Wednesday, July 22, 2015

IMUK Recap

19 Jul 2015-

IRONMAN UK, the race that we have been targeting from the beginning of the year.  Everything else along the way was just to get me to the start line on Sunday in Bolton.  I have been training consistently and seeing progress since the end of last season, and had been extremely happy with where things were headed.  I was excited to race Bolton and see if the work was going to pay off.

The start list came out 10 days before the race and only had 14 guys on it, with quite a few top athletes.  As the race got closer, some pulled out of the race and when race day came, we were down to 11 guys on the start line.  I had done my research and knew who I was lining up against, and thought I had a good chance at a good day, if I executed my race plan.

The weather was predicted to be pretty bad with rain and wind, but I wasn't surprised, as this seems to be the norm on race days in the UK.
Pre-Race with the wifey.  Trooper for her to chase me around the course in the pouring rain!

Swim- 57:06

I knew my best bet for the swim would be to try and get on Victor DelCorral's feet or attempt to swim with Joe Skipper.  Last time I tried to swim with Victor was at Ocean Lava, and I believe he out-swam me by 3 mins over 3 km, so I wasn’t sure how the plan was going to play out.  I lined up next to Victor on my right and Joe was a few guys over on the left.  When the gun went off, Victor went a bit right and what I thought was off course, so I ended up swimming towards Joe and hoping to get on his feet.  After about 400 m, things got spread out and Victor made his way over to us and I ended up sitting on his feet, trailing Joe for the whole first loop.  Starting the 2nd lap, Victor went to the front and I ended up on Joe's feet. 

Then, halfway through the 2nd lap, we started getting into the congestion of the Age Groupers.  This is where a gap opened up and I lost contact with them.  Over the next 900 m, they managed to put 1 minute into me, which I was a bit unhappy about looking back afterwards, but overall I was really happy with my swim.  I came out of the water 9th, which wasn't great but my swim time and where I was relative to Joe and Victor was a step in the right direction.  It would have been nice to come out of the water with them and attempt to ride with them.

Bike- 5:14:43

By the time I got out on the bike, the rain started coming down really hard.  I had pre-ridden the course 3 weeks back, so I knew the course pretty well.  I was a bit hesitant for the first 1.5 hours, as the rain was coming down and I didn't want to crash through one of the many corners.  The rain stopped 1.5 hours into the ride, and I started riding a bit more aggressively then.  I got into a groove and started making my way up through the field.  I got passed early on and moved back to 10th, but then after about 40 miles, I slowly started passing guys.

The second loop of the bike was congested, but not too bad.  With about 10 miles to go I moved into 6th position, but could not drop the guy, so pulled into T2 with him just a few seconds behind.

I was most impressed with the spectators on the bike course.  Unbelievable to see so many people out there supporting the athletes considering the early morning conditions.  There were a few sections that were very similar to the TdF, with the roads lined with spectators on both sides of the road.  The only other time I experienced anything like it was when I did Wiesbaden 70.3 in Germany back in 2009.

Run- 3:09:10

As we ran out of T2, I got passed and was back to 7th.  I held back the first 10 km and really tried hard not to "chase" the guy in front of me.  I stuck to my plan and slowly pulled him back in.  The course was a looped course, but first you had to get to the loop via a point-to-point route that was about 8 miles.  Around mile 12, I made the pass for 6th.

I stayed in a good rhythm and just kept putting time into the 7th place guy.  I started to struggle around mile 20 and the guy that was back in 8th moved into 7th.  At the start of the last lap, I had a 4 min gap on him.  At the last U-turn he passed me, that was around mile 23.  I immediately found an extra gear and passed him right back.  It was all downhill to the finish, other than one small incline that was 1/2 block long and about 10% grade.  I slowly opened up a gap but then he sat back around 15-25 feet for 2.5 miles.  At that last steep pitch, about 1/2 mile out, I put in a surge, hoping that it would open up a bigger gap.  I really didn’t want to go to the line having to sprint with this guy.  There were AG'ers on the course, and I didn't want to have to navigate them in the final meters as the finish chute was quite technical with a U-turn about 75 m from the finish. 
Luckily that last surge was all it took and I think that deflated him.  I told myself when he passed me that I wasn't going to give up and quit after executing a great 138 miles.  So I dug deep and found those extra gears.

Swim- 57:06
Total- 9:27:56 / 6th Pro

Overall, I am really happy with how the race went.  I fell like I executed the race plan all the way up until mile 20 of the run.  Still learning how to race the IM distance, but I think I am almost there on being to race the whole 140.6 miles.

Next up will be some recovery time and then some traveling with my wife on a cruise to Scotland, Iceland and Norway.  Then, after the down time I am going to build back up and prepare for another IM in November.  Hopefully a few 70.3s along the way.

Thanks again to everyone for their continued support!  You can view all of my sponsors HERE and get special discounts from a few of them as well!

Race Day Nutrition- 
1 Banana
2 cups of Starbucks Instant Oatmeal
1 Bottle of Osmo Pre Load (also one night before)
1 Bottle of Osmo Hydration

2x Concentrated Bottles (consumed 1 first 2 hours, second one between mile 70 and 100.  Second bottle has Caffeine from EFS Shot, Perpetum Latte, and Hammer Espresso Gel)
-- 4 Scoops of Hammer Perpetum, 2 Hammer Gels, 4oz of EFS Liquid Shot.  Approx 1000 calories.
1/2 Pack of PowerBar Gel Blast (Cola Flavor)
2x H2Pro Hydration (1000mg of Sodium)
1/2 Bottle of Gatorade Endurance

2x Pack of PowerBar Gel Blast (Cola Flavor)
1 stick of Base Salt
8x Cups of Pepsi
8x Cups of Water

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