Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Aizu: A A A Atsuiiiii

Aizu in Fukushima usually marks the end of the hot summer months for me. This year it was very hot and thus a tough bike and run. No big surprises on the swim. Disappointed with slow results but at least my ranking didn't decline from last year’s blistering pace.

Swim; Felt about the same as last year, which was also surprisingly slow. Swim is three 440 meter loops in fresh water lake, plus 180 meters to shore from the last buoy. Start and finish are in shallow water, but water is just deep enough to take away porpoising benefits. In the last 100 meters, you are wading through 1 meter water. Started in 2nd wave 2 minutes after the under 40-year olds. Slow 1st wave swimmers got in the way along the buoy line. Swim felt fine and smooth but much slower than normal 1500 meters. Marat's time was 27 minutes and he is usually 23 minutes. 30:05

Bike: Hotter and windier than we thought. Wind reversed to the southwest and increased to 16 KPH, which made it pretty tough. The course is pretty much east to west from the Inawashiro lake to Aizu city. Felt like I was working harder and going slower than last year, directly into a headwind. I was! Official temperature was 33 degrees C. but in the rice fields and black asphalt with no shade my garmin said 36 degrees. It became hard to drink my warm sports drink/jel concoction. I passed about 30 riders and was alone for most of the ride. At 25k, I discovered that my rear wheel was rubbing against the frame, but not enough to slow me down too much. I decided to leave it as I would have lost 2 minutes fixing it. Finished in 1:04 on garmin, six minutes slower than last year. Average speed 36.4 KPH.

Run: I was almost fully spent, and it was now really hot. I started to cramp right away even at 5 minute pace. I knew I wasn't going to break any records today, so did not try to accelerate much. It was just a matter of pride, to finish under 50 minutes in that heat. After 4k I felt better and pushed slightly to 4:45 pace, dousing myself liberally with water at every aid station. I was running in puddles inside my shoes. Squish squish squish. 48:23.

Swim 28:00
Bike 58:30
Run 44:00
Total. 2:17:00

Swim 30:05
Bike 1:04:15 (1:08:37 with 2 transitions)
Run 48:23
Total. 2:27:05

2016, +10 minutes; reasons; heat on bike and run, wind on bike, mechanical problem on bike, and late night cake! Actually finished with same ranking in the 40's age group, a mild consolation for a very tough day.

I ranked 48th overall and 13th in my age group. Once again my bike was most competitive followed by swim and run.

52nd overall, 13th in age group. 

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