5430 Long Course Triathlon 2007; Mike Ricci’s Race Report
Having spectated this race a few times, I was anxious to finally race it. In 2004 and 2005 I manned the Transition area for Barry Siff, and in 2006, I had D3 booth for the race. Since I wasn¡¦t traveling this summer, thankfully, I was excited to race this course. The course is very fast and we ride the roads around Highway 36 and St. Vrain all the time so there weren¡¦t going to be any surprises. The heat was going to be a factor but I felt I was ready for it. My training as of late had been solid and I was looking for a PR (4:42 at Soma last October). My swimming has been solid and my running was at a season best fitness level. My bike was the big wild card, but coming off a bike test last weekend, I knew things were going better in the right direction. My goals for the race were as follows:
A Goal: 28-28:30
B Goal: 29:00-30:00
A Goal: Under 2:30
B Goal: Under 2:35
A Goal: Sub 1:32
B Goal: Sub 1:35
Last years Top 10 in my AG:
4:11 (1) – 4:36 (10)
I was hoping for somewhere around top 15 at this race ¡V there were at least 10 guys in my AG who had qualified for KONA at some point.
Barry puts on a great race and everything went smoothly. I had ridden 20 minutes to the race, and enjoyed the time to collect my thoughts on the long race day ahead. My wave went off at 6:45, right on time.
My wave was pretty big and I took my place in the first row on the swim ¡V started my watch 10 seconds early, in order that I wouldn¡¦t have to deal with it – and we were off. I drilled it for about 100m and the let the pack pull along side so I could catch a quick draft, which I did. The swim was right into the run, but in reality that made spotting easy as I just followed the sun on the water. Instead of complaining about swimming into the sun, you should just use it as a landmark and swim right at it! ƒº I hit the fist turn buoy with a pack and I kept pace with the pack. Once we hit the second turn buoy I was alone as the pack got left behind or they took a more direct route to the next buoy, while I focused two buoys ahead to keep a more direct line. The rest of the swim was uneventful and I came up on the pack at the last turn buoy and hit the beach in 29:47 right on schedule. I ran up the hill and hit the timing mat at 30:40.
My T1 was quick ¡V wetsuit off, dropped my cap and goggles, and put on my helmet and glasses. I grabbed my bike and headed out for the bike. I think my T1 was 1:07 ¡V pretty quick, but could have been quicker.
The bike starts out with a long uphill, about 6 miles worth and my goal was to keep the watts down, which I did. I was sitting at 230 watts ¡V right about 85% of my threshold. I settled in after the climb and just kept my eye on the watts ¡V by the time I hit St. Vrain and the long 6 mile down hill, I was feeling pretty good. I ripped through St. Vrain and onto 75th ¡V the pace felt quick, but I wasn¡¦t looking at my watch as I was going off feel and watts. Coming into the Res, I saw Matt Given right behind me (fresh off a 10:31 Ironman Lake Placid race 3 weeks earlier!) and that gave me some motivation to keep up the effort. I did pick up the pace on the second loop and I ended up negative splitting the bike by just a bit. The only issue I was having during the race was that I was peeing everything out ¡V and I wasn¡¦t absorbing fluid like I should have been. This would turn out to be a bigger problem later in the race.
1st Half: 212 watt average/223 Normalized Power/22.6 mph/ Time of 1:14:50
2nd Half: 201 watt average/219 Normalized Power / 22.9 mph/Time of 1:14:23
Total: 206 watt average/221 Normalized Power/22.7 average/2:29 12
From the numbers, I did a very good job on pacing and actually coasted a lot more on the 2nd half of the bike in order to save energy. I was looking for a quick run. I hit T2, feeling good, but my legs were a bit tight and cramping. I have had this happen before and I was hoping that after a few miles and some Gatorade the cramping would disappear and I could run normally. I hobbled through the first mile in 7:31 and thought that wasn¡¦t too bad considering how badly I was cramping. Both quads were cramping ¡V and tried to use a Bobby McGee trick to get those to go away ¡V it doesn¡¦t involve stopping ¡V just the power of the mind. It didn¡¦t work. I went through mile 1 at a very easy effort. I drank as much Gatorade as I could get down and kept moving. I let 3 or 4 guys drop me as I needed to stick to my run plan: 5 miles easy/5 miles Zone 3 effort/5k as fast as I can! My first mile was 7:31 ¡V not bad considering I was shuffling. Mile 2 was 15:03 ¡V a bit over 7:30 mile. I took water and Gatorade at Mile 2, but still my legs were cramping. I made it just after mile 5 when I thought I would be able to run by now, but I needed to pee, and I did. I think I was peeing for 2 solid minutes. Matt went by me here and I caught back up to him by the end of the dam, coming back into the Res. He had to make a porta-potty stop and I just kept trucking. I didn¡¦t have any better luck on the 2nd loop and I even tried walking in between the aid stations to let my legs re-set but even that didn¡¦t work. By mile 10, I just wanted the race over and at around 12 miles, Matt ran by, this time for good. I made it to the finish line in 4:48 ¡Vand my run time was 1:45 exactly. I must have run 50 minutes the first loop and 55 minutes the second loop. In the scheme of things a 4:48 at altitude on a very hot day, it wasn¡¦t a bad performance. However, being fit enough to run 7:10s and not doing it is discouraging. After consulting some of the top nutritionists in the US, I think I have a handle on my nutritional issues for this race and I look forward to redemption in the next Half Iron that I¡¦ll race in late October.
Things I would do better/differently:
1. Add more sodium to my nutrition
2. More aero bar riding in training.
3. More yoga/flexibility work
Thanks for reading!