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High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Sherwood, Wisconsin
United States
Midwest Sports Events
86F / 30C
Total Time = 6h 40m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = m40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I want to apologize in advance for the negativity in this report. I thought about waiting a day to reflect on this, but I decided I wanted it to reflect my true feelings of the race.

Drove up the night before and stayed at the extenda-stay hotel. Had a full kitchen and only %59.00 a night. Sweet deal. Got into town late and ending up not getting to bed until 11. Sleep was a mixed bag. Was not real stressed about the race, but kept waking up. Got up 4 and took me a while to get out. Arrived at race at 6 and felt a little rushed.
Event warmup:

No time for warm up, just got my goggles wet.
  • 44m 25s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

The seas were angry my friend. Lots of chop. After about the first 200 we headed right into the chop. It was pretty rough going. Got bounced around a lot and had a tough time staying on the course. Got swam over by a girl who was side stroking toward a life guard. Then saw a guy yelling out to life guard for help. Somehow I managed to stay calm during this despite drinking lots of water. Never found any feet to draft. Final turn toward beach was fun, as current was behind you pushing you toward shore. Hit the beach at 43 and transition at 44. 4 minute PR over last year.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. was quite pleased with this, esp. with rough conditions. Didn't realize at the time but this would be the highlight of the day.
Transition 1
  • 03m 19s

Got suit off pretty quick. was at far end of transition so I had a long way to go to get to bike. Spent lots of time applying sunscreen, which by the looks of my shoulders, was a miserable failure. Is it really that hard to properly put on sunscreen?
What would you do differently?:

wear a sweater to keep the sun off me.
  • 3h 17m
  • 56.4 miles
  • 17.18 mile/hr

Last year I was very disappointed in my bike. Swore that wouldn't happen again. So I focused on the bike in the offseason. Did Jorge's bike power training this winter, then picked a HIM plan with lots of bike volume. This was all done with today in mind. What was the result? The exact time as last year. Sure there are excuses: pretty windy, very hot. However as I stated before, I am not interested in excuses, I am interested in results. I had a lot riding on this ride and the direction I go in this tri thing. The result is an epic failure. The failure is not that it was 3:17 on a hot windy day. It is the fact that I saw ZERO improvement. Bright spot? The view was nice and I nailed my nutrition plan.
What would you do differently?:

Drive my car, because I am apparently not cut out for this biking thing.
Transition 2
  • 02m 52s

To be honest I was completely defeated at this point and just didn't care how long it took
What would you do differently?:

run and hide
  • 2h 32m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 36s  min/mile

If not for the fact that I saw TriDDS and Travis coming in T2 and getting some encouraging words, there is a VERY real possibility that I would have ended my race right in T-2. I have never DNf'ed a race for any reason, included my IT Band meltdown here two years ago. The fact that I seriously considered this just because I wasn't going to make my goal, makes me sick to my stomach. I knew that with the heat, humidity and broken attitude that this would be a miserable run. I was half right. Physically it was miserable. I was hot, tired and bloated. I told myself to DTFU. There is very real possibility this was my last HIM run. I told myself to relax and enjoy it. Having lifted the mental pressure of hitting my goal, I just enjoyed the run, misery and all. I I enjoyed the natural setting. I enjoyed the small talk with the others suffering along side me. I enjoyed the banter with the volunteers. I enjoyed the physical misery. I enjoyed running the last mile strong (8:50 pace)
What would you do differently?:

PR by 2 minutes. whoop de frick'in ding dong.

About 20 degrees cooler would be nice.
Post race
Warm down:

Tried to get my wits about me and not throw up or pass-out. Took about a hour before I felt together enough to drive home safely.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

ya got about 3 hours...

Event comments:

Race run much better than last year!

As mentioned, I had a lot riding on this race. Not just in regard to my future in tris, but also in my ability in general to implement a plan to overcome a challenge. Again, epic failure. Maybe it was stupid to give so much weight to a goofy bike ride, but I did. I am not meaning to diminish anyone you took this long or longer to complete this event. I completely respect everybody out there in less than ideal conditions. I also understand that I might have fallen a bit short on my goals with the steamy conditions. However to fall SO short of MY goals is a huge disappointment. One from which recovery will not come easy, if at all.

Last updated: 2009-05-12 12:00 AM
00:44:25 | 2112 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: full
Course: rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:19
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:17:00 | 56.4 miles | 17.18 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Wind: Strong
Course: rolling hills.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:52
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:32:00 | 13.1 miles | 11m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: about 70% wooded trails and rest open fields
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-06-20 8:16 PM

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

2009-06-20 9:01 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
OK, dude. Straight talk time.

You had a bad race. Was it a bad time for a bad race? Yes. Was it a race you had pinned a ton of hopes and expectations on? Yes. But it was one bad race.

What's more, you are a donkey. It's a silly and sometimes stupid name, but it comes with a point. We are stubborn. We don't give up. And in the end we always kick the out of whatever has the misfortune of getting in our way. This is the time to live up to that Donkey creed, dude.

Look at how far you've come and what you've overcome along the way. IT troubles? Overcome. Your swimming? Incredibly improved. Your running? Judging from your HM results, spectacular.

So now-- in one race-- your biking did not live up to the expectations you set. BFD, dude. You've found ONE approach that did not work for you to improve your biking. Well, maybe that's not enough. Maybe you just need to find a different approach for YOU. Have you hired a coach? Have you done tons of hills? Tons of base work? Maybe you just haven't yet found the best approach for YOU.

Put it behind you. Move on. Focus on the next race-- Pewaukee. And consider adding one more to the calendar-- Racine.

Soon the adversity you faced today will make the redemption of conquering this personal setback all the sweeter.

Edited by scoobysdad 2009-06-20 9:10 PM
2009-06-20 9:16 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

as crazy as it sounds i couldnt agree with scooby more.  think about adding racine, you'll be glad you did.

2009-06-21 7:54 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

And I don't think all those winter months included HUMIDITY in your training.  In my personal opinion, you did well.  Improved in the swim and run and did NOT do worse on the bike.  If you could have practiced in yesterday's conditions all winter long, I am sure you would have rocked the bike as well.  It was a tough one out there.  Be proud that you finished.  A HIM is tough and so are you.   I say go for RACINE.  All the cool kids are doing it

2009-06-21 2:26 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Milwaukee, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
Jim, Jim, Jim...take it from someone who knows a thing or two about bad races and utter disappointment. You need to re-focus, get past this and get ready for Pewaukee. It's a walk in the park compared to a HIM, so go out, have fun and PR Pewaukee. As for Racine...go for it. I agree with Rich in that you need to keep searching for a plan that works for you. For my next marathon in September, I am using a different plan than I used for Madison. Why not?

Geez, you know you love triathlons and the people and the excitement, you are not going away from this. Just change up a few things, ride in some heat and humidity and get ready for Racine. BTW, aren't you volunteering at IMMOO with the possibility of signing up for 2010? Stay on that focus my friend...stay on that focus.
2009-06-21 6:43 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Wind Lake WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman


I would have killed for the ability to do this race, so please keep this in perspective.

I remember 3 years ago seeing you on the run with your IT band issues. This year your run was 2:30 and change- that's a big improvement.  It was a hot, humid day and you actually did great.

Your training is great, your getting faster..but remember..this is suposed to be fun

2009-06-22 5:34 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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London, UK
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

^^^^ All wise Donkeys.

I'm sorry you didn't get anywhere near your goals, but it sounds like the conditions were tough. That would make a BIG difference in a race that long. The choppy swim doesn't sound like a god way to prepare for a huge bike PB.

You came out with a good time and I think you still had some fun out there. Take that with you and move on to the next one.

2009-06-22 6:10 AM
in reply to: #2233084

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Madison, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

Jim - I totally understand the bike being a limiting factor. It is for me, too. But, you're working hard, and it will improve. I said to my husband just the other day, "You know, it took me over a year of long slow runs to actually improve my run speed. If I want to improve my bike, I'd have to probably do a whole year of these long slow bike rides."

In other words - this is an endurance sport - it takes lots of time to make improvements. More time for some of us. Don't sell yourself short.

A wise donkey once said to me, "this is a lifestyle, not an event."

2009-06-22 6:40 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
I totally agree with the others, one bad race does not short circuit your career!  Find another race and prove to yourself that all the biking you did paid off and that you simply had a bad day.

I had a mixed day yesterday at the Verona Triterium. Swim good for me, hung on for the bike and had a total meltdown on the run. I'm not throwing in the towel, I found another race.  Now I am excited to do it all over again with a different outcome.

Buck Up.
2009-06-22 8:25 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

You got out finished...and you had friends there waiting for you at the end.   You did great Jim!! Congrats!

2009-06-22 10:03 AM
in reply to: #2233360

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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

amyjotris - 2009-06-22 8:25 AM

You got out finished...and you had friends there waiting for you at the end.   You did great Jim!! Congrats!

That is very very true!  I've felt the sting of disappointment you feel, and don't have anything brilliant to say...besides...keep training and enjoy yourself.  You obviously like doing this crap on some level.  This may be opposite of others, and totally wrong, but I say REMOVE the pressure of another race and just swim, bike, and run because it's FUN to be in shape!  It's FUN to roll in after a long workout!

2009-06-22 9:23 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Cheesehead, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
Jimbo! Perhaps you would have raced better had you camped out at our house with my 6 year old
Seriously though, dude, i know how that feels falling short of expectations and it helps to beat oneself up for a while. But be real - just 2 weeks ago, I think we had heat on in our house! Then this weekend - temps skyrocket into the high 80's with like 99% humidity. So I don't know about you, but that is some tough atmosphere changes to handle and acclimate to quickly.

Don't give up! Stick with it. If you quit, I just may throw in my towel. In case you haven't heard, I'm kinda slow and long long races, however enticing, are just out of my reach at this time in my life for training. And as it looks now, I may not even have a rematch with my time from the Osh Oly of last year come August because I am doing that 1/2 mary in Sept and am not sure I can get enough bike time in by the race. The sprint is looking more doable at this point. But you dude, you've stuck to your goals no matter what. That is inspiring! That is donkey king kong-dom. Like I tried to explain to my son - in endurance racing, its not so much about placing in the race but finishing no matter what happens out there on the course which makes us winners.

2009-06-23 8:50 AM
in reply to: #2231210

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

You know what's really bad about this?  You didn't come up with a poem AND there was no RUSH references.  That's what's bad about this. 

Think about how many people that can't walk.  Think about how many people are defending our country in a hellhole overseas.  Think about all the other problems in the world.  This race pales by comparison, my friend.

You did very well, and the conditions just added a bit more of an obstacle that you had to overcome.  You triumphed!  Great job, Jim!  EEEEAAAAWWWW!!!!

2009-06-23 9:21 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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NW Suburbs, Illinois
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

OK - I am a half full kind of guy, so lets start with the positives:  1) you pr'd the swim, in pretty bad conditions.  Jim: 1, HC: 0.  2) You PR'd the run, in which you had practically given in Jim: 2, HC: 0.  3) You finished, in heat/humidity, and had friends waiting for you at the end.  Jim: 3, HC: 0.  4) you went 70.3 miles, without motors, swimming, biking, and running...Not too many people can do that  Jim: 4, HC: 0.  Then of course, HC got you on the bike.  To quote a wise man, "whoop de frick'in ding dong".  Jim: 4, HC: 1.

So, Weber wins in my book.

But, I do get it.  You put in tons of time on the bike.  I read your logs, and guess what, I would be disappointed, too.  I have had bad workouts/races that don't make sense, but you just keep going.  Because you enjoy it, and it WILL come.  FWIW, I think maybe you put too much pressure on the bike split.  And for that reason, maybe its not a good idea to do SOR.  You had no pressure on that run and PR'd it.   Maybe the time would be better spent hammering the hills, going longer, and really building up that bike.  Who knows?  You have to find what works best for you (and your family).  But I do know hard work does pay off in the end.  Really.

If you have never done SOR, you would love, love that bike course, though

Stay with it.  Notice how I didn't say anything about the weather, b/c you didn't want excuses....but the weather sucked for a PR.  Just sayin'

2009-06-23 10:09 AM
in reply to: #2231210

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Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman

webs, love what scoobie said! Ur a donkey!! Dont kill yourself about this. Tons of people that do tris cant go out and finish a 70.3 with times like yours or finish at all! Be proud of yourself. I cant say dont be pised because i am extremely competitive and know how it feels to fall short of your goals, but use that fuel for the fire my friend. find a training that works for you and kill it! Use this anger and put that into training and get back at it. SOR would love to have another donkey!!!!

2009-06-23 10:09 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
ditto on the score he kept!! We all have to find something to define ourselves, something to strive for, something that makes us feel good about ourselves, and to thank God that we have the abillity to do (that so many others do not...sorry to be the preachy nurse). Triathlon is probably ONE of those things for you! Its one of my biggest, behind being the best mom I can be, the best (but mediocre) wife that I can be and the best nurse I can be. Guess that makes a bad race not so big in the whole picture. Trust me, Ive had my devastating races...but have continued on for the last 12 years regardless.

We all support you...just support yourself! (and can you teach me how to swim??)

edit: and you lived up to my sig line at the end of this!! wooo hoooo

Edited by pjgrande 2009-06-23 10:10 PM

2009-06-28 4:36 PM
in reply to: #2231210

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Marshfield Wi
Subject: RE: High Cliff Triathlon - Half Ironman
Thanks for the honesty, I have yet to do my report but if I had done it race day it would have sounded a lot like yours. I too did many more hours and miles building up for my first full in August, including my first marathon in Green Bay that went better than anticipated. Thought I was going to have a great day and only improved a few minutes from last year. Durring the last few miles I was thinking that I will suffer through this year and then stick to sprints. At half distance it really is as much mind as body. After some time it is easy to disect the race into what went great and where we struggle. All we can do is work on what we can control and remember why we do this in the first place. You are in a very elite group of people that have the drive and dedication to do what we do. It says a lot about you not only as a triathlete but as a human being.
Congratulations, see you next year!
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