Sunday, May 26, 2013

If you put your gels in a bottle... also need to add water. Otherwise it is like trying to eat Elmer's glue.

Also, I learned that the colloquial name for road rash in German is "schnitzel," just like the food. I find this quite amusing.

Thankfully, my schnitzel from the gel incident is almost healed. But occasionally, it is itchy. Try saying "itchy schnitzel" five times fast!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mallorca 70.3 Race Report

You can read an overview of my race on the Team Timex blog here. But for the purposes of this blog, I thought I'd go into a few more details.

This is the first 70.3 race I've done while doing Ironman training. For all my previous races, the half Ironman was the "max distance" I was preparing for. It was interesting to see the difference in my attitude in the lead up to the race...I have to say that I wasn't as nervous about the distance, simply because I knew that I had trained for much farther. I also noticed that after the race, I was surprised how much energy I had left. It wasn't that I could have gone much faster, it was just the race didn't go on long enough. I understood this concept before, but this was the first time actually physically experiencing it. Overall, I was quite pleased with how this race went, but it was also a great chance to try out a few things, as well as learn a few lessons.

I have really been putting a focus on my race fueling. Before, I was a "C student" when it came to my nutrition. I think I was adopting a very conservative attitude of since I was performing well and not having stomach issues, I should just continue with what had worked in the past. I was doing an adequate job for a HIM, but I knew that simply doubling it was not going to cut it for the Iron distance. So in putting a focus on carbs (especially on the run) for this race, I was amazed at how much better I felt.

Here's what I did:

1x PowerGel Strawberry Banana@ 20 minutes prior to swim

Bike (3 hrs total time)
2x PowerGel (1@15K, 1@65K) I brought these on my bike, but they did have them at aid stations
2.5 scoops Infinit Ride formula, double strength in a waterbottle, sip every 15 min or so
[This works out to about 800cal in total or about 63g carbohydrate/hour...I would like to be at 80g/hr]

Run (1.5 hrs total time, 3 laps)
1st aid station: Assorted PowerGel and water
2nd aid station: Cola and water
3rd aid station: Cola and water
I carried 3 dextro tablets with me and took on laps 2 and 3
[This is 530cal or 87g/hr]

So why PowerGel? And why Strawberry Banana? PowerBar is one of the Team Timex sponsors, it is the on-course nutrition, and the Strawberry Banana flavor is the only one they sell at the PX. I think that the "convenience" of nutrition is a very important -- it doesn't do you much good if it is prohibitive to actually get it.

One important note on the gels -- I had the gels taped to my top tube and ate one before the 1st aid station. I intended to throw the wrapper away at the first bike aid station. So I tucked it into my leg gripper on my shorts. I must have put it open side down, because the remain gel trickled down my leg (it is pretty thin) and collected behind my knee. Then I forgot to throw it out. So I now had a sticky mess behind my knee, which is resticking to itself every pedal stroke. I figured it would soon dry out -- it did not. As a result of ignoring this stickiness for the next 2.5 hours, I have a big patch of raw skin behind my knee. Moral of the story: use that water bottle and wash it off!

Actually, my new plan it to put all my gels in my bottle between my aerobars. I'll test that out on my ride tomorrow.

Another thing I learned is that I had not done nearly enough riding outside. I've probably ridden outside about 4 times since last season. There are various reasons for this, but the result is that my bike handling stills were atrocious.

All in all, what a great way to start the season. I definitely want to go back to this race next year!