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LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
90F / 32C
Total Time = 7h 29m 40s
Overall Rank = 1725/1929
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 211/219
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:45, ate some ramen and brought a bagel for the drive down to the site. I ate about half the bagel.
Event warmup:

Setup transition, hung out with family & Karen.
  • 36m 45s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

I guess it's fitting that my first HIM was filled with all sorts of firsts. This was the first time I sighted worth a damn in open water, the first time I did this distance in open water, and the first time I was kicked in the face by another swimmer. I straight up got kicked in the nose by some dude who was going off on another direction. Here's the weird thing, it didn't happen at the beginning like you'd expect. I stayed out of the washing machine; this happened at the start of the 3rd leg. This whole area was pretty chaotic because this is the point where I was catching up to a lot of the women and the faster guys from the wave behind me were catching up to me. It turned into a wrestling match in the middle of the lake.

NOTE TO RACE DIRECTORS: PUT THE WOMEN IN THE BACK OF THE WAVES. I know there are some fast female swimmers - hell I'm dating one - but the majority of the female swimmers are slower than the guys and it causes problems when the guys start to stack up on the slower female swimmers. This isn't just for me either, I know plenty of women hate swimming with guys(because we're all primates when it comes to competition). So fix the issue by putting the women behind the men. We won't be running over them and they won't have to worry about a bunch of dumb men throwing elbows in the water. Plus, it makes it that much sweeter for the ladies when they blow by us on the bike.

As everyone else has mentioned, this course was short. My best case scenario was 40 minutes and I came in nearly 4 minutes under that. I'm not really complaining, but I was surprised how quickly it was over.
What would you do differently?:

I'd like to not get kicked in the face next time. That would be nice.
Transition 1
  • 07m 19s

I knew I had a long ride coming, so I was methodical in my transition. I didn't want to forget any nutrition, sunscreen, etc., so I made sure I had everything before rolling out on the course.
What would you do differently?:

I could probably knock a little time off this with practice, but I'm not too worried about it.
  • 3h 31m 33s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.88 mile/hr

I set out with the goal of keeping my HR down and saving myself for the run. Unfortunately with the wind being as omnipresent as it was, I ended up pushing too hard throughout the bike ride. I can deal with a headwind(OK I admit it, I hate wind) if it means I get the tailwind too. No such luck today; it seems like no matter where I was, the wind was in my face. I can only count 4 times I recall having a solid tailwind for a sustained period of time. To give a little perspective for those that weren't racing, there were times when I would blow by people like they were standing still when I was doing 13-14mph. I haven't dealt with wind like that in months.

Others complained about the hills; I didn't think they were that bad really. They were made significantly worse by the headwind, but I was passing a lot of people on the hills. I even did well on the Quadzilla hill.

I got tired of holding back about halfway through the ride. I'm not good at pacing myself, I want to eat the paste. This was compounded by the headwind; I'd finally get out of the headwind and fire off like a rocket. I started letting myself push for a mile or two, then back off for awhile before doing it again. In retrospect I'd like to say this was a bad idea, but for my own sanity it had to be done. I'm like Ricky Bobby on the bike, I just want to go fast. When you consider all of these bits, it's not surprising that my HR was too high for most of the ride. My nutrition was good though, I kept eating the Uncrustables, Shot Bloks, and Endurolytes according to schedule. I was pretty good about downing the Gatorade & water as well.

Oh, yea, the Quadzilla hill. Before the race, I didn't have a good idea on how long that hill would be on the run. Even when we drove by the day before, there weren't any signs out so I didn't know what it would look like. I had an inkling of an idea that I might try to save my energy on the run and try to push up the hill to see what kind of time I could nail for the 'King of the Hill' award(I didn't expect to win it, but I thought it would be cool to try). Once I was coming in from the bike and saw just how f*cking long Quadzilla was, that thought evaporated with a quickness.
What would you do differently?:

During the race, nothing. I could use more hill work in my training though.
Transition 2
  • 06m 11s

I came rolling into T2 convinced of one thing: I will *NEVER* do a full Ironman. I couldn't even fathom the thought of only being halfway done with the bike portion, it boggled the mind. If somebody had told me that I had another lap to do, I would have beaten them to death with my race wheels.

I got to my rack, changed my shirt & shoes, put on some more sunscreen, and got my running Camelbak ready(with Gu, etc.). I wasn't in a hurry because I knew I had a long way to go still.
What would you do differently?:

I could speed up a bit, but again I'm not too concerned about it.
  • 3h 07m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 20s  min/mile

The first mile or so wasn't bad, I was averaging about 11 min/mile and the legs were doing relatively OK. The problem was that I couldn't get my HR down where I needed it to be. I was hoping to get it in the 150s, but I couldn't drop it below 170-174 no matter how much I slowed down. Eventually I had to start walking to get the HR down, but the second I'd start running it would fire back up.

Side story: About a mile in as I'm checking my HR I hear a girl scream my name. I look up and it's a girl I haven't seen since high school. I don't know how she recognized me, but she did. I saw her again on the 2nd loop too.

Anyway, about a mile and a half in I knew I'd have to start walking to keep my HR down. So I started doing a walk/run combo, which slowed me down and helped get my HR in the ballpark(barely). I also made use of the cold towels, which kept me a little cooler(though not enough). Things just went downhill from there though. As the miles ticked by, my pace kept slowing down and I started walking more. This also screwed with my nutrition, because I started having to recalculate how long I'd go between Gu packets(because I didn't want to run out too early) and my math was getting pretty fuzzy because fatigue was really starting to get to me. Things were getting bad.

  • ..and then I saw Quadzilla. I slowly meandered my way up to the top where there was a guy shouting out racer's names as they passed over the timing mat. When he called my name, I asked him if I won 'King of the Hill'. He said yes, yet I don't seem to have a plaque for it. I'm going to have to ask Keith about that since my gimpy walk up the hill obviously should have been the best time of the day.

  • The second lap was more of the same, though the amount of people on the course was getting sparse. On the way back from the lava fields aka the Expo Center, apparently everybody got to go into transition and get their stuff because a huge stream of people started walking back to their vehicles on the run course. Cyclists were coasting through the run lanes, we were dodging people with strollers; you name it, it probably happened. Watching all those people head home is pretty demoralizing as well. A few of them gave us a little bit of cheering, but for the most part it was this cone of silence that was a major downer. Oh, I did have a couple people tell me to 'keep smiling'. Apparently multiple people think that my grimace looks like a smile. Duly noted.

    I slowly worked my way through the last part of the course, but it was more survival than any sort of motivation for success. I had made it 64 miles, I wasn't going to give up in the last 6. I tried to make the best of it, but it was a pretty low moment as I couldn't run for more than 30-60 seconds at a time and my walking pace was slowing down as well. I finally made it to the finish line, crossed, and headed to the med tent.
    What would you do differently?:

    More hill work. Looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time at Arbor Hills next year.
    Post race
    Warm down:

    I hit the finish line where they gave me my medal, a room-temperature bottle of water(thanks!), and a guy asked me if I wanted a finisher's photo. I declined, then he asked if I was sure and I relented. I found Karen, gave her a kiss, and headed to the med tent for fluids & shade. They didn't give me an IV, but they got me sitting in a shady spot with some ice cold gatorade which did well enough. After 10-15 minutes in there, I slowly worked my way to the athletes' food tent and grabbed a few things to chow on. I wanted to head to the BT tent, but I knew that would be a one-way trip so I headed back to the med tent and sat down while my parents & Karen picked up their things before heading home.

    I need to thank my parents & Karen for coming out. They were all super supportive and were invaluable during and after the race. Karen likes to say she's nothing but trouble, but the fact is that she's about the most supportive person you can have at an event like this. Mom & Dad were great too, I've got an awesome picture of Mom running beside me on the run that's probably my favorite picture thus far. Dad said some things to me after the event that I'm not going to share, but suffice to say even though he's not historically one for praising, his comments made me feel like I had made him very proud. Thanks to the BTers for screaming at me as well, I needed the levity with the day I was having.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    A lack of hill training in the bike & run. I don't think my volume of training would need to be a whole lot different(though I could use a bit more running), I just need to focus on hills.

    Event comments:

    I've already mentioned in a thread what I'd work on for next year, but overall I think Keith's organization is doing a good job. There were plenty of aid stations on the run(though I'd like more of them equipped with the cold towels) and they did a good job of marking cracks & problems on the bike course. There were some nice touches such as the Endurolytes at several aid stations. They have a good thing going, and if they can work on the bike/athlete transit for before/after the race then they'll be in even better shape.

    Profile Album

    Last updated: 2008-03-17 12:00 AM
    00:36:45 | 2112 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
    Age Group: 186/219
    Overall: 1565/1929
    Performance: Good
    Course: triangle course w/ buoys on the left side
    Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
    Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
    200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
    Breathing: Good Drafting:
    Waves: Navigation: Good
    Rounding: Good
    Time: 07:19
    Performance: Good
    Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
    Jump on bike: No
    Getting up to speed: Good
    03:31:33 | 56 miles | 15.88 mile/hr
    Age Group: 209/219
    Overall: 1679/1929
    Performance: Average
    Ave HR: 163 Max HR: 186
    Wind: Strong
    Course: Hilly & a headwind.
    Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
    Turns: Good Cornering: Good
    Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
    Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
    Time: 06:11
    Overall: Below average
    Riding w/ feet on shoes
    Jumping off bike Below average
    Running with bike Below average
    Racking bike Average
    Shoe and helmet removal Below average
    03:07:49 | 13.1 miles | 14m 20s  min/mile
    Age Group: 206/219
    Overall: 1736/1929
    Performance: Bad
    Ave HR: 165 Max HR: 185
    Course: Hills. Lots of hills.
    Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Below average
    Mental exertion [1-5] 5
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    Good race? Ok
    Course challenge Too hard
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? No
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? Yes
    Post race activities: Good
    Race evaluation [1-5] 4

    2008-10-08 4:16 PM

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    Subject: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    2008-10-08 6:18 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    Super job out there. That run was tough! I know what you mean about the "I'll never do a full Ironman" feeling. It's kinda like asking a woman who just gave birth if she wants anymore kids! I bet we'll change our minds on that as soon as the soreness is gone.

    Great accomplishment! Congratulations on your finish!

    2008-10-08 7:32 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Frisco, Texas
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    Great job out, Johnny.  I enjoyed reading your RR.  (beat to death with race wheels; made me laugh).
    2008-10-08 9:24 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Waller County, TX
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    Great job hanging in there and getting it done!

    Really super having your family out there and especially your dad. No matter how old y'all get; you're still his son.

    You can always reflect back on what you accomplished that day.
    2008-10-08 11:10 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    the colony texas
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    IMKY is still open...<ducking for cover>

    DUDE !! great job out there... That first part of the run, the out and back is tougher than it looks, very hot, no shade, just enough of a incline to work the legs and make your HR jump up a couple hundred beats,, but none of that mattered .... since you finished it..

    I'll be calling ya for long bike rides next summer, I know a couple of great hills...

    Congrats again

    2008-10-08 11:18 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    The Colony, TX
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you out there.

    I know what you mean about the hill training for the run as I feel that is where my wheels really came off as well. Congrats on fighting through the conditions and finishing your first HIM.

    2008-10-09 5:55 AM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Extreme Veteran
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    Congratulations!  You had some issues but pushed through to the end.  I hope you are recovering okay.   Great job!

    2008-10-09 2:21 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Flower Mound, TX
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    Awesome race Jonny.  I'm very proud of you.  I was one of the cyclists heading back to the Expo Center as you were running back towards the finish.  Sorry if it was demoralizing, but I did holler out a cheer for you!

    I'm glad your Karen and your parents were there for you. I know that Karen was proud and it's really nice to know that your Dad was especially touched by your performance. 

    Sorry, I didn't stay to see you finish but I wanted to get back to my parents house in Austin so I could spend a little more time with them before coming back here. 

    2008-10-09 3:20 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Williamston, Michigan
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    Great Job   Congrats on your first 1/2
    2008-10-09 9:50 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    Congrats on your first HIM!  What an accomplishment!  That is funny about the high school friend  - lol!

    2008-10-10 7:22 AM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Austin TX
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    Great job Jonny!  I know what you mean about all of the people/bikes/strollers/dogs/etc. walking back to their cars while we were still out on the run...that part pretty much sucked!  But, you kept going forward and that's all that counts!  Congratulations on your first HIM!!!  

    2008-10-10 8:17 AM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Fishers, Indiana
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    Congrats on your first HIM! Way to push through a tough course and finish well!!
    2008-10-10 7:24 PM
    in reply to: #1728373

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    Plano, TX
    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

    As I passed you going the other direction on your first run loop, the verbal exchange we had made a lot of people running with me and you laugh.  You remember what you said, right? 

    Great way to gut it did your best, and that is all that counts.  Well done, brotherman.


    2008-10-11 11:17 AM
    in reply to: #1734379

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    Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
    livestrong - 2008-10-10 7:24 PM

    As I passed you going the other direction on your first run loop, the verbal exchange we had made a lot of people running with me and you laugh.  You remember what you said, right? 

    Great way to gut it did your best, and that is all that counts.  Well done, brotherman.


    I think it was something along the lines of "I'M NEVER DOING A FULL IRONMAN", but that's just a guess.
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