The run in approaches…


I suck at staying up to date with blogging — OBVIOUSLY!!!  When I was living in Greece, I had one going for a couple months.  It was a bit cathartic, but I stopped after things got better.  This blog started out to be snippets and random thoughts and cogent thoughts regarding my training, racing, life, etc., but who cares?  No one is reading, and I fall back to my general philosophy that I’m not that important.

BUT, I was reading my previous posts from last fall, and they were kind of interesting to read and recall the moments. So, now, I think I’ll try once again to write a bit more consistently.  Capture my thoughts leading up to IMWI for the sake of being able to go back and read and recall.

Where are we?  It’s midweek before Memorial Day Weekend.  JAY-ZUS!!!!  Still don’t have a job, unfortunately, but maybe a decent prospect with my phone call yesterday.  Trained religiously through November, December and January.  February and March got a little erratic.

Too many distractions in April didn’t allow me to be 100% pleased with my training.  Then I destroyed a bottom bracket.  Discovered that I consequently needed a new crank as a result of the bottom bracket getting trashed.  Scored a killer deal on a mountain bike.  So, for about 2 weeks leading up to my first race of this year, Kinetic Half, I didn’t ride the bike on the trainer at all.  Rode the mountain bike and the commuter and that’s it.  Rode mtb in Brandywine Creek SP in PA with Byuska.  Awesome.  Raced in Escape from Granogue mtb XC a week later, and it was a total mudfest.  I am still waiting for Byuska to send me the photos, but mudfest really is an understatement.  It was wicked fun.  First ever race, and I came across the line first for beginners in my AG.  Kewl!!!

Kinetic was crazy.  I didn’t taper…well, 1.5 weeks off the bike could be considered a taper, but in the days leading up to the race I still ran per my marathon plan and swam my usual sets.  Thanks to car trouble in the Deptford Walmart parking lot at midnight on Thursday, I didn’t sleep Thursday evening.  Spent all night/morning figuring out what was wrong with the car in the parking lot.  Slept a couple hrs Friday morn.  Had to clean, put the entire bike back together, cut cables and adjust all day Friday.  Packed for the weekend and loaded the rental car in record time.  Tired as hell.  Mom came along since it was Mother’s Day Weekend afterall, but mor importantly, I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself the 4.5hrs from Philly to Spotsylvania, VA.

Set the tents up just as the rain was starting and got to sleep some time after 12:30am.  Up at 4.  Oatmeal in the car.  Park.  Finish the bike — chain lube & bar tape.  Drama picking up my race packet — they didn’t have it despite my name being on the list.  Gave me a new number, but they got my name mixed up with another guy.  It all got straightened out after the race. Feeling good.  Transition set up.  No time to stretch or warm up really.  Bad, but still feeling ok about it.  This race was learning about my nutrition and strategy that could translate to 140.6, but I knew that it was going to be a hard effort swim and not just endurance level power on the bike.

34mins for the swim, and I was pleased considering that I was afraid I might be 37-40mins.  Decent enough transition.  Still not the fastest getting out the wetsuite.  Bike started uphill, and there was no way I was going with the shoes-on-the-bike technique.  Powered up the hill and cruising. Gels and my Gatorade bottle had me feeling okay.  Then the Gatorade ran out, and I started with some HEED they had on the course.  Never had HEED before.  It caused me some problems.  5-10mins after drinking some down, it reliably caused me to throw up a tiny bit.  I tried drinking the entire aerobottle’s worth of it, but it wasn’t doing.  Then I stopped taking gels since I didn’t have any fluid to go with it.

Approach the last aid station, and I’m going to grab water.  Reach out, and WHAM!  The thing explodes.  The bottle cap hits me right in the middle of the eye, and 3/4 of the bottle of water washes my beard and chest and bike down to the pavement.  Oh. Well.  I think that was around mile 40.  So, continuing on, I got a  R I D I C U L O U S  cramp in my left glute around mile 45.  Standing up, bent over, trying to stretch it out.  Not doin’.  The cramp furthers itself in my left hamstring and groin.  I thought I might have to stop.  I couldn’t ride with any kind of even decent effort until mile 50, 51, 52?  Regardless, I was pleased.  2:30 for 56.  No wheels.  Tired.  No stretching and warmup.  No water and energy for about 20 miles.

I wasn’t pleased running.  Run went uphill at the start along the same road as the bike course.  Holy. Hell.  I have never had muscles cramp like this before.  Ever.  In all my years of training and playing soccer…never.  I am definitely going to add electro/salt tabs to my bike and run nutrition.  Gels alone didn’t seem to be enough, althought I stopped eating gels when I didn’t have anymore drinkable fluid…anyway…  Quads.  Stop.  Squat to stretch…there go both hamstrings.  Now, I can’t straighten my legs, because my the quads will seize.  I can’t bend my legs to stretch the quads, because my hamstrings are in the same state.  I’m semi-squatting alongside the road, and I must have looked as if I was ready to puke and pooh at the same time.  It eventually alleviates.  Run.  Stop.  Again cramps.  Only the quads.  Alleviates.  Running again, but pretty damn slow.  Hot and humid back in the woods during the run, but not “BRUTAL” as I often heard tossed around afterwards.  Nor was the bike windy.  It was just exaggeration. 3 laps running.

Heading up the hill on the last lap, and I hear the announcer call out the time for the first across the line.  ~45mins to the 5hr mark.  Hmm?  I think I’ll make it so long as I can stay upright.  Learned that I need to gel around mile 6.5 – 8.  Flat cola is SUPER.  The caffeine and sugar pick me up is great.  Across the line in 4:54:xx in my first ever 70.3.  20th?  21st? overall.  5th in M30-34.  Very pleased with the results considering my lead up to the race and what occurred.  More pleased with what I learned.

100mi ride last weekend.  What an idiot I am.  No sunscreen, and I got burned to hell on my shoulders and lower back.  It’s completely my fault, but it was supposed to be cloudy and thunderstorms through the morning and into the afternoon.  I thought I was going to be racing to get back to the car before the storms broke loose.  Turned out to be a bright and sunny day.

Stopped twice to look for sunscreen and get Gatorade or water.   Stopped first at the Chatsworth General Store, where I think nobody is welcome.  The old crab came barging out complaining about my bike leaning against her porch pole before I could even get the entrance door completely swung open.  Later beeyotch.  20miles later I got water and Gatorade, but still no sunscreen.  I was cooked.

100mi in 4:35:xx with a couple TL stops and the two stops.  I intended to test out some electro/salt tabs, but I completely forgot them in my haste to get on the road.  You stupid half-wit.  Got some mild — comparatively — cramps around mile 80 in the same spots on the left leg but not in the glute.  No fluid or gel for the 20mi from Chatsworth to the second store in Tabernacle.  Maybe that was the reason.  Gel and water the rest of the way, and the cramp subsided.

30min run off the bike.  Didn’t feel the best.  Still need to try those tabs/caps.  I still want to refine my position on the bike.  It needs to improve, because I’m dealing with too much lower back stress still.

Now, I’m post ride and dealing with the sunburn.  Can’t get in the pool.  Idiot.. in the dictionary…and my name is there.  Just running mainly, and started Phase III of Daniels’ Plan A.  Going good.  18.75 miles on the treadmill last night.  Got in touch with some pain in the knee, and it felt good. Running this weekend.  Shooter’s bachelor party in the woods in Asheville.  Back next week and going to spend my life in the pool.  Period.  Escape from Alcatraz in a few short weeks.  Awesome.

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~ by jerseyquaker on May 21, 2009.

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