Jun 4, 2007

Mooseman Extravaganza

Wow, what a great time... and a fabulous race to boot!

The final numbers look like this:
Swim - 37:32, Transition 1 - 2:41, Bike - 3:07:13, Transition 2 - 1:22, Run - 2:18:01
Total - 6:06:47

I started the day by heading to Crystal Lake for the Swim-run with the Cyclonauts as has become my standard. We do about a mile swim followed by a 3 mile run which is just about perfect for 2 days before the race. After we got done, Kevin suggested I follow him back to his house and borrow a jersey to wear to the race on Sunday so I could represent the Cyclonauts and meet all the others that were racing.

After I got back home and ran a few errands, we packed up the camper and left the house around 1:30 for the ride to New Hampshire. We pulled into the campsite and set up the camper by 5 and headed for a pre-ride of the course and stopped at Wellington for packet pickup. I talked to the volunteer coordinator and got my assignment for the morning and also picked up new pads for my aerobars that had blown off on the drive up. After hanging out for a bit, we drove the rest of the course which served to make my uncle and brother appropriately nervous about the hills and then headed to the campground where we had a Spaghetti and Meatball dinner. Our friend Greg had driven up with his son Christopher to watch the race on Saturday and they stayed in the camper with us for the night.

Morning came pretty early since I needed to be at the transition area early to check bikes as the athletes entered. I was glad to have volunteered since it gave me free access to all the different areas of the course, including transition.

I spent the first hour or so helping on the beginning of the bike course to route riders out of the park before realizing that I should find a spot to sit down so that I didn't kill my legs for the next day. I was able to spot all my brother and uncle coming out on the run but didn't see my brother-in-law Sean who was also racing that day.

I then waited in the chute for them to come down, my brother came in at 3:11 and my uncle at 3:40. Both P.R.s for them since it was their first race. We hung out for a while to watch the others finish and then headed back to the campsite for dinner (courtesy of Greg) and then I hit the sack at 9.

Race morning came, and the weather was perfect for the race. Cool and a bit misty/foggy, I figured if it stayed like this and didn't rain hard I would be thrilled since I would not overheat. I had packed my bag the night before and so after eating some yogurt with a bunch of granola as my standard breakfast, we headed to the park to setup.

My uncle and brother had decided to volunteer for this race after I told them how much fun it was on Saturday and so of course they got to come into transition as well. They decided to take advantage of the free food for the volunteers as well!

Here I am with my brother right after getting mostly set up.

From Mooseman

From Mooseman

More setup, the guy to my right in the blue shorts was very friendly and we chatted for a while. I talked to him after the race and he ended up in 3rd place in the division! He didn't look that fast while we were talking :)
From Mooseman

And we're off! My wave started 3rd, 10 minutes after the pros went off. I had a very good swim, feeling pretty comfortable the entire way and I even managed to grab a good pair of feet to draft off of until the first turn. The course is a rectangle, where you swim out, make a 90 degree turn to the left, swim across the opening to the cove, and then turn 90 degrees again and head for the beach. In the picture above, you can see the trees sticking out at the mouth of the cove, that's about where the first turn is. In the picture below you can see the whole mouth of the cove, and the middle leg of the swim takes you from one side to the other, and then back to the swim finish the area in the foreground where the swim finish is.

From Mooseman

As I said, the swim felt good, my only issue was the guy in my wave who kept swimming back and forth into me, or perhaps I was swimming back and forth into him! In any case, I passed a few white colored caps (the wave ahead of me) and a lot of yellow caps passed me (the wave behind). I was thrilled when I climbed out of the water and hit my watch split and saw 37 something pop up. Last year I swam .93 miles in 35:34, and this year I swam the 1.2 miles in 37: 32, so I was very happy. The swim training seems to be paying off!

Transition 1 went fine, the wetsuit strippers were great. It turned out that both my uncle and brother were helping there since they did not have enough help, and as I got to the mat I heard my uncle yelling and so I flopped on the ground in front of him. A quick yank, and my wetsuit was off and I headed to the bike. I got a bit dizzy putting my shoes on, but managed to get through pretty smoothly, heading out and over the mats in 2:41.

I felt very good on the bike, and had to continually remind myself not to go too hard on the first loop. The tough hills on the north side of the course were not too bad and I settled right into a good pace. I was fueling well, and keeping a good pace for the most part while staying in the aerobars. I finished the first lap in just under 1 1/2 hours, still on pace to finish under 3 which was my goal. Unfortunately, as I had planned to pick it up the second lap after the first hilly section, I just couldn't do it as the legs were just not entirely there. I still felt ok, and in fact was fairly happy with getting off the bike with enough time to give me a legitimate chance at breaking 6 hours. Spun in off the bike in 3:07, ready to run, or at least limp :)
From Mooseman

The run course is two loops of an out and back course right along the water. There are some pretty good hills on the far end of the loop both coming and going so you will hit a hill at mile 3, then 4 and at mile 9 and 10. It took me a mile and 1/2 to two miles to get my legs under me since they were still in bike mode, but I eventually found my stride a bit. Unfortunately that corresponded to the first hill, so I immediately struggled with that for a bit. After the turnaround and coming back over the hill I started to feel really good. Approaching mile 5 and heading back towards the park I was able to click off 9:30 miles fairly easily. That's about my best endurance pace, as given normal conditions I should be able hold that pace all day. I got close to the park and lots of cheering crowds which helps a lot, still feeling strong.
From Mooseman

The 13.1 mile course takes a sharp turn right before the finish line and heads back out on the beach for the second lap. It's tough to take that turn when you can see the line let me tell you! At the point pictured below, I had 6 miles or so to go and was just under 5 hours of race time.
From Mooseman

I was thrilled, I really felt good. The second time through the hills wiped out what was left of my legs though, and coming down the hill at mile 10 both calves starting hurting. It felt like electric shocks shooting up and down my legs and I had to stop and literally yell right in the middle of the road. I took a short walking break and then tried again to run but after a minute or so it happened again. I could feel my great day slipping away a bit, and I got pretty emotional. At this point of course, I knew I could finish the race with a time I could be happy with but it was tough to feel that my ultimate goal was slipping away a bit. I did manage to limp and walk towards mile 12 and then decided that I was running the rest of the way no matter how much it hurt. I apparently looked like a wounded elephant coming up the chute because I heard a few people say "give him some space" after I crossed the line. The picture shows about how I was feeling, a little fuzzy :)
From Mooseman

My brother said I slapped his hand on the way by, but I don't really even remember him being there. In any case, I was over the line after a 2:18:01 run, with a total race time of 6:06:47.

I had to jump in the lake to cool down, but I felt pretty good after that. My legs were pretty sore, but they were well used.
From Mooseman

Headed home Sunday night, and topped off the weekend with a stop at Nancy Chang's in Worcester, MA for the chinese buffett!

Thanks for reading.


Keith P,  10:56 AM  

Great job and great report! Stop by and show me the Moose metal when you get a chance.

gail m,  11:23 AM  

Wow!! Congratulations!! Loved the report.

Jon Clark.,  11:35 AM  

Great job! Nothing like relaxing weekend!

Anonymous,  1:19 PM  

Great Job Dave. My first 1/2 was last year and did it in 6:45. You crushed that time. Just double it up for placid and you will be doing great. The cramps you got on the run may be from lack of salt. On my half I got double quad cramps on mile one and one goo and they went away until mile 13.

Keep up the good work.

Blain Larcheveque

Mangold DW 3:29 PM  

Thanks for the comment Blain.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was salt that did me in, although I was taking in a lot of gatorade and gels on the bike, I didn't do too much after I started running. I have trouble digesting while running at the threshold so I tend to skimp. I'll probably need to pace myself a bit more at IMLP and take in more food.

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