Redman Triathlon - Half Redman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
Oklahoma Redman Triathlon
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 12m 41s
Overall Rank = ?/?
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 2/7
Pre-race routine:

I traveled to the race with the Go3Sports team. We stayed at the host hotel and I enjoyed all the pre-race prep and fun of getting ready for the race in the days prior. On race day, I got up at 4:20 and ate my waffles with peanut butter. Stomach was definitely nervous as this was my first half. Got dressed and headed to race site with the team. Parked south of the restaurants and actually enjoyed the quiet, dark walk to race transition. It helped calm my nerves (which had seemed to pop up overnight) and just talk to my teammates and get ready to enjoy the day.
Event warmup:

Transition setup went quicker than I thought it would. Around 6:45am they allowed swim warm-up but I decided against it. My wave was 4 of 5 and I didn't want to hang out waiting for my wave and getting cold. I wasn't planning on busting the swim anyway so I hung out with the team, kissed DH goodbye and tried to mentally take in that I was actually ready to do my first half-iron distance.
  • 38m 31s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

The lake was exceptionally calm and it was a beautiful start to the day. Slightly cool (with water temp around 74 I think) and clear skies. Becky, Nicole and I all went in together, though I said goodbye to Nicole as she is a really strong swimmer and I expected her to line up further forward. We had about two minutes from being allowed in the water until race start and it took a minute or so to get everyone in the water so it was pretty quick. I knew I wanted to get in, break the seal on the wetsuit and get my face in the water so I did it quickly.

I lined myself up along the inside directly on the buoy line about two ladies back. Most of the pack was lined up to my right. I sight to the right so I figured this was a good spot. When the gun went off the gals in front were a little slow to start. Had to pass a few gals pretty quickly in the first 200 meters or so. Next time I might line up a little further forward. Really the stronger swimmers are all along the front line, not in line behind them so I could really just line up behind the first line when it's such a small wave (less than 150). I had a great line out to the first turn. I found two gals after a few bouys that were going about my pace so I sped up to get behind them and ended up drafting them for a good portion of the race. At one point I was trying to decide if we were going too slow and if I should pass, but decided to just sit tight.

On the way back in, I kept swimming wide to the right. I would try to swim further left and was just not going the best line. Got a little frustrated there. That cost me some time, but overall it was a good swim for me. Was pleased my swim time was at least decent. I wanted to be out of the water under 39 and I hit the walkway at 38.
What would you do differently?:

My swimming has really improved over the last year...still a ways to go...but respectable improvement over the season. Last year, I could maintain about a 2:10/100meter for a sprint. For this race I maintained a 1:59/100meter for a Half Ironman and felt I could have gone harder.

22 of 131 out of the water in my wave, 1st in my Division out of the water. The best part of the swim was arriving at the exit feeling that another loop would be no problem at all and I even felt like I could do it faster than the first. I think I need the confidence and experience to go harder. This was my first half distance race and it was all about finishing and gaining experience.

I would start behind the first line and trust the training and race the swim. Especially in such a small wave.
Transition 1
  • 01m 52s

I ran up past a couple guys from the previous wave on the ramp up while getting my suit down to my waist, pointed to two guys who looked stout at the wetsuit strippers and dropped to the mat. They had the suit off quick and I was up and on the way. Easy. When I arrived at my rack I thought the girl to my right was gone. Dang. But I could see the rest of the bikes still there so thought I was in second. (Turns out I was first out of water.) Fastest transition in my group.
  • 3h 06m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.05 mile/hr

With a quick transition I hit the mount line with Nicole (who had come out of the water 30 sec ahead of me) and I was feeling good and ready to go. I knew the first 5-6 miles or so was mostly downhill and the wind would pick up as the day progressed so I started out slightly faster to take advantage of that section. After that I let Nicole go on (she was doing the aquabike and was holding nothing back). I tried to remain steady and take each piece as a 45 minute section to break it up. I tend to lose focus and forget I am 'racing'. This approach worked well for me and I made the first loop in 1:30.

At the beginning of the second loop, a girl in my division passed me and she was flying. I had noted her very nice bike/setup, aero helmet, disc wheel - the full nine yards - in transition and was expecting this. After a few minutes I knew I wouldn't be able to hold her pace so I focused on my own race and let her go. At this point I thought I was in third and I really wanted to hold that podium spot.

I saw 5 of my teammates along the course and that was great encouragement to not let them pass me! ha! During the second loop I started having stomach issues. I could feel the cramping coming on and at the same time, fluctuating energy levels. I was really hoping to salvage the nutrition at this point and not have cramping going into the run like I did at Disco. But I just could not get myself feeling better. I eased up on the last ten miles to see if the effort was causing the issue and I did feel a touch better.

At the beginning of the second loop I hit a hole on a turn and lost a rear cage bottle. And it was my nutrition. So I stopped for it. At the moment I was trying to decide whether to stop but just automatically did. That prob cost me at least a minute and a half, maybe more. Then later on I lost that bottle on the rough road coming back in and by the time I realized it, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find it anyway. I hardly ever eject bottles so twice on this sucked - especially since I like that bottle! boo.

The rest was just pedaling. I stopped the Garmin a min early and put it in my back jersey pocket to make transition easier.

Going into the race I had planned that 3:30 would be a good ride and I'd be ecstatic with anything under 3:15. So a 3:06 was fantastic. Although at the time I kept thinking how I probably had 4-5 minutes from loss of focus, nutrition, and that dang bottle ejection. We're so hard on ourselves!
What would you do differently?:

I have got to figure out the nutrition thing at longer distances at race pacing. Cramping at the start of the run should not be happening. I don't think I have enough 'race pace' training in my schedule to solidify what would be perfect. I never have trouble on my long rides.
Transition 2
  • 02m 6s

My rack was in the same aisle as the relay teams for the Half. When I came into T2, there was close to 10 people from these teams all standing in the middle of the aisle, having finished their legs. I couldn't even get by - the guy in front of me had to say 'excuse me!' to get them to give us enough room to get by. At the time I didn't really care, but hello - if you're done - get out of the way people!

I ran gingerly in my bike shoes as I wanted to make sure I had my legs underneath me after the ride. Racked bike, switched shoes (I have race laces), grabbed hat, gels, and belt and was on my way. Should have been faster but I wasn't keen on getting ready to start 13 miles of running at the time.
  • 2h 24m 7s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m  min/mile

I started the run and realized quickly my legs and body felt good. I was ready to run this half. I also quickly realized that my stomach was starting to cramp and getting worse. Ugh! I had experienced this at Disco and knew that drinking only water and no calories for a mile or two had made that go away and let me settle so that's what I planned to do. I survived with the cramping until about mile 2-3 where jamming two fingers in my side was not going to be enough and had to do some walking to reduce the pain. A couple steps walk, a couple run, repeated until I could run again. This mile took forever. Ok, it was like an extra minute, but felt forever!

I took a sponge at every chance (and traded out my current sponge), drank at every aid station - sometimes just a sip if they were close but I felt really good about my amount of hydration. I really wanted a gel at mile 5, but my stomach was not happy and I did not want to go back to cramping so I didn't. The 'turn-around' at mile 3+ was slightly disheartening to me at first. I had kind of expected a 'turn-around' cone but instead the course just kept going and going and going around the bend and I thought 'ugh, where is the freaking turn-around?' The next time through I knew what to expect at least.

I made the half-way point in 1:10 and was feeling good. My PR for a half-marathon is 2:23 so I was really hoping at this point (of course never having done a half-iron) to make the second loop similar and end up with a 2:20. I had seen the girl who passed me on the bike and knew she was at least a mile ahead of me and a better runner. At this point I was wavering between 1) it's my first half and I'm just here to enjoy it and finish and 2) don't lose third place and don't let your teammate catch you. I am a fairly competitive person so voice 1 was the winner. My long run pace is usually 10:30-11:30 and I kept that right in sync, walking the aid stations.

I was alternating gatorade at every aid station and water. I didn't end up eating a gel until mile 8. By then I started to realize I was behind in gels I had planned and so I planned to take one at mile 10. But then I couldn't get it open and I.was.tired. My shoulder blades were tired, my legs were fatigued, and it had steadily grown hotter. My head decided ok, drink the gatorade here, that's some calories, and you can just suck it up for 3 miles. Yikes I can't believe I only had one gel during the run! That is so not like me.

The volunteers were amazing. They were helpful and cheering and handing whatever you needed. I loved the support and the quantity of aid.

The last mile was such a blur. Here I am waiting and waiting all year to be at the finish of my first half-iron race and it's finally here! I smiled the whole way down the chute and finished just short of my Half Marathon PR. My husband and team were all along the finish cheering and it was a wonderful feeling to have accomplished this goal.

Great day!

Total race: 6:12:41

I was elated with my finish time - I knocked my estimates out of the park and was really happy with this first-time finish!
What would you do differently?:

I felt really good about this run. I knew I would only walk the aid stations (well plus the cramping episode) and I stuck to it. Again, proper nutrition on the bike and during the run...I'll be working on it.

Goal was less than 2:30 going into this race (although during the run I really wanted a 2:20). 2:24 was right on target.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked through the chute trying to determine if I wanted anything, but I wasn't really prepared for the lack of brain function immediately following a long race. Immediately after stopping I felt ok, but a few minutes later and I couldn't decide if I was going to toss my cookies, lay down, sit up, or what would make me feel better. I was not normal. Good thing my teammates and husband were there to tell me what to do and take care of me.

I got a quick massage and then they suggested I get in the ice. After a few minutes in there I instantly felt better. Maybe I was just overheated? Coach also told me to eat the pb&j. Just the thought made me ill, but I did as she insisted and bam - felt so much better for the next hour.

Hung out and watched the rest of the team finish and then back to the hotel for wash-up! Dropped my husband at the airport and then the team went out for a celebratory dinner! Nicole took second in Aquabike Half.

It turned out I was actually in 2nd place in my Division (and Halfmaxx qualifier.)

Event comments:

I really enjoyed this race and felt it was a good course. The best thing was the amount of support on the course from the volunteers, both mentally and physically. I also appreciated the effort put into the food/drink available at the finish -- to me, that's where you are hurting and where you really want shade and a good selection. I even saw plenty of race help asking athletes at both finish/massage, etc. what they could bring over to them. Now that's service. The covered bleachers for spectators are a great touch. One thing I think can use improvement is the pre-race meeting. It was in a hot tent (bring in fans!) and correct information wasn't really available. For example, the presenter said you can't accept help from impartial official race volunteers or you would be disqualified from awards which isn't true. They did correct that race morning, but still that should be available at race meeting. A lot of thought obviously went into this race and it shows. I would definitely do this one again.

Last updated: 2010-05-21 12:00 AM
00:38:31 | 1931 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/7
Overall: 0/?
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra sleeveless
Course: Modified rectangle parallel to shore, with angled section back to shore at end
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:52
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:06:06 | 56 miles | 18.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/7
Overall: 0/?
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loop out and back, only a few easy hills (maybe two longer inclines) Some good surface, some section of rough road
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:06
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:24:07 | 13.1 miles | 11m  min/mile
Age Group: 2/7
Overall: 0/?
Performance: Average
Course: A 6+ mile loop x2 along the lake on concrete path, no shade
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4