The Patriot Half was used as preparation toward Ironman Mont Tremblant. Going into the event, I understood this was a train-through race and should expect to suffer. Well, I did suffer badly and ended up with my slowest ever 70.3 time on the fastest course I’ve ever competed on. When it was all said and done, nutrition, typically a non-factor for me, is the likely cause of my blow-up. Here is a closer look at each leg.
The Swim: 41:04 [nutrition: 1 gel and sport drink 20' prior to swim start]
Not a surprise here. I have not been consistent in the pool this year. I was hoping for ~40′ and it was close. I actually had a good swim. The morning offered me a chance to warm up in the water for about 15′, which felt great and gave me a boost of confidence. After the w/u, I ate a gel and walked to the start. It was a time trial start, which was fine. I went out easy and found my groove, sighting every 8-10 strokes to stay on course. Drafter when I could. It was really an uneventful swim. My calves started to cramp about 2/3rds in so I kicked less.
Nothing of interest to note. I didn’t rush. Everything went as planned.
Bike: 2:36 [nutrition: 1 gel at 45' in, 2nd gel at 1:40, 1 bottle of perform spread out evenly]
The bike started out great. I struggled to hold back the power. The goal was to settle in for 15′ and target 80% of my LT, which is 208w. The reality was an aW of 225 (not including zeros) for the first 28 miles with a split of 1:14 at an aP of 21.5 mph. Looking back at my recent few years of triathlon, this was realistic output, if not low. The bike was a two loop course and I entertained the idea of negative splitting the bike. At that point, I felt great. I had passed MANY athletes and nobody passed me, which is typical of a poor swimmer. At the start of the second loop, I asked myself if I could negative split the bike. This is where is all fell apart. Within 5 miles, I went from feeling great, to feeling like I should slow down or I’ll never be able to run. It was a weird feeling. The leg muscles felt fine, it was more of an energy thing. Any incline became a nightmare and I searched out opportunities to coast. The end of this ride couldn’t come soon enough. I dismounted the bike in a complete fog and barely able to shuffle my way to the rack….. At the end of the ride I averaged 212 watts. Here is a visual of the 5 mile splits [to come].
T2: 4:45 [nutrition 3 cliff shots]
At this point, I was crushed and contemplated calling it a day. I was dizzy and had no energy. I decided to sit and take in nutrition. Slowly but surely I mustered up the mental energy to say “F” it and finish the race regardless if I had to walk. So with that half pissed off and half confused mental state I started to put one foot in front of the other.
Run: 1:42 [nutrition: pretzels and water every mile]
The first few miles were brutal. I have never felt so sluggish. People of all shapes and sizes were passing me, many in my AG. Normally, this is a time where I shine. I decided to use a trick from an ironman that worked for me, which was to eat pretzels slowly each mile. I’m not sure if it was the T2 nutrition or the pretzels, but something clicked at miles 6ish and energy started to rush through my body. My pace suddenly dropped from low 8s to low 7s. While low 7s is still not my ideal pace, it felt good. I started to pick off many people who passed me. I actually had a strong finish kick over the last mile!
Overall: 5:06 with 76 place overall and 15th in my AG.
Link to my garmin bike file.
Link to my garmin run file.