Grand Rapids Triathlon - Half Iron Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
United States
hotF / 0C
Total Time = 6h 54m 12s
Overall Rank = 250/299
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 10/17
Pre-race routine:

Minimal sleep - not worried about race, but couldn't sleep!
Up 3:40 am - grumpy with hubby for this early rise time, but happy to be at end of bike racks - so he is forgiven.
2 whole grain bread with PB and honey and a banana. Full gatorade.
Arrived a parking, and nearly sprinted pushing my bike to the portapoties- tummy issues - not a great start! Not really nervous - despite this being my first 1/2 IM, stayed calm.
Event warmup:

Just some stretching while in the swim wait area.
  • 44m 13s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 17s / 100 meters

Happy with swim performance - actually swam straight! (relatively) Last year same distance took me 58 minutes - since I zig zagged like crazy. many thanks to my husband's assistance in the last week before the race in recording my stroke and creating bouys to practice swimming straight in Lake Huron (burr!). It helped - and despite forgetting to turn on my watch, I was calm after the sprint bouy and held it together, and my swim time was as I had hoped. A good start!
What would you do differently?:

Turn on watch.
Transition 1
  • 02m 48s

1st time with a wetsuit stripper - wow - never had 2 guys pull my clothes off so fast at once before :).
Long run into T1, feet sore.
My set-up was good. Turned on watch at entrance to T1. All going very well, but then dropped glasses on other side of bike when putting on helmet. Overall happy.
What would you do differently?:

Take more time putting socks on properly - many toe blisters to come!!!

  • 3h 17m 7s
  • 90.12 kms
  • 27.43 km/hr

Realized on way out of T1 that my bike computer wasn't working. Fussed with it for too long - and just gave up and decided to bike at what I felt comfy with. Tough to gauge with such a long ride. Felt good through the bike, actually passed some people (new for me !!!) Great to see my hubby along the way. Afraid I was pushing too hard not knowing my pace nor my time, but felt really good. 2 1/2 bottles gatorade, 1 bottle water. 4 gels. 2 cookies. Ran out of liquids a mile before end of bike.
What would you do differently?:

Duhhh! - put my tire on with the sensor on the right side so that my bike computer works. ROOKIE!
Take time putting on socks properly.

Transition 2
  • 03m 35s

Had trouble finding my bike as my colourful flowery bag had been moved down one rack. Stood there looking at the stuff beside my bag, and just couldn't understand why it didn't look like my stuff! Finally clued in and moved back on rack, and much better - my shoes etc. Quick switchout, but messed up the garmin. Fussed with it for a bit, but then just stared out. Not my day as far as technology goes! Felt like a techno clutz!
What would you do differently?:

Turn on Garmin before bike (just worried about battery). Learn more about the Garmin in advance - so that if I hit a wrong button I can get it back to what I am used to!
  • 2h 46m 29s
  • 21.08 kms
  • 07m 54s  min/km

Don't even know what to say - Auugghhh! Felt really good the first 4 miles. Might have been going a little to quick as the garmin didn't lock in until about mile 3, but felt really good. No knee issues, but blisters on toes developing. Never have this issue so early - must have been sock bunching!
Very hot, but feeling OK. Aid stations well located and well stocked. Then stopped for a potty break, and stings started falling apart. My stomach was a mess. The bouncing motion was beyond painful. Wish I could narrow down the cause - really tough - could be my Crohn's acting up (the last 3 weeks haven't been the best), could be all the gatorade, could be the 32 degree heat (no training in heat/humidity yet this year), or could have been the HEED gel (although I did try one in training without negative affects).
Bummer - fast walked a large portion of the rest of the race. Dumped my race belt since it exaserbated the bouncing, and aid stations were plenty. Didn't feel overheated - Ice was awesome - finally found a good use for a bra - great for holding ice!
Body felt good - when I did run I was running at a good pace - not too fast. But could only stand it for short times before my stomach revolted. Tried to glide rather than run to keep the stomach stable - don't think this will be the new trend. Gave in and just tried to walk as fast as possible and finish this thing. At times looking around everyone was walking - so made me feel a little better.
Crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face, but tears in my eyes knowing I could have done so much better if I could have run. As much as a said my goal was just to finish since this was my first 1/2, I secretly (or not so secretly) had grand visions of catching up to my husband and running across the finish line together (with my foot slightly ahead of his on the timing mat). Just imagine all the grief I could have given him. Oh well - maybe next year :)
What would you do differently?:

Do some more research on Crohn's and how to manage my stomach during such a race.
Don't wear the race belt.
Take some stomach meds a little earlier.
Figure out the Garmin.
Nutrition ?? 2 gels, some gatorade early on, then just ice and water due to stomach issues.
Post race
Warm down:

Quick swim, jump in the car and 3 1/2 hr drive home. Hobbling about on toes with blisters on the blisters!

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Awesome Race. Amazing volunteers - thanks so much!!!!!
Packet pickup was a bit of a cluster, but everything else was so organized and just amazing. Loved the area.
First thought after the race was that my body (stomach/GI) obviously just can't handle this kind of event - will need to stick to shorter races. But a few hours into the drive home I was thinking about all the things I could do to make this a better race next year. What a sport - addictive!
Love it!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-04-30 12:00 AM
00:44:13 | 1931 meters | 02m 17s / 100meters
Age Group: 12/17
Overall: 17/299
Performance: Good
Suit: full
Course: narrow triangle
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:48
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:17:07 | 90.12 kms | 27.43 km/hr
Age Group: 12/17
Overall: 17/299
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Gorgeous area - loved the roads. Great condition compared to my area. More hills than I had thought - everyone's definition of flat is a bit different. Where I live I can ride 90k without changing a gear - pancake flat. There were some nice rolling hills - enjoy riding them - just not much practice.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:46:29 | 21.08 kms | 07m 54s  min/km
Age Group: 11/17
Overall: 17/299
Course: Gorgeous area. Big trees, but given the timing, provided very little shade. More hilly than anticipated.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5