Ironman Racine 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HOT!F / 0C
Total Time = 6h 06m 14s
Overall Rank = 888/1749
Age Group = M-45-49
Age Group Rank = 100/188
Pre-race routine:

This event is a 40 minute drive from my house. Got up at 4 AM I ate a FULL breakfast. I NEVER do this on race day. I just figured that on this day I would need all the food energy I could get. Gambled that this would not mean and GI issues. Any how having the full breakfast did make me feel good. Drove to Racine.
Event warmup:

Took a last sip of Diet sprite before getting out of the car. And walked over to set up my transition area.

When I got there, I noticed that I did not have much room to set up. Set things up the best I could. Dbl checked where my row was in relation to swim run in, and bike out.

I had two bottles of frozen infinit that I placed in cages. I had a 3rd bottle (that I planned on jettisoning at an aid station later) that was empty. I figured that on the way there I would get water and fill up the bottle. That did not happen. Then I thought well they'll have some sports drink or water that I can grab and fill my bottle put it on the bike and get a drink from before the swim. They didn't have anything there.

Um new plan. I'll leave a cage empty on this hot/humid day, and since there would be 4 aid stations I'll drink my first two bottles which will be enough to get me through till I hit an aid station.

So with the new plan, I proceed to "suit juice" my wet suit. I had not noticed that it was inside out from my last OWS. So I totally suit juiced the wrong side. A couple of peeps did look at me oddly. Like "um dude" but they kept that observation to themselves. I then body glided liberally around my ankles to help with suit removal.

This event has a point to point swim. So you have to walk a long ways to get to the swim start. I see that a bunch of people are putting their wet suits on in the transition area. "hmm why would they do that? they sure will get hot on the walk to the start." So I just take mine and start walking with my empty bottle and wet suit.

Still thirsty. Perhaps there will be something to drink along the walk. Or around the swim start. There was nothing to drink ANYWHERE! Damn that sux I have to start thirsty? then swim 1.2 miles? On this hot day? not good. So I just tossed the empty bottle into the trash.

I then realize why people put there suits on in transition. The freaking sand. No one wants sand inside their wet suit. Duh. ok lesson learned. Lol that would not be the last one!

So i start to put my suit on (sleeveless) I'm wondering why it isn't fitting too well. Then realize I was putting it on backwards! :) It's not like I don't know how to put it on. Unlike 6 weeks ago at Kansas 70.3 when it was my FIRST OWS, I have now worn the suit 7-8 times.

The putting on the suit backwards and applying suit juice to the wrong side of the suit made me realize then that I was much more nervous about this event than I thought. So tried to relax.

I then start wondering how cold the water is. So start walking through the water realizing that it was fairly cold. While walking through the surf, somewhere along the way I dropped my swim cap. Wow it could be anywhere. I'm thirsty, nervous and now lost my swim cap. Re-traced my steps a 1/4 mile back and found it much to my surprise. Still tried to find something to drink. No go.

Got into the water to try and get used to the temp before my wave start. I was wave 11 so while in the water I got to see a bunch of starts.

Then when my wave was getting organized, I got out of the water and lined up. I'm a slow swimmer so I lined up towards the rear and to the LH side.
  • 50m 24s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 23s / 100 yards

Again, I am a slow swimmer. I went wide left around the turn buoy intentionally to get out of the fray.

One goal of mine was to sight better than I had. Since this course is a point to point. There was mainly a straight line to follow. AND it was on my RH side which is the side i usually breathe on. So that helped.

Honestly I really only wanted my swim to be BETTER than Kansas and to come out of the water with more energy. So knowing that, I relaxed a bit more in the water while swimming, and did not push it. I would freestyle for a bit then switch to breast stroke to sight. Along the way, even though I was wide to the left, I was surprised to see that at times I was still swimming on top of people or vice versa. There really was quite a wide swath of peeps i guess since there were minimal turns.

I knew I was swimming OK for me as I gauged speed by how fast I would hit the next buoy and how quickly I would pass it. After a while, I'm thinking "Ok doing alright, most of the swim is done, that big red buoy that signals the last turn towards the beach should be here any time now. Then I hear a volunteer in a Kayak shout out "HALF-WAY! HALF-WAY DONE!" WHAT?? CRAP! lol

At this point the water became pretty choppy. Don't know why it was so different. I guess conditions can change when you are in the water for a loooong time. :)

Finally see the big red buoy and turn towards T1. Yay!
What would you do differently?:

Just keep working on my swimming. Lessons? Yes I'm thinking about it.
Transition 1
  • 04m 18s

Not cool that there is this big hill right out of transition. I manged it fine, but I did see a couple of peeps fall over trying to get clipped in and up the hill at the same time.
What would you do differently?:

It never gets easier, you just go faster.... with practice anyhow
  • 2h 46m 39s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.16 mile/hr

I enjoyed this part. I wanted to really hit my targeted heart rate ones and try to not go too hard or too easy. Figuring this out for the 1/2 Iron distance has been difficult for me. I took it to easy in Kansas and did not ant to make the same mistake.

I did a pretty good job with the pace. It was very hot/humid during the bike segment, but ya know it's sort of hard to realize just how hot it is when riding cause the wind keeps you cooler. This does not mean you are not sweating a lot though. it just evaporates so quickly that you don't realize it.

Knowing that the day was going to be VERY hot/humid, I thought it would be wise to take in a fair amount of endurlyte caps. The problem was that I did not have any. None were available at the expo and as not available locally. SO what to do. hmmmm. I remembered reading that pickle juice is a great way to provide sodium etc. So I decided that I would try this at this race. I did have a jar pof pickles in my fridge so i filled up one of those GU flasks that some people use on their bike with the juice. "hearty garlic" pickle juice no less :)

One nice thing about being slow in the swim segment is that when I get to the bike leg, I get to pass a whole bunch of people. :) so revved it up and off i went. As i mentioned earlier, I have three bottle positions on the bike, but only had two bottles to use. they were both full of infinit. I had a powerbar gel blasts (one pack) in my bento box with the pickle juice flask. 3 GU gels taped to the top tube.

I knew that I had to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate plus feed on the bike if i wanted to survive the day. there were 4 aid stations with bottle exchanges.

I kept a nice pace and drank the infinit and pickle juice early on even if i was not thirsty. Then took the gels after 10-15 mile intervals. i soon realized that i would HAVE to take lots of fluid from the stations as I needed so much. First aid station me and the volunteer fumbled the bottle exchange. DAMN! not good but i still had SOME infinit left. so I would be good till aid station #2 but cannot afford to blow another exchange. Meanwhile I kept my bike pace up and at every turn hoped that i would not encounter any rough headwinds. Really things were going fairly smooth.

Aid station #2 I point to a volunteer to make the bottle exchange and we executed it perfect! I guzzled that water down. Kept pushing, and was having a good time on the bike.

Not long after this, the pickle juice ran out, the infinit was gone, the gel blasts were gone, 2 of the gels gone, I had one gel left for nutrition. Yikes 20+ miles left hmmm. better try and get some gatorade (powerbar perform drink) at the next station.

As I approached the hand-off I only saw water. Well i need something more but I'll take the water, use the last gel, and try again at #4.

I think the last station was around mile 48 All on board fuel totally gone. usually I do not ingest all that I have, so lesson learned is to not be shy about how many to have on the bike. I watched my Heart rate the whole ride, and slowed down whenever my HR would go above 155

Since I averaged a 148 HR and my max was 157 I'd say I kept it in a pretty tight range.

Anyhow aid station #4 FUMBLED the bottle exchange of the perform drink! CRAP! I was also OUT of water, so I had to get a water bottle from the last volunteer or I would be in trouble. Successfully did that and off I went.

despite all my best efforts, I felt a twinge on my left quad right around mile 51. Uh oh not good. That never cramps up for me so don't know why it happened. But I knew it would be problematic later. So switched to more of a "spinning" style to loosen it up, plus trying to prepare for the run. After a few more miles, the bike and the run course started to run together, it became difficult to go very fast as I was encountering bunches of riders and not much passing room. Plus since I was trying to go easier before the run, passing was not on my mind, so I just pretty much followed the crowd and then down the big hill into T2

What would you do differently?:

Take more nutrition on board.
Transition 2
  • 02m 8s

When I got to the rack, there was no room for my bike. Kid of had to re-arrange things to fit it on the rack.
  • 2h 22m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 54s  min/mile

Ok here is really where my race fell apart. While in T2 I finish racking my bike etc, I start running to the rear of the transition area. I look for the "run out" and head towards it. The thing here is that I never really looked at the run course. I just figured I would follow others and it would be no big deal. I mean how hard can it be?

I see one other person who was a bit ahead of me and runs through the "run out" looking a bit confused. THAT i didnt need to see as I was not sure myself as to which direction to run after coming out of T2. So going the same direction as the person in front of me, I begin to assess my situation.

Achilles injury area - check feeling ok
How heavy are my legs- hmmm actually feel ok usually they do not feel so good coming off the bike. SO whatever i did in the later stages of the bike leg were working as I could run.

OMG! its FREAKING BROILING OUT HERE! Holy crap. Not good. ok but at least I can run.

WAIT A SEC!!!!! WTF that sign says MILE 7!!!!!???? I stop dead in my tacks. I must have gone the wrong way! :( OMG! what the hell? how did, eh what do I do now?? I start walking, feeling like a dumba$$

If I run this out and cross the finish, I'll be a cheater. No freaking way. My wife and two awesome daughters are waiting at the finish. what do I do? maybe I should run the course out, then run around for 6 more miles or something. I've already sucked but tried my best at swimming. I had a great bike....... And for what??? even if I do run around the extra 6 miles to make up for the miles that I somehow cut the course by, I don't want the stinking medal. My friend Angie is volunteering and handing out medals to the finishers. I can't accept the medal. Especially from her. I'll hate myself. Plus anyone that I somehow finish in front of will be lower a spot than they should be. And me?? I'm a freaking course CUTTER. Cannot cross the finish it would be way wrong.

I keep walking while people pass me by, wondering what I'm going to do. I cannot express how depressed I was. then I'm walking up this hill, feeling like crap, I turn to notice a photographer taking a picture of me at the peak of my depressed state.

Then I see a mile marker. Mile 2. Mile 2?? huh? what is that from? some other race? could it be this one somehow? IS this a two loop course? duh.... hmmm I don't know but I better start running. Just then this storm RIPS through the course. A monsoon for a few minutes. Felt good, but wind was whipping everything, branches falling down, tents flying. Then all of a sudden it stops. And the sun comes out. It goes from very hot/humid to scorching hot/humid.

I stop at EVERY aid station, water, perform drink, gels, orange slices.

The mile markers were alternating between loop 2 mileage and loop 1 so after a bit of this I realized that I HAD gone the correct way and wasted a huge amount of time sulking while walking. I should also mention, that while I had a good idea on what my total time was through the bike, I had no idea how fast i was walk/running. My garmin 405 just would not function. it was all wet and not accepting anything from me. My goal was to finish with a total time under 6 hours. even 5:59:59 But I had no idea what time it was or what i need to do to meet my goal.

So it kept up like this. Mile after mile. Fortunately there were many residents with sprinklers/hoses that would spray us as we went by. That really helped. My shoes though were completely soaked. so much so, that it was like I was sponge bob SQUISH SQUISH SQUISH with each step. OMG I am going to have huge blisters.

So anyhow I started felling good cause I would actually finish and not cheat and could feel good. Then I realized that even if I dont meet my time goal, if I can beat my Kansas time at least, I could be happy plus know that I finished this one! So I was happy. BUT HOT!!!!

As I ran through the "zoo" which um was like ONE animal enclosure and I didn't see anything in there. I could hear the announcer calling out names and such. I'm like wow that will be pretty cool once i finish. I keep running and then see the turn for lap 2 and make the turn back for lap 2. This time I run up the hill, but as I do, the left quad starts to cramp up. OUCH! ok better walk this out. so i walk for a bit and it calms down. I run at a slower pace and occasionally have to walk to keep it from cramping.

A few more miles like this and then I feel my right calf start to cramp. "dead man walking...." lol Some ambulances come through as i see a runner passed out motionless on the ground. hope he's ok!

I run a bit, then walk a bit. finally the trip back through the zoo. NOPE still no damn animal in there. lol

I hear the announcer. I better run this out even through cramping as I at least want to put on a strong show as i go through the crowd and for my girls! I finish strong and get my medal from Angie and gave her a big hug!
What would you do differently?:

LEARN THE COURSE!!!!!! THIS cost me my sub 6 hour finish.
Post race
Warm down:

great re-union with my family, then walked over to the oasis. TWO BL limes later, and I was ready to go jump in Lake Michigan. I must say that beer was sooooo awesome right then. Played in the lake for a while with my two little ones and then cleaned up/changed grabbed my bike and stuff and went home!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The weather. not learning the course. just a little bit of doubt can ruin a race. I wont make that mistake again.

Event comments:

Had there been a volunteer at run out, pointing or SOMETHING, I would have been fine. Could there have been water available SOMEWHERE around the transition area? would have been nice to not start this out with a big time thirst.

All this being said. I plan on coming back next year :) (smarter though)

Last updated: 2009-11-04 12:00 AM
00:50:24 | 2112 yards | 02m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/188
Overall: 1392/1749
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Volt-sleeveless
Course: Point to point.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 04:18
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
02:46:39 | 56 miles | 20.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 80/188
Overall: 636/1749
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:08
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:22:45 | 13.1 miles | 10m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 105/188
Overall: 1010/1749
Performance: Bad
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3