Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chesapeake Man 140.6 race report

It's been eight days since the race and I think I'm ready to start running again.  That was one long run.
Let's start at the beginning. 

Last Friday we left for the 3 hr drive through Annapolis, over the Bay Bridge, then another hour south to Cambridge,  MD.  We arrived at the high school and drove around looking for everyone.  I asked a guy on a golf cart where the expo was, and he told me it was at the Hyatt 2 miles away.  Thankfully we found it.
I got some pretty sweet swag from this race.  In our bag was a tech tee and a long sleeve jersey, but had to send it back and get a bigger size.  I was thinking the entire drive down that I forgot my race belt but luckily they gave us one.   But I did forget it. I also got a nice visor.

After the expo we went to the park to rack my bike and go for a swim.  I saw a lot of people wearing wet suites but opted for just my jammers because I didn't think it would dry in time.  I swam to the first buoy and back which was about 800 yards.  Dr. Dave and I  went for about a 10 mile bike to listen up. Checked the tires before I left and we went to set up our accommodations.

Back to the high school we went. We quickly found a nice piece of grass under a tree and pitched our tent.  It was about to rain so we didn't put anything else in there till after dinner. A quick 40 minute pre race meeting and we were off to dinner.

We decided on a gastro pub near the start.  What's a gastro pub? No worries, I had to look it up too.  It's defined as fine dining food in a relaxed atmosphere.  We went to the bar and each got a beer while our table was getting set up.  We sat down and started with chicken confi with white cream sauce nachos.  It looked like a lot when it came but we (I) managed to kill 90% of it.  Emily ordered chicken and waffles (upscale of course) and I got the surf and turf, which was just sirloin tips and not much crab meat stirred into a pasta with a brown gravy like sauce.  The beef was excellent but the sauce was over seasoned.

Back at base camp, I packed the rest of my transition and special needs bags, checked it about 3 times and we went to bed.  One thing I was concerned about for the weekend was the weather. It poured that night. A lot. I finally fell asleep around 10 and slept pretty good on our air mattress.  The alarm went off around 4:30 am to a beautifully clear morning.  I forced myself to eat 1.5 bagels with peanut butter and drink a bottle of Gatorade.  I dropped my special needs and T2 bag off and we hopped on the shuttle to the park.
The wind was howling and Choptank river was super choppy.  The announcer said it was much worse 1.5 hours ago but it still looked pretty bad.  7am soon arrived and it was time to get in the water.

2.4 mile swim - 1:11:44 -- 1:51 per 100 meters

Getting focused for a long day
Even though it looked pretty bad from the shore, the waves were not that noticable.  Thankfully the race director said at low tide you can stand in the river.  It was about 4-5 feet as we all walked/swam out to the first buoy for the in swim start.  The distance between the start buoys was at least 50 yards so it was very spread out.  I found some open water and sited the first buoy and I was off.  I just swam nice and easy trying to stay calm and not get kicked in the face.  I didn't really fall into a rhythm until about 15 minutes.  I looked at my watch as we started the second lap and it was at 32 minutes.  I managed to swallow a very large gulp of salt water and almost threw up half way through the second lap.  The entire second lap someone was also on my feet.  I don't think it was the same person but throughout the entire lap, someone was right on me.  I came out of the water feeling good and graped my bag and heading into the changing tent. 

T-1 - 7:09

A 112 mile bike ride takes some time to get ready.  I wanted to make sure everything was on and fit well to set myself up for a good day.  I got a few karma points when the guy next to me realized he forgot his towel so I gave him mine because I was done with it.  He asked for my number so he could return it but I laughed and said "don't worry about it, I've got about 10 of them."  I grabbed my bike and set out for a long day in the saddle.

112 mile bike - 6:15:04 -- 17.89 mph

Start of lap 2
We were warned the the course was flat.  We were also warned that the course was windy.  I really felt like there was more head wind than tail wind.  Just like every tri, people start passing me on the bike.  I'm ok with that.  I've got time to become a stronger biker.  I looked at this race as a guaranteed PR, and the main goal was to finish.  I basically kept my head down as much as possible, tried to eat and drink about every 15 minutes and watched the miles tick away.  The last 10-15 miles of each of the two bike laps was dead into the wind.  That was probably the hardest part of the bike, knowing I had to do it again at mile 100-112.  I rode almost the entire second lap with my competitor one number higher than me, Bridgette, who was also participating in her first Ironman.  Sorry, Ultra distance triathlon.  We were still working but talked pretty much non stop.  That was what got me through the bike.  I had to fall back the last 10 miles because my knee was starting to hurt and I wanted to conserve some energy.

T-2 - 6:43

Another complete wardrobe change in the tent because again, I wanted to be comfortable on the run.  I greased up, threw on the had and sunglasses and was out.

26.6 jog - 5:12:00 -- 11:54 min/mile

The run course was an out and back 3 times of about 4.3 miles each way.  The first lap started out pretty good averaging about 9 min/mile pace.  I kept thinking to myself 'keep an even 9-9:30 pace and you'll be done soon enough.  Keeping up a 9:30 pace turned into trying to keep it under 10 around mile 9.  Things were starting to fall apart.  My knee was really the only thing giving me problems.  I'll learn later during the after race massage that I had a knot in my quad and a micro tear in my meniscus.  I've had problems in the past about drinking too much at the water stops so I decided to carry a pack of gum with me to keep my mouth from becoming too dry.  It worked for about half the race until I was sick of it.  I ran alone for the entire race.  I didn't talk much either, just some words of encouragement here and there whenever I noticed someone was struggleing.  The sun started setting about 1/4 through my last lap.  The fellas at the far water stop promised a beer to everyone that watned one but only on their last lap.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  I had about 1/4 can of Fat Tire and that really helped me, for about 1/3 mile.  I counted down the miles from 3 and really wanted to run strong the last mile.  The finish was a blurr.  I remember the lights and the announcer saying my name but I was almost sprinting the last 400 yards.  I remember seeing the photographer and wondering "how bad am I going to look in this picture?"  I tried to smile and look good but only time will tell until the pictures come back.


Holy Shit this hurts!

Total time to go 140.6 miles - 12:53:38

I hung out at the finish line for a few minutes to make sure I was ok then headed to grab my stuff.  I took a shower, ate some dinner, and got a massage post race.  We went back to the car and had a Sam Adams Octoberfest until I felt I was just too tired and had to go to sleep, not before updating my facebook status and returning some texts/emails that I finished.

I found out the next day before the awards ceremony I was 9 minutes out of 3rd place for my division.  We didn't stay for the awards. 

It was a great weekend and the three things that I was most concerned about, flat tires, chaffing, and stomach issues, didn't happen.  Even though that was all I could give for that event, I think I can get better and go faster.  Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on this race, I am hoping to do my first 140.6 next fall and reading these reports fires me up!