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LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Austin, Texas
United States
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 15m 9s
Overall Rank = 1129/1929
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 141/219
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at about 4 am. Drank 2 ensures. Drove to the race site. I got there early and was apparently one of the first busloads over to the site. No problems like some others had.
Event warmup:

Got transition set up. I walked around and took in the environment. I was relaxed, cool and really enjoying the atmosphere. I was reminded of that movie Gladiator where, right before battle he bends over and picks up some soil, then lets it run through his fingers. A last calm meditative moment.
It occured to me that many people would think walking around at 5:30 am looking at bikes in the dark would be a insane, but I was in my element. I was ready for battle!
  • 42m 4s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

The swim, for me like many is the part I am very undeveloped in. I have, however, been practicing sighting in the pool, and training for the distance. I also had practiced rolling over, taking off and removing goggles etc. just in case.
I stayed a ways out from the bouy line. Since I am a slow swimmer, I wanted to stay out of the way. Also, I breath to the left, so this was perfect. The swim was very crowded, and really never thinned out. In fact, the last third was really some of the worst part. The other swimmers and contact really didn't bother me, but just the chop in the water caused by so many people was at times tough for me to get used to breathing in.
What would you do differently?:

My plan was to swim nice and easy, and sight well. Mission accomplished. I actually don't own a wetsuit, so it wasn't a question, but at some point, I will get one.
Transition 1
  • 05m 17s

I really thought running up that long shute from swim to transition was really cool, with all the spectators lining the sides. I jogged all the way up, and took my time. I didn't waste time, but I wasn't going to be in such a hurry that I made a stupid mistake.
What would you do differently?:

Followed my plan here. Took my time, but didn't waste time.
  • 3h 21m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.67 mile/hr

Okay, so my plan was to ride by heart rate. I started riding, and it just seemed to be a little to high even though I was REALLY holding back. I was in the 11th swim wave, and I'm a slow swimmer, so most really fast guys and gals were long gone. That being said, it was amazing how many people were screaming past me in the first few miles. I could tell many were riding beyond their ability when they would fly past everyone on a downhill really pushing it, and then almost have to stop half way up the next hill. I bet 50 people passed me in the first five miles, but I stayed slow.
Finally about 40 miles in, I allowed myself to glance at my speed and was ASTOUNDED at how slow I had been going. I wanted to hold back as this was my first HIM, but realized I had done so to an embarassing level. I then picked up the pace, and averaged about 20mph for the last 15 or so miles.
My nutrition was perfect. One gel every 30 mins. I drank every 9 minutes 5 gulps gatoraide only.
As the ride went on people stopped passing me as often and later at all. It seemed like everyone around slowed down the last half as not a single person passed me.
What would you do differently?:

I think going easy, especially being my first HIM was a good idea. The heart rate plan was good, but I will listen to RPE and keep an eye on speed next time. I will use all these tools together to better guage energy output. I know I can do way better than this, but I'm not really bothered much. I really did enjoy the ride!
Transition 2
  • 05m 20s

Same game plan as the first transition, but stopped for a bathroom break.
  • 2h 00m 51s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 14s  min/mile

I've read alot of reports that describe the run course as blah blah blah with a big hill (quadzilla). I would like to ammend that idea. The entire run was hilly. You're either going up a hill, or you're going down a hill...and then there's quadzilla. The other aspect that made the course tough was the few miles on off road bumpy, dusty, sometimes sandy, uneven trails. Quite a challenge! It was great.
My plan was to run the first 4 miles at 9min/mile pace and then go up or down depending on how I feel. I really never felt very good. Even after two miles I wasn't sure how I'd hold up, but one moment at a time I stayed steady and never walked. My quads tried to cramp going up quadzilla, but I powered through. I could feel how critical it was to have my hydration and nutrition right on. I have the advantage of having trained in this kind of heat all summer, and can imagine it was difficult for those from cooler climates.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Followed my plan: Gel every 20 mins, 2 endurolytes every 20 mins staggered with the gel. Drank only gatoraide every aid station.
Post race
Warm down:

Felt really great after I finished. Walked around a bit with the fam and got the kids something to eat etc. Went to the bathroom and urine was clear. Good hydration.
Lots of folks getting I V's etc in the med tent made my family realize how serious a distance this is!

A couple thoughts/themes of the day that just kinda came to me:
-A triathlete before the swim start had a quote tatood on his back "all men die, but not all men truly live" I've heard it before, but this was the first day I truly understood it.
-I suffered the entire 2 hours of the run, but the thought kept coming to me: "somewhere right now, someone is suffering alot more than me. now suck it up and go"

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just took it easy. Tried to finish and did. Maybe next time I'll try to go fast.

Event comments:

I really felt like a serious triathlete at this race. It was so big, and everything was done on such a grand scale. Great numbers of volunteers (which I thanked every one I saw) and great numbers of spectators made this a "don't miss" race!
I absolutly had a blast

Last updated: 2008-06-09 12:00 AM
00:42:04 | 2112 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/219
Overall: 0/1929
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:17
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:21:34 | 56 miles | 16.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/219
Overall: 1505/1929
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Very pretty, but hilly.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:20
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:00:51 | 13.1 miles | 09m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/219
Overall: 453/1929
Course: Hilly and hot!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-10-09 10:49 PM

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Subject: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron

2008-10-10 8:44 AM
in reply to: #1732282

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The Colony, TX
Subject: RE: LongHorn Triathlon Festival - Half Iron
Great race and looks like you nailed your race plan. As far as the thought that "somewhere right now, someone is suffering alot more than me" - yeah, I definitely qualify for that one. The run did me in.
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