Take Me Down To Garden City, Where the Grass is Green & The Water is Greener!

I think this is some sort of personal record for time taken to post a race report. Fear not my readers, I have not been stuck under something incredibly heavy for the past few days or the victim of my own cyberattack. Rather, I had to wait for the race results before I could write. I also had some other “delays” which we’ll get to the “bottom” of later.

So this weekend was the end of my 2010 triathlon season with the Garden City Triathlon in Frenchtown, just out of Missoula.

Left Kalispell on Friday afternoon and rolled into Missoula some three hours later. As always, the drive was spectacular. Checked into the Staybridge Suites, which is now my official race hotel in Missoula. Plenty of space, clean rooms, non-suspicious bed sheets, and free hot breakfast. Pre-race meal was eggs, a sausage, and oatmeal. After eating fast enough to make Kobayashi proud, I made the 15 minute drive to Frenchtown Pond State Park.

Weather was a bit chilly but warmed quickly with the sun rising over the Rockies. Did the usual check in and body marking dance, setup my bike near the bike mount line, did a brief one mile warm up run, zipped up in my party suit, and waded on in.

Swim – 1500m: 25:02 31/73 OA
Water temp was a toasty 68 degrees. Clarity was poor; any body of water that officially calls itself a pond will be as clear as a coffee at 7-11….in Jersey. Goal for this swim was to just focus on technique. I decided ahead of time that if I felt like I was going hard, then I was doing it wrong. I settled in mid pack, and off we went.

My placement was a big mistake, as I had pretty bumpy ride swimming through people. Took a good kick to the face, but goggle stayed put. After about 100 yards, things began to clear up a bit and I settled into a nice even rhythm. Bilateral breathing every third stroke, sighting every 2 breaths, long in the water with no pauses in stroke, focusing on catch and rotation. The course was a 2 loop dealio with an interesting 25yard dash in between loops. Hey why not?

As I made my way through the second loop, I had a bit of difficulty sighting as we were swimming right into the rising sun. Kind of hard to find an orange buoy in the halo of a giant burning sphere. Unlike my last swim, there was plenty of company though so I just kept with the crowd. Just as when I was wondering when the turn for shore was coming, I saw a bunch of swimmers turning left. That was fast I thought. I started turning, when I heard someone screaming “NO!” As I wasn’t in college and wasn’t attempting to hit on a chica, I figured this must be in relation to the direction I was heading. Sure enough, everyone was turning one buoy to soon…except for me. I just kept cruising along on course to home.

As I made it out of the water, I was barely breathing hard. Official time was 25:09. If this is legitimate (no chip timing), then this would be my fastest pace ever. I heard unofficially that the course was short by about 50 yards, but even with this correction, this would equal on of my better times. Unfortunately, Missoula is a tough crowd when it comes to Tris, the other guys in my group were WAY faster…for now :).

T1: 1:51
Nothing much to mention here except lots of gravel in the parking lot, which made T1 feel like I was running on a cheese grater.

Bike – 24.7 miles: 1:07:03 19/74 OA
Flat like pancakes....
One word to describe this: FLAT. By far the flattest course I have ever raced on. So basically, as soon as I got out onto the course, it was into aero and gritting the teeth. Initially, took in a few people and then things got spread out. During the last 4 miles, I started to feel my body bottom out a bit. The only thing I was packing was plain water…probably not a good idea in retrospect. Goal for the bike was sub 1:10, and I was pleased to have be 19/74 OA on the bike.

My fastest T2 time ever. I’m not sure why. I headed out of T2 so fast, I was sure I forgot my race number or left shoe or something.

Run 6.2 miles – 48:37: 31/74 OA.

About 3/4 into the first mile.

Okay, lets just be frank. This time totally sucked. Prior to the race, I knew I wanted to just hammer the run all out. So heading out of T2, I just pushed as hard as I could go. Legs were like jelly from pushing it on the bike. At about mile 1, I was striding better. I just kept pushing and was seriously hurting by mile 2. I roped in 1-2 peeps by mile 3. Surveying the field at the turn around, I didn’t see any other males nearby, so I felt confident and headed on home. During mile 4-6, my energy levels took a nose dive; I definitely had not fueled enough. To add to the problems, in the last mile, I got confused on the direction and had to ask a passing male which way. Of course, he happened to be in my age group. Smooth…..

Goal was sub 47, and I was way off here. I have a lot of work to do this winter.

Synopsis: 7/12 AG & 24/74 OA.
Overall, not a bad or great day. This was my PR for an olympic course. It helped surely to have a flat ride, but Ive still shaved about 30 minutes from my olympic time last year. Ranking was not where I wanted to be, but it just gives me more mental fuel to get on par with the Missoula crowd this winter.

While the race was an overall good experience, the post race 24 hours was something out of Nightmare on Elm Street. During the two hour drive home, I started getting serious stomach cramps. I made it home without having to pay the toll on the Hershey Highway, but I pretty much stayed in the bathroom for 24 hours with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. This was not the post race festivities I had in mind. In retrospect, this was caused either by the Ibuprofen I took before the race, and/or swallowing some lovely pond water. In either case, I lost a few more pounds.

Just to FYI, Ibuprofen before a race can cause some serious problems. During high intensity exercise, blood is shunted away from organs like the stomach and intestines to the muscles. This makes their surfaces more sensitive and susceptible to damage and ischemia. Throwing in a medication like Advil, which is in itself very hard on the stomach, is just asking for trouble. Be cautious!

Things I Learned:
Pay attention to the race map.
My nutrition plan needs work.

Things I Need To Work On
Tempo Runs. Lots of them this winter.
Core strength.
Experiment with Hammer and Infinit.

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on September 9, 2010, in Race Reports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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