Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ironman 70.3 Syracuse 2012

My purpose for this summer is to complete 2 Ironman's within 3 weeks apart. Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman U.S. Championship. So, I decided early on to do a 50 Miler and 1/2 Ironman to get me ready. My biggest concern was whether my injuries have subsided and this would be a great test. Unfortunately, my training has been minimal because of taking care of my rental property; but that's not really a good excuse...

It's about 5 1/2 hours from where I currently live in New York to Syracuse; so, I decided to drive up 5:30AM in the morning to give enough time to obtain a wetsuit rental (forget my in Hong Kong) and check in my bicycle and stuff. Well, I have to admit; I didn't read the paper well and I figured everything was in one place. WRONG. lol. When we arrived at the lake, the police wasn't allowing us into the park even though there was literally 3 minutes before 10AM. What gives? When I talked to some of the early people, they already had their bike sticker and I figured I made a little mistake. So, about 10 minute away by car - registration is in the Crown hotel. With a lot of time to spare we headed over to find that the pre-race meeting was going on in hotel building one (by accident) and then figured out that the race packet was in the next building. It seemed a bit much; but I had to come into the city to head over to Syracuse Bicycle shop to obtain my wet suit rental.

The IRON-GOD was good to me and the water was wet-suit legal by a degree or so. So, that was good news since spending $40USD for a rental would kinda suck if I couldn't use it. The only peculiar issue with this race setup was that in the race papers, the swim would be heading along the shore and back in a rectangular fashion. But, the course was setup heading out from the beach directly to the other side and then creating a rectangular box. Well, not a big deal. With the swim being completely wakeless; I was pretty stoked. Granted I am a terrible swimmer and needed all the help especially since I haven't done any swim since 3 months.

I love to not do more work than I have to, so being next to the left of the buoys is where you can find me on any swim race. Unfortunately, I don't do the 3 strokes and look - so I easily meandered outside and probably could have cut off a minute if I was more straight. Finally, I broke sub 50 minutes on the swim (Yes, I told you I am a terrible swimmer; especially being that I learned how to swim less than 2 years ago for the very first time).

Out of the water, and the volunteers pulled me off the ground as I struggled to remove the wetsuit from my body. And off I went passing my brother as he cheered me on to the bike transition.

The first few km out are easy flat and then you make a turn onto the first hill. During that period, I lost my salt nutrition :(. In the past, in every single race, I would cramp up quite easily. Luckily the humidity was low and the wet-suit helped me in terms of less kicking power to stay afloat and I didn't require it at all. But, if this was in the humid southeast Asia, I would have died!!!! The first hill, I was seeing terrible things ahead. People getting off their bikes, people pushing their bikes.. I was thinking?? Is it that steep? But as I was being passed by faster age-groupers, I pushed the cranks and kept on moving.

This course has a series of hills that increase in elevation up to 500m taking about 18km. Each hill takes a bit out of you but not so bad compared to Ironman Nice, France! Once you hit the top, you know it and the bombing starts.. At this point, I hope to add a few more pounds as people who were heavier were passing me at ease and I was gunning it full crank all the way.

I don't know the hill name, but there is one place where you can go down in less than 1 minute for 1km and then unfortunately, you get it by a wall of hill (probably the highest grade). It's never too good to be true!

One thing I want to note. I lost gears when coming down a few hills. How can I fix this??? Please PM me if you know! I hate not being able to go faster!

The run is 2 loops and a bit hilly in 3 sections. When I started out, a little cramping occurred in my muscles above the knee. I was able to eat the pain and it subsided. After turning left off the main road, there is a bit of incline. I'm talking to myself and saying, "DO THIS! Don't give in. If you walk it you will be over 2 hours". Yes, I know, my mind is too weak and yes, I walked it. Overall, this is considered one of my better runs. No major cramps! No major walking. At the end, I put it into the next gear only to find out I ran out of steam about 50m from the finish. I like to push it hard at the end to make it look like a 'strong' finish.