Spirit of Racine 2009

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The goal for SORT was to simply have a great race.  Going into the race the intention was:

0-20′ EZ, use PM to stay easy
20′- 65/70′ 240-250 Real Time
65/70′-End “ 250-260 Real Time

First loop: Target 44 minutes (avoid last years mistake)
Second loop: Faster than first

Swim: 21:32
4th OA

I started out at a steady pace on the swim.  I did not hit the gas from the get go.  Not knowing how strong the swimmers in my wave were I wanted see if anyone would take charge and lead.  A few dolphin dives and strokes later I was around the first bouy with a group of a few people.  After another handful of yards no one seemed to took the lead, so I took charge and went.  The swim was rather uneventful.  I simply swam bouy to bouy.

Bike: 2:23:50 (252 AP/257 NP)
13th Div/86th OA

Within a few minutes of the bike instincts took over and my game plan for pacing went out the window.  Fortunately, I remained intelligent enough to ride within my limits.  I was surprised to see how slowly I was going for my power, but slowly it dawned on me that it was actually fairly windy.

Around half way things started to speed up as the wind shifted.  This caused me to lose a little bit power wise, as I started to conserve a bit based on my speed.

All in all the bike was very uneventful, I was alone most of the time.  I got passed by a few people at the beginning of the bike, and a couple again at around mile 45 – otherwise I was totally by myself with one guy about 20-30 yards behind.

Nutritionwise I took 6 gels (5 powergel, 1 GU – 3 had caffiene), water, a couple of salt tabs (Thermolyte), and a couple of NASIDs to help keep the aches quiet.

Run: 1:29:00 (6:48/mile)
9th Div/37th OA

Coming off the bike, I was determined to get my senses back and run my plan.  44 minute first loop, 43 minute second loop.  Unfortunately, I left transition and saw Paul Wozniakowski (rockhopper on ST) just up the road from me as he had passed me at the tail end of the bike.  He and I have had a healthy back and forth at races for the past few years, and I wanted this one – who needs a race plan anyways?

Matt told me at about 1/4 mile in (just before you hit the first hill on the run) that I was running VERY fast, I checked my watch and sure enough I was running in the 5:40 range.  I immediately slowed down.

As the run progressed, I started to pick a couple of people off and was gaining ground on Paul.  The positive feedback from my watch and the mile markers kept my spirit high.  I hit half way somewhere between 41:45 and 42:30.  I caught up to Mary heading out on her first loop up the first hill on the course – at this point she was walking and I was a bit worried for her – but I forced myself to focus on myself – she’s a tough girl (she ended up doing just fine), so I just gave a nice slap on the butt and wished her luck and kept going.

Shortly after cresting that hill and heading down back to beach level (but before the second hill) I got the inklings of a side stitch – I worked it out by focusing on my breathing and it was gone by the time I topped the second hill.

Things continued uneventfully, with me slowly gaining on Paul, near the turn around at shortly before mile 10 I was there – he was just in front of me.  I was STOKED.  Then before I knew it I was struck by a side stitch that nearly folded me over. 

For a split second my horrified mind couldn’t believe that my great day had just ended, and that I would would be struggling in for the last 3 miles, I allowed myself to focus on that for a second or two – then I turned my mind to the task of getting rid of this stich and running again.

I stopped immediately and did some focused breathing and stretching, then started running again – no luck.  I walked and repeated this cycle a few times (Stretch, Run, Walk, stop, stretch, run…).  Slowly the stitch lessoned in intensity and moved a bit lower – once it moved lower on my side I was able to get into a steady run, it was slower then I would like, but I could run.  Shortly after mile 10 (near the sprinkler on the road on the way back from the turn around for those paying attention), the stitch was gone and I was able to start speeding back up.  I never returned to full speed, but I was running solidly and was able to carry it into the finish.

I’ve only had a stich like this once before, so it was a new experience for me, so I was definately riding the very fine line of my fitness (which is GOOD!), but it shows things are really coming around as I was on pace for a strong 1:25 (or faster) run until the very end – and most importantly I didn’t give up when disaster struck and did a good job of mitigating the damage.

Nutritionwise on the run, I did a couple of salt tabs (Hammer), 3 or 4 hammer gels, and water.

Overall: 4:16:50
7th Elite/17th OA

In the end adjusting for the short swim, my time was awesome.  Minutes faster then I have gone before!  Unfortunately, I did not catch Paul on the run, but he was given an unfair penalty that put him behind me (his Powertap CPU got knocked off while he was on the run, and they nailed him for abandoned equipment.  Yeah USAT a $300 PT CPU is worth throwing away).

WKO Powerfile