Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 IMAZ Race Recap - The Bike

With what I consider to be my worst event behind me (I HATE the swim!), I was ready to get down to business on the bike.  I rushed into T1 (the swim to bike transition) with two goals in mind: defrost and get out as fast as possible.  I spend 9:39 in T1, which considering there was a bit of a jog from the lake to the changing tent, then another jog from the tent to the actual bike start, wasn't too bad!  Definitely some room for improvement, but I was still happy to be out of the water and on the bike in under an hour and a half!

Here's a video of me starting the bike portion of the race

I recently purchased a new bike, and more specifically a Kestrel 4000.  I've had it for about 3 weeks and felt pretty well adjusted to it.  Unfortunately, the longest ride I was able to get on my new bike was about 50 miles, so I wasn't exactly sure how I would feel for the whole 112 miles.

Heading out of transition to begin my 112 mile bike ride!

My nutrition plan was simple.  I have a simple format that I repeat every hour.  That format is:

:15 - Ironman Perform (like Gatorade) (and plus a salt tablet starting in the second hour)
:30 - half of an energy bar, plus water
:45 - Ironman Perform
1:00 - the other half of the energy bar, plus water

My plan was to follow the nutrition breakdown for the first 56 miles of the bike, then swap PowerGel for the energy bar during the second 56 miles.  I was hoping that this would allow my stomach enough time to digest the solids, leaving me with a light stomach to run with.

I followed my nutrition plan almost perfectly, with one exception.  I purposefully drank less fluid than I was planning on drinking.  As i eluded to in my previous post (2011 IMAZ Race Recap - Pre race and the swim), I had something happen during the swim that led to some issues later in the race.  Well, what happened during the swim continued to happen during the bike, and again, I'll explain this in greater detail during tomorrow's post (the run).  Regardless, I felt great on the bike.

During lap 2 of the bike
During lap 3 of the bike
When I finished up lap 1 of 3, I couldn't believe what my Garmin was showing me.  According to my timer, I had finished my first lap in 1:48:37, which gave me an average speed of 20.66 miles/hour.  My goal was to average 18.67 miles/hour.  Holy crap was I flying!  And the best part was that I didn't feel like I was pushing at all!  

At this point, I had spotted The Captain and knew he was about 6 minutes ahead of me.  Typically, I'm better at hills than him, so I was pretty confident that I would make up some ground during the next 18 miles.  Well, I ended up catching him around mile 65 or so.  This was new for both of us, because in all of our previous Ironmans, The Captain has stayed out in front of me and beaten me!  This time, once I caught up, we yo-yo'd for the rest of the bike portion.

For the second lap on the bike, I slowed down just a tad.  My time was 1:52:29, which was a 19.84 mile/hour average.  Still well above my goal!  The third lap was a slightly different story.  The wind had really shifted at this point, and the "out" portion of the lap (overall uphill) was a lot easier than it should have been.  And oddly, nobody going downhill seemed to be happy.  As soon as The Captain and I made the turn to start heading back to town, we found out why.  There was now a horrendous head wind.  This meant that we had to work to go downhill, which on a bike is pretty crappy.  Even while we were riding this last section of the bike course, I knew I was maybe pushing slightly too hard.  But, I still felt really good!  I ended up finishing that last lap in 1:53:37, which gave me a 19.75 mile/hour average.  This meant that my total bike time was 5:34:43, and I averaged 20.08 mph.  I guess my goal of 18.67 mph was a little too conservative!

Zooming by on the bike to start my third and final lap!

So after the swim I was 1155 overall and 91 in my division.  After the bike, I was now 658 overall and 62 in my division!  Heck yeah!

Tomorrow will be the third part in this race recap extravaganza...the run.  Again, here's the list of everything that will be included:
The bike (you just read this one!)
The run
The Byrnes/Wright battle of Ironman Arizona 2011
Spectating at Ironman Arizona 2011

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