Kinetic Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Spotsylvania, Virginia
United States
Set-Up, Inc
70F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 57m 29s
Overall Rank = 361/416
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Since Karen decided to come at the last minute we decided to leave from home early in the morning. Breakfast: Cereal and coffee... drank some Gatorade and water. Had already packed everything the night before so we got off around 4:15am. Arrived there at 5:45. Can't say I was very impressed with the organization of this race. Barely had enough time to register and get my transition area set-up... long lines for everything.

I should also add that the night before the race, did some "busking" on the mall to fundraise for our upcoming school trip to Ireland... probably not the best thing to be doing before an HIM, standing a couple of hours playing driving Irish tunes, but it was fun!
Event warmup:

No time for warm-up. Got my gear set-up and made it down to the beach in time for the start of the 4th wave (I was wave 6). Which gave me just enough time to try out a few strokes in my new wetsuit. Forgot to stretch (mistake #1).
  • 31m 13s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 29s / 100 yards

Took care of most of my hydration needs during the swim. After really struggling with freestyle (sighting, breathing, swallowing Lake Anna), decided to do 50/50 with backstroke. Probably slower, but breathing was better and more relaxed. Less of a problem with the waves. Directionally I was all over the place... not sure if it was current, waves, or me. It was a tough swim... but once I started doing backstroke, was fairly relaxed about it. Coming back to shore (last leg), I seemed to pass a bunch of people. Generally though, it was a much stronger group of swimmers than I'm used to... my first indication of the strength of the field. Guess that is to be expected in a HIM (and one that is a qualifier).
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. First time in semi-rough conditions. I think I adjusted as well as possible. I'm putting below average for my sighting problems and I'm sure my placement is lower than usual, but was glad to have that leg behind me (even more glad as the wind picked up later in the day and the conditions deteriorated more... ick).
Transition 1
  • 04m 46s

You know, those questions are just lost on me. I took my gear off, I put my gear on. I ate a potato roll and enjoyed some gatorade and water. Put on my Garmin. Tried to refocus a bit before getting on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Remember to put sunscreen on, even if it was cloudy at that point. 6.5 hours is a long time to be in the sun. Get sunglasses. Remember to take the Ibuprofin. Probably most important... use the frickin' checklist I made for the race! Where is my head!
  • 3h 31m 53s
  • 55 miles
  • 15.57 mile/hr

Okay, so that was the first time since Karen and I biked the Oregon Coast in our 20s that I had done more than 40 miles or so. So keep my comments in perspective. The race was a stretch for me.

I really tried to focus on keeping an easy pace on the first loop especially. The wind kept increasing as the bike continued (from around 12 to 20mph I'm guessing) and the sun was out and the wind/sun combo definitely took a toll on me. Generally, did pretty well on the course. I'd say relative to others, my 2nd half was stronger (I seemed to have a better pass/be passed ratio in the 2nd half of the course... including catching people who had passed me earlier). Did a fair amount of standing pedaling on the 2nd loop... just needed to change my leg position more than anything else.

The really exciting part was coming up on the tree that had just fallen across the road (a big sucker too)... so we had to dismount and go off the road around the tree. The benefit, however, was no traffic in our lane afterwards... and I was *REALLY TIRED OF DODGING TRUCKS WITH BOATS* (though they all drove very carefully and I appreciated their patience with the riders).
What would you do differently?:

Maybe more long bike rides in preparation... just not sure that is really feasible. Remember to put sunscreen on. Stay away from Heed. I'm going to give it a "Good" rating b/c I think I rode well given the conditions and my preparation and I was right on or slightly better than my planned pace.

Probably most important was the need to get some sunglasses... the dust, sand, debris and pollen was rough. Maybe get a place to store a cookie or two? I was hungry on the 2nd loop.
Transition 2
  • 06m 39s

Jumping off moving bike... hmmmm... running with bike... hmmmm.... let's just say I got off my bike and managed to find my right row on the first try! I was excited about that!

This time I remembered the sunscreen as I could feel myself starting to burn. My error this time was that I forgot to put on my running cap.

Anyway, sat down to a nice 3 course meal of 2 potato rolls, some chips, and my semi-frozen bottle of Gatorade (that *was* a good idea). Can I tell you how good that Gatorade tasted and felt going down? Wow... it was like the best thing ever. Anyway, I was hungry. Changed my shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Tablecloths for the meal. Really, those transition areas could use some class.
  • 2h 43m 1s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 26s  min/mile

So my goal was under 11 min mile... I walked way too much for that. The run course just killed me, or I was already shot from the bike. My back was acting up (as usual) for the first lap, 2nd lap was okay (close to my goal time anyway)... 3rd mile, my feet hurt, it was hot, my legs just said no, and I sucked. Cost me a sub-7 hour time. Did I care? Could I do simple time math by the 3rd lap? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding no. All I could think about was getting off the course (alternating with "where is the next water stop?") It was pretty lonely out there on the 3rd lap... which also contributed to my poor state of mind... only served to remind me just how slow I was... lol.

It was hard to go by the finish line 2 times before getting to do it for real... just saying. Plus there is the killer hill right after the finish line. Yeah... playin' psychological games with us, are ya?

Okay... coolest thing was that there was a blind man running the course. Got to run along with him for a little while. Add him to my tri hero list... no, wait... put him at the top (Kona stories are exempted from this list... they are Gods!)
What would you do differently?:

I guess it goes back to training, but I think my first priority should be to figure out what is causing my back issues. I was able to run 8+ min miles (at least the first lap) when someone wasn't shooting needles in my lower back. Maybe try some yoga?

If there was a "suck" choice in the drop down menu, I'd choose it, but since they apparently want us to feel more positive, I'll give it the below average... but let the record state that I sucked on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Find Karen. Drink more. Walk. Was *really* glad Karen was there. One good thing about the run laps was that I got to see her 3x during the race and collect a good luck / hang in there kiss. Plus, I could not have driven home safely by myself.

They were announcing the top 3 places in the award ceremony for my age group when I crossed the finish line... ouch!

By lucky chance, wound up sitting down at the same table with fellow Virginian BTer and her family from Williamsburg... didn't realize it until about 5 minutes into the conversation... that was a cool surprise!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Conditions and training. Other than that, it was perfect.

Seriously though. It was my first HIM. I'm thrilled to have completed it. I do feel like I didn't do the run leg b/c of all the walking, but never-the-less, I finished under the cut-off time. I am really impressed with anyone who does HIMs and IMs. It's another big step up from the OLY. I was a little over my head today. And that's why we do it!

[Morning after note] Lots of twinges and soreness, but body seems to be okay today. In looking back, my poor performance on the run was half physical, half mental. I'm sure there were plenty of people hurting as much as I was on the run, but who gutted it out better. That is something to work on. Experience plays a role there too... I've got one behind me in challenging conditions. I'll be more mentally prepared for what HIM requires next time. That and losing another 15 lbs.

Event comments:

The park (Lake Anna) is a beautiful setting for the race (thanks for reminding me Josh). Definitely would consider trying to camp there if I ever did it again and try to enjoy it more. As it was, I felt hurried or spent the whole time and missed taking a moment or two to enjoy the beautiful setting. Take out the traffic (and wind) on the bike ride, and that would have been lovely too.

They needed more volunteers at the beginning - barely was able to get all my stuff together for my start... and I wasn't alone, everyone was scrambling because of the lines. For goodness sake, get some portajohns! Let me say that again... Port-a-potty! Don't run out of water/heed on 1st bike station... people are planning on that (that being said, it was my first time having bike stations and that was WONDERFUL). Run stations were great... thanks! How about a race clock somewhere on the course... like maybe at least the finish line?

[Notes: My "too hard" rating is only b/c of it being based on my ability and the conditions that day. Just right would probably be appropriate for most. Bad post race activities is once again based only on my experience... it may have been great for those who finished earlier, but warm drinks and a little pasta just seemed somewhat lame for having just finished an HIM. The VTS Sprints have been better... I expected more for the HIM. All that being said, I do very much appreciate all the help from the volunteers and fans... that is a long day for everybody... thank you!]

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Last updated: 2010-04-17 12:00 AM
00:31:13 | 2112 yards | 01m 29s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/416
Performance: Below average
Suit: sleveless volt wetsuit
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:46
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:31:53 | 55 miles | 15.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/416
Performance: Good
Approximately 16.7 pace on the first lap and 15.5 on the 2nd. Not too much of a drop-off given the wind picked up more and that distance was a stretch for me.
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: LOL... they give me a single dropdown box for wind? Strong head and cross winds... front was going through so it was changing directions... first loop the rougher parts were in a different part of the course. Was big gear (standing some) the whole way though... not bad hills. Traffic on 208 / 522 was AWFUL. Rough road in some sections, but at least the traffic wasn't so bad on those roads.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:39
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:43:01 | 13.1 miles | 12m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/416
Performance: Below average
Course: Damn. Tough hill right out of the gate. 1 mile. Then a decent flat to slight downhill for mile+ or so, then another hill up to the turn back toward the start... fairly gradual downhill until you hit the trail (which was nice)... which got steep going down. Repeat this 4.4 mile course 3 times. I found it very challenging after the bike.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 3