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Door County Triathlon Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 7h 36m 53s
Overall Rank = 345/357
Age Group = F 20-24
Age Group Rank = 5/5
Pre-race routine:

Well, prep for this race started over 7 months ago with lots and lots of training. But finally I got within a few days and started to get nervous. Saturday before the race, I pack all my stuff, unpacked it and repacked it again. I was so nervous about forgetting to bring something I would need, like shoes or a bike helmet :) Slept well Friday night and didn't sleep well Saturday. I got up at 3:15, checked the weather, which was looking pretty good, ate a bagel, cream cheese, gatorade and a banana. Then I helped my Mom and Dad pack up their stuff and got in the car and was on the road by 4:20 am. Got there about 5:40, unloaded the car, picked up my packet and got body marked and picked up the chip. Then I went and set up my transition area hogging as much room as I wanted. I realized at that point that we got there way too early so the family and I walked to the dock, looked at the water, walked back to the registration area and bought a celebration sweatshirt, then walked back to the transition area so I could mix my drinks and get my wet suit. Did that and walked back to the starting area, said hi to BT runner (Megan) and Paul, my team partner from work who is also a photographer for ASI. Finally it was time to start climbing into the wet suit and heading to the water. After a great National Anthem, thanks TriBob, I got into the water to await my wave and adjust to the temperature. Finally wave 8 was called up to the time mats and told to walk into the water. I was nervous and it was starting to set in that I was doing 70 miles today, but I was ready to go. It was time :)
Event warmup:

Warm up? Are you kidding me? I knew I was going to be out there for probably 6:30 plus hours and I was going to warm up? That is what the swim is for :)
  • 48m 34s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 18s / 100 yards

When the horn went off, my wave of about 50 women under 30 headed off. I waded for about 15 feet or so before diving under the water and starting to swim. Even though it was shallow, I didn't want to waste the energy of walking through water when I would need those muscles later on. I started to swim and even out my breathing, which I was mildly successful with, and headed out to the first turn buoy. I was slightly off course before that first turn and kept drifting to the right for the longest time as I swam parallel to shore. I kept wondering when that second turn buoy was going to show up. Even once and awhile I would do some BS to catch my breath and spot. At about the second turn, the waves and chop picked up to a noticeable level. I could only think about three things: when was this going to be over?, stop kicking so much, and am I still on course?. Finally I made the final turn after swallowing water a few times, getting crawled over a few times, and just getting tired of swimming. When I was able to get my feet down I did some dolphin jumping and when it got shallow enough, I stood up and started stripping the wet suit to my waist. At that point I was just so glad to get out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Well this is hard one. Yes I haven't spent a lot of time in the pool in the past few months. Did that damage my swim? I'm not sure. That was not a pool to any degree because of the chop and water. I only swam once in the wet suit. Did that help or hurt? Who knows. Would more open water swimming help? Maybe, but those times are limited. Did I do the best I could? You bet I did!
Transition 1
  • 02m 31s

After getting out of the water and running up the boat launch, I got down on my butt and the wet suit stripper did a wonderful job, pulling it off with no problem. Then I ran to my spot, dropped my stuff, put on my shoes and helmet and sunglasses, talked with a few others in my area while I did that, grabbed my nutrition and bike and headed off.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I wasn't moving as fast as I could, but then again, I wasn't in a huge hurry either. Better to get it right and not forget something than move faster.
  • 3h 30m 48s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.94 mile/hr

When I got across the mount line, my biggest concern was first getting into a rhythm. I also realized at this point that something was not right about my neck. Reaching back, around my hairline, I was hugely tender and burning almost like I was cut. I pushed it aside and got going. I remembered that the first 10 or so miles were nice and flat so I was determined to start my nutrition watch, relax and just go with it. About 5 or 6 miles it, I started getting a little po'ed because some of the sprint racers were actually catching me. I was already pushing my speed, probably around 18 to 19 miles per hour and I knew I just had to let them go, but man it was hard. Around mile 9 was the turn around for the sprint and also where my work partner/photographer Paul was located. The picture turned out cool because I ended up waving to him and he got the shot :) About 12 or so miles into the race, the course took us into Sturgeon Bay which is also flat but had the designated cheering stop for people watching the race. I know I will never be fast enough to be in the Olympics or the Tour de France, but let me tell you, that was just what I imagined it to be. For about 4 blocks in the middle of downtown, people lined the streets on either side and it didn't matter how fast or slow you were going, when you came into sight, the crowds erupted into cheers, clapping and bells. It was absolutely amazing and I fed off that energy. I stuck with nutrition and when my watch went off I took something in. For the most part I held my ground, keeping as equal with speed as possible, climbing hills responsibly, rarely passing anyone but getting passed every so often. At mile 23 or so, the course started going out and back so the really fast early wave groups were going the opposite way. I just kept at it thinking that I would soon be doing that, looking at people with 20's of miles to go. There were several large hills right before the half way point but not the race titled "bluff", a 200 ft climb over a very short distance. My legs, back and butt started getting a little tired and tight around mile 30 but I just kept going knowing I was going down the other side of the hill countdown. Around mile 30 or so I switched from gatorade to water and gels for nutrition because I was getting sick of gatorade. Got back into Sturgeon Bay and even the smallest hills were starting to get increasingly hard to get my butt up. Conversations increased between people as someone passed another person. It was also like we were trying to not only psyche the person we were passing up but also ourselves at the same time. Finally around mile 45 I hit the "BLUFF". I couldn't have climbed it any faster than 7 miles an hour, just spinning as fast as possible to keep going and not fall over. I knew that there was a huge downhill coming up but as I kept on going on and on, there were nothing but uphills. Past mile 45 I knew I was going to make it, but my time was starting to get close to 3:30 and I didn't want to take any longer than that because I had no idea about the time on the swim. Finally the big downhill, where I hit 33 mph, another gel and the last four miles to transition. At this point all I wanted was to be off the bike. I rolled into T2 at what I thought was going to happen: 3:30.
What would you do differently?:

First off... plain and simple, the race got into me and I went out too fast. I know I was trying to control it but the excitement just took a while to control. Second, more hill training would be beneficial for a course like that. It truly was hilly and I didn't do enough hills over distance to train myself for it. Lastly, I really think even though my longest bike called for a 3 hour training ride, a full 56 or 60 mile bike ride at least once maybe twice would have been beneficial. You really can't expect what you legs will feel like at mile 53 if you have only gone to 47.
Transition 2
  • 02m 26s

When I rolled in, my parents were waiting for me and snapping pictures. I came onto the dismount line really fast and hit the ground running at a good speed. I had already decided that once I got the bike racked I was sitting down to take care of the change in shoes and anything else I needed. Looking around it looked like most bikes were back and some people were even pulling their bikes out of transition after finishing the sprint... lucky them crossed my mind. That was only the second time I even thought about quitting. Sat down, changed shoes, got rid of the helmet, threw nutrition in my pockets, grabbed my race number and started walking out of T2. More pics from Mom and Dad and grabbed some gatorade and water, the first of many cups to go over my head. The weather had gone from foggy, to overcast to partly sunny and was starting to heat up. After the first water stop at T2, I started to jog and got a taste of my legs.
What would you do differently?:

Not much... a very good transition and I believe I ranked 2/5 in my age group... not bad at all. The girl that ranked first murdered my time... she must have not worn socks... so she will continue to kill me... I like socks :)
  • 3h 12m 33s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 42s  min/mile

Well, during those first few minutes of running, I quickly realized that I went too hard on the bike, but sadly I am glad I went that fast because I was about 12 minutes away from bike cut-off even though I think that was not enforced. Pretty much the first mile and a half was equal parts running and walking, getting passed by pretty much everyone. When I hit that first water stop on the course, I got two cups of water and one of gatorade, one water went over the head, the second in the mouth and the gatorade in the mouth as well. I walked for a while and then I could see the people meeting up with the second killer bluff. Sadly for me, I found out the people going in the other direction were at mile 9... I was at mile two :( This was the first of many times to come that I thought about giving up. Three things kept me going: all my friends and family, the fact that I was already so far, and the pure determination not to quit. I kept going, took a gel, got to another water stop, took more water and gatorade, started playing the power pole game, so running between 3 of them and then walking one, which seemed to work. I finally made it to Egg Harbor, got some solid energy, ran past the other photographer on the course and kept going. My biggest fear at this point is that even though there were the occasional person passing me, I was beginning to think I could be getting into the last person place. I finally hit the turn around at 6.5, but then hit a huge huge huge hill that I was forced to walk up and ended up sky rocketing my heart rate. Getting back into the city, I was greeted with lots of car honks and people yelling encouraging things, which was actually the case the whole day but I really started to need it to keep going at this point. I was only at mile 7 and I was started to actually feel really tired which wasn't good. The sun was more constant and I was just getting uncomfortable. Finally I was going in the right direction and actually seeing a few people going sadly in the first direction. I hit another water stop, starting to joke with the volunteers to ignore the pure tireness. By this point, which was mile 8 or so, I was getting sick of gatorade, gel, and had run out of shot bloks and powerbar jelly things. Walking was becoming more frequent and I began to really question when I was going to get across the finish. My first goal was just to finish, but my second was to get there before the awards ceremony at 4 pm. It was around 2:40 or so when I hit mile 9. Mile 9 is another one of those titled "bluffs" and this was yet another time that I thought yeah right... why am I doing this. I got to the top but my this point, I realized my first huge mistake of the race. I needed some body glide because my arms were rubbing the trisuit and I was starting to really hurt. Well the aid station at mile 10 didn't have any body glide, so I continued on. At this point, I was running about 1/3 of the mile and walking the rest. At the next aid station, someone caught up to me and we talked for a while walking. At this point, I decided that I was just going to need to walk mile 11 if I had any hope of running across the finish line. So that is what I did. I changed up my footing and steps every once and while in order to keep going. My time was disappearing and what was killing me is knowing it was so close yet I was getting so tired. I knew my parents and my co-worker were at the finish line and I just wanted to get there. Finally hit mile 12 and the last water stop, ran a bit then walked some more. Then there it was, the hill that lead down to the finish line. I ran down it... somehow found the strength and saw my parents, got to the finish chute, gave high fives, crossed the line, smiling all the way so that my co-worker Paul could capture the moment.
What would you do differently?:

This is tricky. You can't exactly train for 56 miles on the bike and then a half marathon as a whole training day. My first half split was better than a thought and then it went all down hill. So many reason why it could have. But the main goal was to finish... and well I finished before the awards... by 2 minutes :)
Post race
Warm down:

When I got across the line, a volunteer put a towel around my neck and I walked over to drop off my chip and get my medal. I love my medal... it is a lighthouse. My parents came down and Paul walked over from pictures and I got a bottle of water. I paced around a bit talking to everyone, not really believing I did it. Got some hugs from everyone and decided it was time to cool off in the lake again. Then went to go pack up my stuff and celebrate.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

You know... it was my first... a big determining factor for the future seasons to come. My first goal was to finish... did that. Second was to get in before the awards, did that barely. Next was to break 7 hours. It didn't happen. So what! Could I have trained harder or longer? Probably. Would it have been too much with graduating from college, moving home, getting a full time job, and changing my life around? I think so.

Event comments:

First off... I heart Sean Ryan. This was an amazing race from start to finish and he is an amazing race director. Second the volunteers and fans were amazing as well. They were there when I needed motivation to get me through. Third my parents are amazing. They spent 7:30 worrying, wondering how I was doing and sharing in my victory as well as all the hours of training. This was an wonderful race. I didn't honestly know if I would make it but soooo many people believed in me and I not only did it for me, but for everyone. I am honored to now be a half ironman and I am already thinking about next year and maybe bigger things. For anyone who doesn't think they could do it... three years ago I couldn't run a mile nor did I want to, could swim but not 2000 yards and well biking in the middle, yeah right. Believe in yourself... look what you can do :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-11-27 12:00 AM
00:48:34 | 2112 yards | 02m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 273/357
Performance: Average
Suit: 2XU long sleeved suit
Course: The course started in about knee deep water, headed out to the end of the dock, turned right around a buoy, headed out parallel to shore for a while, had a 180 degree turn, swam parallel to shore almost to the other side of the bay, turned again towards the boat launch and swam directly to there. It was shallow for the first 150 yards and the last 200 yards or so.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:30:48 | 56 miles | 15.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/5
Overall: 344/357
Performance: Good
Bike Split: 1:37:14 Split MPH: 17.33
Wind: Some
Course: The 56 mile bike route travels along Door County's scenic backroads, through the main retail district in Sturgeon Bay, along the shipping channel, out and back on a wooded back road and gradually ascends 200 feet up the famed Door County Bluff before returning to Murphy Park.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:26
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:12:33 | 13.1 miles | 14m 42s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/5
Overall: 351/357
Performance: Below average
Run Split: 1:18:12 Run Pace: 11:50 m/m
Course: The 13.1 mile run course takes participants north to the Egg Harbor Dock, up Harbor Heights Road, through the village of Egg Harbor, up the infamous Bluff Pass Road (200 foot climb in 1/2 mile), and through the stacked stone fences of Horseshoe Bay Golf Course before a downhill descent to the finish line.
Keeping cool Average 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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-07-23 10:45 PM

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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

2008-07-24 7:26 AM
in reply to: #1554486

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Well executed, very well done.  You met your goals and have completed a tough as nails race.  Awesome work out there!
2008-07-24 1:41 PM
in reply to: #1554486

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Nice race report.  Thanks for the read.    You did a great job on your race.  You've obviously worked very hard to become a half ironwoman and you did it!! Laughing  It's a great accomplishment and you should be proud.  I'm only sorry we didn't get to meet!
2008-07-24 9:20 PM
in reply to: #1554486

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Extreme Veteran
Green Bay, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman


Awesome race & race report. SO happy & proud for you.....what a huge accomplishment. You worked damn hard for many months to do this, and you are now being rewarded for all of that work. Congrats! Smile

p.s. it was nice to finally meet you, even though we didn't get to talk for too long

2008-07-25 12:13 AM
in reply to: #1554486

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Lafayette, CA
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

I am so proud of the progress that you have made this year.  You raced extremely well.  You have had an amazing year--completely nailing this TRI thing, completing school, and that work thingy. 

And you're going to crush your TdF challange!  Woo Hoo 

Great job and a great race report. 

2008-07-25 6:39 AM
in reply to: #1554486

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
I grew up in the Chicago area and camped in Door County a few times, I was considering the Great Illini next year, but this seems much more family friendly. Thanks for the report. Way to push through.

2008-07-25 8:55 PM
in reply to: #1554486

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Shalimar, FL
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Wow, you did fabulous!  I wonder about things like biking 56 miles then running 13+, but you did it!!!  What a great job for your first time, and I only hope I can keep up with you.
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