At Trismarter.com, we love to celebrate PR’s along with our clients. On July 18, 2010, we had pleasure of doing that a few times. With clients racing in both the Ironman Racine 70.3 and the Trismarter.com, it was a solid day of celebration! The following race report from Tri4Life client, Henry H. was one of those celebrations.
Henry has been a client and a friend for several years now. Watching him improve and getting to occasionally training along side him has been an amazing experience. His energy and excitement about the sport of triathlon is very contagious. Henry is typical of many of our clients at Trismarter.com in that triathlon, although a big part of his life, is only one piece of the puzzle that makes him who is. He’s also a husband and father, and works hard daily as a trader at an asset management firm in New York City. He spends his early mornings and weekends, before most people are awake, out on the roads and in the pool perfecting his skills and fitness. Helping Henry find a balance between his work, family, and sport lives has been a particular challenge, making this performance last Sunday very special for both Henry and me.
–Coach Lee Gardner
The day for the record temperatures was quickly approaching and the week leading up to the race gave the racers a hint of what the conditions were going to be like on race day… HOT! [Editor’s note: 2010 proved to have record temperatures on race day. ] In typical fashion, I went to pick up my race packet on Friday, this time with my brother (he was also participating in the race). Saturday, the plan was to come into the city, drop off the bikes and head back home to relax and get ready for Sunday.
At 4:30 Sunday morning, my brother and I grabbed our bags and headed into the City to begin our day. After setting up transition, we headed over to the swim start. Typical race jitters and even some doubt about how the day would unfold crept into my mind. I knew I just had to go for it though.
The start time approached quickly, and I jumped into the water to wait for the gun to go off. I heard the announcer say that the current was strong and in fact it was. I was holding on hard to the rope on the barge and it actually began to feel like an eternity as we waited for the announcer to let us go. Finally we were off! I started out hard to try to get away from the majority of the pack and that seemed to work at first, but then I had to slow a bit. I kept as strong and as steady a pace as I could until the end. Approximately 2/3 of the way in, it felt like the current faded. As I exited the water, I gathered myself and began to make my way to T1.
My bike fitness had improved over last year, so I was relieved to be on my way to the bike. I instantly felt good in the saddle, and I started making some ground on my fellow AG’ers. The climbs didn’t seem to phase my legs, but I did notice that my HR was higher than it should be. I tried to bring it down but it just didn’t happen. There were 2 other riders who I was dicing with and made the out leg of the bike pretty fun. The turnaround came and we made it there in about 32 minutes. I took advantage of the descent to take in some of my Liquid Shot. This would be the only time I would take a gel. The rest of the time, I drank my EFS / Carbopro drink. On the way back, I maintained the intensity and made up even more ground on the field. It started to get pretty crowded though and a few sections were pretty tight to get around as the riders were not respecting the “ride on the right” rule. I had recently watched the Hy-vee replay on TV, and noticed that as the racers approach T2, their way of taking off their shoes involved no hands. I thought that was pretty cool, so as I approached T2, I tried the same thing. It worked!! It made life a lot easier, and I will be definitely doing that from now on. I used to put my hands down and take my foot out, but that got hairy with bike handling.
T2 went by super smooth, and not having to turn on my foot pod, which I usually race with, made life much easier as well. However, I hated not knowing the pace I was going. At times, it felt like I was running too slow and other times too fast, and it made it very difficult to gauge the pace. I kept a solid pace given the conditions and ran the hills as strong as I could. I would try to make up ground on the downhills, noticing that a lot of my competitors would take it easy on the downhills. I hit up every aid station for water (didn’t drink at every aid station, but did throw water on me every time). At mile 3, I took in a couple of sips of Cytomax and threw water on myself. It was hot, and flashbacks of Eagleman 70.3, which I raced only a few weeks before, were in my head. Eagleman ended up being a very hot day, and I suffered throughout the race from it. Right now, I wanted to walk, but something kept pushing me to go, and go faster. Mile 4 approached, and I felt rejuvenated. I thought to myself… “Only 15 more minutes…” Someone from behind saw me look at my watch and asked what pace we were going and I responded that I had no clue. Next thing I know, he goes by me but doesn’t gap me. He was in my AG. Mile 5 marker was in sight… I gunned it. I gave it all I had and decided to maintain that pace until the end. It hurt, but it was a race. This pace was much faster than a lot of my competitors, as I passed a lot of people in the last 1.2 miles. Suddenly, there was the finish line. I look down at my watch one last time and see 201 bpm (5 beats lower than my max!). I crossed the finish line happy, and tired. I hobbled through the crowd and took as much cold water and 2 towels to cool down. I tried to eat, but only managed to eat fruit and drink some recover drinks they had for us. I could not eat anything else. I found a spot on a bench and slowly started to get my body back.
I had finished 12 seconds faster than in 2009. I moved up 8 spots in my AG by finishing 18th (2009 I was 26th) and had the 81st fastest bike split. Despite only a 12 second improvement, I was extremely happy because this race was much more difficult than 2009. The heat was ridiculous, the bike was windy (headwind on the return leg) and had a questionable current during the swim. All in all, a good day!