PR does not always stand for Personal Record — IM Puerto Rico Race Report
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.
I rode hard. I think I rode well. The roads were in good shape, there was wind and the scenery was great.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.