Ironman Racine 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 44m 16s
Overall Rank = 739/2594
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 608/1782
Pre-race routine:

I did this race a couple of years back so I had some experience with some of the preliminary details. If you are new to the race please READ the athlete guide! One of my friends last year didn't realize you needed to check in your bike the day before and had to drive all the way back to Chicago to get it. Anyway, I arrived at the Racine Civic Center and found parking relatively easy. I made sure my bike was locked up (since you need to pick up your packet first and then do bike check-in) and walked about 5 minutes to registration. Much to my chagrin I saw a somewhat lengthy line....argh. Now I did get here almost 1 1/2 to 2 hours later than when I did in 2012 where it only took me about 15 minutes to register; by the time I got out of here it was almost 45 minutes. Purchased a mug (my last Racine one broke once I got home...that stunk) and a DeterMination T-shirt. I wasn't too happy with the normal race shirts being sold since it says "finisher" on it and I don't typically buy those before a race. And the long sleeve was sort of funky with a design on the sleeves. The free shirt you get as part of registration was perfect - actually I really liked the fit of it when I got back home.

When I walked back to my car I was absolutely awestruck with how long the registration line grew. It was probably double the length from where I started so I would imagine it took close to 1:30 hours for the last people to get in. Lesson: Get there early folks!!!! Got to my car, set up my bike, put on my bike helmet (which I saw a lot of people WITHOUT helmets riding to the no no...and in some races they could disqualify you), and rode to the transition. Oh, you need to have your bike sticker one BEFORE you go to transition so be sure that you've thought of a spot before you go. Check-in was smooth.....very easy.

The rest of the day was just relaxing - watching TV and reading. I finished my short bike/run brick early in the morning before I left my house. After taking inventory of my race day clothes I realized I forgot socks......went to the local Big Lots and got some cheap ones. No big deal....just glad I found out early enough before the stores closed.

Ate a protein bar once I got to the hotel (Super 8) and then for dinner I went to......Dennys! Yup....I' love me some breakfast food so I had some pecan pancakes with bananas, couple of sausages, and a couple of bacon strips. OJ too. Not for everybody, but this stuff works for me. Heck, I ate meatloaf the night before I did my IM WI last fall.

Watched some TV, surfed the internet, then set the alarm for 4:00am with a target of being at transition by 4:30. I wanted a decent parking spot.........
Event warmup:

Woke up early (nerves of course), went to Dunkin and got me a breakfast sandwich, pretzel twist, and coffee. Arrived at the site and there were more people than I thought would be there, but I found a nice spot. Chilled for a bit, ate and drank G2 then walked to transition for set up.

While in transition I talked with some people around me. We shared some stories about races and what we would like to do in the near future. One person actually recognized me from 2 years ago (and he did look familiar!)....small world. I do remember borrowing his bike pump. I was relatively calm and ready to race. Made sure my bike was in a low gear (due to the short hill coming out of transition), put on body glide, checked my hydration/nutrition on the bike, and was was ready to walk the mile to the swim start. I don't have any disposable sandals so I just walked barefoot.

I don't particularly like to warm up a lot, but will get in the water beforehand just to get a feel for the temperature. I waded around a bit and talked to some people in my age group. Very calming effect and it was good to share more stories. Time to go go go! 7:54 swim wave start.
  • 42m 4s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters

Right in the middle of the pack on my swim. Pretty much what I thought I would do. I'm basically an average swimmer and I'm ok with that. Sure, I do intervals to pick up some speed during training, but for the most part I understand that the swim is something I would have to really spend time working on to improve split times.

The things I work on: staying calm (check!), breathing calm (check!), keeping a good cadence (check!), and sighting (just ok). I did manage to swim by some people so I wasn't totally alone and it allowed me to not sight as much. This is good since it gets me into a rhythm faster.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Just work to get a bit faster in training.
Transition 1
  • 04m 26s

A somewhat longish run back to transition from the beach. There was a nice, small pool to rinse off the sand off your feet. I did not use the wetsuit strippers and just took it off myself once I got to my bike - not a big deal. Did the trick of holding on to my goggles/cap while pulling my arm through the sleeve and just letting go of them in the middle of the sleeve so they were secure.

Put on glasses, helmet, shoes, checked timing chip, and was off. Jogged with my bike to the mount area. Since I was in a low gear on my bike I flew up the hill.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Transition time was about right - perhaps I could shave a minute? I suppose I could work on getting my wetsuit off just a tad bit faster.
  • 2h 53m 53s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.32 mile/hr

I actually felt great starting on the bike and thought I might be pushing it. About halfway through I was still feeling good so I decided to keep it up (focused on RPE). My nutrition strategy was to take a few Clif blok chomps/Gatorade chomps and a drink every 5 miles. This seems to work well with me and I had enough energy throughout the whole course. The bike aid stations were a bit far spaced apart, but once I got there I simply slowed down grabbed a water bottle, squirted it over my head/body, took a swig, and threw it into the trash. I made sure I was aware of my surroundings since this is where accidents could happen.

With about 10 miles to go I only took a couple of chomps since I wanted to make sure I did not have any GI issues transitioning to the run. I also increased my cadence to stretch out my legs/calves a bit.

I went through a water bottle and a half which may have been a little light. I probably should have drank a little more.
What would you do differently?:

Drink a little more on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 7s

Slowed down when I got to the dismount area (hill!) and jogged my bike to the rack. Quickly took off my helmet, put on shoes, nutrition belt, race number belt, took a drink and was off.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I was calm leaving the transition area and felt prepared for what was ahead of me.
  • 2h 01m 46s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 18s  min/mile

This is the part of the race which killed me back in 2012 so I had a strategy in play: stay within yourself the first mile or so, take small steps going up the hills, take salt pills every 4 miles and chomps at least every two, and try to maintain a split per mile time of around 9 minutes. I do calf stretches a lot so that was key (more on that in a bit). Weather was nice; a bit hot, but not crazy hot and humidity was low.

Started the run course and felt good....not too fast. When I got to the lighthouse I was still going well and made sure I was hydrated and had energy. The aid stations were adequately spaced out and had more than enough water, Perform, chomps....and most importantly.....cold sponges! I love those things. Squirted them all over my head/body when I got a couple each time.

Finished first loop and was going strong. I started to notice passing by people that passed by me earlier which gave me a bit of a boost. Around mile 8 is where it started to fall apart for me last time so that was in the back of my mind (mostly calf cramps). So when I reached and passed mile 9 and no cramps my confidence picked up. No stops on the run with the exception of a couple of quick aid station walks.

Course cheering sections were great. Nice sprinklers out there to keep cool. With our names on our bibs it was nice hearing your name. I finished strong and heard my name when I crossed the finish line......sweet!
What would you do differently?:

Could I have pushed myself a bit more???? Perhaps, but I was concerned about cramping and since I did NOT cramp I knew I was doing everything that I wanted to do.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank a few water bottles and ate some food that was at the site (chocolate milk tasted great!). I had ice bags wrapped over my quads and that felt awesome. I stretched on the grass and talked to people around me. Took a pic with the professional photographer. The day ended off very well.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I beat my time from 2 years ago by over 3 minutes so I'm not complaining. Progress......

Event comments:

Well organized race with good resources. Nice finish line support.

Last updated: 2014-07-22 12:00 AM
00:42:04 | 1931 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 814/1782
Overall: 1099/2594
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction
Course: Point to Point swim. No crazy turns or doglegs.
Start type: Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:53:53 | 56 miles | 19.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 721/1782
Overall: 866/2594
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: The course is a flat one with some rollers. No long or steep hills. Basically, this a great course to hit it hard if you want to.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:07
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:01:46 | 13.1 miles | 09m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 608/1782
Overall: 746/2594
Performance: Good
Course: Flat course. Great aid stations and cheering sections.
Keeping cool Good 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4