Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Post Race China

23 Apr 09-

I really don't even know where to start this post race report so I am going to try and back it up and start it from Sunday morning. I will warn you now that there will be some graphic photos at the end that if you have a weak stomach make sure you watch for the WARNING before looking all the way down. 0500

19 Apr-

Woke up bright and early and made a few phone calls home. Sat there and ate 4 instant packs of oatmeal and drank a completely disgusting cup of coffee. The best part of the morning and the thing I was most worried about got taken care of, the bathroom.........That could hurt your race time by upwards of 5 minutes if you cant take care of business before race start. Then got everything packed up and checked over to make sure I was not missing anything. Sat around the room and just relaxed until 0640.

Once on the bus headed for the transition area we were able to see all the Ironman athletes lining up on the beach and getting ready for there 0700 race start. We arrived and were able to watch the start of the race and notice how strong the current was compared to other days and I knew I was going to have to sight really well to make sure I made all the buoys. Once the Pros came out of the water I went over and got the bike setup and all of my fluids filled. Our race did not start till 0900 so once everything was completed I went and found some shade and relaxed for awhile. Around 0815 started to put on the dreaded wet suit. After that I went down to the water and got in a quick warm up swim and then headed to the beach for the start.

Swim- Talk about having to aim so far right of the buoy's and then still missing them. That's how strong the current was, luckily I only miss judged the first buoy by about 5ft and had to swim upstream for that minimal of a distance. Was I noticed how strong the current was, I realized I would not push to hard on the swim as it could possibly ruin my day. Down the backstretch with the current to my back I found someone to draft off of and stayed on there feet for about 400M and conserved a lot of energy for the dreaded up current swim that would soon be coming. This is where I had to use quite a bit of energy or else I would have just been looking at the same building off in the distance when I breathed for quite some time. It was the craziest thing every couple strokes I would look up and it seemed like I only would have moved 5ft. This up stream section probably took me 20mins and was one of the shorter sections of the swim. I ended up coming out of the water right at 35:05, 5 secs slower then my goal but it was a hard swim so I was fine with that. I was 54th out of the water which I did not mind because that would give me a lot of people to pass on the bike. Below is a picture of the swim course and you can see what I am talking about.


T1(transition from the swim to bike)- Went really well and slipped out of the wetsuit quite quickly. Once I got to the bike I checked the competition and realized I was 2nd out of the water and did not know how much time I was back.

Bike-

Once on the bike my legs felt great and I took off. I started passing people left and right. I hit the first aid station and my aero bottle still had quite a bit in it so I realized I needed to start drinking more. By mile 12 I had caught the other guy in my age group and was still feeling good. At the second aid station I road through and got a water bottle to mix with my cytomax special mix and was on bottle 2. I kept on going through the course and was feeling really well. By mile 45 I had caught the female pro that was in the field and I knew I was having a good day on the bike at that point. A majority of the course was on the main highway which was freshly paved but at mile 45 is right when we hit the village which had a pretty bumpy road. For those 4 miles I sat up out of the aero position and just kept my cadence up. Once out of the town I was back at it and felt really strong. Now here is where I started to get confused. Mile 50 or 51 my right leg started cramping; my legs have never cramped on the bike. So this is when I knew the heat was getting to me and I could be in some trouble on the run. I took 2 extra salt tablets and drank quite a bit more for the next 20 minutes. I ended up consuming 5 bottles of cytomax on the bike and took about 7 salt tablets. The cramps slowly went away and only came back when I went to get off the bike at T2. I hobbled into T2 trying to make sure I did not cramp. Below is a picture from my training software with a breakdown of my bike.

Click Picture to Enlarge


T2(transition from bike to run)- Went extremely well minus stepping in the mud pit that caked mud all between my left foot and toes. So I took some time in the tent and got all of that crap out of my foot and toes and then was on to the run. Also while in T2 the male pro from the full distance tent who ended up winning the race came into the tent and was putting on his running shoes at the same time.

Run-

Well this is where I started to fade due to the heat. Well it was not heat it was a scorching 113 degree's. I did not think it was that hot until later on when I realized how bad my sunburn was. I had put sunscreen on in the morning before the swim and once I got on the run course I layered myself in it hoping to keep the sun off of me and keep me cooler. Well that did not work out to well. I felt decent for the first 2 miles but it was just way to hot to be running. So for the first half of the run I would trot for a while then walk or walk for awhile then trot. I call it a trot because it was no where near a run. Now for the 2nd half of the run I thought to myself what are you doing stop walking and start running. Well I sucked it up and started trotting/running, every aid station I would get drenched with sponges of cool water and for about 3 minutes after that I could really run. After 3 minutes my body was back to being hot and would just slow way down. Below is a picture of my run breakdown along with mile times for every mile. This was by far my weakest run to date but everyone else had bad runs as well so I was pleased with a 2 hour half marathon.

Click Picture to Enlarge

Finish-

WOW, the one time in a race where I almost came to tears when I saw the finish line. It was so hard to hold it in but I manage to not let it out. I had put 19 weeks of solid training in for this and to be able to cross that finish line still in good shape felt great. They took me to the massage tent after the race and that was by far a great massage. After the massage and post race food we had a BBQ for all the 70.3 athletes. So I managed to get some food in my stomach then along with a well deserved beer so that was nice. It had been 20 weeks since I had drank a beer so that by far was one of the greatest tasting beers I have ever had.

The Final Stats-
Swim- 35:05/54th Overall/2nd Age Group
T1- 3:31
Bike- 2:33:57/7th Overall/1st Age Group
T2- 2:52
Run- 2:01:11/9th Overall/1st Age Group
Finish Time- 5:16:34
1st Place Age Group--QUALIFIED FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN CLEARWATER FL--
4th Amateur Overall
7th Place Overall Finisher
**NOTE- When results first came out I was 8th overall. When final results were posted someone was DQ'd ahead of me so that is why I moved up.**

Below are 2 links to some stories that were published online about the race:

http://ironman.com/events/ironman/china/mccormack-and-balding-claim-ironman-70.3-china-titles-kevin-mackinnon-recaps-the-exciting-day-of-racing

http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/McCormack_Balding_supreme_at_China_70.3__766.html

Post Race Recap-


Alright now to the fun stuff. Since it was 113 degrees out I received 2nd degree burns on my shoulders and back. We joked on Monday night that you could of fried eggs on the road out there. Well Tuesday when I got back home I had 2 sunny side eggs that had cooked on my back and decided to become blisters. These are the graphic photos that I was talking about so if you have a weak stomach they are posted at the bottom and you may not want to look.

This was by far the best race to date in my short triathlon career. I was overwhelmed by my performance and by all of the support I have received. Everyone back in Korea and the states that followed my race I appreciate it. To Kayla for sitting in your room and yelling "RUN BRAD RUN" at your computer, maybe that is the point where I started running and stopped walking.LOL. I still do not think it has set in how big this was and what I have accomplished. I just know it would not have been possible without everyone behind me and supporting me. To everyone that I have trained with here in Korea you guys have been great. Without having you to ride with or run with or go up to the pool with I don't know if I would of rolled out of bed on those early 0430 runs or 9am Sunday rides. Thanks again to all of you for your support.

Below are some pictures from the race:


The start of the Ironman Race

In transition area getting ready

Eric and myself getting ready. Eric was 11th Overall and had a bad day in the heat. Eric and I roomed together and he was my mentor and helped me out quite a bit with everything throughout the weekend. THANKS ERIC!!

Dreyfus and me, he was in my Age Group and we have connected on Facebook and will keep in touch. Triathlon is great for making new friends from all around the world. Dreyfus lives in Hong Kong.

Receiving my trophy. The stage was right next to the Ironman finish line so that was really cool.



You can tell how burnt I got in this pic. I think my Bryan Clauson Racing hat brings me luck, I have not missed a podium finish in my Age Group since I started wearing that thing!!!

An awesome pic of Jocelyn Wong, myself, Donna Phelan, and Tereza Macel. These girls are on Team TBB and are Pro Triathletes. Awesome people and they will all be at Wildflower as well.

WARNING DO NOT LOOK IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH!!!!!






4 comments:

EricM35-39 said...

awesome report Brad! You're as good of a writer as you are a triathlete :)

Great job at the race, and great job with your training and dedication. Very inspriring. You will do well at Wildflower.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad, it's nice to know that you got to travel to such a location that only a handfull of people can talk about. It's great that you got to go to China and meet some great people. It's been good knowing you and take care of yourself. Keep in touch.

Steve

Dad and Brenda said...

We are so proud of you. What an awesome finish and unforgettable experience for you.

Our Love Our Life said...

ouch!