Ironman 70.3 Kansas - Triathlon

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 4h 26m 35s
Overall Rank = 39/1317
Age Group = M18-24
Age Group Rank = 6/47
Pre-race routine:

This was my big race for the year. I planned everything around this race, even using early races as builds up to the race. When my injury struck a little over a month ago and I realized how severe it was panic hit pretty hard. How was I going to race my main race? Would I be able to do the time I wanted? With every passing week I would get a glimpse of hope that something new might fix the problem. A few days after these glimpses I would come to the realization that it wasn't going to work.
My training took a big toll because of this. My motivation was dwindling quickly and I was able to talk myself out of some of my workouts that I had been consistent with all through the year. It was tough to know that I had trained spot on for six months and with a month to go I was falling apart. I tried to keep my swimming up and cycling but with the amount of rain Iowa was having the weeks before the race it was tough to get outside.
On Monday of race week out I still had no success I started to think, "Maybe I'm supposed to be injured. Maybe there's a reason I'm not able to recover for this race. Maybe the main aspect of this race isn't for me to go as fast as I can but instead to do something else." I went to bed that night and told myself that I would have the answer in the morning. I woke up with the idea of encouragement; using my race to encourage others, whether that be in their race or in any aspect of their life from watching me fight through. With this new plan I headed to Kansas.
The last few races I've tried to be more relaxed and enjoy all of the events leading up to the race instead of focusing on just the race. My mom's best friend, Karla, and her daughter, Kylie, were meeting us and I figured it would be a great time to catch up with them. I did a pretty simple swim but didn't do too much due to the chop of the water and my training. I hopped on my bike and biked a portion of the course to feel some hills and also some flats. My bike felt great and I was excited to take it to the course. We also got my an IT Band Brace that I would use to hopefully alleviate the pain during the run for as long as possible.
Event warmup:

Race morning didn't feel like a race morning. I got up and was eating but didn't feel to rushed until we opened the door and saw the other races. After packing the car we headed to the race. Parking was about a mile from the run transition and another mile from the bike transition. I put my stuff in T2 and decided to scrap my race nutrition for the run. Instead I would be using the race course nutrition. I walked down to T1 and got set-up. I took myself to a secluded parking lot to warm-up and focus on the race. With about an hour to go I decided that I was going to try to shoot for my race goal I set before my injury: 4:20:00.
  • 29m 45s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

We were allowed into the water with three minutes before out wave. It was a nice temperature so I didn't even notice. What I did notice was the chops in the water. We were getting about 1 foot swells hitting us waiting to start. I had cut my swim shake out the day before short because I didn't want to swim in swells and not I was going to have to for 1.2 miles?! I got to the outside and the gun went off. The first part was pretty smooth
sailing until I tried to get into the drafting mix. I got kicked once and the swells were pushing me into a guy so much I was worried he was going to start throwing punches. The first 200m of the swim I kept getting hit in the face with the waves and had trouble getting comfortable. After a little pep talk I found my stroke and started passing the women's wave ahead of us. The swim overall went pretty smooth as I consistently worked passed the waves ahead of me but never saw anybody catch me. I figured the two waves behind me would have some fast swimmers but I never saw any.
What would you do differently?:

Body Glide on neck. Wetsuit was rubbing. Not skip the shake out due to bad conditions since they can obviously happen in the race.
Transition 1
  • 01m 46s

Getting out of the water was a struggle as I couldn't get my footing. I got to my spot and made a smooth transition but paused while I put on my helmet to gain my composure. With not racing this distance in almost two years I had to make sure I didn't go all out like I'm used to. I grabbed my bike and hustled through transition and made a beautiful flying mount while everybody else struggled to get on their bikes. Quickly my shoes went on flawlessly and I was ready to crush the bike.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 22m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.60 mile/hr

My game plan had changed a few days before the race: I was going to push hard on the bike and struggle on the run. I knew if I tried to push my fastest pace on the run my IT band would blow within a few miles so forcing my legs to work on the bike would cause me to not be able to run as fast as I would have liked. This strategy was new to me and I was excited to just try to hit the bike hard instead of planning for the run.
Working through the park I thought about the bike course. I knew the first part was going to be tough with hills and headwind taking us out but it would be fun on the way back. I was yo-yoing with a few other guys so I tried to get a game plan with them. Passing each one I suggested we form a pace group like the pros do sharing the lead taking pulls to help with our pacing. I think they thought I was suggesting forming a pelaton which is illegal and none of them came with me as I pushed out of the park. I got a good tempo going but worried about going too hard.
I remembered my plan on encouragement so I did my best to cheer people on. As I rode by people I would tell them good job or offer advice to shift to a smaller gear up hills to save for the run. I came to the first feed station and was excited to grab a bottle. Unfortunately I didn't think it through and grab a Gatorade bottle instead so I tossed it. Next, I grabbed the bottle of water I needed but I hadn't tossed my water bottle yet! I then had to just dump the water on myself and toss it as I worked up the hill.
As we turned straight into the headwind I was still playing with one other guy. I told him we should work together to pace through the group and he liked the idea. He took the first pull and when we hit a hill I moved on up. As we made our way to the top he rode past mentioning that I really knew how to climb hills. This put a positive attitude in me because it was something I have really worked to make a strength of mine, climbing hills. The two of us worked great for a good five miles take turns leading and setting a good pace. I kept my eye out for a official and always made sure to keep out of the draft zone. As we turned onto the last road I lost sight of him and just pushed towards the turn.
Tailwind! I really started tearing up the road. Cruising at about 28 mph was not an
uncommon thing at this point. I made my way back and was doing great and suddenly my riding buddy was back! We got back to team working as we headed into the second feed station. Trying to grab bottles of water at 25 mph means they bounce off your hands really easily and I was luckily able to grab the third one from the last possible volunteer by the cap. Adrenaline kicked in and I shot up the next hill heading into the last of the headwind. My buddy came past me and my legs were toast; he shot up the hill and was gone for the day.
With about 15 miles to go the road suddenly got clear of cyclists. I was in no man’s land and my legs were aching. I never had wanted to get off my bike more in my life but I knew the run was going to be just as challenging. I fought for the last part of the bike to keep pushing and moving on up.
What would you do differently?:

Ride through the rain the few weeks before. I hadn't ridden 50+ miles for over a month and I think there was a mental block due to that. Right about at the 2 hour mark I could feel the lack of training hit.
Transition 2
  • 01m 24s

Heading into transition my legs were tired and almost caused me to crash on my dismount but I landed it. I put on my IT band brace and began the scariest part of the race.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 30m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 55s  min/mile

Positive attitude was going to get me through the run. I knew it wasn't going to go well if it started hurting so I needed to keep my head on and just keep moving. Smiling was a common thing for me on the course as Karla and Kylie were heckling me when they saw me. At one point Karla was sitting on the ground saying, "We have lunch reservations at noon can you hurry up yet?" as she was stuffing her face with tortilla chips. I was excited to drink some coca-cola on the course for the first time since Worlds so I popped that every other mile.
My IT band wasn't acting up! I kept a steady pace as my feet were on fire and my quads were aching from the bike. The run course had a lot of spectators and it made for a great time. I made my way through the first lap and realized I hadn't run this far in a LONG time. My legs were toast and I had to run another lap?!
The sun was coming out and I was getting hot. My first half-ironman I learned to hold ice in your hands to keep you cool but it wasn't keeping my head cool. I was dumping more water on me than I was drinking and trying everything I could to cool down. Ice was going into my suit and I also tried putting it in my mouth and running with my mouth open. This doesn't work. With about two miles left I started going delirious. It took everything within me to keep my head up and it wasn't until I came around the last corner and saw a little girl with a sign, "All of this for a glass of chocolate milk?" that I was able to pull myself back together and finish it up with a smile.
I was so happy to be done.
What would you do differently?:

Not be injured. Being outdoors before hand to know how to handle the heat.
Post race
Warm down:

Walking through the finish chute I was calling out for an ice bath and everybody seemed confused. Finally I made my way to the medical tent and got into one and got my blisters bandaged up. Finally, I was able to cool off but my IT band finally acted up in a fury!
My mom told me my results: 6th in my age group and 39th overall! I was really worried I would have to walk the run so this was exciting. My goal for the swim was around 30 minutes and I did it in 29:46! All of the hours I put in really paid off! My bike goal was to go about 2:25:00 and I went 2:22:42 completely crushing my time. My run ended up being
faster than my previous run at 1:30:58, an incredible time for going hard on the bike and running injured. For not having a lot of training in the last month and not being out in the heat much I did a really excellent job of coming in at 4:26:35 just shy of my goal time I set way back in September.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

IT Band injury and lack of training leading up to last few races.

Event comments:

Never done an Ironman branded race before. They did a really good job. I just wish I would have actually got some food but I was too lost mentally to eat at that point.

Last updated: 2013-03-18 12:00 AM
00:29:45 | 2112 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 11/47
Overall: 117/1317
Performance: Good
Course: Rectangular out and back.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:22:42 | 56 miles | 23.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/47
Overall: 27/1317
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: T- shaped out and back with rolling hills throughout. Beautiful course!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:24
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:30:58 | 13.1 miles | 06m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/47
Overall: 66/1317
Performance: Good
Course: Two laps of a three out and back system. Very flat but exposed with one hill that wasn't tough but due to heat and distance it made it difficult.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4