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White Lake Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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White Lake, North Carolina
United States
Set-Up, Inc.
84F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 44m 42s
Overall Rank = 219/570
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 53/120
Pre-race routine:

The plan was get a good night's rest. That went out the window. I was wired. I slept maybe 2 hours. Once from about 11-12, then again from about 3-4am. I awoke at 4am in a dripping sweat, completely soaked. Great. Got up, fixed my planned peanut-butter, banana, and honey sandwich on honey wheat. Had some Gatorade and water. I planned to depart for the race site at 5am. The night before, I was going to put my race number on my bike, but then decided to do it in the morning. Problem was, I couldn't remember what I did with my number. My wife got up and drove me over to TA, dropped me off, and went back to bed. I was on-site at 5:15. Paul arrived about that same time, and we both began setting up TA. I had a great rack (144, 4th rack from bike out on the right) and had no problem sighting it from the swim or the bike. For the first time, I racked my bike from the nose of the seat. That worked out well in the blur of time that I was in T1. I continued drinking GU2O. I got my chip, got marked, then put on my chip with my neoprene strap, then went back through it with a second plastic strap, just for insurance. Not too tight, no rubbing, nice idea.

I never did find my race number, so I ended up having to improvise over at the race site with a piece of paper, a sharpie, and some electrical tape. The race officials checked it out, decided it was okay, and I was in business. One last potty stop, then downed a Orange Burst Gu. Game on.

Another member of Team Zoot Gu (gmathe) saw me in my team uniform over by chip pickup and came up to say hi. Thanks for that!! I was about to put on my wetsuit and go jump in at that point (about 6:45).
Event warmup:

Um, put on wetsuit, swim cap, and goggles, and got in the water. I waded in from the shore rather than walk out on the pier. I had time to make peace with the water that way. Finally found Paul in the water and we shared some last-minute good-lucks. He reminded me that this is a long day, and not to get in a hurry on anything. I asked him if he'd ever seen me in a hurry. He told me to have a beer waiting on him at the finish line. Our age group was broken into 2 waves due to its size (120 athletes). A-L at 7:10, M-Z at 7:15.
  • 48m 6s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 29s / 100 meters

I'm an awful swimmer, but this was the first time I can recall passing people in my wave, and catching some from the previous (M30-34) wave. Of course, I was getting passed left and right from the second M35-39 wave behind me, as well as the M40-44 behind them. All said, I felt comfortable in the water, never panicked, good rhythm, pretty fair sighting, only had to make a few large corrections.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster.
Transition 1
  • 02m 45s

I was afraid that I'd be wobbly coming out of the water, but I felt pretty good. Got out at the first ladder, and had the wetsuit down to my waist in about 20-30 steps, with goggles and swim cap in hand. I was passing folks down the pier and down the chute, so that felt good. My mat was laid out okay, but I was having trouble mentally focusing on step 1, step 2, etc. It's been 11 months since my last race, so I was pretty rusty on this. I did not practice any swim to bike transitions this year...duh.
What would you do differently?:

Practice transitions in all phases. My layout was too junky, too crowded. It took too long to get my feet clean enough to put on socks.
  • 2h 43m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.49 mile/hr

I took the time on the road around the back of White Lake to get some easy spinning in, get the legs working, and start to take in some nutrition. Once I turned onto 41, I started working on settling down the breathing and heartrate, and switched over to cadence monitoring on the Cateye. I really felt like I was working easily. I was passing a lot of folks at this point (the advantage of being a slow swimmer I guess), even some guys on some pretty nice bikes (P3C, B12, DA, etc.)...with a lot of aero wheels. That made me smile! I was holding 20.9 for about the first 25 miles, knowing that I would let that drift back down some towards the end.

There were three advertised water stops; mile 18, 31, and 45. My plan was to pick up a bottle at mile 31 and that would be it. I passed the mile 18 stop, knowing I didn't need it yet. I got to mile 31, and, where is it? I saw the small green signs saying water stop, but never saw it. Uh-oh. Rationing time. I did still have one full GU2O bottle (3 scoops), and had already been through 1 GU2O bottle (2 scoops) plus about 3/4 of my Aerodrink with water. Next stop would be at mile 45. When I got to the Over Lyon out and back, my wife and mom were on the shoulder yelling at me "There's no water ahead!" Oh no. This would not be good. Apparently, the aid station wasn't set up yet, and the earlier guys did not have the mile 45 station to use. Just after I turned onto Over Lyon, I met Paul going the other way on the way back out to 53. He was flying. I waved, he nodded. :)

I came upon one of my running buddies, ramasan (Rama), and asked how he was doing. He was in my age-group, and had a great swim (started in the wave behind me and it took me until mile 40 to catch him). His pained reply was that he had forgotten his nutrition. I had one spare vanilla Gu that I quickly handed off to him. He looked okay, and I motored on. Thankfully, thankfully, the mile 45 water stop was in operation. I grabbed a sport bottle on the first attempt, filled up the Aerodrink, and doused my helmet with the rest. I was good to go. I then just worked on maintaining a 20.5 average until the end. I was able to do so (20.49 is close enough). I began stretching and having to stand a little in the last 5 miles, and felt some pretty good burn in my quads. I just thought it would go away off the bike. Oops.
Nutrition on the bike: 2 GU2O bottles, one Gu flask w/3 Orange Burst Gus, one full Aerodrink bottle and about 1/4 of a second one, one Trader Joe's strawberry cereal bar at about mile 4, and most of a second one at about mile 50. That was not a good idea.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Better bike fitness will come. I'm only 2 months off an intensive run plan, so my long rides were sparse. That's what this summer's for! I felt pretty good about my bike. I would've liked a 21 flat. LEARN HOW TO POTTY ON THE BIKE!
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

This one was a blur. I felt good coming in. I made 2 passes in the last 0.5 mile. I almost overcooked the entrance, but managed to stop and eject well. Quick jog to the rack. Bike shoes off, assessed whether I should change socks. Didn't. Should've. No blisters, but soggy feet at about mile 10. Note to self; don't clip race belt buckle before race. Leave it open. My mind couldn't process how to unclip it...
Run in with bike, look to right and see Paul's bike on the rack (of course it's there, he was miles ahead of me! Duh!), bike on rack, helmet off, shoes off, hat on, fuel belt on, race belt on, running shoes on, go. I'm happy with a 1:44 after that ride; not my fastest, but good under the circumstances, knowing I was about to go run a half-mary.
What would you do differently?:

Unclip the race belt. Use the Nike socks instead of the anti-shear, NONWICKING socks...
  • 2h 08m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 47s  min/mile

Well, I exited T2, and began to take stock. I was moving, that was good. I was feeling like I might make this work. I ran just past Clinton Road and see Paul walking back towards TA with his fuel belt off. I yelled out as I was approaching "What the hell?" He said his right calf-muscle had blown out, same thing that's plagued him before. He was done. So, there went my best training partner. He would not be on the course to work with. I was alone. I went another 300 meters and my right quad shut down. Done. I've never experienced that sharp a pain. It stopped me in my tracks, just past the gate in the neighborhood. I could see it visibly where it should not be. I opened my GU2O bottle in the fuel belt and began downing it. I ate a Gu. I started walking, then had to stop, then could walk a little. Then the left one did the same thing. I've done the WL Sprint twice before, so I know how far away the first mile can seem. As you can see from my splits, it was a hard first mile. My stomach had seemed to have a lump in it during the bike, and I think it was hindering my nutritional intake, and electrolytes weren't making it in. I noticed in T2 that my trishorts were quite salty, as was my face. I finally found a portalet at the first aid station by the tennis courts, and spent a good 30-45 seconds there. Best thing in the world; hand-towels dipped in ice-cold water. Great, great volunteers keeping us all supplied. The first towel I got was clean. Every one after that had been used and traded in. At about mile 9, I began to get the first twinges of calf muscles cramping up. These would, if they hit, bring me to a halt. I backed off the pace, and increased my walk breaks a bit, and kept them at bay. I decided to run it all the way in from mile 11 on, and except for walking briefly to speak to my wife and son with about 0.25 mile to go, then looking at my watch and determining I could beat 5:45 if I ran, I ran.

I had high hopes for a good run. A 1:59 would've put me in the top 33% of my age group, qualifying for USAT Halfmax. That didn't happen. This was my first HIM. Not my last. A great learning experience.
What would you do differently?:

Poor run performance caused by poor nutrition choices on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

Presence of mind to zip up the tri-top on the way to the line (no one likes to see all that chest hair). Also determined not to be holding my watch while crossing the line, so I gave it a little fist pump when finishing. Team BNB was at the turn from 53 down the chute, yelling quite loudly. Great motivation. Crossed the line. Got my medal. Determined that I would not pass out. Got my chip off. Met up with the gang, handshakes all around. Paul came up, I gave him my best, but knew he was heartbroken. My wife and oldest son came up, and I gave them great big hugs. They all were concerned; do you want something, need something? I told them right then, I just wanted to stand there for a minute. I was concerned about my other Mitterling Miler running buddies, who were behind me. I wanted to make sure I saw them finish. I finally decided that I wanted a Coke, an Oreo, and a hotdog with mustard and ketchup. My son wanted a hotdog with ketchup, so I stood in line and got those. Then went back and cheered in Alex, Rama, and Kendal. Great great times. After a bit of reminiscing, my family and I went over and broke down transition. She had the jogging stroller, and we were only about 1.5 miles from the campsite, so she jogged with most of my stuff in the stroller, and I rode my bike home. That felt nice.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor nutrition choice on the bike. I should not have eaten solid food right out of the water. I had planned to wait until 30 miles, but pulled it in to bike start. That plus I had to PEEEEEEEEE for the ENTIRE RIDE, and could not make myself go. Then, I decided on a second bar near the end of the bike. Not a good choice. I went into the run slightly dehydrated, and cramped up 1/2 mile into the run.

Event comments:

I will be back. I will break 5:30. I will be a stronger swimmer, and I will not make the same mistakes on the bike that caused the run to suffer.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-11-01 12:00 AM
00:48:06 | 1931 meters | 02m 29s / 100meters
Age Group: 101/120
Overall: 478/570
Performance: Average
Suit: rental small medium xterra ventilator john
Course: Triangular clockwise, starts at one pier and ends at another.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:45
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:43:57 | 56 miles | 20.49 mile/hr
Age Group: 36/120
Overall: 140/570
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Big rectangle, headwind for about 3/4 of the route it seemed.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:08:12 | 13.1 miles | 09m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 55/120
Overall: 241/570
Performance: Below average
Mile splits by my watch (the mile markers were misplaced in a few spots): 1 10:02; 2 8:53; 3 6:06; 4 13:00; 5 8:48; 6 10:28; 7 10:12; 8 9:21; 9 10:50; 10 14:50; 11 6:41; 12 8:47; 13.1 10:10
Course: Double out and back to a turnaround point in the woods. About 30% shaded, 70% in full sun. I'm not a big fan of the section on 701. It was too narrow, and right by cars speeding by at 60mph.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %a lot
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-05-04 9:22 PM

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Apex, NC
Subject: White Lake Half

2008-05-12 10:29 AM
in reply to: #1381191

Raleigh, NC
Subject: RE: White Lake Half
Great race man - you crushed it!
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