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Silverman - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Henderson, Nevada
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 7h 52m 32s
Overall Rank = 225/283
Age Group = Female 25-29
Age Group Rank = 8/11
Pre-race routine:

I was staying at a vacation rental house with a bunch of family members for a few days prior to the race. The night before I went to bed early, around 9:30 or so, and by 3:45 in the morning I was tossing and turning. I got out of bed around 4:30, had an english muffin, and got dressed. I had turned in my bike and gear bags the previous day, so there wasn't much stuff to get ready and we (my husband and I) were out the door at 5. We stopped for coffee at Starbucks in Boulder City, and I had an iced gingerbread Clif bar with my coffee. We got to the lake around 6. The first thing I did was go check my tire - the day before I had discovered a small tear, and I was really worried about it. When I looked at it in the morning, however, it seemed smaller than I remembered, so I decided to take a chance and not change the tire. I pumped my tires, placed my bottles (1 regular and 1 double strength Infinit) and took my shoes, helmet, and sunglasses out of my gear bag and put them by my bike. I also got body marked and picked up my timing chip. At 6:30, my husband and I watched the full distance race start, and then I took advantage of the fact that there was no line at the port-o-potty. Went back to the car, had some coffee, waited for the rest of my family to show up. Eventually they did, and I put on my wetsuit, and at about 7:40 the half distance athletes started to gather at the swim start area. Some people warmed up, some just got used to the water (myself included), and some people just stood at the edge of the water without getting in, which would soon prove to be the smart choice.
Event warmup:

Our 8:00 planned start time came and went, and everyone started wondering what was going on. Meanwhile, the wind picked up, it started raining, and we started getting cold. Around 8:30 or so, they announced that a bad weather cell was moving through, and everyone should get out of the water. Everyone huddled in the changing tents, and they announced that at some point they would make a decision on if/when the swim was going to happen. At this point I was shivering and frustrated. I went to the bathroom, and while I was in there they announced that the swim start would be happening in 12 minutes. FINALLY around 9:00, the race started.
  • 46m 55s
  • 2100 yards
  • 02m 14s / 100 yards

The swim was pretty uneventful until about 2/3 of the way through, when I heard very loud thunder. I picked my head up and heard the swimmer next to me ask a guy in a kayak if that was thunder, and he said it was. At that point I picked up the pace. Later my mom told me that they saw a huge lightning bolt. Anyway, I felt pretty good during the whole swim.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster. I trained more for this swim than I did for my last oly swim in July, and it was a lot better, but I still need to train more and get some stroke instruction.
Transition 1
  • 05m 21s

My wetsuit stripper did a good job of getting my suit off quickly. I grabbed my gear bag and went in the tent, grabbed my towel and dried off a little. Put on some chapstick and chamois cream, almost forgot to put on my socks, did forget to put on my sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

Put on sunscreen!!! Fortunately I did not get sunburned.
  • 4h 21m 4s
  • 56 miles
  • 12.87 mile/hr

The bike is usually my best event, but that didn't seem to be the case here. The first 35 miles or so were fine. I made sure to ride at a fairly comfortable pace, since I was worried about having enough energy on the run. On the bike path (miles 36-48, approximately) things became really difficult. It was windy, dark, cold, silent, lonely, and just hard. First there were the three sisters - short, steep hills that had me climbing out of the saddle in my lowest gear, and gasping for air at the top. The rest of the bike path was a false flat, which was just miserable. At one point I was riding side by side with a guy, and we just laughed at how ridiculous this was. After what seemed like an eternity, we turned off the bike path and into the streets of Henderson. I had a banana, which went down well. Around mile 52 there was a long fast downhill stretch, which felt awesome after 15 miles of uphill. Finally I made the turn into the bike dismount area, jumped off the bike, handed it off to a volunteer, and instantly felt better.
What would you do differently?:

Ride faster. I did some 50-60 mile rides with plenty of climbing, but this experience showed me I have a lot of room for improvement.
Transition 2
  • 05m 16s

Took off my bike shoes and helmet, put on my shoes, race belt, and a hat. A volunteer sprayed me with sunscreen, and I also put on more chapstick and some eye drops.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 33m 59s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 45s  min/mile

For the first mile or so, I felt absolutely fantastic. Maybe it was because it felt so good to finally be off the bike, or maybe because I was using different muscles. Anyway, that ended pretty quickly. By mile 3, I was feeling the way I usually do at about mile 12 of a standalone half marathon. From then until about mile 7-8 I really had to dig deep and convince myself that I was actually going to run this whole thing. Just before the 8 mile marker, I asked a guy what time it was and realized I was going to finish this thing in under 8 hours. At that point I got a second wind, and then went through some more mental and physical ups and downs. I was alternating water and gatorade at every aid station, and I had a few cookies as well, and a little bit of coke. At mile 11 I started to feel good again, and saw my husband and sister drive by on their way back from a casino (they saw me and yelled). I ran through the "beer mile" area where there were a bunch of cheering spectators, which was cool because I was the only runner at that point. Unfortunately there was no beer, but I did see a guy running with a yard of something tasty-looking. I gave it all I had for the last mile, but I was spent, and I'm surprised I didn't fall over at the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Running is usually my weakest event, but not in this race. Maybe that wouldn't have been the case if I had pushed more on the bike, but as it was I felt thrashed at the end of that ride. Considering how crappy I felt during most of the run, I'm happy with how I was able to dig deep and really force myself to perform.
Post race
Warm down:

Met up with my family at the finish line, got a foil blanket, went to the medical tent to get ice for my knees. Then I started to shiver, and we went into the food tent where I shoveled down a mound of pasta, 2 slices of pizza, and a beer. After that we picked up my gear and headed back to the house, where I spent a couple hours trying to bring my body temperature back up to normal.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I did this race a year after I first started training for triathlons, and 11 months to the day after my first sprint race. I'm still new at this, and eventually I will build more of a base and increase my training load to the point where I can perform much better. This race really reminded me how much of a newbie I still am. I still have so much to learn, and so much room for improvement.

Event comments:

I had heard that this was one of the best races out there in terms of volunteer support and organization, and I have to say I was very impressed. I will definitely be doing this race again at some point in the future.

Last updated: 2008-07-22 12:00 AM
00:46:55 | 2100 yards | 02m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/11
Overall: 190/283
Performance: Average
Course: Triangle shaped course in Lake Mead, starting and ending on a boat ramp.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:21
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
04:21:04 | 56 miles | 12.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/11
Overall: 237/283
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Hills, hills, and more hills. The road was fantastic - awesome pavement, no road debris, although the rumble strip was kind of annoying. Much of the course was not closed to traffic, but the traffic was pretty light.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:16
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:33:59 | 13.1 miles | 11m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/11
Overall: 203/283
Performance: Good
Course: Lots of gradual uphills and downhills through the streets of Henderson. One loop for the half.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-11-10 9:13 PM

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Woodland, California
Subject: Silverman - Half Iron

2008-11-10 9:22 PM
in reply to: #1800985

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Congrats, you really picked a tough course to break into this distance and you did it! Glad the tire held out too.
2008-11-10 10:57 PM
in reply to: #1800985

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

Well done. This looks like a really tough course. You kicked butt!!

2008-11-10 11:24 PM
in reply to: #1800985

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Henderson, NV
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Congrats!  I called those Sisters some really bad names on that false flat.  The weather just made it more of an accomplishment.  Good job!
2008-11-11 7:02 AM
in reply to: #1800985

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Boca Raton, FL
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Great job..I did my first half this weekend as well.  Great report and amazing finish!
2008-11-11 9:36 AM
in reply to: #1800985

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Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

Congrats on conquering a tough first HIM.

IMC will seem flat after this! I look forward to seeing you there

2008-11-11 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1801554

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

wonderful job!

That bike path is just hell for some reason.  You feel like you should be able to go faster, but just can't...

Again, great job and congrats!

2008-11-11 7:00 PM
in reply to: #1800985

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Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

Way to power through, you hit the nail on the head. Couldn't agree with you more on all points. Sooo well done!


Those cookies on the run were delish!



2008-11-13 11:46 AM
in reply to: #1800985

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Fort Collins, CO
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

Great job powering through the tough elements on an equally tough course.  It sounds like this is just a beginning for you, so I wish you many more happy races in the future. Congrats on your finish!



2008-12-09 10:23 AM
in reply to: #1800985

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
great job finishing your first HIM and on a tough course too with some tricky conditions.  You've come so far in so short a time.  Most impressive! (and to think I knew you way back when   ).   You did a great job toughing it out, which is a great part of any endurance sport and you're no doubt (mentally) stronger for it.  Way to go!
2008-12-09 11:00 AM
in reply to: #1800985

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Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Kudos on completing your first half, and doing so on such a difficult course! Awesome!!

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