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DeuceMan Half IM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Show Low, Arizona
United States
TriSports Racing
70F / 21C
Total Time = 4h 36m 27s
Overall Rank = 7/119
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/14
Pre-race routine:

Jamie and I arrived up in Show Low early Firday afternoon. Show Low is up in the White Mountains 2.5 hours northeast of our home in Fountain Hills at an elevation of 6300 feet. we had rented an AWESOME cabin in and brought the dogs for a weekend of racing and fun in the cool mountains. The cabin was huge and only 2.5 miles fromt he race venue at Fools Hollow Lake. I had not been sleeping well for the past week and had felt very flat in my training following Tempe International. I was so tired I actually tried to take a nap Friday afternoon after packet pick-up, somehting I never do. My body was trying to tell me something but I didn't know what. I would soon find out! We made a nice dinner in the cabin and I was in bed by 7:00, hoping sleep would come.
Event warmup:

I slept ok, waking up every hour or so after midnight. I finally got up for good around 3:50am to make coffee. Because there was very limited on site parking at the lake, we decided we would ride our bikes down to Transition. My race had a 6:30am start and Jamie's Olympic went off at 8, so I left first at 5:00am. It was fun riding down to the race with all my gear in my ZOOT Transition bag. I found a great spot on the rack and set up my gear, chatting with friends from our local Phoenix tri scene. It was a very relaxed atmosphere although a bit on the cool side. Jamie arrived around 6:00am to watch the start. She was so nervous about her race, her first full Olympic distance. This would be her longest race OWS and she was pale as a sheet!
  • 30m 43s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 27s / 100 yards

I lined up well and when they horn sounded, tried to go hard to get up front. I knew the alttitude would feel the worse during the first half of the swim. I certainly felt short of breath but tried to stay steady to the first turn bouy. I found some feet to draft off, but they were slowing so I had to go around and found myself alone on the long downward leg. I never felt very comfortable with my stroke and still found my breath a bit short. Mostly I just felt tired and I was 10min into a Half IM! After rounding the third bouy, I was heading back to the boat ramp and kept running into this guy who was swimming a serpentine pattern. It was so frustarting I actually had to stop and change direction to try and get around him. I stood up at the ramp and looked down at my watch. 30:xx. I just shook my head. I was excpecting a 28:xx, my swim has been solid the last few races, and I was pissed. I was only 2.5min down on the leader, maybe the course was a bit long based on their times, but it was a mental blow and I would have ample time to dwell as I began the bike!
What would you do differently?:

Anything and everything to get better motivated and moving well through the water. Negative thoughts don't help perfromance, as the rest of the day would prove. I rate this swim below aevrage and not bad only becuase somehow I was still in the race physically if not menatlly.
Transition 1
  • 01m 37s

Well, I had a good transition as I was so mad and already had my friend and fellow 40-44 AG'er Dan Beaver right behind me. I had beat him out of the water by 3:00 at Tempe International and here he was. That was the second mental blow, it just re-affirmed how poorly I must have swum and now I needed to try and get a lead on him as he is a great runner. More negative thoughts as I headed out of T1....
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I tied for the fastest T1.
  • 2h 23m 54s
  • 57 miles
  • 23.77 mile/hr

I headed out to the highway which would take us due west for the first 15 miles or so. I tried to settle down and get in a grove but still couldn't shake the feeling that I just didn't want to be there. 56 miles is a long time in the saddle to be thinking that way but that's just what I did. I was moving well, slowly catching and overtaking people, trying to get in my nutrition, keeping my HR in check, but I just wasn't "there". On one occasion, I wished I would get 2 flats so i could just end the day. Around mile 25, I passed a guy in the 35-39AG and he stayed with me. He would overtake me a few times and I would drop back, but then his pace was too slow, so I would have to move in front again. I never turned around to look at him, but on a long strecth of empty road with a headwind, he sat right behind me. Was he legal? I don't know, I didn't look, but I'm sure he was benefiting from my work, but I didn't care. I managed to finish most of my gel flask, but it was hard to choke it all down. I had one bottle of Gatorade from an aid station as well as my water. It was cool and I wasn't dehydrating aggressively, but I think I was a little light on calories. With only a few miles to go, I was alone and dreading the run. again, for no good reason, my run has been good at races, I just felt...tired. As I ran into T2, I was told I was in 3rd place. Instead of being psyched all I could think was "that won't last long".
What would you do differently?:

Have a better attitude!
Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

Got into my socks and shoe's well and was pretty quick out of T2.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 38m 40s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

You know you are in trouble when you start a Half marathon wondering at what poitn you will start walking! The first mile was along a winding trail and I could see second place up the trail. Within that first mile I was passed and was now in 4th. I was following this guy and we came to a point where the trail joined the road. The guy ahead dropped back onto the trail and so I followed him. The trail got a bit rocky and then smooth as it curved along the lake. I was actually starting to enjoy myself a bit when....
This nice lady out on her morning jog coming the other way stopped suddenly in front of me.
"Are you racing the DeuceMan?!" she yelled.
"Um, yes?" I replied.
"You're off the course!" she said.
"I am?" I said looking around.
"Yes! Turn here up this road and you will hook back up with the course at the top of the hill!" she said pointing up a side road.
"Are you sure?" I said as I started to run up it.
"Yes! Go!!!!"
Welcome to the cherry on the sundae which was my day. :)
As I ran up the hill, sure enough I could see runners crossing the road ahead. I had manged to add maybe 1.5-2min to what was already going to be a miserable day. on top of that, I saw Dan run by up ahead and knew I had just lost the AG. I was now in 6th. The best moment, however, came about 30 seconds later when the guy who had passed me and I had followed down the wrong path came busting out of the woods yelling,"Where the fuck is the course!!!!" I pointed and said I had followed him as well. He was pissed and took off after Dan. I plodded along to the far turnaround. Dan was coming back the other way wondering how I was behind him as he hadn't seen me yet. I just shook my head, smiled, and said I got lost. Up at the turn, my coach Nick was there. I told him what happened and how flat and bad I was feeling, he told me to hang in there, and that's what i did. I stopped thinking about stopping, I just found a nice grove and ran an easy, manageable pace. At the next out and back before the end of the first laps, I passed Dan again, he was just a few min up on me and he tired to get me to catch up but I said it wasn't my day and to go get it. He and I would eventually be passed by one other guy and would finsish 6 and 7th. I was 5:36 back from him after beating him by 6min at Tempe 2 weeks before and he has never been even close in race reasults over the years. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but he ran a great race and was the btetr man.
As I was half way through the last loop, I saw Jamie coming the other way heading towards the finish! She looked great and was smiling. I ran across to her side of the road to give her a high five and tell her I loved her. :) The last few miles were peaceful, no one was catching me and no one was ahead so I just cruised it in. My thoughts began to clear and I realized that as bad as my day was, I was still finishing a Half IM in 4:36 and in the top 10, a personal worst time, but I didn't quit and that's what I would take away this day.
What would you do differently?:

Just about everything.
Post race
Warm down:

After I crossed, Jamie came over and I gave her a kiss. I just shook my head and said, "Bad day." She was really excited about her race, her swim went fine and she passed a ton of people on the run. She ended up finishing in 2:46. I found Dan and congratualted him and said beers are on me! I brough a bunch of Fat Tires to the wards ceremony for him and the rest of our friends. Jamie and I packed up and rode back to our cozy cabin together. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm still not 100% sure what the root issue was with this race. I am sleeping better already this week and my training so far has been feeling good. I'm feeling better and feel confident this was just a bad day for me to race. I have also decided to do the Mountain Man Half instead of the Olympic and try and race the race plan we had for Show Low more effectively. It's a similar course, also at elevation, so it would be some nice redemption. :)

Event comments:

Dueces Wild Triathlon Festival is a full weekend of racing sponsored by TriSports. They have the Half, Oly, and AquaBike on Saturday and an XTERRA on Sunday. They have two athlete dinners and a huge rafal on Saturday. We ddin't go but I hear they give away a ton of great stuff. The volunteer issue was the result of a massive case of food poisoning on Friday night! They lost a bunch of folks, including the one who would have been directing people on the run course at a certain point... :)

Last updated: 2009-03-23 12:00 AM
00:30:43 | 2112 yards | 01m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/14
Overall: 14/119
Performance: Below average
Suit: ZOOT Zenith
Course: A large triangular course which covered the entire lake.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:23:54 | 57 miles | 23.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/14
Overall: 3/119
Performance: Good
My plan as per Coach Nick was to peg a 148 HR on the bike and that's just what I did.
Wind: Some
Course: A huge loop around the local towns surrounding Show Low. A really beatiful, rolling course with some big, long climbs around mile 40.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:38:40 | 13.1 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/14
Overall: 14/119
Performance: Bad
The plan was to hold 148 for the first lap and then push the last lap.
Course: A two lap course with 2 out and backs and some trail running. Rolling terrain but not too hilly.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-06-03 9:12 AM

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: DeuceMan Half IM

2009-06-03 10:09 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

"Where the f#ck is the course!!!!"     gotta love it

nice job and way to hang in there!

Edited by Birkierunner 2009-06-03 10:09 AM
2009-06-03 10:53 AM
in reply to: #2191712

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Tallahassee, FL
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Birkierunner - 2009-06-03 11:09 AM

"Where the f#ck is the course!!!!"     gotta love it

nice job and way to hang in there!

Yes, that's the quote of the day!

We all have tough days, way to hang in there and stick it out.
2009-06-03 11:07 AM
in reply to: #2191522

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

Nice job Bryan. I know a 4:36 is dissapointing to you but great job hanging in there and damn your wife is pretty fast 2:40 odd Olympic is nothing to sneeze at.

Good to hear you are sleeping again!!!

2009-06-03 12:01 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Extreme Veteran
Bend, OR
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

It may have been a bad race day for you but you're still are a BAMF!!!  You'll nail it next time. 

2009-06-03 1:19 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
I can almost picture that dude busting out of the woods and yelling that.  Too funny.

Nice job hanging in there and keeping it going.  If nothing else, chalk it up to a mental day.  With everything that went on you still ripped off a nice race!


2009-06-03 1:53 PM
in reply to: #2191522

Somewhere over there in Az
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

Great race report....  I will trade your time for mine anyday.  Love the quote of the day^^^^^

2009-06-03 3:24 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Wow, way to stick in there even though you were feeling off.
Great RR!
2009-06-04 9:02 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Huntsville, AL
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Great RR.  Dang I wish my off days could pull a 4:36.
2009-06-04 9:27 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

Nice job hanging in there.  I can only dream of a 4:36. 

2009-06-04 10:26 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

/sounds like you did well considering you were not there mentally.  Nice race stud!

2009-06-04 12:13 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
There is nothing more frustrating than adding to an already tough day by adding on some off course miles.  I've done it in a half before as well (2 hilly miles on the bike).  Mentally it is a blow a lot of people can't handle.  You did, and kudos for that!  7th OA is still a great day of racing.  Reload and come back next time.
2009-06-04 12:42 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Reston, VA
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Fun RR to read.

May not have been exactly what you wanted but sounds like you still had a good weekend. Looking forward to you tearing it up at IMAZ.
2009-06-04 3:56 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM

Great report Bryan. Definitely a mental training race, sorry you had a bad day. Way to hang in there and make the best of it.

Keep up the great training!!

2009-06-05 9:58 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Tough days make the easier ones even better.

Well done toughing it out and still a great time and placing!
2009-06-05 11:04 AM
in reply to: #2191522

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
Long races are bad days to to have those 'negative thoughts' creep in (especially less than 30min into the day )--I know.  Nice job fighting through them. 

Just keep 'em out of your head next time! 

2009-06-09 3:43 PM
in reply to: #2191522

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: DeuceMan Half IM
A bad race?  Doesn't look that way to me!  Great job hanging in there.  I enjoyed the RR too.

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