Friday, October 01, 2010

Ironman Augusta 70.3

Jared Brown's race report from Augusta 70.3.
His first 1/2 IM and on his way to IM Lake Placid.

August 70.3 - Half Ironman
Date of Race:
Total Race Time: 5h 12m 30s - Swim: 29:51(169/336), Bike: 2:45:56 (? /336), Run: 1:50:03 (115/336)
Overall Place: 699 / 3121
Age Group: Male 30- 34
Age Group Place: 115 /336

Advice I raced by on this day “Don’t create pain to yourself because the race will bring pain to you soon enough.

Race Day: Woke up at 4:50am and had some oatmeal, got dressed, took a few minutes to visualize my swim and race overall. You can laugh at my visualization but for me it brings a calming feeling and I relax. I see so many people on the verge of tears and busting before races b/c they are so nervous and I never feel this way so I am sticking with my visualization. Grabbed my bags and headed down to the hotel lobby to meet Kim & Casey and walk over to the shuttle to transition. Once there got body marked, borrowed a pump and pumped up my tires, set my transition up, and headed over to see Casey and Kim’s transition area. The only thing I did different for this race in transition was packed my running stuff in a plastic bag so it would stay somewhat dry while it rained.
There was a long line for buses so Patti and her friend let me walk with them to the swim start. I don’t like the feeling of being herded like cattle so the walk actually was nice. Once there I separated from them, checked in my gear bag, said hello to ATCer’s I saw, got my chip (almost forgot this though, thanks LeAnn & Heath), put on my wetsuit, and got in my wave group. Watched the pro’s go and then started heading to the start.

The Swim:
I was in wave 4 just behind the pro’s and the first person down the ramp and onto the dock. I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest but I wanted to get to the far side of the dock (advice from Sir Lappi) so that I could have most of the people on my right which is the side I breathe to during races. I sat down on the dock with my feet in the water and splashed water on myself like the Olympic swimmers do. It allowed me to get the cooler water on my body and face without a shock. I then slid in the water; warmed up my wetsuit, put on my goggles, and headed to the yellow start buoy. I found a rope off the buoy that I literally sat on for a minute. Then I heard 1 and a ½ minutes to start…….fastest 1.5 minutes ever….Go!
I swam and sighted very little for the first 500 meters as I could see people and the shore. Then WHACK! I look up and I apparently was heading to far left b/c I hit a kayak. I had to smile and laugh at myself here. I then pointed more right and back to the course and inside the first yellow buoy. I could see people all around me once I returned to the course but there was little hitting or contact. Weeds were coming and going with some paddles off my hands but I got use to that pretty fast. I tried drafting a few times but it just wasn’t that easy for me. THEN IT HAPPENED! I was swimming along feeling really relaxed and good and then I saw what looked like fish food in the water. The little orange flakes people feed their fish. I thought to myself “NO” then felt myself start to feel real sick and my cheeks puff out. I then forced myself to keep my head in the water, hold my breath, closed my eyes, and keep swimming. After about ten strokes I couldn’t breathe so my thoughts and stomach relaxed and I didn’t see any more fish food. I sighted about every 10 – 15 strokes unless I was right next to someone then I stayed around them. This swim I actually passed a few people so I had to steer around them but it didn’t hinder my pace. I then looked up and saw the houseboats up ahead not too far. I got this overwhelming feeling of happiness and all my brain was saying was you are going to finish this race today and I was at peace with the day right there and then. Never had that feeling before in a race but it was a really nice surprise. I then picked up my arm turnover a little more and slowly started to inch my way forward and to the right side. Soon enough I saw the finishing buoy and I saw the bottom and stood up. Swim completed! Looked at my watch, time – NO STARTED! Oh well.

Swim Time: 29:51 - Goal was 30 – 35 min or less. CHECK!

T1: As I exited the water I immediately got a cramp in my left hamstring (come to find out this would be noticeable all day). I stopped and stretched it out and then walked up the ramp. I forced myself to walk up the ramp to get my heart rate down faster. I always come out of the water with a screaming heart rate. At the top of the ramp was a table so I flung my leg on it and stretched again. Got my wetsuit down to my waist, got to the strippers, and they pulled that thing off in now time, headed to my transition area. I decided to take a short detour to get a high 5 from Casey then to my bike and gear. I saw Ted and John Recker in the transition area. I took my time and got everything on and headed out for the ride.

T1 Time: 3:56

Once I mounted the bike I started my watch and headed out with Ted, well for about three pedals and then he was gone. Right out of the transition area I saw Ted’s wife and his sign which made me smile! Just nice seeing and hearing people cheer for you. I took it a little easy at the start of the bike to get a feeling of the wet roads and see what the road conditions were. After about 3 miles I decided to change to my large front ring and the bike wouldn’t change gears. So I stayed in the smaller ring and rode it out. The 808’s I rented were making a little bit of a odd noise with the water and wind on them that I wasn’t use to but I figured keep riding and if something goes wrong fix it then or head home, either way just keep going. Early on I was moving fast and felt real good. At about mile 8 my neck started to bother me a little. This has happened a few times before but not during races. My bike setup is a pretty aggressive position so I knew my neck could have potential to get sore but not this early. I just kept tucking it under and touching my chest a few times each mile to try and stretch it out. Doing this made it manageable but I knew it was going to be a long day. I rode along the course taking the turns slower than normal due to the wet roads and struggled to keep my glasses clear from the rain. At mile 22 I looked at my watch and it said 1:05:00. I thought to myself that people where just starting the swim still. I also knew I was behind on the time I was expecting to be at. So I tried again to get into the large ring and it worked. I pushed a little for about 5 miles and then felt my legs not burning but just weak. I would try to give a little harder push and it just felt like I was trying to move a ton of bricks. I usually don’t have this issue on the bike. This is my strongest discipline in a race but today my legs were wet and didn’t have the muscle to push the large gear so I dropped it back down and picked up the cadence a little and kept going. Mile 34 I finally got passed by David Cater who said hello and went on by. Then shortly after Joseph went by me at a steady pace and said hello as well. I could tell by Joseph’s pace he was going to have a good day. He looked steady and strong. Mile 40 the rain really started to come down so I had to take my glasses off and stash them away. The last 10 miles were really bumpy roads but the rain subsided so it was only drizzling. I looked at my watch and it said 3:05:00, I couldn’t believe what I saw but I didn’t think twice about it I just headed into transition and thought just start running and get to the finish line, at this point I didn’t care about my time.

Bike Time: 2:45:56 (20.25 avg.) – Goal 2:35:00 – 2:45:00 – I say CHECK!

T2: I took my time again and decided to put socks on. My feet were wet but I just put my socks on, grabbed my e – gels, hat on, jog out of transition and onto the race course.

T2 Time: 3:04

Run: Right out of transition I saw Cheryl and stopped and told her it was going to be a little longer day than expect and apologized. She told me I had a sub 30 swim, gave me a kiss, and ran up a little ahead of me to take a few more pictures. I told her I felt pretty good but just had an awful bike time. She said don’t worry and that she would see me at the finish. After she said that I decided I can’t obsess over time so I changed my watch to HR and never took it off. From here on out I would have no idea of my time.
I started out running a pretty easy pace and feeling really good. Miles were clicking off not fast but steady. At about mile 3 I got passed by an ATCer who I didn’t know. His name was Scott. We talked briefly about how I hadn’t met him before and he said he hadn’t trained much with the group this year due to work. Then I told him to go ahead and have a good run. I was about 25 yards behind him for miles 3 – 5. For the first time I was trying to use my HR on the run and it was a steady 153 – 157. I believe my LT is 172 for the run so this was a little to low but I was feeling good so I was staying with it.
At around mile 5 is were I ran through the ATC group (awesome feeling), my HR went to 161and I felt a jolt of energy. I controlled my pace though b/c I knew it wouldn’t last. Right after the ATC group Scott stopped for water and to fix his chip which was digging into his ankle. I kept running and told him he would catch me. Mile 5.5 he did (this is when I took an e – gel) and we ran together to mile 6.5 where we caught Dr. Peter Pate and Scott mentioned he had us as a pace to finish at around 1:50:00 or a little less. We chatted briefly with Peter and he said he was feeling well. I tucked in behind Peter who was running a little faster than we were but I felt I needed to push a little to run the sub 2hr ½ marathon which was a side goal of mine before the race. At mile 8 I started to really feel my left hamstring tighten up and I was just waiting for it to cramp. I just stayed behind Peter and concentrated on his right heel. When I did this it forced me to not think about anything but his foot. My mind would start to wonder and I would bring it right back to his heel. He was still moving along pretty good.
At about mile 9.5 Scott mentioned he was a little to close to his LT than he wanted but he was keeping up fine. Right before mile 10 I believe there was a water stop and Peter and Scott stopped to get water. I grabbed a sponge and a little water and kept running. I didn’t want to stop b/c 1) I would give my hamstring a chance to cramp & 2) I wanted to walk so I wouldn’t give myself the chance. Then mile 11 came and I knew it was that time, the time the advice I was given was going to happen, the race was going to bring the pain to me. My hamstring started to tighten a little more, so I tried to lengthen my stride and then shorten my stride and pick the pace up to see which was less painful. It seemed a middle point was what was best. I had two thoughts in my head, keep running and get to the ATC group again. Those were the only 2 thoughts for what seemed like hours but was only a little over a mile. The pain now was starting to take over my thoughts and I came up on the ATC group. Now I had about .8 miles and I was done. Thought was JUST KEEP RUNNING. All of a sudden this young lady comes by me with a turnover rate close to the road runner and says “Great job! Keep it up, I only had to run.” It was Jessica and she was moving. For about 10 strides I tried to keep up with her but didn’t have a shot. Running alone I saw LeAnn up ahead so I kept pace and caught up with her right before the finish. Said hello to her and that I would see her in a little while (this is the worst feeling in the world in this race b/c I knew she had another lap and I was finished) once I turned and saw the finish I saw the clock said 5:26:14 so I picked up my pace, raised my hands, and finished.

Run Time: 1:50:03 (8:24 avg.) – Goal sub 2:00:00 – CHECK!

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