Ironman 70.3 Kansas - Triathlon

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 43m 35s
Overall Rank = 526/1317
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 93/193
Pre-race routine:

As a point of reference, you should know this is my first Half Iromnan and only 4th tri overall. So yeah, there'll be some mistakes made.

We stayed on the campgrounds (which were great - will do it again) and we don't have a camper - we were tenting it, so not a lot of amenities. Thunderstorms rolling through between 11pm and 2am didn't help with sleep much. But who sleeps well the night before a race anyway, right? Woke up at 4:30, cool but not cold out. Had some coffee, cereal, banana and granola bar. The usual. Went and dropped off my shoes and bib at T2 (split transitions at this event) then took my wetsuit and bike gear down to T1. Bike was checked in the day before.
Event warmup:

I had a Gatorade pre-race fuel pack like I always have done 15 minutes before start. I got into my wetsuit easily enough for a change, and did some arm stretching but not much else. Looked out at the buoys and for once, wasn't intimidated. I was as ready as I'd ever be.
  • 34m 22s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards

I put in a lot of time in the off-season into my swim. I knew after two sprints and one Olympic distance last year that the swim was my weakness. I selected a swim-oriented training plan, plus took an 8-week distance swim class at my gym.

It was a moderately choppy day (not as bad as years past, from what I was told) but still breezy with some waves. I started near the back because, well, c'mon - this is a half Ironman - I'm not going to be in the same class as these guys. The horn went off, and the first 200 meters was kinda tough... because I was PASSING people! This was a new experience for me - I was always the one getting swam over previously. Now I had to work on navigating traffic - that was one thing I wasn't expecting.

After the first 200, I found some space and just started settling in. Glad I learned how to bilateral breathe, since the choppiness forced me to change frequently. Sighting was much better. My only problem was sometimes I'd run into someone so hard I had to stop. Only stopped about 4 times total (got kicked in the head and goggles dislodges, that was the worst) and that cost me possibly a minute to stop and restart, maybe more - who knows? All I know is that when I got out of the water and looked at my watch and saw 34 minutes, I was blown away. I had been hoping for around 40! So to no one's surprise, training really really REALLY does pay off.
What would you do differently?:

Start more towards the middle-front. No longer stop whenever I run against or into someone (hell, they don't stop for me).
Transition 1
  • 03m 26s

Still need work with the wetsuit. My T2s are great, but T1 needs more practice and focus. I watched some training videos and got some great ideas and suggestions, but two problems: 1) I didn't practice them beforehand, and 2) I forgot them anyway since I was just focused on getting to my bike.

However, this was my first time leaving T1 with shoes already clipped in, and that went smoothly. Struggled getting socks on and damn hemlet straps got tangled again.
What would you do differently?:

Practice, practice, practice beforehand. Getting out of the wetsuit and getting socks on are the two biggest items that kill my time.
  • 3h 02m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.46 mile/hr

I wasn't looking forward to this. And I don't mind the bike - it's just been a very dificult spring to train outdoors. I've had my Defy 2 for less than 2 months, and because of the cold, wet spring we've had, my longet ride was only for 46 miles. And I didn't even do a brick that day. I've done 3 hours on the trainer, but it's obviously just not the same.

So as expected, I struggled. I wasn't terrible, but man - I got passed a ton. I was OK on the hills, but might have burned off too much energy. I didn't get anything at the aid stations since I had packed plenty of GUs and had plenty of water. I drank every 15 minutes or less, and had nutrition every 45.

Something that has also bugged me previously on long rides is back pain. Usally it doesn't start making itself known until around mile 30, but today I felt it at mile 10. Not a good sign. Eventually the distance, lack of hill training, and back pain ultimately did me in. I had hoped to finish close to 2:50, but came in at 3:02. I knew deep down that the 3 hour mark was where I should have been anyway. I can't quite average above 20mph yet over that distance.
What would you do differently?:

Train better for one, and secondly, I've got to invest in a tri bike. I've done all the reading and I know (and knew beforehand) that tri bikes are better for long-distance rides plus help your legs and you're stronger off at the start of the run. Might look into trading up this week.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

Should've, would've, could've. Usually my T2s are great, and this could have been except for a few things that I wasn't ready for. 1) Thanks to the previous night's rain, the area was nice and wet and slightly muddy. Oh joy - wasn't expecting that coming in with only socks on. Had I known that, I would've left the bike shoes on. 2) I know it's a race everyone, but why is it I always get stuck next to a d-bag that can't rack a bike correctly? Every freakin time!
What would you do differently?:

Remembe that rain makes the ground wet and leave my shoes on coming in.
  • 2h 01m 28s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 14s  min/mile

This was supposed to be my strength. I knew I could deal with a 3 hour ride as long as I got to the run feeling fine. I had run a 20k the weekend prior and did a PR, so this was the one part I was looking forward to. I came out of T2 feeling fine. I found a pace, and headed off. First mile clocked in at 8:35, exactly my first mile for the 20k.

It all went downhill from there. Miles 2 through 5 I was still doing OK, but man - I don' t know if it was the heat, the lack of nutrition, or my effort on the bike that did me in (maybe a combination of all three) but I was losing my strength. Usually I'm really good on hills and can go in and out of strides when I need to. It was a struggle striding up the big hill the first time, and I think I only pulled off three more stride sessions the rest of the run. I've never struggled so much with a run before, not even going back to high school cross-country tryouts. I had nothing left. I was staying hydrated plenty, and every time I'd dump that water over my head it gave me a little boost. But the leg strength just wasn't there. I promised myself that I would not walk - I had tokeep running. I had a tiny bit left for a small burst at the finish. My worst-case scenario coming in was having a 2-hour run. Came in 88 seconds past.
What would you do differently?:

More bricks, get nutrition, work some leg strength work into training.
Post race
Warm down:

This was the worst I've ever felt after any tri. I think not eating on the run lead to me feeling out of it. My wife and daughter were both there, and my wife new I wasn't quite right. Usually I'm huge smiles and big hugs, but I was feeling so exhausted. I got my finishers cap, medal, pic taken, and at the water station I grabbed two - one to dump on me and the other to drink. Then it was time to find chocolate milk. I knew I needed something in me - I was breathing oddly, making a high-pitched whine when exhaling. I was scaring myself a bit. We found the chocolate milk, sat down in the food tent, and I put my head down and had a minor meltdown. I just started sobbing. I have no idea why. I wasn't in pain or anything, but I was completely exhausted in every way possible. My wife and daughter started brining me food, and after I had some chips and sandwiches, I felt normal. I would have actually enjoyed an ice bath (I had never had one before but I was willing to try one on this day) but there were none to be found.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't want to make excuses, but a wet and cold spring kept me indoors a lot. I need to do more bricks, I need to work on nurtrition during the run, and I need a tri-specific bike. I also need to start pushing myself harder on my bike training.

Event comments:

Hard for me to accurately rate this race. First HIM so don't have any others to compare against. Compared to other tris, they do a very good job. But the split transition I'm not crazy about. The volunteers were awesome, every single one of them. I was expecting more vendors in the village, but that didn't impact the event or weekend at all. Very good race - I'll be back next year because I made so many new friends and even got reconnected with an old one! Amy and Troy totally made the weekend even more memorable than it already was.

Last updated: 2013-01-31 12:00 AM
00:34:22 | 2112 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 51/193
Overall: 337/1317
Performance: Good
Suit: Full, QR
Course: Modified rectangle. Buoys on left, two left-hand turns.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:26
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
03:02:45 | 56 miles | 18.46 mile/hr
Age Group: 99/193
Overall: 575/1317
Performance: Below average
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Out-and-back. Very hilly. Two sharp turnarounds.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:37
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:01:28 | 13.1 miles | 09m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 93/193
Overall: 526/1317
Performance: Bad
Course: Two loop course, some shade, two uphills/downhills.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4