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Troika Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Spokane, Washington
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 40m 50s
Overall Rank = 211/238
Age Group = Athena 40+
Age Group Rank = 1/2
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:00 for a relaxed morning. Drank my Perpetuem/HEED breakfast while browsing BT, mixed my nutrition and filled water bottles, then waited to get picked up for the ride out to the race. BIG THANKS to our driver - it made my day 100% easier not having to shuttle cars around and seeing a dear friend out there on the course was wonderful!
Event warmup: warmup. I got in the water enough to slick my hair back and get some water in my suit, realized I had lost my gel to eat before the start so ran back up to the bikes and found it, then back to the beach to hear, "Everyone out of the water." Darn. NO swimming. Found my brother, racinmason, for a quick good-luck hug, then stood and watched the men's wave go. Got some pics taken with the other women from our club and then the horn was blowing for my start.... it kind of snuck up on me this time.
  • 44m 27s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

The water was great at about 68 degrees. Green, but cool and calm. I started at the back of the pack and waded in and was one of the last to start swimming. I just swam easy and tried to draft where I could. Rounding the second turn buoy, I was swimming beside someone's feet when the words of one of the club coaches came back to me, "You can draft beside someone but you're more likely to get kicked in the face." BAM. Ouch. I stopped and felt around my nose to see if there was any blood but it really wasn't that hard, it just surprised me.

I had to stop and look for the buoys a couple of times - I was following the crowd but couldn't spot the return buoys. My goggles didn't leak at all - YAY!

I kicked my feet the last 25 yards or so and swam until I touched the bottom. I stood up a little early and had to wade through the water, but was able to jog up to my bike.

2000 yard OWS practices helped - I was thinking back to my first year when the swim looked un-doable as I stood looking at the buoys. This year it was...well, maybe not easy, but the distance didn't worry me at all.
What would you do differently?:

Keep working on swimming straight. Overall a good swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 51s

What in the world was I doing for almost 4 minutes? This time includes a run up the hill to the bikes, but the only extra things I had to do were to put on my CoolWings and load all my stuff into a big plastic bag that gets transported to the finish. Still - 4 minutes? Ah well. I DID get to see racinmason.

The transition didn't feel fast, but I got everything where it was supposed to be. Lost my goggles case, though.
What would you do differently?:

Remember to lube my toes - I forgot all about it.
  • 3h 23m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.50 mile/hr

Dividing up the ride into parts was a good strategy for me. Rather than looking at the whole 56 miles, it was easier to ride to the next break point.

The out and back and loop around Clear lake always seems hard to me so I made a point to take it easy on this part. Still had some hip pain and cramps so maybe I didn't take it easy enough. Ended up taking some Advil along a straight stretch of this road - that was kind of hairy. I had a couple of foil packets in my Bento Box along with some other stuff that I didn't want to drop, so I carefully found a packet and got it out...and it was empty. Darn. I did it again - how do people do this without slowing down? Got another one and managed to get them down. Probably should practice getting things in and out of the B-box while I'm riding.

The second part through Medical Lake was a blast - twists and turns through the neighborhoods with people yelling for me! I couldn't recognize some of them, but it was sure fun to hear "Go Colleen" as I went by. Bing energy boost every time that happened. The club was out in force and it felt GREAT to hear all the cheering as I went by.

I stayed in my aerobars even on the climbs for most of the ride - I felt very relaxed and comfortable. But my lower back continued to hurt and by the end my neck hurt too - that was a first. Hmmm, think the two are related?

The rollers felt good but I was glad to get them done, and the big downhill before the park was a total rush as usual. NO bee stings on this hill - so that was a plus. This was about mile 40, and on this hill I passed a guy on a mountain bike! He was flying downhill but was no match for Syd...he sure was speedy on that thing.

I was drinking InfinIT but I think I need to up the calories a bit for riding. I got hungry so I tried a couple of Clif Bloks in the middle of the ride. Yummmm.... They worked well together

Climbing up the hill in the park was tough as usual, but it IS just a hill. I was thinking about what one of my friends had said about a different hill..."This isn't a hill, it's just a nuisance." Gave me a chuckle.

The last climb up to the city was not too bad. The best part was that as I was climbing up it, a lady sitting on the edge with her bike asked if I was Colleen. It was BT's own SpokaneJo right out there. How fun to meet a BTer in the middle of the race like that! There was a guy in front of me who looked like he was really struggling with the climb - weaving aroudn and all. I don't have much of a killer race instinct, I felt bad passing him so close to the finish.

I smiled through most of this ride - even though my legs were fatigued I was still having fun at the end.
What would you do differently?:

More training. The snowy roads left me the trainer option late into the Spring and I just couldn't seem to get my butt on it. Started riding too late and not enough long rides this year.

OTOH, riding the course a couple of times was GREAT. Made the day much easier knowing what to expect. HUGE thanks to my hubby who got up early on two Saturdays in a row to drive me and my brother out to the start.
Transition 2
  • 01m 3s

They do a good job with T2. You ride up to a line of guys who grab your bike, one guy holds open a bag for your bike stuff - for me it was helmet, CoolWings, shoes and socks. Then another person has your run bag about 15 feet away by some benches so you run over and put on your run stuff - for me it was socks, shoes and hat. Very fast transition.

I did take a couple hits off my inahler - turned out to probably be a good thing even though it elevates my HR.
What would you do differently?:

Remember to lube my toes. I forgot to slick them up in T1 and already had a broken blister between my two twisty toes that always rub together.
  • 2h 27m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 17s  min/mile

My transition continued into the first part of my run. I crossed the mat and headed toward the POPs, then back out to look for Vaseline for my toes. The lady had some so off came the shoe and sock, slimed up the toes then sock and shoe back on. Turns out to be grand that I took the time - blister was no worse after the run! As I was standing up I noticed a bottle of Ibuprofen on the table so I downed a couple of those too with a nice drink of cold water. I wonder what my run time would have been if all this stuff had been on the OTHER side of the mat?

Wow, what a run. First, they didn't allow music this year. I had trained all year thinking they would so it was a big disappointment. I did see people out there with headphones and no one got any penalties for it, but I'm glad I went without 'cause now I know don't depend on it and it was just fine. But 13.1 miles is a long way to listen to myself run.

All during the run, I was continually surprised at how fast the aid stations came up. There were 10 through the course of the 13 miles. I never felt hungry or thirsty or depleted, and when one would come up I flet like, "Whoa, time to eat again already? Cool!" I ran between all the aid stations with a couple of uphill exceptions. At that point near the end my HR was high enough that I was feeling slightly asthmatic so I decided to walk.

I alternated aid stations between gel/water and HEED (hooray for Hammer!) and felt good.

One of my teammates caught me after the turnaround and was a great pacer for awhile but I had to let her go with a HR spike. At the next station I asked for gel and water, and as I was eating my "I don't care what flavor" gel, the volunteer said, "It has caffiene." Uh...ok...I hope I can tolerate it. Haven't tried caffiene in training, but after this I may incorporate it! It didn't make me feel great, but shortly after I got a little second wind and caught up with my teammate.

By then, I could see my brother ahead and really wanted to catch him. I tried and tried but just couldn't do it. I managed to close to about 75 yards, but just couldn't get any closer.

I never felt beaten down by this run. Tired, yes, but never to the point where I wanted to stop. I thnk I finally felt the runner's high as I finished feeling good and just couldn't stop smiling.

The end of a really good day for me.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except keep training.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my chip taken off and picked up my finishers medal, then hugged all the teammates and smiled smiled smiled. Felt really good at this point - better than either of the other times I've done it.

We had to walk a ways to pick up our bikes and gear, then back to get our very cool zip-up hoody race sweatshirt, then finally picked up our catered lunch of ham and cheese sammitch, fruit and cookie from my favorite bakery. They had a bunch of picnic tables set up so sat down and ate and recovered. Cheered in our last team finisher (first HIM this year that she turns 40!) and took everything back to the car.

The runner's high lasted until after I sat down from the year's best shower (some are just better than others and I REALLY needed this one!) Layed on the couch with my legs up and napped a bit.

All in all a very good day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think my biggest limiter is my weight - as usual. I'm getting stronger and despite adding an expected few minutes to my bike time I took 16 minutes off my run time for a race PR of 7 minutes.

I'm very happy with how the day went.

Event comments:

I think they do a very good job with this race. There are a lot of volunteers, the course is challenging and well marked, they provide water for the bike segment - although it would work better for me if it was a little earlier in the ride, and there are plenty of aid stations on the run.

It starts on time and I like the venue. The post-race meal is great, and the finish is in a city park so there is a place for kids to play while they wait.

The only thing that needs to change is that they really need a POP on the bike course.

I plan to do this race again, but I'll probably volunteer next year then do it the year after.

Last updated: 2008-04-03 12:00 AM
00:44:27 | 2112 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 197/238
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless BlueSeventy Reaction
Course: One lake-shaped loop.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:51
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:23:41 | 56 miles | 16.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 240/238
Performance: Good
Avg HR 132, Max 158
Wind: Little
Course: I divided it into several parts: 1: Out and back and around Clear Lake 2: Through the town of Medical Lake 3: Espanoza to the Highway 4: Ride along the Highway 5: The big rollers 6: From the turn off the roller road to the entrance to Riverside State Park - AWESOME downhill during this segment 7: Riverside State Park (with the BIG hill) 8: Everything else
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:03
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:27:47 | 13.1 miles | 11m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 226/238
Performance: Good
Avg HR 153, Max 166 Miles 1-2: 10:21/mi, avg 151 bpm (151 is top of Z2) Mile 3: 10:52/mi, Avg 150 bpm Mile 4: 11:30/mi, Avg 152 bpm Mile 5: 10:56/mi, Avg 153 bpm Mile 6: 11:41/mi, Avg 150 bpm Mile 7: 11:29/mi, Avg 152 Mile 8: 11:11/mi, Avg 152 Mile 9: 10:59/mi, Avg 154 Mile 10: 11:09/mi, Avg 154 Mile 11: 10:47/mi, Avg 157 Mile 12: 11:26/mi, Avg 156 Mile 13: 11:45/mi, Avg 156
Course: Out and back along the Spokane River on the Centennial Trail.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5

2008-08-04 11:59 AM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: Troika Half Iron Triathlon

2008-08-04 4:42 PM
in reply to: #1580124

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Madison, Wiscansin
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Nice job on that race! Hey, you won your age group too! A 16-minute PR on that run is huge, especially while feeling good the whole time!

I was suspiciously looking at the Team Blaze people wondering if one of them was you, but I couldn't tell. I think I was out there on the 13th mile when you finished, so if you saw someone in a blue hoodie it might have been me! Or it might have been any of the other finishers!

Will you be training for something instead of Troika next year?

2008-08-04 5:14 PM
in reply to: #1580124

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Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Congratulations on the PR!! Great race and race report!!! Can't wait to do this one next year!
2008-08-04 8:11 PM
in reply to: #1580124

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Madison, Wiscansin
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Oh yeah I was gonna say you should try caffeine more often in races. There's a reason people love the flat coke available at IM brand races. It perks you right up!
2008-08-05 8:19 AM
in reply to: #1580124

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Twin Cities
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon

What a great race!  You put in the training time, you worked your plan during the race, modified it, as necessary to continue to have a good race, and set a PR in the process!

{hoping for a real cold spell so that you can wear your hoodie very soon} 

2008-08-05 9:13 AM
in reply to: #1580124

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Extreme Veteran
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon

Fantastic race Colleen! Huge PR on the run and overall as well. You made it sound like a lot of fun!

2008-08-05 9:16 AM
in reply to: #1580124

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Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Woo Hoo!!!  Way to go!!!  Oh, I'm your brother and everything but I'm sure glad the run wasn't a mile'd have caught me for sure!!!  Congratulations on your win and your PR!!! 
2008-08-06 7:24 AM
in reply to: #1580124

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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Wow, what an impressive race Colleen!  I love how happy you sounded through the entire race.  You made it sound easy!   Great work!
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