Pleasant Prairie 2008

The goal for the weekend was to go sub 2 hours.  I knew the bike course was going to be a little short because of a slight course change, so the goal was really – go fast enough that it would be sub 2 hours if the course was a legit 40k bike.  After the experiment at Racine to go sans watch + HRM, I decided to use the HRM this time.

20:07 3rd OA

As usual I lined up in the front row of the swim start on the beach.  When the starter blew the horn I hit the water and swam the first 300 meters or so HARD.  By the I hit the first turn buoy, the course is a triangle – probably 400m-700m-400m, I already had about a 10 to 15 meter lead on the rest of my wave.  I continued to swim hard knowing that Chris Wichert (very fast runner) was in my wave, and that a couple of really fast guys were in the later waves so I needed to bank time where I could.  The long stretch of the course runs West to East, so I was blinded by the glare and was unable to see anything.  Fortunately, there was a lead kayaker out there who I was able to keep my eye on so I just followed him – in hindsight I’m told that was a bad idea as he paddled a very zigzag course, so I swam very zigzaggy.  After rounding the second turn buoy I was able to see the final buoy marking the finish so I beelined it for it.  I exited the water and with a quick glance didn’t see anyone even close to me.  I beat everyone in my wave out of the water by over a minute and a half.  I glanced at my watch and saw my swim was 20:XX, and thought “Wow, longer then last year” (I swam 18:45). 

In hindsight it probably wasn’t longer then last year as the two fast guys I was worried about Will Smith and Mark Hauser when 18:45 and 19:14 – so I just swam slow.

55:36 (24.9 Mph) 4th OA

Other then ride as hard as I could while feeling like I could run afterwards – the bike had no plan.  I rolled out of transition behind the lead motorcycle and kept it eye on the SRM for the first few minutes to keep the watts under control.  After that I intended to rely on a combination of RPE, Wattage, and speed.  The first loop was uneventful, I simply cruised along keeping the effort high, focusing on riding clean lines and keep the course as short as possible.  For the majority of the first loop no one was in sight when I checked behind me.  Towards the end of the first loop I noticed a lone rider slowly coming up.  Completely expected – I figured it was Will Smith, who started in the wave behind me.  As I made the turn into the second loop I decided to step up a notch to try and fight the losing battle of holding Will off – despite the fact I knew he would run 4-5 minutes faster then me.
The second loop continued to be uneventful – I mostly rode towards the center of the lane passing, Olympic Distance folks on the first loop.  With about 2 miles to go, I was finally passed by Will Smith.  After he passed me, I stayed fairly even with him and we rolled into transition together.

Mount <-> Dismount
Duration:          55:24
Work:              952 kJ
TSS:               88.3 (intensity factor 0.978)
Norm Power:     293
VI:                1.02
Pw:HR:            -5.45%
Pa:HR:            -5.07%
Distance:          22.979 mi

    Min      Max    Avg
Power:            0      708    286     watts
Heart Rate:   129      171    153     bpm
Cadence:      29      103     86     rpm
Speed:          2.9       34   24.9     mph
Pace:          1:46    20:33   2:25     min/mi

1st Half
Duration:         28:04
Work:             476 kJ
TSS:              43.5 (intensity factor 0.964)
Norm Power:      289
VI:               1.02
Pw:HR:           -7.61%
Pa:HR:           -2.14%
Distance:         11.503 mi

                Min      Max     Avg
Power:            0      551     283     watts
Heart Rate:   129      171     155     bpm
Cadence:   29      103      86     rpm
Speed:          2.9       34    24.6     mph
Pace           1:46    20:33    2:26     min/mi
2nd Half
Duration:          27:20
Work:              476 kJ
TSS:               44.8 (intensity factor 0.992)
Norm Power:       298
VI:                1.03
Pw:HR:             1.26%
Pa:HR:             11.22%
Distance:          11.476 mi
          Min      Max     Avg
Power:            0      708      290     watts
Heart Rate:   134      171      151     bpm
Cadence:      30      103       86     rpm
Speed:          8.1     33.9     25.2     mph
Pace           1:46     7:22     2:23     min/mi

38:15 8th OA

Another mostly uneventful leg.  I somehow managed to bumble around in T2 for 90 seconds, way longer the the folks who finished around me.  I have no idea what I did that took so long.  The only thing that I can think is that because I was in the first rack I just had a very long distance to run inside of transition.  I headed out of transition and took off at a pace that felt around 6:00 min/mile.  The first mile and a half or so had markers every 1/4 mile to judge pace off of, so it really helped to settle in.  I hit mile 3 in the 18:1X range, and felt pretty good.  Around this point I started to keep my eye out for Chris Wichert as I knew he was fast enough to run me down.  At this point I was in second place, so I really wanted to hold on to it for no other reason then a chance to win some money.  I kept the pace high, trying to follow the Jack Daniels idea of “If it really hurts, try running faster.”  With about a mile to go I just focused on the road ahead and ran hard.

1:56:29 3rd OA

I crossed the line as the second finish in the Olympic, almost 7 minutes behind the first place finisher.  I was really excited at the prospect of finisher 2nd overall, but I knew there was a decent chance someone from a later wave may beat me out.  Turns out one person did, Mark Hauser beat me by 43 seconds.  Bummer – the difference was less then the difference in my swim.  Had I only known :), but as a wiser person then has told me “If you could have gone faster, you would have.”  As to my goal, with the shortening course I clearly beat my goal of sub two hours, if I extended the course out to a full 40k, it looks like I would likely have been about 25-30 seconds short or breaking 2 hours.  I doubt I had another 30 seconds in my run, 38:15 is already very fast for me, but desire to accomplish a goal is a very powerful motivator to suffer.  Personally, I’ll call it 1:59:59.99 and say goal accomplished!