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Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 59m 47s
Overall Rank = 1357/1360
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 54/55
Pre-race routine:

Left Chicago at 3:45. Ate breakfast. Made the long drive. Got everything set up in transition. Hung out with friends.
Event warmup:

Walked along the beach to the swim start. And waited a ridiculously long time for the fog delay to pass. An hour later than anticipated, things finally got started. The delay in the start had a little bit of an impact on my nutrition plan for the day.

I took some time to get my core temperature down in the water and swam maybe 100meters or so. I was amazed at how clear and calm the lake water was.

I let the emotion from the Kansas 70.3 that was canceled get into my head and help fuel me for the finish line. I mentally refused myself to have another race go incomplete. I knew I'd cover the distance and there wasn't anything that Mother Nature could do to stop me this time.
Swim
  • 38m 46s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards
Comments:

With an official water temperature of 55 degrees, I was surprised that my hands took the hardest hit against the frigid waters. I wore 2 swim caps to protect my head and once my wave got started, I barely noticed how cold it was. I just focused on getting to the end of the swim. Experienced a good amount of traffic at the first turn buoy.

Early into the swim I was having problems getting a good suction from my goggles. I later came to realize that I had my second swim cap too far down on my forehead and the top part of the rim had nothing to hold onto. I had to stop about 3 times to empty my goggles out.

Sighting was quite difficult during the swim because of the fog. I just kept looking for people in front of me and made the decision ahead of time to swim wide (which later worked out in my favor when there were folks who were sighting off the wrong buoy and officials made them swim back out to the turn buoy and come in).

There was, what I felt to be, a reasonably strong current in the lake which provided another challenge to stay on course.
What would you do differently?:

Ensure a solid goggle suction BEFORE getting into the water. Position myself on the left side of the wave rather than the right.
Transition 1
  • 04m 4s
Comments:

Overall I went a little slower in T1 than past races. I was a little woozy from the swim and felt a tinge in my calf from the dash through the sand up to transition. Had some drama peeling my wet suit off. I stayed calm and focused while aiming to get everything in place.
What would you do differently?:

Not get my foot stuck in my wetsuit when taking it off. I lost a good 20 seconds because of this.
Bike
  • 4h 02m 28s
  • 56 miles
  • 13.86 mile/hr
Comments:

Oh geez. Where do I even begin? The first 30 miles of the bike were brilliant for my abilities (the bike is my weakest discipline and has the most room for improvement, obviously). I was averaging just over 15 mph by the time I hit mile 25. I had been eating regularly, consuming endurolytes on cue, and taking in plenty of fluids--potentially too much fluid. The sun had come out and was really doing a number on my body since shade was few and far between. So I focused on keeping hydrated and tried to ignore the fact that the sun was quickly turning me into a lobster despite the sunscreen I had on.

I hit my "dark place" on the bike at mile 36. This usually doesn't happen until the low-mid 40's. It worried me a bit and I was regretting going hard so early. My stomach started churning, I was getting a headache, and for about 2 minutes I was having some vision issues (like seeing the aftereffects of a camera flash). I began to feel insanely miserable.

A little over 40 miles I stopped, pulled over, and let everything out of my stomach. The riders that passed me were so nice and offered a lot of positive encouragement. I pulled myself together and got back to work. At water station around mile 45, I switched out my HEED for water thinking I'd have better luck keeping that down.

Not even 10 minutes later I was back in vomitville. But this time I pretty much just turned my head and let it fly since it was just fluid and I was probably the last person out on the course.

Those last 12 miles I really struggled with everything mentally and physically. My right foot was throbbing, I couldn't keep anything down, I was way overheated and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get my cadence back up and over 85. It got really ugly. At least my headache had subsided by this point.

By the time I was coming down the hill back into transition, I wanted nothing more than to just bypass the turn into T2, ride straight into the water and leave my bike at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
What would you do differently?:

Race within my limits. I went out too fast and paid for it later. Have a backup nutrition plan maybe? When I started losing everything I had in me, I panicked because I didn't know what to do next.
Transition 2
  • 04m 51s
Comments:

When I pulled back into T2, some dude had parked his bike where mine should've been racked. Awesome. Thanks, man. So I had to do some creative shifting in order to get one of my handlebars over the bar. Since I still wasn't feeling well, so I sat there for 2-3 minutes and just collected my thoughts. I knew I needed to get something in body if I was going to cover a half marathon, but I feared my body rejecting whatever I put into it. I took my time changing into my shoes, grabbed my uncrustable and took off in an attempt to run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. My body needed a moment before continuing through the motions.
Run
  • 3h 09m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 29s  min/mile
Comments:

Running? I wish I could say there was a lot of running. My game plan was to run around a 2:30 half. Something very feasible for me after 56 miles on the bike. But given my digestive pyrotechnics on the bike, I decided to back off and aim for a 2:50 half. However when I pulled out of transition and made my first attempt to run, it became very evident that my body wanted NOTHING to do with running and immediately went into survival mode.

At the first aid station I promptly grabbed a cup of water for my head and one for my mouth. I cooled myself off, opened my uncrustable and was able to suffer down about 2 bites of it before tossing the thing. At aid station #2, it came back up. A volunteer pulled me over to rest for a minute but I was able to assure her I could carry on. My number was reported to the folks in the medical car riding the course and they kept a close eye on me. I took it slow and easy to make sure I remained vertical. There was no way I was NOT going to finish this thing. Most of lap 1 was spent walking with a few intermittent spurts of a slow jog every half mile or so. I wasn't happy about it, but I kept my focus on just crossing the finish line.

The second lap went significantly better than the first. I was starting to feel a little bit better and hadn't "tossed my cookies" in a while so I figured now was as good a time as any to try and eat again. Two orange slices went down with ease and I chased it with some water. Turns out that was just what I needed to break the spell. The next aid station came water with a small handful of pretzels. And then the next one I kept down a Roctane. I had decided ahead of time that the last 5k of my race was going to be dedicated to fellow BTer Lucy. Her spirit really helped me carry on when I wanted nothing more than to sit on the curb and feel defeated with what the day gave me. My pace was slowly picking up and I picked off about 5 people during the those last three miles.

At the top of the hill past the zoo, my friend J was waiting for me. I looked at him and promptly told him two things...one, you have to make me run to the finish...and two, I need you to tell me a story to keep my mind off the pain. He talked about the new car they just bought (apparently the Prius gets incredible mileage in case you're wondering) and before I knew it, I passed the Donk's tent, crested the incline and ran as fast as I could to cross the finish line. I heard my friends cheering and I threw my arms up in victory.

When I crossed I fought back the tears. I thought of how I came up short at the 70.3 at the Ironman Kansas. I thought of Lucy, and how she helped pull me through the final miles. I thought about how even though my husband and family couldn't be there to witness this accomplishment, I was surrounded by friends who made sure that everyone in the finish line area was screaming for me. And I thought about how I achieved something I never thought possible. I can't remember the last time I felt this proud of myself.

I never thought I'd feel so good after the most excruciatingly painful run of my life.
What would you do differently?:

Given the circumstances, I don't think there is much that I honestly could have done differently. I knew that running on an empty tank wasn't going to take me very far and would ultimately land me short of my goal. So I forced myself to walk and when I felt like I could...I picked up the pace.

One thing I guess I should have done differently is pack aspirin in my fuel belt. I needed something to help ease the pain from my foot and the medical cart didn't have anything.
Post race
Warm down:

A med tent volunteer greeted me at the finish line as I came hobbling in and at that point I wanted more than anything, ice for my foot (I had this bizarre pain that starting on the bike...it ran from my second toe down through the arch of my foot). I got some ice, aspirin and a chair. Then they brought me a freezing cold Coke and my friend Leah came and sat with me. I was as happy as a pig rolling in mud.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The day was what it was. I could point my finger at a lot of things that negatively impacted my performance like nutrition/hydration issues, foot pain, etc. But what ultimately got me across the finish line by the skin of my teeth in under 8 hours was my stubbornness and mental toughness.

Event comments:

Spirit of Racine is a great triathlon with incredible volunteers and outstanding spectator support. They really know how to take care of their athletes. I'll be back again in the future for another attempt at the course!




Last updated: 2008-07-21 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:38:46 | 2112 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/55
Overall: 0/1360
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Sleeve ProMotion
Course: A straight shot up the curved shoreline to transition making only 2 right hand turns.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 55F / 13C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 04:04
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
04:02:28 | 56 miles | 13.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/55
Overall: 0/1360
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Relatively flat course, with a few rollers, on mostly rough roads. Some residential but mostly country. Well directed with plenty of officials directing traffic.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 78
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Too much
T2
Time: 04:51
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
Running
03:09:38 | 13.1 miles | 14m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/55
Overall: 0/1360
Performance: Bad
Course: A 2 loop course through residential streets and the Zoo. Not a lot of shade.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2008-07-21 2:30 PM

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Expert
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Chicago
Subject: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon


2008-07-21 2:41 PM
in reply to: #1546384

Iron Donkey
38641
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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon

You finished it despite the delay, despite the cold water temp, despite the gastric problem, and despite the heat!  GREAT JOB!!

2008-07-21 2:49 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Extreme Veteran
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Pa
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Sounds like it was a tough day for you.  Great job on staying strong and finishing.
2008-07-21 2:50 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Regular
96
252525
Petaluma, CA
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Way to push through on a day that was clearly not on your side. You still finished.

It was great meeting you.
2008-07-21 2:56 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Extreme Veteran
684
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Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great job getting through it all!
2008-07-21 4:12 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Regular
94
252525
Westchester, IL
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
yes, great job sticking it through


2008-07-22 9:26 AM
in reply to: #1546384

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Expert
1357
10001001001002525
Mukwonago, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
You really overcame a lot and that's an awesome job!  That was some serious heat on the run.  Enjoy your time resting and recovering!
2008-07-22 10:02 AM
in reply to: #1546384

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Expert
961
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Illinois _ Chicago area
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Hey there!
Sorry I missed meeting you before the race. Perhaps we'll have another opportunity at a future race.
I'm so glad you were able to persevere and finish. Way to go!
2008-07-22 10:17 AM
in reply to: #1546384

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Master
1980
1000500100100100100252525
Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Wow, what a great race report.  I had to pull out the kleenex cuz I am so proud of you.  I don't think I have met you but you are definately an inspiration.  Way to go!!!!
2008-07-22 10:29 AM
in reply to: #1546384

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Elite
3518
20001000500
Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great RR..great race....you never gave up!! I was one of those 68.3 finishers in Kansas..I know the feeling!!  Awesome job!!
2008-07-22 12:57 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Extreme Veteran
536
50025
Wauwatosa, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great job! It shows a lot about a person to finish in spite of a issues on the course. Way to go!!!


2008-07-22 2:14 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Champion
6056
500010002525
Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Wow, way to fight through all the challenges and bad memories at Kansas to finish strong! You should be very proud of your accomplishment. Great job!
2008-07-22 3:54 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Master
1376
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great job fighting through it.  Congrats on finishing. 
2008-07-23 5:18 PM
in reply to: #1550019

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Hey - I rode by Vomitville last year at SOR!

Great job finishing your race and the distance - you haven't had the best luck on courses/races this past 12 months....
2008-07-24 2:22 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Master
1563
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon

Your race report almost brought me to tears...but like you said, you did it girlfriend! I have always said that I learn the most from these "tough" races and I am sure you will too!  I am very happy for you...only wish I would have stuck around, but I needed to get my car back to Chicago...which really made me mad since I wanted to stay!

Next time girlfriend!

2008-07-24 2:45 PM
in reply to: #1546384

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Master
1609
1000500100
Gold Coast Australia.
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
What an adventure! Congratulations on your iron will to finish! Thanks for a great RR.


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