Thursday, September 9, 2010

Titanium Man 2010

This was my first race since my accident 2 weeks ago. Actually other than running on the treadmill and a trainer ride it was my first real workout since I wrecked. Surprisingly it went pretty well.

Things have healed up pretty well in the last few weeks. The only exception to that is my forearm and elbow where I had my stitches. The biggest problem there is the fact that I can’t get down in my aero bars properly. I really hadn’t even tried it before this race so I wasn’t too sure how the bike ride was going to go. Luckily, I had been refitted on my bike by Robin at fitness fanatics two days earlier. She changed some things and it helped to relieve the pressure on my forearm.

The morning started with my getting up a little earlier than normal to get my arms all bandaged up and get down to the multi transition set up before the race. It turns out an hour isn’t quite enough time to get everything set up for this. I was scrambling to get things in the right spots and get my tires to inflate (zipp valve extenders suck. They either won’t accept air because the valve rattled closed at some point or they leak around the connection from the original valve to the extender. After battling with that for 20 minutes I finally got it all straightened out and was ready to rock and roll.

For those of you that haven’t had the chance to do this race it is great! It’s also a bit hectic to get things set up. The swim is a downstream, point-to-point swim. T1 is 1.5K downstream and T2 is about a mile upstream from the swim start. So you have to drop your run stuff off, drop your bike off, then go get your timing chip and body marked at the swim start. It’s a workout before you even get started!

Swim- 19:53 (40th overall, 6th AG)

With all this happening, I ended up getting my wetsuit on with 2 minutes to spare. I scrambled into the water and swam as far towards the middle as I could before this thing started. As I was swimming out there I heard the air horn blow to start the race, and we were off. The plan was to start towards the front and see what happened. There had been no swimming for me with my open wounds, so this was my first time in the water in two weeks. It definitely felt like it too. As soon as I got started my arms felt heavy and I didn’t feel like I was making any progress. Oh well. Not much I can do about it now, so I just kept going and tried not to let it effect me too much. Before I knew it I was at the end with a kayak telling me turn in to shore. This swim was right into the rising sun and I literally could not see a thing! I cut it straight for shore and probably only lost about 20-30 seconds by swimming off course.

T1 (1:29 35th overall)

Not so good here. I had a hard time keeping my bandage on and getting my wetsuit off. I need more practice for sure.

Bike- (1:05:13 6thoverall, 1st AG)

I knew from the get go this would either make me or brake me. I hadn’t tried to ride in my aero bars yet but, I hoped that I could get down and setting into a groove. The ride started with me resetting my Garmin as I had forgotten to do that before hand. Then getting into my shoes. Those two things went pretty well, so I put my left arm down, and eased my right arm into my normal aero position. It became immediately clear that that was not going to work. I tried my arm slid forward farther, but that didn’t work either. Finally I settled on having my wrist resting on the pad and reaching out whenever I had to shift. This seemed to work okay and I decided to just go with it. As soon I settled in, a big bump in the road came out of nowhere and nearly shot my aero drink out of the bracket. I looked down and realized I had forgotten to put on the Velcro seat belt. It took a few tries to get it in the right spot but eventually it worked out and I was off. About 5 people had passed me right away and I passed them back as soon as I found my groove. Things continued on albeit painfully with every bump in the road sending shockwaves to my cut. I only ended up getting passed by one guy on the bike, but when he did pass me he was gone instantly. I thought to myself “wow, that guy can motor.) It turns out he’s a guy from Spokane that I had heard of before with the reputation of an uber biker that kills it at every race. I made note of his race number too see if I could bring him back on the run. The bike finished and I was in 13th overall and 4th or 5th in my group.

T2- (52 seconds, 40th overall, 6th AG)

This is where things took a turn for the worse. I came off the bike right in between to guys and at this race you hand off you bike and run up to and area where all the bags are layed out in order by race numbers. Theoretically someone yells your name as you come up to the bags and they have in their hand when you get to them, and hand it off to you. This however, did not happen when I came up the stairs. I was number ten and I could tell the volunteers didn’t seem to know what was going on so I yelled my number multiple times, but no one grabbed my bag. No big deal, I was able to run up and grab it myself. When I did this I took my helmet and put in the line of bags where I had just taken my bag from. The problem with this is you are supposed to take your helmet and put it in your run bag after you empty it out. My helmet had my number on it and it was right where my bag was, so I figured it would be fine. Come to find out later it was not fine. After the race was all over I went to get my helmet and to my surprise it was nowhere to be found. After going round and round with race volunteers it was determined that someone set it off to the side of all the other race gear, so no one would trip over it. From there no one knows where it went. I left the race with no helmet. Luckily the race director was able to find it somehow and it was returned to me.

Run (39:46 3rd overall, 1st AG)

uncharted territory here. I really hadn’t run more than 6 miles since July and both times I did it then I had to stop due to IT band problems. There was no telling how this would go. For the first mile I was really feeling my lack of run fitness, as it took me forever to catch the guy in front of me. From mile 1 to the turn around I settled into a
good pace and started to feel good. There was one guy in front of me that was running well, and he stayed about 30 yards ahead of me until about the 5k mark. At that point I decided to just go for it and see how many people I could pick off on the way back. I knew there were 4 guys within striking distance so I kicked it up a gear and gave chase. I was able to bring all three of them back pretty quick and one of them happened to be the uber biker from Spokane. He hung with me until about ½ a mile to go then I was able to go into cruise mode and finish the race.

End Result (2:07:13 5th overall, 2nd AG)

Overall I feel great about the end result. My training has been limited especially with my recent crash so it feels good to know that I can still throw down a PR on limited training. Beyond the helmet incident (which was partially my fault) this was an awesome race. I’ve been to races costing three times this much that aren’t as well put on.


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  2. congrats on a solid race, more impressive that with not as much training. Keep up the hard work and excited to see ya kick butt in Kona!