Savageman HIM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
United States
"Tri-to-Win" Melanoma Foundation
Total Time = 8h 38m 10s
Overall Rank = 342/387
Age Group = Clydesdales
Age Group Rank = 16/20
Pre-race routine:

Race start was 8:30 AM. I woke up at 5:30 AM. I normally just have peanut butter and a bagel for an Oly or Sprint but I knew I needed a lot of energy for the day. I have no problems swimming or biking on a full stomach so ate a couple of sandwiches that I packed. I also had some granola and coffee.
Event warmup:

I have learned one thing about event warmup and that is that after losing weight, I am a wuss about cold water. I got in the water at 8:15 and got my head under to help try to get used to it.
  • 37m 28s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

I looked at last year's results and I really wanted my swim to be in the 37-38 min range. I honest thought my time was going to be 42+. I felt very slow in the beginning. My breathing felt "short" and I couldn't tell if I was just cold or the suit was constricting me. I have a wide chest/lat area so it was extremely tight there. For some reason I kept pulling left as well. It really felt as though I had to overcompensate on trying to swim to the right. I don't know exactly why that was but I felt like I added a bit to the course due to poor navigation.

I was honestly very happy to get out of the water and see that "37" on the timer.
What would you do differently?:

As I get closer to my target weight, I will settle on a suit in which I can be more comfortable with.
Also, since this was my first HIM, I didn't push it hard during the swim. I feel as though I can continue to make improvements here.
Transition 1
  • 07m 58s

Honestly, I knew what I was about to get into and I did not rush the transition. I was deciding whether or not to use the clothing drop, as well as making sure I had all the nutrition I had planned on taking. Instead of using the clothing drop, I opted to wear two shirts figuring that it would save time in the long run.
What would you do differently?:

Having done this event now, I would have all my nutrition in my cycling jersey so I could get moving. Nearly 8 min is pretty sad.
  • 4h 41m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 11.96 mile/hr

Being a clyde, I am great at picking up speed going downhill. Having a motorcycle, I see that I do better than some in how I navigate turns. That said, I tore up the descents on this course. Wow, those were better than an amusement park ride. I suck going up steep hills. After the test ride of this course, I realized that I needed to figure out how to save some legs for the run. I tried everything I could to keep it in a granny gear and spin but Savageman doesn't care about that. These hills are steep. I felt good going up all the hard stuff in the beginning. I split two fallen riders and went straight up the center of the Westernport Wall. I made it up Killer Miller, Otto, etc. I got to the short Maynadier Ridge and sort of laughed to myself about those walking their bikes. I stood to hammer it up that hill and wham!!! I got seriously painful cramps in the teardrop portion of my quads (just above the knee.) I almost fell off my bike. I had to get off and squat down to stretch them out. I walked up the short hill and kept it in a granny gear so I could spin the remaining bike. It was very slow but it kept the cramps away and I hoped it would work things out before the run.
What would you do differently?:

Bike Fitness!!! I put in a lot of miles but this course isn't about miles. It's about intensity. I felt like I did a thousand hack squats on this ride and the cramping was a result of not being strong enough to withstand that over the course. When I am forced to push extra hard, I sit back and press. If you don't train like that you are going to have problems. To do this again, I would train with more intensity and better race-like conditions.
Transition 2
  • 04m 26s

I was nervous right away. I jumped off the bike and felt the cramps. Transition took a while because I stretched out before starting.
  • 3h 07m 19s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 18s  min/mile

I was cramping and in hindsight I completely forgot about what I practiced. During training, I learned that by keeping a high turnover with short strides it took a lot of stress off my legs. That went out the window by the time I hit the first uphill section. The cramps were back and hitting me hard. I mentally tried to block them out but almost tripped and fell because my legs were locking up tight. It reminded me of when I would get a charlie horse and intentionally let it keep getting worse until I could no longer take it. I have a high tolerance for pain but when you can't control you legs I yield. I finally resorted to a strategy of walking all uphills, running all downhills and trying to jog as much as possible on the level ground.
What would you do differently?:

Bike Fitness! I am convinced that with more bike fitness I could have stuck to my game plan and not blown the run out of the water like this.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike fitness - hills

Event comments:

I need to do this again when I am up to par with the bike fitness.

Last updated: 2009-12-31 12:00 AM
00:37:28 | 2112 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/20
Overall: 20/387
Performance: Good
Suit: Rented Something or other
Course: Clockwise circle.. you know; left of the yellow things, around the big turtle to the swan and back.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 07:58
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
04:41:02 | 56 miles | 11.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 15/20
Overall: 20/387
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some
Course: Well, it's the Savageman course. I just thought there were hills around where I live. This course is unreal and was one heck of a choice for a first HIM.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:26
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:07:19 | 13.1 miles | 14m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 15/20
Overall: 344/387
Performance: Bad
Course: Wow.. seriously? Everyone is so focused on the bike portion of this race, they overlook the fact that this run is insane. The camping area is pretty tough but at least the road is good. The fire tower road is steep and barely suitable to walk, let alone run. Grandpa wouldn't get his Hoover Round up this road!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %3.8
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 5