Pigman Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Palo, Iowa
United States
Pigman Triathlon
71F / 22C
Total Time = 5h 23m 48s
Overall Rank = 103/487
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 14/41
Pre-race routine:

Woke up to the lovely sound of rain. I think I was under some delusional fantasy that the rain would miraculously miss us today. Yeah, fat chance. Ate some breakfast, filled up my bottles and headed to the race site. The woman body marking me thanked me for shaving my legs. "Anything for you," I said, which got a few laughs. I figured I could get away with the comment since she was easily my mom's age. Thanked her, then went on my way to pick up my chip and mosey into transition to find a spot.

After setting up I ran into fellow BTer, Adam(Noz). We were both super excited for the weather and as we talked the skies opened up and gave us a little preview downpour. I ran into a couple guys from my tri class as I was mapping out transition and chatted them up for a little bit as well.
Event warmup:

Part of the warmup included zipping the wetsuit up way earlier than normal. While it was 70 degrees out, the wind was blowing something fierce so it was kinda chilly. I also noticed the wind was basically blowing against our longest stretch of swimming. That should be neat. I got in the water shortly before the first wave went off. Ooh toasty. The official temp was 77. How convenient. I can't argue though I need all the help I can get in the water.
  • 37m 23s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

Time trial start for this race. I'm still trying to decide if I like this format. It's nice to have open water to start the swim, but later on in the race you have no idea if you are really ahead of the guy in your AG that you just passed. After I got around the guy who started directly ahead of me it was smooth sailing, er, swimming. Or not so smooth as the wind was causing quite a bit of chop. I realize for you ocean swimming folks this was probably nothing, but I started breathing on my left solely to avoid taking in a mouthful of water. Just before the first turn buoy it started raining again. It's an odd feeling, swimming in the rain.

Then we hit the long straightaway into the wind. I was passing quite a few people and feeling pretty good at this point. Soon enough I see the first cap from the wave behind me pass. It's Noz, en route to the 7th fastest swim split of the day. I didn't know how to how to wave mid-stroke so I continued along. It took for-ev-errrr to reach the next turn buoy. Okay, just bring it on into shore now. During that last stretch I passed a couple of caps from 3 waves ahead. Cool! Soon enough I was scraping bottom and stumbling out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. A decent swim for me. Not too much slower than my last HIM.
Transition 1
  • 02m 30s

The timing mat was down by the beach so the long run up to the transition area was included. For the sprint earlier this summer the mat was up by transition. Not sure why they changed it. So my T1 was 20 seconds slower than in June. Other than that it's a long transition area and I zipped through as best as I could.
What would you do differently?:

remove wetsuit faster.
  • 2h 50m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.68 mile/hr

Wow, just wow! Up until this race I had ridden in the rain all of about 5 miles and that was last Sunday when I got caught in storm at the end of my ride. Add to that 15-20mph winds with some massive gusts and you have a downright dangerous bike ride.

We started out heading south, into the wind. Gave myself a little time to get used to the rain and then started in on nutrition (bag o shot bloks). I don't know if it was the wind or rain or both but nobody wanted to ride on the right side of the road. It made for some dangerous passing that's for sure.

As soon as we started heading west things got interesting. It wasn't long before the first gusty crosswind about knocked me over. I gripped the aerobars tighter and did a mental check to make sure the bike shorts were still clean. Yup, managed not to soil myself. Bonus. The crosswinds were brutal during that stretch and combined with the rain, slick roads and other riders fighting for control it was by far the scariest time I've ever spent on a bike. I switched from racing mode into survival mode at that point and stayed there until we hit the next turn.

Another rider passing me said, "Thank God that's over," and I couldn't have agreed more. Tried to hit it hard up that stretch but for some reason my drive was gone. The rain was letting up and it should have been prime time to drop the hammer. The legs and will weren't responding though. By the time I hit the next turn to head east the wind had shifted at that point to be almost a pure tailwind. Bliss, I tell you. Pure bliss. I was spinning out easily on the downhills and cruising up the hills in a huge gear. At the same time I was watching the FOPers struggling on the way back into the same brutal wind. I tried to ignore the fact that I would be coming back along the same way in not too long.

Hit the next turn and made it to the turnaround pretty uneventfully. By that time the rain had pretty much stopped. The winds were still gale force, but overall things were not quite as miserable. I checked my watch at that point and, wow, slow as snot. I told myself to pick it up the second half.

I think I've used the term brutal a few times so far but I don't think that's even adequate to describe the ride back west. Ugh! Dropped into the small chainring for the first time all ride and boy, did I need those gears. Heading up the hills the wind wasn't too bad until you hit the crest and then, wham-o, ha ha, you missed me didn't you? Uh, no not really. In fact I'm a little sick of you right now. While fighting the wind I passed a woman with some nasty road rash on her arm and leg. I paused to ask her if she was okay and she said yeah. She had bit it on a slick corner early on. This was another indication that I was no longer racing. I've never had a whole conversation on the bike during a race. Ever. I struggled for those few miles and then breathed a sigh of relief once I was heading south again. No more headwind! Got back on the nutrition plan and rode back to the park.
What would you do differently?:

Not bike like a wuss. Seriously, if it rains, I don't do a ride. Not because I'm afraid of the rain, but because drivers have a hard enough time seeing me the way it is, let alone in the rain. Maybe that would be a good time for riding on the trail.

Transition 2
  • 01m 19s

Good flying dismount and into transition. Passed a few people walking their bikes. I've never had to use an "on your left in transition" before but I guess there's a first time for everything. Shoes on and grabbed visor and belt and was off
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Speedy as I could be
  • 1h 51m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 32s  min/mile

I'm just going to throw this out there right now. Sometimes just 2 Gas-X pills are not enough. There is one lone kaybo along the route and for the first half of the run cornfields and bushes were looking mighty tempting. That is all.

I looked at my watch coming out of transition and after doing a little bit of math I realized I needed to run around a 1:30 half to PR. I almost laughed. Maybe a standalone. On a really good day. So I decided to just take it easy and have fun on the run. I figured recovery might go a little better and I could be back on track with marathon training later this week.

Now, I'm not a not a chatty person, but I made an effort to talk to or compliment everyone that was going by. It was kind of fun. Most people didn't want to chat, but the few that did were entertaining. At one point on the way out I heard footsteps approaching on both sides of me. I got passed by two guys at the same time on either side of me. "Man, getting passed on both sides? You know it's a slow run then," I said. They laughed and left me in the dust.

I cheered and clapped for my friend Jon on his way back who was on his way to finishing his first HIM in 4:43. Holy Bejeebus what a fast kid. Shortly before the turnaround I met Noz again, who was on his way to a PR and an AG award. We did a quick hi-five (or maybe it was low-five I can't really remember). At the turnaround I high-fived the volunteer and let out a "halfway" cheer. I also stole a line from the tri talk forum and told the guy next to me "let's negative split this bad boy!"

At this point I was feeling pretty good and just having a good time. The run back was uneventful. Ice down the back of the trisuit is a godsend as it was actually getting warm and the sun, yes the sun, was threatening to come out. I hit the huge hill with a little over 2 miles to go and said to the guy next to me, "Man, I've been looking forward to this all day," No answer. Ok, maybe I was just a little too chipper out there.

Less than a mile left I hear some heavy breathing behind me. I turn and congratulate the girl. "Sorry, I'm a heavy breather," she says. I had a few ungentlemanly comments come to mind, but instead I said, "No, that just means you are finishing strong." So I get chicked in the last mile and it still doesn't bother me. Yeah, the competitive spirit was gone that day. Saw the crowds and pushed hard to the finish line.

What would you do differently?:

Not much. At the start of the run my goal had shifted to just having fun and it was honestly the most fun I've had racing.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked. Attacked the pizza tent

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Metal attitude. I like pushing myself, but every once in awhile I find an excuse to not do so that seems rational at the time. Usually this happens in training, doing intervals or something, but this was the first time it has happened in a race. I didn't give it my all and I could have. Usually I'm so adrenaline filled and into the racing atmosphere that it's not even a question of going hard, but I think the conditions allowed some doubt in and my mind that day allowed it to become a convenient excuse.

Event comments:

I can't complain with the way this event is put on. Tons of racers, good volunteers and a good course. I'm still a little disappointed with the effort. To slow more that 20 minutes from the last one is disappointing for sure. But I learned a valuable lesson about racing in poor conditions and I even managed to have more fun than usual out there. Sure, PRs and AG awards are nice, but those can't happen every time, at least for me. I still feel like I got a lot out of this race and in the end, that's not a bad thing.

Last updated: 2009-02-27 12:00 AM
00:37:23 | 2112 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 19/41
Overall: 180/487
Performance: Average
Suit: QR Ultrfull
Course: Horseshoe shaped: out, across, back
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:30
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:50:42 | 56 miles | 19.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/41
Overall: 131/487
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Out and back with lots of turns. Went south, then west, then north, then east, then north, and then hit the turn around.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:19
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:51:56 | 13.1 miles | 08m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/41
Overall: 103/487
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back along a county road
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5