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|2009 IMWS - by Dennis "Jay" Druml|
2009 IMFL Race Report
Have never been a real big race report kind of guy, but what the heck, here it goes:
Days leading up race: Got there late Wed night for the Saturday race. Having never raced in salt water before, thought I get some practice in. Swam about half of the course in a perfectly calm Gulf with an athlete that I coach, pretty interesting seeing all of the jelly fish.
Got up early Friday to get a pre-race bike in which ended prematurely with a flat-tire, good luck I was told. Decided to bag the run and save my legs for the race. Was originally going to swim again on Friday to make sure I was completely comfortable in the ocean, but decided to bag that as well as the swim on Thursday went well. However after spending about 20 minutes watching a few dolphins from my condo, I decided to get the wetsuit on and see if I could get close to them. Got about a ½ mile from shore and maybe 100 yards away before they took off, good effort, but likely not a good idea to be that far from shore by myself. Oh well, not known for my brains.
Slept 7 uninterrupted hours and up at 3:15 per the plan. 2nd IM in a row now with 7 hrs of sleep the night before the race, getting good at that!! Guess it helps when the distance doesn’t scare me anymore.
Swim – For the second straight IM, I decided to try to swim with my coach and a goal of getting on his feet and the second straight time that he dropped me within 20 yards. Oh well. Next to Big Foot this year, this was one of the hardest swims I’ve done. First lap pretty uneventful, except for the sting-ray that darted out from underneath me in about 3 feet of water. Thank GOD I had and extra pair of shorts in my T1 bag. Fell apart on the second loop. The 75 yard walk/run to end the 1st lap in the water and the 150 yds on the beach and thru the water to start the 2nd loop absolutely killed me. Took 10 minutes to catch my breath and get my swim rhythm back. Course had 1 section you did twice that went directly into a pretty strong chop, against the current, and into the sun. Kicked my butt. Exited in 1:06ish (341st), not what I wanted, but not the end of the world.
T1 – Smooth, no issues
Bike – I have never seen so much drafting in a triathlon in my life. Coming out of the water in around 340th over all, there was certainly a large number of people in front of me. I felt solid all day and just steadily moved up the field, kept my watts, stayed out of trouble and did my thing. At one point early in the race, I caught up to a pack of riders in a pace line and I wish I would have counted because as I went to pass, I would have guessed there to be about 50-60 riders all within 4-5 feet of the rider in front of them. I just rode past shaking my head at each and every one of them. Got to the front of the line and dropped the hammer for about 60 seconds to make sure they didn’t get my wheel. Also, I’ve never seen a bike crash in an IM before, seen people that have crashed, but never actually have seen the crash itself until this race where I saw 4 separate crashes. All but one were in aid stations with people trying to get their fluids without slowing down (ummm ring any bells BUCHTA). I saw Jessica Jacobs (female pro) go end-over-end to crash onto two other guys that crashed in front of her. Other than surges to get around a group or to get people off of my wheel, I kept my power as steady as possible which I’ve come to find is the absolute best possible way to do an IM bike.
Bike split of about 4:43, 23.75 MPH – made up for the lost time in the swim. Overall, was the 27th fastest bike time of the day and 12th among age-groupers, didn’t know at the time, but very pleased, obviously. Moved up from 341st to 48th place.
T2 – smooth, no issues again, perfect!!
Run – Ok, so I look at my watch coming out of T2 and it reads “5:57:30” or so and I’m thinking to myself, can that be accurate??? I think “Ok, patience on this one, don’t go out like a bat out of hell” and just execute the pre-race plan that I’ve done many times this year. If do, I might be actually able to hit my run goal of 3:22 and that would get me under 9:20!?!? I re-do the math in my head about 10 times as I think that there’s no way it’s accurate. Just keep the first 5 miles in the 7:50 range and the balance in the 7:40 range and I’m in. Ok, I can do this. I closely follow the Garmin for mile one and it consistently reads 7:30-7:45 pace (despite repeated attempts to slow to 7:50 I might add) and I get to the first official mile marker in 6:58!!! “Oh S*#*$!!!!” that’s not good. Balance of the first 10 miles are pretty uneventful, just kept ticking off miles in the 7:15-7:20 range, kept up on the nutrition. About mile 10 I started to get a blister on one foot and started slowing to at 7:40 pace, still ok. Get to the turn and slight cramps start, nothing serious, but enough to get my attention, start hammering the salt tabs and water. Quick shoe change and off again. Pace significantly slows to about 8:20-8:30 (some walking) at mile 13 until about mile 18 or so when I’m really exploding. Moved away from the Cliff shot bloks and took in a few Gu’s which really helped perk me up. Pretty much walked/ran the final 6-8 miles in about 9:00 pace to cross the line in 9:27:35.
#1 goal of the day was to finish (something that eluded me a few weeks ago), #2 have a great day, #3 set a PR, #4 finish my 6th IM, and distant #5 Hawaii. #’s 1-4 all accomplished missed #5 by about 15 minutes or so I think (not even sure). Happy the day went well, swam well enough, great day on the bike, pretty good nutrition day, and run PR despite a lot of walking. Finished my race with a smile on my face, that hasn’t happened in a long time!