Savageman HIM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
United States
"Tri-to-Win" Melanoma Foundation
55F / 13C
Total Time = 7h 24m 30s
Overall Rank = 302/428
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 33/50
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for this race moments after it opened for registration on New Year's day, planning to make it the 3rd and final race of my 2nd triathlon season, after a half in April and IM CDA in June. I figured being 10 weeks after CDA, I'd have plenty of time to recover and put in the race-specific training for this course. Little did I know that I'd need longer than planned to recover from CDA, and then mess up my knee trying to get going again too soon. So my ability to start the race was in doubt up until mid-August, when I was finally able to do a hard ride without knee pain and went ahead and bought a plane ticket. Half the last five weeks of training involved travel, so I put together workouts as I could, but definitely was not as trained as I wanted when I arrived at Deep Creek Lake. But it was Savageman - I had to do it.
Event warmup:

Volunteered as a photographer at the 30 mile race on Saturday, which got me somewhat in the spirit mentally. Physically, I did nothing.
  • 35m 17s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 50s / 100 meters

Good easy swim, about my fastest. Nice to swim without much contact in comfortable conditions. Passed folks from the wave that left 7 minutes ahead, which is a first for me.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 07m 3s

Kept my streak of pathetically slow transitions this year alive, but I was worried about getting dry and as covered up as possible for the long, chilly ride ahead.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, need to get better next season.
  • 4h 13m 3s
  • 55.7 miles
  • 13.21 mile/hr

So this is Savageman - lots has been written about the course and how brutal It is, all of which is accurate and I won't repeat here. I will talk about the Walll, which I didn't make it up, although I'm not sure why and hope to find a video somewhere that shows what went wrong. I was careful to set myself in a good gap at the bottom of the climb, but passed a bunch of people in the first three blocks and found myself at the back of a pack when I arrived at the main event. I then made it about 1/4 of the way up, before catching a crack that started me sideways, and I couldn't recover for some reason. I hit the curb and landed gently on my right side - nothing hurt except my rear gearing, which was messed up for the rest of the ride.

The other notable experience was being about 50 yards behind a guy that crashed bad near the start of the descent after the Otto climb. I got to him right away and he was in very rough shape - I and a few other folks who stopped did our best to keep him still and comfortable until the paramedics arrived 20 minutes later. Thankfully he became coherent enough over time for us to know that there didn't seem to be head or internal issues. I heard after the race that he was at the hospital and things were under control.

So I wasn't setting any speed records to start with, but the 20 minute delay and shock of seeing someone in severe distress really cut into my motivation for the rest of the day. The 20 minute break was a bonus, though, with Killer Miller just 5 minutes down the road, so I attacked it really hard and held over 400 watts for the main pitch, which is a big effort for me. I also took Mayardinier Ridge really strong, and that stretch was the highlight of my race.

Interestingly, my TSS for this ride was around 290, while for IM CDA it was 260, which means I put about the same overall effort into the two rides.
What would you do differently?:

Get up the wall - I suspect this was a mental failure as much as a physical one - I had the strength and gears to do it, but probably not enough belief that I could. I also still suck at descending - gonna work on that a lot next season.
Transition 2
  • 05m 32s

Another in a long line of slow transitions, but I wasn't in a hurry. Changed relatively quickly, but ate a whole Snickers bar before heading out on the run, because it was there.
What would you do differently?:

Work on fast transitions for next season, there's really no excuse.
  • 2h 23m 36s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 58s  min/mile

Was cramping in calves and hamstrings early on, probably due to not hydrating enough on the bike (didn't pee during the whole race). Got that under control by drinking most of the EFS I had in my Amphipod early on and going with Coke from the aid stations the rest of the way. Was pretty beat mentally and walked too many uphills. Took a five minute break after the first lap to chat with some family who came to support but had too leave before I finished. After getting to the fire tower on the second loop, I motivated myself to run hard for the last two miles of what had been a really enjoyable season and managed to pull off my fastest two miles in a race so far.
What would you do differently?:

When I enter a race, race, not take it easy. This should have been a lot faster, but I let myself off the hook mentally.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat down and enjoyed the finish line scene, made sure to drink a ton because I knew I didn't drink enough during the race. Had some ice cream, then headed out.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Descending skills, not making it up the wall, helping a fellow racer when he really needed it, and then losing mental focus. Those things, and the course being really freaking hard.

Event comments:

This race is seriously fantastic in every way. Completing it is a major accomplishment for all those who take it on - but beyond the well advertised challenge, there is a unique spirit to this race, from the crowds, to the signs along the course, to the volunteers, to the racers - it's like everyone knows that they are part of a unique, special event and it comes through in everyone's attitude that you encounter during the day. I can't believe there is another race experience out there that can match this one, and it is done for charity, not profit. Just fantastic all around - something tells me what I'll being doing on New Year's day next year when the race comes available for entries.

Last updated: 2011-01-01 12:00 AM
00:35:17 | 1931 meters | 01m 50s / 100meters
Age Group: 25/50
Overall: 225/428
Performance: Good
Suit: Try Cat 5
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 07:03
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
04:13:03 | 55.7 miles | 13.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/50
Overall: 313/428
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 72
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:32
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:23:36 | 13.1 miles | 10m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 36/50
Overall: 300/428
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5