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Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
Premier Event Management
75F / 24C
Overcast
Total Time = 5h 17m 20s
Overall Rank = 319/2310
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 14/162
Pre-race routine:

Up at ~4:50. I was staying about 2 miles from transition. Arrived at transition about 5:30. We had to be out of transition by 6:45. Set up my transition area then waited in line for the shuttle to the swim start.

Breakfast - Cliff bar, OJ, Ensure - ~600 calories. Sipped on a bottle of GU2O while waiting for my start wave.
Event warmup:

No warm up. My swim wave started at 8:24 (2nd to last wave). Hung out with my wife and the rest of my support crew.
Swim
  • 36m 17s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 53s / 100 meters
Comments:

Before the race I was worried about the lake being rough. But on race day the wind was out of the south which meant the lake would be calm. And it was. It was flat, almost swimming pool like.

I was in the 2nd to last wave. So I had lots of time to stand around and watch the other waves go.

This was probably the easiest open water swim I've ever done. The water was flat. The number of people in the waves was small. The swim area was wide open. No real contact at all.

I sprinted out for about 200 meters then looked for a draft. Hooked onto a guys feet for about 10 minutes or so. Then we ran into the slow swimmers from previous waves. I lost my draft. After this I just swam on my own. My swimming was straight and comfortable. Hit the turn to the swim exit. The exit area was shallow water and everyone was standing up and walking in. I kept swimming until the water was about 1' deep, stood up and tried to run. It was so crowded with people walking I couldn't get out to the siwm exit. I actually bumped into people trying to run out. This was the most contact during the swim.

Hit the timing mat and checked my watch. My watch was full of water. Crap. No time, no HR. I'll be racing naked.
What would you do differently?:

Swim harder. I find it hard to judge how hard I'm swimming in open water.
Transition 1
  • 02m 33s
Comments:

Saw the wet suit strippers. Ran down the line to the end, pointed to two guys standing there then plopped on my butt, legs up. Suit off. Thanks!

While running through T1 I was thinking what to do about my HRM. Nothing really to do but strip it off and race on RPE. I quickly took off my watch and the HRM strap. Grabed my bike and took off. Good tranisition. It might seem like a long time for T1, but the transition area was huge. It was a long run from my bike rack to the bike out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Bike
  • 2h 38m 20s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.22 mile/hr
Comments:

I rode the bike course last summer so I knew what was coming up - lots of flat roads with 2 bridges. Headed out of T1, made the round-about and saw my wife and the rest of my support crew. They were great.

Without my HRM, I needed to be careful not to over cook the bike ride. The wind was out of the south, so we had a tail wind going out. Just sat in and rode easy heading out on Hwy 90. I saw the first pros coming back in and thought they looked like they were riding slow. I figured the head wind was stronger than I thought and that I would be riding in that headwind soon enough. Menatally prepared for that eventuality.

Being in the 2nd to last wave, I had lots of athletes to pass. Used the legal draft to hop from ride to rider. Hopping from rider to rider was fun and kept me menatlly focused on the bike ride.

At the first U-turn I got a taste of the head wind. With the tailwind I was easily holding 25-27mph. Into the headwind my speed dropped to 18-21. But, I felt good riding into the wind. My RPE felt comforatable.

Made the turn onto Hwy 11 and had the tailwind again. The course started becoming more crowded as the slower athletes started piling up after the first section into the headwind. Made the U-turn and now had about 20 miles of headwind back to T2.

Kept my RPE comfortable, in the small chain ring, spinning about 95 rpm. I started heating up during this section. Grabbed a bottle of water at an aid station, drank a couple swallows then dumped the rest on my head, back and legs. Continued spinnning into the wind. I eventually hooked up with two other riders in a legal draft. This gave me a mental boost. We stuck together for about 10 miles. At the last aid station I lost them. I could see the first bridge ahead and knew we were getting close to T2. Crossed the 2 bridges and headed into T2

Nutrition - 2 bottles of Infinit (brought 3, but only drank 2) ~500 caloires. At one point I did start feeling some discomfort in my stomach. Drank a couple swallows of plain water. That helped.
What would you do differently?:

The ride went well. Not much different to do. I beat my goal time of 2:45.

Nutrionally, I will take more plain water. I think the Infinit sits in my stomach too long and plain water would help.
Transition 2
  • 05m 15s
Comments:

Long T2. Had to pee bad. Knew there was no way I was going to run in that condition. Hit the port-o-potty.
What would you do differently?:

Pee on the bike.
Run
  • 1h 54m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 46s  min/mile
Comments:

My HRM was dead and I didn't have a watch to check my run pace. This run was based on RPE. Biking on RPE was easy for me as I have more experience cycling than I do running. So I decided to start out real easy. I didn't want to over do the run.

I got going on the run without any problems. My legs felt fine. The first mile down Lakeshore seemed to go by fast. At about the 1 mile mark I saw a BT jersey up ahead. It was Trail_runner whom I had not met. I said Hi and introduced myself and continued on.

Heading out on Lakeshore we were running into the wind. The temperature wasn't an issue going into the wind and it was overcast. But, when we made the u-turn and ran with the tailwind it became very hot. Then the clouds started parting leaving the sun to beat down on us. I had water at every aid station and dumped a cup on my head also.

Saw Michele and the rest of my support crew on Lakeshore. Actually saw them twice on this out and back section. They had setup a picnic under a tree on Lakeshore. It looked like a really nice area. I could have just stopped and sat for a while, but had business to take care of.

Once we turned onto Wisner I knew we would get relief from the sun by the trees covering the road. Wisner to City Park was nice. City Park is mostly tree covered. Esplande is completely a tree covered tunnel. Very nice.

At about mile 5 I was pacing behind a couple other runners. At mile 6 I had an espresso GU and decided to pick up the pace. I left my pacers behind. The first half of the run I was feeling pretty good; running at RPE of about 6-7.

I hit City Park. Still feeling good. Legs were aching but no sign of the ITB problem I had been having. Still drinking water at every aid station. Tried some Gatorade at one aid station, but that didn't sit well in my stomach. Half way through City Park, there was a bag pipe band playing. They started playing Amazing Grace. I was like Nooo, you're supossed to be playing some Scottich marching pipe and drums song. Not Amazing Grace. It sounded like we were at a funeral.

Exited City Park onto Esplande. This street is amazing. It's like a tunnel of oak trees. Completely shaded. People were out of there houses sitting on the side of the street watching and cheering us on. Most had beer and other drinks set up and of course lots of food. In New Orleans any reason is a good reason for a party. The folks on Esplande had a party going. It was awesome.

My legs were really hurting running on Esplande. I really wanted to stop but just kept Continuous Forward Motion. I'm really pleased with my mental game during this race. Mentally I was focused and positive. I was able to keep going even though my legs hurt and I wanted to stop.

About half way down Esplande through the tree tunnel I could see the light tan wall of the French Market where Esplande ended. That's where we turned right onto Decatur and the finish line. I just kept focused on that tan wall at the end of the tunnel. Picked up the pace then made the right onto Decatur. 6 blocks to go. The crowds grew thicker with each block. The music and noise grew louder. About a block or so from the finish I was in a gauntlet of people. The crowd had squeezed into the road so tight that I could high-5 both sides of the gauntlet just by stretching out my arms. It was awesome.

Then I hit the baracades and the carpeted finish line. Saw my wife and the rest of my support crew. High-5'd them and crossed the finish line.

I had no idea what my time was so I looked back and saw 6:41. Minus the 1:24 delay in my start meant I was somewhere around 5:15. Not bad. I really hoped to go sub 5, but with the wind on the bike and not running in January and February because of ITBS today wasn't the day for sub-5.
What would you do differently?:

Put a spare watch in my transition bag. I have a sport watch I use for swimming and had that been in my transition bag I could have grabbed it and had a watch to time my splits.
Post race
Warm down:

None. I was spent. Not as bad as Longhorn last year where I ended up in the med tent. But I was done. Stood around outside the finish area waiting for my support crew to find me. Drank some water. Talked a while.

Walked through the athlete food area - they had water, gatorade, cookies, fruit, pizza and Abita Beer. Had to have an Abita.

Then had the best recovery food ever - cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde. While eating and celebrating with Michele and my support crew we could watch the other athletes finish. Awesome.

After all of this, I changed into dry clothes. Then we walked over to The Republic for the awards ceremony. More free Abita Beer and wine. Saw the pros get their awards. I was 14th in AG and held a slight hope that a Clearwater spot would roll down to me. But, no such luck. It did roll down to 7th or 8th, I think.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough long runs. I suffered an ITBS injury on Dec 28. Didn't run during January or February. Have to give some credit to Dr. Troy Van Biezen. He fixed me up and got me ready to race.

Event comments:

Awesome. This was the best half-iron/70.3 race I've ever been to. And this race had the best finish line experience of ANY race I've been to including IMFL and IMAZ. Finishing in the French Quarter was amazing.

The race was well organized and well supported. The entire bike and run course was closed to car traffic. This is the only race I know of that has a closed course and it was so much nicer to ride without traffic.

I highly recommend this race.




Last updated: 2008-05-11 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:36:17 | 1931 meters | 01m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 22/162
Overall: 480/2310
Performance: Average
None...my watch/HRM flooded.
Suit: Zoot Synergy
Course: Point to point course in Lake Ponchatrain along the sea wall.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding:
T1
Time: 02:33
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
02:38:20 | 56 miles | 21.22 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/162
Overall: 328/2310
Performance: Good
None. HRM flooded.
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Modified out and back. The bike course was completely closed to all car traffic. Amazing. I've never done a race where the course was closed. Entire 4 lane highways were closed. It was great.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 05:15
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
Running
01:54:55 | 13.1 miles | 08m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 15/162
Overall: 316/2310
Performance: Average
None. No watch to get my splits.
Course: Beautiful run course along Lakeshore Drive, to Wisner, then City Park to Esplande. Finished on Decatur in front of Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2009-04-07 8:43 PM

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Master
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Frisco, Texas
Subject: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans


2009-04-07 8:53 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Man - you had a great race!
2009-04-07 9:13 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Master
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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great race Tommy. Sorry I didn't see you but you really rocked the course.

2009-04-07 9:45 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great race bro.......
2009-04-07 10:38 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Champion
5117
5000100
Brandon, MS
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Hell of a ride!  Congrats on a great race out there.
2009-04-07 10:47 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Pro
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NorCal
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
GGreat race out there!  Sorry we did not have a chance to meet in NO.


2009-04-08 7:25 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Expert
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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Really strong race, especially coming off the ITB situation.

One day, everything will be perfect on race day and you'll go sub-4:45.
2009-04-08 7:29 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Expert
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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Kudos for adapting your race once you lost the HRM.  I know I would've flipped out.  Great job out there!
2009-04-08 8:09 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Veteran
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Thibodaux
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great mental focus, Tommy! You did great and I hope to see you at next year's race. Tim and I enjoyed meeting you and your family at dinner Saturday night. Thanks for putting that together. Good luck with the rest of your races this year.
2009-04-08 9:40 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Regular
57
2525
Plano, Texas
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

Further proof that you're the greatest triathlete ever and that I'm stalking, I mean studying, the right athlete.

It sounds like you had a terrific race considering the injuries and lack of run training. Congratulations. I may go try to sign up for next year's right now!

Be safe coming home and I'll see you at the pool.

2009-04-08 10:32 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Member
16

scottsdale, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
great race Tommy and great race report.  I agree that running down Esplanade and then the human chute that formed on Decatur made the last part of the race special.


2009-04-08 11:07 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Elite
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Texas
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Nice race Tommy!

Man I might have to do that race next year...
2009-04-08 2:00 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Champion
8540
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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
you must drink from the fountain of youth since it seems that you just keep getting faster
2009-04-08 2:13 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Champion
34263
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Jeebus man you were flying!!! Nice bike out there in the windy conditions and great run in the hot conditions. Best finish ever, wasn't it???
2009-04-08 4:54 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Regular
101
100
Baton Rouge
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

F A S T fast!

 Great job.  I agree on the venue and race finish.

 

2009-04-08 4:57 PM
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Champion
19812
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MA
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great job!

Sounds like an amazing race finish and you enjoyed every bit of it.

Nice way to run strong and pick up the pace even with limited running...sweet!


2009-04-08 7:29 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Regular
82
252525
Erbil
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

Great Race,  I thought about doing this race.  Based on your report, will keep it in mind for next year.  I did a PEM race last year and wasn't impressed.  Looks like they have improved.

2009-04-09 11:10 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
awesome, tommy!!
2009-04-09 5:54 PM
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Elite
2645
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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great Race Report. I enjoyed your write-up; it makes me wish I had run this race. I grew up in NOLA, and I'm so happy to hear they put on a good race. I may see you there next year!
2009-04-09 11:37 PM
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Mesa
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great job Tommy!

That finish sounds cool.

I prefer to pee in the water. LOL
2009-04-10 7:24 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Expert
739
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Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Great race, Tommy.  Way to represent TTT and TriCommunity!


2009-04-10 6:01 PM
in reply to: #2069732

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Extreme Veteran
331
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Corinth, Texas
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

You're one fast dude.  Nice race.

2009-04-11 9:11 AM
in reply to: #2069732

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Elite
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Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Nice racing--you obviously know yourself pretty well since you didn't have the HRM and watch tool to go by, so well done!  Sounds like it's quite the experience, and from your write up I may have to give it a shot in the future!
Great racing!!
2009-04-14 9:39 PM
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Champion
5575
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Butler
Subject: RE: Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

Nice race tommy.  Hope all is well.

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