Ironman 70.3 Racine - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
91F / 33C
Total Time = 6h 36m 58s
Overall Rank = 1236/2000
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 158/245
Pre-race routine:

Protein shake. Left some gifts out for the support crew! Finished setting up at transition (even though it was sort of a pain to have to check your bike in prior to race day, it made for an easier race day morning). When I was next in line for the port-o-johns, Devon Palmer can out of the one in front of me - nice to see that the pro's need to go (and have to use the port-o-johns), just like the rest of us.
Event warmup:

Long walk down to the swim start, which was very cool - awesome to look back and see a steady stream of thousands (athletes, friends and family) making their way up the beach for this massive undertaking. Wait. Stretch out. Wait some more. Talk to people. Wait some more. Actually, the nice thing about the late wave is that I was able to get a good idea of how the start would go and come up with a good strategy for getting my first large OWS start underway.
  • 38m 28s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

I was really happy with how the swim went. I probably held back a bit because this was my first HIM and I was wary of wearing out on the swim. Not too congested getting started and out ahead of most of my wave and was able to settle in to a nice pace after the first turn. Had to do a fair amount of weaving through groups of people as we caught up to prior waves. I have to admit it was fun to start seeing new colors on the swim caps as I made my way through the swim.
What would you do differently?:

Probably swim a little harder; otherwise this was the swim that I wanted to have.
Transition 1
  • 05m 51s

I had the absolute longest run of any competitor with my bike from the rack the to bike out. Literally the far back corner from the bike out. It was fine though. I knew I wasn't going to break any records out there, so I made sure I had everything I need for the ride and snarfed down a hammer bar as I made my way out of transition.
What would you do differently?:

Become a pro. They had sweeeet spots in the transition area. Also make sure not to have a hammer bar hanging out of my mouth as I run my bike past the photog on the way out of T1.
  • 2h 53m 35s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.36 mile/hr

Hard to describe conditions. Headwind, crosswind, tailwind. Cloudy and cool, sunny and hot. Dry, wet. Thunderstorm. We had it all. I was feeling great for the first 25 miles. Hung in but probably worked too hard for the next 15. By mile 40 my back was sore. By mile 45 my quads would cramp if I tried to stand in the pedals and stretch my back. By mile 50 my quads would cramp even if I didn't try to stand. By mile 53 both my quads and hamstrings were cramping. I couldn't find any position on the crank to rest them up without cramping . . . had to hop off and work my legs out with only 2-3 miles left. Saw my bike pace plummet from near 20 mph to just under 19.5. Very frustrating.
What would you do differently?:

Not ride so hard. I made the mistake of looking at past years' paces and also the paces that I held on my various traning rides. I failed to listen to my body when it was telling me to take it easier. I think a mph or two slower on the bike would have made all the difference - probably would have netted the same time (by avoiding the complete stop for a few minutes and very slow spin into T2 after the cramping) and left me with a lot more left to get through the run.
Transition 2
  • 05m 42s

I knew my legs weren't going to handle anything extravagent coming into T2, so I just coasted to a stop, dismounted and walked it in to my space on the rack. Stopped in the port-a-john (conveniently right my my crappy -pun intended - rack spot) and saw some evidence that I had to really make sure to hydrate a lot on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Here, not a ton. If I hadn't killed my legs on the bike, I would have jogged through T2.
  • 2h 53m 25s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 14s  min/mile

It was awful to get a quarter mile into the run and have my legs lock up with massive cramps. I had to come to a complete stop and massage them out. I got my first inkling of iron distance comraderie as a few people stopped to make sure I was OK. The awfulness went away a little bit as I started moving again and saw that I was a part of a steady stream of people who were also walking it out. As it turned out, except for the last half mile (which I ran) the most I was able to run at one time was about .25 or .3 of a mile, and then I'd have to walk to a minute or two. It was (and still is) frustrating to have need to walk so much after all of the training, but I quickly realized on the course, that you simply have to be adaptable and figure out what's going to work to get you through the race. The slight silver lining is that my limiting factor here wasn't my cardio vascular fitness. My HR stayed really low and, except for my legs, I actually felt pretty good. What limited me was the leg cramps and my musculature. I think my traning was actually on target; I just need to race smarter next time. After the second aid station, drinking up more and cooling off with some cups of water dumped on my head, I realized that even if it was going to be SSSLOOOOWWW, I knew was going to make it. I was able to relax and enjoy the challenge of seeing how far I could run at one time, leapfrogging back and forth past and chatting with other run/walkers. The esprit d corps among the athletes on the run course was unique and special.
What would you do differently?:

Bike smarter next time. Give up 10-15 minutes of time on the bike to have enough in my legs to go a few minutes/mile faster than the 13:30's I had from walking so much. Not worry quite so much about running in the heat. With aid stations every mile or so and lots of opportunities to dump water, it just wasn't as big of a deal as it might have been. I trained assuming that I would cruise through the aid stations; I've now realized that running a mile at a time and taking 30 seconds to walk through the aid station to drink, dump water and cool off is a worthy goal.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk around. Get some attention from my family. Talk to friends. Pass my water bottle from my dehydrated hands to those of my kids, who promptly started fighting over it.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Too hard on the bike.

Event comments:

My personal race performance left much to be desired. The race experience was awesome. The organization was great. The volunteers and the community were outstanding. My support crew (Jen and the kids) were phenominal. Jen really came through by rallying the troops and having them out on the sidelines to cheer me on on an unpleasantly hot day. However bad my race performance was, nothing could top the feeling of approaching the finisher's chute and seeing my family there to cheer me on . . . best feeling in the world, and even had I raced faster, that feeling couldn't have been any better (although I might have gotten to experience it a little sooner).

Overall, I have to look at this as a good experience and a definitely a learning experience. If I knew then what I know now, I think I could have done this race 20-30 minutes faster, just by making better decisions.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-04-26 12:00 AM
00:38:28 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 61/245
Overall: 460/2000
Performance: Good
Suit: De Soto First Wave 2-piece.
Course: Out 200 yds or so. Right-hand turn. Straight South for a mile parallel to the beach. Right-hand turn into the beach. Loooonnnggggg run up to transition. I think Raytown Pete mapped it and it looked to be about 2200 yards.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:51
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:53:35 | 56 miles | 19.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 120/245
Overall: 856/2000
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Snaking legs back and forth through Racine and the nearby communities.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:42
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:53:25 | 13.1 miles | 13m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 186/245
Overall: 1502/2000
Performance: Bad
Course: Double out and back loop along the beach, behind the zoo and through a part of town.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5