PR does not always stand for Personal Record — IM Puerto Rico Race Report

by klassman

The race was full of drama.  Life and death kind of drama.  There was a shootout.  The injured athletes are apparently okay.  TRS has more here on implications and some of general security issues facing races.

I swam well.  I went 26:33 with no wetsuit which was fast enough to tie Dede Griesbauer and since she is an absolute icon of the sport and a fabulous swimmer for going on three decades, there is no room for complaint and plenty of room for happy.  I think there were eight age-group men and two age group women (including one who DNFed) who swam faster.  There is one guy listed with a 19 minute swim — which I am sure is in error.  I doubt anyone swam five minutes faster than the fastest pro who gapped the rest of the pro field.  Excepting Mr. 19-Minutes, I was first in my age-group out of the water by one second.  The next guy went on to get second in our age group at the end of the day — I slid all the way back to 16th.

We had an in-water start.  After the turn-around, I tried to go inside of the markers to avoid congestion.  It is clear that I crossed under the bridge on the right and moved left toward the finish and away from the surf which was on the right and in front of us.

We had an in-water start. After the turn-around, I tried to go inside of the markers to avoid congestion. It is clear that I crossed under the bridge on the right and moved left toward the finish and away from the surf which was on the right and in front of us.

I rode hard.  I think I rode well.  The roads were in good shape, there was wind and the scenery was great.

Where you see the black/white dot on the road is where we turned around halfway back to start the second loop.  We did the second half of the course twice.  Almost no elevation change -- excepting some of the highway ramps close to the city.  Stunning to ride with the ocean over your shoulder -- and windy too.

Where you see the black/white dot on the road is where we turned around halfway back to start the second loop. We did the second half of the course twice. Almost no elevation change — excepting some of the highway ramps close to the city. Stunning to ride with the ocean over your shoulder — and windy too.

The critical statistics were all in line with my goals however the time on the road was slower than I hoped.  All things considered, I’d rather have a slower time where I executed the way I planned than a blazing time that I cannot ever approach again due to a fluke in pacing or wind.  I had hoped to ride under 2:20.  By contrast, in October I went too hard for the first half and ended up with normalized power of 224 watts, and IF of .81 and a variability index of 1.07.  Granted, the Austin 70.3 is over much hillier terrain, but 1.07 is too much and I even ended up with a best ever run split.  Too bad I didn’t have the VI from Puerto Rico and the NP from Austin on the same day.

I was aiming for a normalized power of 230-235 and a intensity of .8.  While those numbers were lower than I wanted I'm very happy with a variability index of only 1.01.  That is what I needed to run well -- that, and more run training.

I was aiming for a normalized power of 230-235 and a intensity of .8. While the actual numbers were lower than I wanted I’m very happy with a variability index of only 1.01. That is what I needed to run well — that, and more run training.

I smoothed the graph below significantly, but there are still a lot of ups and downs on the pink line.  I don’t quite understand that feature yet.

Tuck down and get out of that wind you big galoot!  Oh, and get stronger too so that your cadence is more steady and the power is higher.

Tuck down and get out of that wind you big galoot! Oh, and get stronger too so that your cadence is more steady and the power is higher.

I ran like a rolling turd.  It was only three or four miles before I realized that this was happening so I did my best to smile my way through the race.  It was pretty, the people were nice — why get upset?  Typically, one chart or map does not tell a whole story, but in this case it might.

Here we see the percentage of time spent running in each heartrate zone.  I would have liked it if the bars on the left were minimal and most of the time was found in fourth and fifth bar.  As it turns out, I ran with a heartrate about a dozen beats per minute above my threshold for 31 percent of the race.  It was hot, hilly and I was not prepared.  Live and learn...

Here we see the percentage of time spent running in each heartrate zone. I would have liked it if the bars on the left were minimal and most of the time was found in fourth and fifth bar. As it turns out, I ran with a heartrate about a dozen beats per minute above my threshold for 31 percent of the race. It was hot, hilly and I was not prepared. Live and learn…

The run course takes you down a very steep cobbled street that has a 90 degree turn about two-thirds of the way down.  After popping out from a little tunnel, we found ourselves on National Park land running on a wide concrete path along the sea and a giant wall of stone.  I’m told the locals call this section of the run “The Oven” because the combination of the sunshine, wall and whatever traps heat.  It would have been fine except we had a turn-around about a 3/4 of a mile down the path and then had to make our way up the steep hills again.  Brutal — but brutal for everyone not just me.

The view from the iconic entrance to the path below one of the historic forts on the run course.

The view from the iconic entrance to the path below one of the historic forts on the run course.

My leg was marked with a big 5Q.  What you see here is a guy who is absolutely zonked but trying to make a 5Q in American Sign Language.  FAIL.

The photo is washed out because it was that sunny.  My back was fried by the end of the morning.

The photo is washed out because it was that sunny. My back was fried by the end of the morning.

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