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Las Vegas Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Boulder City, Nevada
United States
Mountain Man Events
105F / 41C
Sunny
Total Time = 6h 48m 29s
Overall Rank = 33/85
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 3/14
Pre-race routine:

Woke up 4:50 am, had a banana, put on sunscreen, topped off tires, set up transition (in the dark). Swim start was 6:40 am.
Event warmup:

Not much, some minor stretching, a little jogging, short swim.
Swim
  • 41m 40s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards
Comments:

I found out it was going to be a mass start the night before the race. First mass start for me (but only 85 participants). I was able to avoid most of the kicking and kept my goggles nicely on my face the entire swim. Strategy wize I located myself about 4/5 back and to the left (clockwise course) to avoid getting pummled. The water was warm even without a wetsuit. I had debated wearing a wetsuit, but the water was just too warm and the day was only going to get hotter. I figured I would enjoy being comfortable while it lasted. The water was calm throughout the swim.
What would you do differently?:

That was pretty much spot on for me for my swimming ability. I don't think I varried more than 5-10 feet (side to side) off the best course to get around the course. That is pretty much my practice pace and I shouldn't go any faster for my first HIM.
Transition 1
  • 02m 50s
Comments:

I took a little extra time to get the sand off my feet and to get some glide on my feet. Always putting socks on wet feet is a pain. There was a fairly long run between the end of swim and the bikes, so this went fairly well.
What would you do differently?:

Try to get those socks on quicker.
Bike
  • 3h 27m 53s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.16 mile/hr
Comments:

See above. I don't feel like I could have taken much off the bike, like you had to get to the top of the hills or tip over. I am suprised that my average speed is that high considering how much time I spent plodding up the hills.
What would you do differently?:

I think I did as well as I could for the challenge of the bike course. Practicing hills more probly would help, or just overall fitness.
Transition 2
  • 03m 5s
Comments:

It turns out that my left sock had gotten put on heal up when I got out of the water in T1, so I had to spend some extra time getting it turned around. Dang and my headband was in my bag somewhere, I was going to need that in this heat. I also took some extra time to get a few Gu's onto my running belt for later and to get a quick swig of water.
What would you do differently?:

The sock thing slowed me down, I forgot the headband setting up in the dark and all, could have been faster in a number of ways. I need to get a race top with a gu pocket in it.
Run
  • 2h 33m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 41s  min/mile
Comments:

Ok so those hills from the bike had kicked my butt and my legs were more stiff than they usualy are after the bike. I did not want to drink any water right out of transition as this usually makes my sides ache, but it was sooo hot that I did anyway. I ballenced water intake and risk of side ache throughout the entire race. So my legs were stiff, my side did start to hurt and it was HOT. In the first mile I passed a number or folks who were doing the HIM and were already walking (some with IM tats). After about the first mile with a slight stitch in my side I was afraid that I was going to have to walk the remaining 12 miles myself. I slowed my breathing down, kept to a plodding pace and just kept at it. First 2 miles dirt with fist sized rocks (uphill). Mile 2-5 steeper uphill grade, but now on pavement. There were 3 aid stations in the first 2.5 miles (one right outside trasition) and then nothing for the next 2.5 miles, uphill. I was getting thirsty. I had let my stomach settle into the run and was looking to take a Gu, but I was already past the first 3 aid stations and the 4th ended up being as I said 2.5 miles away uphill. The trail just kept a going up, and up. Finally I got to the aid station, hit a gue, drank 15 oz of water and a cup over my head ah, jogged 50 feet and was thirsty again... not a good sign. Ah the 1st turn around and Down Hill! Life was good, but HOT. Then 1 mile down the road it pretty much flattened out and back onto a gravel road. I was just a plodding along. My bladder was a little full, but not really anywhere to go and I didn't want to stop the feet moving anyway. Hrm no aid station 1 mile out, no aid station 2 miles out, I am hotter and thirsty and dang where is the aid station. About 2 1/2 miles down the trail is the aid station. I drink 2 cups of water and hit a gu and ya one for the head. Plod on, hrm wonder where the next turn around is. Oh look a sign (first mile marker) says 6 miles to go. Cool, I think. Anyway there is a little cover from the sun as the trail goes through some cliffs with nice tunnels. And yay the turn around, no longer going farther from the finish line, but getting closer now. This aid station was only like 1 mile or so, so I didn't really want to hit a 2nd gu so quick. I think this is where I should have hit the gu where I had some water to wash it down. In my mind I am thinking 5 miles to go, will I really have the time to benefit much from it. (Well since none of the 5 stores I went to before the race had salt tabs (including REI in Las Vegas sigh) I should have probably hit the gue for the salt alone if not for the callories (yall see where this is headed right?) Remember this was my first HIM and I have never exercized in temps hotter than 95.. it was 105. By this point in time my shirt was turning white from the salt from sweating. Oh well two cups of water and one for the head plodd on. This strech was another 2.5 miles with no water. This last one is what may have done me in. Anyway plodding on, cool the trail starts to go down hill again. Just relax into the down hill. Cool the Oly turn around, that means I am just 3.1 miles from the finish, keep plodding. Aid station, finally 2 cups of water and one for the head. More people walking here. Dang the distance from 3.1 to 2.0 miles from the finish is really long. Ah there is a sign. Another person walking jogging walking. Hrm, I am starting to feel like walking would be good, well suck it up! Finally got to the last aid station at about 1.5 miles from the finish line. I stop 2 cups of water one for the head. And keep walking...walking... a guy who had been close enough to me that we were at every aid station together catches up to me at this point. He gestures to me and said come on lets finish her. This was really cool. I try to plod on next to him, at this point my respiration is up, my heart rate is up and my hands start to tingle. By the way when my hands start to tingle from like low fluids and too fast of breathing that's not a good thing. I let him slowly pass me a little ways and about 1 mile out I am walking. Danm it. Nothing to be done for it, just walk and try to slow the breathing down. Danm fist sized rocks here everwhere. I know I can finish her, just walk it out. At one point I try to jog a bit more, but after about 100 feet it just feels wrong so I go back to walking. My breathing won't slow down, my heart rate won't come down. Screw it just walk it out less than a mile now. I finally get to the last hundred yard and the trail turns to the finish line. I suck it up and jog somewhat unsteadily toward the finish. Perhaps not the best decision, but I am able to pull it off. It was enough to let me know that walking most of that last mile was the right decision. I cross the finish line at 6:48:29 my goal was 7 hours. They have stopped announcing finishers at this point. There are 2 people at the finish line, 1 takes my timing chip, the other hands me my finishers medal, a bottle of water and asks if I am ok. I drink it in one swallow (ok well it felt like one swallow). I have finished my first HIM! I know what I need now, more fluids and some callories fast, I am marginal. I take the spare time to put on my casual shoes (out of those running socks and into something more casual. My legs are not bending so well to get the shoes changed out. I bend over to get them tied, a bit light headed there, best get those callories. I hadn't mentioned it, but from mile 3 on on the run I was looking forward to an ice cold Coke at the post race reception. I go there, and they have oranges, pretsals and oreo cookies. Oh and close by some water. No coke, no gator aid, not much of anything. I have 2 cookies, a quarter orange and another 20 oz water. It is enough, but dang that was the suckiest post race everything I have ever been to.
What would you do differently?:

Order salt tabs by mail months ahead of time as no one carries the stuff, like no one sigh. I should have hit that last gue at mile marker 5, or any time later. I was worried that I didn't have the fluids to digest it, but it might have helped.
Post race
Warm down:

Slowly walk to the lake and ease myself into the water. I came back to look at finishing times and stuff, they hadn't bothered to even post any HIM times. I hadn't figured I had placed anywhere so it wasn't a biggie I would look it up online the next day. I had a 650 mile drive to do and it was time to pack up my stuff and get going... to McDonalds to get a very lage Coke with lots of ice... ah. It turns out I placed 3rd in my age group WOW.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The swim was good, right at my ability level.. need to swim more in general though. Those hills on the bike sucked, need to do like thousands of hills on the bike I guess. The temp on the run was a limmiter, needed salt tabs and should have hit that last gue at mile 5 or 4 or 3... General fitness in all 3 events with hill focused training. Oh and a hat. My headband didn't hold enough water to keep my head as cool as it looked like some other folk's hats did, worth a try. But it was my first HIM and I started training from the couch about 1 year ago so I am very pleased.

Event comments:

The main problems with the race were those 3 sections on the run where you go 2.5 miles with no water (remember temps reached 105 F), only 3 stations had gator aid (and they ran out early, they advertised water stations every mile, gator aid every 1.4 miles), no anouncement of finishers after well they stopped before I got there anyway. It is always cool to hear your name as you finish. The post race just sucked. oranges, oreos and pretzels and limited water didn't cut it. It would have been nice to see a printout of results or to have an opportunity to get your place medal. They were basically closing up shop before folks were done. I was 33 of 85 and they were taking away the bike stands and laying people's bikes down on the ground when I was clearing out my transition stuff. So basically, the race was very pretty, very HOT and they need to not put folks health in danger by not providing enough aid stations and the post race everything sucked.




Last updated: 2008-09-18 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:41:40 | 2112 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/85
Performance: Good
Suit: no wetsuit
Course: Course was a single loop, well marked.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 02:50
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
03:27:53 | 56 miles | 16.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/85
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Oh my gosh! They said this was a relatively flat course with no significant climbs. There weren't 5 consecutive feet of flat on the entire bike course including the transition area. I must have been in first gear 40 times going up the endless hills. Even out of the transition area was up hill for the first half mile or whatever. Anyway this made it very hard to determine how much effort was being put in as you had to put in so much effort just to climb the hills. The first 28 miles were golden, climbing descending, climbing descending, ....taking the weight off my bum a little on the down hills to keep from going numb etc. I picked up water ok at the 2 water stops, pretty much hit my nutrician throughout at around 750 callories. One guy flew by me going the other way realllly early into the bike, I didn't see if he had a number or not (4:33 was his finish time). Climb discend, dodge the evil rumble strip, climb discend, didn't say any bikes at all for about 10 miles, 5 miles to turn around, fair number of folks going the wrong er other way now. Woot turn around, feeling strong. At about mile 33 this bike club of like 100 folks hit the course. I guess they thought that doing drafting practice through a HIM was kinda fun. I swapped off passing them and getting nearly run over by them for the next 5 miles before our paths parted. I was feeling really good on the bike, not too hot, food ok, hydration good and then around mile 40 the hills started to wear on me and I was attacking them with less gusto. And then at mile 44 (bottom of a 2 mile climb) I decided that I was ready to get off the bike, even if it meant running. I started coasting down hills more and not peddaling down them as much and just plugging up them. I was starting to drag. I joked with a fellow biker about maybe not doing the run and heading back for another swim in the lake, he agreed that that sounded nice. There weren't any major climbs from mile 46 to about 48 with some nice pleasant down hills. I got a litte more energy and gave a pretty good steady effort for the last 6-7 miles. At mile 54 my primary water source ran out, I had one bottle of hot water I had been cooking all morning, but I didn't want to get cramps on the run and figured I would just finish off the last few minutes without any fluids. When I dismounted from the bike my legs were more shot than usual, from those endless hills. Oh and did I forget to mention I hate rumble strips. That rumble strip went all over the place, was very annoying and made it so you had to either ride in the 18 inches to the right of it or out where traffic could hit you. I spent much of the bike considering which I wanted to risk, running off the track into the sand or getting hit by a car. I am thankful that there were no sharp turns at the bottom of hills. Given those hills this is about the best I could hope for.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
T2
Time: 03:05
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
Running
02:33:00 | 13.1 miles | 11m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/85
Performance: Below average
Course: Ok I left the T2 at like 11:00 am. The temp was probably 95 F by now and the first 5 miles were all up hill. The first 2 miles were on dirt and a large number of fist size rocks (anklebrackers). I think that I eventually bruised 2 of my toes on those things. After those first 5 miles when the path flattened out some it was much nicer. The main drawback of the trail was that well the temp rose from 95 to 105 during the run and there were 3 sections of 2.5 miles with no water. That was much too far for how hot it was.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

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2008-09-29 12:27 PM

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Elite
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5000100100100
Alturas, California
Subject: Las Vegas Triathlon


2008-09-29 12:30 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Champion
9060
5000200020002525
Charlottesville, Virginia
Gold member
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon

3rd in AG on your first HIM, way to go!

Great job out there.

2008-09-29 1:00 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Master
2436
200010010010010025
Apex, north carolina
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
The race organizers really dropped the ball on this one.  There is no excuse for not having a finish line crew calling names at your time.  I know all about the pain of climbing hills - ugh!  At least mine wasn't at 105 degrees.  Outstanding job!  I hope your wife did most of the driving home!
2008-09-29 1:02 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Elite
3913
20001000500100100100100
far northern CA
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
Awesome job, Steve!  You should be proud of yourself for doing so good in your first HIM!  It looks like you'll be ready for Wildflower next year if you tackle those hills on your bike!  Cheers!
2008-09-29 1:12 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Regular
102
100
Auckland, New Zealand
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
Well done Baowolf, especially with that heat!
2008-09-29 1:23 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Expert
1076
1000252525
Las Vegas, NV
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon

Not good that the organizers started pulling stuff down early.  For the Olympic finish they were calling out as many names as they could.   Plenty of water during the shorter event as well.  I guess they just didn't plan out the Half as well as they should.   I would have been prettty upset if they had just pulled apart the transition and layed my bike down.   

Congrats on your AG placing! 

Todd

 



2008-09-29 1:28 PM
in reply to: #1703718

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon

Nice work!  I had to laugh at the RR.  I know your pain on that course.  I race there all the time.  I could almost visualize every hill you described as well as the high temps!

Again, good work.



Edited by Aikidoman 2008-09-29 1:29 PM
2008-09-29 1:41 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Elite
5301
5000100100100
Alturas, California
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
Thanks guys. I think with a few salt tabs on the run and a few more callories I could have sucked it up for that last mile. I just ran out of something that I needed and it wouldn't have been smart to try to push all the way through.
2008-09-29 1:41 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Master
2005
2000
Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon

Wow! Sounds like a really tough race! You did awesome, Steve! Congrats!!!

2008-09-29 2:38 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Expert
856
5001001001002525
Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
Congrats on sticking it out and finishing!  You felt bad, but you kept going and a great finish in those conditions!  It's a tough course - you should be proud! Cool
2008-09-29 4:14 PM
in reply to: #1703502

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Elite
5301
5000100100100
Alturas, California
Subject: RE: Las Vegas Triathlon
My family didn't come down. I drove the 650 miles on Saturday, did the HIM Sunday am and drove back 650 miles after the HIM. Wish I had cruise control on my car. Got home at 2am.


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