Monday, June 13, 2011

Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Yesterday I did Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge Maryland. It was my first shot at racing a Half-Iron distance triathlon. I felt more like I completed the race than really competed in the race but it was an experience and I know what to expect for my future 70.3 distance races. I finished in under 7 hours just hitting 6:59:13 although i had no idea that was the case while i was out there racing. My wave went off in the middle of the race and it was also my first time in a race with this many participants. Of course you have to get there and get setup and then just wait for a long time before your wave goes off. I didn't have any problems getting setup. I was actually getting hungry waiting to go. I had a banana and coconut water for breakfast. I was going to have a clif bar but i had no appetite to eat it until it was time to start and then I was afraid to eat something like that right before going into the water. It was an in water start with alot of waiting again as the waves were about 10 minutes apart. Finally the horn sounded and we were off. the water temp was 82 degrees so the race was not wetsuit legal. Normally I don't care but this particular race it would have been nice to have a wetsuit because the water is choppy and your fighting the current. let's just say the choptank river is appropriately named. I know I swam way too wide on the entire swim course. I was having trouble sighting the buoys. I felt like they were small and hard to see.  We had to keep them on our right and I was always way to the left of them. Im sure that didn't help my swim time. I got caught by some men from the wave behind us towards the second turn buoy. i got kicked pretty good a few times. I also caught the slower swimmers from the wave ahead of us. I just feel like I was in the water for a long time. My swim time was 48:06. I had no problems in transition either although I had more gear to put on this time than usual with my knee brace. I also normally wear my race belt because it is under my wetsuit but i choose to keep it off this time. Had to get my garmin going too. So i was off to the bike course. Eagleman has a rep for being a windy bike course because it is very flat and there is nothing to block the wind. was there wind yes. But for the most part over the entire course there were only a few spots were you felt like you were pushing into the headwind. It never was obscenely windy. The wind was almost kinda nice because it kept you a little cooler. The first ten miles of the bike course I didnt feel well. The second ten I didn't feel much better either. I can't really say exactly what the problem was. My legs didn't feel like they wanted to go any faster than we were moving. It felt like I was getting passed by lots of people and that wasn't making me feel much better either. BUt I kept moving and hoping that it was change a bit and it did. For the most part the next 25 miles on the bike were the best for me. Now from the results on my garmin i was pretty much averaging about 3:30 miles but I wasn't pushing hard. My HR was not up where it should have been for racing. I've heard the bike course is scenic. I saw nothing but the pavement in front of my aerobars so i really have no idea where it was. I did occasionally come up to stretch out my neck a bit. But overall i stayed aero when possible and I was following my fueling strategy to the letter.  The last ten miles of the bike I really needed to pee but I couldnt find myself able to do it which was weird because i've done it before.  The last 5 miles of the bike I was getting really uncomfortable I was going to be happy to just get off the bike and be able to pee.  bike time was 3:23.  Again no issues in transition except I was looking for a place to pee didnt see any so started on the run since I knew they had potties out there. I didn't ride my bike hard enough because my legs didnt even seem to have that brick feeling. I don't know what my problem was. Was the iron distance a mental thing for me? was I holding back afraid to go too hard with so much racing left to do I don't really know. I do know I can def swim bike and run faster than I did yesterday and that these times will improve in my future races. I did the half-marathon at the end in 2:42 minutes. Pretty much with an even split time wise for the first 10k and the second 10k. I never really crashed out. I just kept clipping along at a slow pace. When I found the first porta potty after a mile there was a line for it and i refused to stand there and wait. So i kept running. That became annoying so I just decided to pee on the side of the road. Then I felt much better :) The biggest story of the run was the heat. There is no shade on the course and it is just warm the whole way. At every aid station I would grab my soda and water. drink both of them and then throw all the ice down my shirt. If i could I would even grab a cup of ice and put that down my shirt too. The best part about tri tops are they are tight enough to hold the ice against your skin. You could hear it bouncing around in my shirt as I ran. I am not sure if it really kept my any cooler although you would think that it would have to. It kept my tri suit wet. My socks and sneakers also got wet so I got blisters on my feet which didn't help the running. I got a little bit of chaffing and sunburn on my face and shoulders because my products must have worn off. my t1 time was 2 minutes and my t2 time was 3 minutes. I don't know what I was doing that long! After the race I was tired and my feet hurt mostly from the blisters. My knee was also sore. 70 miles tends not to heal injuries but I wanted to do this race. I was pretty happy to actually find vegan friendly options at the post race food.  Nothing tasted really good to me but I was able to get some food down. I really needed a shower and get out of my wet clothes so I didn't hang around the race.  Once I got cleaned up and ate some tofu and veggie I felt much better.  I've got some soreness this morning but mostly it is my knee and lower legs that hurt. Everything else seems fine. I was able to sleep last night which I am happy about. I haven't had caffeine in years as it usually really bothers me so i was a little concerned with drinking the soda on the race course. But honestly with the state that I was in at that point the soda probably helped. I was pretty tired coming off the bike and heading out on the run. I probably could have just started crying as I didn't have a lot of desire to go out and run a half marathon at that point. But never being one to quit of course I was going to do it. All of the people cheering were kinda playing on my emotions at that point and I really needed to disassociate from it and stay in my own head.  Sounds weird I know they were trying to help. The biggest help was probably the people playing music outside on the run course.  that always got me going a bit especially since they were songs i liked. I wish you could use IPODS on the run course! There were a few times in the race on both the bike and run where I was gasping for breathe. This has happened to me a few times before and it wasn't effort related. I don't know if i am developing asthma. I already have lots of allergy issues. Or if it is more of an emotional response.  I felt it after I finished too.  But mostly there I was just tired. The race was very well run. the only negative thing I could say was at the finish no one gave you any water. you had to wait in line to get your towel and medal and picture taken then walk through the food line and there was still no water. After you got your food they say water was located somewhere else. I just didn't have the energy to go get it. In a race where peopel are going to go down for dehydration probably not the best idea to have them searching for water. My hydration was actually pretty good. I was able to pee right after the race and when i got back to the hotel.  So the nutri/hydra plans were the success story of the day. The best part of this race is all of the courses are one loop.  It feels good to have this one under the belt. Im sure it will give me confidence in future races. Today I'll travel back home and get on with recovery this week. The next big thing on the schedule is heading up to lake placid to train this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Great all around job Mary Stella. Nice perserverance under trials!