Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Happened In Vegas (Hopefully Stays In Vegas)



At the end of this post, I've got a quick question for you that I'd love to hear your feedback on...

I must admit that I felt pretty dang good coming into the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas.

Really good, actually.

My legs were a-popping and I was ready to lay down the smack and back it up. After a tough race (see my previous post) at ITU Long Course World Championships in Spain, I raced a Half Ironman "tune-up" a few weeks ago, where I took third overall (Troika Triathlon) and have just felt really fantastic lately.

I've raced long enough to know when my body is ready for a solid performance, and this seriously threatened to be it.

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But the mishaps started the night of the race.

At 2am, the hotel room next door woke my roommate Graeme and I up with a very loud hip-hop song on repeat. It was literally shaking the wall.

Then the jackrabbit-like humping started, with a guy who kept shouting "F*&^ me harder! F*&^ me harder!"

You gotta be kidding me. After about 45 minutes, hotel security shut them down and we finally got back to sleep.

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Despite being a bit sleepy, the swim went well.

But soon as I hopped on my bike, though, something felt funny.

On the first hill up and out of transition, people were passing me left and right. I shrugged it off and just waiting for my legs to "come around".

Just to be sure, at the top of the hill, I pulled aside and checked my tire pressure. Everything was good...

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Then, on the downhill, as I slid to the front of my saddle, the whole saddle went nose down. I had just gotten a bike fit, and had been messing around with my fit afterwards.

Obviously, I failed to tighten the seat enough.

No big deal, I thought, and I slammed my butt down into the saddle to correct it. 

Then the real trouble started. My entire seat post slid down. Yet another mechanical adjusting failure on my part.

So I rode the next 5 miles standing up, until I found a tech motorcycle and did a quick tool adjustment on my seat.

By this time, I figured I was screwed for a podium finish, but tried to keep my head in the game.

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But I just kept getting passed, despite me working harder than ever on the bike.

No offense, ladies, but there were women riding by me who had numbers like "48", "49" and "50" written on the back of their calves.

That just doesn't happen to me in races!

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So at mile 40, I pulled over for a third time, and this time I spun my rear disc.

Even though I had checked it the day before, I must have jostled it laying the bike down in the minivan, because the brake caliper was shoved up against the disc.

I'd been riding with brakes on for the past 40 miles.

At that point I was mentally ready to be done, and knew I wasn't going to be anywhere near the podium division finish I was looking for.

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I "soft pedaled" back into transition, ready to throw in the towel.

The screaming spectators and crowds got me inspired to jump into the run.

However, when you're running a race in over 100 degrees heat, you need a reason to be out there, and at that point, my reason had faded. A finisher's medal was not enough incentive for me to punish my body for the next 90 minutes.

So at mile 3, I walked it in and called it a day.

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Here I sit in Vegas, getting ready to end a tough experience with a hard drink.

But there's one more thing:

When I have an experience like this, I need a redemption race. Something to give myself a mental boost of positivity, go prove to myself that I'm fast, go use the fitness I built up for this race, and ensure that everything is OK.

So here's my question for you:

Where do you think I should race? I'm ready anytime in the next 2-3 weeks. You name the place and I'll try to make it happen - Olympic up to Half Ironman...go!


19 comments:

Jason Robert said...

Nathan's Tempe Oly Tri in 2 weeks - sunny, friendly, Tempe AZ. Lake swim, flat, fast, and technical bike, flat, fast run. And big crowds!

Chris said...

Grand Columbian... you have a title yo defend

Anonymous said...

Toyota US Open...would be a great chance for you to get in a hard workday against some competition that is in your league.

Brock Skywalker Armstrong said...

ELEVEN Global Niagara Falls http://11global.com/ELEVEN%20Niagara%20Falls/

Edward Shortsleeve said...

Come back to Vegas and do the Pumpkinman Triathlon. One of the best races in Vegas. Early October. I'm doing the Oly but they offer a half too.

jfaiii said...

Augusta is 9/30

Jeff Meador said...

I had a bad 70.3 today too. Was riding on a new Spec Shiv Pro I acquired less than a week ago. Also had a Retul fit done which put me far forward than what I'm used to. I was cruising at 22-24 mph for 1/2 of the bike. Then the rollers started and my quads started cramping so bad I could barely stand. When I limped back to T2, I tried to run and then the quads locked up. I couldn't walk. I stretched them out for a minute then miraculously I was able to run. Worst overall time I've had. I ended up finishing in 90 deg weather but it hurt.

Robert A said...

http://www.racecenter.com/blackdiamond/

Dr. Daniel said...

Come hang w Dr Dan and Kerry at the Rev3 in Venice FL!

Ryan MacDonald said...

IM Cozumel - gonna be a great race and some "victory margaritas"!!!!

Casey Poe said...

SuperFrog I heard Lance was doing it or the Toyota US Open in Dallas!

Bretj said...

Leadman in Oregon...it's in 2weeks and you probably could drive from your house.

Sorry about the crappy race

-Bret

Brant Hauser said...

http://www.ironmanpoconomountains.com/

North of Philly by about one hour. Awesome setting and you'll get some competition out of both Philly and New York.

And I'll swing up and drink with ya afterwards...

Leo said...

You should have finished it anyway (mental and physical toughtness lesson...it is not just for the medal) then give time to your body to recover and race IM 70.3 lanzarote...

dr.t said...

Although 5 weeks away, the "Magic Mountain Man" half iron in southern CA (Santa Clarita), has 70+ degree water, 6700 ft vertical climbing in 56 miles(starting with a 7 mile climb right out of transition), and a 2 loop run with several short but steep hills. Chilly am warms up quickly to 80. See video on website Renegade race series. Easy to get to from LAX or Burbank.

GCDavid said...

Was doing a cyclocross race. Chain rings fell off in the middle of it. Ooops

Bill said...

Atomic Man Half. http://www.imathlete.com/events/EventOverview.aspx?fEID=11846&z=1321996835886

Anonymous said...

I can totally understand quitting. A winner (of an event) never quits and the wise athlete always knows when to quit. I hope you found a good redemption race. Thank you for sharing your story. Anyone who trains often should understand their body and mind well-enough to know when the stress from major setbacks is sufficient to stop and look forward to the next training session or competition. Why over-stress yourself?!

Anonymous said...

I can totally understand quitting. A winner (of an event) never quits and the wise athlete always knows when to quit. I hope you found a good redemption race. Thank you for sharing your story. Anyone who trains often should understand their body and mind well-enough to know when the stress from major setbacks is sufficient to stop and look forward to the next training session or competition. Why over-stress yourself?!