Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memphis In May Race Report

In May, Memphis is hot. Sunny, humid and 90 hot.
Sweating while setting up transition hot.
77.8 degree water hot. Making for an additionally hot swim because it's wetsuit legal.

I roughly calculated my 'wave' or AG to start about 50 minutes after the first AGer at 7:15. With the TT start one person entered the water every 3 seconds. So, lets see; That's 20 a minute. 200 every 10 minutes. My number was in the 1000's, which is 5 sets of 200 right? Or five sets of 10 minutes right?

Well for whatever reason my math didn't pan out and I jumped in with the girls starting in the 1100 block. But not to fear! Since it was an individual, or TT start my time started when my chip hit the mat.

But starting so far back still meant swimming, biking and running past a lot of people.
I didn't find a real sweet rhythm in the water, but still made it out in pretty good order all things considered.

In and out of T1 without trying to sprint my way through.
Oh and as an interesting note. Since we had to start the race from the transition area, the transition area never closed. It was really weird to see people milling about and still tinkering with stuff as athletes were coming out of the water. Additionally when the Pros went off at 10:30, people were still finishing, others hanging about and others taking apart transition set-ups. Very odd.

Once on the bike I had to adjust to using HR and RPE instead of Watts and did my best to find a good mix of pushing the tempo, but not going overboard in the HR department. The course was mainly flat but did have a little undulation. The dozen or so 90 degree turns started to become annoying, especially while having to navigate traffic.

I should have stocked the bike better for the heat, but figured my solo bottle would be enough, and I could refuel at the water stops. But it turns out the RD decided one poorly staffed bottle stop would suffice. Plus, it just came out of the blue. Bam! Water! Bam! Nothing!
Let me just say that, yes I should have loaded up with more water, and yes I should have known where the water stop was. I did know there was only one, but when it came I was surprised that was it. When you have a constant stream of a thousand bikers for two plus hours going at least two abreast, having only one guy to grab a bottle from is not a sufficient water stop on sunny 90 degree day. (As an additional aside, the pros didn't even get a water stop, as Matt Gloekler describes here. Ouch)

So after I grabbed a bottle took a couple sips and poured the rest over me I was rest with the last few oz of drink on my down tube.

Shortly before the 'water stop' I was passed by a guy I pretty much started with by passed while he was fumbling to get his shoes on. He was pushing it on a decline, while I was happy to spin it out at 30 mph for a minute. It gave me something new to watch for a while, as he bobbed and weaved ahead of me doing the 'legal draft' around the slower folk. I did the weave here and there but man, this guy was trying to grab every draft off of everyone he passed.
I did catch back up to him and he was nice enough to give me a sip of his water before I over took him. John Hanna, you're a good guy. Also he saw me after the race and we had a nice chat for a minute.

Once I was out of T2 I was astonished to see a pair of guys wearing MickeyDees kits. Hey that's me behind the golden arches! Looks like that guy should maybe look to Bgood for next year's sponsorship....I'm just saying.

With recent ITB issues in my mind I just plopped along for the first couple miles trying to keep things consistent and hopefully throw down some negative splits. And I'll just tell you right now, that's what happened. It was hot and a 7 min/mile def felt like work. It did feel good to hit the turn around and kick things up. There was carnage all over the course and the med/'cooling' tent was pretty busy.

My 2:06 wasn't record breaking but it's a good way to kick off the season considering the conditions and the previous few weeks.

Rev3 ho!

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