Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Great job, and great way to finish off the season. I hope I can be as consistent the coming year as you have been with your training. So when you coming to the islands for some surf and racing? Conditions are perfect, light east wind and a building n/nw swell. I hope to be on it this weekend. The lip is getting close to being healed so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am totally ready to train and of course surf. Can only ride the indo board so much
Anyways, it was a blast following your progress this year and congrats again on smashing your goals. Cheers to you and your family through the holidays. Oh yeah, the ST christmas party should be rockin again.
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Overall Rank = 1002/1800
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 178/192
My race report:
I'll start by saying that my prediction that I'd be BOP in this race was partially true as I was one of the last in my AG to finish. I expected that since I didn't technically "qualify" as I got one of the slots they were handing out at the Calif. 70.3. I took that slot with the premonition that once people realized that this event was a big deal and started competing hard for slots, I'd never have a chance in hell, so I took the slot in March knowing it would be psychotic to try a half IM the week after my first IM. I knew almost everyone else there was fast!! And they were. I simply wanted to PR for the 1/2 IM distance after finishing my first IM just a week prior. I know I recover quickly and figured I could do it given the conditions and course.
The week leading up to the race, I had put in my first run/swim 3 days post-IMFL and was nearly feeling recovered. I did the G'ade swim both Thurs and Friday and re-introduced myself to Tom Z (I've introduced myself to him like 4 times now and I crack up thinking how there's no way in hell he's remembering me since he meets some many people!).
Up at 4am with my usual breakfast and out the door for the 1/2 mile walk to Transition. Got bodymarked with the stamps like they use in Kona, though mine wasn't done too well. I was even thinking how cool it was that we got the plastic number plates for our bikes, and racks to hang our gear bags on. I felt like I was in a big-time race, which of course it was! NBC cameras were all over the place even shooting me getting marked, so I threw out a "great day to race!" for the camera hoping to have some shot at getting on TV! I'm such a ham! I milled about in transition with no problems knowing what to wear on the bike since the weather was going to be warm. Met Kevin Herbert who was racked next to me. He's also from Orange County by way of Maryland (same as me). He ended up in 2nd place in our AG! I ended up sitting around alot stretching, making trips to the portapotty, saying "good luck" to Rudy Garcia-Tolson. Probably could have come an hour later, but better early than late in case something goes wrong. My Cervelo Dual was probably the cheapest bike in the entire lot. If an anvil fell out of the sky and destroyed all the bikes in T1, homeowner's insurance rates nationwide would have skyrocketed after the claims had been settled! Are anvils falling from the sky an act of God? Hmmm?
Watched the big screen with the IMLive broadcast. Had to watch the pro start on the screen because the crowds were blocking my view. Conditions couldn't have been better. Clear skies, beautiful sunrise, no wind, no surf. I self-seeded at the back left of our wave thinking I'd be good in the back given the level of competition. Turned out to be perfect. Took it a bit wide and I had clean water throughout most of the swim and turned in an uneventful 34 minutes which is pretty normal for me at this distance. Strippers peeled my suit off quickly! Woo hoo!
Sped in with a minimal stop in the shower, and grabbed my bag, in the tent, dumped it out and pulled on the socks, bike shoes, stuffed the pockets, on with the sunnies, race belt, and I was off to grab my bike. Thanks to the volunteer that stuffed all my flotsam and jetsam into my bag and whisked it away.
It was a quick ride out of T1.
My family was there to scream for me as I exited, and I threw a quick "woo hoo" to them. I quickly settled into my bars. I was hoping NBC would pull up beside me on the bike so I could ask them, "pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?", but no such luck! I figured I would shoot for a PR here. My fastest 1/2 IM bike split was at the Disney 70.3 and it was 2:47. After doing my first IM last week, I felt like for the first time I could "race" this distance, so I went mellow for the first 20 miles or so, and then turned on the feedbag and the effort. Gave a quick "Yeah Sarah...ORANGE COUNTY!" as I passed Sarah Reinertsen (I'm such a goddam geek!) as I passed her and downed the first of about 10 Fig Newtons and several gels.
At some point early on, some clown on a road bike that wasn't even in the race passed me on the right. I was hugging the cones at that point already and he squeezed between the cones and me. I caught him about mile 50 (he must have stopped somewhere...I'm not that good!). The packs scared the shit out of me as they sped by narrowly missing my front wheel. I always ride alone and don't feel comfortable riding in close quarters with others (there goes my ITU career huh?), so they'd cruise by and my blood pressure would go down again as I'd have open road for another 10 minutes until the next pack came along. One girl at the back of one of the packs says to me as she goes by, "Check out the Tour!" (obvious "Tour de France" reference) and all I could say was "damn, you aren't kidding!". Every time I'd come to a group of spectators cheering for us, I'd notice that none of the other racers were even acknowledging them, so I made it a point to yell back to them with more "woo hoo"'s, and they really seemed to appreciate it.
I was holding over 20mph which I never do for rides over 20 miles even in training, so I was thinking I was going to smash my PR if I could hold that. Around midway, a big pack blasted by and I remember thinking how easy it would be for one of those packs to end up in a pileup, and sure enough, a mile later I caught up to about 6 or 7 stunned guys all checking themselves and their bikes with bottles and assorted gear on the pavement. They had cleared out of our lane and a marshall had stopped to help, so I continued on as no one looked seriously hurt.
About mile 40, I had just passed a girl and the metal snapped on one of my Nytro cages behind the saddle, dropped my water bottle and nearly my gear pack into the spokes! The girl yells "you dropped your bottle" and I quickly moved aside and pulled over. This had happened in a race before, so I acted quickly and picked up the bottle and rigged up the bag and was left with one cage w/G'ade and a water bottle in my mouth as I started back up. I quickly decided to ditch the water bottle and just go with G'ade for the remaining 16 miles. The cage, which I had stuffed in my jersey, fell out with my lip balm (lips are still sunburned from that loss), and I blasted it all the way back to T2 (well, blasted for me anyway!) feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to run. I think I passed about 6 or 7 on the bike (as opposed to over 200 the week before at IMFL), and got passed by probably 200! Hope I didn't have any holes or thin spots in my tri shorts or that would have been alot of people looking at my ass as they blew by me! A PR by about 5 minutes on the bike coming in around 2:42.
I handed off the bike to a guy with surgical gloves on, and ran to the bag rack, picked up my bag, and hit the tent and found a chair. A guy grabbed my bag and dumped it out for me and I seperated what I wanted from what I didn't and he stuffed everything else back in the bag (thanks again!) and I was quickly on my way for the run...after a portapotty stop, my one and only of the race.
So, off I went on the run at a nice, maintainable pace. The run was nice and flat until about mile 2 where we go up and over a bridge, and then it's basically flat for a few miles until you return to the bridge on the way back. Then, 1/2 mile past the bridge, you turn around and go back up and over and do that same lap for a total of 4 bridge climbs. It was warm, but not overwhelming, so I stuck with my IM strategy from the previous week of G'ade at every other aid station and water/gel at every other. I ran out of Gu so I started on the Double Latte Powergel. That stuff tastes like Double Latte...not that I'm a coffee drinker, but my wife is and I think she would have loved it. Anyway, the cold sponges were helpful too! I occasionally have to fart almost every time I run, and I did so a few times. I'd always look back to make sure no one was right behind me, but I know others heard me. Fortunately, no one said anything.
The leaders were headed for home as I was starting my run, but I was on track for a PR. I knew I'd done it on the bike, but could I run a good sub-2 hour 1/2 mary? I sure as hell was going to give it a go. So, I pressed onward sticking with my plan, throwing "woo hoo's" to the spectators, thanking the volunteers and trying to take nutrition from the smallest kids working the aid stations and thanking them (Am I Dudley Doright?), and really just enjoying it all. I even headbanged as I ran by the one house that was blaring classic rock and threw the "devil horn" sign at them. They loved that one! I liked the little signboard they had near the run turnaround. Someone had posted a message for me, but I don't know who. My guess is it was a generic computer-generated thing because the message was "Jay Reale- smile and wave...the boys". WTF? Anyway, I was checking my time and was looking at a 15 minute plus PR, so I ramped it up for the last 2 miles. I had VERY briefly walked all the aid stations, but I ran through the last one getting to the traffic circle thinking I was about done, but they make you do a couple hundred yards up the road and then double back to the finish chute. Damnit!
I was nearly there and saw my family again and told them I loved them and again with the "woo hoo", as I rounded the corner. I heard my name (no, they don't say "YOU ARE A HALF IRONMAN!") and my brother and nephew were right there, so I briefly stopped and hugged them, but was hoping to carry my daughter across the line, which I neglected to do (regretfully) at IMFL, but alas, she was taking her daily nap, so I had to suffice with another solo effort. A PR on the run with a 1:54 for a 5:18 total time, a PR by just under 16 minutes.
I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment having done something that 6 months ago seemed unthinkable. Doing my first IM was crazy enough for me, but most people told me I was insane to do a 1/2 IM one week later. I assured myself that I knew my own body and knew how quickly I could recover, and drew inspiration from Joe Bonness (who I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with several times along with Sue, his wife, during these two races). I read alot on ST about increasing my durability for the running, and it worked completely for me. Running 5 days/week made a massive difference in my legs' ability to recover from a marathon within 3 days and be fresh enough for a 1/2 mary PR the following weekend. It just strengthened my belief in the Ironman Corporate Slogan about "Anything is Possible". It's amazing how the body can do what the mind wills it to. Long-course triathlon is the manifestation of that philosophy.
Of course, as I had figured, I was near the bottom of my AG, but somewhere near the MOP overall, which was okay with me. I got my free towel (cool!), and free shell necklace (cool!) and headed for the food tent and got my pizza and Coke, and then hit the massage tent and joked with the girls that gave me a leg rub about how I wanted them to just leave after the massage and let me sleep there. Then, I gathered my gear and my wife helped me carry everything the 3/4 mile back to the house we'd rented, where I spent the afternoon in the hot tub.
The awards dinner that night was beautiful, with great food, and a super video at the end, and tri-celebs like John Blais and of course the pros. I found it hilarious that, for example, the guy that won the 70-75 AG had a faster time than me. For chrissake I have a long way to go, but it's sure going to be fun getting there!
Now, I'm back home, have had two days completely off from training after never having gone more than 2 days without training since March of 2005 and I'm a bit lost. I will resume unstructured stuff next week and keep it that way until early January when the IM 70.3 Calif. training begins in earnest. Next season, it's all about setting little PR's in some of the races I'll be repeating and trying some new races too hopefully! A great way to end the 2006 season.
Okay, now, stop reading this and get back to work!