Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IMUSA - Post Race

If you were following the race on-line then you know it was a rather wet day in Lake Placid with lots of rain. At times if felt more like a swim-swim-swim than a swim-bike-run. The spectators, volunteers and race organizers were fantastic though in making this one of my favorite IM events. I absolutely dig the course and race atmosphere created in Lake Placid and surrounding villages. How can you not like a venue that once played host to the Winter Olympics and the famed Miracle on Ice?!?

By the numbers: swim - 53:50, bike - 5:15, run - 3:12 (12th overall in 9:25)

Swim: IMUSA is known for its favorable swim with smooth water and a buoy line which runs the entire course limiting one's need for sighting. My goal was to swim sub 54:00. I lined myself up and was focused on an aggressive start to secure a good draft. Putting my head down as the cannon blasted there was the typical bumping and contact with other athletes. I soon found myself in a small group enjoying a very comfortable draft from a couple of bigger guys. I did not know with whom I was swimming until we hit the beach for our quick run around the dock before diving back in for the second loop. I noted I was in good company with Peter Vabrousek (Chech Republic), Dave Harju (Canada), Alison Fitch (Australia) and a couple of others. For the second loop I continued to enjoy the draft from these guys and kept things very comfortable & aerobic.

Negotiating a turn near the end of the first bike loop

Bike: I exited T1 alongside Peter Vabrousek & Sergio Marques. Shortly into the bike Dave Harju came flying by and took Peter with him. Sergio and I seemed both content in staying within our range as these two continued up the road. The hard rain made the 9k descent into Keene a bit sketchy at times with visibility and cornering. Sergio and I rode at a legal distance playing a little game of cat & mouse with me leading the descent into Keene. Sergio passed me as we made our left hand turn onto one of the flatter sections of the course. He looked at me and said, "f-ing cold". I smiled and was on some level enjoying the extreme conditions (kind of like when I was a kid reveling in a muddy soccer match). Through the first loop Sergio and I would continue to ride together and my focus was on fueling. My body was working hard to stay warm and ride steady. Towards the end of the out & back section on the course Mac Brown (USA) and another athlete came by and were riding strong. My buddy Pat Evoe (USA) was next to come by and he was riding strong. I made the decision to stay with Sergio as this trio rode hard up the long climbs back to Lake Placid. I went through a rough spot about halfway through the second loop as my legs began to fatigue. I stayed postive and continued to focus on my fueling even though I knew I was losing time to guys up the road.

Run: Exiting T2 I was not exactly sure what position I held as I was getting different feedback from people on the course. One thing I knew for sure though - I would have to uncork a strong run to get myself into the top 10! Within the first couple of miles my lower back and right IT band were super tight. My form felt very rough and I was unable to get into a fluid running form. I felt tight and more achy than usual for an IM marathon. Needless to say I defintely had a hitch in my giddyup. I was able to pass several guys who were in some trouble and after the first run loop found myself in 11th place. My pace really slowed during the second loop. I could tell Tim Snow (USA) was running well and would soon catch me. When he passed me shortly after the turnaround at mile 21 I used some positive self-talk and just tried to keep moving forward. With about three miles to go I passed an athlete from Belgium. He gave me some good words to continue working as you never know who might be hurting up the road and walking. Nearing the end of the marathon my body was shutting down and getting cold. I was so glad to get to that finish line and into the warmth of the medical tent!

My parents are rock stars for supporting me throughout the day in the pouring rain! I want to thank everyone who was cheering for me along the course and apologize for not giving back any love. I was simply trying to get my bum to the line! I am grateful for the gift of good health and really appreciated the emails, texts, good thoughts and prayers people were sending my way :) The support I have received from my sponsors has been top notch and I am stoked to have an opportunity make another trip to the big island for the Ford Ironman World Championship! At the moment I am enjoying my recovery in Michigan catching up with family & friends. I will get in one more race beofre Kona and hope to have that sorted within the next couple of weeks.

Keep it smooth...

1 comment:

Amber and Eric Rydholm said...

"How can you not like a venue that once played host to the Winter Olympics and the famed Miracle on Ice?!?"

.....um, Brad, they hosted the winter olympics TWICE!

Good race, man, and good race report. As always, E and I enjoy following along on your adventures through your blog. You are a top-notch athlete and person.... quite fun to keep track of! Hope to bump into you soon at FAC when you get back to Boulder. Enjoy MI and time with the fam!