Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Foot Triathlon Race Report: HIM

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin -- 
Team Schmitty hitched a team of horses to the VW wagon and headed up to beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin last weekend for the Big Foot Triathlon.

And although the name suggests it, this race has nothing to do with the legendary Sasquatch despite whatever popularity may exist around Animal Planet's Chasing Big Foot or The Six Million Dollar Man season 3 episode 16 "The Secret of Bigfoot." Speaking of which -- and just because this is MY race report -- please enjoy this clip of The Six Million Dollar Man fighting Big Foot (in all it's campy 1970's TV glory).

Lee Majors -- The Triathlife salutes you. Saa-lute. 

A quick wiki search and you will find that Lake Geneva was originally called "Muck-Suck" (or Big Foot) for a Potawatomi chief.

Muck Suck?!

Damn right muck suck. All the rain we've been getting turned that two loop trail run plenty squishy. But kudos to RAM Racing for getting the run course ready by adding extra dirt, tamping down spotty areas, and for putting down extra wood ships and mulch to soak up the really bad spots.

And speaking of RAM Racing - I have to say given RAM's track record handling running events in downtown Chicago (speaking only from my own experience), I had very low expectations going into this race. But GLORY BE! They do a really great job. Sure, my positive reaction and glowing review is due in part to the challenging course and the great location -- but honestly, the race organization was outstanding. Top to bottom this was a very well executed event and, dare I say, will supplant Pleasant Prairie as my mid-June go to Olympic distance race. RAM Racing -- The Triathlife salutes you on a job well done. Saaa-lute!


27m 36s | 1500 meters | 01m 49s /100 meters 
Slow as it may seem to some of my fish friends, this is actually an Olympic distance swim PR for me though about 30 seconds over my goal for the race. This was a dry land swim-start with 50 meters straight out to the first buoy and then a sharp right. I positioned myself just off the front and to the left thinking I would angle my way to the first turn and avoid the churn right on the buoy line. I immediately got on the feet of the dude in front of me and he had the same idea. Perfect start to the race. Thank god for Tarzan swim training because it was head up until we got around that first turn. The rest of the swim I had pretty clean water. The course is a shaped a bit like a banana...kind of a curved out and back that follows the shore line. The return is closer to the lake's edge and shallow enough to stand in most parts. Only problem that I ran into was the slowing of swimmers bottle necking at the turn before heading back to the beach. Caught too many tired swimmers that I had to swim over and through. I hate to say it but there is no place for a gentleman in a triathlon swim. I would also like to mention that this was some of the cleanest water I've raced in. Clear straight to the bottom (hello fishies!)

T1: 2:52 
Long run up from the beach -- maybe 200-250 yards -- and a long run out of transition. Let me paint the word picture - imagine a large square. The bottom left corner is swim in and bike in -- you enter the square from the bottom left and you are required to use the left aisle to enter your row. Then they had you exit your row all the way on the right side, run to the top right corner then run all the way back across to the top left corner which was bike out and run out. That, ladies and gentleman, is the full nickel tour. Anyway, wetsuit got caught on the huge ass timing chip. And not just hung up but the wetsuit turned the timing chip over and it cut my ankle. Like full on bleeding cut. Not a huge deal but it was just another something eating away at seconds. I was more upset about all this lost time until I compared it to others. Now I'm not as bummed. But free time is free time and three minutes is just plain wasteful.

1h 10m 35s | 24.8 miles | 21.08 Mi/hr
Not a PR at this distance but I am crazy happy with this time. On this course. In that wind. Yes, Schmitty's battle with the wind on the bike issues have been well documented on The Triathlife. But this time I was all in and fully committed after a visit from the little Coach Liz on my shoulder telling me to suck it up (but not before some choice expletives -- 'cause a race just isn't a race until the cursing starts). So I put my head down and went all wee-man cycling ninja warrior to slice through the southerly gales. Then instead of recovering on the last 1/3 of the course with the wind at my back, I hammered and got back a lot of the time that the wind had eaten. It was definitely one of the most challenging Olympic bike courses I've been on -- so yeah, I'm pretty satisfied with that ride. 
Side note: On the way out of the transition there was a nasty little speed bump that extricated both my bottles (seat mounted). So there was time wasted dismounting, handing my bike off to a kind spectator and then running back to arrest said fugitive bottles that were on the lam. Third time this has happened. New cages have been ordered.

T2: 1:17
Nothing to say here. Perfect dismount (and heeee STICKS the landing!) No issues. Just a long transition area as I mentioned above.

53m 21s | 6.2 miles | 08m 34s /Mi
Trail run. A very soggy, rain saturated trail run. But like I mentioned above, RAM Racing did a good job getting the course ready. I ran in my Zoot Ultra TTs (pretty close to flats) and was totally fine. So disappointed with this my performance though....Vastus Medialis gremlins. Again. Didn't panic but had to stop several times to exorcise the gremlins out ("I need an old priest and a young priest!"). This could have spiraled way out of control so I'm happy that I dealt with the issue and powered through it.  When I was running I had a great run. But the stopping cost cost me a top ten in my AG. Five less lousy minutes is all it would have took. I don't like to cry coulda, woulda, shoulda but a 48 minute 10k is, well, without too much pride, but I can....lets just say I've run much faster.

14/63 AG M40-44
78/551 OA

Mostly thinking about the cramping. Determined its not an issue of nutrition, rather I believe it to be an intensity/workload issue that needs addressing. I need to pay more attention to the intensity to some of my brick workouts to simulate exact race conditions...meaning, that I need to come off the bike HOT -- as opposed to easing back of the throttle and recovering a bit in the last few miles. Sure I can simply slow down during  the bike in a race but that's not the issue. I'm not turning myself inside out -- I am already racing within myself. The answer is getting my quads used to that kinda of workload during training. 

(for my notes and just if your curious what powers Schmitty on race day)
4 oz coffee, 1 salt stick, bowl of oatmeal (with whey protein powder), 16 oz gatorade setting up in transition and waiting for race. 1 gatorade prime with 1 salt stick prerace.

24 oz water/gatorade, 3 oz EFS liquid shot, 3 salt sticks.

water on course (10-16oz), 2 salt sticks, 1 oz EFS liquid shot.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I'm with you on the cramping being a fatigue/intensity issue vs. a nutritional one. I have been having CRAZY foot cramps for the past few years, both during my workouts AND after, when I lay in bed at night. Foot just -BOOM!- cramps up out of nowhere with no warning.

HOWEVER, since I have started morning workouts, I think I've only had one nighttime cramping issue, and that was because I wore stupid shoes. So, I'm pretty sure that running/swimming/biking on fatigued legs was causing A LOT of the cramping vs. nutritional issues. It's something I need to watch as these long runs get longer for me.

Not sure how/if this applies to you any more than just backing up your theory.