Ironman 70.3 Racine - Triathlon

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
61F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 03m 59s
Overall Rank = 243/2594
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 34/333
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:30. Breakfast was a bowl of cereal, banana, iced coffee and granola bar for breakfast. In retrospect I wish I would have eaten a little more. Stayed with a friend who lived 15 miles from the course, got pretty decent parking right along the run on the bluff close to the swim start. This was the earliest I've ever gotten to transition, so I was in no rush. I didn't even have my tri-suit on yet. It was about a 5-minute walk to transition, and I calmly got everything set up. As always, I started over-thinking and imagining I was forgetting something. Shoes, socks, hat, towel, bib, helmet, sunglasses - nope, it was all good! Saw a few friends on the way out, then walked back up to where we parked. The girls were sleeping in the back and I took my time getting into my racing kit and wetsuit since my wave didn't start until 7:54.
Event warmup:

Ate some ShotBlocks before heading down to the swim start. I usually don't get in the water beforehand but I wanted to get an idea of how cold it was. Not very. Swam maybe 100 yards out and back, if that. Did shoulder shrugs and arm swings to get ready. Meant to have a gel before I started but forgot.
  • 34m 17s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

I set up in what is becoming my new normal - at the front, off to the left. Stood in about 2 feet of water, weird kind of beach/run/wade start. When the horn went off, some guys high-stepped but I just got down and started swimming. A few guys shot to the front and I tried to draft off them until at least the first buoy. There were around 6 or 8 of us in that front group, and we bunched in a bit at the first turn, but not as bad as I thought. I got an elbow to the goggles coming out of the turn, but they stayed on and minimal water got in. About two buoys later we started catching the waves in front of us. The wave start at this race sent all the women out first, then the men in descending age groups. I was wave 15, so there were a lot of people in front. It was the most crowded I've ever encountered in any race so far (this is my 12th). I ended up boxed in at one point, got frustrated and thought "screw this" so kicked it up a notch to get out of it. From then on, it wasn't about drafting so much as avoiding those in front. I know for certain someone was drafting off me, I kept feeling their hand until we got close to the last turn buoy. I saw a few other pink caps from my swim wave nearby and new I was still close to the pace-setters, maybe 6 or 7 back. For some strange reason the current got rough on the final length coming back into the beach - weird.
What would you do differently?:

I think navigating the traffic slowed me down. I had to keep breaking form to look up and sight, not for buoys but for people. Next time at this distance I'll go out a little faster and try to hang with the lead group longer.
Transition 1
  • 04m 4s

The swim exit is no joke. There's nice soft sand, which makes for sloppy running. And there's a LOT of it. I thought I was never going to get to my bike. My Garmin has the distance from the beach to the bike exit at .37 miles. I was hobbling on my right ankle since my plantar fasciitis doesn't like cold water, apparently.
At least they had wetsuit strippers! This was my first experience with them, and I wasn't sure how it worked but thought I'd give it a try. I saw two people, and they told me to get my suit down below my waist and to sit down in front of them. They yanked it off in one fail swoop, and someone picked me up from behind. Sweet! Now to find my bike. I turned down the correct aisle, but had a brain fart and ran right past it. Didn't lose much time, maybe 30 seconds? Still made me feel like a moron since I've never done that before. Once I found it, I stepped on my towel, slipped socks and shoes on, glasses and helmet and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Do a better job remembering how far down my bike is - maybe practice running down the aisle and counting how many steps.
  • 2h 36m 48s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.43 mile/hr

I had been told this was a fast course, but I do so many hills in my training I wasn't sure how this relatively flat one would shake out for me. In my mind, I was thinking 2:45 would be a good pace, similar to what I did in Boulder.
There's a steep hill immediately after you mount, but I was in a low gear so that wasn't an issue. Once I got up the hill and out on the main road, I noticed my cadence sensor wasn't working. Dammit - that's how I train and make sure I don't blow up for the run. Well, at least I had my HR monitor, right? Umm, no. It said my BPM was 101 at the top of the hill. HAH! I wish! So I had no accurate way to monitor my effort - this ride was going to be done totally by feel.
My first 5 mile split came in under 15 min - hey, not bad! I must've had a small tailwind or something. Good start, but probably won't keep that up. Lo and behold, they kept coming. Unfortunately, my Garmin again refused to cooperate and it's 5 mile splits kept falling farther behind those on the course. I knew at Mile 30 I was doing well based on time and had a chance to PR the bike for sure. A very different kind of ride for me.
It was just as crowded on the bike as it was on the swim. Dang, I was passing a lot of people. And not getting passed much at all! However, there was one particular douchebag who yelled "STAY TO THE RIGHT!" as he came up right behind me. Apparently in this asshole's view, I wasn't entitled to pass on the left like everyone else. HE needed all the room he could have (of which there was plenty). I wanted so badly to kick it up a few notches and catch up to him, give him a piece of my mind about course etiquette or at least get his bib #. But, no bother - let him be and just stick to my plan.
Nutrition was a Blueberry Bonk Breaker at 15 and 45 min, then Powerbar Gels every 30 min after. Emptied primary and secondary water. I thought about grabbing some Perform at the last aid station but didn't. I probably should have to get some electrolytes back in before the run.
I came back into town knowing Garmin was way off, but based on time alone I had to be close to 21mph average. Ended up at 21.4, crushing my PR from Boulder. I got on top of my shoes as soon as I saw the final left turn back towards transition. That hill is so steep I was on the brakes all the way down to the dismount line. Swung one leg over but it wasn't a real 'flying' dismount. More like a 'hovering' dismount!
What would you do differently?:

Make sure cadence meter is working properly in the morning. Felt good most of the way - wish I could somehow find out how I did cadence-wise, but I'm not complaining about the result, especially when it results in a PR!
Transition 2
  • 01m 42s

Much better coming in, but my T2s usually are. No issues to report. I stopped to get sunblock put on by the volunteers, but that wasn't very long at all. Love those volunteers!
What would you do differently?:

Could have saved a few seconds, but not a ton.
  • 1h 47m 8s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

Coming out of T2 I knew I had a chance to go sub-5 based on the bike, I just needed a strong 13.1. Not a record-breaker, but right around a 7:50 pace. I came out too fast and dialed it back in and got it around 7:50 for the first 3 miles. The next 3 came in around 8:00 each. OK, this was good since my plan was to stay around 8 for the first loop, then kick it up going out on 6-10 and then empty the tank afterwards.
Unfortunately this didn't happen. For starters, I had to pee - not urgently, but enough that it was a distraction. I didn't want to lose a ton of time, and told myself I would only do it on the second loop when a rest would help, and only if there was a porta-potty not being used. I found it at the final turn around mile 10. Also walked that station and took in a banana and some coke, after alternating water and Perform at all previous stations. My quads were hurting a bit as well - hmm, maybe I did too much on the bike after all.
I wanted to finish strong so badly. I tried kicking it up around mile 11, but that didn't last long. At that point I knew sub-5 was out of reach, so instead of blowing up I put it on cruise control and just wanted to finish without another walk. I had fun coming down the final hill, getting people to cheer for an older guy wearing a Grover tri-top. Coming into the chute I was smiling and high-fiving everyone along the way who had their hand out. You have to love that feeling of crossing the line.
What would you do differently?:

I was really disappointed in this run, but have to keep reminding myself I don't know how hard I was pushing the bike. On the other hand, this is the second race in a row where I've had a much slower second loop run than the first. Might be burning out too early. Need to re-assess and get it figured out by next year. I definitely want a sub-5.
Post race
Warm down:

I found my family and friends right away. I was pretty winded, and I think that means I didn't have enough nutrition on the run. I must - MUST - get better at that. My right leg was acting up also, so went to medial and got some ice wrapped on my calf and quad. Saw some other friends finish, then went to get some food.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The Fourth Discipline - NUTRITION. I've got to get this figured out. I know I'm capable of better runs and want to see some negative splits. I'll talk this over with my coach and see what we can do training-wise to make that happen.
Having a cadence meter would have helped some, but to what degree I'm not sure. The weird this about this race for me is the bike is usually my weakness, but today it was the only leg that I had a PR in. Go figure.

Event comments:

Overall, very nice race and I'll likely do it again. Awesome AWESOME volunteers - thank you for all you do! I liked this race a lot. Didn't LOVE it, but really liked it. The bike course is SO damn bumpy, but it is also fast. The exit from the swim to T1 is a little ridiculous, but that can't really be helped. I'm not a fan of two-loop courses for runs, but it is nice to see your support crew more than once and there is some shade. I was very surprised that they didn't bring over more items from the Civic Center to be sold post-race. WTC giving up an opportunity to sell more M-Dot merchandise?!? That's a first! At least I saved a solid $30 to $50 by them not doing so.

Last updated: 2013-11-10 12:00 AM
00:34:17 | 2112 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 30/333
Overall: 293/2594
Performance: Average
Suit: Full
Course: Point to point, straight out from beach 300m, right turn, straight for 1 mile, another right turn to finish
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:04
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:36:48 | 56 miles | 21.43 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/333
Overall: 256/2594
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: City/country roads which were either nice and smooth or rough as hell.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:47:08 | 13.1 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 35/333
Overall: 245/2594
Performance: Average
Course: Two loop out-and-back, partially shaded. Good support.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4