Iron Star Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Conroe, Texas
United States
Out Loud Productions
Total Time = 4h 51m 27s
Overall Rank = 18/246
Age Group = M20-24
Age Group Rank = 2/6
Pre-race routine:

Alarm went off 3 hours before the first wave started. Got dressed and packed my stuff. Had a peanut butter sandwich, grabbed my water bottles and Andrew(Big Red) and I got on the road.

Found the T1 area and started to setup. Had to get my extra wet clothes bag and sort out which bag was for what clothing and to be placed where....I hate races with two transition areas.

Ran into Joe(freeswimmingfish) and Bonnie(Mrs Fish). I don't think I've ever seen a guy so excited for a race when he's not even racing.
Event warmup:

Dropped my tri bag in my Jeep and headed out for a warm-up run. Went over the first half mile or so of the bike course. There were two sharp turns early so it gave me a good idea of how long I'd have to get into my shoes.

Got back and Body Glided my wetsuit before climbing in and dropping off my T2 and dry clothes bags. Headed down to the shore and did a quick swim to get a feel for the water. It wasn't as cold as I was expecting so that was a relief.

Ran into Jim(jkron) as we were standing at the water's edge. From there it was a lot of standing around and waiting. There were 4 waves with 10 minutes between each and Andrew and I were in the last wave. At least the sun would be higher when we got out of the water, so something good was coming out of it.

Finally waded in and took my place near the front. I had to look over at Andrew and loudly proclaim, "Dude! Did you pee?!? Oh, wait, that was all of us." Got good laugh out of the people around me. This wasn't that serious of a race for me so I was happy to joke around and keep relaxed.
  • 33m 32s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 44s / 100 meters

The gun went off and I sprinted out as fast as I could. Picked my head up to sight after a minute and realized I was a bit off course. Made a small correction and I was back in the thick of the pack.

After the first 200 meters I settled into a more moderate pace and looked for a fish to do the work for me. Got into a good pack and was enjoying the day when the water started to get really choppy.

The next thing I knew I was off course and my pack was gone. Looked ahead and they were still within striking distance, but I'd have to sprint and that just wasn't worth it for this race.

My focus for this race was run so I let the pack go. Took a second to look behind me and there was no one on my feet. Our wave had really split into two packs and I was in no mans land. Fair enough. I'll swim on my own today.

Started to catch the waves ahead of me after the turn bouys. That gave me some people to sight off of and before I knew it I was back on dry land.
What would you do differently?:

Could have sprinted a bit more to keep up with the lead pack but it wasn't worth the effort today.
Transition 1
  • 03m 23s

Started unzipping my wetsuit before I even got out of the water. Ran up a short hill and the wetsuit strippers were waiting for us. Not to race directors: don't let 95 pound women be wetsuit strippers. Thanked her as I got back up and ran to my rack.

Here I just took my time. It was cold, I was wet and the first 10 miles of the course were shaded. I'd done it before and nearly frozen to death, so today I would be dressed appropriately.

Had a little bit of trouble with the first arm warmer and had to pull it off and back on to get it right. I was a little surprised to see Andrew run up beside me. My swim was a bit slower than expected, but he must have crushed his goal time.

Gloves, helmet, sunglasses on, tool kit and salt tabs in the back pocket and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

I had no intention of trying to be fast. Extra clothing would be worth it today.
  • 2h 37m 17s
  • 54 miles
  • 20.60 mile/hr

Hopped on my bike after the timing mat and took two pedal strokes before I climbing into my shoes. Made a sharp turn before tightening the straps, another turn and it was time to go to work.

Headed down 105 and was passing people like they were standing still. Wattage was a bit high, but I wanted to get my HR up and generate some heat to warm up.

Turned onto the first of the country roads and started my nutrition plan. Passed up three guys in my age group within a minute or two of each other. Okay, making progress.

The first aid station came up at mile 12 which was 6 miles sooner than the race info said. Took me three tries to finally grab a water bottle. Started climbing the hills and didn't hesitate to get into my small ring.

Reached mile 22 or 23 and that when the road turned downhill. Not literally downhill... the road went to shit. The surface was this kind of gravel/asphault mix. It was awful. It was only a mile or so of rattling and vibrating before I had to stop and pee. I'm not willing to pee on myself when it's this cold out, so I had to stop and take care of business.

By the next aid station I was working my way up to some of the relay cyclists. I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard so it was reassuring to see that I was keeping good company.

20 miles of rough bumpy roads and I had peed 3 times. I usually only have to go once in a HIM. The only thing I cared about was getting off of this damn road. Started playing leap frog with a guy in an A&M jersey. It was something to distract from the bad conditions.

Finally we made a right turn onto some normal asphault. Damn, did it ever feel good. Picked up the pace a bit and felt so much better. Too bad it was only 10 miles 'til we were done riding.

I had no idea what T2 area was going to look like so I kept an eye on my computer to see how much distance was left. I could see a busy intersection up ahead and assumed this had to be it. Climbed out of my shoes, made a hard left and there was the dismount line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I didn't push the pace too hard and didn't really have a goal other than that.
Transition 2
  • 00m 53s

T2 was a bit of a mess. They had a girl run to show me where to rack my bike. She ran to the end of the rack and just kind of pointed and said, "Here." Well that wasn't very helpful when there wasn't any room. I ended up racking by one brake left on the very end of the rack. If something fell I'd let them deal with it.

The good part of T2 was that they had a girl behind me dumping out my transition bag on the ground. She was even trying to lay stuff out to make it easier to find.

Set my helmet on the ground and threw my tool kit, gloves and arm warmers inside. Decided to skip the socks, put on my shoes and grabbed everything else and ran.

Put on my visor as I crossed the timing mat and then put on my race belt and gel flask holster.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. That's as good of a T2 as I could have without knowing anything about the setup.
  • 1h 36m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 22s  min/mile

Now I was actually awake and paying attention. I had been mentally checked out all day but now I had a purpose.

Used the two guys just ahead of me as pacers. Half a mile later we were at the top of a small hill and I dropped them without a 2nd thought. Coach Z's orders were sub-1:38 which means sub-7:30 miles. Time check at the first aid station: sub-7:00. Walked while I drank a cup of water and downed two salt tabs. Okay, back to work.

Picked out my next two marks and made quick work of them as we headed uphill into a new housing development. Had a 29 year old go flying past me. He was the same guy who passed me late on the bike so he must have had a bad T2, but he was killing the run.

Time check at mile 2: still sub-7. Okay, this pace doesn't hurt. I know I can't maintain it but I don't need to slow down much. Caught sight of A&M guy up the road and I had my secondary goal: to crush him.

Saw the race leader coming the other way and there wasn't anyone else in sight. Damn. He was rocking this course.

Time check at mile 3: 7:02. Still felt great so didn't change a thing. Now we were back on the old Iron Star course and the familiarity made things easier. I knew the hills and the heat and what was coming. Took me a quarter mile but I caught A&M guy. Turned out his name was Nate and he was friends with my buddy Craig.

We talked for a mile or so and pushed each other's pace. He'd get a step or two in front, I'd speed up and stay on his shoulder, he'd drop back and try to keep up with me. Probably traded off a half dozen times.

Uphill to mile 5: 7:08. Okay, now I'm just banking time. But everything is going just as it should so I'm not going to question it. Back downhill to mile 6 and I picked up the pace. Nate didn't stand a chance.

Turned into a neighborhood at mile 5.5 and knew I had a long uphill run. Took the shortest line I possibly could and was still working my way through the pack. No matter who I picked out, I could catch them. Time check at the turn: 7:10. I'm gonna hit my mark with time to spare. I feel too good not to.

Back downhill and through a short out-and-back on a side street. Saw Andrew and he was looking good. Did some quick math in my head and guessed that I had 2.5 miles on him which was probably a little less than 20 minutes. And with his running skills, I knew he'd close some of that gap.

Back on the main road and I was running home. The middle of the pack had already passed going the other direction so now it was just the stragglers and the people I had to run down. Mile 10 - 7:32; my first mile over my goal pace.

Poured water on my head at the aid station, poured out the gel I wasn't going to eat and picked up the pace. Just get through this neighborhood and you're home free. Mile 11 and I was back under 7:30. This is where it started to get hard.

We were headed uphill more than down and had a decent headwind pushing against us. Cluster of 3 guys up ahead... I own them all. One guy walked so he was nothing. The next one was continually slowing down and was a memory after a quarter mile. But that last one was a problem.

I was making up ground on him, but just couldn't seem to pass. Hit the last aid station and somehow missed the mile 12 marker. I knew I was on the last mile and it didn't matter what the split was. I still felt great and was under my goal.

Got within a few feet of my mark and read his calf: 35. He was in the first wave and started the race 30 minutes ahead of me. I'll sit back and draft and let him cross first. I'm fine with beating him by 29:59.

Turned into the neighborhood and crossed the line. Damn I has glad to be done.
What would you do differently?:

Could have pushed it a bit more. I was in my race zone the entire time but it felt so effortless. I didn't want to risk going out too hard and took the middle section on the conservative side, but I definitely could have given more.
Post race
Warm down:

Took off my shoes and foudn a spot in the sun to stretch. Checked the results and knew that since I only saw 3 guys in my AG, and that was early on the bike, I either won or got my ass handed to me. I got my ass handed to me. I was 2nd place, but first beat me by 21 minutes and was 7th overall (higher if you take out the relay teams).

Waited at the last turn for Andrew but he wasn't there when I expected him. Had a chance to take the shuttle to go back to my Jeep so I hopped on and drove back. Once I was there I found Nate loading up his bike and congratulated him. Found Andrew and got some food while we watched the awards.

The couple that won the Playtri HIM also won today. They were from another world. Bonnie was 1st place athena and I thought Joe was going to explode from the excitement.

Finally packed all my gear up and started the long drive home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mentally, I just didn't care about this race. I wasn't going to beat my swim and bike from Longhorn, so I just didn't try. The run was the focus and I crushed it. Couldn't ask for more today.

Event comments:

Good race. The new run course is awesome! I'm sure they'll work out some of the kinks with the seperate transition areas next year. The only problem with this race is the road surface on the bike and cold weather in the morning, but that's not reall their fault. I'm sure I'll be back.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-09-05 12:00 AM
00:33:32 | 1931 meters | 01m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 3/6
Overall: 37/246
Performance: Average
Suit: Zoot Z1
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:23
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: Good
02:37:17 | 54 miles | 20.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 24/246
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:36:23 | 13.1 miles | 07m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 18/246
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2.2
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
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] 3