Wednesday, April 15, 2009

70.3 New Orleans and the state of affairs

Well.....been back from New Orleans for a little over a week now. Getting set to run the Boston Marathon for the 2nd time, running is going well although not necessarily according to plan. Oh yeah, how did the race go? Well as they say "a picture says a thousand words" so here is about 3000 words, a photo with about 10 miles to go and maybe 1 mile to go. A more appropriate photo for how the day went and how I felt is something more like the third photo.

After evaluation and assessment on the way home we have decided this was the perfect example of how not to prepare to race. It all started out getting packed up on Thursday night, this turned into being late leaving for work on Friday. Then the boss wanted to do a site visit on a potential new project which took me out of the office until the time I was planning to leave to meet Leslie to go to the airport. Dragging our stuff into the airport and getting it checked (Leslie brought her bike as well since she needed to get some miles in) it dawned on me I forgot my goggles. No big deal just need to buy some new ones. We get into New Orleans smoothly and Leslie got a pretty good deal on a hotel right on Bourbon street, pretty cool. Ouch, no parking anywhere. So we check in and find the hotel has parking but it's $25 a day not including tax, so much for the deal at the hotel. The front desk lady doesn't have a room for us and ends up pulling strings and puts us in a suite, how Sweet!

We get up the next morning put the bikes together and then head over to the race hotel to get my number etc., miss the 1st meeting by 10 minutes, so we have to wait for another 45 minutes (mandatory meeting to get your number). We get some coffee cake at Starbucks and wait and pick up some goggles in the expo. Back to the hotel, pack up to head out to the lake and check out the race course. Have to call down to get the car pulled around, that will take 20 minutes, so wait some more. We get downstairs and no car. Tell the dude we need our car and he takes off running across the street to get it, so much for calling ahead. Long story short we get out to the lake after taking a few wrong turns maybe around 2. Leslie is going to get in 4 hours of riding so I decide to ride 1st since she has the map of the course then I'll do a run and swim and wait for her at transition. That all works out pretty well. Feel real strong on the bike, the run felt good not lethargic, and the water was beautiful just the right temperature. Check my bike in and I think I'm set.

We head back to the hotel to clean up and try to eat a semi early dinner. Drop the car with the bell boy and try to schedule a time for the car to be out front in the morning, we scrap that idea and decide I'll take the shuttle in the morning and Leslie will ride out.

Now at this point it really hasn't occurred to me that I had planned on getting something for breakfast as well as put some GU on my bike and part of the point of eating semi early was to get in a snack before I fell asleep and we hadn't done any of them as well as had no lunch.

Anyway, I think I slept 2 hours, we had a false alarm on the smoke detector at 2:30 am which basically scared the livin' S..t! out of me. I don't think I slept after that. Well, I had thought I might be able to pick up some little donuts on the way over to the shuttle, no such luck. Get to the transition and all set up and make the walk all the way to the swim start (about 1 mile), I happen to be in one of the last waves this time so I start over an hour after the pros. Long story short, I have an okay swim, a spectacular 1st 30-35 miles on the bike but it is very clear at this point that there weren't enough aid stations on the bike let along Gatorade. In fact, I ended up getting water bottles that other people had discarded and had been refilled. So I had not had enough liquid or food (Gu or otherwise) and the trip back to transition just crushed me, the wind normally something I can get through pretty well just kept slowing me down and had nothing to fight back with. I hit transition with a chance to salvage things if I ran even just a little. Pulled out of transition and made it about 1/2 a mile before I was just done. I gutted out what I could but because my electrolytes were all jacked I just never had a chance get enough in on the run to recover.
So we learned: must have drinks on bike and must have Gu or gels on bike especially if there is any chance it will be hot and humid (which it was, in fact warmest day of the year so far for them). Nothing new here, knew all this before but I guess things just worked against we and I wasn't focused on what was needed.
Moving on, this coming Monday is Boston, I feel good, running is progressing nicely, and I guess you can say I'm tapered for it. 3 hours is the goal.
After Boston, I have a few races (an olympic and a couple Xterra) to try and get the itch out and around a month and a half before Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I always want to kick ass at my Ironman races but this one in particular I'm feeling like I could get it all figured out. I need to if nothing else. Besides Leslie is going to be finishing as the 1st woman finisher in RAW (Race Across the West) on Saturday and what would be a more perfect way to end the week than to end it with me qualifying for Hawaii on my umpteenth try.
Ciao for now

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