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Toughman Tupper Lake Aquabike - Aquabike

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Tupper Lake, New York
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 07m 27s
Overall Rank = 11/20
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

Up at 05:15 - motel was literally across the street from the start. Ate 1/2 a bagel, Fage yogurt with walnuts, craisins, and honey. Got waterbottles together, put Skratch labs energy drink powder into aerofil bottle, added water (this will kill me later - didn't shake it up). Had a couple of sips of McD's coffee (thank you hubby for running next door for this). Got dressed - many layers as it was 40 degrees F upon awakening. Headed across the street with Sis-In-Law at 6:30 (gates opened at 06:00). Race start for me was 08:15. Racked bike, dropped bag and went to get timing chip and view the transition ins and outs and swim course. I asked many people how the Aquabike finished and no one seemed to know!! I finally found a guy who knew the race director and he said "I'm going to make the call that you just run across the T2 mat." There was no defined finish for the Aquabikers - something they will change for next year. This was the first year they offered it. I ate a banana about an hour prior to start. Wetsuit at about 08:00. Tried in vain to find my Sis-in-law who was doing the entire HIM.
Event warmup:

Really no warm-up. By the time I got to the beach area they were making people get out because the sprinters were going off at 08:00 ahead of the rest of us.
  • 41m 33s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

They had 3 waves - 1st was the sprinters, 2nd was HIM 44 years and younger, 3rd was 45+ HIM, Aquabikers and Relay teams so men and women were mixed. Sprinters started at 08:00, 2nd wave at 8:10 and 3rd at 08:15. Walking into the water was quite rocky and there was zero visibility to see the bottom to avoid them. Lakes/Ponds in the Adirondacks are either green or brown like coffee - this one was brown with about 2 feet of visibility. My crux has been my start and subconscious panic in the first few hundred yards affecting my breathing. This did NOT happen this time so for me that was a victory. That being said, my swim was slow. Due to the poor visibility people were running into each other throughout the swim simply because they couldn't see each other. Someone stopped dead in front of me and I ran right into him/her. I never really got away from people but did feel I swam comfortably but not as hard as I know I can. My arms felt restricted and I think maybe I didn't get my wetsuit up as far as I could have.
So, the not panic part was great but the actual swimming wasn't great so I'll have to call it an average swim.
What would you do differently?:

I'd really work getting my wetsuit up farther. This was the first time I've felt my arms restricted on a swim. I don't know if this affected my swim but it wasn't as easy to move as it usually is.
Also, I think I'd do more swimming, meaning longer distances, closer in to the race. My plan really had me taper the distance quite far out from the race, more so than I think I should have.
Transition 1
  • 02m 59s

This was quite a hike to get to my bike from the water - but my rack was closest to the "out" mat for the bike so I'd rather run far without the bike than with it. I started chatting with someone from Ottawa and took my time - doh!! I viewed this as a training race so I wasn't too concerned but didn't mean to fully double my T1 time!! Usually I put my sunglasses and helmet on while I'm working the bottom of my wetsuit - I didn't do that this time. You can absolutely win/lose a race in transition.
Oh, they also held people in T1 to allow traffic to go by before letting racers across the road to get started!! There was a huge bottleneck of people trying to get out all hollering "let us go! Hold the cars!" Spots were certainly lost there.
What would you do differently?:

What would I do differently? I would shut my piehole for starters! LOL. I would do like I usually do and put my sunglasses and helmet on while working the wetsuit with my feet. We were required to walk our bikes across the street before mounting so there really wasn't any flying mounts going on.
  • 3h 22m 55s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.56 mile/hr

I waited for about 20 minutes before consuming any beverage then took a sip of my Skratch drink....ugh. I've trained with this and like it but this time I had dumped the powder into my aerofil bottle and then put the water in and didn't shake it. Usually I mix it in a separate bottle and pour it into my aerofil bottle. My first swig was pure electrolyte and my stomach instantly went sour. The entire first 28 miles I thought I was going to throw up and it wasn't until turn-around did I dare drink water. Also, 8 miles in, my sit bones started crying. I have a love/hate relationship with my saddle and today I hated it. You know that feeling when something hurts so bad it takes your breath away and you can't breathe except to gasp? That was me every time I moved my butt on my saddle. I was almost in tears and debated turning around many times. I had lubed up with vaseline and Hoo Ha Ride Glide before the race, but clearly I needed to add more in T1 and I need to reevaluate my saddle. (Cobb 55 JOF). Toward the end of the ride my saddle pain calmed down significantly - I think my body finally accepted that this is what was going to go on and deal with it.
Anyway, I finally got a few sips of water in and the stomach started to calm down. I was getting hungry though, so around mile 35 I dared to take a GU. This definitely helped with my energy but it was the only thing I ate the entire bike. I really needed more nutrition. I had it with me but was very afraid of the nausea earlier. By late in the race my Skratch Labs drink was mixed up so I could sip that too.
I rode in aero for over half the ride which I haven't done before (new shorty Jammer GT's). I loved it and really got comfortable going into and out of aero. This was a great practice race.

Crosswinds on the way out lent to headwinds on the way back in.
There were only 20 people signed up for the Aquabike as this is the first year they've offered it.
What would you do differently?:

Certainly shake up my drink before putting it in my aerofil bottle. The nausea and sit bone pain were extremely distracting in the first half of the race and it affected my performance in the second half of the race.
I'm going to continue working on hills and incorporate more hill intervals in my training.
Post race
Warm down:

mild stretching, put my sneakers on and jogged off and on. They let us go to the real finish line and "run across" to feel like we completed something. It was cheese.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

wetsuit on the swim and I think I needed more longer swims closer to the race.
My nutrition and saddle pain definitely caused issues. I had nothing in the tank to run the engine. With all that going on I am actually happy with how I biked.

Event comments:

The volunteers were awesome and I tried to tell every aid station I passed and every police officer I passed how much I appreciated them. I LOVE volunteers! At the bike they uncapped the hydration and trotted along trying to hand it to you. There were probably 5 aid stations on the bike which to me is great! I heard on the run there was an aid station every mile!!
At packet pick-up the day before, there was a question table - my sis-in-law and I asked a few questions and the person didn't know a single answer...hmm. I understand maybe not knowing the answers to the Aquabike questions because it's a new event, but maybe have someone else there too as back-up for questions.
Overall this was a no-fanfare kind of race - not big but fairly organized. There was almost NO FOOD at the finish for the competitors - only half bananas, orange slices, pretzels, and shotblox. I didn't even see waterbottles - only a cooler with some kind of sports drink. That was really surprising. I've been to small town 5ks where they have more food. There was a post-race barbeque you could attend for an additional $12 which was okay and competitors did get 2 free beers so that was good. There were almost no fans to cheer you on and I don't think there was even any music. It was very quiet. LOL. I'd still do this again for the bike course - maybe do the whole HIM (couldn't do it this year due to a knee injury so I was thankful for the Aquabike offering). I was sad I didn't get my "night before carbo-load food voucher" in my race packet. We were all supposed to get one included in the price of the race, but I didn't. The voucher was worth $12 and could be used at about 5 different restaurants the night before. I never got mine. Oh well. After the race I went to camp and had a Heady Topper and all was good.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-06-30 12:00 AM
00:41:33 | 2112 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 11/20
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 4
Course: Clockwise U. Out, 90 degree right turn, swim, 90 degree right turn, to shore. Dark brown water with about 2 feet of visibility.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:59
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:22:55 | 56 miles | 16.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 11/20
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Out and back, rollers, and a few decent hills. The first big hill is about 2.5 miles out of town. I rode it the day before so I knew what to expect. I will admit it is a little satisfying to blast by men on TT and Tri bikes on my little road bike - though as soon as we got to the top they blew by me and I never saw them again. The next big hill is about 10.5 miles in with rollers in between. The first 20 miles (and therefore the last 20 miles) had really decent rollers, a nice challenge with lots of shifting and little rest. The course itself had nice shoulders, it was not a closed course so cars were ripping by us along with many military convoys. They did a nice job of trying to label almost all of the potholes with fluorescent orange paint. Well done there. If you are not used to riding rollers, I highly recommend training them before this race. The elevation gain advertised is about 2,700 though my Garmin 920 said it was about 2,400. It is a nice ride though and if I lived closer I'd ride it often to train on. The ride out felt more like longer hills and the ride back in the hills were shorter and steeper. On initially driving the course it seemed the it was front loaded with difficulty but now that I've ridden it I'm not so sure - I think I felt more taxed on the way back (but that could have been the lack of nutrition as well as the headwinds.). Crosswinds/slight headwind on the way out shifted to a headwind on the way back - folks were talking about this after the race. Coming into T2 - the finish for me, they had a very narrow coned off area, no passing, slow down, hop off and turn 90 degrees running across the mat. There was no fanfare for the Aquabikers, no real "finish". This was their first year so they're working out the kinks.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 77
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-06-30 11:34 AM

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Subject: Toughman Tupper Lake Aquabike
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