Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
64F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 39m 49s
Overall Rank = 154/1207
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 33/139
Pre-race routine:

This was the "A" race... My first HIM...!!! which happened to be 8 days after my first Olympic...!!! and i really did not know what to expect...

3 goals for the race (aside from finishing)... 1) go sub-5 hours... 2) finish in the top 200... and 3) go sub 1:30 for the HM (PR is 1:32 and change)...

Went down the afternoon before the race for packet pickup with the family... saw craig and amyjo there... yelled at sgoehner while in line... but i think he was ignoring me... :) and then off to bike check-in and to meet up with a bunch of donkeys (and their families and friends) for dinner at Infusinos in Racine... wow... talk about an inexpensive place where one meal provides enough food to last an entire week...!!! Thanks to amyjotris for setting it up...

Hooked up with the Schmize family there who crashed at our house for the night... after a short period of feeling out (by both of our wives primarily) of whether or not each of our respective families were 'normal' enough to share the same living quarters for the evening the apparent reciprocal 'green light' was given... i'm not necessarily sure that exactly means both families are 'normal'... however, if not, at least they are 'not normal' to similar degrees... :) regardless... fun time for all...

morning of the race i was up at 3:50am... schmize and i went down early to set up an area for our families and friends to hang out at to watch the race... which actually served as a good distraction leading up to the race... sgoehner and the weiningers were there as well to set up canopies, chairs, coolers, etc... next to each other... great little set-up... it was like 'donkey village'...

finally made my way back over to the transition area to get things set-up...

Event warmup:

went for a short little run to loosen up and curb the nerves a bit... asked about 5,000 questions of everyone around me in the transition area... felt like i was going to explode from feeling anxious and nervous... got everything set up... checked it 20 times... kept running to the bathroom... then finally got the wetsuit on and started making my way up the beach... (point to point swim - so have to walk up the beach to the start)... stopped by the canopy area and saw schmize, jabraunski, clint, terri, scott g. and others... most of us took off up towards the swim start... ran into the family as we were on the way... good to see them before the race... my mom and buddy brian would show up later... as well as pjgrande... who would later 'encourage' me to move swiftly through the transitions... :)

splashed around in the water a bit before the start... just to make sure the googles were okay...
  • 27m 4s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 17s / 100 yards

this was a great swim for me... granted the course had to be short... most are estimating it to be about 300 yards short... but nonetheless, i swam really well... they had the buoys pulled in close to shore so that for the first third of it you could touch bottom... you had a few people out there wading along... not too many though... actually a few times i hit my hand on the bottom... which was a bit annoying... was tempted to stand but wanted to save the legs for the bike and run... regardless, about one third the way through it got deep enough to where it wasnt an issue... before the race i received a few drafting tips... which i tried to use on the swim... and it must have really helped... i kept trying to tuck in behind people... and felt solid for the entire swim... the only bad part was our wave's swim caps were the same color as the final buoy... so when i was sighting i kept looking up thinking that i could see the final buoy up ahead... only to later realize that it was someone's swimcap out in front of me... total bummer...
What would you do differently?:

not a thing... probably swam as well as i was capable of that day...
Transition 1
  • 01m 49s

After my transition issues at lake mills earlier this year i've spent a lot of mental energy trying to avoid duplicating that... so was really tuned in to what i needed to do in transition... theres obviously some room for improvement here... could practice getting the wetsuit off a bit faster... and try going with my shoes already clipped onto the bike... will just need to practice these... but given what i trained for... i didnt waste a lot of time here...
What would you do differently?:

practice going in and out of transition with my shoes clipped in... also just practice transitions more...
  • 2h 32m 51s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.98 mile/hr

good conditions for the bike... wind seemed to pick up a little about halfway through the bike... and unfortunately it was going the wrong direction... but still pretty calm... i biked the course twice prior to the race... both times avg'g about 19 mph... in slightly windier conditions though... i felt pretty confident that i could bike it during the race north of 20.5... and maybe as high as 21mph if i pushed it the whole way... well i pushed it...!!! and felt really strong for the first 20 miles or so... around mile 25 i could start feeling it in my legs and thought that i may end up paying for it later... but i was feeling confident (or overconfident as was the case) in my run ability so i didnt want to leave anything out there on the bike... so i kept pushing and managed to keep a reasonably even pace for both halves of the bike... brought it in at around a 22.0mph avg... which is a stellar ride for me... was getting a bit discouraged at times though... as these large groups of riders kept blowing by me the entire race... so i was glad to see that the race officials handed out a fair number of drafting penalties after the race...

had one little scare on the bike around mile 40... a guy was passing me on my left up a slight incline... he was standing and pushing hard... when he was about 1/2 bike length ahead of me he stepped down with his right foot and his chain snapped off... he fell forward and darted right... right in front of me... somehow he managed to get control of his bike and pull back left as i swerved right... that got the heart racing a bit... was obviously glad we didnt crash... but felt bad for him though as his race was clearly over...
What would you do differently?:

not much... i raced hard.. and raced fair...!!! i could probably benefit from practicing or learning how to 'legal' draft a bit more... i tried this a couple of times during the race where i would come up to someone and sit off their wheel for 8 to 10 seconds and then pass... would have done it more... however i was a bit paranoid about the obvious drafting going on out there and didnt want to get penalized... outside of that just keep getting stronger on the bike and possibly upgrade the bike, wheels, etc...
Transition 2
  • 01m 26s

felt like i had a good transition here... was trying to go as fast as i could... apparently it wasnt fast enough though... :) as i could hear pjgrande and my kids screaming at me to hurry up!!! certainly got me moving though...!!!

legs were a bit sore coming off the bike...
What would you do differently?:

not much... could practice a faster bike dismount... took a gel on the bike as i was coming in so that i didnt have to in transition...
  • 1h 36m 41s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 23s  min/mile

the run hurt...!!! mentally and physically... it hurt... which i somewhat expected... but not to the degree that it did...

coming out of transition i was just trying to find some kind of rhythm... i didnt want to force it... as i assumed i would settle into a reasonable pace... i had really been running well lately... so i assumed it would be there... i actually nailed my pace right away (or so i thought) and really started feeling comfortable with it about 2 miles in (which is normal for me)... mile 1 - 6:51... mile 2 - 6:49... between mile 2 and mile 3 i saw schmize for the first time... ciphered that he had about a 9.5 to 10 minute lead on me... assumed i wouldnt catch him.. but the way i was feeling at the moment i thought i may be able to give him a little scare... (that didnt happen...!!!) mile 3 - 6:52... mile 4 - 6:51... 4 miles in and i was feeling great... i felt like i had a HM PR and a sub 1:30 already locked... was asking myself if i should wait until mile 6, mile 9 or mile 10 to start picking up the pace... saw sgoehner, djdavey and a bunch of other donkeys out on the run... mile 5 was still feeling fine... was looking at my watch and the lap time says 6:35... assuming i'll see the mile marker any moment... it hits 7:00 - still no marker.. hmmm must have missed it... cross it at 7:09... strikes me as odd because i didnt feel like i was slowing down... still feeling okay... and i generally get stronger on the run... so a bit of self doubt creeping in... and starting to get a bad feeling about the next 8 miles... running along and see a little donkey head spray painted on the ground with the letters DTFU... and i think "exactly"... just keep it together... i hit the next split... 7:44...!!! was expecting 7:15 at worst... now i go into panic mode... i start forcing the pace here... which was somewhat aided this mile by making the turn and seeing all my family and friends cheering in 'donkey village'... mile 7 - 7:18... trying to maintain that pace and mile 8 hurts... split is 7:36... "whatever, that one is behind me"... 65 miles down... 5 to go... mile 9 is a battle... and i make a vow to myself that my lap timer will never reach 8:00... certainly not textbook, but i basically sprint the last 10 yards of mile 9 to clock a 7:58 mile... try to pick the pace up a bit because i'm not sure i have another sprint left in me... a guy comes up next to me and says "4 miles left... we can do this in our sleep..." i'm thinking that it sounds reasonable... but my body certainly is not buying it... mile 10 felt worse than 9... so at the time i was feeling good about clocking a 7:42... no 8's... no 8's... no 8's... i keep encouraging everyone that is blowing by me... i'm hoping that it provides me with some sort of reciprocal running karma... and at this point i completely lost my ability to do math in my head... wasnt really sure what i was on pace for... i originally thought i'd have to run around 1:30 to break 5 hours for the HIM... and i cant figure out how to get my watch to show anything except my lap time... so i wasnt sure i was going to make it... assumed i had banked enough with the bike and swim... but wasnt positive at this point.. so i tried giving it one last push... somehow i managed to do a 7:24 for mile 11... and i offered thanks to the running gods for carrying me one mile closer... however, i think they had something else to do at that moment... because i was basically done at this point... i was beyond miserable... i then remembered that the DTFU sign was right at the mile 12 marker... so my focus was solely on getting there... during this mile i recall noticing that it no longer felt like running... it felt like i was just pounding the ground... and that my legs were simply working to try to stop the rest of my body from collapsing on the ground... mile 12 - 7:51... normally i would be upset with myself for how the run was going... however, i just wanted it to end... 69 miles down and 1 and change to go...!!! and when i think that there is no way i can feel worse... i am proven wrong once again... going through the zoo there was a very slight incline... and i just wanted to stop... just lay down and curl up in a ball... i heard some rather large sounding animal and i was pleading with it to come and eat me... that seemed much less painful at the moment... i could not recall ever hurting so much... finally made it down to the home stretch... and i got a huge adrenaline burst when i saw all my family and friends there again... high fived my mother and brian... and saw becky on the other side... and heard the cheers from a lot of the donkeys and support crew... i probably picked up my pace by about 10 seconds.. which made me feel like i was flying at the moment... averaged 7:50 for the last 1.1 miles... kept it sub-8... :) i can honestly say that its never felt better to cross a finish line...!!! :)
What would you do differently?:

in hindsight i suppose i should have gone out slower... or possibly have taken it easier on the bike... or maybe trained harder... or even had a better nutrition strategy... who knows...?!? all i do know is that i brought everything i had come race day... and left it all out there... i pushed way way beyond what my body wanted to give those last 6 miles...

what the heck... i am still rating this one 'good'... certainly wasnt what i had hoped for... but it was my first HIM... i had a great race... and i had no idea what to expect... so going to go easy on myself here...
Post race
Warm down:

Becky met me at the finish line to congratulate me... i'm still not sure if she had the towel wrapped around her because she was cold or that she didnt want to get all sweaty from hugging me... either way... it was great to have her there... and i was soo glad to be finished...!!! the legs were a little shaky at first... and someone caught me as i started stumbling my way through the finishing chute... but they were fine after that... also saw a couple other people i knew and chatted briefly... i was myopically focused on making my way to the food tent after that... i believe that my plate had so much food that i could barely carry it... sloppy joes, a couple p,b&j sandwiches, pizza, watermelon, oranges, bananas, about 4 cookies, chips, and a few other things... mmmmm.... and my split time would have been pretty speedy had i been timed finishing them off...!!!

then we went and met up with the rest of my family and brian... took a couple pics... went and got my bike and stuff... took a quick shower... then back over to 'donkey village'... to congratulate those there... and to cheer on the others out on the course... hung until the end of the race stretching, drinking and cheering... great time.. great day...

What limited your ability to perform faster:

not really sure... i far exceeded what i thought i was capable of on the swim and bike...

on the run... i had really hoped that i would do something 'special'... however, i think i was being a bit cocky or stupid to think that i would be able to blow out my PR for my HM on the tail end of a HIM... but i wouldnt change my strategy now... probably would have gotten a different response from me at mile 12 of the race though...!!! i really, really dug deep those last few miles... and certainly didnt give in... i dont believe that i have ever physically pushed myself as hard as i did those last few miles... i so badly wanted to stop and walk towards the end... but kept telling myself that i've been training for the past 6 months for this race... and sure the 'heck' wasnt going to give up at the end... had i finished the race feeling good i may have questioned whether i gave it my all... i had no doubt about it when i crossed that line... and despite the pain.. that felt pretty damn good...!!!

Event comments:

great day and a great race... more marshals to cut down on the drafting... otherwise, i thought it was incredibly well run...

once again... 3 goals for the race... 1) go sub-5 hours... 2) finish in the top 200... and 3) go sub 1:30 for the HM... nailed the first 2... and sure gave my best effort towards the third... no regrets...!!!

lastly... congrats to all the donkeys (and non-donkeys) that kicked a$$ out there on sunday...!!! and a ton of thanks to everyone out there cheering and leaving messages out on the course... that was genuinely and deeply appreciated... and very much needed... thank you...!!!

and good luck to everyone training still for IMWI... sitting here now i'm sure glad that i'll be out there cheering you on as a volunteer... :)

[pics - 1) pre-race - me, becky, ali and jack... 2) swim start, 3) bike - about 30 yards before the guy next to me had his chain break... 4) coming into the finish line... 5) post race with my mom...]

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-12-05 12:00 AM
00:27:04 | 2112 yards | 01m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 56/139
Overall: 334/1207
Performance: Good
Course: point to point...
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:49
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:32:51 | 56 miles | 21.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 68/139
Overall: 301/1207
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:26
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:36:41 | 13.1 miles | 07m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 26/139
Overall: 127/1207
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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