Monday, April 28, 2008

Race Report: Bassman Olympic; Cold Water, Loose Seat & Sand!

I am now officially a Triathlete! Those words feel incredible to write and I'm more excited than ever to chase down this dream of becoming an Ironman. For month I have felt the wear of training as I grinded out 11 hour training weeks with no days of rest; but finally I was able to test myself and compete - it felt incredible.

Pre Race:

My Dad had picked a somewhat less than desirable hotel with some questionable stains on the wall, itchy sheets and a sticky rug outside of Atlantic City for the night before the race. Although the ghettoness of the hotel was well worth it so my # 1 fan could see the race:

Life as a diabetic triathlete involves lots of preparing for nutrition; the night before the race the bathroom looked like a chemistry lab!
Pre race - 2 scoops cytomax, 1 scoop Met Endurance; 1/2 Clif Bar
Pre swim - 2 scoops EFS, 1 Scoop Carbo Pro, 1 Scoop Met Endurance
Bike Bottles (2) - 2 scoops EFS, 2 Sccops Carbo Pro Run - 2 scoops EFS, 2 Scoops Carbo Pro (comes out to less than that in 2 fuel belt bottles)

Post Race - 2 scoops Endurox

Nutrition for the entire race was spot on! I woke up with a blood sugar of 193, took .3 units of insulin, then turned my pump down to 30% for the duration of the race, pre swim my blood sugar was an awesome 214, post swim I was a little high at 290, I took .5 units of insulin and came off the bike at 167 (nailed that); I finished the race with a bs of 149 - couldn't have asked for my nutrition to be have been more dialed in!

Nutrition grade: A+


Terri (the Terrier Teammate whom I drove to the race) and I got to the race site a bit later than ideal but we were able to park in the main parking lot and had plenty of time to get into our wet suits, set up our transition areas and listen to the pre-race instructions. I can honestly say there have been few times in my life that I have been as nervous as I was the morning of the race. I could barely speak and was choking back vomit the entire time before I entered the water. During college football I'd normally throw up 3 or 4 times before a game and a few times during it (yeah I was kind of a nasty o-lineman) but knew because of nutrition I had to hold everything down.

The swim was perhaps the most terrifying experience of my life; I had heard from people who are far better swimmers than me that your first open water swim is like nothing you have ever done before. From my training times I should have been able to complete the 1/2 mile swim in less than 15 minutes. However, I didn't realize how hard it is to breath in 58 degree water or how much I'd freak out due to not being able to see in the water. I must have looked like a dying seal as I did a hybrid doggy paddle/ freestyle for 21 minutes until I exited the water (I'm the second guy):

Swim Grade: C, I preserved when I thought I was going to drown but my time was awful!


I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to leave that freezing cold water, I have alot of work to do for open water swimming, my coach has suggested I start training with my eyes closed to get used to the murky water. So it was with great excitement and determination that I left the transition area, I knew I had a ton of places to make up:

I felt phenomenal for the first 15 miles of the bike. My average speed was somewhere between 22 and 24 mph as I picked off racers one by one. Around mile 16 things took a serious turn for the worse; I started having back spasms which led to my hamstring cramping up and my right hip getting locked. I screamed out an F Bomb as my power started to leave my legs; of course 20 seconds later a super cute triathlete raced by me. I pushed through the last 10 miles of the bike in some serious pain and finished with an average mph of 19.5. When I cleaned my transition area after the race I pushed my bike by the saddle and came to find my seat had come completely loose during the bike! This equipment SNAFU really screwed my bike leg but as Coach Eggers told me "in typical Ed fashion you refused to let that stop you."

Bike Grade: B+, fought through the pain and came away with a pretty good split, would have been an A- if I didn't run into the back/ hamstring issue.


With a slight limp and a screaming back I headed out for the 4.1 (way longer than that in actuality) run course and hoped to hold on for a solid finish.

The race plan was to settle in over the first mile at about an 8 minute pace, then up my speed by 30 seconds for each mile and close at a 6 minute pace. Unfortunately I couldn't come close to those performance goals and went out for the first mile at an 8:40 pace, upped it to 8 minutes over mile 2, and closed with a 7:45 to 8 minute pace. One really weird thing about the race course was a 1/4 to 1/2 mile stretch in sandy woods - given that the bike to run transition on pavement is hard enough, the soft sand could only be compared to kryptonite for Superman - my legs were being sapped of all their energy on the soft stuff.

Run Grade: B, didn't achieve the speeds that I wanted but I also held my position off the bike and my fitness felt fantastic.


Overall, this was a phenomenal experience, I finished right in the middle of the pack with a time of 2:32; I'm somewhat disappointed in my time but the transition went well and I know exactly what I need to work on heading into the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman in about a month and 1/2. Having this triathlon under my belt this early in the season gives me the confidence that my nutrition, training and mental preparation are all headed in the right direction. I also learned that in this sports some things are simply out of your control, whether that be a loose bike seat, a sandy transition area or freezing cold water. You simply need to persevere and push through the bumps that triathlon presents, hold on and will yourself to the finish. There were several times during yesterdays race where that small doubt inside my mind asked "is this worth it," but an even louder voice boomed back "F, yeah this is worth it, keep working Liebo." As I headed out for the bike I heard my Mom yell, "Ring The Bolus!" I doubt she saw my smile but at that moment I knew that my work was paying off.

As I walked back to the transition area to collect my things I proudly thought to myself - we have alot of work to do before Placid but we're getting there:

Overall Race Grade: B-


steve said...

sucks to hear you had such a crappy race and didn't do as well as you thought you would. bummer, dude. keep trying it will get better!

Lynn said...

I'm so proud of you! You were great! Your picture is proudly displayed on myspace showing that my big brother is a triathlete!

Corey said...

Thanks for the update. I'm no where near being a triathlete, but am following your blog to get some ideas what to do with my desire to do multi-day bike rides while being an insulin dependent T2. I appreciate your writing style. You just break it down in easy to understand terms and what was happening to you at the time - as well as what you were thinking. Continued good luck.


Araby62 said...

Way to go and congratulations!

Carey said...

Very inspiring. Congratulations!

Albert said...

wow! congrats man! this is definitely something worth sharing about!

Albert said...
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Anne said...

congrat's Ed the triathlete! The thing about triathlons is that something unexpected always happens (to me anyway). Great job on the nutrition/diabetes end of things. Awesome.

I would imagine that there are some good places to practice open water swimming. Can you connect with any of the tri teams and see where they go?

Fantastic race, sounds like an "A" race given that this was your first ever triathlon! :)


Jillian said...

Congrats! What an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

of COURSE there would be sand there, you idiot.

Alison said...

Yaay!! Awesome job, Ed! You should be very proud! Congratulations!!

Wingman said...

Anon - actually most transition areas are on grass or on pavement; might want to check the facts next time chief.

Anne said...

I always eat 3 hours before a long ride or race. I have found that this is far enough in advance so that I can take my normal bolus. I don't usually eat a huge meal the day of a race, though, so my bolus is usually <3 U.

I also used Perpetuum last year for Ironman as my primary fuel source but seem to be getting a little sick of it by now. You might want to consider that halfway through the ride, when you get your special needs bag (with supplemental food/fluids), it might have been sitting in the sun for awhile. I tried to freeze it the night before and I can't remember if it was still cold.

The pre-ride high was due to the false low. I didn't want to take a full 1.5 U bolus an hour before riding. My goal is to start somewhere in the mid- to upper-100's.

Anonymous said...

wrong. lots of triathlons go through dirt and sand, i think you need to stop blaming other stuff for your poor performance. sorry you can't live up to your college glory days, guy.

Wingman said...

anon - here's my e-mail address, lets set a place to meet - if you want to leave all this negative stuff on my blog have the common courtesy of posting your name and an e-mail address associated with it, or just say it to my face.

I'm pretty sure I know who you are and lets just say I'd love to meet up sometime.

My past accomplishments are just that - past accomplishments. My current athletic life has nothing to do with the football player I once was. However, my experience as a NCAA athlete has given me the strength to combat my diagnosis. If someone combating one of the biggest negative events in their life the way I am bothers you so much, F-off.

Denise said...

Congrats!!! Sounds like you did great to me. I like your #1 fan he's pretty cool and I bet just as proud.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I think this is a classic case

Anonymous said...

Hey there--I stumbled across your blog while reading Courtney's blog. She and I had a friend in common, Nils. Anyway, I wanted to write and say congrats on your triathlon this weekend....

And I wanted to say something about this jerk who keeps posting mean things as comments. I think we should just re-name him, from "Anonymous" to "cockybreath".

In the days and weeks after your first big race, you should not have to defend yourself against jealous D-bags. You should be feeling proud and planning for your next race.

Ignore Cockybreath, and instead focus on all those folks who are inspired by your blog and your journey to becoming an Ironman. Best of luck to you this season!

Lauren DeEcheandia

Anonymous said...

I dont know, anon does have a point, there does seem to be some finger pointing going on here. However, doing that anonymously via a closed post is kind of lame. I like how the OP challenges him to a meetup. Blog-off!

susie said...

wow! Sorry to see all of this negativity from someone that is obviously jealous. Wingman, you did awesome. What an accomplishment! Stick with it. :)

Ronald Pierce said...

wow this comment section is really turning into a shit show. i think your problem is arguing with anonymous that seems to have set them off!

seems like you had a good race even though it was tougher than you thought. keep training and you'll get that power in your legs back! tris are really hard at first and I can see why you didn't meet your expectations. i didn't play ball in college but can imagine how that's totally different skill set. i think with your handicap of being a diabetic you have to realize you have a set back and sort of lower the base line. it's amazing that someone like you can even finish a triathlon!

way to get out there and keep trying, wingman, you're an inspirations.

ronald pierce said...

oh ps- i am going to pass along your blog to my Uncle Wally, he is a diabetic and could really use to see a diabetic like you out there trying regardless of set backs!

good job wingman

Maijaleena said...

Hi! Great job on finishing your first race! From someone who has done over 60 triathlons and duathlons, that was probably the toughest transition area to negotiate with all the sand. It was a lot of running in deep sand!

Brett said...

Ed, please turn off allowing anonymous posters. Anybody who doesn't have the balls to put their name on their post doesn't earn the right to post in the first place.

I have lots of thoughts to share.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Its always good to have goals, but in your first real triathlon it truly is about just getting it done. There are so many little things that you won't be accustomed to, its hard to set a real goal.

Swimming first...yea I've done probably 10 triathlons now and it took me almost until the 9th or 10th to get comfortable with the swim. Its so bizarre when you can't see and so many of your breaths get water splashed into them.

I think my only advice here is that now you know what to expect. Even though I am a decent swimmer, I still start to the outside of the line or towards the back. I'm never going to win, so losing 30 seconds on a 20 minute swim doesn't bother me. Then YOU get to be the one checking other people's oil as you pass them rather than the other way around. I'm not sure swimming with your eyes closed will really help...I think its just more races and getting used to sighting and just the general feel. The slower and more smooth I start, the less freaked out and nervous I am.

The sand - OMG the sand. Every picture is sand sand sand. That freaking sucks for transitions, but in the run too??????? I just ran a trail race a month ago thinking it would be a nice change from the road, but it turns out it was a lot of sand. My time was much slower than it should have been. It really takes a beating on your legs running in sand.

You are a fast cyclist. Don't change your grade because of an equipment malfunction unless you INCREASE your grade. You had every excuse to just coast it in. I once saw one of the top guys in Ironman Hawaii get a flat tire and just give up because now he was going to lose a few minutes so he just quit. WTF is that?

You have every right to be fired up - you made it, and you showed great potential and fitness.

GREAT JOB!!!!!!!

Adam Perry said...

good job finishing even when you realized you weren't going to make your goals! better to be in the middle of the pack than just to quit, right?

Anonymous said...

You really have some stupid comments in here. Way to put a damper on what should be a great accomplishment of celebrating finishing your first race. Hope you aren't letting the haters get you down, Wingman. Keep trying.

MC said...

I'm in my 2nd season of Tri. This was my longest race to date.
I saw that you are doing Mooseman. I'm doing the international and am very familiar with that area.
You are going to love the clarity of the lake. You may never swim in one more clear. So you have good vision.
I'm guessing the water temp will be the same as the Bassman.
The bike is definitely more challenging. I'm guessing you've already checked out an elevation map.
Run: I know the majority is flat, but I haven't looked at it closely enough to see if they throw some of the rollers from the west side of the lake at us.

As for the transition area, it could be sandy but it would be hard pack.

Good Luck!

Shannon said...

Congratulations on your first triathlon, Ed!!!!! You did great with all of the obstacles you had to deal with.

Why do Anonymous commenters have to be such dinks?? Leave a name at least. Obviously, it's someone who knows you and is afraid of a nice asskicking from you ;)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Congrats Ed! Sounds like you pushed through some challenges and learned a TON from this experience.

Way to go!

I can't wait to read about your future events!

jj said...

Wow, you've taken on quite the challenge but you sure sound like you're up for it! Best of success!!

Shannon said...

I know a few people who did the Mooseman (which is around up where I live, btw) and they, along with others, have given race reports for it. I figured it would help you to read them and see what you'll be facing so maybe you can plan accordingly and not run into any surprises:

JulyDream said...

CONGRATS!!! You're going to do great this summer. :)

Bradford said...

That sounds like a great first experience (in spite of the setbacks, which I'll explain in a sec)! My first tri was on a borrowed bike (with a frame that was waaaay too big for me, and borrowed shoes sized 14.5--I wear 11ish), and so I know the feeling of 'equipment mishaps'. :-) BUT, these mishaps go a Long ways in prepping you for future races (even though they may be a bit of a downer at the time). I also write down what type of food and pump settings I utilize, and where my BGs run relative to that, so I can plan for future races. Anyway, sounds like if you continue training like you have been, you'll be ready to mow down some competition at Mooseman! Congrats again!

E-Bell said...
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Kim said...

wingman, so glad you visited my blog, and totally digging yours, and youre hot which is always a plus. you did GREAT... fucking FANTASTIC in your first triathlon... i cant wait to meet you in person! mooseman and IMLP here we come!