Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009 Hits a WALL!!!!(Literally)


Well I know it has taken extra long compared to normal to update the blog post race. There is a good reason for it and I am sorry it has taken so long.

So race morning was a typical race morning. I was up bright and early at 0430. Morning went well, took care of the biggest fear on race day, the morning business. Ate my 2 instant packs of oatmeal, banana and the un-routine cup of coffee. The bag was already packed and luckily the hotel was only 1/2 mile from the bus pickup to take everyone to the swim start and T1.

So out the door I went and I arrived at the bus stop with a bunch of other athletes. Ended up sitting across from 2 other Americans, so that was nice to have someone to talk to in the early morning that was from the US. Come to find out there was only 13 of us that raced, 30 were signed up for the race. I think that is a good sign of how bad of shape our economy is in.

So I got to T1 pretty early and had plenty of time to get everything set up. Started sipping on the pre-race bottle of HAMMER HEED and began the days hydration process. My swim start was not till 835 so I had a lot of time to walk around. Ended up running into 2 other AF people and had a morning talk with them and wished them luck. Eventually had to take care of the morning business one more time and felt really good that everything was out of my system from Carb dinner #2 from the night before.

Swim- It was a good swim course in the shape of a rectangle and was just a 1 lap swim course. The only different part was that it was a in water start about 100 meters from the shore. So we swam out there and had to tread water for about 5 mins, well really just float in the wetsuit. The start was pretty good and I did not get swam over that much. I quickly found some feet and stuck to them for about the first 800M. I ended up losing those feet and drafting partner and right after the turn picked up on someone's feet and stuck to them for the rest of the swim. I have been working on drafting these past couple races and have slowly felt better and more confident doing it. Now I just need to work on finding the right set of feet that are just a little bit faster that me so it can make a difference. I came out of the water and the announcer acknowledged me and that I was in the USAF, so that was cool to hear and motivated me. Came out of the water in 33:21 which was an improvement from China so that was good to know.

T1- It was a long run from the swim exit to T1 so that was what took the most time. I felt really fast going through it though and as always it helped already having my shoes clipped in. So as you can see in the picture below I have not got my shoes on yet as this was my photo exiting T1. 3:09 was my official T1 time.

Bike- AMAZING!!! This course is the most difficult course I have ridden to date. I remember thinking a few times if the climbs would ever end. I would come around one corner and go "WOW I thought the climb was over", then I would just find the road still going up. So I was feeling really good on the bike and my nutrition plan was working wonderful. The downhills were really fast and really fun, making up for my average speed of climbing all the hills. So at mile 45 is when the day took a turn for the worst. In the pre-race briefing they had told us that they would have flaggers at the corners that were going to be bad and that we would need to slow down for. We had already went through a few of these corners and I took them extra safe as I knew a crash could possibly end my day. Well coming down through one of the villages I slowed for a corner where the flagger was and then proceeded on. About 1K down the road I got to a section on a descent that was really really bumpy. It just so happened that it was through the corner and instead of my tires having traction and being able to corner at 20-25mph they started wheel hopping. So I had no traction and was headed straight for a curb/wall. So I tried to hop the curb to avoid going down but my front tire clipped the curb and took me down. Luckily the only damage the bike took on was a flat front tire and minimal scrapes on the rear derailleur and front brake lever. Now my body on the other hand took quite a beating. I had road rash on my hands, hip, buttocks, elbow, and shoulder. At the time I did not know it but a bone in my right arm was broken as well. So once the medics took care of me and bandaged me all up I fixed my flat and was off on the course again. I was light headed and a little nausea's so I sat around for a few minutes to get everything under control. But lone and behold right after the corner I wrecked on was the biggest hill on the course at 10% grade for about 1km. So after be off the bike for about 30mins the legs had other thoughts about riding a bike and decided it was time to cramp up. So going up a 10% grade hill all bloody and scrapped was some American guy, going 2.5-3mph looking all beat up and in pain. Yes that was the speed I was doing as I remember looking down several times. Luckily after this last climb there was only 2 more rolling hills and the rest was a beautiful downhill section into down. For me it was taken very cautiously and slow as I did not know how bad of shape the bike was in. So once into town the real fun began..........

T2- Well knowing that my "race" was over I took my sweet time looking for my bag and changing. I got everything out and started getting everything on. I get to snapping my watch into its holder (it comes off the bike and has to snap into a thing on my wrist), and this is where I am humbled. Here I am 23 years young in great shape have been training for this for quite sometime and I can't even do a simple task like snap a watch into its holder???? So that is the point where I knew something was wrong with my arm. So trying to get a non-speaking triathlete to snap my watch in took sometime but eventually we got it figured out. So THANK YOU to whoever that guy was who took some extra time in T2 with me so I could have my watch on the run.

Run- Now you are all thinking what in the world are you doing running 13.1 miles with a broken arm. Well I did not travel to Germany to race and not finish. Crap they make you finish here to get the shirt and of course the medal. So I did not travel all this way to not get a shirt or medal and I am not a quitter. So off onto the run, it was a 4 lap course which had a lot of spectators and athletes on it. Its hard to fit 2,000 athletes on a 5K run course so it was quite crowded towards the end. The great thing about it being 4 loops is I was able to see a lot of fans and here the word "schiezer" (O SHIT, in German) about 1,000 times. I would hear it from the fans, the people I passed and the people that passed me. So they were all going "schiezer" about how pitiful I looked running. So after the 1st lap I got some motivation to actually run and stop messing around. I started picking up the pace and realized my legs felt quite well. Long story short I ran a 1:43:48 1/2 marathon w/ a broken right arm. Painful...........YES...........Best pain medicine.........ADRENALINE!!!!

Final Numbers:

Swim- 33:21 31st/94 AG
T1- 3:09 26th/94 AG
Bike- 3:07:42 53rd/94 AG (Was on pace to go 2:38-2:40)
T2- 3:26 85th/94 AG
Run- 1:43:48 24th/94 AG
(Legs were feeling good on the run I just wasn't there mentally. I think I had a sub 1:35 run in me)
Total- 5:31:27 412th/2052 Overall

So all in all this was a great race. I learned a lot from this and have proven to myself that it is going to take a lot to stop me from finishing. All though this recovery process is going to take a lot out of me mentally and physically I feel I will overcome the side affects of it and come to Clearwater ready to race. I may be under trained but I will show up with a well rested body ready to go Sub 5 hours as that was my goal for this year.

The recovery process as of right now is scheduled to take 4 weeks before I can run/bike again outside and 6 weeks out of the pool. So the pool will be the biggest set back as I can still train on the treadmill and trainer for the run/bike. I have a follow up on Monday to find out if surgery will be needed but as of the Monday after the race surgery will not be needed.

I have a lot of people to say THANK for this past week. I will start with most importantly SHAUNA and LUCY!!!! Without you guys the days after the race would have been miserable and I would not have had a smile on my face. Along with all the pre-race support and accommodations you guys have given. Lucy can always find a way to make me smile. Next would be my Family, you guys are always there supporting me whenever things go good or bad. All of the friends who followed the race and congratulated me on an embarrassing 5:31, even though you didnt know about the accident. The whole BBBC crew, old Osan Alumni and the new Turkey riders that followed the race. To Amanda for whipping my butt in the pool the last day and letting some random guy "draft" on some hard 100's. To Frank for letting me ask endless amounts of questions and giving me advice for the taper and race. To everyone else out there that I may have forgot that randomly follows my blog or on Facebook. THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE!!

Below are some pics from the pre-race and event.

Headed from the hotel to the Bus

T1 was a huge grass field
The bike all setup in T1Coming out of the water and starting the running stripper ;)Out of T1 without the feet in the shoes yet......
Climbing up "THE HAMMER", trying to fight of cramps and not fall over, this was right after the crash.Checking my pace making sure I am doing alright. Also checking to make sure the Tylenol didn't mess with my Heart Rate.
Coming down the finishing chute all bloody......
Would of looked a lot better with a Sub 5 hour time up there.
Myself and Shauna with my "acquired" signPhhhheewwwww.......My legs are fine and not scraped up ;)
All the above pics are in the hospital. I had to keep Shauna entertained for the 12 hours we were in the ER so some of them I was messing around. I was not on medication in any of them and was in some pain. Still found a way to keep smiling and make it through the night....

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