So when we left off, I was heading out on my bike after a decent swim. From here on out, things would go downhill.
As soon as I got on the bike, my lower back hurt. I thought back to South Carolina last year and Callaway this year and finally realized that my back pain in these races had all come from the swim?? This is something I am going to have to address ASAP. The first half of the ride felt great. It was mostly flat or downhill and was pretty fast. It took my about 20-30 minutes to get my HR down under 170 and from there on out, I tried to keep it in the low 160s. I was really feeling good about finishing close to 3 hrs. Unfortunately, the next 10 miles or so were tough. It seemed like the hardest hills were packed into these 10 miles. It was at this point I knew that 3 hrs wasnt achievable, but I was OK with this. I should still be able to put in a reasonable time. At mile 40 I had to make a stop to tighten the water bottle cage because it was rattling and I didnt want to lose my bottle with the perpeteum. The last 10 miles were pretty good, but my legs were getting tired from the hills plus I think I had a headwind at that poin. My back hurt through most of the ride, but I dont think it hampered me too much. My legs definitely felt looser thanks to the Chiro.
My bike time was just under 3:30 where at South Carolina, I was able to finish the ride in right about 3 hours. I felt OK with it because I kept my effort level where it would need to be for B2B One thing I will be addressing in the off season, in addition to my weight, is climbing. There is an awesome 30 mile group ride right in my back yard that runs from spring to fall that has a whole lotta climbing. I will be riding that as much as possible. I may even ride it on my own throughout the winter.
The Run aka the 4 hour death march
Then things just fell apart. I started out on the run and immediately felt nauseous. I was fine if I walked, but when I ran I could not stop burping. All I wanted to do at this point was to vomit. I thought if I vomited, at least I would feel better. No such luck. i think at most I ran a half mile continuously . My legs felt great, but my stomach wouldnt quit. The run course was pancake flat. It went up and down the streets of Downtown Augusta. Much of the course was quiet with no spectators, but the main section that did have spectators was great encouragement even though I felt like crap. You always know when you are coming up to the tri club - North Atlanta Multisport's tent because they are loud and the cowbells are a rockin. By the second half of the run, my stomach was a little better, but unfortunately at this point I had nothing left in me. My feet were painful because my shoes were too tight and the balls of my feet were blistered. It took everything I had to walk all the way to the finish
By the time I was out on the run, it was super hot and maybe 25% of the course was shaded. I drank mostly water and was eating shot blocks. Because I was afraid that I might not get enough sodium and I forgot to grab my endurolytes on the run, I started taking both Gatorade and water on the run. One thing that really upset me was that the aid stations were 1.5 miles apart. On a hot day like this, they really should have been every mile. By the time I was finished with the "run" I was really dehydrated. I was going to try and see if I could get an IV, but the line was long and you would have to also wait to see the Dr before you could get an IV. I wasnt feeling well, but everything ended up ok. What really concerned me was that I hadnt urinated at all the four hours I was on the run course and at some point, I dont think I was sweating anymore, though I couldnt tell if that was because I was no longer exerting myself that highly. When I finished, I headed to the food tent to find out that all they had left were bananas and cookies, they were completely out of pizza. They only had water and no gatorade. I grabbed some cookies and Cathy got the car. I got my bike and stuff out of transition and went back to the hotel and showered.
Other then my blisters, I am not in any pain. I have a few tight muscles I need to work out. I took today off of work so I could rest and relax. I plan on resuming my training tomorrow in the pool. I may not be able to run for a few more days until the blisters go away
Lessons learned and unanswered questions
I learned alot from this race. Some of the changes I need to make are obvious, but others are not so obvious
- Why is my back hurting coming out of the swim. Thinking back to Callaway, it hurt even after that short swim. My back never hurts after a swim in the pool. I am going to try to get to the lake as much as possible in the next six weeks to see what I can figure out.
- The wetsuit may not be an issue since I am considering renting a full suit
- I need to spend more time in the pool
- I need to do much more hill training. Obviously losing weight will help as well, but I need to get out and grind the hills.
- Why was I nauseous on the run? I have used perpeteum on the bike almost all year without any issues. However, I have not used it in a race. One possible though it it has to do with using it at certain intensities. I was reading Chris's Blog as he prepares to do South Carolina Half again this year. He had a GI issue with his nutrition and he was saying that what he had used in his lower intensity training gave him trouble at the higher intensities of racing. This had me thinking that that could be my problem. Dinner the night before had been intentionally bland: pasta with olive oil, garlic, chicken, and tomatoes so I doubt it was that. My breakfast wasnt anything too different from what I have used other times, other then the bagel. The only different thing I used was that I did have some gatorade that morning, but I doubt it was that. The only other thing I can think of is that I had been having some GI trouble all week, but that did not involve nausea. That, and my nausea was only when I ran. My stomach bothered me all yesterday and in through this morning. i am finally feeling fine now.
- I need new, wider running shoes. My shoes have been working for all my training runs, but they were too tight when I got to the run because my feet were so swollen. Most shoes I wear a 13-EEEE, these were only EE. The pain I got on the inside of my left foot were definitely from the tight shoes.
- How did I end up with blisters on the balls of my feet? There are too many variables to truly figure out what caused this.
Thoughts going into B2B
Overall, I am positive about B2B full which is in less then 6 weeks from now. If I can address the issues that came about from Augusta, especially the back pain and the nausea, I think I will be well off. The swim is with the current. If I spend more time in the pool the next 4 weeks, I will be better off. From what I understand, the bike course is really flat, though there can be a strong wind. I just have to keep my effort level steady. The run will be the biggest crap shoot. It all just depends how everything else goes. New shoes will definitely help and not being nauseous is key. But the run is definitely the big thing I cannot plan for.
I am contemplating reworking my nutrition strategy. I may go back to a carbs only solution and skip the protein in the perpeteum. The problem is that there isnt alot of time to test it. I am so afraid of repeating the nausea at B2B. I didnt have any problems with my nutrition at SC Half last year, so I could pull out my notes and go back to that. I just liked the ease of perpeteum