EnduraSport Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Pomona, New York
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 32m 9s
Overall Rank = 16/110
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 2/17
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to my friends' house in Westchester on Friday afternoon/evening. Weather and traffic sucked so it took me an extra hour-and-a-half to get up there. But the rain was supposed to end overnight, so I was OK spending more time on the roads while driving.

Woke around 5:30 and had my pre-race breakfast (2 Ensure Plus, a Clif bar and coffee). Sipped on about 20oz of Gatorade on the drive to Harriman. Roads were dry now, but an accident shut down the only way I knew to get to Harriman. Decided to turn around and go by 'feel'. After taking a route that was way too long, managed to get to the course a little after 8am (9am start). Enough time to get myself ready, but certainly more hurried than I had been expecting.

Good news was that the skies were clear even if it was a bit cool.
Event warmup:

Swam for a couple minutes in the water. Just enough to get comfortable putting my face in and to realize that 6 degrees (difference between water temp this year and last) is a lot!
  • 39m 45s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

Ran from the beach into the water and managed to avoid too much contact around the first bouy near shore. I had wanted to push the first few hundred meters, but my breathing felt 'off' early-on. I guessed it was the cold water. So I just decided to settle into my pace early and try to get onto some feet. Didn't really find any until the next turn (2nd leg of the triangle course). But it was good that I did then, as the wind blowing across the lake was making for a lot of chop. The draft helped mitigate that to some extent.

As we rounded the next bouy the sun was glaring right into our face which made sighting difficult. The race was already fairly spread out by now and got even moreso as groups took different lines back to shore. I managed to stay onto some feet and let them do the sighting. This worked until I got swam over by 2 faster swimmers from the wave behind us and lost my draft in the tussle.

I wasn't feeling great on this swim, but things seemed OK. When I glanced at my watch at the turn and saw 18:xx, I knew this was going to be a long one. (Last year I saw 14:xx at this stage).

The second lap I was unable to draft as much. And the chop seemed to be a whole lot worse on that second leg. But the worst part wasa that while I was coming in and tried to kick, my legs felt like they were tightening up. I think it was the cold again.

As I tried to stand near shore, both my hamstrings began to lock up and I nearly face-planted back into the water. Managed to get myself to shore and gently jogged what is perhaps 200-400m back to transition (and where the timing mats for the swim are). But I was really having a hard time getting my limbs to do what my brain wanted them to do (including trying to peel the wetsuit down to my waist which seemed to take much of this run).
What would you do differently?:

A neoprene cap might be a worthwhile investment if I do this race again. The colder water seemed to have a much greater impact than I expected.

No way to compare with last year as the swim was clearly short then, and clearly long this year.
Transition 1
  • 05m 14s

The numbness in my limbs had me really disoriented. I was trying to step on my wetsuit and pull my legs out, but I could never tell where my feet were. Finally, I gave up and sat down.

It took me a long time to get the wetsuit off, then get socks on. Even the l/s jersey seemed harder to get on and zip up than last year. I decided to put on leg warmers since last year was so cold (would have been better without this time) and stuffed gloves into my pocket (never came close to needing them). Finally, I threw my gel flasks into the jersey, slipped on my sunglasses and got my helmet on and buckled.
What would you do differently?:

Other than take about 3 minutes less to do all this stuff? Well, no leg warmers or gloves for a start.

Most of this was the residual impact of the cold swim for me. Wonder if the neoprene cap would have helped my body hold its heat better and made this more smooth and orderly.
  • 3h 08m 11s
  • 57 miles
  • 18.17 mile/hr

Overall, this ride was fairly uneventful. I tried to watch my watts and pay attention to how I felt. I checked my HR only a couple times, just to make sure it wasn't way out-of-line with those other 2 observations (it wasn't).

My goal was simply to ride as steady as possible on this course. This still requires a lot of variability beacuse there isn't much 'flat' about Harriman--lots of coasting and long climbs above my overall targeted watts. But the benefits of a 4 loop course is that it's easy to get used to riding it. And since I had done this race last year, my memory was jogged pretty quickly during lap 1. So I knew where it paid to push a little more--e.g., carry some extra power and speed on some short downhills into and over short climbs--and where I should ease back (lots of coasting and high speeds down Tiorati).

The wind was blowing harder than last year, but was only really a factor for a few miles on the course (mostly for the few miles right from the start of the loop after transition) since much of it sits protected in the woods. During those times, though, you could really feel it pushing strongly against you from both the front and side. Required attention to handling with my 808/disc, but never regretted having them on the bike from that perspective.

My lap times were all about the same--46:52, 46:20, 46:03, 46:18 (and the first one includes part of the ride out to the loop). 1st & 3rd lap were NP of 248 and 2nd & 4th were 243. My VI was also lower than last year (1.06 vs. 1.08), so I feel pretty good about the pacing I did.

I went through about 84oz of Gatorade (first 24 were GE) and 6-7 Carb-boom gels (3 apple-cin, 4 vanilla-orange). This was ~375 cal/hr. Possibly a bit high. Maybe I should have taken 1 water bottle instead of Gatorade. But I did get by with little on the run this way.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. It's possible I pushed just a little bit too hard, but it was close. Maybe I could have given up 1-2 minutes here and gotten 2-4 on the run, but that's not a sure thing.
Transition 2
  • 01m 14s

I had unzipped the leg warmers while finishing the bike. I thought about taking my feet out of the shoes, but decided to just unclip and run in them. Probably a mistake. Otherwise, once I got to my rack everything went smoothly--helmet off, bike shoes & leg warmers off, jacket off, visor on, shoes on. Thought about taking some gels, but decided I'd be fine with whatever they had on the course. Grabbed my race belt and started heading out.

Went from 74th T1 to 18th T2. (18th T1 would have cut 3:00 off my time.)
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I think I could have been even faster if I wasn't so surprised at how quickly I was ready to go. I guess T1 had prepared me to think this was going to take a long time.
  • 1h 37m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 28s  min/mile

Started the run feeling pretty good. Made a concious effort to go easy at the beginning. Hit the mile 1 marker in just over 8:00 (hmmm, I'm running easy but doesn't feel that slow). Decided to stick with feel and not push the pace at all here just because my split was off. The next 2 miles were just over and just under 7:00, so I think that first marker was just off.

I passed one HIM runner during this time, but was mostly running with mini racers. Once I got to their turn-around, there was nobody in sight ahead of me. I passed the leader while I was still in mile 4. Then there was nobody for about 1.5 miles more. As I got closer to the turn-around, I could see a few people ahead of me that I might be able to catch. Got one of them at the turn and another a couple miles later.

A couple times I had to force my effort back slightly as I recalled how the hills on the return leg had beaten me last year. I was determined to run the whole thing this time and wanted to save any excess energy for then or for the finish.

I had been drinking Gatorade at each aid station (walking a few steps to get the drink down). At the stop before the turn, I took water as my stomach was beginning to feel 'full' and grabbed a gel to use later. I skipped the turn-around aid station and took the gel with some water at the next one. Then I went back to Gatorade for the remaining aid stations. That was the extent of my run nutrition.

There was one more potential 'catch' ahead of me, but he stayed a couple hundered yards ahead from about mile 9 through mile 12. I then closed the gap and was on his heels as we were in the final .1 mile. But he picked it up just a touch and I had no answer. So I coasted in from there.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Reasonably happy with this run (and the fact that it was a full RUN). Maybe I could have pushed a bit harder, but I was pretty well spent by the finish--so not sure about that.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a coke and some cookies before walking back to transition to clean up my area and change.

Then hung out with rollin' and a few others for awhile enjoying some pizza, beer and tri talk.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Needing to thaw out from the swim in T1! :-)

Really, I need to lift my ability to push more watts on the bike (and probably get my weight down a little further). I need 10-15 minutes to start riding with the "fast guys". I'm a little closer on the run, but need to get my pace closer to 7:00/mi than to 7:30/mi. There's more guys doing both of those in the next AG up.

Event comments:

The course is very tough, but fair. The race is well-run, though they might have been prepared with the pizza a little earlier.

Last updated: 2008-03-12 12:00 AM
00:39:45 | 1931 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 6/17
Overall: 22/110
Performance: Average
HR - 151 (156 max)
Suit: Full wetsuit
Course: Lake swim with triangular clockwise course. 2 loops. Course was long by perhaps 300-400m by my guesstimate.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 54F / 12C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:14
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:08:11 | 57 miles | 18.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/17
Overall: 17/110
Performance: Good
AP - 230, NP - 245, VI - 1.06, IF - .789, TSS - 195.7, Cad - 84, HR - 149 (161 max)
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 4 loop course with ~1,500 ft. elevation gain/loss each lap.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 84
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:14
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:37:45 | 13.1 miles | 07m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/17
Overall: 15/110
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back course on paved roads. Run has 1,200+ft. of elevation gain/loss (most of the climbing on the return leg).
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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