Ironman 70.3 Racine - Triathlon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Racine, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
93F / 34C
Total Time = 6h 59m 54s
Overall Rank = 1479/2227
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 123/181
Pre-race routine:

My pre-race routine starts back in November of 2011. My girlfriend and I both wanted to do triathlons but I didn't know how to swim and she need to work on her running. We decided to go for it and go all out. We hired a coach, I would learn to swim and she would work on her running. We wanted to do a half Ironman. We made a plan to do a sprint, then an olympic, and then the HIM. We picked the Galena sprint, the Elkhart Lake olympic, and, of course, the Racine HIM. I got in the pool 3-4 days a week. I could barely swim a 25 yd length without gasping for air and having to stop. I started using a snorkel so I could breathe and work on my form. I got addicted to that thing. I started swimming long distances but hadn't truely learned how to swim. My Galena sprint was fast approaching (5/20/12) and as of early May I had only progressed to 100 yds w/o the snorkel. The sprint swim was 660 yds. I had planned to do 100 yds freestyle and then flip over and do elementary backstroke for 25-50 yds to catch my breath. Then I would do FS again. I would repeat that pattern until I finished the swim. Then, miraculously, I found a tip online that helpd with the timing of my breaths and I was able to suddenly swim 100's of yards w/o stopping.

OK, fast forward to Racine. I had a goal of 6 hrs for this race. I know now it was optimistic but it seemed sound when I made it. I had been doing the Wed night swims at LITH (IL). My best mile pace was 40:00 (I later learned it wasn't really a mile, so my pace was actually 48:00/mi!). That may seem slow but it was my best ever! If I could keep that pace, I could do Racine in 48 mins. I estimated the following:

48:00 Swim
3:30 T1
3:06:00 Bike
2:30 T2
2:00:00 Run

OK, now here's the reality.... :-)

Arrived late Saturday morning. We went for a quick swim, bike, and run. We checked into the hotel and then returned to get our registration packets and get our bikes into transition.

Went to bed around 10:00, didn't fall asleep till midnight. Got up at 4:30. We had to check out of the hotel before we left for the race, so we had to pack everything.

I always eat a big breakfast, and race day was no different. I had 2 bowls of cereal with a banana and soy milk, 2 hard boiled eggs, and a glass of pineapple juice. Checked out around 5:30 and drove to the race area. We had to park several blocks away and haul our gear.
Event warmup:

After prepping our transition areas we headed down to the swim start. My girlfriend's wave was right after the pro's so she headed down first. I caught up to her before her wave started. I saw the pro's start. Craig Alexander walked right by me before he crossed the timing mat. Pretty cool! My girlfriend started her swim and I had 45 mins to kill. I hung out for a while and then put my wetsuit on. I swam about 100 yds. Then I thought my wave was about to go. When I got over there, no one had my cap color! I thought I had missed my wave! Then I realized I was still too early. So, back into the water I went. Swam another 50 yds and then just floated in the water. Finally I got out and got in line with my wave.
  • 1h 04m 54s
  • 2112 yards
  • 03m 04s / 100 yards

If you read the pre-race blurb above, you know that I just learned to swim over the last few months. I started at the back of my wave and just swam my own race. I fully expected to be passed by many, many waves that started after me (I was). I was comfortable in the water. I got hit a few times but no big deal. I don't site very well (or often) but I only breathe to the right and the buoys were on my right the entire course. I also use the people passing me as a reference. If they are reasonably close to me, I must not be too far off course. At the half-way point (buoys change color), I looked at my watch. It was just under 28 mins. I had a goal of 48 mins total. So now I'm looking at 56:00. Ok, I'll make it up later.

About 2/3's through the 1 mile straight section, the water got rough. I don't know if it was passing boats or wind or whatever. I didn't get into trouble, but it made it a little more difficult to swim. When I rounded the second turn buoy and headed for shore, it felt like I had a strong current pushing me back out. I was swimming and swimming but not getting anywhere. I could see the bottom and figured I could walk in faster than I was swimming. But, every time I tried to touch, it was still too deep. Finally I got in far enough to touch and walked out. I was shocked at my time but I felt comfortable during the swim and that was the most important thing for me.
What would you do differently?:

Since I'm a new swimmer, this was a good effort. I will definitely be working on my stroke over the winter. I will be a much better swimmer next year.
Transition 1
  • 06m 30s

The water exit was a long run up the sand. I trotted the whole way. I was surprised to see my T1 time at 6:30 since I ran the whole way?!? When I looked at my garmin data, it showed my "pace" at zero for 2 minutes exactly. That was the time that I was at my bike station. So I think I could only have shaved a few seconds since most of the time was just getting to my bike.

As we got off the sand and onto the bike path surrounding transition, they had kiddie pools to rinse the sand off your feet. I'm glad they had them and I used both. I then used the wetsuit strippers, went flawlessly.

My bike was racked in the row closest to the bike out. So, I had a long run to get there. I had all of my gear laid out in the order that I needed it. I wear my swim suit all day. I just slip the bike shorts over the top. I need and want a full chamois during the ride! I put on everything and my race belt. I also had a belt for the Athlete tracker device I rented. My sister came to watch us race. She brought her kids. My kids hung out with them during the day.

I sprayed on some more sunscreen. It stung my neck like !@#$!! My wetsuit must have been rubbing on the back of my neck.
What would you do differently?:

I could be a little faster but not much to change here.
  • 3h 04m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.25 mile/hr

I have been cycling for decades, so I'm comfortable on the bike. I wasn't a racer but I already had good cycling fitness when I started do the triathlon training. I don't clip my shoes into the bike in transition. I take the time to put them on my feet and then clip in as usual at the mount line. My bike was geared down so the initial hill leaving T1 was no problem. My goal was to avg 18.0 on the bike and keep my HR down around 140. After 10 miles I saw I was averaging 19.0 and felt good so I figured I could beat my estimate. I saw a LOT of polar water bottle on the road. The bumps were ejecting them left and right. I have an aero bottle up front, a single cage on the seat tube, and a double cage behind the seat. After seeing all of those bottles on the road, I reached back to check mine. My polar bottle was gone too! I only saw polar brand bottles on the road and I only lost my polar. I also have a camel bak brand and that one never got loose. I think the polar bottles must be slightly narrower and can come out of the cages more easily.

I have a small pouch on my top tube, behind the stem. I break clif bars into quarters. My garmin is set for 5 mile intervals, so every time my watch buzzed, I ate a quarter of a bar. I shoot for 350 cal/hr between the bars, gatorade, and the occasional Shot Blok. I grabbed a water and a perform at each water station. I would grab the perform first and put in an empty bottle cage. I then grabbed the water and squeezed it into my aero bottle and discarded the empty before leaving the aid area. I LOVE the aero bottle. I only put water int the aero bottle, not sports drinks. That way when it inevitably splashes on me, it's only water. Also, I can take a sip and spit it on my fingers if I eat something sticky. I also grabbed some of the chomps they were handing out.

The ride was proceeding well although my pace slowed a little as the miles wore on. When I was nearing the finish, the course rolls past the runners. I was in a later wave so there were a lot of people out there running. I felt like I could push the last few miles a little harder but I didn't. I figured I would only shave a few seconds and might be setting myself up for a bad run.

I finished in 3:04 @ 18.2 MPH. My goal was 3:06 @18.0 MPH, so I was right on my pace. :-)

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, the bike split was good.
Transition 2
  • 03m 56s

As I came into T2 my family was there and yelling to me but I didn't see or hear them. :-( I got stuck behind a slow moving person as I tried to get to my bike rack. Luckily my rack was close to the Bike In so I didn't have to travel very far.
What would you do differently?:

I feel like I was efficient so I don't know where I would speed up things??
  • 2h 40m 4s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 16s  min/mile

This is where the wheels came off. As I started the first mile there was a climb out of the beach area. I had to walk it! In the first mile! Not a good sign. I then ran slowly for a few miles. Then I started running part of each mile and walking part of each mile. At one point a guy passed me going slightly faster than me. I shadowed him for 3/4 mi and then I started walking again.

It was HOT! Somewhere in the low/mid 90's. This really sapped my energy. I'm bigger than average (6'2" 195 - after slimming down) and the hils and heat get to me. There were lot's of great spectators on the run course though. Locals had their sprinklers going in the road. One guy stood there with a hose and, if you gave him the sign, he would hose you down. Loved it!

In the end I wound up walking somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the "run". Even when I was running, I was running slowly. My hopes of a 2 hr - 1/2 marathon went out the window. :-(

I should also point out that I had an achilles injury prior to the event. I couldn't run for 2 weeks. Then the week before the race I did 1 mi, 2 mi, and 3 mi runs.
What would you do differently?:

Train more in the heat.
Do a better job of hydrating.
Not have an achilles injury prior to the event. :-)
Post race
Warm down:

Saw my girlfriend just before the finish line, then my sister and the kids. I gave them all a high-five.
Got my medal, some water, and finisher pic's.
Met the family and chatted. Then headed to the lake to just lie in the water (in my kit) to cool down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat mostly.
A running injury shortly before the race.
Under hydrated. I didn't pee once during the event and for another 3 hours afterward.

Event comments:

This was my first Ironman branded event (and my 3rd tri ever) so I don't have much to compare it to. It seemed to be well run.
One pet peeve was that our goody bag was a "cinch back pack". The bag itself is fine but it is labeled with Steelhead 70.3, not Racine. I thought that was strange (uncool).

Last updated: 2012-08-28 12:00 AM
01:04:54 | 2112 yards | 03m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 160/181
Overall: 1912/2227
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex full sleeve
Course: Roughly .1 mile out, 1 mile parallel to the shore, and .1 mile back in.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:30
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:04:30 | 56 miles | 18.25 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/181
Overall: 1615/2227
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: The course was pretty rough.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 86
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:56
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:40:04 | 13.1 miles | 12m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 105/181
Overall: 0/2227
Performance: Bad
Course: 2 loops, mostly flat.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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