Headfirst Performance Half-Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Taylorsville, Kentucky
United States
Headfirst Performance
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 10m
Overall Rank = 10/110
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up early and downed 2 Vanilla Ensure then went back to bed for a couple hours. T called me to wake me up at 4:30am then I got a shower, filled my water bottles then packed my stuff and put it in the car.

Walked around and talked to everyone for a while and had to so some "evacuation" 4 times. Nervous stomach and all so I took 3 Immodium AD to settle it down.
Event warmup:

Ran about 1/2 mile with Mike before the race and stretched a bit. Got my wetsuit on and then swam about 100 meters to warm my shoulders. The water was COLD!
  • 33m
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

Got in the water and had to pee right away. I felt SO much better... though I was a little grossed out that I was peeing in my wetsuit... oh well, I think it made me more buoyant!

Swim felt good. I was bumped and pulled a few times but I started to the outside and up front and was able to swim in clean water for most of the race. I felt very good about the swim, one of my best overall open water swims.

I was able to stay with the lead pack and was one of the first 10 out of the water. My friend Tammy told me that I looked "SO efficient and smooth" in the water. I kept doing the catch up drill, pull and glide, pull and glide. Breathing every 4th stroke on the right to keep track of the buoys.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, good swim overall.
Transition 1
  • 03m

I had the "strippers" pull off my wetsuit for me. It took a little time to get my land legs.
What would you do differently?:

It was a little slower than I'd have liked but I was pretty hypoxic from the swim and I think I needed that time to get my brain acclimated to being on dry land and having my body upright.
  • 2h 28m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.63 mile/hr

Bike overall went very well. The first 6 miles were pretty tough and my legs felt "dead." I knew at that point that not getting enough rest and being so stressed at work this week took a lot out of my physically.

Coming out of transition, the first 3 miles are a pretty tough climb. It was pretty rough and I built up the lactate in my legs almost immediately. Once out of the park, we had a gentle uphill for another 2 miles and I was feeling like my legs just weren't there. Didn't feel very smooth in my pedal stroke and wasn't making big circles.

I chased down 2 guys ahead of me and passed them in the first 10 miles and was spot on with my nutrition plan. Drink Infinit every 15 minutes with 8oz of water so that I was getting in approximately 40 oz of liquids every hour.

At the end of the first hour, we made a right down a country road and I told the folks I'd need water when I got back to the turn. We went downhill for about 3 miles and at the bottom, there is a really steep hill which turns to the left. I put it in granny gear and was out of my saddle. At the turn-around, the guy told me I was in 4th place.

I came back out and hit the water stop to exchange bottles. They gave me a bottle of water and as soon as I opened it and took a drink... I realized the top of the bottle was cracked. For the next 45 minutes, everytime I took a drink of water, I got a mouthful and a face full.

The last 20 miles of the course are deceiving. I'd planned on putting the hammer down in this section as there are rolling hills which I knew that with fresh legs... there were maybe 1-2 guys that could keep up with me. With dead legs... I was lucky to keep 23mph. I decided to back down and just spin to keep my legs fresh for the run.

I came flying into town on a downhill at 28mph and saw Tammy & Beth. Man was it like a breath of fresh air. They were like angels seeing them sitting on the side of the road. All that time not seeing anyone, it was nice knowing they were there.

I hit the flats and maintained 23-24 and then made the left turn to head to the hill from hell. 4-5 miles of gentle incline that seems to never end. I hit that and couldn't keep it in gear so I had to put it in the small ring and spin. Normally, I hit this hill at the end of the ride and maintain 16-17mph... today.... 12-13.

I got passed by some guy on the hill, which was ok because I just wanted to save myself for the run. I let him go and motored in to the right turn to the park. Coming into the park is rolling, mostly downhill to the transition area. It's about 3-4 miles of fun... yep, that's what I call it coming in on the bike. The run... well that's another story.

I flew into transition and had a good entrance. I was able to get on top of my shoes and get on one side of the bike. The guy at the transition line said, "Wow! Great job!"

My parents were there and when I saw them I was kinda overcome with emotion. I didn't think they'd show and they were cheering for me and I thought I might cry. My mom starting yelling to me, "Sean, good job! You look great, you're in 4th place, we're so proud of you!!!" At this point in the race, that meant so much!
What would you do differently?:

1) Not taken my bike to where I took it to get tuned up!!! The bike wouldn't stay in gear after taking it to them 2 TIMES!!!!
2) Gotten more rest the week leading up to the race and especially the night before. A 4pm massage... not a good idea. Next time, it's early.. or not at all. I needed to keep my original appt because it threw the rest of my day off and I was up too late putting all my stuff together.
3) Maybe gone a little easier and spun my legs out more the first 3-5 miles. (Thought the first 3 miles were all uphill so I'm not sure how realistic that was)
Transition 2
  • 03m

Good transition overall. It took a little more time than I'd liked but I had to put nutrition belt on and some other stuff that I hadn't really practiced. Right before I went to go out on the run, I had to pee. I went to the porta potty and pee'd for almost 3 minutes straight. Guess I nailed my bike nutrion/ hydration plan! :)
What would you do differently?:

1) Practiced transition
2) Learn to pee while I'm on the bike (or maybe wear a diaper... Mr. Stocks.... do you have any recommendations on brands?) :)
  • 2h 00m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 10s  min/mile

The run.... well lets just call this what it was..... A TRAINWRECK! My plan was to go out at 8-8:30 per mile and my goal was to hit a 1:45 mini-marathon. The first 4 miles, I was running a 7:40-8:05 pace which felt comfortable.

Once I hit the turnaround, things started going from feeling ok to starting to feel kinda bad. I started to do the run/walk at a 8:1 interval. The course is EXTREMELY hilly and the topographical maps just don't do it justice. I started to feel like I was getting very hot pretty quickly. The run course was on asphalt with no tree cover and it sunny with not a cloud in the sky.

I hit the second turn-around and saw Stacy and Tammy. Again, like ANGELS! Stacy and Tammy told me how good I looked and that I was running strong. At that point I pretty much was. One the way back to the turn-around, things went from bad to worse. My legs started feelign very heavy and I started to feel extreme exhaustion setting in. Still very hot, I couldn't cool off. I drank the rest of 1 Infinit bottle and kept running on the 8:1 interval albeit a very slow one. My run pace had dropped to close to 8:45 and my walks were becoming more frequent than every 8 minutes.

I hit the turnaround again and poured cold water on my head, took in some water and some HEED to try to cool down. At this point, my body had stopped absorbing anything and I was getting pretty bloated and starting to cramp in my left shoulder. (For some reason, this is happening in all my long races and I don't know why. Very painful!) In the Derby Mini, my shoulder started cramping and shortly after, my body began shutting down. Learning from that experience, I started walking more frequently to see if I could stop the cramping. I hit the Stacy/Tammy turnaround again and they asked if I was ok. I told them I was getting very very dizzy and Stacy gave me some more water and HEED to take.

This was it, my last lap!!! I was heading back up the hill and if I didn't think things could get worse before... they did. Nancy, my swim coach who is 4 months pregnant saw me struggling and started running with me. She yelled out, "don't let a 4 month pregnant lady beat you on the run.... At this point, my humor bone had left the building. I just smiled and kept running. Shortly after, I walked again and she ran up to me. We went through several iterations of this and she finally said, "Sean are you ok?" I told her I was getting really hot, that I was getting really dizzy, nauscious and that I was seeing little black spots. She started to get worried and asked me what I was eating/ drinking. I told her that I just drank some HEED, had some Infinit and put down 2 endurolytes. She said I was doing the right things and that my body would come around and just to give it time.

I told her it felt harder than it should. She said, it's supposed to be hard but to just keep moving forward. I finally hit the last turnaround and dumped 3 COLD glasses of water over my head and ate 2 ginger snap cookies. About3-4 minutes later, I started feeling a little bit better.

I was 2.5 miles from the finish, mostly downhill and I tried to run harder. I went to a 7:45 pace again, then walked, to a 9:40 pace, then walked, then 8:00 pace... etc etc etc. I finally hit Stacy/Tammy for the last time and ran down what felt like mountain. Knees killing me, feet jamming, hips hurting, stomach cramping, shoulder cramping and just wanting to get to the finish.

I finally hit the finish chute and crossed the line. As soon as I crossed, I bent over and thats when things went sideways. Marcus, Nancy's fiance' took off my chip and took me to a chair. He brought me over some water and some HEED to try to get me normalized again.
What would you do differently?:

1) Maintained my goal pace of 8:30 the first half
2) Dump cold water on me every water stop. (Water stops were every 3 miles so it was hot in between)
3) Eat more solid food, eat some cookies and get my sugar back in place
Post race
Warm down:

Got a lot of fluids in me and ate very salty foods to get body back to a homeostasis. Tried to stretch a bit but was in too much pain. Just sat in the shade to try to cool down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1) Not enough sleep the week of the race and the night before
2) Body was not ready for the mid-afternoon 1/2 marathon... did a poor job cooling my body
3) Mental toughness... I need to not listen to my body and how much it hurts and just put it aside. Need to stop being a mental wuss and simply suck it up!

Event comments:

Thank you to Todd & Cynthia Heady! They did a great job despite of the slight race delay due to the fog. All the volunteers were GREAT!

Thank you to Dale, Stacy and Amy at The Training Studio. This was my first HIM where I didn't go the hospital... I feel like I let you down by not resting this week which I know hindered my performance. I wanted to put up a top 5 finish on the studio wall, but overall I was pleased with my performance. If I'd not bonked on the run, I'd have been somewhere in the 4:55 range.

Thank you to Nancy and Marcus! Nancy.. you have taught me so much in my swim the past year and a half. NEVER in a million years would I have thought I'd be coming out of a HIM swim in the top 10!!! Just blows my mind. Thank you for running with me on the course and trying to help me get back my mental focus. Thank you to Marcus for taking care of me after the race!

I appreciate you all!

Last updated: 2007-05-19 12:00 AM
00:33:00 | 2112 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/110
Performance: Good
I'm guessing at my time
Suit: Aquaman sleeveless wetsuit
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:28:30 | 56 miles | 22.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 4/110
Performance: Good
Kept HR in the range of mid 140's to mid 150's.
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Extremely hilly with what someone told me was 5000 feet of elevation change???? Very tough course!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:00:00 | 13.1 miles | 09m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/110
Performance: Bad
Course: EXTREMELY hilly, all in the sun and HOT HOT HOT!
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4