Monday, July 16, 2012

(Pre) Race Report: Amica Ironman 70.3 Providence

I'm going to try and keep this as concise as possible. As I mentioned in my previous post, when I last wrote about this it was overly long, to put it nicely. I think I included every detail I could remember. I haven't even read over it yet because I only imagine being overwhelmed by the idiocy of my race and my writing about the race. I'm sure it's valuable but I'll read it when I'm ready.

Artie, ready to go at T1

Aside from the differences in my preparation and performance, there were marked differences in the race course this year from the last time I did it. The bike course began only 6 miles from the finish line, which, I think, has always been at the Rhode Island's capitol building. In 2010 T1 was located on the coast of Rhode Island, about 50 miles away. This caused some logistical headaches for me back then. This year, though, I simply rode my bike to T1 and took a city bus back into town.

Transition: the big picture

While dropping my bike off at T1, I realized that my cycle computer wasn't working. After about 15 minutes trying to adjust it, I finally threw in the towel and accepted that I'd have to race without knowing my speed. I think this may have worked in my favor. What did not work in my favor and was a huge risk for me to take was the fact that I did not have a spare inner tube. But I'll discuss both those things later.

omg! This is happening!
You know what's unfun? Waking up at 3:30am. The shuttle ticket I bought was for 4:15. Although they advised that shuttles would be running continuously through 5:15, my ticket did have 4:15 printed on it and I didn't want to take much of a chance. I showed up around 4:20 hoping to get on an early shuttle, even if it wasn't the first one.

Arriving at T1 before the race was a different experience than it's ever been before. For the first time, I felt like I belonged there. I didn't need to observe what people around me were doing because I had my own routine.

Brian had given me some suggestions for nutrition, so I modeled mine after that. I have two water bottles. One I filled with water and the other with Accelerade mix. In terms of solids, I got a couple of packages of Gu Chomps and emptied them into my itty bitty saddle bag.

Everyone was required to set up a "clean" transition, which meant that everything had to be on or hanging from your bike in a bag. I tried to stack my things as strategically as possible on my aerobars. Initially, I had my sunglasses and helmet on top of my towel with my shoes and socks hanging from a bag on my handlebar like so:

Rookie mistake
But wait a minute, what's the first thing I'd want to do after the swim? Dry off! At least a little bit. So I reversed the order and had my towel sitting on my helmet and glasses. I also added my race number in front of the main pile, almost on the gear shifters.

Finally, I was ready to go. I even had enough time for a potty break. Oh, interesting sidenote, the water temperature was too warm for wetsuits! We were given the option to still wear one but there were a couple of key conditions. The first was that, if you chose to wear one, you could not qualify for championships. The second was that anyone wearing one had to start in the last wave.

Hopefully, you've made it this far. I'd hoped not to do this and clearly I'm doing a terrible job of keeping this short. But I'll group the swim, bike and run as I see fit in separate posts. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Looking at T1, I feel a bit spoiled with the racks we had at the Hawaii 70.3.