The bike was a standard 12 miles to a small town called Petty that is conveniently 6 miles away from the pond we swam in. It is fairly flat, but does have about 90 feet of elevation going mostly up on the way out and mostly downhill on the way back. You can see this on the Endomondo graph of the ride.
The run is 3.1 miles and is mostly flat. It begins running down a grass and dirt road for approximately 1/3 of a mile before turning to asphalt.
The first problem was my nutrition preparation for this sim. Basically, I didn't. With the weight loss challenge in its final 2 weeks, I have been sticking to some pretty low caloric intake. Prior to this race I had only taken in 800 calories for the day (see food diary below). I didn't carb load or do anything special the day before either. I did take a Gu energy gel about 5 minutes prior to starting this sim, which is counted in the 800 pre race calories, but didn't take in any other nutrition along the way. Considering I burned upwards of 1600 calories just doing this sim I am pretty sure my body was starved of fuel and was a strong contributor to why I fell apart in the run.
The second problem, hydration, was something I thought I had covered. I usually drink a lot of water. Drank approximately 2 gallons yesterday and 2 more over the course of today prior to the sim. I also drank a good amount of water over the course of the sim (approximately 48 ounces). The problem is that I really don't know if this is enough water (during the race) considering I am doing over 90 minutes of exercise in 95 degree heat. Also, it is just water and I had not done anything to boost my electrolytes before or during the race. As much water as I drink normally may actually work against me as I suspect it may flush my system. I was covered in salt by the end of the sim so I know my body flushed a good amount out also. I think I really need to homework my body's needs in this area before attempting another tri or sim. Especially considering the fact that it will only get hotter as we move further into summer. Again, going back to Chis McCormack's book, the biggest nugget in the book talks about the difference in hydration as it relates to the blood plasma level and the cellular level. I am pretty sure that I am doing a good job at the blood plasma level. Plenty of water in my blood. Might be missing something at the cellular level though as it takes supplementing minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, etc. to get that hydration into the muscle cells and can take a couple of weeks. The body burns through blood plasma hydration first and the cellular hydration is what gives you the endurance. I'm pretty sure this is what I lacked on this sim. There are a number of products out there to help supplement for this. I'll need to pick some up prior to my race on the 19th. I also need to do some homework on pre-race and race time hydration needs that are more specific to my body/performance. Basically, need to come up with a game plan for hydration for a race.
Lastly was the problem of the heat. I actually like that we did this sim in the 95 degree heat. It was 6 p.m. and my race will be at 7 a.m. so I will likely be looking at a little more comfortable temperatures on the 19th. It is possible for it to be 95 degrees in Texas in the summer at 7 a.m., but I would guess that it will more likely be around 80. With that said, all I can do is be more mindful of the heat. I came into this sim not really considering the fact it would have as large an impact on me as it did. I thought it would make the sim a "little tougher", but boy was I wrong. I damn near couldn't finish because of it and felt horrible for the rest of the evening. This was no little effect. It was huge. Lesson learned. I now know that I must respect the heat more than I did today!
To wrap it up, this sim was ultimately a success. It didn't feel like it physically and didn't reflect in my time, but I learned some huge lessons that I would not want to have learned during a race. I guess that is one of the major goals of running a sim, right? I have learned to take my pre race hydration and nutrition much more seriously or I will pay big time in the end!
FOOD DIARY FOR 7/8/14