Ironman 70.3 Florida - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Orlando, Florida
United States
Ironman North America Athlete Services
83F / 28C
Total Time = 5h 28m 55s
Overall Rank = 492/1822
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 90/265
Pre-race routine:

We arrived @ Fort Wilderness Lodge Saturday afternoon and checked into our cabin (highly recommended). Very glad we rented golf cart as friend and I just decided to put the bikes on the back and drive to check-in as it was starting to rain. Check in was simple and didn't waste much time checking in and racking bikes.

Fell asleep that night around 11:30pm and woke up at 3:45am. Had a light breakfast and decided to walk the mile to transition. There was a light rain, but thunder and lightning were picking up. As I walked to T1, a VERY nice guy driving by in golf cart gave me a lift rest of the way which helped me stay dry. Got into transition pretty early, around 4:30am and did not want to set up as rain was picking up. So just got things in order and put back in my bag to stay dry. We ended up waiting about 30 minutes under shelter as rain picked up. Didn't mind as there were bathrooms right there and probably the nicest you'll find pre-race, thanks Disney!
They wanted everyone out of transition by 6am so had no choice but to cover my things and hope they stayed semi-dry. Really only cared about running shoes to be honest.

Friend and I walked down to the swim and still had about an hour+ since race was moved back 20 minutes. Glad they waited it out and did not shorten swim or cancel outright. It cleared up nicely and looked to be great day.
Event warmup:

We were not allowed in the water so just hung around and did manage to run to porta potty 1/4 mile away and back, does that count?
  • 39m 8s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

The way they select the AG wave start order is still a mystery to me. This was a crowded swim for later waves. Then they add confusion with same color swim caps for two AG's going off 3-4 waves apart. I saw that several folks in my AG went in wrong wave and I almost made same mistake. That said, it was a good start. You had to run about 50 yards in knee high water prior to getting horizontal.

The first 1/4 mile or so was heavy with lake weeds and I had to stop a few times to get them off of my arms and neck. After that it was pretty easy going. I held a decent yet comfortable pace and felt my form was in good order. A few times I was getting winded and just slowed it down a tad. I am never a great drafter in the swim and tried to make a conscious effort this race to get better at it. With the dark water and jammed up swim waves, it proved difficult once again and was never really able to take advantage. My sighting was pretty good, had to readjust here and there but kept a decent inside line @ the buoys. I was hoping for 36-37:00 yet not disappointed with this time. I had a pretty bad cramp last 300 yards of swim in my lower left leg and I couldn't wait to get on dry land.
What would you do differently?:

I have really hit a plateau with my swim. I am very comfortable with my form/technique, just need to take it to next level with speed. 3-4 minutes could easily be saved on this distance and feel I have ability to get there. We'll see, I know a lot of other places I could have made up that time as well.
Transition 1
  • 04m 53s

To start, the location of my rack was horribly located under a few oak trees with large roots spreading all around. The ground cover was just dirt and wet leaves which made me take a few seconds to sit and wipe my feet off.

I normally pride myself on transition times... But not this race. I just had a lot going on in T1 and took my time. Yes, it was a decent run to my spot, but I should have saved 1:30 here easily. I really don't like swimming with tri top so had to get that on. Then went with Arm Coolers which also added time. What really slowed me down though was not being allowed to have shoes clipped on the bike. First time I have ever seen this implemented and not sure of reasoning. It made the run out a bit slower and the real kicker was the backup at the mount line since people were stopping, clipping in, etc. Also didn't help the first few hundred yards of bike were on a wet sidewalk so justifiably most took it easy on this section.
What would you do differently?:

Arm coolers probably were not necessity and they took a bit to get on. I learned from last HIM though that putting them on while riding is NOT a good idea. Otherwise, maybe get to check-in earlier and not get horrible rack spot, couldn't really control bad row placement in general. Also area of opportunity for next time is to cover up the 100 feet or so of sand that we had to run our bikes over to get to mount line. There was a 3ft wide piece of carpet there, but this just forced you to be at the mercy of slower person in front of you, not a heck of a lot of room to pass.
  • 2h 38m 28s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.20 mile/hr

They did not have my T2 time posted so added it to the bike time. That said, the overall bike was average for me. My ideal scenario was to hold 22 mph most the way, but just didn't feel it this day. I knew the run would be tough so perhaps held back more than normal as well. The wind was enough to be noticed, but have raced in much worse. While I never train on hills, I thought the course had enough slight rollers to break it up nicely. The traffic control was fantastic and was impressed with 3 water stations after being used to 2 at best.

I kept my same nutrition plan that I usually do which is 3 gels, 1 powerbar and a salt tab every hour. Had 2x20oz bottles of Gatorade Endurance. I noticed after being half way done that I only went through 3/4 of one bottle so thought not drinking enough (although never thirsty). Forced myself to keep pace of finishing the two bottles by end of ride. MY stomach just felt like it was not happy with something I had taken. Nothing new being done so couldn't figure it out. Maybe it was just not that hot out at the time as I felt bloated from too much? Towards the end I switched to water only. The drafting was not as bad as I thought it might be. A few people would pass by in a tight formation and I let it go as I normally do, no sense of turning a great day negative on my end. Only once was it so blatant that I said something to a guy about 6 inches off this poor girls back wheel. Could tell he was enjoying the view, but still very obvious so I shouted "3 bike lengths" as I rode by and left it at that.

What would you do differently?:

I just did not ride enough the last 4-6 weeks to complain about this time. I have to get focused on intervals etc to get my avg up there where its capable of being. I missed too many bike sessions and when I rode they were long rides with avg pace.

Not much else I would change as I felt comfortable with legs I had for run.
Transition 2
  • 02m 30s

This was a much better time that in T1. I was quick to dismount and this time just had to pass folks ahead of me going to my rack. Did stop to put on socks, but worth the effort.
What would you do differently?:

Not much... I lost my salt tabs later on the run so maybe just better secure them.
  • 2h 04m 3s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 28s  min/mile

I had really trained for "off roading" knowing the course had trails on it. This year they changed the course and eliminated a good amount of the previous dirt paths though. I actually do not mind the grass at all. at least it was further down my list starting this run. My stomach was still really bothering me. Not a "throw-up" sick, but a "I'm bloated and don't put anything else in me" sick. The first loop was just a tuff battle of drinking a little water and just trying to feel like myself. Legs were ok, just felt HR going up if I tried to push through stomach pains. After first loop I looked at my time and figured I was off my goal of 40:00 per loop. But I was able to keep pretty cool with ice under hat and down shirt/pants. That worked really well. Maybe too well as my head was freezing from all the ice. My HIM PR was 5:30:35 so of course that entered my mind. I thought it would be tough if not impossible to ever get these type of conditions again for this race. Mid-May in Orlando and it is GREAT weather. Easily could and should have been 10 degrees hotter without the storm fronts which came through. That would have made it a whole different race. I knew my pace was pushing my fitness level and my thought was that if I am going to hurt, it is not going to be for nothing and I had to make it close to beating PR. This meant I had to pick it up 2nd lap and I felt I did after mile 7. 3rd lap was it. I needed to do under 9:00 pace and it would be close. So I picked it up, stopped wasting time walking the aid stations like I did all day and I just ran. Passed a lot of folks and by mile 10 my quads were really burning. Quick side story: Each lap there was this basketball hoop you ran under and to keep this fun, each lap I would try to touch the rim. On the 1st loop someone saw me and laughed saying, "try to do that on your 3rd lap". Well, it was not smart to do and was complete waste of energy, but I did it on the 2nd loop and again on the 3rd! Moral victory for me!

Ok, so mile 10 and legs burning and had to keep up 8:30 or so avg to get close to my goal. Mile 12 marker came and I knew I needed faster than 8:00 now. I just ran. I was breathing so hard I must have sounded like a freight train when passing folks. I knew all I needed was to get to the cheering section and that would get me to sprint to the line. I finally stopped looking at my watch and tried not to trip. Woohhooo! New PR for me and now try not to pass out.

What would you do differently?:

I wanted 2:00:00, as I thought that was what my fitness could handle. I think without early stomach issues, I would have been real close.
Post race
Warm down:

I had to lean over the fence for a few minutes after crossing the line and catch myself. Poured a water over my head and looked for shade to sit down. Family was at a water park so knew I could relax. I sat for a good 15 minutes and drank 2 bottles of water. Tried to get up and legs completely cramped up. Due to stomach issues, could not take any nutrition on the run. Sat/fell back down and slowly waited to feel human again. Walked to get food and then wait for friend who was still on the course.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My inconsistent training the last 4-6 weeks. Otherwise, I know now I have a few extra gears if needed to be called on. I did well and was pleased. I also know that this is best conditions this course might ever see. To improve next year, I need to be in much better shape.

Event comments:

What a well run event. Volunteers were amazing and wish I felt better on the course to thank them in person. There are a few hitches to this event, but the venue is great for making this a family trip. One area they can do much better job on is post-race food. I have had much better at local sprint races and 5k's.

I do not know if two days of walking around parks can be called active recovery, but I am glad to be home from this trip.

Last updated: 2010-12-01 12:00 AM
00:39:08 | 2112 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 87/265
Overall: 520/1822
Performance: Average
Course: Pretty simple 1 loop swim with bouys on your left entire swim.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:53
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:38:28 | 56 miles | 21.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 464/265
Overall: 91/1822
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Pretty nice layout with mix of slight elevation change. Course does get slow however in the first and last 1-2 miles with lots of turns and cornering.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:30
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:04:03 | 13.1 miles | 09m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 492/265
Overall: 90/1822
Performance: Average
Course: 3 loop course with decent sun cover and about 4 miles total on grass paths.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4