Saturday, June 19, 2010

Patriot - some good, some bad

Overall result 160/417, AG result 14/33.
2009 result 177/318, AG 22/33.

I was going to use "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" but that's already been used twice. I'm not a copycat afterall (unless you have a fool proof nutrition plan I can copy).

First: It's not as bad as I originally thought. The swim was very short last year - not even 1 mile let alone 1.2. They fixed that this year. I completed the swim in 26:01 last year and 40:14 this year. If you adjust this difference out of my results I actually Pr'd the course, but not by much - I was hoping for at least a ten minute gain over last year and I only managed about two - and it is all because of the stinkin run!! Here's the blow by blow:

The swim:
Last year's swim was way short. I finished last year's swim in 26:01 - I only wish I could swim 1.2 miles that fast. This year's swim was more accurate. I finished the swim in 40:12 - my ranking was 157 out of 417 (37%) compared to 141 out of 318 (44%) last year. I felt pretty strong in the swim - stroke felt smooth and long. I swam the course a little wide, but not too bad - no more than a minute given up here, if any - no bady banging except at the beginning and very end. The real good news here is that I know I could have comfortably done another loop.

The bike:
I finished the 58 miles in 2:45:47 (about 21 mph) compared to 2:54:02 last year. My ranking was 68 out of 417 vs. 128 out of 318 last year. I lost my HR readings about 10 miles into the bike, but I had a good idea of what my effort needed to be by then. I am fairly certain I did not overcook the bike. My nutrition was 100% on target during the bike - gel every 20 minutes (went through my entire ration which is good), salt started on the hour and then went to every half an hour as it was getting hot. Took in 80 oz of water which equates to a little over 20 oz per hour.

As an aside, a few people passed me like I was standing still early in the bike. Not sure where they were in such a hurry to go - I passed most of them at some point on the course. The one that really sticks out is this one gentlman passed me - very stout looking legs - in other words, he looked like a biker. I figured him for the one who stayed away. I was a little surprised to be passing him about 40 - 45 miles into the ride - he was totally blown and still had a 13 mile run to get through.

The run:
O.k., here's where it gets ugly. I started the run in pretty good shape. I was fully fueled and hydrated coming off the bike. I felt good right from the start - no cramps, strange tightness, etc. I used the first mile to get my running legs and thought all was going well. After the second mile I thought this might be my best half marathon ever - let alone my best after a long swim and bike. I was planning on fueling with coke every other aid station and doing water at every aid station. I drank the coke at mile one, three and five - it was gettting progressively warmer as the run went on (the coke that is) they were storing the bottles in the sun and were not putting any ice in the drinks (most of the aid stations did not have ice (the last few did). The coke at mile five did not go down very well - I tried again at mile seven and about puked it out - that was it for fueling for me. I kept up with the water and salt, but I was done fueling - stomach did not feel up to it. Running became very painful (not real pain, just hard to turn the legs over) after around mile 6. The final two miles were very difficult - I usually get a burst of adreneline that keeps me going at this point - not this time. I kept pushing on and there were a couple of sections where it felt like I was moving along halfway decent, but any little incline whatsoever pushed me to about the breaking point. At mile 11 & 12 I walked the aid stations to hydrate and cool myself (they had ice by this point - too little too late). I really had a hard time getting back running after those two breaks. I did run, however, I ran all the way to the end if you could call what I was doing running. I think it took me 12 minutes to cover the last mile. I had no speed at the end - this was much different from last year where I finished really strong.

Result was 266 out of 417.

It was hot and the sun was strong, much of the run was not shaded. I initially blamed the poor run on the heat and although the sun certainly played a role, It definately boils down to fueling. I'm glad I talked to Max after the event, otherwise I would probably still be blaming it entirely on the heat. Not only did I not fuel the last eight miles, I probably was not getting enough in the first five miles. This was definately a classic bonk and totally avoidable.

I definately need to rethink my fueling strategy - and quick! I tried coke at Quassy and although I did better at getting it down there, I would say that the result was at best marginal. I may stay with the Powergels during the run; however, that's an aweful lot of gels to ingest over the course of a day, not that its necessarily a bad thing. I use gels on my long runs and I seem to be able to stomach them while running, but that's only five gels vs. the 33 + that I will need to get through an IM.

Any tried and tested recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I know what works for one person does not necessarily work for another, but I need a plan.


  1. Other than the fueling bonk it sounds like you did really well! congrats and nice race report!

  2. As disgusting as it sounds, you need to stick to your Gel of preference, water and salt - for the entire day - even if that means taking in something like 50 gels. It is yucky and boring, but it works.