Pigman Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Palo, Iowa
United States
Pigman Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 13m 4s
Overall Rank = 139/535
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 20/50
Pre-race routine:

Up early at the hotel with Rob and Tyler. Got dressed and ready to go. Ate two bananas and drank some water. Got to the site just as it was starting to fill up and got my transition area set up.
Event warmup:

Swam a little bit during the pre-race meeting and while the heats before ours were going off. Otherwise I thought 70.3 miles during the race was enough mileage for the day.
  • 34m 43s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards

I was hoping for a swim time of under 35 minutes so this was a good start to my day. What wasn't good was my sighting throughout. I had difficulty (as did many others) with the swimming directly into the sun to begin with and then not being able to see the buoys since they were spaced out so much. As a result in part, every time I went to sight, I was way off the course and therefore I wasn't catching any draft off of anyone. I would estimate that I swam an extra 150 yards at least. If I could figure out how to sight decently, I think I could be in the 32s pretty easily.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to sight, push harder throughout with my upper body as I had plenty left at the end of the swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 52s

Both pretty good transition. T1 was from the edge of the lake up a long grassy hill, into the parking lot and clear to the end of transition where my age group had their racks. The only way I could have had faster transitions is if I ran harder and didn't wear socks which I wasn't willing to do on a HIM.
What would you do differently?:

Run harder.
  • 2h 32m 19s
  • 90.12 kms
  • 35.50 km/hr

Awesome bike ride. After getting on the bike, I tried pushing it right from the start but my hammys were giving me problems the first few miles. Fortunately they loosened up after that. I was going fairly hard until the turn in Newhall when I went through some gravel. It was at that point that I woke up and finally really felt like I was in a race and needed to give it everything I had so I didn't have any regrets when I finished thinking I could have/should have pushed harder here or there. From this point on, I pushed extremely hard on the bike. Even though I was hammering away hard on the bike, it was really enjoyable for the most part riding through the cornfields of Iowa until I hit the 50 mile mark, which ironically, was the longest bike ride I did in training. At that point my legs started to tire out. Overall, my nutrition was pretty good as I had an aero bottle full of Gatorade, two more water bottles of Gatorade, and one bottle of water plus I took several quick drinks of the bottles of water and HED at the bottle exchanges before tossing them. In addition, I took a gel at 10 minutes into the ride, 40 minutes, 70 minutes, and then at 30 miles, 40 miles, and 50 miles.
What would you do differently?:

During the race, nothing. During training, more longer rides.
Transition 2
  • 01m 21s

Another good transition. The legs were definately tired from the bike but I went pretty hard so I could get on with the run.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 01m 50s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 18s  min/mile

I came off the bike in what I thought was pretty good shape and I started running about as fast as I could as I thought I had a shot at holding off Swee on the run (which proved to be a joke, more on that later). I did the first mile in 7:36 and the second mile in 7:52 which was partially uphill out of the park. It was during mile 2 that my quads began to cramp up pretty bad. Even still, I was able to do mile 3 in 7:26 because it was mostly downhill. After that point, the wheels began to come off. Mile 4 was 8:29. At about 4.5 miles, my legs were feeling bad, but there was a guy in front of me who had stopped altogether. I was coming up on him and was about to try and give him some encouragement to just walk and keep moving. Just before I said anything he lost it. I think after that I picked up my pace a little to get out of there. I thought to myself that even though I felt like crap, I was fortunate to not be feeling that bad. Anyhow, mile 5 was 9:00, mile 6 was 9:36. After the turn-around point I say Swee and knew that it was only a matter of time before he caught me but I thought I could hold him off until maybe mile 10. Mile 7 was 9:32. I think it was during mile 7 that I saw Rob and we gave each other some much needed encouragement. Mile 8 slowed to 10:33. At this point, I began to walk the water stations. Also, at about 8 1/2 miles is when Swee blew passed me en route to an awesome race. Mile 9 was 10:33 which was the beginning of the hill back into the park I think. At this point, I came really close to walking several times even though it wasn't a water station. Eventually I made myself promise that I would not walk the rest of the way, even during the water stations. That, plus the downhill helped as mile 10 was a blistering 9:22. Mile 11 slowed to 10:47 as it began the final climb to the finish. Mile 12 was 11:00 flat. My Garmin crapped out on me right before mile 13 but based on my above splits, I figure that I did the last 1.1 miles in 10:04.
What would you do differently?:

During the race, nothing. Like Rob said, the spirit might be willing but if the body isn't, there's not a whole lot you can do. During training, more longer runs, especially in the heat of the day, and also longer runs after long bike rides.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat under the water tent for a few minutes. Then found some shade and plopped down. Found Swee and discovered just how awesome a race he had. Watched Rob finish in a great time as well. Got some food and drink and sat around to try and recover a little before heading home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

First and foremost the run. It's funny how I used to think the run was my strongest discipline and now it might be my worse. I just gotta run more and do more interval training and speed work.
Second, not swimming as hard as a should have and navigating poorly.

Event comments:

Overall, I was extremely proud of my first HIM race performance. Before the race, I had told myself that 5:15 was my goal time, but I didn't think that was very realistic and so I was going to be happy with anything under 5:30 so I was elated when I found out I came in at 5:13:04. That being said, when I do this distance again someday, I know I can shave a little bit of time off in my swim, and a lot off in the run. I need to do more swimming, especially OWS to practice sighting more, and more bricks after long bike rides. My usual 2 mile runs after a 40 K bike ride just don't cut it for something like a HIM.

Last updated: 2011-03-05 12:00 AM
00:34:43 | 2112 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/50
Overall: 125/535
Performance: Average
Suit: My QR Full Sleeve Wetsuit
Course: Triangle swim, first leg into the blinding sun, then a short second leg, and then a very long third leg that took us nearly to the swim finish.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:52
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
02:32:19 | 90.12 kms | 35.50 km/hr
Age Group: 13/50
Overall: 86/535
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Through the cornfields of Iowa.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:21
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:01:50 | 13.1 miles | 09m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/50
Overall: 225/535
Performance: Below average
Course: Through the park to the entrance which included a decent hill, out of the park and down a hill, then flat until the turnaround which was a slight incline. Repeat in reverse. No shade whatsoever.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5