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Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Narragansett-Providence, Rhode Island
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 13m 17s
Overall Rank = 288/1227
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 53/256
Pre-race routine:

So this was a B race for me in prep for IM Wisconsin in Sept and my first race of the season. We drove up from Connecticut to RI on the Saturday got there at 2pm went to check in @ registration and waited 2 hrs in a line. Met some of my tri club team mates and we rushed to T2 to drop off our run transition gear and then drove the 50+ miles to Roger Wheeler beach to check in bikes. By the time I got back to the hotel it was 9pm and I had a bag of potato chips and a bottle of gatorade since 12pm. Managed to throw down some pasta and went straight to sleep. Got up at 3am and drove from Providence to the race.
Event warmup:

Stressed about all the things I had left in the hotel. (See later)
Waited for the Porta-Johns did number 2's and then realized I had left my goggles and race cap in the John. Went in after a chap had finished and could only find my cap. Started panicking then had a quick peak in the toilet bowl and I could see my straps fished them out of the runny Poo and then proceeded to clean them...GROSS!
  • 32m 9s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

My goal time was 30mins

I was in the 8th wave which was the first of the two waves of Men 35-39 there was about 120 in my wave and I lined up in the middle second line. For the first 50 meters there was about 3 foot breakers and the swim looked long to me. I was happy to see it was quiet rough as I swim well in the rough. Cannon went off and we charged in I hurdled the first wave and duck dived and ended up the last person in a breakaway group of 5. Got a good draft until we hit the wave in front of us and I lost my ride. I took no contact apart from getting slapped around from behind a bit. The rest of the swim was a pain in the Ar*e I went through 4 waves of different colored caps which kept on interrupting my rythm the only good thing was it appeared none of them were swimming in a straight line so I just swum the buoy line. My sighting was good, pacing was good Unfortunately I swum 70% of the swim by my self so lost out on drafting. I did bridge on to two guy's in my wave for the last 300 yds in. Got out of the water feeling good and my wife said I was the 15th out of the water for my wave.
What would you do differently?:

My time was a couple of minutes over goal time but it was pretty rough and I did end up getting held up by a few people. Also at about the 300 yd point I had a guy in my wave try to force me off the buoy line he kept swimming into me as he was on the inside of the buoy line and wanted to get in and around so I hammered him with my elbow and he ended up swimming on the inside of the buoy. I lost my draft here on the guy's in front of me. Would have been better to just concentrate on holding my draft.
Transition 1
  • 03m 9s

Terrible transition only good bit was Aaron wetsuit stripping me. As My wife said to me earlier did I really need to wipe every bit of sand off from beneath my toes. I should have done a warm up Sprint triathon just to practice transitions.
What would you do differently?:

Have some urgency and practice.
  • 2h 43m 56s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.50 mile/hr

Time goal 2.45ish.
My Power Plan was as follows based off a conservative Power FTP of 260.
First 10 miles - 190
Flats after Mile 10 - 200
Short Hills - 230
Long Hills - 225
Heart Rate Caps 160 high with a 155 average.

Well forget those plans as I left at the hotel my Powertap CPU and my HR monitor.

So essentially I was riding naked. No computer at all. All I had was my polar with stop watch function on. I panicked I had not ridden without my power meter since Sep 07. From the very start I wasn't comfortable on the bike I had a little stiffness in the hip and butt. By mile 5 it was really starting to develop and cramp. I was through 10 miles in about 25 mins so averaging 24 mph and people in my AG were flying past me. I couldn't believe it I didn't have my Power Meter to confirm my watts were right so assumed they were either faster than me or they would come back to me later in the day. I backed off the pace a little and took 4 of my 6 electrolyte tablets which seemed to help.

My nutrition Strategy was 200 cals per hour of infinit and water in my profile aero bottle with 2 electrolytes per hour. At about the hour point my right quad started to cramp so I took the last 2 electrolytes. Really focused my ride on riding smooth and concentrated on feeling the road through my feet and keeping even pressure on my feet through the whole length of the climbs. The course was a pain I must have past 500 people from proceeding waves and the little back to back climbs made it difficult to hold rhythm and the headwinds and crosswinds were making life difficult. But I was riding well and steady. Cramps came back at about mile 35 and I had to make a decision I had no electrolytes left so I made a call to skull back all of my infinit to get the electrolytes in from that. Which meant I would switch to course Gatorade Endurance from mile 45. I normally can't stomach gatorade but I had to fix the cramps so decided to address the most pressing issue first I sucked down a whole bottle of Gatorade in the last 12 miles. The last 6 miles into town were really dangerous it was like a slalom course I was just hammering it in my aero bars trying to avoid pot-holes and cars on one really steep decent I got hit by a big gust of wind and was blown into the car lane my Cervolo P2C and Disk cover with 404 were acting like a Sail.

All in all good ride spent all but the climbs in the aero bars and rode the ride my RPE and feel. I think after riding 3000 miles with a power meter your body & mind tune into what is right.

Reading other BTer's reports looks like the ride was 57.5 miles. If so averaged 21.05 miles per hour.

What would you do differently?:

Ah - Not forget My most important race item after my bike. Not sure why I got the leg cramps but I suspect it was from the driving the previous day and then being on my feet all day with inadequate nutirtion. Overall I was happy with my decision making process through all the numerous issues I had.
Transition 2
  • 02m 37s

When I got off my bike my hamstrings were really tight and I could barely run with the bike and hence very slow T2 time. Racked my bike set my garmin and left.
What would you do differently?:

See Bike comments
  • 1h 51m 26s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 31s  min/mile

Came out of transition thinking I was in big trouble. My stomach was good my energy levels were good but my hammy's were super tight. Started off at 8.30 pace per my Garmin 305 and people were charging past me. I couldn't believe it in the first .5 of a mile I must of had 20 people pass me. Hit the First climb which was enormous I only run hills in training but this was a monster. I averaged 11.30min miles up it. Running down the back of the hills my hammy's freed up and I bumped up my pace to 8 - 8.15min miles. Stayed there until mile 3 when my left calf where I have had issues for the last 4-6 weeks had a sharp pain. My pace dropped to 10 min miles and I took 2 tylonol. At mile 4 the pain killers kicked in and I bumped back up the pace. It was bloo*y hot but I knew my conditioning was good so it didn't really bother me too much. I was carrying 2 x 150cal bottles of Inifinit for each hour which I washed down with water at the aid station. I felt really good from mile 5 and just held my pace around that 8.15 pace just ticking of the miles. I felt great at mile 7 the big hill I was the only one running granted I was running 11.45imn miles but there was about 50 people walking. I started to think I could go under 5.15 so really started pushing. I was feeling great from mile 10 there were a lot of people walking it was baking hot But I felt good I started the Cola and just ran hard past maybe 5 people in my AG in the last 3 miles. The last 3 quarters of a mile were a nightmare it was all uphill to the finish at the capital building where I collapsed over the line got back up and collected my finishers medal.

What would you do differently?:

I ran sensibly and well this was such a hard run course. A little disapointed my calf went as my strategy was to run 8.15's for the first 3 miles then bump up to 8min miles for the last 10miles. I think I could have done this today my stomach was good my energy was good and my muscle fatigue was non-exitent until mile 11. I think a 1.45 was achievable today.
Post race
Warm down:

Collected my family whom were great. Had some gatorade lots of food there but I could only stomach a bagel.

Admired my sunburn...ouch!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor planning.
Leaving my Power Meter behind
Calf blowing up.
This being a B race and preparing for it as such.
Whilst I am happy with my performance today I think a 5.05 would have been an achievable goal today if all had gone to plan. It is only my second year in the sport so I am happy with the time. Good practice run for IM Wisconsin in Sep.

As a side note the quality of the people in my AG was amazing to finsh 53rd with a time of 5.13 shows how good they are. That kind of time in CT local races would have probably had me in the top 5.

Event comments:

Volunteers were awesome. The race organisation was great except for the whole seperate transitions that made life very difficult for the athlete's.

Last updated: 2008-06-03 12:00 AM
00:32:09 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 43/256
Overall: 278/1227
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Length Zoot Zenith
Course: Typical Ironman Loop course
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:09
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:43:56 | 56 miles | 20.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 52/256
Overall: 334/1227
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: Lots of ups and downs nothing really steep.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:37
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:51:26 | 13.1 miles | 08m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 53/256
Overall: 287/1227
Performance: Good
Forgot my HR Strap.
Course: Brutal hills...
Keeping cool Good 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-07-14 9:52 PM

Extreme Veteran
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

2008-07-15 6:57 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Portland, ME
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
That is a pretty good B race. I think you are well on your way for a solid IM Wisconsin.
2008-07-15 8:12 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Impressive, James. For so much to go wrong and still throw up 5:13 is fantastic. Good tune up for WI. I'd say a sprint between now and then to iron out gear and transitions would be a good idea, as you mentioned.

Well done, you should be in great shape come IM.

Oh, and I don't know how you made it through the goggles episode. Not I, my friend. You have a much stronger stomach than me. I'd bet my paycheck there will be a backup pair or two in your gear bag from now on.
2008-07-15 10:07 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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A Husker stuck in VA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Great job getting things done. Sorry about the power tap issue. Good luck in your A race. Will be keeping tabs on you.
2008-07-16 6:05 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

I had no idea you dropped your goggles in the port-a-pottie.Maybe it was good to skip the Powertap and realize you can race/ride just as hard without it. You had an awesome race out there, do you think that it possibly could have held you back at all?


2008-07-16 7:54 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Great job James. You handled adversity and that will serve you well come IM. You know you can adapt, improvise, and overcome. The googles in the potty is the foulest thing I have ever read in a RR!. Rest up that calf!

2008-07-16 11:36 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

OK.  I almost had to stop reading the report before you even started talking about the race.  I really didn't need that goggle imagery. 

But really nice work out there!  Having the patience to both ride and run within yourself while people were flying by you (without even having the PT to tell you it was the right thing to do) will be even more valuable at Moo.

Congrats on a very solid performance!

2008-07-16 1:59 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Congrats on hitting your goal - and especially overcoming the, uh, goggle issue. Tongue out

Seriously - great job working through the cramps on the bike.  I don't remember you having that trouble during training, so I hope that doesn't become a recurring theme.  That was a great way to improvise your nutrition on the fly to overcome that.

Definitely great experience for WI!

2008-07-16 6:06 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Great job James! Sounds like a tough time with all that went wrong, but you went ahead and got the job done!

FWIW—There is just NO WAY I would have fished those goggles out of the poo in the porto!! Definitely treat yourself to a new pair!

2008-07-16 6:44 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Royersford, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Very nice race out there. I thought I had some prerace difficulties but your takes the cake . That hill was something wasn't it. I take the fact that I actually ran up it both times as my biggest accomplishment. Way to overcome. Good luck at IMMoo.
2008-07-17 6:26 AM
in reply to: #1529830

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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Alright mate... what is the deal with you, races, and SH*T!!!!! You just can't stay away from it! From thinking about throwing in the towel 10 minutes before the race and then posting a 5:13 I am extremely impressed my friend! Like Bryan said, to adapt to what you had set forth and still have a great race, you will certainly be able to overcome anything at MOO. Keep up the great training, we have yet to see the best of you buddy!

2008-07-17 12:39 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Dude, you fished your goggles out of where?!?  Oh ...God, you are more man than me.  Wow.  Me, I would've been like "Shoot, well, looks like I'm swimming without goggles."  But not James!!

It was very cool meeting you on the course.  First time I've met someone from BT mid-race.  Very cool.  And next time that happens I'm not going to let you go so easy!

Great job running up that hill.  Hope to see you back in RI next year.  You're going to do well in Wisconsin.  But just make sure to not take your goggles into the port-a-john.


2008-07-17 8:03 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Crystal River, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Oh my gosh, pulling your goggles out of the port-o-potty!!!  I'd say things only got better after that.  Fantastic B race.  I love to read your race reports - it's never a dull moment, it seems.  Great job!
2008-07-21 10:15 PM
in reply to: #1529830

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
"Drop your goggles in a porta-potty before a race, and nothing worse can possibly happen to you for the rest of the day."

Words to live by. Great job.
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