Ironman 70.3 Austin
First of all I have to say that I loved Austin. People are very kind, there’s a lot of space, a lot of country roads and a food sizes are my kind, huge.
On race morning I woke up at 5am. That was 2h30’ before the start. Next Time I’ll wake up 30’ earlier and you’ll know why later. I had breakfast with 10 slices of white bread, sugar free jelly and 3 slices, provolone cheese, a large apple and a large cup of coffee. I calculate it was around 1000 calories. It was perfect.
The race start was at 7:30am and I head out from the hotel at 5:35am being very calmed because I was 15’ away from the race venue. What I didn’t expect was the huge traffic lane to get into the parking lot. It took me 45’ to get the car parked. Then went to the bathroom, left my T2 bag and hop on the bus that took us to T1. Once at T1 tried to organize it quickly, but it was already 7:15am, so I rushed through it and couldn’t get water for the aero drink. Putted on the wetsuit and ran to the start lane with no time to warm up.
Once there I tried to think of a plan B on the swim, as I wasn’t going to warm up and decided to start off with long, easy but solid strokes, picking up the pace while I felt better. That way I may loose only about 1 minute with the main group. When the gun went off I stuck to my plan, but after 100m I was in the pack and some guys were already dropped. I tried to stay there, but after 300m started to get dropped and it was so hard to hold the pace. In that moment I debated between slowing down to recover and staying at that pace. I felt the pace wasn’t too slow, so I hold it. At the middle of the swim, the first 2 women caught me. They started 2 minutes behind. I thought I could get on their feet, but it was impossible. Then around 200 meters to the end of the swim, two other women caught me and I did draft a little. The effort felt huge and I got out of the water in 28:30.
When I got out of the water and started running my heart rate must have been almost at 100%. I ran to my bike and got the wetsuit off. Then helmet, glasses and race number. I felt very clumsy and out of air. I thought my race was going to be terrible, but I just kept going and remind myself that it’s not over until you cross the finish line. It was a very slow transition.
After 5 minutes on the bike I recovered my breath and started feeling better. The watts were steady at 300 and it gave me more confidence. I said “If it’s going to be a bad day, I will go hard until it comes”. I started to pass the women after 10’ and after 30’ I passed who I thought was the first one. I think it was Sam Warriner or Nina Craft. It took me a few miles to pass her after she was on my sight. When I passed her I felt more confident and started chasing men. I started passing guys after 50’ and I passed the last one after 40 miles. I was checking the average speed and it was at 24 something. Then after 90’ it was over 25 m/h. It went t a little lower at the end because of a couple of hills but the watts were still steady at 300. After 2h it started to be a little harder to hold the watts over 300 with a cadence higher than 80, so I started to play with the cadence in order to hold the watts. I had a bottle with 7 power gels with 25 mgms of caffeine with water. That’s the way I like to get must of the calories. Although for longer races I need something solid. I took 4 water bottles from aid stations. The total time was 2:15:40 and 2400 KJ.
When I was approaching to T2 and started to take off the shoes, the right hamstring cramped a little. I stand on the pedals and stretch a little before getting of the bike, At T2 I was in 15th position which was what I thought as acceptable for today. I thought I would catch some more guys on the run. T2 was very fluid, I racked my bike, put on socks, shoes, took off helmet and grabbed the hat with the Garmin inside. Then I put on the Garmin while running.
I went out of T2 running 6’ miles, and when I started going downhill I went a lot faster. I was very happy with my pace, although I knew it wasn’t going to last for the entire run, because of the cramp I started to feel before. It lasted until mile 3, then after a grass down hill part, there was a little grass hill that killed me. I had to walk for a few meters and then run again. At that moment I had passed 4 guys. I manage to stay off cramps and it was hard because the course was very hilly. I took 5 gels during the run, every 20’ or so. I felt better in some parts and got the pace back to 6:30, but never back to 6:00. Maybe I should have consumed some more calories on the bike.
The rest of the first loop was really hard, but then I found a steady pace that took me all the way to the finish line. It wasn’t fast and I was in pain, but I’m happy that it was at least below 7:00’/mile.
Although it didn’t fill my expectations I think I did a good race. I was still a little tired and muscles were not at 100%. I did the warm up mistake and I know it cost me around 2’ and a lot of energy. I was happy about the bike. It was my first 70.3 race with wattage and I was pleased to see that I hold the watts at the desired number feeling strong and natural. On the run I was happy for the first 3 miles. It felt so good to get off the bike with tired legs and being able to run at the target pace. I know I could have held it. So, I think with a warm up and being more recovered I could have gone at least 10 minutes faster. 2:00 on the swim, 1:00 on the bike and 7:00 on the run. Total time was 4:16:50 with 4:10min total transition time. I feel ready for Ironman Florida and much more in 2011.
1. 10 slices of bread (800 cal.)
2. 3 teaspoons of sugar free Jelly (30 cal)
3. 1 Apple (60 cal)
4. 3 slices of provolone cheese (140 cal)
Total: 1030 calories Aprox.
1. ¼ of a gatorde before the start (50 cal)
2. 7 Power gels on the bike (750 cal)
3. 5 gels on the run (550 cal)
4. 2 little cups of cola at the end (50 cal)
Total: 1400 Calories aprox.