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Discussion: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

Subject: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: pam t.

Written on: Tuesday April 24, 2012

Message: The Rage half IM distance just outside of Las Vegas last week was a B-race for me preparing for my first Ironman in Coeur d' Alene, June 24th. I had to keep telling myself this was a long training day and my focus was on nutrition planning and execution first and foremost. Also, a secondary goal was to avoid heat stroke. The air temp was expected to be 95 plus this day!

I have been following Ben's IM program (not the beginner one)while adjusting for work, life and workouts I don't choose to do. It has been a very solid program for me and while I don't end up doing most of the speed workouts, it has been excellent in developing a base and moving from there. My goal for the program is do get the volume in as a first priority and it has served me well.

Going into the weekend, I was anticipating a cold water swim... the water temp had been listed in the mid-50's for weeks. The day before the race, the temp jumped to 62 which was perfect. Based on the water temp reports I am seeing from CDA (today 50 degrees, last year at this time, 40 degrees), I am thinking that the water temp may end being very close to what Lake Mead was this weekend.

It was 72 degrees air temp at the start of the race and a perfect morning, other than you knew it was going to be roasting us later on the run! The water at Lake Mead was crystal clear and I more than once was startled by fish swimming beneath me! The open competitors began first, then Half, then Oly, then Sprint- guys then gals. We entered and exited on the boat ramp, which was long, due to the water level being low. We were assigned transition areas by number with the Sprints being closest to the water and the Halfs being at the top end of the ramp, but closest to the bike start. I had read somewhere that running up the ramp after the swim only spikes the heart rate at the beginning of the bike so I started walking up the ramp. Yes, then I could not stand walking at this point so I started a slow jog up the ramp, maintaining a slower HR. Transition was fine... I took extra time to apply sunscreen (super smart decision) and then I was off!

The 56 mile bike ride was a perfect training ride for CDA! There were rolling hills, some sustained climbs and some opportunities for fast downhills along with the hills. This was my first race following a professional bike fit,new aero bars and a water bottle between the aero bars. The best investments I have made so far in this journey (I do not have a tri bike, but the lowest level carbon Trek Madone). I had water in the aero bottle and Ironman Perform in a 20 oz bottle on my lower tube. Yes, I did drop the Perform trying to get it back in the cage and had to drink Gatorade which was the course drink. It was so sugary compared to the Perform I did not drink much. I did have extra food- gels, jelly beans and stinger waffles so I did not loose calories from the bottle drop, just comfort!

By the last 5 miles of the bike, I knew the run was going to be a "hot mess". My plan for my first Ironman is to run/walk the marathon so my plan going into this race was to practice run/walk as well. The first 4 miles of Rage were a gradual uphill with two or three a little more than gradual uphill parts. I struggled at this point to keep my heartrate where I wanted it (I had my garmin on), so I ended up walking more of the first 4 miles than I had planned. I was also super hot! With aid stations at every mile or so, I adjusted my strategy to combat the heat. At each station, I did the following: 1 cup of cold water down the front and back of my tank and shorts and 1 in my hat/head, plus one to sip as I ran. Yes, my socks got soaked but by the time I got to the next aid station, they were drying out a lot! I focused on my gel eating. The only negative was my endurolites were in the back of my tank and got soaked to the point that I was not able to get two of them in because they had disintegrated!
Just before mile 4 started, I caught up to a guy whose age on his calf was close to mine! He seemed to be struggling a bit too so I asked if he would run with me to the aid station ahead, which he gladly did. He was from NY and for the next 6 miles we worked together to take our minds off the heat and our heart rates. After mile 4, the path flattened out and took us through the many tunnels that were carved to haul materials up to build the Hoover damn. I loved those tunnels for the obvious shade and coolness benefits! There was a gradual downhill to the turnaround point and then back up before the flat 3 miles again with tunnels. I stayed with my run/walk plan incorporating the tunnels for walking and the sun for running! The guy I ran with went out in front of me for this portion without walking, but by the time we got to the last 2.5 miles, my walk/front strategy allowed me to move past him and run myself to the finish.

As hot as it was, I truly enjoyed it and learned a lot. I stuck with my plan for nutrition, had extra calories on board just in case (which I needed with the bottle drop), and was able to tweak my running plan to something more conservative to accomodate for the temps/avoid heat stroke. Coming from Colorado, the heat was nothing I could prep for and it is not typically that hot yet in Vegas. It was a great training day and gave me mental confidence that I can make adjustments on IM day without freaking out.

The race was very well run in my opinion. There was one small run course marking issue I heard about, but did not struggle with myself. All in all, it was a very rewarding day!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Tuesday April 24, 2012

Message: Sounds like a cool race. I would love the tunnels! Great job on being flexible with your plan and enjoying the day - that's what it is all about! Good luck at CDA - can't wait to read the RR! That was my first IM and will always have a special place in my heart!

Heat sucks! The year I did CDA was FREEZING but it can also be hot so it's probably good that you got to do a hot race so you can be prepared! Keep your salt tabs in a Ziploc next time :)

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: john m.

Written on: Tuesday April 24, 2012

Message: Nice preparation race to work out the kinks. The Lake Mead venue sounds wonderful. Good job and good luck at IMCDA.

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Paul B.

Written on: Tuesday April 24, 2012

Message: Nice race!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Teri d.

Written on: Tuesday April 24, 2012

Message: This sounds like it was an excellent race for you, congrats! You're on track to turn in a solid performance at CdA. CdA is a roll of the dice; it can be exceedingly warm and very cool, with the water outright frigid. Be prepared for anything and you'll be ready.

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: pam t.

Written on: Wednesday April 25, 2012

Message: Thanks for all of the replies... funny Suzanne you mention ziplocs... I had my waffles for the bike in a zip loc so I did not have to open the wrappers... I did not even think about using them for the endurolites... guess that is why you do a couple of B races before the A race...

60 days until CDA... it seemed so far away before and now it is amazingly close!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Brad H.

Written on: Wednesday April 25, 2012

Message: Great race, thanks for the writeup! Not knowing anything about the Rage race, I was quite interested in all the details you provided about the course, air & water temps, etc. It sounds like a nice course, and I'd really enjoy those tunnels on the run, although it would be very hard to prepare for such hot weather in April.

Good luck at CDA! I'm not familiar with the new bike course, but it's a really good race!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Leo F.

Written on: Wednesday April 25, 2012

Message: Great job! Looks like your preparation is right on. Good luck on your IM.

Funny note - I looked at your profile and saw that we were in the same race last year, Derby half marathon, with times within a minute of each other. Small world.

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: pam t.

Written on: Thursday April 26, 2012

Message: Hey Leo!

It is a small world! I actually grew up in Louisville, KY so I wanted my first offical half marathon to be the Derby one. Looks like you live in Ky from your profile. I also did Tom Sawyer sprint last year too so my folks could watch me do a triathlon. Any aspirations of doing IMLou? I think there is a half IM distance prior to IMLou but I don't remember the name of it.

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Heather N.

Written on: Thursday April 26, 2012

Message: Nice work! Those tunnels sound like a blessing!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: Leo F.

Written on: Thursday April 26, 2012

Message: Hi Pam
I didn't really know how to swim until this past winter which I spent learning to swim a little so I don't ever see myself doing an IM. May get a sprint tri in this year if I can get a little more distance. Did do a half iron duathlon last year though and enjoyed it. Next adventure is trying to survive the Derby marathon this coming Saturday for my first full.
Good luck at CDA.

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: pam t.

Written on: Friday April 27, 2012

Message: Good luck with Derby run!

Subject: RE: Race Report: Rage Half Distance, Lake Mead, NV

By: daniel d.

Written on: Sunday April 29, 2012

Message: Nice race report. I may still be in the tunnels under those heat conditions.

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