South Carolina Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Greenwood, South Carolina
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 6h 01m 55s
Overall Rank = 224/380
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 17/21
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:45 had a banana and PB wheat bagel. Arrived at race site at 5:50 and it was already crowded. I was first on the rack and had plenty of time to set things up. I had time to take the bike for quick spin to check the gears.

I prefer to not be rushed in the morning. I would rather have the anxiety to deal with than feel rushed. Hung around talking with friends
Event warmup:

Plenty of time to warmup. Nerves are always an issue. I left transition around 7 to go stretch and knock out a few sprints. I thought about getting in the water to warm up.
  • 39m 15s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

This was my first wave start plus my first race in a wetsuit. Never before had I swam 1.2 miles continuously...1.5K with a current was my best. I was a bit nervous. The wave worked itself out within a few minutes sparing me too much torture

I found a good rhythm. I tried bilateral three stroke breathing for the first 6 minutes before switching to left side, two stroke breathing. It seemed to work really well for me. The sun was on our right until the last stretch so it was never an issue.

Navigation was good for the distance. I tried to keep someone on my left the entire time and then stop every 8-9 minutes to double check positioning. I felt good on the swim...not particularly strong but I caught some people in the wave ahead and had plenty in my wave behind me. It was definitely a PR for me.
What would you do differently?:

Spend more time in the pool. I am very pleased with the swim.
Transition 1
  • 01m 40s

I wasn't going to rush transitions in this race (what is an extra minute in a 6 hour race?). T1 was much quicker than anticipated. I got the top half of my suit off easily. Had a little...not much trouble getting the suit off the heels. Then I didn't really know what to do with it.

I was fortunate that my rack was the third from the end and I was the first bike on the rack, so there was no issue locating or taking off.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...more practice will help
  • 2h 55m 47s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.11 mile/hr

I got on the bike and realized that I didn't stretch out my hip flexors and they were sore from the swim. The first 10 miles were fast. I tried to slow up quite a bit but it was the easiest part of the course.

I was very humbled by the amount of people passing me on the bike...though most of the bikes cost 3x more than mine. On the back end of the course there were strong headwinds that were a pain to deal with.

Road surfaces were not good. It was difficult to find a good rhythm on the course. IMO, the course was not difficult. Most of it was rolling hills...nothing too major downhills. I caught most people on the climbs.

Water drops at 15, 30, 45. I rode with water in my aero and cytomax in the cage. I passed the first station without taking anything. I picked up gatorade at the second and water at the third. I drank nearly every bit of it...seemed to work perfect.

Nutrition plan seemed to be right on target. I took a gel immediately on the bike. Took some e-caps at 30 min. 1/3 powerbar at 60, 90, 120. I lost some of the pills I was to take at 150 but popped a gel at 160.

The only problem I had was having to pee on the bike (first time for me). I felt it during the swim but thought it was the suit squeezing the bladder. I tried to go in the suit...tried on the I just held it.

I first felt fatigue at mile 35 then at 40 again. A small downhill or brief conversation with another racer seemed to be the perfect pick me up
What would you do differently?:

More time on the bike. I think I might have gone out too hard on the bike...but I felt good, heartrate and breathing were always very comfortable.
Transition 2
  • 01m 59s

I hit the dismount line, got off the bike...took a deep breath and knew i was tired. Again, i was in no hurry to get through T2 so I casually strolled to my rack and took care of business.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing at this point
  • 2h 23m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 56s  min/mile

This is where the race went downhill for me. I was on pace to break 6 hours (my goal). I hit the port-a-john at mile one and came out with a smile on my face and an empty bladder made me feel 10 pounds lighter.

I took it easy for the first two miles. I hit the two mile mark at 4 hours flat (and had the leaders pass me flying). I told myself 2 hours for 10 miles...simple...12 minute miles! I can do this.

I hit nearly every aid station alternating water and cytomax. I popped some e-caps around mile 3.5 and it worked out my cramps. I ran the first four miles with a woman who was using the speed up then walk method (annoying!!!) but we kept encouraging each other.

I kept a steady pace on the first lap. The toughest part was a stretch of about 1.5 miles that was in the hot sun with no coverage that also had the only hill. At mile four I had to remove my shoes to loosen them up due to feet swelling. At mile four I took an orange and I think this is where some of the problems occurred...because I was HUNGRY!

At mile 5 I found my neighbor from the hotel, who ironically was from Covington. We ran together for about 3 miles at a quicker pace. I made sure to stop off at my cheering section to show some love.

I hit mile 8 still feeling good. With 5 miles to go and the steady pace we were holding, I seriously thought I would finish the race at 5:50. I think the 3rd route through the sun drained me.

At mile 10 I hit the wall. I literally began to breakdown. I double over shaking a bit. This was the first time all race that I had to question myself. I took some coke (which tasted like gold to me) and tried to run. NOTHING. I chose to walk for about 5 minutes to gather myself. I looked at my watch and had 32 minutes to finish 3 miles to make sub 6.

I finally mustered the energy to get moving...but it was slow. I found another guy to run with so we chatted. The final stretch through the sun was brutal. I was hungry, thirsty, dehydrated and hot. I carry a full 20 oz bottle. I didn't know if I should drink it, pour it on me or just dispose of it.

I made it to the 11 mile mark with the goal of sub 6 now questionable. I tried to pick it up but there was little left in the tank. Mile 12 was the worst. I needed to run a 9:30 to make sub 6. Nothing worst than knowing that you are going to just miss your goal.

I tried briefly to pick it up, but having little success, I didn't think it was worth I just strolled to the finish line. Other than that final hill I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.

What would you do differently?:

Hmm...actually run 13 miles in training? My nagging injury caused me to cancel a number of long runs this month. I do find it ironic that my training threshold was consistently 10 miles...and that is where I hit the wall.

I wish I had a better nutrition/hydration plan for the run. I didn't spend much time thinking about it. Clearly the heat through in an unexpected element into the equation.
Post race
Warm down:

Sigh of exhaustion. I grabbed the first cold drink I came across which was a coke. I found friends, family and some shade. Food wasn't available outside a cookie and biscuit leftover from breakfast.

I did bring a bottle of champagne for afterwards. We all took a swigs of it and I went back for seconds and thirds. Then I sought out some endurox. I wasn't really thirsty or hungry afterwards. I knew I needed to eat and drink but I wanted to let my stomach settle after everything I had put in it.

On the way home we stopped and had a big seemed to hit the spot.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well this was my first not too much. The heat was definitely a factor. I knew going it was going to be rough and that I was undertrained on the run. But it was a good way to finish my first season. Can't wait to kick off next season with another HIM.

Event comments:

A few complaints. The layout inside the park was really tough. You had runners coming and going, fighting with bikers coming in and traffic. This created a real cluster f*ck at times and I would be surprised if no one was injured. Race organizers should revisit the layout.

Additionally, there was no food after the race for athletes. Where did it go? It took the sponsor (McAllisters) over an hour to get more sandwiches. That is really poor planning. To make matters worse, there was no food for the crowd to purchase...only cokes (no water, either). Given the temperature and length of race, this was tough on the crowd.

From the athletes perspective, I enjoyed the race. Aid stations and volunteers were well placed. I would like to see a bit more police presence on the bike as I encountered a few rude drivers (including one guy who came up behind each biker and honked). I would like to see more post race activities. This could turn into a huge, premier race with a little more effort from the organizers.

Last updated: 2006-07-27 12:00 AM
00:39:15 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/21
Overall: 211/380
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca evo
Course: Rectangular counter clockwise
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:40
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:55:47 | 56 miles | 19.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 13/21
Overall: 165/380
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Long clockwise route through rural south carolina
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:59
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:23:18 | 13.1 miles | 10m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/21
Overall: 280/380
Performance: Below average
Course: Two loop out and back
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
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: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 3