Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ironman After thoughts.

Let's break the race down and do some self analysis.

Here are my numbers;

Overall place 1559
Time 14:21:39
Division place: 93/113

Swim Division place: 110/113
Overall place: 2011
Swim Time: 1:31:57
Swim 100m pace: 2:26

T1: 10:49 (didn't realize I took so long in the change room :) )

Bike Division place: 107/113
Bike Overall: 1963
Bike Time: 7:49:00
Bike pace: 14.3 miles/hr

T2: 5:17
Run Division place: 61/113
Run Overall Place: 898
Run Time: 4:44:37
Run Pace: 10:52 min/mile

I asked myself a few question after the race:

- If it wasn't for my shoulder, can I swim better? My average swim pace is 2:00 min/100m. 2:26 is a long time.
- If I had no bike problems, can I ride better? My avg bike pace on training is closer to 16 miles/hr. I was expecting myself to finish the bike ride closer to 7 hours. Not 8.
- more importantly, if I ride 'easier', can I run faster? (this is a big one for me)

Looking at the numbers, I passed about 400 people on the run. That made me happy :) I finished strong!

With all these questions, there is only one way to find the answer. Do another Ironman and find out :)

IMLP is sold out already. I am leaning towards IM Wisconsin. Why? B/c it is another tough Ironman out there. The weather is always horrible. I am thinking doing it in 2009. Instead of doing IM Wisconsin next year, I can use that money to get a tri-bike and pay off my student loans.

I am also pretty excited about next season. This year I rode through Hockly Valley three times. Well why not 5 times? Ride until my legs fall off ;)...what can I say..I have a talent to think of different ways to tortue have fun. :)

Tasty Iron!
What I did well on during the race:

i) Run

I did the marathon in 4:44. I am pretty sure I negative split the run b/c I ran the first half in 2 and half hours. I was surprised at how my body can handle the stress.

My race strategy was to keep myself relax until the last half of the run. Then drop the hammer. I was placed 898 out of 2500 on the run. Not too bad.

I am thinking if I run a marathon on its own how fast I can go? I would guess I will run somewhere between 3:45 to 4 hrs.

ii) Nutrition/hydration

That was spot on. To keep my hydration in check, I was peeing every hour. That's good. Nutrition wise, I was eating enough on the bike to prevent me from bonking on the run. I was burping a lot and had a lot of heart burn on the run. Perhaps, I need something to settle my stomach.

iii) Mental/Emotional concentration

Through out this season, I never dug deep. I had some doubts whether mentally and emotionally I can handle the race. Ironman after all is a LONG race. Lake Placid is also the toughest one out there.

I wasn't conscious to be mental and emotionally alert. When my front deraileur broke, my mind was 'oh ok. If you can fix it. Great. Thanks.' I actually stop and took a leak while the mechanic looked over my bike. I figured since I am stopping anyways, I might as well do something :)

I did not freak out. I just took it as it is. On the run when I had heartburn and I made the decision to drop the Infinit and start taking gel, I was confident b/c I tried gel before and it worked. Even though I never had coke or grapes before, I took small samples and the stomach worked well.

I believe part of staying calm was due to the confidence I gained from my training. Through the past two years, I rode and ran on the toughest hills around my area. Having that in my belt helped me a lot even though I never trained on the actual race course.

80% of the race, I was focus on keeping myself relax. This seemed counter-intuitive b/c if you are focus, how can you be relax?

This makes perfect sense on training and race day. This is where a heart rate monitor helps. On the bike, I never went higher than Zone 3 (highest HR 154). On the run, my heart rate reached mid Zone 3 (HR 160s) only in the last few km when I went all out.

Whenever I climb a hill, I made sure I breathe slowly, keep my shoulder loose and focus on keeping it easy.


Before I end this post, I will like to say how the race change the way I view about life. I still remember the last few kms before on the run before the finish line. That's where I soaked in the past few years....from when I got my road bike. To I did my first marathon. To swimming open water in the first time. It is the little things that made me happy.

I am very thankful for the little encouragement along the way. In return, I gave my Finisher medal to a friend. I hope I can encourage her as I was encouraged.

Jesus said "You are the salf of the earth and light of the world." I don't want to talk about it. I don't wanna preach it. I just want to do it b/c there are many people out there who needs our help. I ain't here to change the universe. At the very least I want to do my part.

....I haven't done much training for the past few weeks and I am itching to go for a ride. I got my bike front deraileur replaced over the weekend. So my bike is good as new. I am leaning to do the Toronto Marathon in Oct. I miss the adrenaline from training :)

I gained FIVE lbs :)....hmm..I am fattening up. That's for sure.


qcmier said...

Great stuff Cliff, Loved the pics too. Why not IM WI '08?

Mike said...

those pics are classic cliff!
you definitely have the mental side of racing all figured you just need to get a bike that doesn't blow up on you during the race! ;-)
I can't imagine riding that IMLP course stuck in one chainring...I'm sure your next IM will be EZ in comparison!

Unknown said...

Brilliant photos Cliff! (And good analysis, too.)

Thomas said...

Excellent pictures, Cliff.

Now on to more and better things.

ShirleyPerly said...

Love the photos! You really handled this race well. Wish you the best of luck on the next one.

Rachel said...

I LOVE that photo. Great. You had such a good time. By the way. IM-WI '09? I'm IN! I know I shouldn't be thinking that since I haven't even done my first (IM-AZ '08) but I REALLY want to do IM-WI since Madison is home of my alma mater. It would be so poignant for me. I'm already planning it with some San Diego folk so we will be representin'!

Robin said...


Good stuff. All good stuff.

Thanks for sharing.

And, once again, CONGRATULATIONS.

CVSURF said...

Congratulations on your Ironman finish. Your report was great and I was amazed at your calm during the derailour problem.

Brent Buckner said...

Good reflections - thanks for sharing.

Probably tough to bring in your run much less than 25 minutes slower than your standalone marathon. Guessing from your (absolute and relative) splits, less effort on your bike leg may not speed up your run to fully offset. You and I aren't yet on the steep part of the curve of air resistance versus speed on the bike.

Donald said...

Nice recap, Cliff. I just wrote about how analyzing the numbers too much can drive you crazy.

I love your outlook on life and how you're trying to pass that along to others. Keep doing what you do - you're one of the good guys.

Rae said...

Great pic!! It was so wonderful to following your training all along, and see you have a great day out there. Congrats again on an awesome race and thanks for sharing it with us!