Ironman 70.3 Austin - Triathlon

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Austin, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
88F / 31C
Total Time = 5h 13m 20s
Overall Rank = 179/2707
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 23/371
Pre-race routine:

This is my big race for the second half of the year. I was originally hoping for a 4:46 which would be a stretch but definitely possible. However, after straining my hip at Pinehurst, I hadn't run at all for the 3 weeks coming into this race and my hip was still sore. Based on the hip and the forecasted heat I readjusted and hoped to 1) finish and 2) go sub 5 hours.

I flew to Austin Fri evening with Alejandro, a friend from work. We thoroughly enjoyed a great breakfast on Sat morning (fried chicken on waffles with a fried egg on top... hey at this point I didn't think I would be finishing the race so I enjoyed myself). Chad and Matt, two other friends from work, came in on Sat. The three of them were doing the race as a relay. We did the pre-race expo, etc. then had a wonderful dinner at a cool place on Sat evening.

I got up at 4:15 and we were in T1 by about 6am. My rear brake was sticking and dragging but the mechanic couldn't fix it so he suggested we open the rear brake and then not use it during the race. Sure no problem. I'm sure the course doesn't have any hills or turns.
Event warmup:

Bagel and PB, a banana, and a gatorade. I didn't want to run because of my hip so my warm-up consisted of swinging my arms around a lot. I had a gel before swim start.
  • 33m 38s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

My wave started at 8:10, further behind the 7:30 start than in past races. So I was swimming through slower swimmers the entire swim. I ran full tilt into some dude (I think it was a dude.. come to think of it there were a lot of 55-59 AG females ahead of me) who was swimming ata 90 degree angle to the rest of us (and yes, I'm pretty sure it wasn't me who was going the wrong direction).

I didn't swim the straightest line because of the sun and because I had to dodge slower swimmers. I tried to push the pace but it's hard to keep it revved for 1.2 miles.

Chad started the swim for the relay team start at 7:45.
What would you do differently?:

I just have to swim more than 2X per week of I am going to get faster.
Transition 1
  • 02m 7s

Pretty clean and fast.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 36m 44s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.44 mile/hr

I felt like I had a pretty good ride given the conditions. My HR averaged 168, which was about what I was shooting for. I tried to stay on the aggressive side because I didn’t know if I would be running anyway. I actually didn’t see any drafting in this race, which is nice. I was passed by about 3 guys in my AG but two of them passed me in the last couple of miles and were only a minute or so ahead of me. I averaged 21.4MPH. While this is way below goal, this is about as fast as I could have gone. I was starting to cramp toward the end of the ride but nothing major. I did manage to stay off the rear brake the whole time! I saw Chad, Matt, and Chistina cheering on the course at mile 30 and that was a nice pick-me-up.

I passed Alejandro from the relay team at about 35. He seemed to be having a good ride but had a flat later which took him 15 minutes to fix.

I drank 2 bottles of Nuun and ate 7 gels during the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Hmmm, good question. I'm not sure I could have done anything more.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

I ran past my rack spot a few feet but it only cost me a few seconds. Other than that, I put on my shoes, grabbed my hat and belt, and ran. As it turns out, I had the fastest transition times in my entire AG (T1 and T2 combined).
What would you do differently?:

Pay a little more attention.
  • 1h 58m 57s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 05s  min/mile

In the first mile or two I was anxious to see how my hip was holding up. It was sore but wasn’t getting worse. I thought, maybe I can do this so I buckled down. I set my pace at about 7:40-7:50 trying to be conservative out of respect for the heat. I felt decent the first loop. I was running about 8:00, which was okay with me. The second loop I started slowing and about midway through I really lost all steam. The right hip was really bothering me at this point and now the old injury on the left hip started bothering me too (related to my gait from the right hip I'm guessing). The combination of the hip, the other hip, not running in almost 3 weeks, the heat, and the hills was taking its toll.

By the end of the second loop I knew I would finish but I was in survival mode. I didn’t see Chad, Christina, or Alejandro spectating on any of the loops but Matt passed me on my second lap and he looked like he was having a good run. Turns out he finished at his goal pace of 8:00.

By lap 3 I could only put one foot in front of the other. The course was really crowded by now and it was like a scene from the Walking Dead. Probably half the athletes were walkers (pun intended). At about mile 9 I just had to starting walking sections. First I just walked aid stations. Then about mile 10 I started alternating running and walking. Even during the last mile I had to walk up the last hill and through the last aid station. I was averaging 12 min pace at this point. I was cramping badly. I managed to jog around the loop into the expo center (it was an indoor finish) and across the finish line. I didn’t know it at the time but Wendy and the kids had been tracking my progress online and actually watched me finish on live stream video. Pretty cool!

Throughout the race I tried to drink sports drink about every other aid station. I also had 2 gels.
What would you do differently?:

Who knows! Given all the circumstances I'm not sure I could have done too much better.
Post race
Warm down:

After the finish I stopped by the medical tent and a nice guy taped ice packs to my calves because I was worried about cramps. I found Alejandro and Christina then sat down against a wall to recover and drink a Coke. As soon as I did my calves and quads cramped uncontrollably. It was excruciating. Christina went and got some medical folks while Alejandro tried to help. A medical guy came with a wheel chair and rolled me to the medical tent. All of my vitals were normal but my calves and quads cramped for the next 15-20 minutes. Finally, they calmed down and I got enough hydration into me that I felt comfortable leaving.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It turns out everyone suffered during this race. Even with my slow run (my slowest 70.3 run), I finished 23/370 in my AG. A 5 hour race was top 10 in my AG for the day. This is really slow. If I could have managed an 8 min run instead of the 9 min pace I actually ran I would have been right there in the top 10. Clearly, this wasn't possible with my hip issues this time but it shows that a top 10 finish would have been possible had I been healthy coming in. Maybe next time!

Event comments:

On the positive, it was well organized. On the negative, the location is sort of out in the middle of nowhere and the bike course was so bad that it was dangerous. Having said all that, I did have a really good time.

Last updated: 2014-10-27 12:00 AM
00:33:38 | 2112 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 28/371
Overall: 266/2707
Performance: Average
Suit: Wetsuit
Course: Counter clockwise triangle with typical Ironman buoy set up. Sunny.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:07
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:36:44 | 56 miles | 21.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/371
Overall: 0/2707
Performance: Good
Ave HR of 168.
Wind: Strong
Course: In short, the bike was awful. There were long sections of incredibly rough chip and seal. There were cracks and potholes. There were remote sections of road that were rough, wavy paving like they weren’t intended for real traffic. It was hard to go more than 25 on many of the down hills because I felt like I would lose control. This was all made worse because I was passing slower riders the whole ride. And they were nervous about the pavement so they road to the left and made passing treacherous. I think I yelled out on your left about 150 times. And then to make things worse, there was a stiff wind the whole way. When there were stretches of good pavement it seemed like it was always into a headwind. It was just a stressful, draining ride.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:58:57 | 13.1 miles | 09m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/371
Overall: 0/2707
HR= 173
Course: This course was much hillier than I had expected. There wasn’t much flat, it was constant longish hills. It was a little similar to Beaverdam. It was a 3 loop out and back course with few fans and poor road quality (a quarter mile of unpaved). It was also hot. The high for the day was forecasted to be 89. I don't know what it was when I was on the run.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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] 2