Monday, August 21, 2006

Training Log Entry #68: There's a lesson in here somewhere

If you've read my posting "Bad Karma", you'll know how my race went, so I thought I'd just add in a few details pertaining to things few people would find interesting.

I opted to ride the race at a low cadence and in big gears (instead of my usual higher cadence) to see if I could eliminate the hamstring cramps I usually suffer on the run. Between that and making an effort to get out of the saddle for a minute or two every ten miles or so, the legs were really good for the run. While I understand there is no such thing as an "easy 1/2 Ironman," this race was about as easy as it could get for me. Specifically my legs got better as the run wore on, not worse. While overall my times were slowing, they were not slowing as significantly as others. I repassed most of the people who passed me during the first loop, and did so with authority. I began suffering legs cramps on one particularly nasty climb on the first loop, so I upped my fluid and electrolyte intake significantly and altered my running stride a bit to run more from my hips. The result was the elimination of any cramping by the second loop.

This detail is significant because it showed me that one of the changes that has occured physiologically in me, is the ability to rapidly absorb nutrition while exerting myself. Most newbies suffer the "sloshing belly" during long events. What happens is that during periods of high stress and exertion, the body stops absorbing nutrition altogether until you slow down. Overcoming this situation bodes well for any future Ironman attempts.

I knew I was on a special day when I saw my "replacement" on FastSplits, a person who had passed me at mile 10 on the bike, appear in my sites with two miles to go in the race. I stalked him with a purpose and passed him in a manner that left no question about his even attempting to hang with me. I even fought out a sprint with a young pup who had smoked passed me on the first loop, and then run out of gas. He had a number of fans cheering for him, but like a good competitor, I got right on his heels and lined him up for the sprint. He tried to go and over that last quarter I crushed the poor lad. Great days don't come around that often, so I was showing no mercy today.

So I'm headed to the 1/2 Ironman World Championships in November and damn excited...and only one person at work even knows! (see "Quietly off to the races")

The numbers:

1.2 miles(swim)/56 miles(bike)/13.1 miles(run) --> Also, 10 miles bike ridden in warm-up on Sat.

Terrain: Water/Asphalt/Mud/Grass/more Water....

# of Runs: 68
YTD Mileage: 579.37
MTG (Miles to Goal): 420.63
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.52

YTD Mileage: 699.50
# of Rides: 28
M/RD: 25