Timberman 70.3 Race Report

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Timberman 70.3 Race Report

Post  Snooze on Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:03 pm

It's been the story of my entire endurance career, if you can call it that. It's been one hard lesson after another, and Timberman would not deviate from the ordinary. Coming in, I was confident, but I had that lingering thought in the back of my head that knew that there was more I could do in training. I didn't get enough bike miles in. I developed a successful swimming form quite late. Nutrition was never really put to the test. But I went into the race knowing I could do it. Whether or not I could do it without some struggles, well, that was the great unknown.
Travel to New Hampshire had its hitches. Stood in line for a rental car in Boston for over an hour. Left Boston at 5:15 on a Friday evening in the rain. Glorious drive we had. We reached our cabin at 7:30 and met with our roommate for the weekend. We all agreed that our home for the weekend was adequate, especially for the price. Nice view of the lake, down the street from ice cream, and right in the heart of tourist central. That night we had a less than stellar meal with a less than stellar waitress. Not sure what was up, but there is a large population of Russian girls working the area. But they sure weren't very helpful in the procurement of good food and service. That night, we got groceries and then watched Michael Phelps and his comeback in the breaststroke. With that, we decided it was time to sleep after a long day.
Saturday morning came and we leisurely got ready to go watch the sprint race. Our friend was racing so we decided to catch the action. We got to the race site and were immediately impressed by the size and organization of the festival. We watched her finish, then talked with her, her fiance, and her coach. After a while, a girl came up and talked with the coach. Apparently it was the chick that won IM Lake Placid this year. So that was a cool treat. Post race we hit up registration and got all official. En route to the registration we realized that these "hills" we were driving up were in fact, part of the bike ride. I tried to block it out of my mind. Anyways, I enjoyed the hat and shirts in the swag bag. Saw the Hoyts at their booth but didn't say anything. Wasn't sure what to say, and there were plenty of people surrounding them anyways. I did offer encouragement to them on the course though. Of course, seeing them out there motivated me, so we came out even. After registration we headed down to the site to get our bikes from the bike shop we shipped them to. Everything seemed to be in working order and we racked the bikes. Little did we realize that neither mine nor Becca's computer would end up working on race day.
The rain that had been plaguing the area for the last month reared its ugly head, so we headed to the cabin to wait it out. We had a date with some people from the forum to get in the water and test out the wetsuit swim. Yes, this would be my first wetsuit swim ever. Don't judge. The rain passed and we got our chance to test them out. It was fairly successful. In fact, it was quite enjoyable. From there, we left and got the fixin's for dinner. We got to bed at a decent time after a fairly efficient race eve preparation session. Food and great packed and accounted for.
The alarm went off at 3:30am. I was ready to get moving. Coffee was made. Breakfast assembled and inhaled. I got dressed and then packed all the gear in the car. We made it out the door at about 4:40. The drive in was uneventful. Our early arrival got us a good space and also avoided any lines into the park that we might have hit later on. At about 4:50, I checked the race site's "big green wall". I got in just after they cleaned. Perfect. Went back to the car and tried to sleep for 15 minutes but no go. Becca got her zzz's in. She woke, and we braved the frigid world. Yes, I said frigid. We were not ready for this kind of temperature. But we both survived it and got all set up. My bike was racked in the midst of a few guys looking to go pro, and not only that, but two people right near us were no shows. We had all the room in the world for transition. I threw on my wetsuit fairly early for numerous reasons. One, it was cold. Two, everyone else was doing it. Three, I had nothing better to do. I wandered a lot. I checked out the pros. Ms. Wellington was focused. It was the first time I had ever seen her, and also the first time I had seen her not smiling. I don't think she's a morning person. After a while, we decided to head to the beach where most people had congregated. Listened to the Canadian national anthem and then had to sprint back to transition because Becca realized that I was sans timing chip. Crap. I made a nice spectacle of myself when I was running through the water and hit a nice deep hole. It engulfed my open wetsuit and chilled me for a moment. Anyways, reached the chip, put it on and ran back with no issues.
Ok, Ill get to the racing now. Two waves and ten minutes before me, I watched as my new bride made her way to the center of the lake. It was finally my turn. I positioned myself in the rear left where I belong, at least for now. As the horn sounded, I sprung into action. I wasn't as efficient as I usually am. I think it was because that while I have gotten better, I have had to focus on it. And with a million other things racing through my head, I wavered a bit. But halfway down the first leg of the swim, I felt good. But then, I turned the corner. One thing I have realized is that I need a lot of work on spotting. Between the second and third leg of the swim, kayakers corrected me no less than four times. I was zigging and zagging all over. But that good news was I kept on running into the same guys. So as I took the long route, I was still keeping up with them. My goal was to break 45 minutes, and I did. Yes, that's a slow goal, but it was huge for me.
I ran out of the water, disrobing in the process. I ran passed a half dozen people on the way to T1. My first wetsuit stripping went great. For all intents and purposes, I had a great T1. Jumped on the bike and away we went.
The bike. Holy crap, the bike. The first 10 miles was a warm up for Hell. By Hell, I don't lie. I tried to get in as much fluids before the climb. But when the hill came, it came with a fury. When I read the race description, it said rolling hills. Well, in Florida, these were called mountains. I made it up, passed the woman dressed as the devil, and moved on. The entire beginning of the climb, I stayed in my small ring. But as we reached the downhill, I could not for the life of me get into the big ring. It took me a few miles before it finally kicked in. I lost a little time going downhill, but oh well. One of the few good things about hills is that you get to ride them down as well. With my large self, I was able to fly by people. The second ten miles, I was in a nice groove. Had some nice bottle transfers, took in my food at the specified times, and was doing well. At the turnaround, I finally took Becca. She was doing great, much better than she had projected. But then mile 30 happened. I believe that the next 10 miles were what you would call a false flat. It zapped me. In my limited cycling career, I have loved hills, up and down. But I detest flats, so this was no treat for me. I did what I could, and then reached the hills again. Right before the big hill, I went for my Salt Sticks. Except for one detail, I was out. I must have lost some while fooling with my Bento box, or I didn't stash enough. Regardless, I had a feeling that the impending run was going to hurt. I tried to take it easy the rest of the ride, but it was too late. I had a minor cramp before the end of the bike. I knew that once I got to T2, I could re-salt, but until then, I had to play it safe.
Well, the bike was complete and I dismounted. Very disgracefully. Unclipped left, unclipped right. Pedaled a couple more times and stopped. Apparently I reclipped in on the left during those last two pedals and promptly bust. Scuffed knee, but nothing I haven't done before. Although last time, there wasn't hundreds of people watching. I took my time in T2 making sure to avoid cramp-causing activities. Down salt, grabbed some gels and headed out.
It took a mile for the cramps to start. Thus was the beginning of the run, walk, run, stop and stretch, run, walk…. I was bumming, but I accepted it. I figured that my nutrition was lacking once again, and also, I think I rode too hard. I guess I had to learn somehow. About 2 miles in, Becca passed. She saw that I was hurting and not necessarily happy. I cheered her on. I made a valiant effort to keep up, but she left me in the dust. If not for the stellar fans lining the streets, I don't think I'd have been able to finish with a good attitude, but they got me food and drink, and cheered my name. I couldn't have asked for more. After one lap through, I was revitalized. I knew the course, I knew what nutrition was out there, and I knew I had 6.55 miles to go. I kept up my process of running and walking, but this time, no stopping. I dealt with the pain. Like I said before, the Hoyts motivated me. They really did. Along the way, I thought back at what I was doing, from where I came from. Five years ago, there was no way I'd be doing this, but in less than an hour, I'd be a half Ironman. And then it finally happened. The last mile was my fastest of the race. I raced down the chute, took in the cheers, ran passed the cross dressing race official, gave the kids a high five, got a little verklempt, regained my composure, and then crossed the line. It was over, kinda. As soon as it ended, I knew there was another 70.3 in my future.
I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of questions to be answered. I need to figure out some things about myself. But the one thing that I did do was take the fact that I had a really painful time out there, and block it out to have an enjoyable time. And really, that's what I was there for in the first place.

Splits:
Swim: 44:48 (37:20)
T1:3:04
Bike: 3:12:04 (17.5 mph)
T2: 4:50 (ugh)
Run: 2:26:22 (11:11mph, my slowest ever)
Total: 6:31:08

Snooze
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Re: Timberman 70.3 Race Report

Post  Chopper Reid on Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:30 pm

Couldn't wait to hear you're report. I hope to join the ranks of "half" an ironman myself next season! Even in the sprint distance races I do, I'm not sure the thought of "why in the hell am I doing this" doesn't cross my mind at some point (usually during the swim), but seeing the finish line in the distance and crossing it seems to make it all worth it. Congratulations to you both.
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Re: Timberman 70.3 Race Report

Post  Heartbomb08 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:41 pm

While I'm sure you didn't feel this way while running/walking/stopping/stretching/running, it must be a gratifying feeling to know that once over, the first one is behind you. Your story is a great reminder to, as you say, 'take in' all of the experiences along the journey. Also, to remember that the journey is, for me anyway, a large part of why we chose to do it.

Congratulations Brian and Becca!!!
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Re: Timberman 70.3 Race Report

Post  monkey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:04 pm

I think I just got a little verklempt too!! Talk amongst yourselves. Congrat Brian and Becca. That's a huge accomplishment.
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