Redman Triathlon - Half Redman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
Oklahoma Redman Triathlon
64F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 39m 25s
Overall Rank = 28/573
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 6/85
Pre-race routine:

This is going to be a lengthy one, so get your popcorn, coffee or whatever else you need, kick back and read. For me, this account will have good analytical value as I reflect back at the end of the season.

I will start with this, fitness level is the highest I ever had, taper/peaking was excellent, I arrived ready to race.
I had 6hrs of sleep. As good as it gets the night before the race.
Up at 0400, breakfast 2 egg whites, 3 jelly+white bread sandwiches, coffee.
Leading to the race 1/2 a bottle of Infinit, 1/2 Clif, 1 Roctane prior to swim (swim was delayed due to weather).
Arrived at T1,2@ 0510, body marked, chip, T set up in a timely manner, no rush, very methodical and organized, followed my own timeline. Very calm and collected, knew what was coming.
At 0600 a 15min easy run warm up just to loosen up.
It began to rain than to pour and it kept pouring, got cold, I was shivering as everybody else, rivers were now running through T1/2. I was thinking at one point, no way this race would take place. No one was buckling, we were all calm, cold, shivering and waiting for RD to make the call. One thing changed in my mind, I knew bike PR was at stake as road conditions were such that hammering was no longer possible due to standing water, mud and numerous potholes, now hidden under the water. It was going to be a delicate ride at best, later about that.

Event warmup:

15min easy run
no swim, too dark with overcast to attempt, call me a whimp
  • 28m 42s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 22s / 100 yards

Water was very murky, could not even see my own hands. I positioned too wide and had to cover more distance as I wanted to stay away from the crowd. Drafting was almost impossible as you could not see anything. Being far from the shore and no features on the horizon was difficult to sight unless positioned very close to buoys.
I settled in a long stroke/ steady pace, held back and measured RPE with breathing. It was a nice steady rythm. Backed off after the last turn to prepare for going vertical, which is always very painful for me. So it was this time as well. Standing up, it was pouring, we were still swimming bu this time in T1 with water up to ankles. Swim resulted in PR time, but I take these with reservation as courses are often miss measured.
Swim effort and tactics were on target, I was on target for the race PR.
What would you do differently?:

Position closer to the lead group and buoys, accept the beating, find the feet and ride it. Navigate better.
Transition 1
  • 01m 30s

I have practiced a flying mount for this race, but weather conditions caused that I use judgment and not do it. So, I clipped in and I went. Otherwise just another avg. T1.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 30m 3s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.39 mile/hr

The course was delicate and far beyond my comfort and experience level. I guess fear comes with age. I knew that focusing on hammering only and not managing the ride from the conditions stand point would lead to broken bones. So I adjusted accordingly.
I held back first 14mi, allowed HR to settle upper Z2-Z3. I even chit-chatted with Bob and another athlete from KC. At mi 14 I put the hammer. I knew I was behind on time, so it was time to work. At turn around it was clear that with dismount there was not going to be a bike PR. I kept effort at bottom to middle Z3, restraining and holding back. It became clear that the run will have to be the deciding factor today. It was cool and there was a chance, I knew. I passed about 17 riders along, including all the athletes that passed me early in the ride. My early hold back was paying off for sure. Coach Gordo would have agreed with this strategy. I was looking at another time check point, where we turn south for a final 14mi. The wind was going to be behind. Well, rain was intensifying and I backed off. And I did back off just a little too soon too much. That was a mistake that cost at least a minute if not more. I felt fresh entire time, no strain, scary, I thought, arriving to run in well managed fatigue state.
Hydration was on target, discipline pays off one more time.
In summary, bike pacing and strategy required changing before the race and during due to conditions. I adapted well with above mentioned exception. It was not a PR on the bike. I will have to live with that.
What would you do differently?:

Should have retained Z3 effort all the way instead of backing off.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

Average, still struggling with FR 305 quick release.
  • 1h 37m 33s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 27s  min/mile

The plan was: at all cost HOLD BACK, HOLD BACK, HOLD BACK, no matter how good it feels, first half, then asses and take it from there. I needed avg 7:37 to brake 1:40, original goal, however as my bike split was below goal, I needed a breaktrough run to make sub 4:40 race. I also wanted a negative split.
At the start felt great, pace check and hold 7:40 and I did. 2mi clicked off like that on target, felt great. Ok, I thought, race effort now, pace showing about 7:25, 12 sec faster than plan. I am thinking I will have to evaluate, I do have slight tail wind. Next 3mi clicked at 7:24-7:27, including into the wind, HR check, bottom of Z3, feels good, I can sustain. Hydration/salt tabs, gels on target initially. Mi 6 and 7 is where the lack of discipline and focus came, they clicked at 7:20, and that was too fast. I knew I had to ration what I have and I was going to pay for it somewhere and I did. I went back on adjusted target now of 7:25-7:30, I began to hurt, but it became clear that sub 4:40 was possible if I could sustain this pace and effort. Miles 11, 12 I was hurting to the point that lack of focus again and I was no longer capable of talking myself into feeding as it takes now so much effort reaching into the pocket for a flask and downing water became a major energy cost. I felt cramping becoming a threat as I could feel on every step and running through that standing water was not helping. I decided to back off so I avoid cramping as I thought, now would be too costly to get one. The pace is now slipping mi 12 to 7:43, math says if I can keep 8/mi or below I can still PR the whole race within the goal.
.7 mi to go right hamstring cramp came, well I was not stopping, it was eye popping, I held it, limping and running, ,looking at my watch, I was cursing in Serbian, no one could understand luckily. Pays to know another language. Finlay, the cramp let up on the final turn, so I could look good finishing. Looked at the watch crossing and it showed 4:39:25. Mission accomplished.
What would you do differently?:

Remember those 2 middle miles at 7:20, yep, that cost me my negative split and a strong finish. I got into race with a 7:40, 7:40, 7:35......kind a strategy, cooler weather and rain allowed for faster run, but 7:20 was a lack of discipline.
I did improve in sticking with a plan but still need to work on discounting sometimes false subjective feelings and show more discipline in execution.
Post race
Warm down:


What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike weather and road conditions, I am a whimp.

Event comments:

The best organized and conducted race I ever attended. Given the conditions people of Redman and Oklahoma City showed amazing determination, support and skill in putting this first class event. Not enough words can describe how grateful I am for all the work volunteers did. Sweeping mud and water off the roads, being wet with us all day.......
This race is worth every bit of it and more.

Last updated: 2009-06-11 12:00 AM
00:28:42 | 2112 yards | 01m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 10/85
Overall: 35/573
Performance: Good
Suit: Helix Full
Course: Counter clockwise, rectangle, 1 loop
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Below average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:30
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:30:03 | 56 miles | 22.39 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/85
Overall: 18/573
Performance: Average
avg hr 152
Wind: Some
Course: weather: 64F, moderate rain, humidity 84%, wind N-NW@10mph surface: rough, numerous marked potholes, standing water, slick mi 6, water 8in deep, mandatory dismount for 150m carry bike (cyclocross) very gentle rolling terrain- flat frequent mud on roads due to water run off potholes galore
Road: Potholes Wet Cadence: 101
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:37
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:37:33 | 13.1 miles | 07m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/85
Overall: 56/573
Performance: Good
avg pace 7:27, avg hr 159 (Z3)
Course: flat, out and back loop X2 concrete, asphalt, spotty grass and mud frequent over ankle depth standing water
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5