White Lake Half II - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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White Lake, North Carolina
United States
Set-Up, Inc.
92F / 33C
Total Time = 6h 46m 17s
Overall Rank = 80/175
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 10/27
Pre-race routine:

We drove up to NC Friday afternoon. 6 hours later arrived at the race site just in time for the last 10 minutes of the pre-race meeting. Got my number, checked out the area. I was happy to see the whole thing was fairly small, very easy to get around. I chose to stay a bit out of town so that I could use my marriott points and be a little more comfortable with the hotel. So we headed back that way and had dinner at Friendly's, ice-cream and all. A pretty relaxing evening considering I was doing my first half ironman the next morning. Got to bed around 10:30. Slept surprisingly well. Woke up at 4:30, showered, had my pb and banana sandwich and headed out for a very long day. The drive there was oddly cheerful, since A and I can always seem to find things to laugh about. Her slamming her hand into the sunroof because she thought it was open was one of those.
Event warmup:

We arrived a little later than I would have liked and had to park on the road, maybe a quarter mile away. I still had to mix my drinks, get body marked, pick up my chip, and set up transition. On the walk in, someone said we could put the wetsuit back in the car. I didn't really know what to think at that moment. I kind of hoped it wouldn't be wetsuit legal becuase of my previous uncomfortable attempts at swimming with it. But at the same time, I knew I might want the security that it offers on a 1.2 mile swim. Alas, the choice was not mine, so I had A bring it back to the car. Not much warming up given that it was already over 70 at 6am. I calmly walked over the lake and watched the first two waves go off before I made my way to the dock. 5 minutes before, I jumped in and casualy swam around to make my way toward the front. Chatted with some other girls almost right until I heard the horn blow.
  • 46m 54s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 13s / 100 yards

The swim started off easy enough. Not a whole lot of contact. The first third went pretty smoothly. Then we rounded the first buoy and chop of the water hit me. Every breath was met with a slap in the face. The lake that everyone said was "like a sheet of glass" was more like an angry sea. I managed to stay calm and got used to it. I found a rhythm that seemed to work for the waves and I. It was not a fast rhythm, but it kep me afloat and moving forward. I'm not really sure exactly which direction the wind was blowing at this point, but after rounding the second buoy, it was obvious it was not going anywhere for a while. I checked my watch at the first and second buoys and thought I would be making good time if they were all equidistant. I'm still not sure if they were, but when I got back to the dock and saw 45 minutes, I was no longer thinking good timing. Given the no wetsuit, and my lack of swimming recently, I wasn't terribly surprised. I was glad that I got out of the water and felt good. I was glad I wasn't completely winded running back to transition. I still had a long day ahead of me.
What would you do differently?:

I think only more time swimming was going to help this cause. I'm ok with allocating my time to biking and running this time though. They need a lot more help.
Transition 1
  • 02m 12s

Not too bad. Still pretty quick in comparison.
  • 3h 23m 22s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.52 mile/hr

Well this was a long ride, so I'll try not to complain too much. The first hour was awesome. This course is almost completely flat and I have been looking forward to meeting it for quite some time. I know flats are boring to others sometimes, but to me, it's sublime. To have 56 miles and not even a 1% grade, I thought I would be in heaven. The first hour flew by. I couldn't believe I was at the 18 mile mark at just under an hour. I had such high hopes of crushing my previous bike times. There were a couple turns shortly thereafter and that's when the wind decided it wanted to pick a fight with me. I ignored it for 10 miles of so while it laughed in my face. I thought, as soon as I get around that next turn, then you will be at my back and have no power over me! Yet, that never happened. It was almost as if the wind changed direction just as I changed direction. Miles 30-40 were probably the worst. I was getting tired and still had so far to go. I found myself crying...at what, I don't know. Feeling defeated? Weak? Unfit for a race like this? Who knows. For a brief moment, I felt myself giving in to the devil of quiting. And if I had not been so far from the car, I probably would have thrown my bike in the woods. But once I got passed the 45 mile marker I knew I didn't have too far to go, and I could still catch up to all those girls that passed me not too long ago. I really believed that this race was going to come down the run. When I neared mile 50, I felt the sun like I hadn't felt it all morning. She was beaming like a child on Christmas morning. And it began to seap into my skin.
What would you do differently?:

I've bike more in the past few months than ever before. There was no way I could have planned for that. And although I had a few moments of insanity, I think we all do from time to time. I fought past it, because that's what we do. And sometimes that's all you can do.
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

I was so happy to be back, I forgot to get out of my shoes on the bike. I dismounted and yelled to A, "I'm never biking again!" I also took a seond to spay some sunblock. I knew it was going to be rough out there.
  • 2h 31m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 35s  min/mile

What I thought was going to be an easy 13.1 turned out to be the hardest 13.1 I've ever run. I've never taken more adavantage of each and every aid station. As soon as I got out there I saw people walking. Within the first mile, the heat caught up with me. I realized I was going to have to completely reevaluate my plan. I decided to walk each aid station, dunk my towel in ice water and pour it over me, then dunk again and put in on my head, under my cap. I'd take a cup of water and hunker down until the next stop where I would do it again. I thought a lot about just walking, but all I could think about was how much longer I would have to be out there for if I did. They only had Heed, and I hate Heed, so I took some e caps at mile 2 and hoped they would do the trick. Around mile 5 I remembered I still had 3 shot blocks in my pocket from the bike. They were like heaven because gel just sounded gross. As I approached the turn around, I realized it was almost over. All this build up, and it would all be over in a matter of minutes. I was both ecstatic and a little sad. Though the heat was torturous, I did want to make the best time I could. So I sucked it up, and pushed on. On the way back I passed a solid handful of women in my age group that were apparently walking the whole thing. So I began to play the game in my head where I check off each person. I spot them from afar and try to tell if they are in my AG, then pick them off one by one. It's slightly entertaining when you're delerious from the 93 degree weather. As I approached mile 11, I wanted to pick it up the pace. I really wanted to get to the finish and just collapse from all the effort. But my bosy just would not move any faster. Finally in the last half mile, I didn't care if it wanted to, it was going to. I refused to be one of those that walked across the finish line. I think the adrenaline set in, and took off. Or, at least I thought I was taking off. I crossed the line with a smile and barely being able to breath. Just the way I wanted it. Except for the 93 degrees of course.
What would you do differently?:

How do you heat train in February?
Post race
Warm down:

As I walked toward A, and she was congratulating me, I slowly began to realize that I still could not breath and it was getting worse. She looked for a medic, btu none seemed to be within view. I've never actually been worried for my health before, but this was terrifying. After a couple minutes, it subsided. We poured some water on my head and sat down. Got a soda and some pretzels. Walked and sat some more. I think I was delerious for a good half hour. The whole experience was a little surreal.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Um, maybe those 20mph winds? Or the 93 degree temps? Or the 79 degree water that didn't allow for a wetsuit. Or maybe just simply my lack of experience in racing 70.3 miles.

Event comments:

Great race. It's just so unfortunate that both weekends were so hot. It's interesting that the average temps for that time of year really are in the 70's. You just never know. That's the hard thing about these early season races. You spend months of training trying to stay warm outside, and then race day comes, and you can't stay cool enough. This was a great experience and even though I said never again as I waited for the times to be posted, the next morning I was wondering what I'm going to do next. I definitely forsee another half at some point. I really do like the distance. And thank you to everyone that supported me over the past 4 months. The people you surround yourself with can make or break you. And all of you made me a half ironman.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-06 12:00 AM
00:46:54 | 2112 yards | 02m 13s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/27
Overall: 75/175
Performance: Average
Suit: none
Course: Triangular from dock to dock
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:23:22 | 56 miles | 16.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/27
Overall: 111/175
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Flat loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:09
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:31:42 | 13.1 miles | 11m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/27
Overall: 72/175
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat out and back around the lake. No shade.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5