Redman Half Distance Triathlon - Triathlon

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
RedMan Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 51m 39s
Overall Rank = 20/543
Age Group = M4044
Age Group Rank = 5/67
Pre-race routine:

Pre-race goals and fitness: Some of my riding buddies added Redman to their schedule about 7 weeks before the race, I was hesitant due to conflicted racing and training in that time, I had back-to-back-to-back races ending with HyVee which left 2 weekends before the 3 race block and then 2 more weekends before Redman, not ideal by any means but I'd been getting in long Saturday rides, my real fear was I had been on the edge of shattering my glass legs all summer. Worse yet was the registration cutoff was the day BEFORE HyVee, couldn't assess my condition a day or two after the race before registering. I had a successful race at Redman 2 years ago and didn't want to spoil that memory by going back unprepared but my swimming was consistent, my biking fitness was about 10% higher than 2 years ago, and I was running well in races despite inconsistent training (and my previous Redman run was, let's say, very improvable) so I relented and signed up. My intentions were to match my previous swim time, take advantage of that better bike fitness and match or slightly improve my ride at lower effort, then diligently run 7:30's for the first half and see how things feel. Expectations were for a 5-15 minute improvement, assuming no significant adversity.

Traveled down to Oklahoma City Friday morning with Brent, Pete, & Ken. Had a footlong Subway Sweet Onion & Chicken sub on the way down a bit before noon, it tore me up (might have been the jalapenos), same as before HyVee but those darn things are so good it was worth it, apologies to my travelling companions.

We arrived on site about 1pm, check-in scheduled to open at 3pm due to some overnight storm damage at the race site but figured we'd stop by to get the lay of the land and get in a short bike ride. They were ready with the briefings and packet pickup before 2 pm so we did that then took a short ride to make sure the bikes all worked before checking into transition.

Headed to the hotel to unload and unwind for a bit, then dinner at Applebee's. Had the Cowboy Burger (I'm in Oklahoma after all) and a tall glass of Warsteiner's Octoberfest. Grabbed some local blizzard like ice-cream product on the way back to the hotel.

Set out my clothes for the morning, called the family, watched some TV, and fell asleep by about 9.

Up at 4:40, out of the hotel at 5:20.

Note: late afternoon I noticed my right calf was quite sore/tired, changed shoes for dinner beach cruisers to running shoes and it helped, also gave the calf some love with the stick.
Event warmup:

At the hotel: Banana, apple, Cliff bar, bunch of water
Pre-race: Banana, Tropical Hammer Gel 15 min pre-race, bunch of water

Long walk from parking to the race, jogged maybe half mile, swung arms around a few times.

Chatted with a bunch of folks while we waited for our heat.
  • 36m 30s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

A solid swim, I hadn't decided where to start, on the inside line or from the outside, until we got in the water. The inside line would have been preferable due to the pack being on my right for sighting benefits but I was worried about crowding as left of the sighting buoys appeared off-limits per the race director's briefing. Getting into the water I could tell that the outside line to the first turn buoy would be great so I picked a spot about half way out from shore to the first buoy lined up and was getting ready to go. I then turned and noticed that there were still what appeared to be hundreds of athletes pouring out of the staging corral into the water and I was dang near center mass of what would become the full wave. I slid a bit closer to shore and figured that most of the guys coming into the water this late were not the pointy end of the swimming spear so I should be able to hold my own with them and that's pretty much how it played.

Gun went off and I started with a strong and deliberate stroke, as if I was doing 300 repeats, to get out in front of the group around me, took my line just across the first peninsula a couple hundred meters out and caught a couple handfuls of bottom as I cruised across that shallow water. About that time my shoulders started burning with fatigue (wetsuit) and I slowed to a nice smooth stroke. Gradually drifted toward the buoys line and started getting into traffic (both earlier heat and my heat) a couple buoys before the first turn. That first leg seemed to take forever, mostly a reflection of my lack of swim volume the last couple years. On the return leg there was a lot more traffic, me and another guy ran into each other more than a few times as we went along before finally separating in the last quarter. The second half seemed to go faster than the first, totally mental, I'm sure, and finally made the last turn. The volunteers helping us out of the water were superb, one pulled my zipper and wetsuit off my shoulders while walking me out of the water and I was across the timing mat.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, finished 2 seconds ahead of Ken which means I swam well.

Note, this swim was 3 minutes slower than I did 2 years ago, I haven't changed speed since then, field tests and races have been steady, Ken's GPS showed 1.35 miles, about 10% long or 3 minutes long. I'm calling the swim long by 200 meters, not that it matters in the context of a race except I had an arbitrary round number as a stretch goal for the whole race and as we'll see on the run, it was going to be close.
Transition 1
  • 01m 5s

2 AG / 31 OA

I skipped the strippers, feel I'm faster without getting down and back up, plus the cramping risk that goes along with it.
What would you do differently?:

There was some wasted movement both in getting off my wetsuit and deciding where to put it. Had a calf twinge as I pulled my left leg out of the suit. Nothing really to change though, methodical and smooth.
  • 2h 33m 35s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.88 mile/hr

Had to dodge a few stationary people/bikes near the mount line, got on, feet on top of shoes, up to speed, swapped Garmin over to Bike mode, feet in shoes, glanced at Garmin and no Power Meter, quick check bike mode, timer running, checked that it was bike 1, nothing, looked around, no other bikes near me so no chance of interference, and it sync'ed both yesterday and pre-race in transition, scrolled to settings, checked that power meter was enabled, told it to search for one, still nothing, tried a couple more times, then said, f-the Garmin we're going au-naturale. Note: upon returning home stupid azz Garmin syched up just fine with Felt's PM and Blue's PM, the thing has been nothing but trouble the past year, too many hard resets and soft resets needed, heart rate monitor never sync'ed up either, wish there was a better option.

So riding by RPE, no HR or power, after the dam the course was very crowded with bikes and lots of vehicle traffic around too, many cones to dodge at each intersection, crazy. This is where the group started to form, I passed a couple guys then got up to another I wasn't sure if I should pass yet, someone came around me and over the next few miles I began to recognize the 8-10 bikes and riders that were circulating back and forth in a loose group. I've gotta say I was impressed that the vast majority of riders were strongly intent on keeping it clean and hassle free, holding 10+ meters and passing only when appropriate, coasting or easing up when it wasn't. Perhaps 12 miles in I was comfortably cruising in the back half of this loose pack when the first marshal comes cruising up and quickly keyed on a couple of riders who we're not maintaining legal distance, I saw the stop watch in hand as they rode by me and up a few places then sat on his shoulder and waited 15s before writing down the number. I rode very conservatively out to the turn around, told myself several times that there was ample opportunity to lose this race early in the ride, every second I gave up would come back once we started running, if not on the second half of the bike, but trying to win anything right now was a recipe for disaster. I was near the back of the 10-12 bikes I'd been mixed up with near the turn around, and slowly passed many of them as we headed back east until it was me and 2 others when we turned south, surprised how quickly most of those guys fell off after the turn around, that was me 2 years ago. On the western most southerly section one guy slowed to pee so I passed nice and wide, the rough rode and hills ehading south wore me down and both guys passed me back about where we turned east towards the lake, also around this time we got dropped by a 6'6" dude on a retro titanium looking bike with clip-ons, he was flat hauling the mail. I was jacking around with trying to pee as I headed back to the lake, didn't really have to go but figured I'd be uncomfortable once I started running, didn't happen though but my remaining 2 pacemakers got a long ways ahead so I put my head back down and held a good effort into across the dam, passed one of them and hit the dismount line a couple seconds behind the other.

Nutrition: 5 hammer gels from flask, 1 bottle of gatoraide/perpetuem/fizz/RedBull mix, 5 bottles of water, call it 800 calories and 128 oz of liquid. My first attempt at grabbing a bottle occurred on the downhill aid station, I was probably going 25 mph, I grabbed bottle and it launched like someone hit it with a softball bat, FAIL. Luckily I started long before I ran out of what I was carrying. Next 2 attempts were successful as they occurred at slower points on the course.
What would you do differently?:

Not have power meter / Garmin fail to link up, even after I checked them pre-race. Fortunately, I have always paid attention to my RPE first and used power and HR to confirm feelings so I was well aware of how I'd feel at my target power early in the ride and later in the ride, also aware of my favorite pitfalls of climbing at 300+ watts and chasing rabbits so held those in check pretty well. So my plan going in was 210 Watts evenly paced, I went out easy and definitely felt it coming back, Brent rode 202 W and 1 minute slower, we normally line up quite close power-wise when we ride together, so that'd indicate 206 Watts. 2 years ago I rode 209W and 2:43 slower, but I recall it being less windy and the roads were rougher. Either way, plenty close to target, erring on the correct side.

Though I might be faster, 22+ mph was on my wish list but I can in at 21.9 mph, my FTP was up at least 10% relative to 2 years ago early in the season but that was the Dirty Kanza prep, I suspect that FTP on race day was closer to 5% up from 2 years ago.
Transition 2
  • 01m 16s

4 AG / 60 OA

Dismounted well, actually passed mr bike pee'er after the line and commented that I needed to learn that talent, he mentioned that he could pee while running too, has he no shame?

I was moving well, nothing cramped or felt too bad, considering I just rode a solid PR bike leg.

Grabbed a full gel flask, number belt, shoes and socks, and a small bottle of sunscreen and I was off.

Slightly off topic but week before race was crazy around the house, wood floors were getting refinished so kitchen and laundry was off limits for a week, ate out 5 nights in a row and the only clean running socks I had left had holes in the bottom, what could possibly go wrong?
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 39m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 35s  min/mile

Slathered on sunscreen on the way out of transition on my face, neck, and arms. Didn't get it rubbed in before the first official photo station so that should look real nice.

Chatted with Mr. bike & run pee'er as we exited transition and both tried to slow to a more reasonable pace, I saw moments of 6:30 or better before managing to get the pace dialed in and went through the first mile at 7:20, close but not real good.

I felt great for the first few miles except for every muscle in my legs: calves were so tight that my feet went numb, lots of hot spots on my feet from sweat, dumping water, & bad socks. I was focused on following the plan, 7:30's through the first half then I can re-evaluate and speed up if there's energy. Shortly after the 3.5 mile turn around I saw Brent, then Pete, Ken, & Ivan. Pete was only 100m behind Brent and I told him, make them both work harder. By the half way point my easy 7:30's had gotten a little harder and I decided to hold pace until mile 10 and then re-evaluate. High-fived Pete, then Brent, Ken, & Ivan after the half way turnaround. By mile 10 my 7:30's had dropped to 7:45ish and I was into the mode of just banking miles, working hard to stay under 8:00/mile until mile 12 and 13, both at 8:07. I was pretty delirious the last 3 miles. I lost 2 minutes in the last 4 miles from my planned 7:30 pace, which pushed me over 4:49:49 finishing time.

Nutrition: most aid stations took a splash of gatoraid chased by water. Stopped the gatoraid for awhile mid-race as stomach showed signs of getting agitated. Didn't touch my gel flask.

Despite the perfect weather that hit 75F by the finish, the run course was still hot.

What would you do differently?:

Give myself a B+ on the run execution, I held back reasonably well the first half and toughed out the last 4 miles, ran from 27th to 20 overall, don't think anyone passed me on the run except for a dude in the relay about mile 4, but there is room for improvement in execution. I'll get a lower grade in run preparedness. Overall about 6 and a half minute improvement over 2 years ago, on much, much fewer running miles.

Lack of training volume finally caught up to me at the end of the run. I won't do this distance again unless I properly prepare with a good base of long runs and a buildup that includes overdistance ride bricks.
Post race
Warm down:

Spent the first minute or so trying not to pass out, then sat down and drank a couple chocolate milks and a coke, gathered up an arm load of food and drink, went to the bleachers to cheer on my buddies as they crossed the line. Everybody was running strong today, maybe not PRs all around, but solid performances given where we each were.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training for the distance, I was focused on sprints leading up to the HyVee Olympic all summer. The weather today was an enabler, definitely worth several minutes.

Event comments:

Excellently run race, extremely well supported. Many thanks to the volunteers and organizers, well done.

Last updated: 2013-08-10 12:00 AM
00:36:30 | 2112 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/67
Overall: 62/543
Performance: Good
Suit: Fit2Race Sockeye
Course: CCW Rectangular: long leg along shore to dam, out maybe 50m out, then back. I swam from outside near shore (right side of pack), just clipping a small point to the first turn buoy to avoid traffic.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:05
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:33:35 | 56 miles | 21.88 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/67
Overall: 31/543
Performance: Good
Course: rough roads, smooth roads, normal roads, big potholes (but well marked & easy to avoid), rolling terrain but flatter than KC.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:16
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:39:15 | 13.1 miles | 07m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/67
Overall: 35/543
Performance: Good
1: 7:20 2: 7:28 3: 7:36 4: 7:25 5: 7:28 6: 7:28 7: 7:29 8: 7:40 9: 7:37 10: 7:46 11: 7:58 12:8:07 13: 8:07 13:
Course: 2 X (out and back with lollipop turn around), totally flat, no shade, lots of aid stations and spectator support.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]