Redman Half Distance Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
Oklahoma Redman Triathlon
Total Time = 4h 58m 49s
Overall Rank = 20/251
Age Group = M3539
Age Group Rank = 10/39
Pre-race routine:

Drove down Friday AM, we had arranged to park Brents RV in a nearby church parking lot but managed to "help" the race officials control traffic by parking in a closed lot near transition and the finish, rockstar. Picked up race packet then rode the run course before checking bike into transition. Managed to stretch calves about every hour throughout the day Friday to keep the achilles strain from flairing up. Watched the swim course get setup as the sun went down and it cooled off, beautiful night.

Race day, up at 5am, ate breakfast of Cheerios, banana, & Magic Muffin with PB. Dragged my gear a couple hundred yards to transition, caught the FCA prayer service on my way in then setup my transition, ran through the race in my head a couple times to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything, chatted a bit, put on wetsuit watched the full wave start and popped a Hammer Gel (tropical w/ caffeine, mmmmmmmmmmm), took off wetsuit for #3 of the morning, pulled wetsuit back on as I jogged down to the water for swim start.
Event warmup:

The jog to the water then about 10 strokes as I waded out to the first bouy.
  • 33m 34s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

Cannon caught me (and everyone else it seemed) off guard, no countdown or 1 minute warning, oh well, hit start button and off we go. I seeded myself far inside so I could sight on the main pack when breathing. Paced my initial effort well and based my heading on keeping parallel with the pack as I couldn't see the turn bouy at all.

Maybe 5 minutes in (well after my usual 200m go out too hard panic hits) I sighted a few times to try and find the turn bouy and couldn't see it, there wasn't a definable pack at this point and suddenly my mind stars to wander, I must have slowed down as I was trying to sight because I got hit a couple times as people swam over me but they were coming from the left, behind, AND the right, I don't know where the bouy is and clearly lots of other people don't either since they're going every freaking direction, a little panic sets in and thoughts of DNFing on the swim hit me, but I kept my head down and kept swimming toward the main lake, comforted by the words about Benaiah from the mornings service, eventually saw the bouy, my track was actually very good, I know I pull left and my corrections were spot-on. Faith wins again, just keep swimming.

2nd leg was much shorter and I could pick out the bouy at least every other sighting attempt. The waves picked up a bit from the right and I thought about switching breathing sides but they were matching my cadence well and I was breathing from the crest of each wave, sweet.

3rd leg was a piece of cake, just swim into the bay then then head for shore. Never felt any wetsuit induced fatigue in my shoulders and stumbled through the mud with a 33 something on my watch, at least a minute ahead of schedule.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out at the slightest adversity while swimming, I used to stop and panic, now I can swim and panic, that's way faster.
Transition 1
  • 02m 2s

11 OA, 5 AG. Skipped the strippers and headed straight for my bike, figured I'd be as fast without stopping to lay down. A pretty quick transition with easy jogging throughout, just like it is supposed to be.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 36m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.51 mile/hr

I crossed the bike mat just behind a guy with his shoes on so I passed him at the mount line, got up the little hill and going 15-20 mph then put feet into shoes, had to remove my ankle tape as it had come loose during the swim so Kuota guy I passed at mount passed me back. I said to myself, "This is not a bike race" and let him go for awhile, eventually I caught him back near the end of the dam then he got me back maybe 10 miles in, again, this is not a bike race. We were nice to each other when passing, pass well so the other guy doesn't have to slow down to get out of the draft zone in a timely manner. He rode a well paced bike leg about 3 minutes quicker than me, definately a negative split on the effort, lesson learned about pacing and remember, this is not a bike race.

I was 17th at the turnaround, the leader was 3.5 miles up at that point. By this time there were aquabikes and relays getting into the mix (they started 10 minutes back, I think). Remember, this is not a bike race, especially if there's an AB or R on their calf, and their calf is as big as my thigh.

Saw Brent on his first iron loop a few miles after the turnaround, same time my stomach notified me that it hadn't been digesting food for a little while. A minor v'urp and an assessment of my effort and power to this point followed: 216W and HR trended from 160ish at the start of bike to 145 at this point, guess we'll have to throttle back a little, stop Perpetuem, slow down the gels and see what happens.

Tummy improved and I was able to keep the gels moving in the right direction. The roads on the western N-S leg sucked, so rough, generally uphill, very tough to stay focused and balance effort and tummy happiness.

Turned toward dam and got caught by a pack of 5 bikes, they weren't hugging each others wheels but there's no way they kept that train legal, I was hoping for a marshal but didn't happen. They didn't bother getting it done and passing quickly either, pretty annoying when you sit up and coast to fall back from the first guy and theres another guy even with you before you're even out of the first guys draft zone, remember, not a bike race. I actually had to use the brakes to drop back from the last guy in the line, at least it was a good opportunity to sit up and stretch. The stretching revealed that I was on the verge of cramping in both quads and my right hamstring, not a good thing to realize with a half marathon to go, but my achilles felt fine.

I saw the last dude that passed me fall back as the train went up the short, steep hill to the dam. I had a good long discussion with myself about whether catching him and passing back was consistent with my "not a bike race" motto of the day, I knew it wouldn't matter a bit at the finish line and prove nothing on the bike either but he fell apart so bad on that little climb that I had no choice but to catch him and pass him on the dam.

Nutritional details: 5 bottles water, ~6 shots of gel, 4 Perpetuem Solids (total carbs 140g = 56 g/hr pretty close to my 60-70 g/hr training consumption). Took several endurolytes in the last hour of the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Pace the bike a little better to avoid late cramping and improve nutrition. I think I had two 10 hour weeks before this race but most were in the 6-8 hour range, it is tough to simulate race conditions without racing and i think my inexperience at this distance and limited training time resulted in both the cramps and tummy trouble.

I believe that the best training for a race is racing the race, so if I do another half in the next year or so and do the same things it should turn out better. That being said, I'd aim for the same average power but with an even or slight negative split.
Transition 2
  • 01m 21s

27 OA, 9 AG: same as T1 efficient and unhurried. Shoes, socks, endurolyes, swap the gel flask for my run flask and grab a mini bottle of sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 45m 40s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 04s  min/mile

A nearly perfect set of positive mile splits ruined only by stopping to rub out my quads during the 11th mile and managing to finish relatively strong after that.

Doing the math in my head I knew i could average 8's and still beat 5 hrs, also new that running low 7's would put me under 4:50 and the way my run training had gone low 7's was possible but not likely after the way I rode today. Decided to aim for 7:30's and see what happened, fast enough to not put a low 7 average out of reach but slow enough that a blowup would be manageable. The latter scenario is what played out. I did plan to walk aid stations, first half at least to ensure sufficient water and food. Ended up doing the Terminator walk a few other time for cramp relief as well. Sucked a gel before every other aid station and chased with water, drank 2 cups of water at every aid station, ate a half a banana somewhere around mile 8.
What would you do differently?:

not cramp at the end of the bike leg. Was really looking forward to making up some ground on the run, run training really came together the last month or 2.
Post race
Warm down:

sat in shade, ate, and drank, watched the full distance bikes come in, managed to urinate after about 1 hour. Showered then progressed to cheering on the soon to be ironmen.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

training volume and inexperience at this race distance.

Event comments:

All in all a very successful race, sub 5 hour goal met, brief delusions of grandeur about going sub 4:50 before getting slapped in the legs with the reality cramps.

Race erganization was very good, as mentioned above the swim course marking left a lot to be desired but at least we were swimming, i wasn't interested in doing a half-iron du.

On a much more somber but strangly wierd note, a fella from Olathe (5 miles away) that had the same name as me and nearly same age drown over the weekend (completely unrelated to triathlon, as far as I know) which made the local news Sunday night. Most everyone at work knew I was racing on Saturday, having been out of the office on Friday. With all due respect for the deceased and his family, it's been almost comical how many times I've had to explain today that I am in fact still alive.

Last updated: 2011-06-29 12:00 AM
00:33:34 | 2112 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 11/39
Overall: 27/251
Performance: Good
leg 1: 1:42/100yrd leg 2: 1:32/100yrd leg 3: 1:33/100yrd
Suit: F2R Sockeye
Course: Triangular, CCW, white turn bouys, small orange bouys were placed along the first leg but they drifted off varying amounts and were more confusing than helpful. Swim course was terribly marked, plain and simple, it was their low water contingency plan so I'll cut them some slack, it went into the main lake which I heard is over 100 ft deep, not enough rope or anchors to hold those things in place, but 3 white bouys in 1.2 miles, that'll never work.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:02
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
02:36:13 | 56 miles | 21.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/39
Overall: 26/251
Performance: Good
Pavg = 209W (~82% FTP) Pnorm = 215W (1.03 variance) 1st half Pavg = 213W last half Pavg = 202W
Course: didn't start the Garmin until well onto the dam.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:21
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:45:40 | 13.1 miles | 08m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/39
Overall: 35/251
Performance: Below average
mile pace 1 7 22/60 2 7 38/60 3 7 41/60 4 7 47/60 5 8 6/60 6 8 19/60 7 8 7/60 8 8 25/60 9 8 21/60 10 8 27/60 11 9 2/60 12 8 23/60 13 7 53/60 13.1 6 42/60
Course: 2 loops, curbs were the biggest hills, no shade.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4