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Ironman 70.3 Austin - Triathlon1/2 Ironman
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Left Baton Rouge at 6:30am and got into Austin around 2pm and headed straight to the expo. Check in was a zoo as it seemed a lot of people waited until the last minute to check in and they were not prepared for that. Needless to say after 6.5 hours in my truck standing in line for an hour was a bit frustrating but mostly uneventful. Didn’t get much time in the expo as bike check in ended at 4:30 and usually expo’s are just full of over priced clothes. Met up with Craig from Beginner Triathlete
) and headed over to bike check in. There we met up with another BTer Andy
). Checked in my bike and my spot was actually pretty decent with great landmarks to help find the bike. They use a “clean transition area” philosophy so nothing on the ground and your stuff is in bags. Checked out the lake and the swim looked good but a pretty sturdy wind had kicked up and the water as a bit choppy. At this point I was more worried about wind and the bike leg. Checked in to my hotel, headed out to dinner with Craig and Andy and came back to prepare.
At this point several little issues came up which I mainly attribute to being rushed and getting to Austin so late. For now on I need to get to these types of races earlier to give myself more time prepare. Back at the hotel I realize that I left my bike bottle on my bike. Okay, no big deal, get an extra Gatorade bottle and mix my Infinit.
Set my alarm for 4:20 and fall right to sleep. I wake up and think it must be close to the time to get up. Check my clock and its 4:50, ahh sh@t. Not a huge issue as I still have plenty of time and go about my getting ready like normal. Grabbed my stuff and headed to the race. Fight thru the maze and get a good parking spot, grab my stuff and hike to the buses. Get in the bus and hear someone say something about their wetsuit. Ahh crap! Off the bus and back to my truck where my wetsuit is in the front seat. Back to the bus and ride over. Get to my bike, set up my bottles, take a salt capsule, grab the bike and off to find a pump for my tires. I have a latex tube in the front and it doesn’t hold air well and the bike bags won’t accommodate pumps. Waiting in line to pump up and someone hands me a pump saying it’s an extra one. It turns out to be a great pump and my tires are set in nothing flat. Hand the pump off to someone else, rack the bike, put on the wetsuit, find Andy and we are off to the water.
02m 05s / 100 meters
Unfortunately since the sun had not come up they weren’t letting anyone warm up in the water except for the pros. We hang out and we watch the pro men and women go off, then the first couple of AG waves then us
(approximately 191 in my wave supposedly
). It’s a water start so I try to get completely wet before start. Water temp is 73 and perfect. Don my goggles but notice the Sun isn’t up yet and I have mirrored lenses. And we are off!
First 100 meters I just gun it but there is a crowd. Quickly my lenses fog up and its dark so all I can do is sight on other swimmers. There were a large number of buoys and the swim course was well marked but that didn’t help. Swam fairly straight but did weave some. Hit the first turn and the sun is up and I can sight better. I just keep pushing somewhat and keep seeing glimpses of several different colored caps so I couldn’t tell if I was way behind or ahead. Around the last turn and I keep veering left and have to sight a lot more. There has been a lot of contact and did get a foot to the face but it wasn’t bad and I just went with the motto that I wasn’t going to dunk anyone but I wasn’t backing off. I finally see the finish and swim until my hand hits the ground. Now I would like to say I stood up and ran but I had to walk a little then a slow jog. They were still starting waves, wow lots of people here. Clock said 55 minutes so subtracting my wave time I hit 40 minutes! A good start.
What would you do differently?:
Good swim for me, not sure where the timing mat was but I came in a little ahead of where I had hoped. Fast enough to hit my time but not too fast and burn myself out. I am very happy on this one. I loved the way the course was well marked and the water wasn’t too murky. Would love to do this swim again
Strip my wetsuit to my hips and let the wetsuit strippers do the rest. Jog to my bike
) and feel a cramp coming on, stuff wetsuit and stuff in my bag, take two gels, gear up and head to the mount line. My bike is feeling sluggish and stop to check out the bike, I spin both wheels but they are fine. Really not sure what was going on here. Pseudo flying start and I am off
What would you do differently?:
Not take a nap?
3h 09m 47s
Oh boy the fun. After a few turns we hit the first of the hills both up and down. I immediately regret not having put on my lower gearing as I grind up a hill. But on the downhill I am in my top gear and it is barely enough as I tuck and fly down the hill. The roads are initially about what I would expect back in Louisiana but they rapidly get worse. Lots of repairs that were not smoothed out, I remember one downhill that scared the wits out of me as there was about a four foot strip that was clean and we were flying down that hill! Funny, as I would tuck on the downhills and not pedal and would almost always catch up with the person in front of me. Maybe having a heavier rider on downhills has its advantages. Many times everyone was riding on the left as riding on the right was not an option. Overall the roads weren’t great but not bad enough for me not to do this course again. There was one spot where the road was under construction, signs said “Do not pass” and it was dirt and rocks for about 100 feet. Some guy passed me despite the sign but I was going slow because of the guy in front of me
( I guess that sign only applied to me ;>
). About midway the winds kick up and it’s a race to get off the course before they get worse. This is where having a fast bike time would have helped but didn’t happen for me. It really was a race against time and those in the last waves must have had a really tough day on the bike. It definitely killed time but when I got a tail wind it did help some. I spent most of my time being passed but I did pass some folks. I was trying to save my legs by minimal downhill pedaling and keeping the speeds down on the flats but the uphills were frying my legs. Picked up a gel at the aid station one, a powerbar at #2, a Gatorade that I didn’t use until T2 at aid #3 and skipped #4. Had one capsule and three gels on the bike along with one Gatorade and one bottle of Infinit. I think that was just about right except for the Powerbar. Around mile 40 my intestines were not happy and a bit painful. Not much I could do about it so I just kept going.
What would you do differently?:
Roads weren’t great but it really came down to fact that I didn’t properly train on hills. Having a better geared cassette would have helped also. Either way I need more hill work. I am planning on doing Jorge’s bike program so that should help some also. I will say that on some of the downhills I hit close to 40mph, scary but fun!
Flying dismount, jogged to my spot
(T2 was a different location from T1
). Racked bike, put my helmet in my bike bag, put on my stuff from run bag, finally drank from the Gatorade I picked up and headed out. Reset my Garmin for the run and was on the three loop course. Seeing the clock I knew my A goal was out the door so now it was about just beating NOLA 2010 time. I run out forgetting to put more suntan lotion on which I paid for later.
What would you do differently?:
Not read a book during transition?
2h 40m 19s
12m 14s min/mile
My gut was really acting up and the first thing I needed to do was hit the porto. Which helped the gut issues for a couple of miles until I had to hit another porto and lost more time here but nothing I could do. First loop was slow for me but I always start slow and found we were always either running uphill or downhill, very little flat which was not making me happy. The backside of the loop was dirt which I liked a lot except for the rocks. Lots of people walking but you couldn’t tell if they were on their first loop or third loop and there were a lot of people on the course. The forecast was for the 80’s but definitely felt warmer than that and I think it hit into the 90’s. But not bad compared to NOLA in 2010 and can’t say it was a major factor for me as this is what I trained in. Going uphills I just put it in low gear and chugged up the hills. Walked thru every aid station drinking what I could and taking capsules every 30-45 minutes. Not once on the course did I need to pee which worried me a little but felt okay so just kept drinking. Finished the first loop with lots of spectators cheering but now that I knew the loop I knew I had a couple of hills that I would have to do two more times. Unfortunately at this point my Garmin went dead. Not a huge issue as I was using RPE for pace but would have been nice to have some info on how I was doing. I either need to get the battery replaced or get a new watch. Kept going and finally started picking up steam, even up the hills. Not fast but at least faster than the speed walkers. I saw a large number of people cramping and limping, a couple of people who’s day was over and were getting help from the medics. On the back side of loop two I found a station with suntan lotion
(which I forgot to put on pre-run
) and Vaseline. Also found an orange gel as I couldn’t take the chocolate gels. The cold sponges were great but by loop two they were running low and looked like they may have started reusing sponges. Feeling much better I headed out but towards the end of the second lap my back locked up a little. This was the first time I had to walk as opposed to planned walked. Half walked/jogged up the hill. Refueled at an aid station and was back to jogging. I did have to walk some more but tried not to walk for more than 30 seconds. As I was headed out for my last loop I see the last biker coming in, she was flying so I am guessing mechanical issue. At this point there weren’t any sponges left but I had kept one and would pour cold water on it at the stations. At the end of the final loop you split off to the finish line which was inside of the arena. I was sooo happy to see this and passed a couple of guys who were obviously cramping but were determined to finish. As I get closer I hear the crowd and see the people and pick up the pace. They announce my name and I am done! I see the clock and while I did beat my NOLA time it was still slower than I had hoped.
What would you do differently?:
Obviously still not putting in the miles per week I need but the slow rehab of the knee is working. Much less pain than last year and no lingering effects. I will keep up the slow increase in MPW and speed and NOLA 2012 will be a much better run. My training runs had me coming in around 2:10-2:20 so more bike work and more running work and I will get there, right?
I get my finishers medal and hat, get my picture taking and look for food and drink. Took a wrong turn and passed the med tent area and it was pretty full. After party food was good with a BBQ sandwich that tasted good but would have loved a real burger. I tried a veggie burger but just not the same. Run into Craig and talked for awhile but my gut issue was back and off to find a restroom
). We get our bikes, stash mine in my truck and head over to the building to get our run and bike bags. End up camping out there for a little while trying to recover just lying on the cool floor. At this point I am sore and the soreness lasted a couple of days. Walking down stairs is a PITA but upstairs isn’t bad. Craig stays for the awards ceremony and I head back to shower and switch to another hotel and register for the conference. Steak dinner that night with Andy and Craig was a nice finishing touch
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Lack of hill training, recent injury and travels that killed some long run/rides.
Nice race, not as nice of a run course as NOLA but overall I liked it.
Last updated: 2011-04-22 12:00 AM
00:40:11 | 1931 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
Trapazoidal (I guess)
73F / 23C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:09:47 | 56 miles | 17.70 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:40:19 | 13.1 miles | 12m 14s min/mile
Three out and back with hills and some dirt areas.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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