Pigman Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Palo, Iowa
United States
Pigman Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 59m 55s
Overall Rank = 48/487
Age Group = Elite
Age Group Rank = 4/11
Pre-race routine:

I was lucky enough to have a homestay for this race, which made all the difference in the world. Ryan had to work the weekend, so I was on my own in Iowa. Luckily, my host was doing the race as well, and was very excited to drag me around and help with anything I needed. I had a comfy bed and slept like a rock for the 2 nights I was there.

Event warmup:

Race morning, I stayed calm, had my usual bagel, 2 eggs and a banana, and didn't throw it all up- Yes! We got to the race site with plenty of time. As I was setting up transition, the rain rolled in and the winds picked up. I happily put on my wetsuit to keep warm. As I pulled up along the back, I felt my entire hand go straight through my suit. OMIGOD, I just ripped a GIANT hole in my wetsuit, 15 minutes before the race started. Terrific. Luckily, this lady I was standing next to sent her husband back up to transition to grab some duct tape! They helped me repair the damage, and they joked about how much pasta I must've eaten the night before. I hopped in the water to see if it was holding up, and I couldn't feel any water come in. Phew!

The elites got to start first, so I lined up close to the front, and just remained calm as they counted down. I wasn't really nervous, but I wasn't excited either. Then we were off.
  • 31m 22s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 29s / 100 yards

This was one of my best swims, ever. I was completely smooth in the water, in control of my breathing, and was able to really push it. I passed a lot of people at the start, had almost no contact, and was navigating really well. After about 500 yards or so, I saw some feet up ahead, so I pushed hard to get to them. Once I caught him, I could easily stay in his draft, and maintained my position behind his feet for the entire swim. It was great! He was perfect at navigating, so once I trusted him, I didn't need to look up anymore, and just kept my stroke easy. As we got closer to the end, I was even able to pee right before getting out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Not much! I am not a swimmer, and I usually don't place so well in the swim, but only 3 other girls in the entire race had a better swim than me! That was the biggest accomplishment at this race, for me.
Transition 1
  • 02m 33s

Long run up to transition. I had a really, really hard time getting my wetsuit off. Then, there was a long run out of transition on wet slippery cement.
What would you do differently?:

I really, really need a new wetsuit.
  • 2h 40m 59s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.87 mile/hr

This was the scariest ride, ever. The rain that began in the swim intensified for the first 15 miles of the bike ride. It felt like hail, it was coming down so hard. The wind was so intense that I had to maintain a death grip on my aero bars. The roads were NOT closed to traffic, and there are giant cracks, potholes and railroad tracks throughout the entire course. The country roads have no shoulder, and the lanes aren't particularly wide. I saw my life flashing before my eyes this entire ride. Scenes of my body being blown into the cornfields, covered in road rash, my bike destroyed kept my adrenaline redlining.

I am a very light rider, and I only have one set of race wheels- my 808s. Usually, I love them, but today, I would've given ANYTHING to magically have a regular wheel up front- my front wheel was acting like a sail in the wind, sending my poor little body soaring across the road- I was completely at the mercy of the wind. I have never wanted to quit riding my bike so badly before- just because I did not want to crash. Obviously, it was a tough ride into the headwind, but it was such a welcome relief from those crosswinds, that I didn't care about going 10mph downhill. The wind was a bit swirly, though, so even in the headwind, I could NOT let go of the aero bars- and since I don't have an aero bottle, I could not drink anything. I barely finished 1.5 bottles of fluid on this ride, and only ate 1 packet of GU chomps (which I LOVE!) because I could not let go of my death grip.

I tried really hard to stay positive, and physically, I didn't mind the challenge of pushing into the wind, and then pushing in the tailwind to maintain watts. The fear is what killed me. The adrenaline rush of cars coming by, and gusts pushing me close to the edge of the road sapped my energy levels and left me in survival mode. I am really happy I didn't quit, and I was just so thrilled that I survived, that I no longer cared about my time at this race.
What would you do differently?:

Gain 20 pounds and ride a set of 404s.
Transition 2
  • 01m 15s

As I came into T2, the announcer said I was 2nd place female, so that lit a fire under my butt. I had no clue I was up front! Sweet, maybe the race isn't shot after all....
  • 1h 43m 48s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 55s  min/mile

Starting off, I thought I was OK. I was soooo happy that the bike was over, and that I was in second, my mood improved dramatically. The first 2 miles, I was right on pace, at around 7min/mile. Then I heard feet, and realized it was another girl. She was going just a touch faster than me, so I kept her in my sights. Then, another girl came SPRINTING by me, just flying, and I knew that I didn't have a chance.

I thought I was running OK, but when I checked my garmin, I was at 7:30s, and it felt like 6:30s. Bummer. No juice left, and we were only 3 miles in. I tried to eat and drink at the aid stations, but it was too late- the damage was done and my legs felt like lead. Or bricks. hehe.

At this point, I knew I was having my worst race, time wise, and that if I didn't do something to have fun, I would just be in a big hole. I also realized that I had a good gap on #5, so I didn't have to worry too much, if I could just maintain a reasonable pace. So, that's what I did. I smiled, I thanked the volunteers, I sang songs in my head. This was an out and back, so I could see the fast boys coming back the other way. They all looked miserable, too, so at least I knew I wasn't the only one suffering. I stopped at a few aid stations to make sure I took in water and heed and stretched. I have never walked during a race. It felt amazing :)

Anyways, this was my worst run ever, and I'm upset with myself that I gave up. But, I didn't completely quit. I wanted to DNF soooo badly on miles 4-8, but I didn't. I suffered through it, even though I knew I would have my slowest time, and tried to smile and cheer the other racers as I was heading back to the finish. I know what I did wrong, but for the day, there really wasn't anything else I could've done. Everytime I took a drink from my bottle, it was at the risk of being blown off the road. I tried to maintain my composure on that bike ride, but the sheer adrenaline just took away all my energy and left me flat on my feet. You win some, you lose some.
What would you do differently?:

Gain 20 lbs. Get an aero bottle, and a 404 front wheel. Oh, and have a fresh set of legs waiting in transition :)
Post race
Warm down:

This was the other scary part of my day. After I crossed the finish line, I saw my host family. I started talking to them, went to take a deep breath, and there was no air! I couldn't breath, at all, no air. I started panicking, and went over to medical. They tried to calm me down, and listened to my lungs. I wasn't wheezing, but my airway was completely tight and I could barely get any air into my lungs. I finally calmed myself down, and it slowly went away, but holy crap that scared me. They knew I was OK when I finally asked for a beer :)

After that, I went over and got a massage. The lady that won was in front of me, and so we chatted. It was her second half ever- she is awesome! The massage was great, but I had some major muscle damage in my butt.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

The race itself was good. It is a very small event, but it was very organized and there were a lot of volunteers. Obviously, they can't control the weather, but it was not a safe day. The volunteers were great, and I was so thankful that they braved the storm to hand us water, and still managed to cheer!

Despite having a bad race, I still managed 4th place female and came home with a pay check. It wasn't the place I wanted going into the race, but by the end, I was so happy to just survive, that 4th was great!!

Last updated: 2009-07-20 12:00 AM
00:31:22 | 2112 yards | 01m 29s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/11
Overall: 38/487
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra with a hole
Course: Square- into the wind the whole way
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:33
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:40:59 | 56 miles | 20.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/11
Overall: 61/487
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:15
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:43:48 | 13.1 miles | 07m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/11
Overall: 57/487
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4