Monday, October 29, 2012

Chesapeake man Aquavelo race report

I choose this race as a training preparation race for Ironman Arizona. It was 8 weeks away from the big race with enough time to recover and a short drive (1h 1/2 – to 2 h depending on traffic). Also my coach was doing it and offer to stay with him on a really nice house. The race is in the same area as Eagleman 70.3 so I knew the course. I was completely aware that the swim in the CHOPtank River (they don’t call it chop for nothing) can get as the name of the river suggest and add some current at it can be a longer swim than usual. The bike is as pancake flat as you can imagine but on a solid windy day it can make you forget the lack of hills. Pre-race The race is on a Saturday so we drove early Friday afternoon. It was early enough to avoid the afternoon rush hour of DC, Annapolis MD & the bay bridge. Arrive to packet pick up really quick. Packet pick up was simple an easy. This is a small scale race so the hype of IM branded is not there. I was ok with that. From there went to rack the bike. I had planned to do a quick 30 minutes ride to lose the legs but it got cold rainy and windy so it was short to like 10 or 15 minutes. Bike part done. From there went to the bunker selected for this race. A really nice old school house, remodel to a dream house on the inside. This was provided by my coach through a friend of him. He also was racing so it works for both of us. We had a lot of pasta for dinner and 1 bottle of wine (coach orders). I went to bed around 9:30. Slept decently through the night, only wake up once. Wake up call was a 3:45 am because there were 2 transitions and the race will take us on bus to the swim start. When arrive to transition I notice that it was windy already was 60 degrees and the river was choppy. I mentally prepared for a long day especially on the bike because I knew the wind will be rough. My Don John stops were only 2 one in each transition. I hang out with the friends from the DC Tri Club that were doing the race.
Swim 2.4 miles The swim start was with all athletes doing the Aquavelo (Aqua bike) and the ultra-distance. I estimated around 400 or 500 athletes. The water was 72 degrees so it was wetsuit legal. When I enter the water I notice how choppy it was so I knew sighting would be an issue. So I had to keep my concentration. The gun went on and for the 1st 100 meters it was the usual banging of mass start but after that it calm down. The first lap went pretty quick I was able to keep good form and follow some feet and pass other. Although in that first lap I notice that at points I was feeling over heat on my body, So everytime I hit a cool spot it was welcomed. The 2nd lap it was were things got harder as choppiness increase sighting was harder and little beat of current got in. Towards the end I was feeling a little beat tier. I was gladly happy when I make it out in a nice time 1:11:48. I was hoping to be out in less than 1:10 but considering the conditions it was ok and it was a pr for me. T1 After the swim you come out and the changing tent is right there. Normally I am use to having wetsuit stripper but since this is a small scale race those are not available. I struggle to get it out. After that I have not decide to wear a jacket or not. I had struggle in recent training rides with the cold wind and I knew this day would be like that. After a lot of deliberation I finally decided to wear the jacket. I took a while in transition probably 1 of the slowest transitions of the race but it was good to practice and do some experiment before IM AZ. The total time was 7:59 Ouch!!! Bike 112 miles
This course is a challenge more mentally than physically. This was my first race using my new bike setup and racing with power. My goal was to hold between 180 and 190 watts for that set the auto lap of the watch to 11.2 miles so I can keep myself in check. The course was 10 miles out & back and then 2 loops. The first 20 miles was about keep yourself in check and to go out to hard I got chicked a few times but I kept my manhood on my pocket and let it go because probably I would pass then eventually. It was windy very windy. So I just kept my watts checked.

Around mile 25 I needed to pee and after holding it for a few miles I had to stop & pee on the side of the road. Unfortunately I haven’t developed peeing on the bike while riding like pro cyclist and many other triathletes are able to do. After that stop I felt such a relief. The next 35 miles came like this 15 with a nice tail wind and 20 with a brutal head wind with a section of like 2 or 3 with really bumpy roads. Knowing that I will hit this pattern again I made myself sure to mentally be ready for it. At mile 64 the aid station came I took another stop get a new bottle and grab the classic PnB & J sandwich.
I continue to ride while eating my sandwich. This second loop is harder because you don’t see many bikes on the course and you are more beat up. I began to catch bikes so I ll passed around 8 so that make me feel good. As I approach the last 35 miles. I knew what was coming. I enjoy the tail wind before the last 20. I hit the bumpy roads ago try to keep my mind composure because of the slowdown and kept pedaling. I passed this section and felt good because I thought I would be done, WRONG!!!! The wind towards the end picked up more mentally I thought that after bumpy roads it will be easier and basically I got desperate because of slow I was going add to ad that bikes passed me including 1 woman & my good friend Jorlie who had a super bike split. Mentally the last 10 miles hit me hard my power & cadence were the lowest out of the 10 laps. Finally I hit the finish line. My time was 5:42:21. I was hoping to be under 5:40. But it was pr for me on the distance, with 2 stops & considering the conditions I’ll take it. After I took a break and went for 4 mile run. I was ready to leave when my GF asked me if I had seen the results. I said no but she saw that I place in my AG. I when to ask the announcer how the awards will go. Top 5 will get an award and the top person of each AG. Since the top person in my AG finished 3rd overall, I move up & finished 1st. For the 1st time in many years doing this I actually won something so I was so happy and excited. Conclusionjavascript:void(0)
The race help me prepare mentally for the big race Nov 18 you have the mind ready in order execute and keep Swim, Bike & run form. The bike ride taught me a lot too. It shows that low scale races are well organize and is always good for a change of scenario. My goal was to break 7h I was short by 2 minutes those 2 minutes might had come from the transition.
Aquabike Swim 2.4 miles = 1:11:48
T1 = 7:59
Bike112 miles= 5:42:21
MPH= 19.6 
Avg Power= 183W
Avg HR= 151

1 comment:

Rainmaker said...

Awesome, very nice! Congrats on the race (I loved it a few years ago, did the same Aqua-velo), and on the AG win. :)