Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eagleman 70.3m 2012.....Race Report

Typical for Eagleman, the weather really heated up just in time for race day! Temps had been sitting right at a pleasant 75 all week and then boom up to the high 80's on Saturday and over 90 for race day on Sunday....not ideal for anyone.

The past two years at this race the swim had been non-wetsuit legal but the water was just under the limit on race day so the wetsuit went on and fingers were crossed that it wasn't a case of boil in the bag.  Straight away as soon we got into the Choptank River it felt a little too warm.  The 35-39 AG went off at 7.34am in smooth water and then it was game on.  The goal for the day was to go hard, hard, hard and see what happens, based on the quality of the field it was going to be very fast race.  This Kona qualifying quest isn't getting any easier as the years go on.

Bearing in mind the lack of swim training since St George I was pleased with the 31min swim time but above all I was glad to get out of the wetsuit and onto the bike.  (Note 1: work on the swim more)
Heading out of T1
The wind was calm and it looked like we would get out onto the bike course before any winds picked up.....the first hour was great and I was rocking along at just over 24mph and feeling good both physically and nutritionally.  Then my Hammer Nutrition Electrolytes tabs fell from my pocket over a pothole and for the rest of the race I was just waiting for the cramps to come.  I stuck to the plan though, picking up a water at each aid station, using it for both hydration as well as cooling.  For calories I was with Hammer Nutrition Fizz/Sustained Energy mix and a gel every hour.  The power was spot on again for the 2nd race in two weeks. Last week at Duathlon Nationals I was hitting the 256 watts, for Eagleman due to to heat I had lowered that slightly to 250watts and was hitting that through the first 2 hours.  The final 20mins or so I railed it back slightly in preparation for the run.  Getting off the bike at 2hr 24mins I was happy with the average....obviously I know that it isn't going to get me close enough to the top 5-10 (Note 2: work on the bike more)

Off the bike and out onto the bike
Transition was done quickly and then out onto the scorching run shade, blacktop and temperatures rising to the 90's, lovely jubbly!  Right from the start the running legs weren't there (unlike last week when they felt great), perhaps it was a residual from racing hard last week and the recovery from IM St  George, but the rest of the run wasn't overly pretty.  I made sure to get hydration at every aid station and just run as hard as possible.  Fortunately I seem to have a built-in slow pace of about 8min/miles which even with a short walk at aid stations turns into a 8:30min/mile.  I couldn't go any quicker and didn't go any slower....just kept on trucking but it gave me an uninspiring 1hr 45min run split. (Note 3: work on the run more)

Heading into the finish....phew!

I ended up at 4hrs 45mins for the race, 24th in AG and 144th overall (from 1800 racers).  So a nice finish but always some room for big a reference the top 2 in the 35-39 AG did 4:02 and 4:04 to take 7th and 8th overall just 15mins back from the overall winner three time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander.

 As the notes suggest, more work needed to get close to the Kona slots especially at the 70.3 distance.

Next post to describe the rest of the season......

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