Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
70F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 22m 42s
Overall Rank = 1075/1173
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 77/83
Pre-race routine:


I followed no training plan at all this season and just tried to make sure at some point I got in enough distance in each event (except the swim) that I thought I could finish okay. Then for the last three weeks I did almost no training due to travel, crazy work hours, and illness. I didn't mind though. Today was supposed to be about having fun and spending time with friends.

I think I accomplished that for the pre-race. I drove up with Griz on Saturday, did bike check-in, did hotel check-in, and met MarkK, CindyK, Laura (Whizzzzz), Chris (Coredump), KTPitbull, Pete, and Glenn for dinner.
Event warmup:


Griz asked me if I wanted to take my bike out and run it through the gears to make sure it was ready, especially since I hadn't ridden it in a week. I said no.

I brought both wetsuits figuring I would choose one when I felt the water. I chose my QR full suit. I soaked it in the tub the night before, put it in a bag and threw it in the back of the truck that morning, and then grabbed the bag for my sleeveless when we got to the race site. I realized my mistake when they announced the two minute warning for transition close. I started to exit transition for the long walk up the beach and some guy next to me looked down and said, "Do you have your chip?" Uh. No. Goes with the whole unprepared theme I guess. I ran back and got it. We'll count that as warm-up.

I did the 1 mile walk down the beach with Griz and CindyK and then CindyK and I hung out in the water where I did approximately 6 swim strokes. That can count as warm-up too.

I had not one teeny flicker of race nerves for this race. As of Wednesday I wasn't even sure I would be healthy enough to race so I let go of all expectations. I chatted with Cindy until we lined up for our wave and then all the sudden the gun went off and I thought, "Holy sh!t. I guess I am really going to do this HIM thing today" and headed for the water.
  • 32m 54s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 42s / 100 meters

I was a little cold to start the swim due to the sleeveless, but no big deal. What was a big deal was the ridiculous number of people who chose to walk this swim because they had moved the buoys in due to the cold water. Apparently people were really freaked out about it even though it wasn't actually that cold. So rather than maintain the swim, they moved the buoys in and made it short. I know this because there's no way I swam that distance that fast - not on my swim training this year. Not even when I'm trained really well.

Due to all the people who did a walk in the water, bike, run, I kept swimming into people's backs, butts, whatever.

It ended up Cindy and I finished the swim at the exact same time. We started to exit the water and she wasn't talking so I asked her if she was okay. She shook her head no and then I saw her inhaler and the look on her face and got worried. She used the inhaler a couple times and seemed to come back to normal but I stayed with her up the beach just in case. Plus there was no reason to sprint ahead in deep sand when I still had 69.1 miles to go in the race.

Goal of having fun and spending time with friends = achieved
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 06m 16s

Holy stuck on my heel. I forgot my timing chip was there. My sleeveless is also a cheaper suit and has stiffer neoprene that makes it not as easy to get off. I struggled for a good minute or so before the timing chip thing kicked in and I got the suit over the top of it. I'm quick sometimes.

I also took my time here. Because of the cold I had all week, I had a ridiculous amount of snot to get rid of before I could commence with the bike. Plus there was the whole suit stuck on my heel thing. And my transition times are usually long enough even without these issues you'd think I stopped to fix my hair or something.
What would you do differently?:

Learn how to transition. Not get a cold the week of the race.
  • 3h 16m 4s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.14 mile/hr

I don't really know what was going on with this ride. I would say it was being sick this week, but it didn't really affect me on the run as you'll see later. Whatever it was, I felt good for the first 15 miles and then mile 15-25 were miserable. My speed dropped off, I lost all power, and everything felt like a struggle. I seemed to rebound for miles 25-30 and then the wind kicked up. And we essentially rode into it almost all the way back to transition. By that point my hamstrings felt really tight. Scary tight. Like I might pull one of them. My quads were screaming at me, and my knees just ached. They haven't felt like that since I was on my old bike that was a terrible fit for me. I also had no power at all. My current bike has been nothing but comfortable until today. I don't know if the seat moved or what, but this was awful.

I started getting really upset. I was cursing and swearing off not only another Ironman, but HIMs. I started having the same fantasies I had during IM training where I would throw my bike down on the ground and stomp on it. Or take a baseball bat to it. Or run over it with a car. But I refused to cry. One of my goals this season was not to cry on the bike and I intended to meet that goal. I did see joe runner around mile 50 and that really cheered me up to see a BTer. It gave me what I needed to keep it together the last few miles.

When I finally hit the stretch where we ride parallel with the run course I realized how excited I was to rack the damn bike and put my running shoes on. I saw Laura and cheered for her and then focused on getting to transition. I didn't even bother looking at my bike split when I finally rolled into transition I was so mad things had gone so poorly. I knew it would be around my best bike split for this distance so that was good, but I knew I should have been able to ride faster. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my bike split later that night and realized I got a 10 minute PR on the bike.

Goal of having fun and spending time with friends = not so much
What would you do differently?:

Not lose control of my emotions on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 04m 27s

Since pretty much everyone finished the bike before me there was no room on the rack. And the three people around me had all racked their bikes the same way - the opposite of what they had been that morning and the opposite of what I needed to get my bike racked. I was still bitter about the last 56 miles so I shoved mine in there and continued to curse as I blew another ridiculous amount of snot out of my nose (I don't have the snot rocket mastered and decided not to try it on the bike when I would have to wear that snot the rest of the race if things didn't go well) and got into my running gear.
What would you do differently?:

Again - keep control of my emotions.
  • 2h 23m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 55s  min/mile

I started out on this run with a desperate need to pee. I found a porta potty within my first mile and was on my way.

I was shocked at how strong my legs felt. After the pain of the bike I was afraid I had cooked them and would have an awful run. But I was maintaining a pace right around my HIM run PR - 9:10ish. The thing I love about this run course is that with a two loop out and back you see almost everyone at least once. Some people you see 2-3 times. I saw several BTers (Amyjotris, 1sttimetri, Chris (coredump), joe runner, trainergirlmick, CindyK, Griz, Laura (Whizzzz), Katie (KTPitbull) and others I can't remember right now which kept me cheered up and energized.

I also love this run course because they have Oreos on it. They have some other food too, but it is unimportant. I got to the first aid station where I saw foil tins out and asked where the Oreos were. I had been salivating over the Oreos since I started the bike. Dreaming of the moment we would be together. And it was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. I had to stop for a moment while I finished eating it. And then I cut myself off so I would have room for more on the second loop. But on with my description of the actual run.

I tried to keep my pace in check my first lap and then the second loop I was still feeling strong so I decided I might try to kick it in the last few miles and really shoot for a run PR. But then at mile 10 I saw Laura. I stopped to walk with her for a couple minutes and see how things were going and decided it would be more fun to walk in with her. So I did. There will be plenty of other races when I can shoot for a PR and walking with her would do a much better job of meeting my goals for the race. Indeed it was fun for the last few miles and then when we reached the finish area we saw a huge group of BTers waiting for us and cheering us in. We ran the last little bit and crossed the finish line together.

Goal of having fun and spending time with friends = achieved
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Hung out by the food tent and chatted with the other BTers.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training, lack of a training plan, life.

Event comments:

I've done this race the last three years. It's very well done, a flat course, and draws a huge BT crowd which makes it fun.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-06-07 12:00 AM
00:32:54 | 1931 meters | 01m 42s / 100meters
Age Group: 77/83
Overall: 1030/1173
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Sleeveless
Course: A short distance out and then parallel with the shore until the end.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:16
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:16:04 | 56 miles | 17.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 73/83
Overall: 1099/1173
Wind: Some
Course: All over Racine and the area around it.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:27
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal
02:23:02 | 13.1 miles | 10m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 70/83
Overall: 1012/1173
Performance: Good
Course: A two loop out and back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4