Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Fear in Loathing Las Vegas

“The possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real. No sympathy for the Devil, keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

If I had to do that over again, I’d have raced the exact same way. I was/(am) confident enough in my training to ride the way I attempted to on Sunday; at no point did I think to myself “Whoa, slow down bro, you’re going way too hard”. However, every other minute I was thinking “Shoot, it’s hot as hell out here, my only nutrition (water bottle) is air temp”, & “I could really go for a cold pop & Snickers right now”. The only comforting factor was that everyone in my wave had to put up with the same bologna. I hate excuses so I’m not going to give any. Bottom line is I went hard and ran out of energy 40ish miles into the bike. I did my best to pull myself together but it never happened. I’m really not going to dwell on this race much, just take what I can and move on. I know where my fitness is right now and it’s nothing near what showed up on Sunday.
Such a good shirt on such a bad day.

(Rant before I talk about the race)
Right… Frank Lowery (race director), you can plan on a fat “constructive criticism” email from me soon. Really? Two years in a row, starting the 20-29yr AG wave dead last..? Not only are we starting an hour and 30 minutes after the pros & having to sit around in dirt and marinate in the sun until then, but also, not allowed to go back into transition to drop off cold water bottles on bikes after 6:25am. By the time our wave goes off, it’s a completely different race. The bike and run courses are 10+ degrees hotter, who knows how much windier the roads are, and not a cold water bottle is left at an aid-station. I think I, legitimately, received 1 “cold” water bottle on the bike course (after grabbing one at every aid station). I understand starting the older age groups (50, 60, 70+) earlier so they can finish sooner in the day, but why are you starting the 30-34 year old men right behind the pros two years in a row? I’m confused on the thinking here. Like I mentioned earlier, not using this as an excuse for anything, everyone in my wave had to deal with it, but it was unreasonable to do so again this year.

Sorry, I’m done bitching.

Ha, finisher pix.. more like dropout pix.
And now, one of the shortest RR’s I’ve ever done.

Swim: Huge start wave. Asthma made an unwelcomed appearance 2-300 meters in. Came out in 29:04. Not stoked or sad about it, considering it was non-wetsuit & in a poop flavored Jacuzzi.

Bike: I was “lights out” for around 40 miles, and then the lights went out. Not exactly sure what place I was in at the time but I think there was one guy in my wave ahead of me. A, blatant, 6-man team time trial of 20-29AGers passed by me some time shortly after my energy had abandoned my body. Barely moving, I trundled into T2. 2:29

Credit: Mark Barber w/ the rare snap of me actually running

Run: While my run attire may have been winning the hearts of high school girls volunteering at aid stations everywhere (notice: “my attire”.. not me), my pace wasn’t wining anything. Tried to make something happen on the 1st of 3 laps. While trotting on the brink of face-planting into some unsuspecting spectators, I was passed by a 60 year old man up the hill on my second lap; I then decided to call it quits and ambulate on in.

I doubt anyone, but a select few, would say they had a good race. The course and conditions that Vegas offers doesn’t allow for many “good” races to happen. I think it’s all relative though. When training, the times will be different than what occurs in Vegas (or any other course), so it’s easy to get down about what you should’ve done or are capable of. I’m not going to start the “coulda/shoulda’s”. Racing isn’t supposed to be easy & few are having fun while doing it, but when you finish and the pain fades, some sense of “fun” or fulfillment happened racing; otherwise people wouldn’t keep doing it. Again, I don’t think too many people looked back after that race and thought: “That experience was totally welcomed and desirable”, but there should always be something you take away from the race as a positive. I’m glad I went hard on the bike (at least for as long as I could), and whether it was the heat, my legs, or nutrition that failed me, I’ll learn from it.

 burger & fries on a raft. 
On to the Superfrog in Coronado, September 30. Excited to redeem myself at the ½ iron distance in two weeks time.. Excited to race so close to home.. Excited to race in the Elite division against Lance Armstrong……