Sunday, June 26, 2016

Triathlon #2 of 2016: Mohican 70.3! ( Half Ironman distance)

I love this race.  It is extremely challenging, though.  Which is why it draws me back every year.  This was my third year racing it, and they change the course each time, the first year the bike had around 3,400 feet of elevation gain, last year had 37-3800, and this year was the highest, with 3,928 feet.  The  run this year had 516, about the same as last year.

Mike was racing all weekend with the Wheelmen cycling team, so he couldn't camp with me, and my sister had puppy classes, so I  asked my Dad to camp with me the night before!  Slept on the ground, in a tent, in my sleeping bag the night before the race, that's right!  It was fun.  We used to camp at Pleasant Hill Lake all the time when my sister and I were little.  Brought back memories.  Onto the race!

The Swim
I wasn't nervous at all before this race until I stepped up to the start line of the swim.  It is very low key, and not a lot of people do it, probably because of its challenging nature.  Mohican is extremely hilly for being in Ohio.  The swim was in Pleasant Hill Lake.  It's a nice lake, I think, but dark, kinda murky waters so you can't see anything while you swim.  They let some females start with the men if they swam a 30 minute 1.2 mi or less, so me and another female stepped right up.  She sprinted real fast off the start (like most people do then lose speed).  I prefer to certainly start fast, but not sprint to save energy, speed, and endurance for the rest of the swim.  It was a nice swim, I don't have much to say about it, I thought I swam pretty well, maybe could have gone a bit faster, but maybe not.  I did feel a bit of fatigue in my arms towards the end, I may have to start adding more longer sets, although 30+ 100s are definitely fun for a workout :). I mean like 400s and 500s.  Anyways, as I predicted, I did gain on that girl who sprinted off at the start.  However I couldn't catch her!  She was still fast, and I finished 20 seconds behind her on the swim.  No big deal.  I left transition with my bike before she did.  I ended up swimming a 25:20, but I think the course was short because normally I'm in the

28-30 min range.

The bike
So, on my directions for infinit nutrition, it says add 2 scoops to 24 oz of water, and this should be consumed every hour for a long endurance race.  That's 240 calories and hour.  In the morning I mixed 6 scoops of infinit in my water bottles, and I think it was too much.  I'll just be doing 4 scoops (480 calories) for training until IM OHIO (8/21) and see how i do running off the bike.  I had one 16 oz water bottle of just water.  About 45 min left on the bike, I had already drank all my water and infinit but a 24 oz bottle of infinit.  I wished it was water, so that tells me I did indeed have too much sports drink.  Fluid wise I felt great, did not feel dehydrated, I took in 80 oz of fluids.  I also think if I ingest my Infinit Nutrition during the first half-2 hrs on the bike, I can finish the rest with plain water to help prevent stomach cramps on the run.  I noticed the last two weekends that I was getting a cramp in the stomach, too.  Should have known!  But in the past, I would deplete myself and not take
in enough calories so I think I was worried about that.  I am much better at drinking on the bike now 
so it shouldn't be a problem. 

The bike was a 4 lap course.  I thought it would be a little boring, doing 4 laps, but actually it was quite nice because you knew what was coming after you completed the first lap.  So, I took off, in the lead, and I was taking my time and just settling in when the girl behind me passed me up.  I looked down at my power meter and decided I could pick it up and drop her.  So I did.  I saw her on the turn around each time, but each time she was further away :).  The hills....some rolling, some pretty steep both up and down.  The good thing, is when we got to the monstrous hill that seemed like it lasted forever, there was a nice lonnnng descent after it.  I felt so comfortable on my cannondale slice, I was better able to descend this year than years past, plus getting over my fear of descending this year has helped greatly.  I clocked in at 2:45, which is 20.4 mph. With 3928 feet of elevation, pretty stoked.  (Although, my Garmin had me at 52.2 mi and 19.1 mph for a 2:44:23, but for some reason my Garmin gets off a few miles sometimes, so who knows.  Either way, still good for me because the last
two years during this race I was only able to average in the low 17mphs..  I stayed within a

reasonable power range, too because I didn't want to kill my legs for the run.  I felt great coming off the bike.

The run
I wanted to run a 1:50 for the half at Mohican, or maintain 8:30s since it's so hilly.  I was running an 8:18 for the  first mile which felt great untilllll the side stomach cramp came.  I dealt with that the whole rest of the run.  I had stop and walk it out and number of times which sucked for me mentally because I never like walking during a run.  I walked some up hills.  Walked at aid stations. I took my EFS gel with me, but couldn't consume any because my stomach hurt so bad.  I ran when I could, walked when I had to.  I ended up taking two small cups of coke (which I don't like) but thought maybe it would help my stomach .  It didn't. Oh well, you can't always have a great race.  Once I had to slow down after the first mile, the second place girl gained on me and passed me around mile 3.5-4. It sucked because I know I could have ran much faster.  She had a good run, and may still have won even if I was able to run faster, but I would have put up a good fight!  Despite all that, I still ended up getting second place overall, and I shaved something like 30min off my time from last year. I'm pretty happy with that!