I have been working with Rick Pruett off and on since my first year coaching in the sport. I admire his passion and his desire to do what it takes to accomplish his goals. Below Rick shares his thoughts on the Lake Logan Half Iron, which he raced on August 8th, as he approaches his final build for Ironman Louisville on October 11th. Nice work Rick!
Race start time was 7:00. My swim wave started at 7:15. Arrived at transition around 6:00 and got my bike and run gear set up. My spot was about as far away from bike start/finish as you could get. That’s what I get for signing up so late. Did a walkthrough of the start/finish paths so I wouldn’t get lost looking for my bike rack space. Grabbed my wetsuit and goggles and headed over to the swim start.
I always like to warm up a little before the swim so I jogged about a half mile. Went down to the water and donned my wetsuit to get some swimming in before the start. There was a nice dock for the start and we were allowed to swim off the back side for warm up. Got in and swam around a bit. After a couple hundred yards I turned around and headed back to the dock. I’m stretching out some nice long strokes and BAM! I hit a submerged piling. An old rotted piling with it’s top about 6 inches below the surface 10 yards off the dock. I hit it with my chest scratching and bruising my peck. I was very fortunate it wasn’t about 6 inches to my left or it would have been my face that hit it. That was dangerous and should have been marked with a flag being in the area where swimmers were warming up. Swim time.
It was a reasonably crowded swim start. Plenty of bumping and shoving. Eventually found clean water and was able to stretch out and get comfortable. The swim was the best part of this venue. A beautiful mountain lake with a mist hanging on the hill sides. The course was well marked. The water temps were about 72 degrees. A beautiful morning! The swim felt good and I was able to run comfortable from swim to bike. About a quarter mile. Lets go for a bike ride. 2nd in my AG in the swim. If I hadn’t stopped as we went under the bridge to look for Vicki, I might not have lost the 52 seconds between 1st and 2nd. Oh well, Gotta wave to the sherpa.
T1 was a little slower than I wanted, but got out without too much dilly dallying. It was a long run to the mount line, but mostly grassy area. Ran all the way. I started out slow because I had seen some of these hills and knew it was going to be tough. After the first hills we took a turn and the road flattened out some. Having not drove the course, I wasn’t expecting this nice long rolling section. At this point I think I made my first mistake by pushing harder than I should have so early in the race. Miles 5-15 had my highest average power output….too early in the race for that. The course was enjoyable if not a bit scary. What goes up must come down and coming down some of those hills was scary. There were times I was praying my brakes didn’t fail. I’ve never used my brakes so much in a race. I didn’t set a speed PR, but these downhills were curvy. I’d heard there was a serious hill at about mile 41. That’s the toughest climb I’ve ever done. Two people that passed me early on the hill were passed later on that hill while walking there bikes. I wasn’t spinning, only because I didn’t have a low enough gear, but I did manage to remain seated. The downhill on the other side was great. The rest of the ride was only slightly uphill except for one last short climb near the finish. It was those last 10 miles that I regretted miles 5-15. I could tell at that point that I’d pushed too hard. Still, I was able to run my bike the quarter mile to my rack. Lets go run.
I transitioned quickly and headed out. The first half mile was flat, but then, it was 3 miles uphill. Then 3 miles down hill, repeat. The second time up the hill was tough. It’s here that I lost second place I think. If I could have pushed a bit harder, I could have made up the 2 minutes between 2nd and 3rd. Oh well, at least the last 3 miles was downhill. Pushed hard the last half mile to finish strong. Legs and feet were hurting at that point and I actually slowed down a little because I thought I might be injuring something (Achilles area and bottom of foot). I survived with no injuries except a bruised, scratched up peck and some sore muscles.
This was the first race I’ve used UCAN instead of Perpetuem. I took my first dose at about 6:15 and then took a dose every hour after. A “dose” is 80 calories. I had mixed a bottle with 5 doses for the bike so I would get about 100 calories each hour. It was difficult to “eat” on schedule the way the course was laid out between hills curves and turns so I missed getting all my calories in and probably only averaged about 80 calories an hour. That probably contributed to my slowing down on the bike the last 10 miles. I took in my last nutrition and significant hydration at mile 50. Only a few sips of water between there and bike finish. Based on weather reports, I had dialed back my planned sodium intake to about 400mg per hour. After starting the run, and not drinking all my nutrition, which had my sodium in it, I decided to take the Endurolytes offered at the aid stations. That added an extra 240 mg per hour. I drank water frequently, but tried not to take in too much. I had no issues with bloating or anything else so I’m overall satisfied with the nutrition and hydration on this race. Well, except for probably not getting in enough calories on the bike.
This was a tough race. Hills are my worst area of performance so given all the hills on this course, I’m very happy satisfied with the results. Next stop, Louisville. I’d better slow down and find some endurance between now and then. Jeff Galloway, where are you????