Sunday, November 14, 2010
Karapiro Half - race report
So, after a couple of hour's drive I got to Cambridge and then to the lake to pick the race pack and attend the briefing, I didn't do any running or biking in the evening. A pretty average pizza wasn't the ideal dinner, but it wasn't that bad either. I had eaten well all week and I made sure I was snacking well as well. I stayed with italian Nick, one of my training mates. He was good company and we helped each other doing all the setup for the race.
Breakfast was the usual toast, peanut butter, banana and honey and 3 gels, and a shot of redbull. We drove to T1 and got things sorted, from there we drove to the swim start.
Swim + T1
T1 was slow, I had a gel on the run to transition and got my bike jersey, helmet, sunnies, socks and shoes and the pump. Nick came right after me and we ran out of T1 together.
I posted before about the bike course at this race. It's challenging and getting it right is getting your race right. I haven't done a lot of strength training over the last three months if I wanted to have some legs for the run I needed to be smart in using my energy. The plan was to start conservative and keep a good cadence and rythm. Eat one gel every 45 min, drink every 15. I had a cereal bar just in case, but I don't do well with solid food on races.
The first hour was spot on, I was peddalling on 98rpm, there was westerlies blowing but nothing extraordinary. As long as the speedo kept being over 36km/h I was a happy man. About a dozen people biked past me on the first hour. I wasnt sure if they were experienced in the course or just new to it and had a different plan, nevertheless it didn't worry me, wich is a good sign of mental strenght: I knew I was doing the right thing for my race and I wasn't going to deviate from the plan. I had my first gel at 48 min.
And then the hills started
I went to the small chainring on every one of them, made it to the halfway marker/aid station and had 6 riders on sight. I was happy with my plan. There's a descent of about 7km with gentle bends and good straights, I pedalled all the way down and by the end I had passed 4 of the riders. the other two were just 500m up the road. That descent marks the start of the hills, I kept working to plan and passed 2 more riders, another couple passed me as well. I had my second gel and kept pedalling, by now I was in company of someone in similar conditions, we played cat and mouse for about 20km and then he peeled off in the last hill before the lake. From the lake to T2 is about 12km into the wind. I didn't made any progress on the guy. I found a red bull in my lunchbox, downed it and kept pedalling at 98 till T2. The plan appeared to have worked, I was tired but not spent and happy to start a half marathon. The bike speedo said 2.47. Not flash, but not bad at all. T2 was fast, I got my cap and sunnies and headed out