2017 - A look back.
Asha Triathletes after Marin County Triathlon------
Total training miles for the year:
Swim: ~90 miles (158,409 Yards)
Bike: 1,817 miles
Run: 728 miles
The year started with my 6th running of the Napa Valley Marathon and it was a good primer for Ironman Canada training. Napa was a good run, cold and wet at the start. Yup it was raining. I felt good and ran a relaxed and easy race.
Sitting in the shuttle prior to Napa start.
The Team Asha Spring Run is always a fun event - great place to meet all our past and future runners. It was a well conducted and well represented event.
Given that Wildflower Tri was cancelled, Stan, Shashi, Sumit and I participated in the Auburn Half distance tri as part of our Ironman Canada training. Stan and I had done Auburn back in 2008 and I remember the bike course to be really hilly. Great training for Canada. Auburn did not disappoint, it was a warm day on a tough course. All of us did well and were cheered on by our Team Asha folks - thanks Karthik, Surya and Renuka.
All in all it was turning out to be a pretty decent training year with loads of hill training on the bike. Ironman Canada has a hilly bike course so we did plan and ride a lot of hills. Over a 100K feet of climbing (as per Strava). That is a lot for me. We did a lot of hill repeats - replicating the course. Going up Page Mill twice in a ride; Once at the start and once around the 90 mile mark. Or alternating the hills with Page Mill, Old LaHonda and Kings Mountain. Between January and July I did Old La Honda 19 times, Page Mill 9 times, Kings Mountain and Mt Hamilton 1 each. This was probably the hardest I've trained since 2007!
For the final push I joined Stan, Shashi and Sumit for Stan's special Super Brick training session (a bike 30 miles /run 8 miles , bike 15/run 5, bike 15/run 7 session) and actually felt good! So I had no excuses, I even bought a new bike this year (my previous ride was a Lemond I bought in 2002).
|My new bike|
Around June I had a bad day on the bike - it was during the longest ride - I just imploded and it took me almost 2 days to recover! I still have no idea what happened. But that was a huge setback. After that I tried switching my diet from all Gels to VESPA + gels (a favorite of a lot of Ultra runners). VESPA is supposed to work on a fat burning system 'Fat as fuel' (as opposed to an influx of sugars from Gels). After a few tries I managed to reduce the amount of gels (eGels) during training. But during Ironman Canada - I don't think the diet change worked. I was pretty much out of it by the time I got off the bike and after that it was just a long tired trudge to the finish line. It was my slowest Ironman finish. The race started off pretty well - the swim is in the gorgeous Alta lake. What a setting!
The bike ride has two long climbs. About a 10 mile climb in the beginning and a 10 mile climb back into Whistler at around mile 90. Brutal! I was doing fine till the about mile 80. The climb back into Whistler just knocked the wind out of me. Once I started the run (a walk really) I had decided that no matter what I had to finish. I had dropped out of Ironman Lake Tahoe at around mile 8 or 9 on the run and did not want to repeat that. My stomach was in full bloom and after frequent porta visits I pushed on slowly to the finish. This was my 13th Ironman start and 11th finish (and my slowest finish). I think I am done with the full distance for now.
Food Intake: Crank sports drink, eGel, VESPA Jr. (VESPA every 2 hours, eGel every 60 mins, sports drink ~300cals over 2 hours.)
Issues remain the same: Bloating, GI distress and a light headed feeling after about 8-9 hours.
Sumit, Shashi, Rajeev Shankar and Stan had a much better time and all of them finished strong. Huge congratulations to Sumit and Shashi for finishing their first Full Ironman! Rock Stars! Big Thank you for all those that came to cheer us.
|Team CovFeFe Cheering Squad.|
I followed up the year with Santa Cruz 70.3 (Half Ironman) - Had a near miss the weekend before the race. Labor Day weekend, I crashed while riding my bike and luckily did not break anything (me or the bike) - Just a sore shoulder. But 10 miles later a car clipped by back wheel - again I was lucky - the driver did not stop but my wheel was bent out of shape. I just skidded into the hedges and thanked my lucky stars! Got a new back wheel and the next week I was up and ready for Santa Cruz 70.3. I love racing in Santa Cruz - beautiful water, fantastic bike course (Highway 1) and a run along the coast. Pure beauty. Due to heavy morning fog the 1.2 mile swim was reduced to about 800 yards. I had a fun race. Met up with Pavan Singh after years! And we ran a few miles together. Was great catching up!
Come October it is Chicago. This was my 13th year of running Chicago marathon. My sister had signed up too so we ran it together. Chicago is always fun as I get to meet the family.
Perfect weather in Chicago
Sumit, Rochan and I signed up with Odyessy Swim Club and swam Alcatraz. My 10th time doing the Alcatraz swim. Towards the end we all got caught in the incoming tide - it was like being stuck on a treadmill - we finally got a short 75-100 yard boat ride to be re-positioned - the power of the tide was just amazing! Big Congrats to Rochan and Sumit for their first Alcatraz swim. Looking forward to many more Open Water swims with them.
|The Year In Medals|
Now for some rest and relaxation.