Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
CAPRI Events
78F / 26C
Total Time = 6h 31m 26s
Overall Rank = /2282
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 3 hours before race start, shower, ate oatmeal and 1/2 bagel and coffee. Drive to course, set up transition area in the rain and hang out under pavilion for about an hour or so. Took a Salt Stick from Noah. 400mg ibuprofen with breakfast.
Event warmup:

40 minutes before my wave start, 1.2 mile walk down the beach in the drizzle, sucked down a pineapple Gu Roctaine and then some 50 sprints to get the heart rate up. Felt strong and fast. 10 minutes before wave was to start, the rain stopped.
  • 30m 30s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

Got to the corral "late", everyone was lined up. I navigated past everyone to assume the inside front spot (with about 15 seconds until start). I was getting stared down for moving to the front, but once the wave started, I took about 10 steps into the water, did about 4 dolphin dives, and started swimming. I was first to the 1st buoy, and stayed towards the front for the rest of the time.

Hit traffic about 1/2 mile into the swim, and had a couple of instances where people tried to cut right across my path - had to be "aggressive" to keep moving.

My sighting was perfect. I swam from buoy to buoy, brushed every buoy with my right shoulder, I don't know that I could have swam straighter - if they'd have only given a medal for straightest swim. I hit the last buoy, turned for the shore, and swam right past people trying to stand up and wade out of the water - right up to 18" or so depth.

I stood up, ripped goggles and cap off took 3 steps onto the beach and worked on unzipping and pulling my wetsuit off.

Swim not only felt awesome, it was awesome!
What would you do differently?:

I would say I would try to swim faster yet, but by the time I hit the beach, I was anaerobic, so I don't know exactly how much more steam I had in me. I could have tried to push the first 1/4 mile a little quicker, and not tried to settle my heart rate so quick.

For my level of fitness, my swim was perfect - more specific, faster/harder training would be necessary to get faster.
Transition 1
  • 04m 15s

I ended up anaerobic at the end of the swim, and running the beach was kicking my butt - so I ended up walking through transition while getting my suit pulled down around my hips, and in doing so, got my heart rate down a little. Got to my bike, everything was in my transition bag to try to keep the shoes dry. Grabbed my Gu Chomps from my bag, as well as my Enduralytes. Put on my socks, put on my cycling shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and my number belt - which was required on the bike portion according to race rules for this race. Grabbed bike, and started run/walk bike out of transition.
What would you do differently?:

May have been able to maintain a slow run and still gotten out of my wetsuit, but that would not have gotten my heart rate down.

Also, rain kept me from having everything laid out and set up to make for a very fast transition. I needed to "dig around" my bag - well, not really dig - but it still took too much time. The fix - lay everything out and cover with plastic bag? Run in wet shoes? No perfect easy answer here.

I was slow putting socks on, it's more of a balance issue, I think. No socks, or get them on quicker? I don't know what the right answer here is - I think socks are necessary for the distance. Practice running long with no socks to save a minute? I donno.

Maybe keep Chomps and Enduralytes on bike - I need a bento bag again - this will be explained in the bike segment.
  • 2h 49m 55s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.77 mile/hr

First 5 miles I was pushing WAY harder than I should have been, something was not right, so I stopped to check that my front brake was not dragging. It was fine, but I found my back was, so I opened it up for the race, and I picked up 2-3 mph afterwards.

For mental purposes, I broke the course up to 3 x 18 mile sections. Goal was to ease into the first 18, and increase the speed each 18. Last 2 miles to spin to get my legs ready. Head wind on last 18 miles down Blue Star kept me from really pushing the last 18 miles.

I planned on using 4 x pineapple Gu Roctaine in my gel flask on the bike, starting at 15 minutes on the bike, and then at 45 minute intervals. Sometime after the first Gu, and before the 2nd, I apparently hit a bump and knocked the flask off the bike. Fortunately, I had a pack of Blueberry Chomps in my pocket. I had 1/2 of the packet at 1 hour on the bike, and the rest at 2:30 hours on the bike. I also picked up 2 Gu packets at aid station (40 miles) and scarfed them down (and was able to drop the packets by the end of the aid station - speedy!). This worked OK.

Hydration - I started out with a single packet of Gu Brew (Blueberry Pomegranate) in my aerobottle, and a double dose in a single water bottle on my wing. I think I lost my wing water bottle when I hit that first bump, so I was stuck grabbing water from the aid stations. I believe I had 2 x 20oz bottles of water (maybe a third), in addition to the 20oz in the aerobottle.

I started having quad cramps hitting the hills in the wind coming down the Blue Star Highway. I took 2 Enduralytes at that point, and that helped a bunch.

I nailed hydration, I nailed nutrition, I nailed pacing, I nailed thinking on the fly when I lost my bottle and flask. Very good decision making on my part.

I was having a blast on the little hills. I was happy I had ridden so many hills this year. I think I had to get out of my saddle 1 or 2 times at most, and routinely passed people who were pumping hard up the hills, while I was still relaxed in full aero. I rode the "Big Boy" gears for the entire course except for the 1 hill at mile 48.

I had a ton of fun - that's what's it was all about. The fact I went somewhat fast was a bonus!
What would you do differently?:

Gu Flask - I think I'm going back to a bento box, or maybe find a better idea. Water Bottle on Wing - change to frame mounted, or better cage? Maybe I just plan on drinking off the course and just using aerobottle - how do I Gu Brew then? Brakes - I don't know what I was thinking at that point, I shouldn't have had that issue, I rode/tested and still had issues. Take enduralytes earlier, definitely.

I can get considerably faster, probably with some targeted training for this speed - probably not a ton of new training either. Need to explore doing some intervals or tempo on the trainer - or maybe do some Spinnervals weekly.
Transition 2
  • 03m 2s

T2 was better than T1, but should have still been faster. Racked bike, shoes on, grabbed Chomps packet & single Gu packet. Grabbed water on the way out of T2.
What would you do differently?:

Again, shoes were in bag due to rain earlier in the day - took too long to get everything together. Should have run better through transition.
  • 3h 03m 44s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 02s  min/mile

Oh, do I actually have to talk about the run? OK, I knew I had a busted ankle going into the race. Main goal of the run was to finish without trashing ankle. Plan was to walk the aid stations and hills to give my ankle a rest and run the rest, even if it had to be a slow run. Fall back was to walk when it was hurting, and run when it wasn't.

So, onto the run, given the circumstances, I think I did pretty good with decisions. By about mile 10, my ankle was starting to really hurt, which made me start to walk about a minute for every 8 or 10.

Aside from my ankle, I felt incredible before, during and after the race. This tells me that I had a good level of fitness going into the race. Even given the ankle, and the long run time I was quite happy with my performance.
What would you do differently?:

Busted ankle kept me from running fast.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my ankle wrapped at med-tent, walked around, stretched, and ate a ton of food. Was going to soak in the lake, but was not really up for walking. Wanted to spin/ride for a little bit to stretch, but ankle was not up for that either.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Ankle limited the run. High heart rate made T1 slow. Rain made both transitions slow. Not ideal, but not fortunately not performance - flask/water bottle.

Anything else would have only gotten better due to training.

Event comments:

CAPRI hit a home run with this one yet again! What a great race. To bring up my quote from last year: "It was the most painful, gawdawful experience in my life, I can't wait to do it again!"

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-01 12:00 AM
00:30:30 | 2112 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 30/
Overall: 186/2282
Performance: Good
First 1/4 mile were trying to get into a rhythm, trying to control heart rate and breathing. Once I was able to get out of some of the traffic, I was able to smooth out, and speed up quite a bit. I really started kicking at this point, and didn't stop.
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3 John
Course: Straight course parallel to shore with the current, marked with three different colors of buoys somewhat showing distances. First 50-75 yards, even past the first buoy, were in 3 feet of water. 2009, the beach start allowed some running down the beach, perpendicular to the shore, but in 2010, a barrier was installed 10' into the water. Similar to the first 50-75 yards, the last bit was very shallow, causing people to try to stand up and start wading out early. Good time to pass people by keeping swimming.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:15
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:49:55 | 56 miles | 19.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 104/
Overall: 0/2282
Performance: Good
First hour, 19 miles, second hour 21 miles, 50 minutes to finish the last 16.
Wind: Some
Course: I thought the course was pretty flat and very fast. The wasn`t much wind until the last 18 miles or so. The road was wet and starting to dry from the morning rain - so it was a little slippery until the sun came out. Never worried about the wet on the roads, didn't let it slow me down any.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:02
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:03:44 | 13.1 miles | 14m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2282
Performance: Below average
I like breaking this distance up into 2 x 10k and a mile run. This helps things mentally, plus gives a good reference distance for pacing. I did so for this run, but with the other run/walk goals, this served as little more than to break the distance mentally.
Course: Mostly flat 2-loop course thru Whirlpool campus. Course was flat, only two real hills, and hot. There was not much shade, but lots of aid stations with lots of volunteers.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5