Pigman Long Course Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Palo, Iowa
United States
JMS Racing Services
74F / 23C
Total Time = 5h 43m 53s
Overall Rank = 141/341
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 28/50
Pre-race routine:

I took this race a bit more seriously and started eating early. Woke up at 5am (3 hours before race time) and ate a bagel and banana. Ate another bagel with PB about an hour before the event too after Transition closed.
Event warmup:

Nothing, just did some static stretching since I knew my hamstrings were tight coming into the event and I'm a cramper.
The weather was absolutely perfect on race day! Low to mid 70's was about as perfect as you can get.
  • 41m 13s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 08s / 100 meters

I knew I had to start building my overall time cushion for this race by using the swim since the hills were going to be an issue on the bike and run. I set a realistic time goal and I came in under that estimate despite the long run up to Transition. I pushed my effort and pace throughout the swim and had a slight navigation issue on the first leg of the course that I fixed quickly and didn't have a negative affect.
What would you do differently?:

I still had a bit more I could have put into the effort on the swim. I'm starting to get better at pushing a bit harder now on swims and I'll continue to progress.
Transition 1
  • 02m 20s

Things went ok in T1. I had a slight issue trying to clip the race number belt and had to look at it again and I got it right on the 2nd try. Aside from that I did really well. I ran well past the mount like I usually do and did the flying monkey. I did screw up getting my feet on the pedals and I slowed down. Once I got on the shoes correctly I was off and underway.
What would you do differently?:

Just execute a bit better. I definitely could have had a faster T1.
  • 2h 58m 8s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.86 mile/hr

I was well aware of my history of cramping and muscle fatigue when it comes to long races and I really took the time to address this issue in my prep the night before and executed a nutrition plan starting on the bike. I really feel like I "nailed it" for this race and it's the first time I've ever been happy and mentally with-it for a race of this distance. It was all due to the calories and carbs I prepped in my water bottles. In fact I was about to come in almost 15 minutes ahead of my estimates until I got to that hill after mile 54. It took all of my time savings and just chewed them up. I was still able to limp home with a 3 minute cushion to add to the 2 minutes I had out of the swim. I didn't really know that I could love hills but this for this race, they didn't kill me. My back held up and we had overcast skies for about an hour as well so the conditions couldn't have been better. Even though I had an average pace and finish time on the bike, for me this was a huge win as the goal was to get my nutrition down and set up for the run by holding back and working within my capabilities. Given the amount of hills and the lack of distance and hill training this year, I am really happy with the result on the bike. Only 1 mph slower than my PR at Racine.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing that I could have done on race day. The bike was perfect for me.
Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

I finally nailed one of my Transitions. After such a great time and feeling so happy with the bike portion, I knew I had to ride the good feelings and kick butt through T2. Everything fell into place for me. Socks didn't go on as smoothly as they normally do but it was part of the deal.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 00m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 13s  min/mile

Well, I knew I had a 5 minute cushion of extra time built up to dip into and still get a PR. And, I also knew that at some point the hills on the bike would result in some cramping and muscle fatigue on the run. In an effort to pad my cushion I decided to "go for it" at the beginning of the run and ride out the good feeling and high energy levels I had coming off the bike. I was running at 7:40 miles and faster which I forced myself into hanging onto until the 5 mile marker. At that point I told myself that I could drop down into the 8 minute miles that I had estimated for myself. My plan was working beautifully as I executed the plan well into the halfway point of the run. At mile 10 though my legs started tightening up and my quads weren't firing well anymore. By the time I got to the 11 mile marker and I saw that long slow curving hill leading up to the park I knew my legs were not going to make it! My pace dropped really bad after having to walk 3 times during mile 12, and twice more after getting into the park. By now my right hamstring and glute were seizing up was well. I got word from the crowd that we had one last turn and it was all downhill and I started running again and shuffled to a 7:40 mile pace for the last 400 meters. I was pretty darn dissapointed in my 2 hour half marathon as this was the last piece of my plan and it was the one that didn't fall into place.
What would you do differently?:

Still weighing the theory of which would have been better: Go out strong like I did, knowing that my legs would give out eventually. Or, hold back to start the run to stave off the leg cramps later...
Post race
Warm down:

Once again, I ate and drank everything in sight: Waters, yogurt, bananas, watermelon, pizza, oranges

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It was definitely my lack of training for long distance events. All of my training has been for short distance stuff and I knew that going in. I was fully aware of my limitions and I had realistic expectations for my times. After gaining time in both the swim and bike, it was still pretty disappointing that I couldn't finish on a good note with a run that eeked out a PR. I was so close and only missed it by 3 minutes.
All that said, I'm still pretty darn proud of my race overall. Having to deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis, stress with work and home, not training a HIM plan, and the sheer volume of hills on this course...I shouldn't have come even close to a new PR. But, I nailed it and in many ways this is a PR for me.

Event comments:

I am just so impressed at the way this race unfolded. The organizers had all the important things set up and secured for us. The police, marshalls, and volunteers were ever-present and its a pretty good feeling knowing that you can just concentrate on your event and your effort and that you can rely on well manned bottle exchanges and intersections. With such a challenging course you would think that there might be more problems but race staff were constantly zipping by ready to address any problems. I strongly recommend this event.

Last updated: 2012-01-01 12:00 AM
00:41:13 | 1931 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 31/50
Overall: 193/341
Performance: Good
Took the 1st 200 meters really quick and I had great form. Definitely pushed to the end of my comfy zone and just made sure that I was putting forth an effort that pushed my breathing a bit instead of holding it all back like I normally do.
Suit: Orca Equip Full Suit
Course: Clockwise course with bouys on the right. First leg was "into the sun" but my wave left so late that the sun was off the horizon enough that you could make out the course and turn bouys.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:20
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Below average
02:58:08 | 56 miles | 18.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 35/50
Overall: 180/341
Performance: Good
Single out and back on the county roads...and yes, there were hills after hills, after hills! Avg HR: 145bpm
Wind: Little
Course: There were hills and they were no joke.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:00:45 | 13.1 miles | 09m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/50
Overall: 122/341
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 152 bpm
Course: Out and back, single loop course. Decline for first 2.2 miles getting out of the park and mostly flat until about 1.5 miles from the turn-around where you have a couple of gradual climbs and then a sharp uphill just before the turning point. Then, head on back to do the inverse back to the finish
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5