South Carolina Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Greenwood, South Carolina
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 37m 48s
Overall Rank = 151/380
Age Group = Female 25 - 29
Age Group Rank = 6/15
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:45. Got dressed and got everything together. Grabbed a bagel and cream cheese and a banana and peanut butter from the breakfast area of the hotel and hit the road around 5:15. I was totally lost where the park was and I actually passed by it on the way. Finally made it, parked and picked up my package. Ran into my friends Jimmy and Vicki in the parking lot and we all headed over to the transition area in the dark together. I'm guessing we got in there around 6:00. I set up my area and ate half of the bagel with cream cheese around 6:45. Walked over to the swim start while eating a little bit of the banana with peanut butter, struggled to get my suit on, watched Jimmy pee in his wetsuit OUT of the water (which was the most disgusting thing ever), met up with Leslie (1111) and we were ready to start our wave at 7:42.
Event warmup:

Nothing besides the walk over from transition to the swim start. I guess that once I got in the water to wait for the swim start, that I did a couple of laps, but nothing that really warmed me up.
  • 32m 21s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

Once the swim wave started, I just started going. I'm glad that swimming is the first events in triathlons because it really helps me calm down and focus on the race. I kept up fairly well with all the ladies in the front of my wave. We caught the guys wave in front of us around buoy 2 and a little congestion occured. I *accidently* ran up on this guy's back and he retaliated by elbowing me directly in the right goggle. Yeah, that didn't feel pleasant.

For the first 750, I had a hard time controlling my breathing. I don't know if it was the wetsuit or just the fact that I was nervous about the race, but I finally had to start a mantra of counting my strokes. For some reason, it always seems to calm me down. After the first 750 meters, I started to really warm up and get into a groove. The swim course was absolutely perfect. At no point were you glaring into the sun to sight. So much nicer than some of the other race swim courses. As we hit the end of the swim, the boat ramp that was the swim exit was slightly congested. Also, it was slippery that i had anticipated. The organziation did have a guy standing down there to help people up if needed though. I ran up the ramp and went up the very short hill trying to get the string to get my wetsuit down.
What would you do differently?:

I like to get warmups in before races, so I probably would have tried to have more time to get in the water beforehand. Also, I have the worst time getting my wetsuit off. If I ever get a chance to practice in it, then I need to be sure to practice stripping it as well.
Transition 1
  • 02m 1s

I finally got the top half of my wetsuit off before but once I got to my rack, I struggled with the bottom half. I was sitting there and just had to tell myself to calm down and take it slow. After that, everything with T1 seemed to go fine.
What would you do differently?:

Eh - not really much I could do. I'll probably always wear my wetsuit for legal Half-Ironmans. I just need to get better about getting it off my ankles.
  • 3h 03m 58s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.26 mile/hr

So I get out of transition and I get ready to hop on my bike and I notice that my chain is off. Terrific. So I get off and take about a minute to get the chain back on. I finally get it fixed and head out on the bike. About 1 mile into it, we turn out of the park on a fairly sharp turn and there is a cyclist down in the ditch who had just crashed. It's just so scary to see that happen and it made me realize that even though I was doing a race, that my safety is most important and to take it easy on the turns. The first 10 miles of the bike went really fast. It was incredibly flat the first 5 miles, but you started hitting hills with mile 5 and after. Nothing too drastic, but you did have to push up some of them. Plus, with my chain having been off before I started the bike, I was worried about shifting down into my little ring up front, so I pedaled the entire race in the big ring and just adjusted my back gears. I don't know if that was the smartest choice, but I did not want to have my chain off again.

At mile 20ish, we turned onto another road and a headwind started kicking up. It wasn't too strong, but it did make it a little more difficult to push forward. At mile 40, we turned onto this extremely bumpy unpaved road - my aerobottle was bouncing around so much that I had water ALL over me. As what typically happens around mile 46, I was just ready for the bike to be over. The last 10 miles turned out to be fairly easy. They had the park roads blocked off from thru-traffic, but there was a line of cars that didn't get that memo and so a few of us had to manueveur our way between the cars and the barricade.

My nutrition on the bike was a gel at mile 10, 30 and 52. I also consumed a bottle of heed (I had 2 on the bike) and about 3 aerobottles of water. I had a quarter of a peanut butter and honey sandwich at mile 25 and mile 45 (I just like to have some substance in my stomach other than liquid and gel). I never crashed or boinked on the ride. My legs got tired, but I think that was due to more undertraining than nutrition issues.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. These past 2 months after Steelhead have been hit or miss with my training. I haven't done my hill repeats like I should have and I'd just started getting long bikes back in the last 3 weeks.

Oh, and I'd make sure that I didn't have bike issues before the race started. I don't know when the chain came off, but that's something that I should have looked at.
Transition 2
  • 00m 51s

Bike on rack. Bike shoes off - running shoes on. Helmet off - visor on. Gels in pocket. I waved to the group of spectators that our group had out there and got my picture made. I also almost stopped to pick up and unopened strawberry-banana power gel (my FAVORITE) that someone had dropped right at the transition exit, but thought about it and decided that it might be considered gross. I don't know why my mind determined that was gross, but I didn't pick it up.

What would you do differently?:

I don't know. I like this time. Maybe I would have picked up the gel. That flavor would have made me really happy halfway through the course.
  • 1h 58m 39s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 04s  min/mile

Ugh. I absolutely did not want to run! I especially didn't want to run 2 loops which take us right by where we were going to finish. But I exited transition and I started running. I ran about 2 miles and was out on the highway in the sun and hit the first hill of the course. And I decided that it was time for a walk break. Well, it was also time that Leslie was coming back in from her bike and she passed me the other way and yelled at me "Go Becca! Go catch Jimmy!". So I looked up and I saw Jimmy just about 200 yards in front of me also walking. Now that encouraged me! I walked my minute and then started a run pace again. I caught Jimmy at the next water stop, said hi and kept on going. I was not enjoying running so much and so I told myself that I could do 10 minutes run and then a minute walk. If I did 10 minutes and felt like I could go longer, then I went on and walked at the time I needed to. The key was that I had to run at least 10 minutes. This seemed to be working okay. I enjoyed the breaks that the walking gave me and since I usually took the breaks going uphill, it allowed my heartrate to come down some. For my first loop, I alternated water and cytomax at the water stops. About 3 miles in, I started getting an extra cup of water to pour on my head or my face. The left side of my face was feeling so hot and i knew that I was either getting sunburned or dehydrated.

As I headed out on my second loop, I took a gel and started running. The only nice part of having those 2 loops were that you got to see everyone you knew mutiple times. As I saw Joe (Homeraway) when I was exiting the park for the highway, I yelled 'This Sucks!'. I don't know if he agreed or not, but for some reason I was just so angry that I would do anything to get the race over with. I don't even know what I was angry at. The heat, maybe? I was having a terrific time and actually enjoying myself, but I just wanted that run to be over with. At the first waterstop outside the park, they were asking what we wanted and someone mentioned coke. I've never had coke at any of my other Halfs, but I took one here and it was the most delicious thing I'd ever tasted. It was so cool and bubbly and sweet. I started getting a small cup at every waterstop tent along with a cup of water. No more poorly mixed cytomax for me. Coke was my new fuel. At mile 10 in the shade of the state park, I had just passed Jimmy coming on way and he had yelled out "Steamy". About 3 minutes later, I'm running along and I hear someone else yell "Go Steamy!" I turn around to see who it was since I have no idea who else would call me that. It was Andrew (ADollar79)! I had never even met him in person, but I guess that I look enough like my online avatar for him to pick me out. It was so cool to have someone you don't even know yelling for you. Thanks Drew!

I continued the run/walk work through the 2nd loop, but I might have dropped the 10 minutes of running down to 8 minutes. And I might have allowed myself to walk up any hill that I wanted to walk up. But I made it back. And once I exited the blazing hot highway and entered the blissful shade of the park, I kept running. I passed the group of friends spectating and made the final turn towards the lake. I thought that I was going to have to walk up the final steep-a$$ hill they had us finishing on, but I told myself that i wouldn't have a finish pic of me walking and so I kept on moving.
What would you do differently?:

More bricks, for sure. Also, I need to get my run training back on schedule before the Halfs next year. However, I did the same run time that I did at both of my other Halfs this year and so I can't complain too much.

And I'd wear sunscreen. Because it was hot and sunny and I got quite a bit of sun.
Post race
Warm down:

Got chip cut off and grabbed as much water and gatorade as my hands could carry. I completely missed the water mist tent that I LOVE and so I just walked through the building to hang out with people I knew and watch other friends finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Missed training. And I wasn't at a peak. My coach and I focused on having me at a peak for Steelhead 8 weeks ago and we knew that if I signed up for SC, then I most likely wouldn't PR since it would be hard to build me back up for it.

Event comments:

This was a great race put on by a terrific organization. It was the smallest Half that I did this year, but they seemed to have everything that the big races have (even pretzels, bananas, coke, etc at EVERY water station).

The course is moderately difficult with the hills on the bike and run, but nothing that triathletes can't experience on any other course.

Overall, I'm glad that I did this last Half to end (almost) my 2006 tri season. Even if I wasn't the happiest that I could have been out on the run, I still really enjoyed racing it. It was great to do it with a good group of friends and spectators. The race will hopefully make it onto my schedule in some future season.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-09-01 12:00 AM
00:32:21 | 2112 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/15
Overall: 54/380
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Predator Full Sleeve Wetsuit
Course: Point-to-point swim - 3 parts of a square. 750 out to the first turn, about 750 to the second and then the last 500 into the boat ramp.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:01
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
03:03:58 | 56 miles | 18.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/15
Overall: 227/380
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind
Course: One loop course throughout the SC countryside. Fairly hilly and mostly desolate.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:51
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:58:39 | 13.1 miles | 09m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/15
Overall: 156/380
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loops of 6.5ish miles. 1.5 in the park which was shaded, 2 out in the sun on the highway and 3 back in another part of the park wihch was shaded.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
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