Ironman 70.3 Racine - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 30m 55s
Overall Rank = 1014/2150
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 204/324
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:30, and could only stomach an electrolyte drink, some coffee, and bananna. Stomach was a bit stressed the night before and this morning. We left around 4:30 & got to Racine around 5:20. Went straight to transition and set everything up. Stomach a little better and was able to take in a protein bar and another bananna in transition.
Event warmup:

Made the mile walk up to the swim start with Colleen and thousands of my fellow triathlete cohorts. I knew it was going to be a brutal day when a simple walk along the beach at 6:30am gets you sweating. After arriving at the swim start, I put on my wetsuit and acclimated to the water temp with some warm up swimming. I stayed submerged in the water right up to the point of my wave being called to the start line. Got out of the water and started the race with 4 minutes to spare. Did a great job of keeping cool.
  • 38m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

Wanted to have a solid swim that was relatively easy on me to conserve energy for what was going to be a tough bike and run. I know in past years there has been some favorable current helping swimmers, but not this race. Thankfully it was a beautiful morning for a swim with little chop and a nice lake temperature. I wore a single swim cap and my wetsuit and that was perfectly acceptable.

One thing I really like about swimming in the big lake is the visibility. I could see all the way down to the bottom of the lake probably 20 feet below me. That's a far cry from the last two triathlons I've done where I could only see about 12 inches in front of me. Personally, good visibilty helps me stay on course a bit.

I took it easy to the first buoy and made a tight turn around it with a million other guys. Although crowded, everyone was pretty respectful of space. For me, contact and a heavy crowd in the water doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, I kind of like it (odd hey?). After rounding that first buoy I found some feet that were perfect and I drafted at least half the distance behind them. He might have been a bit slower than I wanted, but it was a comfortable pace and that was easy to hold.

Rounded the last buoy and headed back into shore. Saw a lot of people standing up and walking with quite a distance to go because it got pretty shallow quickly. I tried swimming as long as I could, but still had to walk a decent amount in the water to get to land.

What would you do differently?:

Not too much.
Transition 1
  • 06m 9s

That was quite a haul from the swim exit to transition. The fact that it was in sand made it even longer. I lightly jogged while taking off my wetsuit. I wanted to try the wetsuit strippers but the area to lay down looked like a bed of sand and I didn't want to get that all over me and my suit, so I skipped it. Instead I wrestled and fought with my wetsuit by myself alongside my bike until it finally came off. I took in some gatorade & salt and off I went. Unfortunately I had a very long distance to cover from my rack to the bike out, but I am not using that as an excuse for a long t1 time. In reality I took my time and wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything.
What would you do differently?:

Try to streamline things a bit more.
  • 2h 59m 12s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.75 mile/hr

My focus on the bike was to stay within 85% of FTP and concentrate on nutrition and hydration. I knew I would have big problems on the run taking in fluids and food, so it was essential to do so on the bike.

That being said, I was following a plan of gels every 40 minutes & endurolytes every 30 minutes. Also audible alarm every 10 minutes to remind me to alternate drink between water & gatorade. Also consumed 3/4 of a powerbar (270 calories) and a couple of gel blasts on the ride. I believe I met my goal of stuffing down 250 calories an hour and my stomach held up pretty well.

All in all, this was a good ride for me in which I stayed within the plan and left enough in the tank for the HM.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 05m 53s

Got to T2 in one piece and walked my bike to the rack. Took my time getting ready which included sunscreen, drinking some water, & another endurolyte. Was not looking forward to the run, but knew it was time to go down the chute and depart the comfy confines of t2.
What would you do differently?:

Stay in t2 longer.
  • 2h 41m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 20s  min/mile

Here's where things get a little dicey.....

Having a history of meltdowns in high heat and humidity at the half marathon distance, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I did everything on the swim and bike to set myself up for a good run, but still knew I was going to struggle. So several days ago I readjusted my goals for this leg of the tri. Had conditions been favorable I was hoping for something around 2:10. However, I revised that to 2:30 with a primary goal of not melting down.

One thing that didn't boost my confidence out of t2 was seeing some guy DNF right out of the starting chute. He told the race official he pushed too hard on the bike and wasn't ready for the run. UGH...let my pain begin.

My plan was to walk the two big hills as well as every aid station. I kept a close eye on HR and every time I started creeping up above 85% of my run FTP, I held it for a while and then would walk a couple minutes. That didn't happen too much, but I had to walk a few more times than anticipated. Looking back now I might have been able to push harder, but really didn't want to risk not finishing. This is kind of my conservative nature I guess.

My stomach started bothering me around mile 7, but the salt and coke helped. I feel like I was able to finish the last couple of miles pretty strong which is exactly what I wanted.

This was a tough run for everyone and there was a lot of pain and suffering everywhere. The good people of Racine put out sprinklers and were hosing people down as they ran by. That was such a treat for all of us doing our HM death march. I thought Ironman did a great job with the aid stations and had everything I needed including ice and Coke. Every aid station for me consisted of water, ice down the jersey & some coke. Also enjoyed the sponges down the shirt as well.

All and all, I finished the run at 2:41 and missed my goal by 10 minutes, but I am okay with that. I do believe I could have pushed harder, but being my first experience at this distance I wanted to make sure I finished and finished with some gas in the tank. Colleen was volunteering with her friend at the finish line and was able to present me with my finisher medal after I crossed the line. That was a very special finish for me.

What would you do differently?:

Push a little harder on the run to finish with zero gas in the tank.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank tons of water. Felt great to sit down in the shaded athlete tent and eat what I think was a Cousin's sub.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My inexperience at this distance.

Event comments:

Ironman did a great job preparing aid stations for the extreme conditions. In light of the disaster at the Rock n Sole half marathon last week, I decided to run with my hydration belt/bottles in case they ran out of fluid. They never did and I was able to stay well hydrated using what the course provided. Hats off to the race organizers on a job well done.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-01-01 12:00 AM
00:38:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 107/324
Overall: 669/2150
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3 full suit
Course: Staight out from beach about 150 yards to buoy and then about a mile South and what seemed like 50 buoys before heading back in about 150 yards.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:09
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:59:12 | 56 miles | 18.75 mile/hr
Age Group: 178/324
Overall: 973/2150
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Rolling countryside of Racine and neighboring cities.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:53
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:41:29 | 13.1 miles | 12m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 204/324
Overall: 1014/2150
Course: Double out and back partly along lakefront and through residential areas. Also a run through the zoo for like 100 yards where you see what looked like some type of public exhibit with a sole turkey lurking around a dead tree stump. Not too exciting.
Keeping cool Average 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5