Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wildflower - WHAT THE HELL???

What the hell just happened? That thought continues to go thru my mind. I’ve been dreading writing this race report, and breaking things down, because I’m so frustrated with the race and the result, that I don’t even want to think about it.

But as a coach and teacher, I understand the need to dissect the race and learn from the things which happened. So, here’s a race report, but short and concise.

Felt great leading in the race, body was ready. No injuries, no aches, no pains. Set to go. Tightened down all bolts because I know how rough the road is. Got dropped from the chase pack in the swim, but still managed to hold on for a decent split at 25 mins and change, about 90 secs off the leaders.

Bike starts off rough, I’m struggling up the hill and I don’t understand why. Later, I’m catching a bunch of guys, but it’s clear I’m falling further and further behind. Not taking in much water, seems too cool with the strong winds. Bad idea. Mile 30 of the bike and I get stung by a bee, just between the arm-pad and my forearm. Stings like hell, pull it out, hope it won't affect my race.

Still struggling on the bike, and the wind is kicking my butt. Tensing so hard to stabilize the bike in the winds, my triceps and lats are killing me! I get to Nasty Grade, and a guy tells me I’m 16th. What the hell just happened??? I feel like the tire is flat, but I keep looking down and it’s fine. I finally get into transition and the bike is all weird as I try to push it. After the race when I get my bike, I realize the brake pad was rubbing on the disc wheel so bad, the wheel couldn’t turn. Hmm, no wonder.

I go out for the run and get thru 2 miles in 13:30, NOT GOOD. I realize it’s not my day, but I’m going to finish and make sure I get a workout out of it. Thru 7 miles in just under 49 mins, AWFUL. Run a 5:40 mile from 7 to 8, finally starting to feel ok, mostly because I’ve taken in a bunch of water now, but the race is essentially over. Just kept it steady on in, and finished in 4:28. Disappointing to say the least. I finished 14th, but that’s no consolation.

Talking with Peter, I did a number of things wrong. First, didn’t have the bike ready to race. Thought it was ready, it wasn’t. I needed to make sure the bolts were tighter, and the brake better set. Second, I didn’t drink enough water. Third, I arrived on Friday morning, and probably rushed myself with the race. Next time I will leave earlier and get things situated. Fourth, I was overconfident. My training has been great, and I thought it would probably come easier than it would. Now I’m embarrassed to put my name next to that result.

Now it’s 3 days later, and my arm is still a little swollen, but definitely better. Here’s a photo of it from Sunday.

Now it’s a few days easy, and then back at it for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, with a race workout at Temecula for XTERRA West. There is now a sense of urgency in the Vance household. NFA…For real, NFA. Hopefully, this is just what I needed.


moonpie said...

Tough break with the bee sting and brake pad issue Jim. I spotted you coming out of the water and was hoping you'd kick ass and take some names. Hang in there with your "awful" performance...nobody can ever take away your 3rd place at IM FL and you will live to see another race :)

Paris said...

Maybe you need to hire a more experienced coach that can assume some responsibility when you fail. Also you should train a bit more.

Dave P said...

Jim, you set a really GREAT example out there on Saturday!! It's much harder to finish a "bad" race than it is to simply quit and get a DNF, which some of the pro's do because they don't believe they have a chance to podium.
I'm still new to triathlon but I have learned A LOT from you at your clinics and talks, so keep on rockin' out there! We all know what you're capable of (aka: IM FL 2006!!), and there's always the next race to do better at.
Thanks for stopping & saying hi after the race as well.
Later, Dave P

(btw - don't know wtf that comment by Paris was all about!!)

Jim Vance said...

Thanks guys. I will be sure to learn from these mistakes for IMCDA. One lesson for everyone to learn from this, you can train all the miles in the world, but if you don't execute on race day, you won't meet your potential.

PS - I'm pretty sure Paris was being sarcastic, especially after my post about different coaching styles.

Conrad Stoltz said...

Jimbo. Good athletes dont become bad athletes overnight. Just dont bring that rigid 29er to XTERRA again! (my race was just as "eventful"- apparently I'm Dqed- still trying to find out why! website updated soon) Keep it in the big blade dude!

Michael said...

No worries Jim. Remember our trip to Wildflower eating cold Hungry Man stew mixed with rice and beans. You had a great race that weekend because you were relaxed.

Remember, take the pressure off yourself and have fun. That's what it's all about. Do the little things like quick checks on the bike. And one thing for sure, if something feels 'that off' on the bike, get off and check it out. Losing a few seconds may have saved you down the road.

See you in about 5 weeks. I'll be in SD for a week.


kimrouse said...

Take it from an old warrior. Bad races make you learn and also tough. Your next victory will overshadow it all. Love, Mom (Kimmie)

Kim Mueller, MS, RD said...

Hydration can be a bitch, that's for sure! Come time October, you'll be like a frickin oasis in the lava fields because we'll have your sweat rate figured to the T. Congrats on conquering the several barriers that would have caused many to drop their towel before crossing that finishline. Kim

Craig Z said...

Jim, I'm hoping you at least got to enjoy the naked aid station on the run. Some triathletes have been known to get dehydrated just thinking about the topless babes!

Bobby McGee said...

Heyy Jim,

Bad breaks (brakes!) my man - this game requires showing up every time till the door opens (like it did in IMF). You have the patience, the guts & the brains.

Next time you'll gain from all this.

Keep on trucking.

Bobby McGee

Anonymous said...


Pedro from Panama. As they say, not everyday is christmas. Its all good experience. Most important thing now is that you learned from it!!
good luck ar CdA