Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
Total Time = 6h 45m 23s
Overall Rank = 1142/1256
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 56/63
Pre-race routine:

Dave and I drove up to Racine Saturday afternoon, went to packet pickup and saw Byron (geezerjock), then met up with Kelly (kmarzano) and Guillermo (Grizdog) to go to the race site. We checked out the area and did a brief swim in the lake to see what it was like. I was relieved that it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. It wasn't even too terribly cold without the wetsuit. After that we headed back to our respective hotels to shower/change, and then all met up again at the BT dinner.
We had such a great time there and met lots of BTers. It was cool meeting people like Hangloose, Whizzz, and Coredump... I felt like I was in the midst of celebrities. :)

After dinner we went back to our hotel, and I got all my gear ready. I actually had everything packed up for the next day by 10:15 pm, and was happy because I thought I'd be able to get a good night's sleep. BUT.... I just could not sleep at all. I laid there, with my heart pounding, and cold, but sweaty until 2:30 am, then had a weird half-sleep until 4:45. It was not a good night, and I was relieved to finally get up.

Ate half of a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, and drank some sports drink. Didn't want anything else. We drove to the parking garage, caught the shuttle over to the race site, and did the usual body-marking/chip pickup/transition area set-up. Amazingly, after that night, I was so calm, and didn't need to visit the porta-potties. We were running a little late, so there wasn't much extra time to look around for BT peeps. I had to start the long walk down to the swim start.
Event warmup:

The 1 mile walk down the beach was enough warm up! But I did get in the water for a while to get used to the temperature. They called my wave to line up, and I made my way over. Found Kelly a couple minutes before the horn, and got to talk with her, which helped calm me down a little.
  • 44m 32s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 19s / 100 meters

I had been really anxious about the lake conditions for the swim before this race, but they were perfect race morning. The lake was not too cold (perfect with a wetsuit), and was mostly calm... maybe 1 ft waves at the beach and 1-2 ft swells out in the lake. I tend to get motion sickness and was worried about chop, but I felt fine the whole time. I ended up doing a mix of freestyle and breaststroke because I was worried about getting dizzy, and keeping my head upright seemed to help. Plus it was easier to sight that way. I would count about 20 pulls and then do 5 breaths breaststroke. This seemed to work pretty well for me.
I only got kicked a couple times, and not too hard. It really wasn't that much different from any other tri swim, it just seemed like it would never end! :)

When I finally got to the yellow "turn-in" bouy, I was so happy. I swam up to the beach, and got my wetsuit off in the water. That took very little time, so I was happy I decided to do that. We had to run maybe 200 M up the beach, and I'm glad I didn't have to do that in my wetsuit.
What would you do differently?:

Put BodyGlide on my neck and around the timing chip strap. I got a little chafing there.
In the future I'd like to just do freestyle, but if doing a little breaststroke keeps me from getting nauseaus, then I'll take the slower time.
Transition 1
  • 02m 39s

My T1 was pretty average... just put on socks/cycling shoes, drank some GE, put helmet & sunglasses on and headed out. I didn't rush b/c I didn't want to miss anything. I also had a long run with the bike, as I was in one of the racks farther away from the bike exit.
What would you do differently?:

I really want to learn how to jump on the bike w/ my shoes already on it. But I think for a HIM, what I did was just fine.
  • 3h 16m 35s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.09 mile/hr

Oh, the bike... it started out REALLY well: I clipped in and flew up the hill out of transition like it was nothing. I have Shawnee Mission Park to thank for that. I must have passed 10 people up that hill and felt GREAT! This was probably my favorite part of the whole race - I felt like a rockstar on my Cervelo.

So then we make the turn onto Main, and I settle into a comfortable pace. I had decided to just keep it aerobic because this was my first HIM and I wanted to make sure I could finish. So there I am cruising along at a nice pace (for me), when the aero-helmeted, carbon-bike-and-disc-wheel-riding, calf-muscle-protuding tri hotties start flying past me. And then some more people passed me. And then some more.... and some more....
And that's about how my bike went the whole time.

I have never seen so many hardcore triathletes at one race. I'm pretty used to passing my fair share of people, but I passed *maybe* 10 people the whole time. No joking. I felt like I did nothing but get passed the whole time.

And pee. That's the other thing I did the whole time. This leg of the HIM was less like a bike race, and more like "when can I sneak a pee?" time. I had to go around mile 15, but there were too many people nearby, and there were NO - ZERO - 0 portapotties on the bike course, so I had to hold it. But around mile 25 I had a nice downhill stretch, and there was no one behind me that I could see, so I let loose, so to speak. ;) I thought, there, that's done, but then 5 miles later I had to go again. And so the drama unfolded. I spent most of the bike looking behind me to make sure no one was there and peeing in shame. I ended up going FIVE FREAKIN' TIMES on the bike!!!! Seriously. It was absolutely ridiculous. I felt like a total freak. I didn't see anyone else coming back from the bushes, and didn't see much "evidence" along the road that others were doing this. How embarassing! But on the bright side, think how much time I saved by not stopping each time. :)

I'm sure I could've been faster on the bike, but I knew I had to run my first ever half marathon after that and wanted to make sure I still had something left in the tank, so I kept the pace comfortable. Still, those last few miles seemed to last forever... probably b/c I had to pee again (go figure) but was determined to wait it out.

What would you do differently?:

Apparently, I drank too much on the bike. ;)
But I didn't want to get dehydrated and I just drank what I felt like I needed. I probably had 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Sports Drink. (Also had 4 gels and 2 Endurolytes every half hour). But I guess that was either too much or I didn't push hard enough to sweat it out. ??? Lessons learned for next time.

Do I get an award for being the "Most Hydrated" SOR participant?

Transition 2
  • 04m 42s

As I came up to my transition spot, to my great surprise, I saw my boyfriend Dave running up to me and asking if all my stuff was there. I was like, "What are you doing in here?" because he was not racing. But apparently, the helicopter that was filming the lead pro hovered too low over the transition area and blew everything all over the place. So Dave, along with a few other people, including Coredump's very nice mom, helped clean up the transition area and help people find their stuff.

Luckily, all my things were still there, so I got ready for the run as usual. I did take a little extra time talking to Dave and also put some more sunscreen on my shoulders/arms, but I think that was time well-spent.

What would you do differently?:

For my first HIM, I wasn't too concerned with the time - especially since I knew I'd miss my 6 hour goal by this point, so I'm ok with the 4:42 I spent in T2. Next time I'll be faster.
  • 2h 36m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 59s  min/mile

This was my first half marathon, and at this point I just wanted to finish without getting injured. Surprisingly, the Achillies/calf that I'd been worried about the last couple weeks was fine the whole time, but by the end of the run, pretty much everything else hurt.
I like how the course is a double out-and-back, because I got to look for friendly faces. I saw my friend Glenn from KC Multisport three times, and Byron a couple times, and they definitely cheered me up. I must've been in the zone, though, becuase I saw only three other BTers: Kelly, Whizzz, and Jen (jschmidtchicago). They were all doing great! I ran the last 4 miles with a random funny guy named Jim, and we talked about how all we wanted was a large pizza, and kept each other motivated. Jen ran a couple miles with us too, before getting a nice kick in the last mile and finishing strong. I really love the camaraderie along a tri course. It's the best!

Had 1 or 2 more gels along the way + Endurolytes with water at the aid stations. Also had two 1/2 bananas. I didn't want any more InfinIT. I thought it tasted like Gatorade that's gone bad (if it even does that) for a month.

Overall I was happy, b/c I managed to run the whole half marathon, expect for walking the aid stations and one hill at the end- oh, and the 3 portapotty stops to pee. Jeesh...
What would you do differently?:

Train more... I stopped running two weeks before this race because I was afraid I'd hurt my Achillies. I still think that was the right decision. Better slow than not at all.
Post race
Warm down:

Just walked around - met up with BTers and got some food.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I originally wanted to finish this race in under 6:00. And I think I could have done it, but it would not have been very fun. I seemed to have avoided the BT SOR HIM curse, and managed to keep a consistent (albeit slow) pace throughout the bike and run portions. Overall I am very pleased with my performance. I might have been BOP, but I finished with a HUGE smile on my face, and the best part is, I am SO pumped to start training again. This race - and the many awesome BTers I met - reinforced just how much I enjoy triathlon and the tri lifestyle. Great job to everyone out there - I had a blast with you all!

Event comments:

This was a great race. The course is excellent and there is a lot of support along both bike and run portions. The only incident really was the whole helicopter snafu, but that is not the RD's fault.
The fact that the place is crawling with BTers doesn't hurt either. I had such a fun time. I'd love to come back again next year.

Last updated: 2007-01-10 12:00 AM
00:44:32 | 1931 meters | 02m 19s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/63
Overall: 0/1256
Performance: Average
Suit: ProMotion BodyGlide sleeveless
Course: Clockwise: 0.1 mile out, 1 mile parallel to the beach, 0.1 mile back in, Or something close to that. Plus a long run up the beach to the T-area.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:39
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:16:35 | 56 miles | 17.09 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/63
Overall: 0/1256
Performance: Average
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 04:42
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:36:56 | 13.1 miles | 11m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/63
Overall: 0/1256
Course: Double out-and-back through nice Racine neighborhoods. The "zoo" you run through is more like a bird cage and one sleeping bear.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 5