Pigman Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Palo, Iowa
United States
Pigman Triathlon
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 24m 44s
Overall Rank = 106/487
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 15/41
Pre-race routine:

This was my first half-iron distance race after a few years of Sprints and Olympics. Loaded up the car and racked the bike the night before. I had had some issues with my rear wheel alignment and the tire dragging on the frame of my P2C, so I double checked everything and got it dialed in just right. I'm kind of neurotic about having my bike tuned just right. I knew I had performed well in training, so I felt very relaxed the night before. I slept very well, got about 7 hours which is good for before a race. Got up at 4 am, had some oatmeal and a protein bar, showered, and headed to the race site. I got there around 5:45, and I'm glad I arrived early, as the parking lot was filling up already. I set up my transition area, got my bathroom break in, and headed down to the beach for the meeting and put the wetsuit on. At that point, the torrential rains started, and it was hard not to notice the strong winds. It was going to be a difficult day on the bike...
Event warmup:

Swam maybe 100 yards in the roped off area in the lake.
  • 35m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

The rain was really coming down during portions of this swim, not that it really mattered. This was kind of a unique start for me, as we were sent out in a time trail start by wave, with 1 person released every 3 seconds. This was great and really reduced the typical clusterf*ck start at bigger races. I really didn't have any issues with traffic out there on the water. There was a bit of a chop on the water due to the strong winds, initially I don't think I handled it all that well, especially breathing. I got a few mouthfuls of water early on, but I settled in nicely after that. I was just cruising, not really expending a lot of energy because I knew the bike was going to be a challenge given the conditions. My navigation was better than usual but still needs work, I deviated from the course somewhat a few times. I should have gone with clear goggles, sighting the buoys was a little difficult with the smoke ones. With about 200 to go I started kicking hard to get some blood flowing in the legs, and they felt solid coming out of the water. Good swim overall, but I did leave a few minutes out there with my poor navigation, and I could maybe have pushed a little harder.
What would you do differently?:

Push a little harder and trust that my training had prepared me. Choose goggles based on race day conditions.
Transition 1
  • 04m 3s

This time was slower than I expected it to be. It was a fairly long run up to the transition area, and it took a little bit of time to get the wetsuit off as always, but I didn't think it was 4 minutes. Took my time though to be sure I had everything.
What would you do differently?:

Get the wetsuit off faster, and get comfortable with having the shoes clipped in to the pedals to start with. I was ok with this time though.
  • 2h 45m 35s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.29 mile/hr

With the wind being up I knew this would be a challenge. First 6 miles or so were in a strong cross-wind, then we turned into a headwind for the next 12 miles or so. This was difficult, I was expending a lot of energy to maintain 16 mph in my small ring. Some decent sized hills in this section as well made it that much more difficult. After this section, we turned and were once again in a crosswind for a few miles, rolling through a small town and passing the bottle exchange. I have to say the volunteers did a great job of handing the bottles up, at least for me. After that was a beautiful 4 or 5 mile stretch with a tailwind. I was hammering out some 28-32 mph miles here. That was fun! After the turn around, it was back into the wind. This section was particularly tough as it was mostly uphill. The rest of the ride was crosswinds or tailwind, but unfortunately the wind was dying down a bit by that time which took some of the benefit away. Tough ride but averaged better than 20 mph, which was my goal coming into the race.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, hydrated appropriately, pushed hard but not too hard, nutrition was good.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

No major issues here, I don't do the flying dismount or get my feet out of my bike shoes, so that costs me time. Something I will work on for next season.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
  • 1h 57m 35s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 59s  min/mile

Starting off, I was actually feeling really good, the legs felt great, heart rate was right where I needed it to be, and I was pounding out 7:45 miles the first 2 or 3 miles. At that point, I started having significant GI discomfort. I just could not continue at that pace and slowed to about 9 minute miles, and pretty much held there for the rest of the run. Thank god there was a port-a-john at mile 9, I was hurting pretty bad at that point. After the bathroom break, I was fine again, and the legs still felt pretty good. Around mile 11, at the large hill, I felt like my hamstring was about to cramp up, so I had to slow up a bit until I got to the top. I was just fine after that and enjoyed the run into the finish line. Great support from the crowd during the last stretch :) and GREAT volunteers!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe hydrate a bit more and do more of a mix between Heed and water. Maybe doing mostly Heed was the cause of my GI discomfort.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit and stretched well. Had some pizza and watermelon and re-hydrated. Got my poster, picture and results, packed up, and headed home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lost a week of training about a month before the race due to personal life issues, but that probably didn't hurt too much.

Event comments:

This was a really well run race. I can't imagine a better first half-iron experience, despite the less than ideal weather conditions. Thanks so much to all the volunteers for the encouragement on the course. That always means a lot. I was hoping to meet some fellow BTers at the race, but I didn't really bump into anyone I recognized. Stop me and say hi in the future if you see me!

Last updated: 2009-08-17 12:00 AM
00:35:39 | 2112 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 131/487
Performance: Good
Suit: Vortex XV2 full
Course: One lap triangle
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:03
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:45:35 | 56 miles | 20.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 90/487
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Out and back course on public roads with rolling hills and flat sections. Not exceptionally difficult terrain and roads were generally in good shape.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 94
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:54
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:57:35 | 13.1 miles | 08m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 157/487
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back course, mostly flat with a small uphill near the turnaround at mile 6.5, and a large one at mile 11.
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