Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Day Before the Race and the Race Strategy

Today will be a day full of mandatory athlete meetings, bike check-in, pre-race massage, carbohydrate loading, and the ultimate question - to shave or not to shave? To anyone who has seen my face, I can basically grow the facial hair equivalent of a waxed cat, so this question is obviously about the legs.

Lastnight was the pre-race awards ceremony! The entire thing was in Spanish, and included live entertainment that featured Chilean traditional dancing, a magic show, some stand-up comedy, and a traditional South American baby bird beheading. Haha, no just kidding. But that would have been very cultural.

Here's a pic:

And a high-quality video...

River and Terran and I assemble my bicycle for the race. Terran is inspecting my shoe, of course, for any last minute defects. They're a good pit crew.

Ah yes, no small South American village would be complete without a firefighting station. This one features the heartwarming image of a fireman carrying a limp child from burning flames. It makes you wonder if this happens alot.

Jessa snapped this picture as I was typing this blog. Thank you spell checker.

My new habit is to walk into a cool-looking restaurant and order the most popular item on the menu. When I asked the waitress, "Que ensalada es mas popular?", I expected some kind of salad. I instead received a plate of cream and cheese with little salmon bits floating in it. It was almost like spraying Cheese Whiz onto a can of tuna. Jessa captured me on camera dutifully eating the entire plate. She did not, fortunately, capture the giant crap that emerged 2 hours later.

Meanwhile, Jessa fed the kids mashed up sweet potatoes and avocados, which in retrospect I should have ordered.

Remember the makeshift bed that we made the kids, out of a couch and a suitcase? Behold.

So, like I said, the race is tomorrow. 

You can visit the official race website at

I know this is going to be a very difficult run course, and I'm still nervous about the run since I was not able to get as much training as I would have liked under my belt, due to the IT Band injury. I'm injury-free now, but not "fit as a fiddle" for the half. I'll be happy if I can pull off a 1:27-1:29.

That being said, my plan is to swim the two lap course at a steady pace and try not to mount my bike with too much lactic acid in the system. I'm be looking for something in the 28:00-29:00 range, and would like to negative split for the second loop. 

Since I could potentially be a sitting duck on the run, if I can come out top ten age groupers in the swim, I'm pretty confident I can get off the bike in the top three to five, if not higher. I'd like to qualify for World Championships at this race, and based on last year's times, will need to bike somewhere close to a 2:20 in order to do so.

Then it's just a matter of holding a good lead off the bike. I'll probably need a good 4-5 minute lead on the next age grouper back to confidently get a division win.

Overall goal time: 4:25:00.


Nutrition will be a couple Bumblebars and bananas (both "safe" foods, wrapped and skinned!) at around 6:30am, giving 2 and 1/2 hours for gastric emptying prior the 9am start. This will come out to about 500 calories. I'll also take 6 Enerprime, which will give me the nutrient boost of about 10 salads.

30 minutes before the race, I'll take 2 Delta-E's, a mega-dose of vitamin B, taurine, and some caffeine. 

Prior to the swim, I'll take in 100 calories of GU sport gel to boost the blood sugar.

Coming out of the water, another 100 calories of gel that will be waiting on the transition towel, along with 4-6oz water.

On the bike, I'll sport my downtube Profile Design water bottle that I've modified with a hacksaw to allow me to carry 9 gels and a tube of electrolyte capsules. I'll be taking in 1 GU gel every 20 minutes for 300 calories per hour, and will also take in 1 electrolyte cap every 20 minutes. For the gels, I'll be alternating between a carbohydrate-only gel, and a carbohydrate-branched chain amino acid/protein gel with 30mg caffeine (GU Roctane). I'll also have one CeeGees water bottle with 28oz of water for each of the 2 bike out-and-backs.

For the run, I'm not taking ANYTHING. I'll be loaded up enough from the bike that I'll be able to get by grabbing half a banana from an aid station for each 7K loop of the run. I know I'll have to put the hurt down on the run and would rather risk bonking than overloading. I will be carrying a tube of electrolytes in one hand just in case I cramp.

So that's the plan! 


I'll blog with the official results tomorrow night.

Oh yeah, one more thing: MY PRE-RACE SONG!


Spokane Al said...

That is a great, great picture of you and your pit crew.

Good luck tommorow!

Pat G. said...


Funny Spokane Al said this above! I saw that pit crew shot and saved it as my wallpaper - so cute!! Hope the 'track an athlete' feature is activated on the website race day, so far it's not there.

I'm EXCITED for your big day.
LOTS of Love from Main St. in Moscow...USA.