Saturday, September 15, 2012

Canada part 2

Into T1 I was feeling great. Got my biking dress on as fast as I could and headed for my bike. I was at the very back. Seriously I think there were 4 bikes that had to go further than me. Now the fun part. The ride out of town was great, worked on eating my PBJ and settling in. My plan was simple keep my power around 200 watts and eat and drink as much as I could. The first real test came at Mclean Creek. This is a nasty little hill. What made this a test though was not the climb. The question is can I climb it at 200 watts while people are passing me. It's an ego thing, I hate getting out climbed. But for a long event like this I need to hold back, those people might be passing me now but I'll see them again. And I did about 5 minutes later. This happened all day long. I would stay nice and steady ~200 watts people would pass me on the hills and I would pass them back in 5-10 minutes. Usually never to be seen again. The next big test for me came at the top of Richter. Would I be able to let it fly down the back side. I have been worried about this so much I actually bought 2 new helmets. Over the summer I started thinking that perhaps the reason I freak out so much now going fast, other than the nearly 40 mph front flip in 2009, is the wind noise from my helmet. The damn thing sounds like I'm going warp 3 if you get above 20 mph. So I thought if I had an aerohelmet I may not hear as much wind noise. But no luck finding one in Spokane that fit my head right. So like a week before the race I was at Fitness Fanatics trying on their aero selections,no luck. So I tried just a different road helmet. It was nice and light and had tons of vents so I new it would be cool and maybe it would be quieter than my current helmet, it's not. So the Monday before the race I get an Email from one of the mail-order bike catalogs having a big sale. I looked through it and they have an aero helmet that I have not tried and a very liberal return policy. So I bought it with the plan of using it on my last little spin before the race. I was able to go down a few hills to see how much noise it made and make sure I could drink with it on without the tail hitting me in the back etc. The problem was the verdict after my little test drive was kind of unremarkable. About the best thing I could says was I didn't hate it. So I took it to Penticton not knowing if I would use it or my other new helmet. Long story long I went with the areo helmet. As I crested Richter and started to pick up speed I hit the brakes just a little then let her go. Then hit them again and let her go. Then I got to a spot when I could see what was coming for quite a ways and I let her rip. Now mind you this was not quite like I flew down this hill prior to my crash, I think I hit 48 mph that day. But I got it over 40, 42.5 to be exact. That was a huge breakthrough for me. However, when I got to the bottom of the hill there was a guy laying in the middle of the road in the fetal position. People were helping him but it didn't look good. When I passed him though rather than letting his misfortune derail my progress. I focused on the other 500 riders still cruising. The rest of the day I flew down all the hills and was in aero for several of them. Riding through the part of the course called the rollers or the bitches. A black suburban pulls alongs side and damned if Jessi Thompson isn't hanging out the passenger window screaming at the top of her lungs "you are a BADASS!!" It was awesome! more about her and Roger later. The next car had Mellisa Skelton and Dave Erickson and a video camera. Dave always puts together really cool videos of events he's watching so I tried to look cool while we were flying downhill. The out and back section was uneventful save for the special needs bag pick up. This was where I made my first mistake of the day. I mixed some new gatorade bottles and drank a V8 splash. What I didn't do though was to take and eat my turkey sandwich. I also dropped my protein drink in my haste to get back to work. The calories and electrolytes in that sandwich and that protein drink may have made the difference later on the run. The rest of the ride went very well. I could begin to see that barring a flat or other problem I was going to be c lose to 6 hrs. This got me pretty fired up and caused me to push a little harder than I should have. The last 5 miles were pretty fast for me.
Into T2 I felt great. While in T2 I felt like a retard with 2 left hands and no thumbs. My socks were inside out I put my calf sleeves on upside down. I just had to stop focus and take my time. Finally, like 10 minutes later, I was out the door. I started the run feeling fairly fresh, good turnover and mentally ready for the torture to come. Jayne was taking pictures telling me to smile.
Tony was running alongside giving encouragement. It was all much appreciated. The 1st mile was 8:19, I knew that wouldn't last. It all held together pretty well until about mile 10. At this point I started getting these HOLY SHIT!!! leg seizing cramps in my calves. I needed salt in a bad way. I started taking pretzels at the aid stations sucking the salt off and spitting out the pretzel. I tried to drink the Powerbar Perform they had on the course by that stuff was terrible, at least the flavor I was handed. At the turn around I was still in ok shape time wise @ 2:06. A little slower than I had hoped but ok. Jessi and Roger and Dave were there again to give encouragement. The first hill out of OK Falls is a bitch of a climb. I knew by the time I got to the top of it that things were going to really suck from here on. They did! I had to run so that I never really toed off, otherwise the calves would seize up. So I would shuffle. Mentally though I was fine, unlike 2010 when I felt like throwing myself in front of a truck. At mile 20 I caught Ron Crenshaw. This just isn't right. He was having major problems with his hamstrings and could not run. NOBODY worked harder for this race than he did. Totally sucked to see him walking. He gave me some encouraging words and sent me on my way. At this point its 6pm I have 6 miles left to break 12 hrs. Normally 6 miles in an hour would be a piece of cake but the last 6 miles of an Ironman.....Let's just say it took me considerably longer.
All in all I'm considering it a good day for me. It was an Ironman PR for me by ~ 20 minutes. It was an Ironman Canada PR by ~ 1 hr. I PR'd the swim by 3 minutes and the bike by ~ 30 minutes. I also want to give a couple BADASS of the day awards to some people that I thought went well above and beyond. 1st place badass of the day Matt Beard. 1st IM with a fractured bone in his leg and he past me at mile ~11 of the run. 2nd Place badass of the day Natalie Gallagher 1st time IM finisher in a very good time proving to some she more than just a pretty face. And 3 rd place Badass of the day is a group award for Roger, Jessi, Dave and Mellisa who drove the 5 hours to Penticton the morning of the race just to support those of us racing from Trifusion. 4th place goes to Erica Ziemer who I past on the bike because she was having her chain fixed, only to have her fly by me like I was sitting still some 5 miles later. Of course I had my own little support crew which I totally appreciate. Tony and Laura are great friends and traveling companions. And most of you know that Jayne is way more than I deserve. Looking forward to next season already. Next year will be dedicated to the 70.3 distance for me. I will however be training with Jayne and Meghan as they prepare for IM CDA.

1 comment:

Meghan Faulkenberry said...

While I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ol' Mr. Otis, I wish I had had the opportunity to see the Ironman that you are. Truth be told, I saw a little bit of the guy on training rides and runs, but really, I'm sure there's nothing quite like the Bryan Rowe in Ironman action. There's nothing I look forward to more than sharing a smelly, sweaty basement with you and Jayne this winter. The Rowe-Anderson house will be my home away from home. One must train with an Ironman (TWO Ironmen!) to be an Ironman.