Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Ironman Raleigh 70.3 race report

This report is not meant to be funny so any humor you find in it is accidental.  This is a serious race report.  Suck it.

I trained consistently and pretty well throughout the winter and spring this year.  Knock on wood, all systems have been go, healthy and happy (aside from getting sick and DNFing the Instant Classic Trail marathon in March).  Raleigh 70.3 was my 'big' race for the season in that there will be no other high caliber events in the lineup.  My main goals were to get into the top ten in my age group and improve my time from last year by several minutes. I was not looking to get a Worlds 70.3 spot as that weekend is my Dad's 80th birthday and I'd much rather spend it with him, my family and my sister's family.

Rocking the high fives

These days I train a good bit, usually more than your Joe Average age group triathlete, but not in the realm of most pointy-end-of-the-stick athletes.  On average I rode about 6 hours a week, swam 2 hours, ran 3-4 hours and did a few more minutes of strength training.  You can read all the gory details on my Training Peaks account. It's a legitimate 12 hours or so, week in and week out, with an occasional bigger week and occasional smaller week.  I felt/and feel fit; not super-fit, but fit!  I can manage this much without losing my job/family/sanity.

Fit.  Not Super Fit. But my outfit totally matches.

The weather looked good for the race and I was thankful it wouldn't be boiling hot like it wound up last year.  I do not excel in hot/humid conditions.  Relatively mild with a high in the low 80s and manageable humidity.

Enough bullsh!t non-excuse excuse race report nonsense.

The swim: I wore my sleeveless wetsuit because the water was warm and I didn't want to overheat.  Swam 26:17 without killing myself, which is great for my depth of yardage these days. 2013 time 28:32 (no wetsuit)

T1: kick @ss

Bike: Felt good coming out of the park which happens to be the longest climb of the day.  Hit US64 and thought to myself that it seemed like a nasty headwind.  Turned onto Beaver Creek and enjoyed some tail wind.  Turned onto Old 1 and cursed the headwind.  Cursed the headwind for most of the rest of the day.  I usually count 5 mile time splits to get an estimate of my pace and realized I'd be slower than last year by the 40 mile mark.  The wind was strong and I am not super-deep-bike strong so I stayed within myself and rode.  Screw the wind and the time.  Screw the jerk offs passing me with their fancy schmancy bikes and their $3,000 race wheels.  Angry but focused riding ensued. 2:39.12.  2013 time 2:31.40 or so.

Mile 2 or so. I don't have pics of me biking.  Ironman does but I would have to buy them to publish it here.  That would cost a lot of money.  Instead, I will just post these pics that friends took.  Thanks, friends!

T2: kick more @ss but slowly

Run: I felt mostly good on the run.  Smooth off the bike and fell into a 7:15 or so pace for the first bit.  All was good until an uphill around mile 3 when my quads almost cramped.  I had to back off and be a bit more delicate with my efforts from them on.  Mostly uneventful, waved at people, slowed a bit here, sped up a bit there, and had a nice back and forth race with fellow 40-44 YO and Triangle Swim Series partner, Jason Biggs of FS Series.  He put about a minute on me from miles 6-9 and then I slowly brought it back.  Sprint/hobbling/limping down the finish on Fayetteville Street we were separated by just a few seconds - he stayed ahead by 12.  1:41.48 (7:45 pace), 2013 time 1:48:40 or so.

Biggs and me and some other dude totally photobombing over my shoulder.

Overall 4:52.09, 2013 time 4:54.15 or so.  2+ minute improvement overall.  Effort and fitness better than 2013 by a good bit, just a harder day as far as the bike is concerned!

16th in the AG and 110th overall.  Not as good as 2013 though my time was faster.  Depth of field a bit stronger, conditions for pointy-enders were overall milder.   You can re-read my 2013 Ironman Raleigh 70.3 race report if you would like.

 Actually running towards the finish. 
In front of me is a sign for OSB athlete Kory Gray, who scored a 4:20 total time.  
My sign read more like "don't stroke out, Coach Marty"

I would write more about the thoughts I had during the race on subjects like Junior Awesome and Goddess Bri (who had a great run on the One Step Beyond Babes relay), kindergarden worries, house hunting, our state's teacher problems, the beauty of downtown Raleigh and this whole area, my friends and buds and athlete results, but it is so painful to write these serious detailed reports these days!  I did the absolute best I could and am happy with the results overall.  I felt beat to sh!t the rest of the day and most of Monday.  I would have preferred less wind on the bike as I can fake it a bit better that way.

Next up:
3 Little Pigs Triathlon - June 14
John T Carey Ocean City (NJ) Masters Swim - July 19
Lake Logan International Tri - Aug 2
Mayo Lake Tri - Aug 10

Not sure after that!

- Marty

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