Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Race Report

The Kansas Ironman 70.3 is in the books. What an experience! It was a great weather day. Temperatures were about ten degrees cooler than the day before and the water temperature dropped as well overnight. The lake was calm as there were no real winds to contend with. Following is a look at just how the pre-race day and race day went for me.

On Saturday it was Packet Pick-up, Expo time, and bike check-in time. Packet pick-up was well run but the lines were a little long but moved quickly. Something I didn't know that was a "rookie" thing was that I needed to have my USAT Member card with me. None of the literature that I saw suggested that. You could not check in without it. You had to buy a temp one ($10) if you didn't have it. After filling out and checking forms, it ws goodie bag time. Nothing special there but the important things like bike, swim, and run numbers were in the packet as well as timing chip and cap. My swim cap was pink because they ran out of the ones that I should have had. Also, mine says Ironman Florida. Not excited I didn't get a Kansas one. it was a hot day and I never ran into one negative person in the packet tent. Great volunteers! The Expo featured several vendors but not a large number. I found that if you needed something it was there though and that was important. Also, there were several places top get your bike worked on if you needed that service. There were several course meeting times that you could go to and find out particulars and also ask questions. That was nice that there were multiple times so you could pick and chose when you wanted to be there. Bike check-in went well and there were plenty of volunteers there to help you and get you through fast. I found my spot and marked it with a landmark so I could find it fast. A very helpful hint that I picked up. My spot was not hard to find since it was on the first row.

It was then on to The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Iron Prayer meeting that I helped host. We had a great turnout and had a great pre-race worship and fellowship time. After the meeting we went out for the before race meal with some great friends from Colorade Springs.

Then it was home to set up the swim bag and transition 1 and 2 items. My transition 1 items included: Bike helmet, bike gloves, bike shoes, socks with baby powder in them for fast foot entry, Body Glide, two towels, 2 24oz. bike bottles and a 48oz CamelBak filled with my special mix of energy drink, sunscreen, GU Chomps and Hammer Supplements for my Bike Bento. Transition 2 items included my running shoes, another pair of socks just in case, cap, Body Glide, Amphipod 20oz bottle pack, GU Chomps and Hammer Supplements. Everything was now ready. With all of that done it was time for bed.

Race day started with a wak-up alarm of 4:00AM. Had Peanut Butter and Cracjers and my energy drink mix and then headed out to the race site which was a little more than 2 miles from my house. By the way, that was nice! We got to the site and they had the athletes parking very far from the main race site. It was not good. They provided shuttle buses and all and they were very quick but it was really a long way away. We got to the race site around 5:30 (my wife and me) and went to set up the transition areas. I had a very bright blue striped towel so it was easy to see. I set up Transition 2 first and then we walked down to the swim start and I set up Transition 2. When we got to the start they said that we could wear wetsuits because the water temperture had dropped enough. The day before they had said no wetsuits unless you wanted to go in the last wave. That would have meant that I would have had to go from wave 4 to 19. Glad that didn't happen and I was real glad to wear the wetsuit. All transition areas were well marked and very well organized with plenty of volunteer help. Again, they were all first class!

The race started late because they were waiting for medical staff to get into place. Then after the first waves were called, wave 4 was called and off I went. We swam out to the start and then we were off. I placed myself towards the side and at the back to avoid the major rush of the start. That was a great piece of advice. I had a clear start and soon started making time up on those who went out too fast. Stayed wide of the buoy line at first to have some open water to swim the 1.2 miles. Did a good job of keeping my direction fairly straight and also avoided most body contact until I rounded the halfway mark and then got greedy and started swimming closer to the buoy line. Got kicked in the head, swam over, elbowed, you name it. Finished the swim much better than I expected though. My swim training had me very well prepared and I had paced myself well to not be completely out of gas after the first leg of the race.

On to the bike portion of the race (56 miles). My swim to bike transition was not fast. But I was pleased how I had everything set out. Getting the wetsuit off was the most time consuming. There were no people to help like I had heard there are at some races. Got everything on and in the right order to avoid penalty and went up to the bike mount area. I had placed my gears in an easy gear the day before because it was an uphill start. That was really effective. Got a good start and was off. Started hydrating at mile 5 (letting my body get adjusted) and then continued to hydrate often during the ride. We had a light headwind at times and also a good tailwind at times. The course was hilly but since I had been on it before I knew what was coming. At first it seemed like everyone was passing me but I kept my pacing strategy and didn't get into that gane. I had a good even pace the entire route and felt great the entire time. Continued to hydrate along the way. There was a huge oil spill from something on the course close to mile 30 and we had to dismount and walk around it carrying our bikes. Aid startions along the course were great but I didn't need to stop. Plenty of volunteers on the course and everything was marked very well.

The bike to run transition went well and I got out of there about two minutes faster. The run was a two loop course around the campgrounds with one significant hill on each loop. By the time the run part started it had warmed up a bit. Hydration was important (Again, waited a couple of miles to start hydration to let body adjust) and my Amphipod worked well though I had to adjust it tighter from the day before when I tried it on. It didn't flop around and was much easier than a hand help I thought. Ususally I have done the hand held bottle but this has changed my mind. Had a great pace during the run and kept it even and steady. Had very good energy and felt fine. Put ice down the front of my tri suit and back to keep the core cool and it worked fantastic. There were multiple aid stations along the run course with so many volunteers at each station. It was great. They had everything ready and knew what they were doing just like on the bike route. Many thanks to them.

As I ran through the finish area, it was a great moment. I had finished my first Ironman (tri) and was so happy that I felt so good and had accomplished a major goal of mine. My training plan was fantastic and my coaching team really kept me on target over the past few months. The success of this race for me was not a one day thing. It was months of training, proper nutrition, hydration and mental focus. I felt well prepared and can't wait until the next one.

After the race I met up with my wife, went through the food tent, then went to the transition areas to pick up my gear, and then met our friends from Colorado and carried things back to the cars. The hardest part was the long trek back to the cars with all of the gear and the bikes. Wow, something needs to be done here. Athletes should not have been the ones parking the farthest away from the Race Complex. But that quickly faded from my mind as I enjoyed the success of a good experience and great support from family and friends! I will be back for more next year!

Race statistics:
Swim (1.2 miles): 46:35 Bike (56 miles): 3:22:13 Run (13.1 miles): 1:59:35 Overall: 6:21:41
18th in a division of 47
Total Swim: 2:27/100m Total Bike: 16.62mph Total Run 9:07/mile
T1: Swim-to-Bike 7:47 T2: Bike-to-Run 5:31

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 10

What an exciting day today for this Ironman rookie. Went out to packet pick-up and also the race expo and got everything done I needed to do as far as race heck-in and paperwork. Much more detailed than any marathon or ultra that I have done. Very well organized and lots of wonderful volunteers to help and answer questions. Also went to a pre-race meeting. Lots of details to learn and pay attention to. The what's and how's are a little overwhelming. I have to start somewhere and start with confidence and energy!

Tonight we went out to dinner with friends that are helping me put together the FCA Iron Prayer meeting tomorrow afternoon. We got some great planning done and I think it will be a great pre-race get together.

Bike check-in is tomorrow afternoon and so I will get my bike all set up and in the racks. Race number is 160. Also, tomorrow will get my numbers on everything and be ready to put transition things together tomorrow night and take them to the transition areas on Sunday morning. I am in group 4 which means I will start the swim around 6:38AM.

Going to get a good night's sleep tonight and then take a short spin in the morning and a short run. Hydrating and fueling and doing prety well with it. Very hot here today so need to make more progress on the hydrating part tonight and tomorrow. Temps are going to be a factor on Sunday. Glad that I have been running and riding in the heat of the days the past few weeks. Hope it helps.

As the start draws closer my energy level is increasing as well as the pre-race butterflies. Gotta have em' but wow, they are really something!

Until tomorrow...

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Update 9

Today was the really last day of training that had any distance to it. Tapering has been a little hard as I went some extra distance today and realized that I should stick to the schedule. I ran 4 mile, swam 2000 meters and biked 20 miles. Saturday wil be a short workout of just getting loose. Through all of that I realized that I have done about all I can to get ready for my first Ironman 70.3. That's very hard for me to say because I am a worrier. I over think everything. Over plan every thing. And also tried to seek information from about everyone I can think of.

It really just come down to me and all of you. But... I've got to swim 1.2 miles. Ride 56 miles. Run 13.1 miles. You all will be along with me. We'll get wet, sweat, swim hard, pedal hard and run like the wind. I will try to the best of my ability to do the best I can. Everyone's help has been amazing and the support has been overwhelming. It has given me energy and confidence. Doubt has raised its head several times only to be stifled by your warm encouragement and help.

My family has been a huge support. They are incredible. To Berta, Andy and Katiy, and Kelsey and Ryan I say thank you for all you have done. I love you all for all you do for our family! We're a great team! I thank God for the ability to even think that I can do this and then give me the gifts to swim, ride, and run in His name. Through His power we can do all things.

Tomorrow is a rest day with a rip to the race site and expo tomorrow afternoon and dinner with the FCA Team Endurance Crew tomorrow night. Until then....

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, pools, and lakes be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 8

Today was a pretty good day. Started off with an early wake-up to go swim. I noticed some lightning but thought it was far away but by the time I got to the pool it had spread all around. So no swimming today. Came home and slept a bit and then got on the bike and did 40 miles. It was a good ride. Again rode part of the course and just ran through my mind what I would do during certain parts of it.

Today I also went out to the lake area and tested the wetsuit with a brief but very beneficial mentally swim. Just to get the feel of the lake. The fact that you can se nothing but green slim and things floating around, it is so much different than pool swimming. Wait a minute, the pool looks like that too. No just kidding. Practiced getting the wetsuit off and the transition. Now I am not after any records, just a good finish, but getting that wetsuit off was a task. Body Glided up and all. Wow, not easy.

I also took a tour of the race site this evening. It was beautiful out there. They were stuffing packets and setting things up. It was fantastic to get out there and see where everything is. Found the swim start and the transition area to bike. Then found the transition area for bike to run. Really took a lot off my mind to see everything. There are some major hills after the transitions so I already plotted a low gear start and a slow easy pace at the start of the run to get my legs ready. Plus it was just a beautiful walk on a nice warm evening.

Tomorrow brings somewhat of a hard taper day. A 4 mile run, 2000 meter swim, and a 25 mile ride. Then celebrating my wife's birthday the rest of the day.

Until tomorrow...

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may the bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Update 7

With the race less than a week away it's time to start getting things out and ready to go. At least that's what I pan on doing. I always like to lay things out and see what I am missing or what goes where. Since this is a new adventure for me, I will take extra caution to make sure i have everything. I am sure after the Ironman I will learn about things that I wish that I would have had there. That's ok. That's what it's all about. Learning as we go. Right now my mental focus is on the swimming and making it through the course and get on with the cycling and running portions. I have to say, this has really tripled the amount of things that I feel that I need to have ready as opposed to a marathon or ultra. It seems to me much more technical and wow, are there parts that I can really mess up if I do things the wrong way.Entering and exiting the transition areas is a big concern of mine. Not forgetting when to put on and take off the helmet is another area of concern.

Today I ran 4 miles and rode 28 miles. Tomorrow is a swim day and a ride day of around 40 miles I hope. I'd like to get that distance in. Nutrition has been basically the same as decribed in earlier posts. Starting to add good, fuel calories and hydrating more. Getting some goood fats in me and geting the electrolytes up where they should be.

Bike tip for the day...As I was riding today I experienced a new adventure of cycling. Some of the huge holes and gaps in the street are really getting bad. Enough so that a tire could very easily slip down into one. With traffic buzzing all around sometimes it is hard to aviod the "bike sinkholes". Actually they kind of remind me of minature skate parks. You know, you go down one pothole ride around a bit and come up on the otehr side. Twist around to avoid a car or two and the curb. Land with both wheels still attached to the bike and you still clipped in. Yep, score it a 10! I have found a new mouth position for entering one of these hole areas. Make sure your mouth is closed because the holes will jolt your jaw beyond repair. Today I had 4 crowns hit at the same time and it sounded like the Boston Pops Orchestra. My ears are still ringing.

Unitil tomorrow..

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, pools, and lakes be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!