Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Asia Pacific 70.3 World Championships Race Report (And Announcement That Ben Greenfield Is Going Pro Next Year).



Aside from the pristine beaches, the best food on the planet, amazing Thai massage, and wild post-race parties, my primary motivation for skipping out of America in early December was to qualify for Kona.

Asia-Pacific 70.3 World Championships is indeed a Kona qualifier, and I made the decision to come down and qualify early for the big dance in Hawaii. Call me egotistical, but with my performances of late, there was no doubt in my mind that I was fit enough to grab a slot.

Trouble is, my body decided otherwise. 

Two weeks prior to the race, I had a nasty fall on the ice during a cold-weather run and tweaked my IT band (outside of the knee). Within just a few days, I was back to training, but not about to go do any hard 40-50 mile bike rides to see if the knee would be good to go for Phuket. I just had to have the faith that the knee would handle the load on race day.

Then, just two days prior to the race, in one of the multiple restaurants I dined at, I got a bad batch of food that left me sleepless and poo-ing my guts until race morning.

Needless to say, my confidence was slightly shot at the starting line, but I decided to give it a go anyways. Not even wanting to race, I waited in my hotel room until the last possible minute, then struggled to the finish line, just picturing my two little boys faces in my head and wanting to be a good example to them of not being a "quitter".

But within 200 meters of the swim, I knew it was going to be a tough day at the office. My body just felt...drained (probably because it literally was).

Nonetheless, I tried to block out the discomfort, came out of the water near the front of the age-grouper field and made it to my bike, which is normally a huge weapon for me.

No weapon materialized on this day! 

Within 10 miles of the ride, I was being passed right and left, and swallowed up in big packs of riders I would have normally been out-cycling. The power just wasn't there. It felt weird to be passed on the bike and just not able to put out the effort to stay with folks.

Then, at about 50K, as I rode up a steep hill, my knee just flat-out gave-out. I experienced the type of pain that I knew would leave me crippled for months if I tried to push through it. To top that off, I had thrown up my previous three gels as my normally iron-clad stomach continued to refuse to cooperate.

It wasn't going to happen. If I kept pushing, I'd knew I'd A) be nursing a bum knee for months and miss snowboard season, tennis season, and anything else that involved knee bending and B) I'd be walking a very long half-marathon in the rain.

So I hailed a pick-up, rode back into town, and watch the remainder of the race in a torrential downpour of rain at the finish line - *extremely* jealous that I wasn't out there playing ball.

Yes, this was not the fanciest, schmanciest way to end the 2011 race season, but I think my body simply wanted me to stop, and sent me a very loud message on race day.

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But I'm all about redemption, so here's the deal (and a big announcement): 

1) I'll be coming back to race Thailand next year, and as a matter of fact, an Australian coach (Graeme Turner) and I are putting together two different trip options for anybody that wants to join (9 day trip or 15 day trip). E-mail ben@bengreenfieldfitness.com if you want in on that. First come, first serve. We'll take care of everything for you: race registration, lodging, restaurant selection, shopping trips, speedboat tours, massage, the works.

2) Exactly one year from now, at this race in 2012, I'll be debuting as a pro, and for the next 4-5 years, I'll be racing as a professional triathlete. As my readers know, I go big or go home, so I will be treating this decision very seriously, which means dedicated fitness work, and possibly stepping back a bit on my entrepreneurial ventures. But you only live once, right?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ben Greenfield wins Jamaica Triathlon

Here is a link to the story!

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111114/sports/sports96.html

More stories and pictures to come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

ITU Long Course World Championships Race Report

Here's a bit of history for you tri-geeks or folks who want to know what this ITU thing is all about...

The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon. It was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France and has maintained its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada since then. It now has over 120 affiliated National Federations around the world and is the youngest International Federation in the Olympics. 

While most known for the short course events you can watch at TriathlonLive.TV, the ITU also has a long course triathlon series that culminates in the ITU Long Course World Championships, where nearly two thousand athletes from dozens of countries compete for elite and age group world champion titles by racing a 4K swim (about 2 and a half miles) , 120K bike (just under 80 miles) and 30K run (a little over 18 miles).

This year, for the first time since 1996, the ITU Long Course World Championships came to the USA, in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas.

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I qualified to compete in this race when I podiumed at the Wildflower triathlon in May, and after racing Ironman Hawaii just 4 weeks ago, I admit I was a bit nervous about whether or not my legs were recovered, since Kona was not exactly a walk in the park.

Ultimately, since I'd never raced this distance before, I wasn't completely sure about how to pace it, but made a decision to race it more like a Half Ironman than an Ironman. So my basic strategy going into the race was to simply push at my normal Half Ironman pace until my body said "Stop!", and then try to stagger to the finish line with whatever I had left. 

The last time I competed in Vegas, just 7 weeks ago, it was reaching temperatures of nearly 105 degrees. Assuming it would still be somewhat warm, I showed up with no cold weather gear, only to find out that race morning was so chilly that the combination of cold water temperature and ambient air temperature forced race directors to cancel the swim.

This was disappointing, as I've been getting faster in the water and was very keen to hammer through a hard 4000 meter swim. 

Instead they put all us triathletes in a big (albeit warm) stinky tent, pulled us out group by group, and had us line up on the bikes and leave on 5 second intervals...

Pushing my bike up the hill for the start. It is much colder than it looks, and I'm handing off my long sleeve shirt at the last minute.


Waiting to start the time trial bike. CEP compression socks were simply for added warmth, although I really liked how they felt in the run later on.


And we're off!

During the bike portion, my hands and body were cold. I had a hard time opening gels and doing much other than gripping the bars and pedaling. I've raced in cold conditions before, but never for that long. Despite that, the entire bike felt incredibly fast to me, and it started to warm up towards the end. I actually had the opportunity to try out a different time trial bike that was given to me as a gift (a Trek Speed Concept), and I can't say I have ever felt quite that strong on the bike before. 

Even through this is an incredibly hilly and difficult course, over the 80 miles I rode my way through everyone that started in front of me, spent the last 30 miles nearly all by myself, and came into transition as the first age grouper. My bike split was 3:26.

My main feeling coming off the bike was that my legs and feet were cold. This made me nervous about how I'd perform...

Here I am transitioning from bike to run. Notice how my screen printer messed up and put GREENFIELD over my crotch instead of the back of my jersey, where he put all the sponsor logos. Oops!

Two miles into the run, I looked at my watch and saw that I was at 11 minutes and 30 seconds. I knew there was no way that I could run 18 miles at a 5:45 pace, so I forced myself to slow down a little bit, but was amazed at how good I felt.

I knew I was having a good race at that point, based on how far ahead I was on the bike, but usually in these long races, you reach a point where "the wheels come off". I just kept waiting for that to happen...



I look a bit happier here, earlier in the race...running strong.

I ran the first 13.2 miles in 1:28, but finally, around mile 15, I slowly began to implode. I could feel my hips locking up and my heart rate getting higher and higher. Since I only run once a week, this is one weakness in my training protocol: once the run gets long, my body can start to fall apart!

Upon closer inspection, you can see the "mild" discomfort in my face.

But at that point, I was close enough to the finish line to simply gut through, and although I slowed considerably towards the end, I managed to run the 30K in 2 hours and 3 minutes, which was good for about a 6:40 pace and a total finish time of 5:32.

I knew I had been fast, but because this was a time trial start race, had no clue until the awards ceremony how well I'd actually done...

Rounding the corner. Lots of sharp uphills and downhills on this course.

Finishing one of my best performance to date.

When the results were finally tallied, it turns out that I actually took first place for 30-34, won a gold medal for Team USA, and took 4th amateur overall. Needless to say, I was very pleased with that result, especially for a race that left out what I consider to be a strength of mine - the swim!
Receiving the gold medal for the USA.

A huge thanks goes out to my sponsors for their generous support of this event. In particular, Bioletics, Millennium Sports, BodyHealth, ImpaxWorld, and Natural Vitality actually sponsored this race by giving me the money necessary to buy my uniform, register for the race, and fly to the race, so a huge thanks goes out to them!

Also, my fellow triathlete and friend, Ron, took the photos during this event, and took care of me during race week - and a huge part of my success in this race was him making my entire stay in Henderson as comfortable and seamless as possible - even down to peeling my pre-race sweet potatoes! So a big thanks to Ron too!

Here is the run down of what I used for this race:

ITU Long Course World Championships Triathlon Gear:
Race Kit: Team USA Tyr Carbon Race Suit
Bike: Trek Speed Concept

Helmet: Gray Aero Helmet
Wheels: Zipp Firecrest with R4 aero tires/latex tubes
Components: Shimano DI2
Seat: ISM Tri Saddle
Cleats: Look KEO Blade
Bike Shoes: SIDI Road shoes
Running Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ruuz
Sunglasses: Zeal Slingshots

ITU Long Course World Championships Triathlon Nutrition:
Days leading up to race: nuun electrolyte tablets
night before race: Hammer REM (helps you sleep before a race)
2 hours before race: 2 sweet potatoes, 6 Enerprime capsules, 5 Extreme Endurance, 2 Hammer Race Caps, 2 Cordygen VO2 by Millennium Sports
20 minutes before race: 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules, 1 packet Energy28
5 minutes before race: 1 caffeinated GU Roctane
Every hour on bike: 20 ounces water
Every 20 minutes on bike: 1 GU Roctane

End of each hour on bike: 4 GU Chomps
Every 3 miles on run: 1 Hammer Gel (from aid stations on course)
Post-Race: 10 
Master Amino Pattern capsules, 10 sprays topical Magnesium  each leg



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ironman Hawaii 2011 Race Report: Coke To The Rescue, Again.

running down Ali'i Drive to the finish line
More pictures to come as I get them!

Since Ironman Hawaii World Championships is the "Super Bowl" of triathlon (sans cheesy halftime shows but fraught with wardrobe malfunctions) I went above and beyond this single race report, and instead logged the entire week of Kona over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, in a series called "The Kona Diaries". You can see Day 1 of the Kona Diaries here, which will allow you to progress through the rest of the entries, including race pacing and nutrition strategy, how I use the nutrition and gear from my generous sponsors, what happens in the week leading up to Ironman, the underwear run, and more!

The final post in "The Kona Diaries" leaves off with Ironman Race Morning, as I walk you through body marking, chip check, me getting nervous and shaky, and everything else that happens just before the race begins, so let's jump from there right to the swim start.

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Let me say that this was the roughest triathlon swim I have ever been in in my life.

Granted, everyone is fast and aggressive at Ironman Hawaii, but this went way above and beyond. There was a complete lack of etiquette and self-awareness as a complete free-for-all took place when the start cannon boomed. I got dunked, kicked, elbowed and punched for absolutely no reason other than that I happened to be swimming where somebody else apparently wanted to swim.

It felt like the Running Of The Bulls, except in the ocean and the Bulls have goggles, swim caps and shaved legs.

Whereas typically this type of roughness subsides after about 200 meters, this kept up for over 1000 meters. I remember wondering during the swim how swimmers of this caliber could have such a complete lack of sportsmanship in the water. I'll be the first guy to tell you that "rubbin's racin'", but I've raced for almost 9 years now, and this swim was above and beyond anything I'd ever seen before in terms of agression and downright "rude" swimming.

So while I literally feared for my life during the first 20 minutes of the swim, the crowds eventually spread out, and by the time we got to the turnaround boat, I felt like I had space to swim and draft. At this point, I tried to make up for lost time spent fighting away rude swimmers. I did this by "leapfrogging" through the field, which I did by drafting on the feet of a swimmer, pulling up to their hips, then leapfrogging them to the feet of the swimmer they were drafting off. It took me 31 minutes to reach the turnaround boat, but the return swim, which is nearly 200 meters longer, only took me 30 minutes.

And I do believe that I may have been the only non-shaven swimmer in the water. I'm sure my long, flowy, unsightly leg hair must have slowed me down a couple minutes, but I saved sixty minutes of my life by not shaving. ;)

During the swim, I wore a BlueSeventy SwimSkin, Zoggles goggles, and some TriSlide to reduce chafing.

Swim: 1:01
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I relaxed and took my time in swim-to-bike transition. You don't want to forget anything for a 112 mile bike in the lava fields. That's like remembering you have to pee after you zip up your snowsuit, but about 10 times worse.

In my T1 bag I had armcoolers and socks. I put these on, and then ran to my bike, where my shoes and helmet were. I grabbed a Powerbar, shoved it in my mouth with reckless abandon and took off.

The first half of this bike goes by fast. Despite the heat and wind, you are still caught up in the adrenaline of being in the race and finishing the swim, and you haven't yet reached a point of semi-dehydration or carbohydrate depletion. You're just a happy hamster on the bike, churning away.

Compared to previous years in Kona, I was pleasantly surprised to only see one "pack" of cyclists, and I was able to ride the entire bike at my own pace. The wind seemed more fierce from town out to the climb to Hawi, then similar to previous years during the climb to Hawi. For that climb, you simply must stay in the aero position and grind your way up. I got my favorite song playing in my head and did just that.

At Hawi, I grabbed my special foods bag, shoved 9 GU Roctanes up my shorts (several of which I later found in my crotch after the race), jammed another Powerbar in my mouth, then bombed back down the climb to Hawi town. I don't know if it is because I have raced this part of the course 6 times now between Hawaii 70.3 and Ironman Hawaii, but I passed a lot of people who were riding somewhat conservatively in the fierce crosswinds. Call it braveness or stupidity, but despite nearly getting blown off the road a couple times, I stayed in the aero position the entire time and picked off at least a dozen cyclists on the descent from Hawi.

About mile 90, things got tough. This is the "dark place" for me. I wanted to be done, but there was still 22 miles to go. I just kept telling myself "Get to the airport" - since at that point there are stoplights and buildings you can use to string yourself back the pier. But for me, mile 90 to about 103 are the hardest part of the bike split in this race.

Although I hydrated liberally on the bike, drinking whenever thirsty and consuming just over 35 ounces of water per hour, I was peeing orange when I stopped in T2 to empty my bladder. Just goes to show you how much fluid you can lose in this race. In other race conditions, I would have been ballooned up like Michelin Man from that type of fluid consumption.

For the bike, I rode a Gray Storm TT, a Gray aero helmet, Specialized Transition shoes, Zeal Slingshot glasses, Zoot arm cooling sleeves, and a Champ-Sys one piece triathlon kit.

I also made a last minute decision to use electrolytes. Call me chicken for relying on salts, but my primary reason is because the brand I choose (Athlytes), also have several lactic acid buffers and anti-fatigue components in them. I decided I wanted this advantage, so I took 4 Athlytes per hour on the bike.

Bike: 4:58

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Despite my best intentions to use as many "heat-hacking" tools as possible for the run (all those tools are outlined in this post), I ran into a bit of a logistical issue.

In Kona, you need to check in your run bags the day before the actual race, and these bags then sit in the hot sun until you get off the bike. You have no access to be able to put extra things in these bags before the race. This means my body cooling vest and palm cooling device, despite being in a portable cooler, were allowed to cook in the sun for hours before the run. By the time I got to them, they were slightly cold, wet and soggy - and not much better than simply dumping ice down my shirt.

So I ditched my cool "heat-hacking" gear and headed out on the run (granted, I did have my body cooling hat, arm cooling sleeves, and my use of heat protecting colostrum pre-race).

By mile 2, I knew my strategy to run 3 miles aggressively, walk 60 seconds, and repeat throughout the marathon, was not going to be a reality. Instead, I was hitting a wall of heat and exhaustion by 2 miles into the run, and getting hungry and sleepy. Last year, this same thing happened, and I didn't realize I was simply dehydrated and low on fuel until 5 miles in. This time, I identified overheating and hypoglycemia immediately, and at mile 2 I spent two minutes simply standing, drinking cup after cup of coke, and dumping ice water over my head repeatedly.

It amazes me that at 350 calories per hour on the bike and 35+ ounces of water per hour I was still underfueling and underhydrated, but that is the nature of this Kona beast.

At that point, I made the decision to string myself along from aid station to aid station until I perked up. At each aid station, I had about 4 ounces of coke (about 40-50 calories), 4-8 ounces of water, chewed on ice and dumped water over my head. It wasn't until mile 18 that I actually did "perk up", and up until that point, it was everything I could do to stay in the race and not drop out from exhaustion.

And then, just like that, I passed mile 18 and stopped quickly to pee. Usually, I just "go" in my pants, but I wanted to see my urine color. It was light yellow. It had taken me that long to come close to rehydrating, but I was there, and I felt a new surge of energy. I took off and ran 7:15-7:20 minute miles all the way back to the finish line, bounding through the last mile in just barely over 6 minutes flat. Thank you, normal yellow pee.




It always feels good to be able to sprint to the finish line. Despite a sluggish start and feeling for 2.5 hours as if I was going to "blow up" any minute, my marathon split was a 3:29.

During the marathon, I used K-Swiss Kwicky Blades, a Zoot cooling hat, and Zoot arm cooling sleeves. I also took 4 Athlytes per hour.

Run: 3:29

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Overall time: 9:36.

This is a personal record for me for Ironman, and 17 minutes faster than I went last year at Kona (in similar conditions).

I am stoked, pleased, appreciative of being blessed to race here in Kona, and now ready to go play with my kids, feast on a giant cinnamon roll - then probably polish off a nice bottle of red wine (most likely in that order so that my children don't have to play with a drunk, hyperglycemic father).

Thanks for reading, and leave any questions, comments or feedback below!

Questions, comments or feedback? Leave them below!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"The Kona Diaries"


Beginning October 1, my entire Ironman World Championships trip to Kona will be logged over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.


This will be a a daily video log that goes into triathlon travel tips, bike packing tricks, race preparation, meal planning for race week, and many other practical video tips for preparing for a big race like this.

It may also include the world famous Underwear Run.

Over the next week as videos are published, please direct any questions or things you'd like to see in a video via Twitter to @bengreenfield with hashtag #konaquestions, or as comments on the bottom of those posts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

See you there!

Ben

P.S. In one of the first "Kona Diary" posts, I'll also be revealing my final 4 weeks of training leading up to Ironman, so you can see what my build and taper weeks looked like.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Racing on Cigarette Smoke & Alcohol - A Half-Ironman Double Whammy

Nice hardware, baby.


This is the first time in my life that I have raced two Half Ironman events so close together, but yesterday, just 6 days after 70.3 Half Ironman World Championships in Vegas (which you can read about in the post below), I raced the Grand Columbian Half Ironman, which now features a brand new, brutal course designed by the cruel folks over at TriFreaks.

And between these two tough races, I broke every recovery rule in the books.

As the author of the "Lightning Speed Recovery Secrets" article (an essential read for anyone wanting to bounce back quickly from a triathlon) I am sheepishly admitting that after the race in Vegas I drank profusely, hung out in cigarette smoke infused casinos, spent lots of time on my feet, forgot to wear compression gear, and pretty much did everything you shouldn't do when trying to recovery quickly from a race.

Knowing this, I nearly dropped out of the Grand Columbian just 2 miles into the treacherously hilly bike, when my legs were screaming at me to quit torturing them. I figured I'd toasted them, and tossed a few too many drinks their direction down in Vegas.

At this point in the race, I had come out of a windy and choppy open water swim in 3rd place, and made it up a very steep climb out of transition - which is a lovely new addition to an already difficult bike course.

Although I wanted to quit at this point, I stuck it to the hill, had a brief 2 minute recovery descent, then hit a 3 mile climb up Almira Grade, which is one of the tougher hills I've climbed on a triathlon course.

Once again, my legs felt toast.

But finally, about 25 miles into the bike leg, my body seemed to come alive, and when it did, I made a decision to put down the hammer while I was feeling strong, and rode off the front, coming into T2 with a sizeable lead.

The new Grand Columbian run course is basically a steep descent, 10 miles of relatively flat running along the river, and then a steep climb to the finish line. I ran away and never looked back, winning the overall title for the second year in a row, and this time winning by 10 minutes.

Splits:

29:22 swim
2:38 bike
1:28 run

I used all the same gear I used in Vegas (see that race report below) - so a big thanks to my sponsors for making this happen.

Next stop in 3 weeks: Ironman World Championships in Kona...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Battling the Heat in Vegas - Ironman 70.3 World Championships Race Report

Post-race...in my body cooling sleeves and hat...

I showed up in Vegas for 70.3 World Championships ready for a raging hot and extremely difficult course. Throughout this race report post, I'll fill you in on everything I implemented to keep my body cool in the heat. This is some of the same body cooling stuff I will do in Kona. 

I give a rationale for all these "heat hacking" methods in the upcoming issue of LAVA Magazine, and then in the LAVA Magazine issue after Kona, I will write up a more formal report of "what worked" and "what didn't".

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Here I am getting those hip flexors stretched out before the race. I find my low back tends to tighten up on the bike unless I do stretches like this before the swim:


Why not throw the hamstrings in there too?


Of course, nothing sets up good karma for the swim like flashing a peace sign. This is a "wave" start swim, with waves for each age division leaving for a single loop swim in Lake Las Vegas (which, incidentally, does not taste nice).


I wore a Blue Seventy Skinsuit for the swim, which was uneventful. I drafted for about 300 meters, then pulled off by myself. I came out of the water in the front middle of the pack and ran out to transition, which actually turns out to be a long run of about 200 meters.

You will see me in a photo below in T1, getting ready to bike. Notice the bike jersey. Completely forgot my tri-suit and ended up doing the race in shorts and a bike jersey (which ended up being a blessing in disguise, because combined with the Zoot IceFil Arm Coolers, my first layer of protection from the heat, I was very "sun protected"). The Zoot Arm Coolers decrease in temperature when you get them wet...and I noticed a huge difference using these on the bike.

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The arm coolers at this point in T1 are rolled up like doughnuts and on my aerobars. I ended up putting them on while I was riding, but in future racing, I think I will just put them on in transition, which might be quicker, and involve less bike zig zagging and less danger to my fellow competitors.


This bike course is much hillier than the previous World Championships course in flat Florida, and present a much bigger technical challenge, with a good combo of short, choppy hills and long rollers.

My bike strategy was to ride my Gray Storm TT (totally dialed in by the guys at Spokane's BikeHub) easy for the first 7 miles, then attack where the course was hilly, for about the next 25 miles, then settle into a less aggressive pace before the run.

The hills on this course are gradual and rolling, without too many short, steep sections - very similar to the "rolling hills of the Palouse" I'm used to riding on.

I stuck to my plan, and was having a pretty good ride, but just before the turn around on the bike, another cyclist pulls up along beside me and tells me there is a big pack behind me.

I look back, and sure enough...I am "dragging" about 20 guys in my age group, who are just sitting back there chilling, talking and illegally drafting.

To myself, I thought, "OK, you wanna play that game?" and as soon as we turned around I thought "Meep, meep!" (as in Looney Tunes Roadrunner) and I put the hammer down.

After about 4 minutes of hard riding, I looked back. Despite my effort, the pack was still there and I knew I couldn't hold them off. They passed me, I saw that almost every one of them was in my division, but I made the error of not "tagging" onto the back of the pack by about 10 meters (legal) and I instead kept my distance as they rode away. I silently simmered, but didn't say anything.

I rode solo for the next 10 miles, and this time it happened AGAIN, and once again, these were mostly guys in my division. This time, I shouted out to several of them:

"That's a pretty pitiful 10 meters...you guys should be ashamed of yourselves."

One guy turned and grinned, and the rest of them kept riding. They were going too fast for me to "legally" draft off the back, so I rode solo all the way in to transition, reminding myself to "race my race", since I couldn't do much about these other guys.

Note: While this race had less drafting than the old "flat" World Championships course in Clearwater, Florida, I was still disappointed at how many guys were willing to cheat, and how there were relatively few referees riding up on motorcycles and "breaking up" the packs with penalty cards. I'm not saying this to "sandbag", and I am of course very happy with my effort, but I sometimes need to "vent" in my blog posts!

In retrospect, I probably should have just taken a legal 10 meter position off the back of the pack that passed me, but at that point, I was too pissed to think straight.

So I ended up doing the rest of the ride completely solo, and rolled into transition with no clue how many guys in my division were behind me and how many were ahead!

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So in T2, I had a foldable cooler with A) a frozen ice slushie water bottle; B) a BEX Cool Palms, which is a frozen pack that you hold while you run; C) A Zoot cooling hat that drops temperature by when it gets wet; D) an Arctic Heat body cooling vest.

The frozen ice slushie water bottle got dumped down my shirt and pants, I attached the Cool Palms to my hand, put the hat on and got the vest zipped up...and I was off...feeling a bit like Robo-man with all my "extra" gear!

And yes, this is the first time I have truly felt like a "geeked out" triathlete during a race. The only thing missing was compression socks.

The run course is basically an out and back run down a hill and then back up, and then another out and back run up a hill and back down. You simply repeat this entire sequence three times. The best preparation you can do for this race is long, gradual hill repeats with long recoveries.

At about the 5K mark, I ditched the body cooling vest. It was still somewhat cold, but I knew I had a solid 2 mile uphill climb, and didn't want to drag an extra 2 pounds uphill. At this point, it had served it's purpose. Here I am tossing it:



After tossing the vest, I still had the BEX Cool Palms on, and as I run by here, about 20 minutes later, you can see I'm feeling good, and not quite into "overheated slog" mode...



Finally, at about the 8 mile mark, I ditched the Cool Palms (see video below), and it only took about 2 minutes for me to feel my core temperature begin to go up. How much of this was placebo and how much was the palm cooling I do not know - but everything got tough and hot after this point!

(by the way, someone kept video running for 37 minutes...oops. It's just random cheering).



Typically, when the going gets tough like this, I start counting. So I spent much of mile 9 to 12, most of it a hot uphill march, counting down to aid stations, grabbing ice, water, coke, rinsing, washing and repeating.

Mile 12-13 is a downhill. I ramped up my pace and finished the last mile in just under 6 minutes, and, as you can see (although I have no clue whether I've podiumed or not), I am pretty pumped to cross the finish line of the 70.3 World Championships!



Overall, I raced a 4:42. This wasn't fast enough for the podium, but I definitely put everything out on the line that I had, and this was a valuable experience to test out all those body cooling devices!

Interestingly, this was the second Half Ironman in a row in which I've not used electrolyte capsules or tablets, and same as the last race, I had zero cramping.

Here is a basic description of what I used for this race (notice that I did also take 2 capsules of Capracolostrum, which according to a recent study may reduce gastric permeability in the heat, which is a good thing).

70.3 World Championships Triathlon Gear:
Race Kit: Champ-Sys Bike Jersey with Tri Shorts
Wetsuit: Blue Seventy Skinsuit
Bike: Gray Storm TT
Helmet: Gray Aero Helmet
Wheels: Gray 9.5 Carbon Clinchers with Latex Tubes
Components: SRAM Red, SRAM return to position levers, SRAM Quarq crank
Seat: Fizik Road Saddle (experimenting with narrower saddle)
Cleats: Look KEO Blade
Bike Shoes: Specialized Trivent
Running Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ruuz
Sunglasses: Zeal Slingshots
Body cooling gear: hat, arm cooling sleeves, palm cooling device, ice vest
Fuel Belt: Spibelt

70.3 World Championships Triathlon Nutrition:
night before race: Millennium Sports Somnidren GH (helps you sleep before a race)

2 hours before race: 2 salted sweet potatoes with dab of almond butter and yogurt, 2 capsules CapraColostrum 30 minutes before race: 1 Energy28 and 1 delta-E, 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules, 5 Extreme Endurance
5 minutes before race: 1 caffeinated GU Roctane
Every 20 minutes on bike: 1 GU Roctane
End of each hour on bike: 4 GU Chomps
Every 3 miles on run: 1 GU Roctane (from aid stations on course)
Post-Race: 8 Recoverease, topical Magnesium 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Saltless Troika Triathlon Race Report

Funny story about this Troika Triathlon picture of me: it was taken by the lead cyclist during the run, who was then told by officials that I would receive a time penalty if he took another picture because this was considered "outside aid". :)

So I lied.

I know I said I wasn't going to race until Vegas World Championships, but I needed some motivation this August to get out and work hard, and I had an "racing without electrolytes" experiment that I wanted to try based on this podcast, so I went ahead and signed up for the Troika Half-Ironman Triathlon a couple days before the race, and found myself standing on Medical Lake beach this morning.

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The swim started with a completely unexpected airhorn, but my plan was to hop on the feet of a "team" competitor who was a really fast swimmer. Trouble was, the swim began so unexpectedly, I didn't have time to find him or his feet. So after about 800 meters of fighting off other competitors, I pulled ahead into first place behind the lead kayak, hoping I wouldn't swim too hard. I prefer to draft and save energy.

About 400 meters from the finish, a big guy took me by surprise, cruised by me, and I knew it was the dude I had planned on drafting. I tried to hop on his feet, but I saw him coming too late and he gapped me, so I couldn't get his draft.

Last year I swam 26 minutes in this race, so was surprised to look down at my watch and see over 32 minutes as I came out of the swim in first place (the one competitor ahead of me was a "team"). Later, I learned that everyone's swim was long by 4-6 minutes, so it was just a long course. Oh well...I need the practice for Kona!

Coming out of the water...



-----------------------------------------------

I knew that a couple local fast guys, namely Sam and Troy, were hot on my heels, so I transitioned onto the bike as fast as I could (16 seconds) and took off. My strategy was to ride the first 4-5 miles too fast and too hard so that nobody could "get on my wheel" or use me as motivation. After suffering for those first 15 minutes, I settled into my Half-Ironman pace and got comfortable, resisting the urge to grab 2 electrolytes every 30 minutes as is my normal race routine (I had electrolytes with me just in case my experiment went awry and resulted in cramping).


In addition to trying to race without electrolytes, I had also adjusted my aerobars for this race to ride in a bit more of a "praying mantis" position, with the aerobars angled up at about 30 degrees relative to the top tube of my bike, and my seat moved significantly forward. This was definitely more aerodynamic, but my shoulders felt a bit scrunched from the combination of the aerobars being closer to my upper body and my torso being shoved forward, so I'll be making a bit of an adjustment there, probably by angling the aerobars down about 10 degrees.

I'm also fighting a bit of a lateral knee/hamstring issue related to the cleat position on my shoe, and had made adjustments for this race to account for that - namely some varus wedging on the right side. Unfortunately, the wedges didn't make much of a difference and my knee was inflammed post-race, so the next modification I'll make is to try increasing the distance of the foot from the crank by adding additional spacers, and hopefully allowing me to externally rotate more without my heel hitting my crank.

The basic issue is that I naturally carry my right foot in external rotation, and my current bike setup isn't allowing me to rotate my heel in as far as it needs to go. I'm hoping to get this issue sorted before I have to start longer training rides for Kona, because it threatens to become a more serious issue. This week, I'll be adding additional spacers to my right pedal to move my foot out.

Here's my current fit:



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Back to the race for those of you not interested in bike fit and biomechanics! Last year, I rode the 56 mile bike course in about 2:13, so I expected to be getting close to T2 sometime around the 2:45 mark, but it never came! At 3 hours, I was still riding, but still in first place. The transition just never came, and I began to wonder if I was off-course. Eventually, I made it into the bike-run switch-up, and later found out the bike course was about 4 miles long. Oh well: between that and the long swim it is good training for the Ironman in Kona.

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A mile into the run, I got a split from a spectator that I had a 1:40 lead on my nearest competitor, and they "weren't running well". I settled into a pace that was as aerobic as I could maintain, with my usual plan to save as much as possible for the final 10K, so I didn't blow up in the first half of the run. I continued to carry electrolytes, but resisted the urge to take them.

At the 10K turnaround, I glanced at my watch and it was 45 minutes. As I made the turnaround and started back, I split 2nd place (Troy Nelson) at 2:50. He looked like he was running strong, but I've raced against him before, did a quick mental calculation, and didn't think he'd be able to run 25 seconds per mile faster than me unless I completely blew up.

So I tried to pick up my pace as I normally do for the last 10K, but my legs just didn't want to cooperate. I really think this was more due to me not tapering for this race than it was due to me not taking electrolytes. With Vegas and Kona quickly approaching, I couldn't afford to take this week off training, so I trained through Friday, and then took Saturday off for a "1 day taper" (and threw in a massage from the local magic hands, Tim Gilreath from Therapproach).

Since I ended up running 3-4 minutes slower than I've been doing in my Half-Ironman events, I know this non-taper might hurt me. But still, at this point I figured I was safe if I stayed on pace, and I continued to keep the lead motorcycle as close as possible, attempting to use it as motivation to stay ahead.

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With 6K left, I was told Troy was 1:40 back and coming up fast. Over 2 miles, he made up 70 seconds! If this kept up, I was screwed.

I tried to dig deeper, but the extra oomph just wasn't there.

With 2 miles left, my body started to really hurt, my form began to suffer, and I knew that unless Troy "blew up", he would catch me.

Keeping my fingers crossed that he would blow before I did, I continued to run without looking back. At 12 miles, I was still ahead, heard no footsteps, but I was severely slowing. Grasping at every straw possible, I swallowed two electrolytes, wondering if they might give my legs some kind of magical pick-up, though I know that physiologically my muscles were just exhausted, and salt really wasn't going to do the trick. But I was willing to try anything at that point.

The win could be within my grasp.

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And then, at 12.5 miles, I heard footsteps. They stayed behind me for 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, and I knew what was going to happen. Whenever somebody catches you as fast as Troy caught me, and then takes that long to pass you, that means they're gathering up the energy to pass you FAST, and hopefully demoralize you to the point where you don't have the drive to try and stay on their heels as they pass for a sprint to to the finish line.

Sure enough, after about 30 seconds of breathing down my neck, Troy flew by me like a jackrabbit, and I knew I was toast. I took about 10 steps to try and stay with him, and nearly blacked out.

After quickly glancing behind me to make sure he was the only guy running me down, I struggled through the final few hundred yards and nearly collapsed at the finish line, having been beaten by a little over 60 seconds by a smart racer who ran an extremely solid half-marathon.

Overall results: 1st place age group, 2nd place overall.

Electrolyte experiment results: No cramping. Granted, I snuck 2 pills in towards the end, but that really didn't affect results of my experiment.

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Will I try "no salts" for Vegas or Kona? Jury's out. I need to do some more testing. But the most interesting thing was that my sweat wasn't "grainy" like it usually is after the race (suggesting increased salt excretion in sweat), but was instead smooth, which agrees with Dr. Timothy Noakes research that says "the more salt you eat, the more you lose"

Thanks for reading!

P.S. In addition to the gear and nutrition below, this was my first chance to race after using my "Elliptigo" elliptical trainer for cross-training. This thing rocks!

Troika Triathlon Gear:
Race Kit: Champ-Sys One Piece Custom Triathlon Suit
Wetsuit: Synergy Sports Hybrid
Bike: Gray Storm TT
Helmet: Gray Aero Helmet
Wheels: Gray 9.5 Carbon Clinchers with Latex Tubes
Components: SRAM Red, SRAM return to position levers, SRAM Quarq crank
Seat: Adamo ISM Road Saddle
Cleats: Look KEO Blade
Bike Shoes: Specialized Trivent
Running Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ruuz
Sunglasses: Zeal Slingshots
Fuel Belt: Spibelt

Troika Triathlon Nutrition:
night before race: Millennium Sports Somnidren GH (helps you sleep before a race)

2 hours before race: 2 salted sweet potatoes, 2 capsules CapraColostrum 30 minutes before race: 1 Energy28 and 1 delta-E, 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules, 5 Extreme Endurance
5 minutes before race: 1 caffeinated GU Roctane
Every 20 minutes on bike: 1 GU Roctane
End of each hour on bike: 4 GU Chomps
Every 3 miles on run: 1 Hammer Gel (from aid stations on course)
Post-Race: 8 Recoverease

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Going Underground.


I'm going underground until Vegas World Championships.

I will not be at any races.

I will not be talking about my training protocol.

I will not be updating this blog.

On 9.11, I'll unleash the animal. Hardcore.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

REV3 Portland Race Report - 3 Important Lessons

picture: Dave Erickson films me pumping up my tires pre-race.

I've never done a "REV3".

For those of you who don't know what it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with car engines or a re-enactment of the Revolution.

Instead, REV3 is a triathlon series, and actually pretty well known for being a "family-friendly" race, meaning that they have a bouncy castle at the race expo and you can carry your family, aunt, uncle and small dog across the finish line.

Ultimately, at the last minute, this Half-Ironman distance race was moved to a new location and completely redesigned course as the race directors were forced to change venues, and I was surprised to find a well-organized expo and race setup despite this conundrum.

They even had more than 3 porta-potties, bless their heart.

I tried a new training protocol for this race, and it went like this:
  • M: Upper Body Lift for 1 Hour, 60-90 minute full court basketball (ride bike to gym for basketball)
  • T: 30 Minute Swim, 1 Hour Tennis
  • W: Low Body Lift for 1 Hour, 60-90 minute full court basketball (ride bike to gym for basketball)
  • R: 30 Minute Swim, 1 Hour Tennis
  • F: Massage with Tim Gilreath from Therapproach (ride bike to massage), yoga or stretching in afternoon.
  • S: 90 minute Sufferfest bike (indoors), 30 minute swim
  • S: 60-90 minute run
I plan on using this same protocol to start training for Ironman Hawaii World Championships, but starting in August, I will extend my weekend bike ride to be 2-3 hours, my run to be up to 2 hours, and my weekend swim to be up to 4K. I'm also going to start using my new Elliptigo outdoor elliptical trainer as a substitute for 1-2 bicycle or run sessions.

Anyways, I learned three important lessons during this race, and here they are:

First Important Lesson: Sometimes the Straightest Route Isn't The Best


The swim took place in Blue Lake, a flat, fast, rectangular swim.

As is customary in most triathlons, for the first 200 meters of the swim, everyone is a rock star. Our wave of "under 40 year old guys" was rough and congested until we go to the first buoy, at which point the experienced pacers begin to separate from the people who just sprint until they hit a wall of fatigue.

Knowing that 3 waves of swimmers were ahead of our wave, I made a decision to avoid swimming "through" the other waves of swimmers, and instead I swam a bit of a curving line across the rectangles. This meant I couldn't draft, but when you're swimming through groups of swimmers, it's tough to draft anyways.

As a result, I was by myself the entire swim - relaxed with clear, smooth water, easy sighting, and nobody to swim around. It wasn't the straightest route around the rectangle, but I came out of the water in 28:12 - relaxed, in 8th place overall, and full of energy to sprint the quarter mile run up into the transition area.

Second Important Lesson: It's Hard To Catch Someone In A Tailwind



Immediately, I made it a chore on the bike to work my way up to the leaders - while attempting to pace myself enough to where I wasn't exhausted. The REV3 Portland bike course was:

-Out into a headwind
-Back with a tailwind
-Repeat 1x

At the first turnaround, I split the leader, my friend and fellow Pacific Northwester Derek Garcia, about 2 minutes ahead of me on the bike. At that point, I was in 4th place, with two other riders between Derek and I.

Once we made it into that tailwind, I knew I wouldn't make up much time on the leaders, since a tailwind is a great equalizer when it comes to bicycle racing.

Here is where I made my biggest race error. Once we turned back around to ride into the headwind for a second time, I held back too much. I should have sacrificed my body going out into the headwind so that I could make up time on the leaders that I probably wouldn't get in the tailwind.

Instead, I wasn't aggressive enough, and came off the bike still in 4th place and 2 minutes behind first place. And 2 minutes is a lot of time to make up on a half-marathon run.

Third Important Lesson: Use Intermediate Goals


The REV3 Portland run course, like the bike course, is flat and fast. It goes like this:

Run out and back one way...

...then run out and back the other way.

There were very few turns or hills.

In a run like that, with no terrain undulation or cornering, it can become monotonous and painful as you use the same running muscles over and over again.

So I used the trick I always use on a course like this: set intermediate goals.

I split the run up as follows:

Get to mile 1.


Get to first turnaround.


Get back to park.


Get halfway to second turnaround.


Get to second turnaround. Start to run harder.


Get halfway back to finish line.


Get to 1 mile left.


Get to finish line.

This strategy of setting intermediate goals really helped keep me "focused in the pain cave", and I ran a 1:26 half.

It wasn't fast enough to catch the leaders, but it was fast enough for:

1) Winning my division.

2) Racing a 4:15 Half, with a 28:12 1.2 mile swim, a 4:20 quarter mile run and wetsuit change from swim to T1,  2:16 56 mile bike, a 24 second T2, and a 1:26 half-marathon. I was very happy with this, especially considering I'm now running just once a week, and not riding longer than 90 minutes.

Big thanks to my sponsors! See below how I put my gear and nutrition together for this race.

REV3 Portland Triathlon Gear:
Race Kit: Champ-Sys One Piece Custom Triathlon Suit
Wetsuit: Synergy Sports Hybrid
Bike: Gray Storm TT
Helmet: Gray Aero Helmet
Wheels: Gray 9.5 Carbon Clinchers with Latex Tubes
Components: SRAM Red, SRAM return to position levers, SRAM Quarq crank
Seat: Adamo ISM Road Saddle
Cleats: Look KEO Blade
Bike Shoes: Specialized Trivent
Running Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ruuz
Sunglasses: Zeal Slingshots
Fuel Belt: Did not use. GU provided on run course aid stations.

REV3 Portland Triathlon Nutrition:
2 hours before race: 2 scoops LivingFuel SuperGreens with 1 teaspoon peanut butter and 1 sweet potato + 2 capsules CapraColostrum
30 minutes before race: 1 Nutrarev, 1 Energy28 and 1 delta-E, 20 Sprays Magnetic Oil, 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules, 8 Extreme Endurance (experimented with these for this race...)
5 minutes before race: 1 caffeinated GU Roctane
Every 20 minutes on bike: 1 GU Roctane
Every 30 minutes during entire race: 2 Millennium Sports Athlytes
End of each hour on bike: 4 GU Chomps
Every 3 miles on run: 1 GU (from an aid station)
Post-Race: 8 Recoverease

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Can Sitting In A Sauna Help Qualify You For Ironman World Championships?


I'm sitting down here by the pool at the Mauna Lani Bay Resort, about 24 hours after finishing Hawaii 70.3 triathlon, and my 4th attempt to qualify for Ironman World Championships. My previous 3 attempts were successful.

This attempt? Just keep reading...

I think my body has finally had a chance to cool down.

And I'm no longer constipated from yesterday morning's steady diet of sugary gels.

Hooray.

Plus, I've already played tennis, swam, and paddleboarded this morning, thanks to excessive amounts of ice on my leg, 20 sprays of Ancient Minerals Topical Magnesium Oil, 8 Recoverease, 4 Capraflex and 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules immediately after the race. Tomorrow is a day of surfing.

Yes, so that you can better enjoy post-race activity, you can biochemically engineer your recovery in legal ways - and I have a tennis tournament next weekend so I needed to recover fast.

Oh yeah, and coconut water with some added benefits also helps tremendously.


OK, OK, I'll quit blabbing now. On to the race!

I knew it would be hot here in Hawaii, but it has been very cold where I train, in Spokane, WA. So for these last 2 weeks prior to this race, I went to the YMCA every 2 days and sat in the sauna for 30-40 minutes, typically before an easy workout or after a hard workout.

The first 10 minutes of this type of heat acclimation is not too bad. After that, seconds tick by like molasses as you sit staring at a wall, gritting your teeth, fingers and toes tingling from the body throwing circulation everywhere in your body in a flurried attempt to provide cool the fire.

But I wanted to try this sadomasochistic method of heat acclimation as an alternative to my usual method - riding my bike on an indoor trainer with a heater and humidifier (I only did that once before this race).

In just a few minutes, you'll find out if my sauna heat acclimation method worked.

As promised, race morning was hot and windy, as Kona usually is. Hawaii 70.3 is a floating water start, so I pushed myself as far out to the right of the crowd as I could.

As a matter of fact, just before the swim started, I looked behind me and there was NOBODY. In a field of 2000 frenzied competitors, that is a pretty nice feeling to know you've got several yards of empty water behind you.

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THE SWIM
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The cannon boomed and we were off!

This was an easy swim. I hopped on the feet of a big, kinda fat guy in a skinsuit (always a good strategy) and he towed me 1300 meters, then I passed him for the last 500 and pulled hard into the beach. I knew I'd have to be very close to 4:30 total race time to qualify for Kona, and my watch was at 28-something minutes when I came out of the water, so first goal was accomplished.

I hurt my shoulder in a tennis tournament 2 weeks prior to this race, and was only able to swim short 50 and 100 meter efforts going in, so I was pretty happy with this result. Thanks to Tim Gilreath at Therapproach for his "Magic Hands" massage on my shoulders.

In my haste of packing at the last minute, I totally messed up and forgot my BlueSeventy Swimskin for this race. Big thanks to the guys from TYR for saving my butt and getting me into their Torque Swimskin at the last minute before the race. I'm not sure if that was "legal" to wear a TYR swimskin and Blue Seventy Element goggles, but sometimes life happens.

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THE BIKE
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My heart rate pounded out of my chest as I ran the steep hill into transition and grabbed my Gray Storm TT bike from SynergySport.com. I also used Gray's 9.5 Carbon Clinchers, which I was a bit nervous about using in the crosswinds, but I'm a glutton for punishment, and they are the same wheels I used last year, so that's what I came to Hawaii with.

Just like last year, my feet slipped off my shoes as a rode out of transition and my shoe went flying off my bike. I think the saltwater makes my feet slippery. It happened in the same place as last year, and I felt stupid in front of hundreds of spectators.

There goes coach Greenfield, losing his shoes again. What a rookie.

I snagged my shoe of the road, put it on and shoved off. Only a few seconds lost, but it feels like an eternity when you're racing! Next time I'll use rubber bands.

2 weeks prior to this race, my sponsors at Bike Hub Spokane hooked me up with Speedplay pedals in an attempt to fix some issues I've been having with my Look Keo pedals. I only was able to use the Speedplays two times before the race, and so I stashed a screwdriver into my Spibelt race belt in case I needed to make any cleat adjustments during the race.

Sure enough, 7 miles in I was fighting the cleat.

I pulled up next to a referee motorcycle (you have to use every chance you can to kiss up to those folks, just in case), and made a joke about the "Princess and the Pea" as I fixed my cleat. Another 90 seconds lost, but this time it felt like an hour, and as if the entire race field was passing me by.

And then I rode like a demon out of hell, and it felt fantastic. I wasn't able to split the overall race leaders at the Hawi turn, but they weren't far ahead.

Coming down Hawi with the tailwinds, I looked at my chest and saw that it was literally a torrential down pouring of sweat. At that point, having learned from the effects of dehydration from too little water consumption in Asia 70.3, I made the decision to risk drinking too much water, and bumped up consumption to 32 ounces per hour and lots of big gulps going back on the bike. This was a smart move in retrospect, as I still finished the race significantly lighter than when I started (in Asia, I lost 7 pounds!)
-----------------------------------------
THE RUN
-----------------------------------------

This run was pure freaking survival.

2 miles in, I was already hot. I went from looking at competitors to run down in my quest for a Kona slot to avoiding looking at anything whatsoever except the road directly ahead of me.

At that point, I wasn't racing. I was just trying not to walk.

The next 4 miles went by slowly. My fingers started to tingle, and I felt the effects of overheating coming on strong. It turns out the beneficial effects of a 30-40 minute sauna treatment tend to wear off after 4 hours of redlining in the heat.

At mile 6, I ran out of my Athlytes salt pills (packing error) and I was ready to quit.

I knew there was only one last thing to try.

The almighty CocaCola Ice Sludgies (see my Ironman Hawaii Race Report).

So at the mile 7 aid station, I grabbed a cup of ice, a cup of coke, dumped the coke on the ice, threw half the cup into my mouth, and chomped down hard. Two gulps later and the entire sludge of coke and ice was down the hatch, and I could feel the cooling, sugary sensations surging through my bloodstream.

At mile 8, I did another Coke Sludgie.

And again at mile 9.

At mile 10, my energy started to come back, and I began thinking about that Kona slot again.

At mile 11, I saw a guy in front of me. He was catchable. I had no clue if he was in my age group, because they don't mark calves here. But his race number was close to mine, so I figured he might be.

Just before mile 12, I passed him, and immediately felt like I was going to vomit and pass out from that slight increase in pace.

So I counted to 100. I knew I needed something to distract the central governor in my brain from forcing my body to quit. Then I looked back. He was still there.

So I counted to 100 again.

I looked back again and knew he wasn't going to be able to catch me unless I tripped and fell.

Somehow I managed to stay upright, and then, the finish line was there, I crossed it, and I collapsed. My entire body was on fire, but I made it, and I did it almost a minute faster than last year, despite those stops on the bike. My body hurt everywhere from a combination of heat and 4 hours and 29 minutes of excessive pounding.

5 hours later, I found out that the last guy I nearly killed myself to pass got me the slot to Kona and the Ironman World Championships. Here's the proof:


Training Protocol For Hawaii 70.3:

Monday: 1 hour easy fasted morning bike ride + 30-40 minutes afternoon strength training (upper body) + 90 minutes evening tennis practice

Tuesday: 1 hour swimming (drills workout)

Wednesday: morning hills or 2-4 minute intervals on bike (1 hour) and afternoon hills or 1-2 minute intervals on run (40-50 minutes). Sometimes will combine both into a bike-run brick workout.

Thursday: 1 hour swimming (speed and tempo workout) + 90 minutes evening tennis practice

Friday: 1 hour short, choppy bike intervals (commuting and running errands on bike, sprinting between stoplights, etc.) + 30-40 minutes strength training (lower body)

Saturday: long bike (2-3 hours) OR long run (90 minutes)

Sunday: long swim (3000-4000 meters continuous) + tennis match OR the long bike or long run I didn’t do Saturday

Hawaii 70.3 Triathlon Gear:

Race Kit: Champ-Sys One Piece Custom Triathlon Suit

Skinsuit: TYR Torque

Goggles: BlueSeventy Elements

Bike: Gray Storm TT

Helmet: Gray Aero Helmet

Wheels: Gray 9.5 Carbon Clinchers with Latex Tubes

Components: SRAM Red, SRAM return to position levers, SRAM Quarq crank

Seat: Adamo ISM Road Saddle

Bike Shoes: Specialized Trivent

Running Shoes: K-Swiss Racing Flat K-Ruuz

Sunglasses: Zeal Slingshots

Fuel Belt: Spi-Belt

Race Nutrition:

3 days leading up to race: 2-3 nuun tablets per day for increased electrolyte intake and salted all food

2 hours before race: 3 scoops LivingFuel SuperGreens

30 minutes before race: 1 Nutrarev, 1 Energy28 and 1 delta-E, 20 Sprays Magnetic Oil
5 minutes before race: 1 GU Roctane
Every 20 minutes on bike: 1 GU Roctane
Every 30 minutes during entire race: 2 Millennium Sports Athlytes
End of each hour on bike: 4 GU Chomps
Every 3 miles on run: 1 GU Roctane (from a Spi-Belt) until I switched to Coke.
Post-Race: 20 sprays of Ancient Minerals Topical Magnesium Oil, 8 Recoverease, and 10 Master Amino Pattern capsules, 4 Capraflex

So what's next? Not much. I may go race Portland REV3, but I plan on playing a lot of basketball and tennis this summer, and taking some time off serious triathlon training. This fall I'll be racing Ironman World Championships, 70.3 World Championships, and ITU Long Course World Championships, so I'm sure my body will appreciate a mid-summer break.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your questions or comments below!

Sunday, May 15, 2011