This, my latest Blog post title, is inspired by a Facebook comment made after posting a picture this past Saturday with my friends, Bryan Dunn and Russ Brandt as we held our Ironman 70.3 World Championship Letters. "Nice to be a rookie!" It said. Amen! I've said it before, Triathlon is one of the main reasons, we weekend age group warriors look forward to getting older! If you have spent any time near me this past year, you know I am turning 50 in 2013. Yippee! The "new kid on the block!", my "rookie season!" My first dip in this AARP card carrying pool came at the Lifetime Fitness Tri www.lifetimetri.com Tempe Leadman Epic 125 and the, my "A" race of this early season, Ironman 70.3 St.George.
The annual Marquee weekend was a huge Triathlon festival with USAT Collegiate Nationals taking place along with the normal Sprint and Olympic races. The longer 70.3 race was replaced with Lifetime's Leadman 125 distance including a 2.5k swim, 109.5k bike and 13k run (including trails). For those of you that are metric challenged, this format has a longer swim and bike than the traditional 70.3 Half Ironman and the run is closer to 8 miles instead of the 13.1 normal half marathon. No secret to anyone that this takes away my running advantage I sometime can muster for Half Ironman success. I was very willing to do this race and gauge my race fitness/readiness for St. George.
At the pre race meeting on Saturday, I saw Geoff Cleveland. A retired Lt. Col in the Air Force and multiple Kona racer...and in the 50-54 AG. Geoff is legendary in my books. A race like Marquee or Soma can also bring in Colorado, Nevada and California "ringers" that you have no clue about. I call ringers out of town Podium Stealers who come in and leave as fast as they race! I also know Geoff was/is a tremendous swimmer. Great...
Wave starts were not crowded and I had plenty of time to enter the water after singing the National Anthem for the event. I ritual included water and a gel a half hour before race start and an E6 Energy shot www.E6energy.com a faithful sponsor of our ONE Elite Team. My pool work is solid but I have a lot of open water sighting and turnover to do. I was hoping for a 42 min split but exited the water in just over 45 minutes. Nothing completely hopeless but after reviewing final times, it was over 12 minutes over Geoff's swim split of...are you ready? 33:31. Ouch!
Swim: 45:28 (Geoff 33:31)
T1: 1:42 (Ironically exactly the same as Geoff)
Lifetime regretted to inform us the week leading to the race that an agreement with the local Indian Community was not reached so bikig the Beeline wasn't going to happen. Instead we has approx. four 17 mile Tempe loops to complete the 68+ mile bike leg. This could be mind numbing, but I set my Garmin 910xt to go off at every 5 miles to check my progress. It was basically clear for the first lap because the Olympic and Sprint races started 1 and 2 hours after we did. Laps 3 and 4 were busier with traffic and loop 4 was mainly Leadman athletes. I prepared with a goal of my standard 300 calorie intake every hour. Two 20 oz. water bottles had First Endurance EFS Grape www.firstendurance.com mixed with our ONE Multisport www.onemultisport.org ONE Elite sponsor, Fix Performance www.fixperformance.com Carb powder that gave me a concentrated mix of just under 250 calories. I also has one flask on EFS gel (vanilla) that is 400 calories. I took water at aid stations for hydration. I would drink and chuck the bottle safely when I needed to. My Garmin clicked off the multiple 5 mile intervals at completely different places on the course but I felt strong and every alert came in at 13:00 to 13:30 mins. I only rode up to 70 miles in prep for the race so I did wish it would be over at 56 miles but more for repetition than for fatigue.
Bike: 3:05:19 22.3 mph average (Geoff - 3:06:23 - I gained a minute on him!)
T2: 1:23 (Geoff 2:03 - I'm gaining!!! well...)
The 13k format has us run along the Tempe Arts Center on concrete and over the pedestrian bridge before hitting the trails. I was glad for this to get my city boy running legs under me and turn over my 92+ rpm cadence. I take a gel when I leave transition and one every half hour. My favorite is 2x caffeine Power Gels www.powerbar.com I have been concerned about my right calf that acts up on up hills and trails. Just great! It tweaked a little at the beginning of mile 2 as I stepped in a small hole but it got better. I concentrated on a mid foot stride instead of a toe strike up the hills and it paid off. I began passing earlier wave runners and looked ahead to the canal where I could maybe see where Geoff was. before heading back. I saw a lot of recognizable triathletes but missed Geoff. I don't know how, but I did. I gained speed on the remaining 3 miles back to the finish line transitioning to coke, ice and water then...FINALLY on the Mill Ave. Bridge with less than a half a mile to go, I saw Geoff. Unfortunately for me, he also saw me. I sprinted and so did he and I finished 28 seconds behind him.
Run: 59:21 7:20 pace (Geoff 1:09:28) Almost!!!!
Total: 4:53:30 44th Overall 41 Male 2nd in 50-54 AG
St. George 70.3
My goals for St. George were simple, yet not known to too many...Podium at an Ironman event and a Vegas World's slot.
I traveled with Russ Brandt and Nic Wirski to Utah on Thursday. After check in at the hotel, we headed to register and packet pick up.
Friday we drove to the Reservoir to swim and bike a little. The water was calm and cold at 60 degrees. The red rock and sand was beautiful! The forecast was great but Ironman hasn't been good to Utah and the past couple of years form the full Ironman format was a swimmer's disaster. We were hopeful the switch to the 70.3 event and the US Pro Championships would vanquish any demons ready to ruin our Saturday!
We had dropped off our bike Friday, late afternoon and we woke to a hotel breakfast open at 4am. We were at T2 by 5:00 am to catch the school bus shuttles to the reservoir swim start and T1. The Pro waves began at 6:55 a.m. There were 20 waves and I was in wave...19. The only wave after me was men 55-59. (Something to look forward to I guess) Basically, everyone was on the course before me and my "Old Guys Rule" wave of 50-54. (A guy actually yelled that before our gun went off!)
After a so so swim at Leadman, I wanted to push the pace a little here. Every minute counts at these races where championship slots are at stake! I figured I needed to be in the top 20 out of the water, ideally top 10 off the bike and top 5 finisher to meet my goals. We swam a 100 yds to the buoy start and that was enough to get my face numb and used to the cold water. Full wetsuit and no neoprene cap needed for me in the 61 degree water. I passed so many swimmers. I felt my turn over was better and hoped for a 32 min exit. I wasn't too disappointed when I looked at my Garmin and saw 34 minutes runnig into T1.
Swim: 34:34 18th in AG
We drove the bike course after our bike drop off Friday. Russ has ridden the Full Ironman the year before and he wisely stated that the race begins at mile 40 at the entrance of the Snow Canyon Park. Big Climbing that can ruin the run coming ahead. I followed the same nutrition regime as in Leadman and felt very good all day. The miles on this one big loop ride was fun and every hill came with some relief. My Valdora PHX2 www.valdoracycles.com handled like a dream. Russ and I are coached by Nick White with Carmichael Training Systems www.trainright.com and our recent Tri School camp in March had me adjust my seat up for a better angle. The end of the ride is fast and furious at top speeds. I was still conservative the entire bike knowing I just need to be in the top 10 and then run down the oldie but goodie boys.
Bike: 2:43:52 20.5 mi/h 12th in AG
We didn't get to drive the run course Friday. I studied the website elevations but still thought I remembered 4 miles of up hill before any relief. I also had stressed all week about my calf. The Friday before, Elliot Kawaoka joined the regular ONE crew for one more Bartlett Lake open water swim and run. The swim was great but I really felt some pulling on that right calf on the hilly 45 min run. It was probably race week, but I felt it hurt every day leading to race day. I iced it and elevated it and wore CEP Compression www.cepcompression.com socks or sleeves every day. My biggest concern was not being able to run like I had trained. I need my run to reach my goals. I started the run and felt great. Power Gel ad water and I was on my way...up hill trekking along at a high cadence. I thought to myself, "The calf feels fine" then at .75 in the 1st mile, it tightened up. Crap! But I didn't slow down and it worked itself out. I noticed I was passing a lot of guys including a couple that had 50 something written on their left calf! I was pleasantly surprised that a down hill came before mile 3. I chose to wear the Spira www.spira.com Stinger 2s for the run. They felt awesome and I had zero issues. I zoomed down as fast as I could. This energized me for the next hill and so on and so on. Another 50 something road kill! Then another. I made it to the 6.55 mile turnaround and felt very good. I knew the return route from watching and living it in reverse so I went for it. Before I knew it, I was at mile 10 with less than a 5k to go. I no longer was any 50 somethings written on athlete legs but rather 30 and 40 something. I turned left onto St. George Blvd. thinking, this is what I trained for. The 4amdark runs and intervals, the TrainingPeak www.trainingpeaks.com posts on Facebook, it all came down to this! A little joke by the run course director had us turn left into a neighborhood at mile 12 that had us go uphill and back just to add mileage. Really??? After this, it was fast and hard to the Ironman carpeting! Still, not really knowing where I stood yet.
Run: 1:33:51 7:09/mi 4th in AG (Fastest run split by 3 minutes in AG)
Total Time: 4:57:12 172 Overall 142 Males and 4th AG.
After the finish, I couldn't find anyone. I almost asked a stranger to use their smart phone. I finished before 1pm and found out we couldn't get to our warm clothes bags (where my Iphone was) until 2pm. Later I did find an Ironman staff that had a laptop and could give results. I waited my turn and then after giving her my race number, 2363, I let her know I only needed to know my age group place. She looked for what seemed like an hour and said, "Dan Cadriel, you are....4th in the 50-54 males. I was very happy! First thought was, "Podium!" One goal down. No word on slot allotment until 2pm. The whole world starts back up at 2pm obviously! I did meet up with Russ, Elliot, Nic and Bryan Dunn at the food tents and we waited it out for slots. Elliot is an Accountant so he predicted 4 slots in my AG and reassured me I was going to Vegas in September. Near 2pm a women scotch taped a white piece of paper to the Ironman table. I walked over and ran my finger from top to bottom until it stopped at "Male 50-54" Then running it left to right it stopped again at the number 4. Four slots allotted. Goal #2 reached! Bryan also placed 4th in the 45-49 AG and Russ placed 5th in the 40-44 AG. We wnet to get our bags and returned to pay for the 70.3 World Championships. The women asked me if I wanted to take my award now, I said, "No, we will be back for the wards presentations." She replied, "I don't blame you at all!" It was very fun to join our local Goodyear, AZ superstar and the winner of our AG, John Poisson on stage. He was on fire Saturday! Local AZ stars, Todd Shoemaker, Jonathan Coffen and Adam Folts also got slots at roll down. Locals, Linda Hurley and Robert Barry also placed 1st and 7th in their age groups respectively. All in all, it was one of those race days that went basically as best as it could.
I want to thank my coach Nick and CTS for my coaching, Spira, ONE Multisport and Valdora for such great products and a club I am so proud to represent. Fitsok www.fitsok.com, Extreme Endurance www.xendurance.com for my recovery and lactic acid management, Shamrock Farms Rockin Refuel www.rockinrefuel.com for the lactose free chocolate milk I use for recovery and Isagenix www.isagenix.com for my daily nutrition regime.
The season is young...and I'm not! But I still feel like a rookie!
Until next time!