Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Troika Half Ironman

When I signed Shane & I up for this race, I thought it was perfect timing. A few weeks after we got to CDA, then we could spend the rest of our summer just having fun, not on a schedule. We only had about 8 weeks to prep - So I created a modified schedule to get us to race day. I used some old schedules from a Mark Allen training plan, but had to cut down the mileage because we didn't have time to build up to them. We also had a goal of trying to do more tempo/speed vs slow long.

That plan worked for a while. We were working hard, seeing results and having a LOT of fun.

And then the travels began. We were able to keep up our running, but the biking mileage and swimming took a huge dip. The last few training rides here I felt like crap. Sluggish & tired around the 2hour mark. I kept telling myself it was just from the travel & racing, etc.... but deep down I knew we just didn't get in enough long rides. In fact, our last long ride (3hrs) was on June 27th. The one before that..... was the a month before that in May - right before my bonk where I took almost 2 weeks of rest....

After this race Shane & I both decided it's really just not worth it to do such a long race without being properly trained. Now, every one's body acts differently, but I've been doing endurance stuff long enough to know that my body NEEDS the extra distance. In a marathon training, I can not get by by just doing 16 or 18 miles. I absolutely need at least 1 20miler. If you look at my logged hours of training overall, they are high. But, they just weren't at the right time for this race. After my last 3hour ride over a month ago, my weekly bike miles were around 70miles per week avg. I only had one week that totalled 100miles, and that was in June.

My swimming also took a plunge - I usually swim masters 2-3 times per week, logging 6-9k yards per week. In the last month my swimming dropped to 2 times per week & only about 4000yards. And, let me tell you I felt it out there!

All that said and done - I still had a GREAT time at the race! My times were as well as could be expected on the training that I did. I had the biggest improvement in my run split, which is where a lot of my focus has been in the last year without my IT band killing me. That made me VERY happy.

The swim was a typical swim for me, except for the first time ever I ran out of fuel. I was just tired. My lack of time in the pool in the last month was noticed big time on the last stretch in.. This is usually where I hit my stride. Normally I would have a big goal of doing what I can do in the pool (for time) and hoping for around 32-33mins. However, based on how I felt swimming in open water the last couple weeks, My goal was about a 34mins.

The swim was quiet - the men took off 5mins before the women so we didn't have all the chaos. It was a beach start & everyone was spread out pretty wide, then shot together into a V. I had a lot of space in the entire swim, but not a lot of draft.

Official swim time: 35:11 - I thought it was 36mins on my watch, so not sure where that extra time came from.

T-1. My goal was to redeem my 2:43 t-1 transition from my SPRINT. I wanted to be out of there in 2:20. The only sticker was that you had to get all of your stuff into a bag that would be brought to the finish. I sat down as soon as I got to my bike to get the wetsuit off. It stuck a little on my calves, but I had my chip under the suit this time so it came off much better. I was on my bike fairly quick.

Unfortunately as soon as I got on my bike my chip was coming off so I had to stop, pull over & fix the strap. I was back up on my bike & my gatorade bottle flew out, so again I had to turn around get the bottle & start all over. I wasn't sure if the extra time was included in T-1, or the bike because I never hit a lap on my garmin. After seeing the results it was on the bike time, not my T-1

Official T-1 time: 2:17

The bike. I pretty much said it all above - I didn't have enough miles under my belt. Period. I knew it, I couldn't change anything. It was what it was. That said, I looked at the bike profile, and my ability and came up with a goal of 2:50. My first half IM time was 2:57, 19mph. It was on the Soma course, which in my opinion doesn't compare to any other race I've seen. It's flat and FAST. On the profile it looked like you got a good downhill portion for about 15miles from 30-45. It wasn't so much the case. There were some downs, but they included ups as well.

The first part of the bike miles 1-16 were FAST. Slight up, slight down. My avg at that time was 21.3mph. It was FUN. I rode a lot with Spokane Al - what a rock star. Of course around mile 20 he took off & I never saw him again until the run.

I really struggled on the bike. I just had nothing. I sat about 100 yards behind a girl in my ag for about 20miles. I just didn't have it in me to try to pass her. All I was looking forward to was mile 30 when I though that the downhill stuff was going to start. I was lightheaded, and sluggish.

Then, right around mile 30ish I got a HUGE boost. I heard my name being cheered, and looked over and it was Jessi - the local tri superstar in the PNW! Not knowing anyone else out there, it was such a good kick in the pants I was able to pass the girl in my Age group on a hill. Thanks Jessi!

My momentum lasted a while, but not all that long. I kept watching my avg speed decrease. I was doing all I could to not let my avg get under 19mph. I felt a little defeated, but at least I didn't get passed by anyone in my AG! :-) And, actually didn't really get passed at all - besides a couple of men and one girl at the beginning. All in all I was just not comfortable on the bike - my back hurt, my neck hurt.... again, just lack of saddle time.

Nutrition was ok - I hadn't done enough long rides to practice so I had to wing it. I struggled with the gatorade so eventually threw it out. I tried to do 100cals (Gu blasts) per hour, but struggled so it ended up being more like 40mins. I did a total of 4 servings - 400cals, plus 1 gel - 500cals total. I did 2 thermolytes every 45mins (total of 6) and 1 tylenol every time I took the salt. I really think the tylenol helped me out on the run.

Official bike time 2:57:46. I was not happy about this at all, based on the times I saw from previous years, however looking at the official results today - EVERYONE was a lot slower.

T-2 - :32

BEST T-2 EVA! I had actually practiced taking my feet out of my shoes on the bike, but by the time I got to transition, I completely forgot! They had volunteers standing there waiting for you to take your bikes, shoes, helmet, whatever. I was a little confused, but just did what I was told.
Then, a second volunteer called me over and handed me my bag of stuff. Visor, shoes & bag of gels & salt.

My legs immediately felt great doing something other than being on my bike. My stomach was upset a little, bloated and FULL, so I knew it would be a struggle. My goal was to stay around a 9min pace. I was hovering around a 9:10-9:15, but then I would stop at the aid stations. I was SOOO thirsty. I took 2 wet sponges & put them on my shoulders every station. I also drank 1-2 FULL glasses of ice water. It wasn't crazy hot (for me), but I knew my best shot at hanging in there was to keep myself wet & cool.

I really started to see people dwindle. Walk, stretch, cramp. I tried to get anyone I passed to come & stick with me... just trying to give them a little boost. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't....

At the turnaround my watch said 1:04. I'm not sure if that included the Transition or not? I was really starting to fade, so I went through all the aid stations and walked like they were Ironman. I ate a couple of oranges, but mostly just wanted ICE water. I was able to run in the 8's as soon as I got water, but I lost all the time I made up walking through the aid stations.

What I was most shocked seeing was all the people walking on the way OUT to the turnaround. I think the heat just really took a toll on people from the area. It was 90-95 with only partial shade on the run. Tough conditions when you are not used to them.

In the last mile stretch I saw Jessi again - and she gave me another big boost. I was starting to get a blister on my left foot so everything was getting uncomfortable. The finish had a short little uphill stretch, but my friends (Hoch family) were all there, as well as Shane to cheer me in.

Of course I had to crack a little joke and say "One too many lemon drops!"

Official run time: 2:06:44. With all the walking thru aid stations I did. I will TAKE it.!
Total nutrition on the run. 2 gels, 2 salt tabs & lots and lots of water...

Official time: 5:42:27 - a 23min PR!

After seeing the official results I'm a lot more happy. I came in 15/69 overall. The top 3 girls in my age group were 3,4,5 overall. They smoked me!

It was a great race, beautiful course, best volunteers ever. I would do it again in a heartbeat, just with more miles under my belt on the bike!


Spokane Al said...

Congratulations Krista. It was great seeing you out there all day.

And yes, it was way too toasty on the run for us locals.

And congrats on a PR!

SWTrigal said...

WOW Krista-
Great time!!
You did great..

jessithompson said...

Congrats on an excellent PR! It was fun to see you out there and I'm so glad I was able to recognize you from blogland! ;) WAY TO GO, LADY!

Judi said...