Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
82F / 28C
Total Time = 5h 46m 41s
Overall Rank = 882/1789
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 152/289
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:10. Breakfast of plain bagel with peanut butter, banana, Gatorade. Chris picked me up at 4:45 for the 45 minute drive. Ate another banana on the ride up and finished off the 32oz of Gatorade.
Event warmup:

Walk 1 mile to start. Swam about 4x50m in the water.
  • 40m 1s
  • 1940 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

I hoped for a 40 minute swim and nailed it. 40:01 including run to transition. Was out of the water just under 39 minutes - faster than my Oly time (1,500m) in June.

Our wave (15) had nearly 200 swimmers so I didn't go crazy at the start. Warming up before hand really helped as I settled into a groove quickly. I stayed wide to avoid traffic. However, sighting was difficult as the sun seemed to be directly in front of me as I looked up. So, I managed to weave into and out of the traffic near the bouys a couple of times. I noticed that I was catching some red caps (Wave 14 swimmers). This helped my confidence quite a bit. I did keep thinking, "When do we turn into the beach?... This is LONG." Finally, I noticed the masses turning right so I followed. As I got close I stepped down in the sand and my left calf cramped. OUCH!! I panicked a little, but got it together and pointed my toe upward and hobbled a few steps, swam a little more then got to a normal stride. All systems were go as I exited the water and ran up the beach to T1.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 05m 30s

I am slow at transitions. I didn't feel like I took my time. I did put on sunscreen and had to brush quite a bit of dirt off my feet. Perhaps I could have foregone these steps?
What would you do differently?:

Maybe just focus more on getting in and out quickly.
  • 2h 53m 51s
  • 56.5 miles
  • 19.50 mile/hr

I was hoping to come in under 3 hours. However, for the first 15 miles I felt sub-par. I seemed to have ailments on my entire left side. My calf, knee, glute. WTF?!

Somewhere near the half-way mark, everything seemed to click and I felt great. I kept my HR under 140 and my speed started to climb. I was starting to pick off quite a few people, but I was in the last wave.

I continued to fuel/hydrate well (3 bottles of 2-scoop Perpetuem - 1 bottle/hr, endurolyte before each aid station washed down with copious water and pour balance of water over head and back). From mile 30 on I had an extremely strong urge to pee. I think the need started at about mile 15. I recall BT threads where folks have managed this on the fly, though have never tried it. I worked and worked at this for about 15 miles, until... Alleluia, my shining moment at about mile 45, where a nice steady stream cascaded down my leg for a good 90 seconds. I made sure to wash well with water at the next aid station. The last climb at mile 49, caused my HR to spike at 159, but it was over before I knew it as I spun the rest of the way in, keeping the cadence high on the middle ring.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was suprised to see that this was my worst leg, in terms of age group rank. I really was happy with this ride.
Transition 2
  • 04m 25s

Again. I'm slow. I need to practice. I did reapply sunscreen - I'm Irish/German/Scottish. So, no taking chances...
What would you do differently?:

Practice, practice, practice.
  • 2h 02m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 23s  min/mile

Again, I felt medicore during the first two miles. A big hill at mile one didn't help. I was conservative on pacing for the first 6, as I was "respecting the distance." Probably a smart move, as it was in the 80's and my first HIM. After peeing at mile 6 (used a porta-john this time), I began to feel better and decided to push it a little more, keeping the HR over 150. My hydration/nutrition went very well. As I approached each aid station, I swigged some Hammergel from my flask, popped an Enduralyte in my mouth than took two cups of water at the aid station. I did this at every one. After mile 11, I thought I might still have a chance at 5:45. So, I kicked it in. In reality, I needed to go sub 8:00's, but pushed anyway, cause I had some gas left. Well, I didn't break 5:45, but did finish strong and felt good. I saw my wife and daughter near the finish and said hello. My daughter jumped out and ran with my to the finish. I had to laugh, because her face was SO SERIOUS as we ran the final 30 meters to the timing mat.
What would you do differently?:

For a 1st HIM, nothing. Now that I have one under my belt, bring my HR over 150 at about mile 2 (vs. mile 6), then kick it in (155-160 bpm) at about mile 10 (vs. mile 11).
Post race
Warm down:

2 Gatorades, plum, cookie. A nice dip in a cooler Lake Michigan.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Fear of the distance. Lack of confidence to push it.

Event comments:

Overall this race is a "B." It was awesome to take part in such a big race. The swim and bike course were great. The volunteers did a great job. Nice technical T-shirt and medal for swag. Run course was kind of blah. Transition area was kind of a mess. My bike and shoes are filthy. Still, this was a great race and a great way to spend a Saturday. I had an fantastic time.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-01-23 12:00 AM
00:40:01 | 1940 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 150/289
Overall: 836/1789
Performance: Good
Suit: QROO Ultrajohn
Course: Beach start to first bouy, turn right and swim parallel to beach for 1 mile with bouys on the right and boats on the left. Turn right to beach and run up beach to transition.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 05:30
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:53:51 | 56.5 miles | 19.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 192/289
Overall: 1038/1789
Performance: Good
1:29 first half and 1:24 on second half to negative split.
Wind: Little
Course: Out ~ 10 miles to 36 mile loop and back. Rolling hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:25
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:02:55 | 13.1 miles | 09m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 147/289
Overall: 807/1789
Performance: Good
Negative split on the run!!
Course: Out and back to a loop that's done 2X. Not very scenic, but cool to see all the other runners. The finish on the beach (carpet strips over sand) was tough to maintain balance on, but cool, nonetheless.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4