Monday, June 13, 2011
6/12/11 FL Challenge ½ Iron “The Intimidator”
suf·fer verb: 1. to submit to or be forced to endure 2.To feel pain or distress; sustain loss, injury, harm, or punishment. 3.To tolerate or endure evil, injury
This race was-- well, a SUFFER-FEST!... Without question the hardest race I’ve ever done. I did not taper for this race, as I wanting to train through it. Felt great going into it. Arrived Saturday (430miles round trip) about 4:00PM, checked in to the race & hotel. Drove the area, worked on my bike, relaxed. Nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Very quiet evening, didn’t fall asleep until midnight, up at 5AM. One of the first to arrive at bike check in the morning—set up my bike/gear and was ready to go by 6:15AM. Race start was 7:30. For this race I had prepared my new special fuel bottles. "Mike's Rocket Fuel". (300+ complex carb cals, 500+mg sodium, 500+mg potassium in each 18oz water bottle), and was anxious to put them to the test in a race environment.
Lake Minneola, Clermont FL
This was a small race of 144 total participant (crazies), with only two waves-Men and Women. Water was perfect temp and calm. Swim went fine, kept feeling like I was off course, had bad visibility out of my hazy goggles, needed to pop them off and look around about a dozen times. Must have been mostly on course as my time was fine at 33.26. T1 3.21. Bike 3.02.26, was hardest I ever had. Rolling hills throughout the entire course. Significant and frequent climbs. Really required full out effort-lots of burn. At mile 28 we had to ride up Sugarloaf Mountain. (Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet above sea level. Britton Hill, in the Florida Panhandle, is the highest point in the entire state at 345 feet above sea level.) One very long, steep, burning climb. Really began to feel the heat and sun as the day went on. High temp on the day was 96°, with a higher heat index. (AccuWeather.com 6/12/11 Clermont, FL: Mostly Sunny Hi 96° RealFeel® 107°) My hydration, fuel and electrolytes were critical. Drank 3 bottles of my mix, plus 3 water bottles on the bike.
T2 4.09. Run 2.36.11 was a fight for survival-- full scorching FL summer- sun/heat/humidity. Frankly, I felt it was unsafe for all. I carried a bottle of my mix on the run and drank from it for the first 5 miles. I knew I needed to get plenty of sodium. Getting off the bike, I was over-heated and my skin was hot. I had a hard time cooling down. Water stations were located every mile (2 loop course), offering water, Gatorade, and Coke; I took something every time. Plenty of walking by me and by most. I had no cramps, but the heat was just too hard. Had a few unofficial folks on the sideline with their hose spraying down the runners (Thank you!!). Getting cooled down by the hose spray was critical-- that may be the only reason I finished.
In summary: Absolutely gorgeous venue, Lake County-Lake Minneola, Clermont, FL. Rolling country side and numerous small lakes. Not at all typical Florida. Bike was a real athletic challenge, heat was a killer. My worse ½ IM time by far, but not disappointed in my time- it was a fight for survival. Would not want to do a race in that type of heat again. 44/98 Men 3/12 Clydesdales.
MIKE STONE 06:19:31 14 33:26 50 3:21 44 3:02:26 18.4 35 3:39:12 68 4:09 55 2:36:11 11:56