Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
Total Time = 6h 58m 13s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Swam with Schmize as a pre-race warmup on Saturday afternoon. Waves were pretty choppy which I was not prepared for at all! On the way out to the buoy we were aiming for I kept taking on water, hard time breathing, etc.. This was freaking me out! I was very confident with my swim but this was not good. My only hope was that the water would be much calmer in the morning.

Up at 4:15 after going to bed at about 9:30 or so. Once of the better pre-triathlon nights sleep I have had. Only woke up one time really. Ate a bowl of oatmeal, 2 pieces of toast w/peanut butter and a myoplex bar. Drank a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade on the way to the race.
Event warmup:

Got to the race OK, parked the car and walked to the site. Didn't have to park too far away which I was happy with. Setup transition, got marked, got the chip, etc.. Started walking the beach to get to the start - man that's a long walk for the point to point start! Water looked calm but I was thinking that somewhat on Saturday when I swam. It's when you get out passed the sandbar that things got choppy on Saturday. Before the race as I am walking the water seems OK although there were some rollers hitting the beach. Got to the race start and knew I had to get into the water and try it out. It was a little choppy but not as bad as yesterday and despite some waves I was able to breath above the water so gained some confidence that way. Came back to the shore and and waited for my wave which was second to last to go.

Oh, also they called my Clydesdale wave by saying those with yellow caps need to come over. I have a blue cap! I knew that chick handing out caps didn't know what she's doing! They were smart and had extras at the start so swapped that out.
  • 36m 17s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

First of all, the only data I am giving is from my HRM. Seems according to SOR HIM results, I don't exist! I don't find myself anywhere on the results page. I kept to the outside left which seemed like it would have more room and that worked fairly well. I saw a sailboat sitting a bit passed the first turn and it was stationary so I tried to sight off the boat a bit more. Halfway out the the turn I discovered the boat started heading south so that messed me up a bit. After the turn to head south I found some nice room to swim in. I think the really fast swimmers in my groupgot ahead and I got somewhere in between then. I did not want to respeat Elkhart Lake where I went too hard so I just tried to keep a very even pace. Then I started hitting other waves and really got into a few low jams. I ended up trying to get inside of them on the shore side which may have been a mistake compared to going way outside. That caused me to pick up the pace a little but nothing that made me feel real tired. I actually felt great! Usually I just want to get the swim over with but I was really enjoying the swim! I easilly could have continued to a full swimming Ironman distance. Finally got to the yellow buoy to turn in and with the waves at our back it was quite fun coming in. Got out of the water with 34 minutes on my watch but long run up the beach to T1 added time.
What would you do differently?:

Not sight off a boat! Perhaps position a bit better on the long stretch. Otherwise really pretty happy with swim. Didn't hammer too hard for the most part.
Transition 1
  • 03m 34s

I have to sit to get wetsuit off. I don't have a shirt on under wetsuit so I spend time putting shirt, sox, etc. on. Also took time to make sure sand is off feet.
What would you do differently?:

Have more of a tri suit to wear?
  • 2h 58m 48s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.79 mile/hr

Plan was to work as hard as I could during the first 5 miles to get HR down. I think when I started I was in the 160s or so. I was able to get it into the lower 150s at times which I was fairly happy with. Keeping an eye on this kept me from really hammering which I knew would ruin the day. I knew I could bike this with an avg of 19.5 but that would destroy the run so I was really just trying to finish in under 3 hours which should still set me up to probably beat my B goal.Felt really good for the first 15 miles and then I felt kind of depleated of energy. Plan was to eat a myoplex bar right at the beginning which I did. I ate half of it coming out of T1 and worked on the other half for 5 minutes. Then at 15 minutes and every 30 after I would take a gel. And also every hald hour eat another half myoplex. Myoplex bars have 300 calories and gels have 100. Also about 48 ounces of Gatorade on bike and probably 72 ounces of water. I had no salt tablets on the bike. Generally after the gels I could feel some energy boost so that was working. The whole point of eating the bars is to have enough digestion time before the run. Hmmmm!

Mentally I just kept thinking, save it for the run, save it for the run which I felt I was doing. Considering we were 3.5 hours into the race I felt pretty decent. Emotionally at times I was feeling a little spent which was weird. Withe five miles to go on the bike I actually felt like crying! I don't know quite why. I have had friends who got quite emotional at the end of marathons so not sure what was happening there.
What would you do differently?:

As we are about to see I was doing something wrong because despite being about where I wanted to be, the roof was about to cave in!
Transition 2
  • 03m 16s

Didn't rush this too much. Wanted to make sure this went OK and had everything.
What would you do differently?:

Not much
  • 3h 16m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 59s  min/mile

Yikes! I felt really retty good running out of transition and I thought boy, this is really coming together! Literally as I went about 100 yards I felt a cramp in my upper stomach. Let me say something about me and cramps. I never seem to cramp! Now granted this is the first time I did and HIM but I was pretty surprised! Tried to breath well and run through it so I ran with it. I just walked up the first hill hoping for cramp to go away but I got to the top of the hill and instantly I got cramps above my knee on the inside of my leg. This was in the same spot on both of my legs and they were bad!! I stopped and stretched them out which seemed to help so I went on running.

Well, then I ran into the biggest problem with was my stomach. I wasn't bloated it seemed but it started to get upset where it felt just too full or something but it was very uncomfortable to run - I just couldn't run! As much as I tried I felt awful - it felt like I was trying to fun after just eating a massive Thanksgiving dinner! I didn't want to stop but the way I felt, the only way to be comfortable was to walk so that's what I did. When I was running too my heart really started to not feel well which I don't know if that was a heat issue but that kind of scared me and made me want to stick to walking.

So, mile after mile I am walking. My friend John who was not in the race but has done HIMs b4 and 1 IM was on his bike keeping me some company out there which was nice. At aid stations I did take some salt tablets I think three different times during the run. I was really getting disappointed as time was going by but there was no way I was not going to finish. I will walk the whole way if I have to but I will finish even if I have to crawl. My hope was that I could walk long enough for my stomach to clear out some and then allow my to run. Even after walking for a long period of time my HR was still in the 150 range which made me wonder about dehydration. Even though I didn't want to take anything in I forced myself to at least be drinking water and I would take ice cubes and put them inside my hat.

I eventually got to the turnaround to start the second loop and knew my family would be there and I wanted to put on a good face so I started running. It was OK but not great. I rounded the turn, gave everyone a high five but my calves started cramping tremendously! So I walked. It was to the point now where when I walked downhill my groin would start to cramp. Arrrgghhh!

I kept walking and walking and walking. What was frustrating is when I ran I felt pretty good energy! If it weren't for these cramps I could probably be running OK but these cramps in my calves felt like somebody was driving a stake through the back of each of them.

Mentally and emotionally this was tough. As time was going by I thought of all the training and work to get here, this is what it has lead to. Felt like a waste but I was still going to get that finisher medal. I started to wonder if I was just being a whimp. Should I just run through the cramps and stomach issues. Is that even an option? I started running a bit more and even though my calves were screaming I just said I would try to run for a minute, maybe two and then walk the cramps away. At first I couldn't go a minute but then kept at it and after two minutes the cramps would be better but then a minute later they came back even more angy. I was able to at least have a better pace on the second loop and there was no way I was going to walk the finish so as I came out of the zoo down the hill I told myself that I would run from that point on. Seeing the people left watching the finish picked me up a bit but 200 yards from the finish I couldn't even roll my ankles so I just ran kind of stiff legged but I was still going to run. I got through and I did not want to stop at all and I especially didn't want to sit since my calves would just roll up into a ball so I walked. My dad came over and he really wanted me to hit the med tent but I just wanted to walk.

It was done! I was happy and yet I had a decent abount of disappointment. I felt bad for having my family have to wait longer for me and for me not to have such a good race but I still got the medal and yes, I am a Half Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

Well, I am looking for whatever input anybody has. Here are some theories:

1. Taking salt tablets on the bike would have helped the cramping issues.
2. Drinking more would have helped the cramping issues although I felt like I was taking in quite a bit of fluids.
3. The myoplex bars I eat are really not what I should be eating. The calorie level is high but my wife thinks they are too hard to digest being kind of a heavier type bar designed to be a protein meal instead of a snack. I have used these before but I really at three of these things in a two hour period. Frankly they are even hard to get down when bking becasue they instantly soak up a lot of saliva in my mouth so I have to wash them down. Might they have soaked up a lot of liquid in my stomach which probably delays that hydration to my system?

Finally, on the way home from the race, food to me still was disgusting! My stomach really was gurggling up on the ride on and as I got home I had a lot of quality time in the bathroom. I was really kind of sick yet for quite a few hours. My wife said over the weekend that she was having some stomach issues - is it possible that I had some sore of a flu bug or something? Seems unlikely but just trying to figure this out.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked, tried to eventually eat pretzels, watermelon - nothing was appealing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Two days later as I write this I have gone from not wanting to ever do a triathlon again to being determined to figure out what went wrong so I can have a decent race next year. Like I said earlier, 2/3 of the way through I was right where I wanted to be. I would hope that with a better plan I could have a respectable race. I have lost weight but not as much as I would have liked so if I do this race again, I will be 20 to 30 pounds lighter then I was for this race.

When I weighed myself Monday I was about 8 lbs lighter.

Event comments:

I was not happy about being given the wrong swim cap but that's probably not rally a bid deal anyway. I am not real happy about my time not showing up. I paid a decent amount of money to be here and if not for my HRM watch I would have no idea on my splits! Despite that this is a large race and I'm sure it's tough to pull off. Lots of long lines of cars at intersections being controlled to let bikers through which I appreciate. One guy looked like he got out of his car and was laying into the officer a bit. Must be frustrating but I thought they did a nice job of controlling traffic and keeping us safe.

Last updated: 2007-04-13 12:00 AM
00:36:17 | 2112 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
HR AVG 157
Course: Point to point with a few hundred yards swim out to the first turn and the majority of the swim parallel to the shore line.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:34
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:58:48 | 56 miles | 18.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
HR Avg 162
Wind: Some
Course: Flat
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
03:16:15 | 13.1 miles | 14m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %3.1%
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
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