After the last big training block I took Monday and Tuesday totally off. I sat on the couch in a fog for 48hrs and caught up on some work stuff. Minus a short trip to the mall for Courtney to grab some new pants. As soon as we walked into the store, I found the “man” section (also know as the chairs in the back of the store) and promptly feel asleep.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful just some easy training to get the body back to being right.
I traveled down to the Woodlands on Sunday May 5th to do the final 10 or training days in hot and humid conditions.
What we got for weather was anything but hot and humid. I had to wear a Pearl Izumi thermal long sleeve shirt underneath a long sleeve cycling jersey just to be able to sweat. There were days I even ran with that same thermal shirt on!
Fast forward to race day where it was forecasted to be just plain nasty.
Race morning came and I did the usual pre IM routine. Dropped off my bags and got the bike ready to go.
At the swim start I was sitting on the curb and Mike Riley is on the PA saying “All pros should be in the water” he said it about 5 times before I realized “oh Sh$t, that’s means ME” Once in the water, I got in a nice little warm up and was ready to swim 2.4 miles solo. The gun went off, and I went bananas to stay at the back of the massive group that took off. I don’t know the pace we were swimming, but I know I set a few PR’s. I was beyond pumped not to be dropped after 100 yards. I was at the back of the second group until about 200 yards before the turn when I caught an ankle to the face. I was promptly dropped and set out alone to finish the swim
Here is where things started going south. I knew within about 5 mins on the bike that my day was over. Power was very low and HR was sky high. I pushed on for maybe 45 mins to see how things would settle down. After that I started to shut down the power to try and get my HR under control. I had no choice. There are only two reasons why race fueling goes bad. Heat and intensity. I already had the heat so I dialed back the intensity to try and get my stomach to come around. Nothing was working. If I drank a lot or a little it was the same. So I went with “drink a lot” as I knew it was the only way I’d finish the day. By mile 60 I was seeing spots and dizzy spells would randomly come and go. The rest of the bike was simply about finishing.
The “run” started as you’d expect. Pick a pace that was easy, didn’t add any additional heat or intensity stress and see how it played out. Well…I got to mile 9 before all the dizzy spells and spots showed back up. After that it was run when I could and walk when I couldn’t see straight.
Not finishing the race never even crossed my mind.
Why would I quit? My legs still worked. I wasn’t doing any damage to myself or my legs by walking. It’s sad to me that when I would go by “age groupers” (hate using that term. Makes me feel like I am talking bad about someone) and they’d say “thanks for sticking it out” or “glad you stuck it out with us”
Hell ya I’m out here. Because there is a “P” on my left leg people just automatically assume if the day goes bad, I’m dropping out. To “save” my legs for the next day because that’s the excuse pros give a lot of the time. “Save your legs” for what? Lets be realistic for a minute. When you have the training and fitness to run mid 2:50’s off the bike and you’re walking there is little to no stress on the legs. Unless medical staff pulls me off the course, my ass is crossing the finish line. I’m no different then any “age grouper” – my first and only goal on the day is to finish as fast as I possible can whether that means winning the race or walking / running the marathon, I’m going to finish.
So whats the lesson to be learned when you do everything right in training and on race day and it still goes bad?
Forget it and move on.
Ill be in Lake Placid in 9 weeks ready to go again.
Thanks to everyone who helped me START my first pro race without a hitch.