Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lavaman 2012

We arrived into Kona Saturday afternoon. Originally the flight was supposed to arrive at 11:40AM. The airline changed the flight to depart 3 hours later. This made the afternoon very busy. First we stopped at Bike Works (I highly recommend them for service or if you need to pick up some gear.) and assembled the bikes. After 30 minutes of sweating, we headed north to the Hilton Waikola to pick up our race packets. We made it there before they closed with 1 minute to spare. Back to Kona to pick up our bikes. I realized that I did not pack my nutrition, so I picked up 3 packets of Gu Brew Blueberry Pomegranate (Ben swore this was the best stuff ever, so now was the perfect opportunity to try it.).

Race morning, we were up before 4AM and pulled into the race site by 5. This gave us a parking spot close to transition, less than 100 yards away. We set up our areas and then went back to the minivan to chill. As we were sitting there, they announced the race will be wetsuit legal. I never even thought that was an option. Oh well. Then they announced the swim warm-up would close 25 minutes before the start. I put on my XTERRA SPEEDSUIT and headed over for a short 10 minute dip. While I was swimming, I saw a turtle under water looking up at me. I saw him in the same spot both ways. It was pretty cool. Maybe good luck!

Pre-race with XTERRA Speedsuit

SWIM - 22:10
I am always amazed at how many people start at an all out sprint. I end up passing most of them in 200 meters.I saw another turtle. It was tempting to stop, but I had to finish the race first. I decided to try and breathe less for this race because that is how I swim my laps in the pool. It seemed to work as I came out of the water feeling good.

Transition 1 - 1:32
I ran up to transition jumped through the kiddie pools that were set-up to clean the feet and headed to my LYNSKEY. I overshot it by one row. I quickly turned around and ran to my area. As I was taking my speedsuit off I noticed a button popped off my race belt. I ran over and grabbed it so I wouldn't lose it. I put on my OAKLEY's & new RUDY PROJECT WINGSPAN. 

BIKE - 1:02.38 (23.8mph)
Since I forgot my nutrition, it was going to be an experiment to see how my body was going to hold up. It took me several miles to get into a groove. The miles seemed to go slowly. I saw Chris McCormack (Also known as Macca. He is a World Champion and one of the greatest triathletes ever.) going the other way. He threw me a hang loose and it sent me a burst of energy. I rode stronger and started passing several people the rest of the way. Thanks Macca!!!

Transition 2 - 0:46
I jumped of my bike and quickly ran back thru transition. I put on my NEWTONS, grabbed my visor and water bottle full of Gu Brew.

RUN - 41:08 6:38 per/mile
We start the run on lava rocks, very unstable. I hear footsteps behind me. I focused on my breathing and slowly start to pull away. It was hot out there. I see a few guys up the road and I slowly start to pass them as the run progresses. After 3 miles there are only 4 people within sight. I pass 2 within a half mile. I catch the other 2 at mile 4, right before the run turns to more lava rock and sand. It was narrow, so I patiently sit behind both guys as we are zig zagging our way through the last 2 miles. I pass one of the guys at the aid station (benefit of running with your own bottle). He tucks in behind me as I am right behind the other guy. After 5.5 miles I decide to pick up the pace to see if I can pass the last guy and break them both. No guts no glory. I pass the last guy and hear both of them right behind me. I continue to push as we are getting closer to the finish. The last 100 meters is in thick sand, ugh. I created enough of a gap and get to the line 4 and 7 seconds before the other 2 guys.

This is one of the most challenging run courses I have done for and Olympic Triathlon. I tried something different for nutrition and it seemed to work. I didn't have any cramping and didn't need any salt tabs. I finished up 5th in my age group and 16th overall out of almost 1200 racers. I was even lucky enough to have Macca stand with me for a picture. It was a good day.

Macca and me

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