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T -110 - Powerman - Run - Cycle - Run
by Denis Oakley in

An interesting and challenging weekend. The trip from KL was made eventful by the headlights getting out of alignment and the remote adjustment sensor not working. Consequently we blinded everyone on the road iand I was reduced to tucking in behind a big truck at 52km/h. Miserable.

Still we got to Lumut OK and bedded down in the Orient Star. Saturday was spent by the pool, driving the race course a couple of times, visiting the expo and pointlessly the race biefing.

Senay and I got up at 0500 applied out tatoos had a quick breakfast and headed out. Somewhere between the car and transition I managed to get a puncture and fruitfully used up all the contingency time fixing it. Glad I'd take a bunch of spare tires in my bag. Set up the bike and then went across to Petronas to get some extra fluid pre-race - A bottle of 100+ went down and I shared some water with Simon and Dave. Saw Kristoff looking pretty focused. 

I was quite aroused coming up to the race but focused on calming myself so that when I started I was feeling very relaxed and pretty good. My mantra was slow down slow down for the run - and i started off very slowly letting the crowds pull away quite quickly. Pretty soon I'd met up with KK and we set a nice pace round the first two laps - very comfortable making sure that I had plenty of energy left under the hood for later. I did have a mild stitch which wasn'tpainful and I ran through it.

I lapped Senay on the second lap and then left KK on the last kilometre to transition feeling pretty good and strong. Transition was just over a minute and I had that wonderful feeling as I came up to the main road of "My fingers are immobilised inside the gloves I'm trying to put on and I can't brake. Oh dear" But I made it and and headed out feeling fairly strong and still trying to keep down my pace. I figure a 31km/h average would be fine for the first lap and 33km/h on the second would work well. 

After a while I got really irritated by three guys drafting 44, 103 and 11. The front guy was on his tri bars and the other weren't and they were all pretty tight so I told them I'd shop them if I saw them doing it again. Lots of shock and they broke apart quickly. I started feeling a bit of cramp in my calves and they were quite bad when I spun up to take out the big bridge for the first time. I eased off and much of the remainder of the bike was focused on managing the cramps.

I completed my first bottle of go juice on schedule and passed Senay going the opposite directio, Gave her a big BRAT go go go whoop as I passed. Caught up with Dave and for the next 30 k or so we traded places back and forth. Coming up to end of the first lap I lost my second waterbottle to a bump. Bugger - vaguely thought about stopping but when I looked back the cap was off and my energy was feeding the ants. I kept drinking and munched a second powerbar and decided to pick up some water at the turnaround. 

The second out was faster and I had a nice rhythm systematially taking the riders in front of me down though I did get overtaen by a large pack at one point. Gave Simon a cheer as he went back the other direction. He was looking pretty happy which was really good. Once back over the big bridge I felt really confident and strong and opened up a bit. A girl on a yellow bike kept passing me and we traded places every kilometre or so all the way back to transition keeping up a good pace. I had a good move through transition and thenheaded out onto the run still wearing my bike gloves. 

More water, a gel and half a banana and the first k or so hurt. Then I got my legs back underneath me and it still hurt and It was a huge effort to keep moving. By the end of the first lap I was struggling and Dave overtook me just as we saw Emma going to the finish line. Got out of the stadium and ended up having to walk as I felt so cold. Yep cold. I figured that was  bad sign and so did another gel and and concentrated on reducing my body temperature. Lots of water over me and  in my mouth and I kept pushing whilst walking. I couldn't run but I did come close to keeping pace with some runners. I was at about 9.50 pace. 

Then an Angel to the rescue - or at least KK - who made me run. The bastard. I hated him but he took me down to the last drink stand and then along the home straight lletting me go into transition with me head up high. So finished in 4:13 - gave Shen a huge hug and found the nearest shade that I could to try and cool down.

Generally quite pleased with everything. The first run was the right pace and the cycle felt good. I need to figure out where the cramps were coming from and see what I can do about them. I'm trying to fgure out the problem with the second run - I think a bit of both dehydration and heat exhaustion. The best solution that I can think of is that I lost a lot more liquid on the run than I'd expected - my socks were soaked by the end of it - and that the go juice on the bike kep me going on the bike - but i had a deficit that I hadn't made up. If I had a bottle of fuel at transition to replace the liquid - SALTS - and taken the time for it that would have made the cycle easier.

Also losing my 3rd go juice bottle probably had an impact  - though given my energy bar consumption the issue was probably salts and liquid as opposed to energy. Muscle wise I was pretty much ok. Then given the heat which was a huge shock on the second run I think more time spent in transition for a thorough drenching and body coolingbefore setting off again would have paid dividends.

This morning I'm still very sensitive to the heat and am diving from one air-con place to another. Finally in light of the experience I think that I need to revise my expected timings for Langkawi. I don't think tha I'd be too far out racing in Northern Europe with a 12 hour target - but given my experience of the heta on the run at Desaru and Powerman I don't think a 4 hour run is possible and consequently it may make more sense to work for a 7 hour cycle to try and help on the run. I'll keep working on it - and doing lots of bricks. :(

Finally a big thank you to Senay who was absolutely brilliant - looked stunning in her BRAT top - and had the race of her life completing the Sprint in about 3 hours with no training nor discomfort. Way to go!


Anonymous said...

hi denis ! congratulations !

-girl on d yellow bike-

Denis Oakley said...

Thanks Girl on a yellow bike.

See you at Phuket?

Anonymous said...

Hi hun, thank you and a big well done to you as well! You have done great! Senay

Anonymous said...

no will not be doing phuket. next race will be d penang bridge. nice meeting you anyway ! had a great time 'pacing' with you !! :) name is julie by the way.

feel free to drop by my blog http://missjewelz.wordpress.com

take care and all the best!

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