August 03, 2019 - 1:06 + 5:42 + 4:31
Woke up early, about 4:00 race morning and ate some breakfast. The hotel room was only 400 yards or so from transition, so I made the short walk over and finished setting up my bike and transition bags. I had to make a last min equipment decision between the full aero helmet (giro A2), and the aero road (Spec Evade). I tend the get hot in the A2 and was worried it might be a bit warm for the full aero, but ultimately decided the aero benefit was worth it and put the A2 in my T1 change bag.
My swimming has felt pretty good (for me) leading up to today. I swam an easy effort loop of the course in days prior and timed it at 31:30. My goal swim was time was 1:02 to 1:05. I seeded my self toward the front chunk of the 1 hr to 1:10 group. I tried to swim just left of the sighting buoy, where I could see the famous underwater wire and cut down On head up sighting. Apparently this was the entire fields plan as well as this wasone of the most high-contact group swims I have experienced. I tried to keep calm, focus on my form, and avoid wasting energy surging or getting caught up in other swimmers. I found some feet to draft off of on and off the entire swim, but it was very dynamic, and never really hit a good rhythm. I finished loop one in 31:43. The second loop I tried to stay a bit further out side, to avoid contact. This didn’t seem to help much as I continued to find other swimmers out here as well. I exited the swim in 1:06:14, so a bit slower on loop two, but close to my goal.
I ran up the long path to T1, grabbed my change bag got my stuff on, and headed out on the bike. I was feeling good, moving up through the field of superior swimmers in the first few miles. I kept my power intentionally low as I tried to get in some nutrition early on. After the bomb of a decent into Keene, we hit the climb into Jay, the out and back, and the whiteface climb. I was still feeling good, eating, drinking Skratch, and taking water at aid stations when needed. I was starting to get a bit warm in the A2 helmet on the climbs, but spraying off with cold water at the aid stations was helping. Right back in town, around 55 miles is when I felt it. The whomp whomp of rim turning on the pavement. I took a turn and felt the back wheel slide, looked down, and sure enough I had flatted. I stopped, grabbed my spare and changed it out as quickly as possible. Only, when I inflated with CO2, the new tube immediately started hissing as well. I found a hole in the tire responsible for the leak. I was out of spare tubes, but, luckily was within sight of my special needs bag with a spare. I ran over (with the help of a super nice volunteer) and got my bag. I booted the tire with an empty gel and prayed it would hold. To my delight, the tire held air when I inflated it. Back out on the bike, 20 min lost in all, baking in the heat changing the tire, and partially demoralized, I tried to stay positive and find my groove again, but it never really came back. I was nervous hitting the decent at 55 mph like the first loop on a now booted tire, so took it more conservatively. Shortly after, I started feeling bloated, and struggled to eat. I kept taking in water to keep hydrated, as I was pretty hot at this point. By mile 90i was nauseous, and feeling like I needed to throw up. I pushed through and finished the bike, in a disappointing 5:42:35 debating if I could even run.
Into T2, I was nauseous, hot, and had a bit of a head ache. I figured I start the run, and see how it went. Grabbed my change bag, and got my shoes on. I actually threw up a little bit in the garbage can in the change tent. Headed out to the run course and saw my now worried wife. I told her I was struggling, but was going to give it a shot. About 500 meters later, I ran off the course and puked in the bushes. This actually made me feel significantly better, and I was able to start running at a decent pace. I got in 4-5miles at my goal pace, but I still couldn’t eat or drink as it would make me bloated, then come back up minutes later. This lack of nutrition would inevitably catch up and bring may run to a walk/run shuffle. Right around mile 13, I was toasted from an energy standpoint, still not eating. I wanted to quit, but out of respect for the sport I gutted it out and ran/walked the remainder. Ended up finishing the marathon in 4:31:27, a good hour+ longer than I was hoping.
Final time was 11:31:39. This wasn’t the race I was hoping for, as I feel my fitness is much greater than I demonstrated, but I am happy I finished and didn’t quit. Good news is recovery has been going very well, as there want much damage from the run due to all the walking. I am thinking I might sight up for anothother and give it a re-try in the next few weeks. IM Maryland is looking like it might be a good option with 8 weeks to recover, and prepare between. It would be a shame to waste all of the long course fitness I’ve built over the past year.