Well, just recently Patrik, David and myself just completed PVD IM 70.3. Of course, the other two finished way before me but my race at this distance was a PR for me and that was the only positive I took out of this race. Pat and family and Heather left on Saturday en route to Providence. I had to stop off at SPARK BRS, to get some yanks for my Newtons, as they were going to be the running shoes of choice for me. I picked those up, and then grabbed 24 south, to 79 to get to 195. I was still ahead of Pat, but we were communicating via Cell. I pulled over on Rt 195, and Pat caught up. We both arrived in PVD at 11:25, and headed to registration. We get to the convention center greated by a volunteer who told us that the water temp was to high and that Wetsuits weren’t allowed, at first I thought it was a joke, but after a few mins I suddendly realized I’m in deep trouble. I have never swam that distance OWS before and I started to worry. We finished checking in, got our grab bag and we head towards the athlete briefing. Here, it came official that the wetsuits if the race was today were not allowed and the head race official said ” You have a better chance to win the lottery than to wear a wetsuit tomorrow. I knew I should have played the numbers! Well, we left to head to T2 dropped our bags off and looked around transition. This looked cool, couldn’t believe how big it was. We all went to Panera and had lunch. We had one of the best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever ha, besides Heather’s homemade Mac and Cheese. I was hydrating all day and we decided to get to T1 to drop off our bikes. We had to be there before 3:30, so we left, Heather knew how to get there so off we went. We got there and it was a cluster. Car’s everywhere. We were lucky enough to get close and park close to the entrance. We showed them our wrist bands, found our rack number and dropped off the bike. It started getting hot out so we didn’t stay long. We then road some of the bike course which was enroute to our hotel. This was the first time, I’ve seen the hills. I couldn’t believe tomorrow I’ll be doing these. We check in the hotel bring our stuff to the room and cranked the AC. I staged my Infinit in the fridge alone side my Applesauce. Pat and Heather, heard that fresh cookiers were put out for us, so they both went to grab some. They basically depleted the stash. However, when I went down the hotel attendent just finished making the sugar cookies which Heahter loves, so I asked for a few of those. Went back to the room relaxed for a bit and decided to go get dinner. We ended up at Effin’s pub where my friends wife is one of the owners there. The pasta didn’t look that good but the pizza looked delicisous so had that . I had two slices of pizza and headed back to the hotel. The time was fast approaching 8 so I wound down a bit and started falling asleep.
I wake up at 3, had my 2 cups of apple sauce, a banana, protein drink and a powerbar peform drink. I looked at the time, and crawled back into bed. My second alarm was set for 4:20, that went off, took a quick shower put my one piece on, got dressed and off I went. Pat knocked on the door and off we went. Heather was kind enough to drop us off. We got as close as we could get, got out and had to walk the rest of the way. Well, we follow these people down a trail, and then Pat said “Why didn’t we just stay on the road” Well, we should have all listend to Pat instead of being a follower as eventually we all ended back on the road. I get to T1, put my infinit in my bottles, place my shoes on, clip my helmet to my bike and placed my sunglases and powerbar drink and powerbar in the t2 bag. Finished placing my stuff in my bag for the drop off and then had to go to the bathroom. It amazes me a race of 1600 people and only have 20 port o potty’s. Who was the genious who came up with that number. Well, sad to say I was in line for almost 25 mins to go. Looking at my watch, I knew it was getting close. I finished, went back grabbed my goggles and swim cap. Placed my bag on the ground for the truck and headed to the swim start.
Now still nervous about the swim, I get in, water is warm and come to find out that the water has cooled and now wetsuits are legal, but need to start at the back of the pack. I was seriously considering this option, but I don’t think the extra 45 mins would have made a difference. Now, this 70.3, I actually had a game plan going in. Over the off season, I began getting coached by Qt2, and had a race execution plan done for me. Now with not wearing the wetsuit, my goal was to just arrive to the other side alive and not used to much energy. I touched ground looked up and seen the time. I was in the 59th minute, I wanted to break the 1 hour mark so I sprinted to the timing mat. Well, I was successful with this, I actually shocked myself that I finished this great accomplishment. I took my time in T1, drank my drink, had some powerbar and grabbed my bike and was off.
Now my plan for my bike, I had to keep an average wattage of 272, not exceeding 320 on any of the hills. I begin, the first 7 miles, some rolling hills, nothing I couldn’t manage, I pass the hotel and see Heather, Bonnie, on one side, and the other I seen Julie. About a 1.5 miles after that, I got a flat so I had to change that. Now, changing tires on these rims absolutely suck. The tires are so tight it took some time putting it back on the rim. I get back on the bike bike about 5 miles, and then noticed my left aero bar began to fall. I had to stop again, get out my multitool, find the 3mm, wrench to tighten it up. There is something about this distance that the Tri gods have given me bad luck each time, I’ve done it I’ve gotten a flat(s). So, I did my best to follow the plan. Now as I aforementioned that this course was hilly. At certain points on the course I tried to keep the wattage as close to 320 as possible. However to do this, I had to slow my cadence down and my speed. At one point, I was doing 3mph. Well, I finished the 56 miles in 3:07 mins, much much much slower than I expected but my legs felt great.
By now, the heat was beating down on me and I began to feel my core temp rise. I ran the first mile, part of the second great. Then I hit this hill that just felt like it never stopped. My race plan wanted me to go out at 8:32, but I was no were close. I think my first mile was 9:10. At every aid station I grabbed a power bar perfom 80z and grabbed a cold sponge to stuff in my One Piece. I was beginning to look like Chris Maccormick. I ran the whole thing besides the 5-10 seconds at the aid stations. The heat was tough but it was almost an hour slower than my 1/2 time in Hyannis. This will come in time, so I’m being patient.
Well, at the end of the run my support staff was there in full force cheering me on. Almost all of the BayStaters in there Blue, Red and while were all there cheering me on. That’s one thing I truly love about this team is the support we all have for each other. I might not care for any of them except on race days but come race days’s they are all family to me. The best part of being on a team, is when we see each other on the course always being that support staff cheeing each other on. This day, it was on the run course where every time I looked I seen one of them and hearing their words of encouragement really made this run doable for me. I know I’m not built for this sport by any means, I’m short, I’m stocky, I have tree trunks for legs, but I truly do give it my all.
After I finished, I drank some water. I first seen Heather who had my recovery drinks, already mixed for me. I went over to say hello to everybody. After spending some time there, the Sun was really hot, so I needed to get out of it. I went over to the park where I just laid down. I am now glad that the day was over, I was glad about my PR but I know I can do better. Pumpkinman is my next Half, and I will do better! I KNOW I WILL.