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EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
Columbia Triathlon Association
95F / 35C
Total Time = 5h 02m 22s
Overall Rank = 137/1363
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 20/218
Pre-race routine:

"Woke up" at 3:50 after a rather fitful night of not sleeping. I never sleep well the night before a race, but no matter how much I go over my game plan and options my brain never gets settled. This time, the biggest issues were parking (no parking in park due to rain) and the heat.
Ate an omelet and some berries, threw my stuff in the truck and was off.
Set up transition and BS'd with Dave, who was guarding the Pro's portapot. A very thankless job, but at least the pros had happy colons.
Said Ernie (ejc999) found me, and we chatted a bit. Saw Mike K from my Masters team. His first half. After a brief warmup and stretch, I turned on the Garmin, so it was time to head to the swim.
Event warmup:

Ran the bike pump back up to my truck. Stretched when I got back to T/A. The mistake was not bringing warmup socks because now, my race socks were sweaty. Turned out not to be an issue, though.
  • 37m 4s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

Got of to a good start. Coach Glenn's tip about humming worked well here. I often reach a point early in a race where I get uncomfortable, then break through and settle down. I was pretty comfortable throughout. Throughout the race I took several focus points and alternated their use. Started veering right early on, but corrected and the first couple buoys came quickly. I was at the first turn before I knew it, but pretty wide. After that my navigation really went downhill. One of my goals was to count my strokes to cut down on my frequency of sighting. start with 20 and see if I could increase. For the first leg, 20 worked pretty well. After the first turn, I had a hard time picking up the next buoy and wasn't sure where the pack was, so my sightings increased. Plus, my goggles fogged, which meant a harder time finding my next mark. by the time I made the last turn to head into the boat ramp, I was swimming almost completely blind. I was worried about hitting the pilings at the ramp. Maybe I should have stopped to clear my goggles, but I thought I could deal with it.
Contact was an issue around the turn buoys. Twice I had to shield my face from getting kicked. Once I got sandwiched between two guys and managed to turn on the jets to get ahead of them. Maybe I should just do that for the whole race?
What would you do differently?:

More open water practice, especially sighting. More work on balance and being able to swim in a straight line.
80/218 = top 37%, which is much better than usual for me. I'm right at 50% for most of my HIMs, so I'm pretty happy 'bout dat. A little more straight line swimming a little less sighting may have knocked a minute or two off my time. Part of my navigation problem may have been the tide. We were going into a flooding tide during the longer homeward leg, which would have magnified my directional problem.
Transition 1
  • 03m 9s

Took suit off right out of the water, so it was pretty quick. Ran into T1. Helmet, glasses, Garmin went pretty smoothly. When I went to mount the bike, I partially lost my balance but caught myself before I fell. Probably pissed off the guy behind me, but I got off to the side and mounted the bike from a stop. Cost me a few seconds.
  • 2h 34m 27s
  • 56.3 miles
  • 21.87 mile/hr

Pace felt pretty comfortable throughout. Part of my plan was to ease off the bike a little for two reasons - 1. My back, which killed me at White Lake and 2. To save a little bit for the run. The wind today was mostly from the west, with a trace of south in it. The first stretch down Rt 16 was into the wind, so I was pleased to be keeping my speed around 21mph. Starting in the 6th wave meant there was lots of passing to be done, which, usually, is grand fun, but everybody seemed to be riding the white line. There's an 8ft road shoulder, the speed limit on Rt 16 is 55, and people didn't want to give you enough room to pass and acted like it was an inconvenience that they had to get off the paint. I saw very few officials on the course and they probably don't give out very many blocking penalties anyway. I was waiting to get flagged for passing on the right, but when you have an 8 ft space to get by...
I never pick up a bottle at the first aid station (mile 10), but today I figured I better get some extra liquids in me. The aid stations also allowed me to stretch out my back. I figured that I would be losing less time overall if I took the time to stretch while I was slowed down to get water. Took a little extra time on the turns, as well.
Upper stretch of Smithville Rd was fast. Eventhough it's the roughest road on the course, it's shaded and wind was either at our backs or blocked by the trees.
Rt 335, heading NE from Golden Hill was sweet. Saw a line of bikes ahead of me and just said, "I'm passing all of 'em". Fun stuff. Egypt Rd is an enigma. No matter what direction the wind is coming from, it will slow you down on Egypt Rd. But, the sight of C-SD HS always lifts my spirits - less than 10mi to go. And this year Rt 16 would have a tailwind. Had 22mph avg as I ground my way through Cambridge, so I tried to hold on to that. Back was in much better shape than at White Lake. No prolonged stretch breaks necessary.
What would you do differently?:

In retrospect, I should have pushed the bike harder. I suspected the run could be bad, but I just didn't know how bad. You don't get a true sense of the heat on the bike because of the constant breeze and a lower HR, but I could feel the air getting hotter when I'd breathe. Should have been a sign that whatever time was going to be made was going to have to be made on wheels.
Transition 2
  • 02m 32s

Smooth. Took a little extra time for another drink of water and an S-Cap.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 45m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 02s  min/mile

I mulled over many different strategies and goals for the run, knowing that it would be hot. I promised myself (and Brenda) that I'd adjust to the conditions. It was oppressively hot and humid, so pushing myself too hard in those conditions could be dangerous.
Quads were a little grabby at first. Not unusual. I had taken an S!Cap in transition, so hopefully that would go away soon. Didn't want to take a gel right away since I had taken in a fair number of calories during the latter miles of the bike. First mile came up 6:52. Cool. A little fast, but it means money in the bank. Slowed for some water at the first aid station, so I wasn't disappointed with a 7:04 for mile 2. Still 4 sec in the bank. I could feel the heat, but I was staying within myself - a sustainable pace. 7:12. Hmmm, now I'm in the hole 4 seconds with 10 miles to go in 95 degree heat. Scratch goal #1- HM PR. Around mile 3 we turned onto a connecting road (new this year) that takes us out to Rt 16. It was freshly paved, which meant dark, heat-absorbing asphalt and, I swear, I could feel the extra heat through my shoes. Thought about Badwater and how the racers run on the white line so their shoes don't melt. Not long after the mile 3 split I pass Dana Dobbs, who is walking. I keep an eye on him since he is from the Eastern Shore, but he is light years ahead of me in ability (qualified for Kona at 07 E'man). It surprised me that he was walking, but I should have taken it as a sign as to how things were shaping up. Mile 4, 7:25. Scratch goal #2, sub 4:50, but might still be able to break 5 hrs. I'm really suffering at this point and lots of negative thoughts are rattling around my head as well as lots of liquid sloshing around in my belly. Feeling full and a little nauseous. At this point I decide that all bets are off and the only goal left is to finish. I'm not looking at splits for the rest of the race. Right after mile 5, I make another fateful decision. I must have been hydrating enough because for the first time ever in a race I had to pee. I grabbed a cup of ice water at the next aid station and headed into the portapot. Wow! I only thought it was hot outside. It was roasting inside that plastic oven. If only I wasn't so modest that I could jump off the road and go behind a tree. I almost passed out from the heat. Fortunately, I held it together and escaped what would have been a most embarassing and undignified death. More ice and away we go. I stopped at each and every aid station drinking ice water and shoving ice down my back and inside the front of my trisuit. Needless to say, I also dumped ice in my hat.
Several times I contemplated walking, but I kept telling myself to get done and get some relief as quickly as possible. Just shuffle to the next aid station, which were like oases. My spirits would pick up whenever one came into sight. On it went, just run from one aid station to the next. I settled into a reasonably comfortable pace and noticed that my HR was in the upper 140s. Every time I pushed a little bit, and bumped up into the 150s, I'd get uncomfortable and back off. Decided I'd pick it up for the last mile, which is mostly downgrade anyway, so I'd at least look good at the finish. Caught up to a 40something on Queen Anne Dr, so that gave me a little oomph. Coming down the finishing chute, one more 40 ahead of me, so I actually broke out into a "sprint" (speed was relative). He had a little left in him too, so he held me off.
What would you do differently?:

Coming off the bike, I stood at 56th in my AG. I finished 20th, meaning that I passed 36 40-44yo men with a 1:45 run. That's nuts. Normally, with that kind of move in the standings, I'd say I couldn't have done much more. But, this race reinforced a very important concept of time trial racing. If you're not out front, able to keep track of your closest competitors, you have to push ALL THE TIME. Now, today, I had to face my limitations, but, there were times when I stopped after an aid station to dump ice in my hat or to zip up my trisuit to keep more ice in it. Had I just kept moving, jogged a little more, pushed against that comfort barrier a little bit more I may have broken 5 hrs. Had I realized how badly the heat was going to affect people, and I should have when I passed Dana Dobbs, I think my competetive juices would have given me some more motivation. I also lost about a minute or more with the pee break. Had I still maintained any of my goals at that point, I would not have stopped.
Post race
Warm down:

Never felt like this after a race. I've hurt before, but this was something different. I didn't know how bad off I was until I stopped running. The volunteers (my catcher was Jena from my Masters team) led us to chairs where we got hosed down. Aaaaah! That was like a breath of life.
Brenda w/the kids and Dave caught up with me at the finish. Everytime I stood up, I'd get light headed. I still needed to sit down for about 10 minutes in the misting tent. I was pretty miserable. Grabbed some fruit, got my stuff out of TA and headed to Snappers for a beer. Never did see my results.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The humidity. Poor sighting, navigation. Not adjusting my race plan to match the conditions (push the bike harder). Not being efficient on the run (too much walking, stopping).
In retrospect, I am amazed at how well I finished. 20/218 AG (top 9%) is my best Eagleman finish in the 3 years I've been racing it (06=17%, 07=19%). So strange, because it surely didn't feel like my best race and there was very little competetive desire during the run.

Event comments:

CTA did a great job of meeting the atheletes' needs on an unseasonably hot day. Ice coolers at every aid station, extra attention at the finish. My hats off to all the volunteers who put in a long day in some very uncomfortable weather.

Last updated: 2008-05-29 12:00 AM
00:37:04 | 2112 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 80/218
Overall: 5037/1363
Performance: Below average
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction sleeveless
Course: Sort of a triangle with the top cut off and a little bend at the end.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 03:09
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:34:27 | 56.3 miles | 21.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 50/218
Overall: 235/1363
Performance: Average
5 mile splits: 21.3mph - 23.0mph Avg HR=134, Max HR=147
Wind: Little
Course: One big loop through Dorchester County. Flat, most roads have decent pavement.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:32
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:45:12 | 13.1 miles | 08m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/218
Overall: 112/1363
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back, through Cambridge, along Rt 16, out Horn Pt Rd. Flat, practically no shade.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-06-13 10:09 AM

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Wye Mills, MD
Subject: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

2008-06-13 11:46 AM
in reply to: #1464778

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Another great race and you keep getting better!

I'm pretty sure I saw you as you go going on the run as I was walking back to the transition.  you looked great then!

Really solid time on what was a tough day for everyone.

2008-06-13 12:13 PM
in reply to: #1464778

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New City, New York
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Just a great effort and based on your placement I would say it's definately your best EM. I think down the road you may look at it differently as well.

BUT this: "If only I wasn't so modest" Dude, your wearing a tri-suit- all modesty was lost long ago. I can understand not wanting to pee yourself on the run but next time find a tree

2008-06-13 12:24 PM
in reply to: #1464778

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Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Great report -- good lessons learned. Well done!
2008-06-13 12:55 PM
in reply to: #1464778

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Gettysburg, PA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Nice Race! It was a tough run for everybody.  It's amazing how many race reports say the same thing "Slowest HIM run ever".
2008-06-15 9:01 AM
in reply to: #1464778

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Sous Mon Diadème
Gold member
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Congratulations, Glenn, nice job out there and what a great race report.

2008-06-15 2:06 PM
in reply to: #1464778

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Pasadena, Maryland
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Very impressive effort. Took some real mental toughness right out of you. Talked to Dana on wed night' ride, he said it was hawaii hot.. Amazed you could hold your HR so low in the heat. Well done
2008-06-18 10:10 AM
in reply to: #1464778

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Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Great job out there.  Way to push through in some amazingly difficult conditions. 
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