As I’m sitting in the hotel getting ready to race Syracuse 70.3 in a few days, I realize that if I don’t get these race reports up, I’ll end up probably never getting them done, and my Syracuse results (good or bad, hopefully good) will inevitably skew how I recollect what happened over a month ago. So, let’s crank this bitch out.
Lead up: Bassman was the first race I got to finally rock my Wattie kit, my Helix wetsuit, my first half-iron distance of the spring, and a chance to get some retribution from last year’s whoopsie. While a lot of my teammates were getting ready to throw down some epic performances at Wildflower and St. George, I was sleeping in my own bed, ready to go throw down in the Pine Barrens. Whatever, a free entry courtesy of CityTri, and no travel expenses? Sounds like a good plan to me. Plus, Erik was coming down with some Snapple & TriBy3 folks, so I knew there’d be some fast racers there (foreshadowing!).
The weather leading into the race all week did not look promising. High in the mid 40s, and overcast. Yuck. Finally race morning rolled around, it was cold as shit, and I hit the road. Got down to the course, got my transition area setup, and spent a lot of time shivering. It was around this time that I discovered it was a different bike course from last year (as in, one I didn’t know), but whatever, just roll with it. Tried to stay warm, chatted with Erik for a bit, and then finally it was time for our race to go off. The water was about 20 degrees warmer than the air… cool?
Swim: Got a quick warmup (as in, I stood in the water because it was warmer than the air, and I probably peed), and made my way to the imaginary start line. Elbowed my way to the front, admittedly annoyed that so many of these jokers thought they could swim with me. We had given the 40+ men a 3′ head start on the 2 loop swim, and finally, we were off. I felt great in my suit, and after a quick sprint (150-200y), I was clear of any pack swimming, and from that point forward just kept haulin butt. As I finished the first lap, I took a quick peak at my Garmin and spotted a 12:xx. HOLY SHIT. Thank you, Brian and blueseventy (and as it turns out, the course was a little short, but whatever) for your combined efforts in getting me here. On the second lap, I did some slingshotting off of whomever was in front of me, and came out of the water very happy with my performance. I surprised Erica, who said I was one of the first 1/2 iron athletes out of the water, despite giving the 40+ field a head start.
26:00, Garmin data here, with map. 3rd fastest of the day.
Stuff: blueseventy Helix, blueseventy Vision goggles
T1: Moving as fast as possible while convincing myself I couldn’t do the entire bike in my wetsuit. Where the fuck is the sun? Why is it so cold out. I hate this sport. Gah.
Bike: I had been given a very cautious bike plan from Brian, I think because he wanted to really see me lay it all out on the run. The course was 3 loops, and I had 5 watt ranges to hit for the 1st 30k, middle 40k, and final 20k (don’t ask me why Brian insists on these silly metric numbers, MURICA). The ride was incredibly uneventful, as for the first time ever I let multiple people pass me and didn’t immediately give chase. I just kept sticking to the numbers, knowing that I wasn’t going to turn out a fast bike PR, but trusting that it would set me up well for the run. It was windy, and cold, and even with a vest, toe warmers, and arm warmers, my fingers were numb, and I struggled at the turn around points to handle my bike when I had to do something other than go straight. Despite being essentially a circle/square course, it felt like there was a headwind in every direction. Sheesh.
2:34:39, Garmin data here, now in 12th, I think.
Stuff: Trek SC 9.9, Quarq, Zipp 808/Sub 9, Zipp Tangente tubulars, ISM Breakaway, speedfil A2, Powerbar gels, Rudy Project Wingspan, Edge 500
T2: In my haste to get moving and find out why I had biked so softly, I forgot to take the vest off, which made my transition time so speedy! Fortunately, I realized as soon as I ran out, and handed it to a volunteer who put it back on my bike.
Run: Well I’ll be damned, Brian knows what he’s talking about. I started running, got into a groove of ~7:15’/mi splits, and just cruised. There was a brief stop around mile 2 for a nature call, but I managed to keep moving forward while doing my business (ala Chris Bratton, circa Caro St 2005-2009). My HR drifted up, but because the course was so flat, I could just keep spitting out the same splits, mile after mile. Looking at my 10k splits, they’re almost identical. I didn’t catch anyone in my AG, but more importantly, no one caught me. The biggest highlight, without a doubt, was that the turnaround point at mile ~1.75 was a sign “The Adam Furlong turnaround” – which I totally loved (this is where I got lost last year). The RD had told me about this before the race, to make sure I wouldn’t be offended, but in all reality I knew all my competition was totes hatin. It took all my restraint to not slap it, point at it, and scream “yea that’s me bitches” when I saw it. We got to pass it twice, so high five for awesomeness! Anyway, did my best to empty the tank the last 2.5 miles, and employed a great trick I learned from reading a Jordan Rapp interview/RR somewhere – count from 300 backwards, that’s 5 minutes – you can do anything for 5 minutes. I think I started counting when I got to mile 12 and my blisters were hurting like hell, and all I wanted to do was find some sunshine and warm clothes and real food, but I kept pressing, made myself look presentable, and crossed the finish line, having actually run all 13.1 miles of the correct run course. PROGRESS, boom!
1:34:49, Garmin data here, 12th OA.
Stuff: KSwiss Kwicky Blade Lights, Oakley M-Frame, FuelBelt, Powerbar gels, Garmin 910xt
da end: 4:37:42, 3rd AG, 12th OA.
I snuck on the podium because some of the guys in my AG made overall podium, but I’ll take it. Got some food, put on warm clothes, took some pictures, started hydrating/recovering, and finally packed up and headed back to Philly for a beer and an ice bath.
As always, a big thank you to the folks that help me make this happen: Wattie Ink., and the team sponsors: KSwiss, blueseventy, Powerbar, ISM, and Speedfil, my coach Brian from Accelerate3, Greater > Than for help in recovery and looking fly, and Philly Bikesmith for all my bike maintenance and care!
Until next time! (aka right now, as I start writing the next entry).