense it as much as possible!

Official Ironman race start was at 7am, and body marking began at 4:45, while it was still dark outside. My transition area was already set-up from the night before, so all I had to do was show up and race. Sipped nuun electrolytes up until race start.

The swim start was jumbled and rough. I'm used to being at the front of the pack, but at World Championships, it's a whole different story. These are 1800 of the fastest athletes in the world, and I was surrounded by a pack of swimmers the entire time. My injured back, strained from work the week prior, started to bother me at the 1.2 mile turnaround, and I had to slow my pace considerably coming down the back half of the swim. Total swim time was 1 hour.

Bike transition went smoothly...I took 2 Hammer Gel Endurolyte caps and 2 Hammer Gels then headed out. Basically, I mentally split the bike into seven sections:

1) Out of pier and T1, through town, to Highway 19 (~9 miles). Felt a bit sick from saltwater ingestion. Took awhile to get my legs underneath me.

2) Highway 19 to airport. Heavy crosswinds, started to settle in.

3) Airport to Kawaihae. Felt good, rode hard.

4) Kawaihae turnoff to Highway 270, up to Hawi turnaround. Got slapped with a 4 minute drafting penalty. It was very hard to avoid drafting with as many cyclists as were around me, but I didn't argue with the referee.

5) Turnaround, tailwind back to Kawaihae. Pushed hard to make up for the 4 minute penalty.

6) Kawaihae to airport. Dropped my Endurolyte capsules on accident. Had to substitue with Gatorade the last 2 aid stations. Got sick.

7) Airport to T2. Spun out legs to prepare for the run. Stomach felt horrible.

I ended up with about a 5:15, well on pace for the 9:30 race I had predicted. Passed a lot of people on the bike. Used Hammer gel Perpetuum and endurolytes for the bike, other than when I was forced to take Gatorade.

The run transition was tough. I didn't want to go run a marathon when I felt like hurling. I headed out anyways. For those of you who didn't know, I've been battling peroneal tendonitis the past 3 weeks, and was nervous about being able to run a marathon when all I've run was 8 total miles in the past 3 weeks. I had some new shoes and orthotics from Fleet Feet sports in Coeur D' Alene and I probably wouldn't have even been able to run at all if it weren't for these.

1) T2 to Alii Drive - let legs settle from bike. Very slow pace. Stopped at 2 Porta Potty's to hurl. Probably the fructose in the Gatorade that messed me up.

2) Reverse course back to Palani Road. Almost quit the race here. Foot was hurting. Back was hurting. Stomach felt horrible.

3) Queen K Highway to Energy lab - maintain pace, stay mentally tough. Walked most of the aid stations. This was the slowest I've ever run in my life.

4) Energy lab - finally started to feel a little better. Was able to open up stride, but held back considerably so as not to injure the foot even further. Back felt good. Stomach pain almost gone.

5) Energy lab to Palani turn - kicked it up a notch and started to actually pass people.

6) Final 2 miles - first time in the race where I really felt up to pace. Still, the marathon took me 4 hours and total time for the race was a 10:28. Crossing the finish line down Alii Drive was a very cool experience. I just wish I could have run the whole marathon like I ran the last 2 miles.

This was the hardest physical endeavor I've every attempted, and very humbling. I'm young and inexperienced at this distance, but based on this experience, I've learned quite a bit that will make me faster. I'm looking forward to Ironman Coeur D' Alene in 2008 to be a very good race.

I'd like to specifically mention the following sponsors:

tn: these Swiss-made optics were flawless the entire race. It is the first time I haven't fogged up with sunglasses, which I why I typically don't even wear sunglasses on the run. These are by far the coolest specs I've ever owned.

Wicked Fast: Recover-Ease is a proprietary blend of amino acids in convenient capsule form. I used these every day leading up to the race, and can guarantee that these will be part of the key to allowing me to recover in time for Clearwater World Championships.

Markham Homes: Markham Homes made the Hawaii race possible by providing air travel to the race and helping cover race registration fees. Markham Homes sponsors athletes from all around Spokane, so next time you need a home or know someone who is looking to build, contact Markham.

Bucer's CoffeeHouse Pub: Bucer's was also a major financial sponsor for this race. Bucer's Coffeehouse is a full service coffeehouse and pub based out of downtown Moscow, ID. Be sure to visit next time you're in Moscow!

Bumblebar: Bumblebar is my top health food snack during travel, and this gluten-free seed and nut based bar digests very well during race week. Bumblebar provided a rental car for the week - thus saving my legs from having to bicycle everywhere in Kona! They're represented by the massive sticker on the side of my racing helmet.

Nuun hydration: nuun effervescent electrolyte tablets were my supplement of choice to stay optimally hydrated during race week. I flew through these bottles while in Hawaii, and kept my sodium levels topped off for the race!

Hammer Nutrition: Much thanks to Hammer Nutrition for providing the best long distance supplement on the planet: Perpetuum! I live and die by Perpetuum on the bike, and I used the Hammer Gel Tropical flavor with caffeine for the run. I also supplement with Hammer Race Caps every day leading up to the race.

Millennium Sports: I loaded with Kreaceps, Citruvol and Cordygen5 from Millennium5 - thus significantly boosting my force capacity and oxygen uptake. Millennium has been a huge supplement and financial support sponsor this season!

Fleet Feet Sports: New kicks and orthotics from Fleet Feet Sports made it possible for me run the bare minimum possible to beat 11 hours in Kona. The foot is almost completely healed, and I'll be wearing the Asics Racer X during the Clearwater race. Look for a PR split at that race! Nancy and Garth at Fleet Feet in Coeur D' Alene are highly knowledgeable on the right shoes for your feet and your distance - so go check 'em out!

Wheelsport East: Don't know if you noticed, but the new Ironman World Champion was riding the brand new Specialized S-Works. I happened to be one of just a handful of other athletes at the race who were riding a Specialized brand bike, sponsored by Wheelsport East. Keep your eyes open, because Specialized will be taking the triathlon world by storm.

Cee-Gees: The Cee-Gees brand aeropads and aerobar bottle make 5 hours of hard riding a much more comfortable task, and make the Profile Design pads seem like cardboard!

Blue-Seventy: I wore the Blue Seventy skin suit in the water, and it felt fantastic. These were very popular at the race. I also used the Blue-Seventy metallic element goggles. I'm hooked on them and will sport them at Clearwater next month for sure. Thanks B70!

To all my sponsors - please let me know if you'd like a picture of me racing while displaying your logo. I can get you one digitally, or if you'd like, I can print and send photos. Either way, if you want one, I'll get you one! I have 4 weeks to recover, then go race Clearwater. Unlike Hawaii, which was a race where the goal was to finish and survive, I'd like to seriously turn some heads at Clearwater, so stay tuned...
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