Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Mt. Sterling, Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
37F / 3C
Total Time = 5h 11m 52s
Overall Rank = 20/116
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/7
Pre-race routine:

Ok, so I'm driving to Ohio and it's in the 50's. The weather forecast is not looking any warmer for Sunday. I'm beginning to re-think my great idea about an early October race. Anyhow, I wake up race morning and it's 37 degrees outside and the wind is howling. There are white caps on the lake. I think to myself "i'm having fun right?" Drank a cup of coffee. Ate a Clif bar. Stuck a banana in my bag to eat when I got to transition but couldn't work myself up to take off my gloves to peel it when I got there.
Event warmup:

Some people got in the water to warm up. I am a firm believer in warming up, but there was no way I was getting in that water before I had to! Ran around the beach for a bit to keep warm but that was it.
  • 35m 2s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 40s / 100 yards

Well maybe I should have warmed up because when I hit the water the surprise cold made me do that thing where you involuntarily suck in air. Luckily I didn't dive in, but rather bounded/waded away from the beach and just sort of flopped into the water. Swam about 5 seconds with my head above water until I got my breathing under control and then began swimming normally. The white caps/chop were only about 1 foot high but they were steep. Drank a lot of water. The HIM started right behind the sprint and oly so there was a lot of traffic on lap 1. I am sure glad this wasn't my first OWS because that would have been brutal!!!
What would you do differently?:

Full sleeve wetsuit. Warm up.

I took it easy on the swim knowing I had a long day ahead of me, and my swim time was about 7 minutes off the same distance in the pool. Not great but i'm sure the water conditions were a factor.
Transition 1
  • 06m 35s

The one thing everyone says not to do- Never try to put on clothes in T1 over a wet body!!! Well that was me. First time racing with a wetsuit, so of course it kind of bound up on my feet. I made the decision before the race that there was no way I was riding 56 miles in 37 deg weather in a wet tri top, so T1 for me was: wetsuit off, dry off with towel, tri top on, compression top on, fitted long sleeve top on, hat on under helmet, socks, gloves. Of course, all of my shirts rolled up on me as soon as they went over my head so I did a little dance around while I struggled to free myself.
What would you do differently?:

If I was prepared, I would have used a fitted windproof cycling jacket with a full zipper instead of all the shirts. That alone would have cut down a few minutes of fiddling.
  • 2h 49m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.79 mile/hr

I was so glad to have my skullcap under my helmet and windstopper gloves! Upper body was fine with the 3 layers, but for the first 10 or so miles the evaporative cooling from my tri shorts was interesting. Overall road conditions were smooth, except for the .7 mile stretch of gravel road that we had to ride 3 times (3 lap course).
What would you do differently?:

I wore a 70oz camelbak and carried a 20 oz bottle in my frame mounted cage. This is my standard setup for long rides, and I am comfortable with it. I knew that there was supposed to be a water bottle handoff every lap but without knowing how it would work I didn't want to chance it. I have heard about people missing the handoff. In hindsight it looked pretty simple and would have been a good idea. I would have carried a few less pounds of water with me on the ride.
Transition 2
  • 02m 20s

I felt pretty good coming off the bike. Ate my fourth gel just a few minutes before T2, which I thought would work perfectly for 1 gel at the run halfway point if all went to plan. T2 time was much better than T1, but still about double my usual... had to shuck off camelbak, skullcap, and extra shirt. I also opted for regular laces instead of elastic due to the race distance (I prefer the fit and snugness without constriction).
What would you do differently?:

I didn't set up my transition area in the morning as neatly as usual, and that cost me a little time.
  • 1h 38m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 29s  min/mile

My plan was to go out and settle in wherever I felt comfortable, with a "best case" scenario averaging 7:30 pace. Depending on which direction I ran, the wind vastly helped or hindered, but ran the first loop in an average 7:15. Walked for the first and only time at the aid station starting lap 2 in order to eat a gel and wash it down with 2 cups of water. Started to lose a little steam battling the wind on lap 2 and my average pace slowly crept up, but I finished at an average 7:29.x which I am very pleased with!
What would you do differently?:

Run more in preparation for the HIM. I wasn't planning on this race until a little less than a month out, and previously had been training for oly distance runs with long runs at around 7-8 miles. Over the two weeks leading up to my taper week I put in roughly 40 miles per week but it was probably too little too late.
Post race
Warm down:

Put on a fleece, a jacket, long pants and winter hat. Walked it off!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I get little to no OWS practice in choppy water. I have been biking since May and have 800 and change miles on the bike so lots of room to improve there. I think my running base is pretty decent, but just hadn't been training at this distance.

Event comments:

Plenty of volunteers and police stopping traffic at intersections etc. The race was well organized, food and drink were easily attainable. I was slightly disappointed by the post-race food though... sides and snacks were good, but the "main" course was either PBJ or sloppy joe. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

Last updated: 2011-10-03 12:00 AM
00:35:02 | 2112 yards | 01m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/7
Overall: 7/116
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Rectangular course, two laps for the HIM distance.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:35
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
02:49:45 | 56 miles | 19.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/7
Overall: 7/116
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: The course was a relatively flat 3 loop route, with I think 4 hills every loop. There was not much cover, mostly through open fields, and the wind was probably a steady 15 with gusts to 30. Cross winds were bad and the sections of course where the wind was head-on it really slowed me down.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:20
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:38:09 | 13.1 miles | 07m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/7
Overall: 7/116
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back course, 6.55 miles each lap. Mostly flat. Very strong winds.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3