This blog entry is about Big Day Out and the Barrett Lake Triathlon Race Report.
I’m starting this entry race report right now because, what else do you do when you’re out bush? Fiona, Sydney, and I are currently a 10minute drive away from the start of tomorrows Barrett Lake Olympic Triathlon outside of Phoenix, Arizona. We’re enjoying some luxuries like champagne from Percy (Our RV and 2nd home) and air conditioning and a toilet while surrounded by the rugged outback here. The moon is up and the setting sun fell past Saugaro Cacti.
This morning we woke up in our home in Sahuarita, AZ. I had a monster, 3 waffles, and then we head out for a 2hr15min easy run. I wore my new and very much liking UltraAscend camelpak. I only used the 2 extra bottles up front filled with water and electrolytes. I also took and ate 2 Clif Shot Bloks during the run. I filled up twice with water and had to make one pit stop. Fi and I were together for the first 30-40minutes but she was struggling. She’s had some sickness this week but not sure what it is. I tried to stick with her for most of the time, looping back a few times. Then, after I took off I heard screaming above the Pandora playing on my arm. I then heard Fi screaming for me. I gunned it in high gear thinking that I could have been a snake. But I didn’t see one. I came upon Fiona hunched over and didn’t see a snake but a giant cacti piece piercing out of her ankle. I went down and then pulled the 20 prongs out of her and she was in real pain. I spit water on her ankle and we sat for a few moments. She sucked it up and continued on but it was terrifying! We looped around the Casino and back home.
Off to the food store for dinner and we packed up the RV (a 2017 Forest River Forester that sleeps 6) and put our 2 complete bikes in the area above the cabin. We headed out eating gingerman and protein shakes. 2hrs+ to Phoenix for pack-it pickup and then another hour to Barrett Lake. We decided on Riverside Campground and I was scared shitless driving our 33’ RV along the dirt rugged path to our bush camping. We found a spot, tied Sydney up and climbed up the roof sipping champagne and watching the sunset over the Dam, completely alone.
This week was recovery week. Last Sunday we did Big Day Out BDO. My swim has been shit with lack of consistency so instead of a 1hr test went for 3x1500m on 24:26, 24:46, 25:36. I clearly need more Muscular Endurance. An hour later we did a 5hour test ride. Power and HR started out strong but continued to fall the entire bike. I went 105 miles for the 5hours on a tough course climbing 2 big hills. Then, I was a wimp and we opted for the Treadmill for the 2hr run. I increased the speed .1mile every 10min and I ran 9min on, 1min off. 8hrs+ of training and 9,000 calories burned. I felt it more on Day 2 than Day 1 and the week has been recovery with Thursday including a 1hr swim and 2hr bike ride on the trainer in our newly completed training room.
Today I also was able to congratulate my athlete, or my mom. At 59 years old she completed her first ever 5KM. She was there for a few of my marathons, Challenge Atlantic City, and Kona. She was proud of us when she saw us there but now knowing what it takes, has a full appreciation. 8/36A/G, 273/689Overall, and a 31:23 first race, my mom is badass. Way to go Mom!
Tomorrows race is the hardest and most beautiful Olympic Triathlon race in Arizona. The road we took to get here had no flatness and it opened up to an amazing lake. I have no idea what to expect but I’ve increased my fitness over the last 2 months and I want to put something out there that I’m proud of. The swim I plan on going as hard as I can for the 3 lap 1,500m swim, the bike plan is to go as hard as I can trying to push new FTP levels during the race’s first 30minutes. Maybe 1hr15min? Then the run, just go out hard and maintain. Stay tuned…
We woke up at 5AM and pulled the slides in, leveling jacks up, and drove to the boat access area. I turned on the generator to power the RV for 2 pieces of Raisin Toast and I had a banana. We left Sydney in the RV and road our bikes to what we thought was the race start. We didn’t see anyone and with 10min till transition closed were freaking out a bit but had an hour till race time. I asked someone driving and then we finally found where to go after climbing .5 mile and 300+ watts up the 5% grade to the turnoff. We were warmed up!
Transition set up, bathroom, and organized. Race brief and down to water. The Sprint and Sprint Plus went off 2 and 4minutes before us. Then we took off for the 3 loop open water swim in the stunning Bartlettt Lake at Rattlesnake Cove. The start was rough, Fiona was on my feet, and I saw my new friend, Tommy, take off. I thought he was joined by at least 2 others but turned out he was solo since I came out of the water 2nd. (Fi said she heard someone say “There is a guy wearing a suit from Australia, we know he can swim!”) The swim was wide open for me even w/ passing of most of the sprint fields. The arms did feel tired but form felt good and loved my TYR wetsuit. I don’t have splits since my Garmin was setup for the pool vs open water. I’m disappointed with my 25:06 for the 1,500meter swim at 1:40/100. Compare this to last weeks 25m pool swim on BDO and I was slower. So eh, not very good.
HR shot right up out of the water and other new friend Elliott passed me while I was walking up the steps and said Nice Swim. I walked to get the wetsuit down and also take the garmin off the wrist and remount it. The rest of T1 was fine. Elliott was out a good min before me.
BIKE 40KM: 24.72miles, 1:19:09, 287NP, 89%IF, 103.7 TSS, 132HR
The bike was one of the toughest bike rides I’ve done in a triathlon. The 24.75mile ride took me 1:19:25 on 18.7MPH. Why so slow? How about climbing 2,667’ in an OLYMPIC! WTF? And that’s on 2 loops!
I was climbing at around 310-320 watts for a bunch of it and I caught Elliott about 10min into the first hill climb. I tried to blow past him into the first descent using my WheelScience full disc and later in the ride he said he couldn’t keep up with me on the decents. But I said I was riding a 55 ChainRing. It allowed me to still pedal 220 watts at nearly 40MPH on the decent and 115-120RPM. For most of the decent I was holding onto 43MPH and on the climbs I learned Elliott is my competition at Ironman Arizona in 7 weeks. I finished ahead of him on the bike and felt quite strong the entire ride with kudos to the Mt Lemon hill climbs we’ve been doing. I saw the leader Tommy as riding into T2 and he looked fast and strong; I was just going to focus on me. I had 1 package of Clif Shot Bloks eating 1 blok every 15minutes and water only. Just at that moment, my Torpedo cake came off. I nearly lost the whole piece from the crappy roads and came into T2 with my entired cage and garmin in 1 hand. Phew!
RUN 10KM: 6.54miles, 50:54, 7:47/mile, 1mile effort (6:05/mile).
I knew it was going to be tough. The climb starts as soon as you emerge from T2. I had had a HotShot while in T2 sitting on my ass putting my socks on, and only water on the run. I tried to keep quick feet on the run and climbed, climbed, climbed. As I came upon the crest, unable to see the road descending on the other side, the area widened and I saw the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen in a race. I have raced IMNew Zealand, Challenge Wanaka, Dubai Marathon, IM Mont Tremblant, and this was by far the most beautiful thing I’d seen. Endless mountains and a lake Oasis surrounded by rocky hills and Cacti. If you are a triathlete, or even a newbie like half the field, you MUST do this race. While climbing my goal was to just not stop running. I wanted to run the whole thing which would be a major step over the MountainMan Half Ironman from 7 weeks earlier when I was forced to run/walk in Flagstaff. My HR monitor wasn’t working but I worked as hard as I could. At the 3rd aid station I saw Elliott and Tommy and there was massive confusion as the turn around. I went further and shouldn’t have as the turn around was AT the aid station. We all screwed that one up and I ran an additional .34 miles as a result. Volunteers were great and I cheered on my competitors including my wife who was 2nd Female. I finished strong running a 6:05 mile on the steep decent and felt really good.
After finishing I hopped on the bike, went back to cheer Fiona on. We rode back to the RV, and then went swimming with Sydney. Fiona collected a $50 gift card and 2nd overall female and 1st in A/G. I collected a $25 gift card for a Mexican restaurant that we went to in Phoenix after the race, 2nd A/G, and 3rd Overall.
This was a fantastic, amazing weekend. It’s why we bought an RV. We finally got home after getting 10miles/gallon in Priscilla and finally back at home hopped on the bike. The plan was 3hrs but I bonked at 1hr37, had a coke, felt good 10min later but called it at 2hrs.
Next April, Fiona and I will be volunteering at this triathlon before heading to California for Oceanside 70.3. We hope to be able to support you out there in this incredible race!!! 7 weeks to go.
Elliott was at Mountainman 7 weeks earlier. He smoked me that day in 4:39 vs my 5:17. He biked 13min faster than me but today we were identical. He also had a great run of 1:34 smoking me by 23minutes. So, I’ve come quite far in the last 7 weeks comparing myself to my A/G contender. With 7 weeks to go, lets see how much fitter I can get, now that the house is nearly complete and we have found our groove of living in a new house, city, state, and country. Stay tuned!
Great write up and very nice to meet you and Fiona. Love your enthusiasm for the sport! See you at IMAZ!