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TribyFire's Blog

2013 EPIC Journey

Monthly Archives: May 2013

It has been 3 days since the race and this is my second attempt at writing this race report and blog.  I felt as though I was drawing it out too much and going into way too much detail and, at a point, making up excuses.  So let’s just be quick and to the point. It was a good race – not great, but good.  I wasn’t able to get in the training that I wanted to in the weeks leading up to it.  As they say, “I GOT LIFED,” but I am ok with that.  The last few weeks before the race became extremely hectic – working 90+ hour weeks, renovating my condo and moving out, and finding time to spend with my daughter and girlfriend.  Something had to give. And that something ended up being training. I have no regrets. 


When I toed the line Sunday morning, I was looking at the swim thinking “I have only swam twice in the last few weeks and this was my first open water swim of the year.” But that was immediately followed by “Who cares… go and do it! This race is a “B” race, so go out make mistakes and learn lessons.  That is why we are here today.”  I was the 13th wave to go off, so that meant navigating through a lot of people. The 83 degree water meant no wetsuits – and that was a challenge in and of itself.  But no complaining… everyone was in the same lake, literally and figuratively.  This was my first time swimming the Ironman “M” shaped swim – interesting. Lots of turns meant congestion at every buoy, and at turns 3 and 4, they crammed everyone into a 5-10 yard wide goal post type of shape. Crowded would be an understatement.  I let the frustration go and moved on. I wasn’t setting a blazing pace, but one where I could just survive and come out of the water to a good bike.  I finished the swim about 5 minutes over my projected time, and at 37 minutes in, I was on my way to the first transition.


The bike.  My goal here was to keep in my zone and focus on my nutrition.  If you know me at all, I am horrible at this game, especially in the heat.  But thanks to PowerBar, their support and products, I was able to nail my nutrition which was a critical piece to keeping it together that day.  I took in more than enough fluids, calories and electrolytes.  My power meter kept me true the whole time and the only adjustment that I made prior to the race was dropping my WATTS by 5% due to the heat. I had no desire to blow up and was focused on having a good run.  The course was very fair – constant rollers with a head wind 75% of the time.  I knew the race would be packed, making getting what I needed at the aid stations hard, so I decided to carry a ridiculous amount of fluid (4 28oz bottles) and avoid all the aid stations.  Smart decision as it turns out – the heat made the crowds even worse than I expected – bringing my own saved me from a potential crash and definitely the added frustration. Bike time: 2:43. 20.5MPH average.


Last, but certainly not least… the run.  My one goal coming into this race was to have a good run.  I was dealing with injuries in the couple weeks before the race, but thanks to Dr. Cassie Maximenko, I was on the mend and feeling good. No aches or pains at all the day of the race.  Also, two years ago at this same race, I fell apart during the run.  (Flat , fast and hot courses do not suit New Englanders well at all.)  In the first mile, I felt damn good, way too good.  And then mile 3 came.  I hit a wall – hard.   The heat just sucked the energy out of me.  I was not in pain, my legs felt ok, my lungs felt good, heart was not racing at all. I was just simply out of energy – depleted from the conditions of the day that were foreign to me these past few months of training. Trying not to hit panic mode and to figure out a solution to pull out of my slump, I tried a few tricks but with no success.  I had taken in enough fluids, I was still sweating, at every aid station I was drinking cups of water, drinking PowerBar Perform, dumping ice in my shirt and shorts. And even at mile six, I switched it up and took in some Coke.  But nothing was helping. It was clear that I was just going to have to suffer though the heat, which had now reached 91 degrees.  So I was playing the suffer game.  This was more of a mental game than it was physical.  I wanted to go. I felt as though I could go, but my legs and body were just not having it.  I was down to a shuffle and had to walk each aid station and a little more.


Overall, I had a successful day.  No PR would be set; no great stories to talk about from the swim or the bike. No epic story of how I held it together for the run.  But there is a lot of success in learning lessons. But there’s more success in being able to actually apply those lessons.  We’ll see at Eagleman in only three short weeks.


Just also wanted to take a quick moment to congratulate my fellow Wattie Ink teammates Steven Houston, Joel Rutledge and Evan Hill on their great races and their support when they passed me on the run.  You guys rocked the W AND the heat!