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Ironman Kansas 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
Total Time = 5h 23m 50s
Overall Rank = 543/1492
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 19/61
Pre-race routine:

What a rigamoroll. The trip to Kansas from Denver was a comedy of errors. Dime and I carpooled (along with Ramone, in charge of back seat quality control) and it was a bit of a disaster (although not NEARLY as bad as it could have been).

We had planned on leaving around noon on Friday, and didn't end up leaving until 2:30pm or so. That was fine b/c both of us needed extra time to get ready.

The trip through eastern CO and most of Kansas passed without incident. We listened to good music, talked about racing, bullshitted and gossiped. It was a good ride and nice to catch up with Dime. We were on track to arrive in 8.5 hours as normal, but decided to pull off and have a real dinner at the next town. It turned out to be... I forget the name of it now... but the "cafe" we stopped at was AWFUL. Humorously awful. The only vegetarian thing on the menu was pancakes. So Dime ordered pancakes and I ventured into the seafood category. One item: fried catfish. I figured I might as well immerse myself in the local culture. It was pretty ugly and my vegetable side dish looked like it had been sitting in dirty dish water for a week. Oy. We were happy to, at the very least, have something in our bellies. I also bought Dime a pretty bitchin Jesus shirt in the gift shop at the restuarant. I know he'll treasure that thing forever.

So we were off again and didn't hit any trouble until we pulled off the interstate and started to make our way toward the campsite. The directions I had (Dime didn't bother to figure out where we were going, leaving the total onus for directions on me- MISTAKE) were from google, and we realized something was amiss when we had to make a turn onto a dirt road. As we were saying "hmm, this doesn't seem right" we took note of the fact that the car's gas light was on, and there were no gas stations anywhere. We kept driving, driving, driving in the middle of nowhere, looking for the campsite, with the gas light glowing bright red and making me nervous. Dime was driving and I was tired and bitchy and terrified that we'd end up stranded on a back road with no lights and no reception and no way to be found. We argued back forth over whether to keep driving or pull off and call AAA. We must have driven for about 40 minutes, by that time we had thrown out the directions that were totally wrong, and were just concerned with finding a gas station. The whole country side was pitch black, except for random houses in the fields.

Finally we ventured upon a house with a kid smoking outside. He gave us directions to the campsite, which was amazingly only 2 miles or so away. On the way was a gas station, which of course was closed at that hour, but at least we knew where one was located!

So we drove to the campsite, with me holding my breath the entire time that the car wouldn't just stop moving. Once we got to the campsite we couldn't find our spots, and we were in this giant RV camp which didn't seem right, but by that point we were both so exhausted and fend up with travel that we just pitched the tent. Okay, Dime put it up all by himself while I ate peach cobbler and felt sorry for myself, ha! It was in a random open spot with some grass, and it was good enough. We both conked out as soon as we were in the tent.

The next morning we found out we were at the wrong campsite, on the opposite side of the lake. After filling up at a very cute little gas station full of americana (yes! my car made it!) and going into town and getting a course map from a newspaper, we figured out where to go. Except we got lost AGAIN, and ended up at the end of a very long dead end dirt road. We could actually see transistion, but in between transition and us was a barbed wire fence and big field.

Finally we got turned around and on the right road. We pulled into the campsite, greeted by Alaina and Ryan and Drew, about 13 hours after we had originally planned to get there.
Event warmup:

Rode my bike for a couple miles the day before to make sure everything was working well. Dime helped me get my aero bars on. I would have liked to swim the day before but didn't get around to it.

The bright side of all the driving around lost was that we drove practically the entire course, so we saw the hills we'd be on.

Camping was GREAT for this race. We had a sweet spot thanks to Alaina and Ryan's good judgement. We were just above T1, so race morning was pretty stress free.

We dropped our bikes off the day before. T2 opened at the ass crack of dawn on race day, so I lumbered over there on my way to the bathrooms with running water.

I pilfered a bagel and peanut butter from someone's supplies for breakfast, and also ate 3 mini donuts from MissKelly. Those were delicious.
  • 31m 17s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 37s / 100 meters

Well, I had only swam twice in the four months before this race, so I wasn't expecting a stellar time. I did know that I'd handle the distance fine, but I wasn't going to be super quick.

The start was sort of a mess b/c I didn't put myself up at the very front of the pack. I should have, b/c I immediately had to swim around girls and avoid getting pushed under water or kicked in the face. Alaina and I were in the same age group and I had sort of hoped I'd beat her on the swim, just so that I could be faster than her at something (it's the true, my skinny speedy friend). I wouldn't find out until later whether or not I did that, b/c I couldn't tell a damn thing about all the other white caps I saw in front of me.

There was a lot of swimming around the slower folks of waves that had gone before me, and that was sort of annoying. I tried to give them ample space, because the slower swimmers are usually the ones that are freaking out about an open water swim, and I didn't want to panic anyone by swimming up on them. But it was really murky so I didn't see until I touched someone whether they were in front of me.

Anyway, I just swam at what felt good. I probably should have pushed it a little more. But I didn't, and that's alright by me. Next HIM I will really put some effort into the swim!

It seemed long at the time, but as soon as I was out of the water it felt like I hadn't been in long at all.
What would you do differently?:

Train more leading up to the race so I'll feel comfortable enough to push the pace.
Transition 1
  • 01m 57s

I moved pretty quickly because I had all my stuff set up well and my bike was easy to find. I bailed on putting socks on b/c it would have taken too long. I had my garmin set on multisport, but had forgotten to set it for autolap, which bummed me out later in the race. T1 was huuuge, so I had a long aisle to run down with my bike. I thought I got in and out pretty well.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe have a bit more of a sense of urgency.
  • 2h 58m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.87 mile/hr

So this was the part of the race I was concerned about most. I haven't ridden hardly at all this year, and this course is a difficult one. Plus I just put my aero bars on the bike the day before, so I wasn't used to aero riding. What a goon! Anyway my goal was to just get through the ride without totally fading or blowing up.

As I started riding, it struck me that I LOVE triathlon. I haven't raced much since moving to CO b/c I've been focused on marathons and I am angry about the entry fees of most of the races in the area (in fact, I only raced once last year, and that was an oly... in MN). Work is always screwing up weekend plans, too. But I was reminded how much I LOVE to race in tris-- there is something about it that I think is just wonderful and makes me feel happy. And on the bike I felt excited and stoked to be in a race again.

I reconginzed Alaina's skinny ass passing me about two miles in, so I realized I beat her in the swim (score one for the chubs in this sport!) but knew she was long gone and off to have a great rest of the race.

And so began the long inevitable process of practically everyone passing me on their bikes. I am a mediocre cyclist at best, I've got a crappy bike, and I don't train enough. So there you have the reasons why I got to see ALL my friends who started after me. I think Dime passed me right at the 10 mile mark. Dave passed me and said yo. It was fun to get to shout things to them as they went by.

The course was fun and it threw a lot at us- hills, wind, hail. I was really just grooving on being in a race and didn't notice that I was holding a pretty good (for me) pace until the 25 mile mark. I thought "huh, that's not too bad, maybe I can keep it up"

So I tried to ride the way Dime told me on the hills, stayed in aero, yada yada. There was a distinct tightness in my upper inner thighs that was worriesome, I am positive it was from my aero position and not being used to it.

Anyway the rest of the ride isn't that interesting. I felt tired at around 45 miles but tried to keep my pace up b/c I wanted badly to finish under 3 hours. And lo and behold, I did. I was stoked about it and thought that just maybe, if I had had a good swim and could keep a decent pace on the run, I might be on track to hit around my PR time of 5:27.
What would you do differently?:

Get on my bike more often. Own a better bike (SUCH bike envy at this race).
Transition 2
  • 01m 42s

Coming into T2, a rider was blocking the entrance. He was curled up in a ball and people were screaming for a medic. He must have crashed. That was scary to see but I didn't have time to worry about it.

This was pretty pedestrian. I should have shaked a leg and gotten out of there quicker but I was kind of discombobulated and sloppy.
What would you do differently?:

Practice T2 so I can more quicker and more smoothly.
  • 1h 50m 52s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 28s  min/mile

Boy it got HOT out there by the time I was running. I wanted nothing more than to dump a giant thing of water on my head, but it was a mile until the first aid station. As soon as I got there I did just that, and drank a cup too.

This course was a cattywampus mess through the campground that made me say "WTF?" when I first saw it, but I ended up liking it. We went out and back through all these loops, twice, so we got to see practically everyone that was still out on the course. And the spectators at our campsite (MissKelly, drewb8, and LindaKC) were awesome. All the spectators were, actually. They made that course great.

I am sure I was thinking things to myself and making a conscious effort to pace during this run, but I can't remember what my strategy had been.

On the second loop I had to poop and I ended up ahving to wait behind two guys at the only potrapotty at the end of the sole hill in the race. I had tried to ignore it, but I couldn't run until I went to the bathroom (if you know what I mean) so I was stuck waiting there. It took them SO LONG to use the bathroom. I looked at my watch and I stood there for almost three minutes waiting. What a bummer. But once I got in and out, I felt sooo much better.

At every aid station I grabbed sponges and water to dump on my head to keep cool. Running in the heat really saps my energy. My head feels like it's going to explode from blood pounding inside it. Somehow I kept pretty cool with the water/sponge routine. There were plenty of aid stations, thumbs up for that.

Anyway I realized that as long as I had a decent swim time (I didn't know what it was until I was done), I'd PR. That really cracked me up and kept me going on the last three miles when I was burning up and just wanted to stop so that my head would stop pounding.

By the last mile I was pretty cooked and I couldn't muster the energy to go any faster. I had no finishing kick, and ended up slogging through the yellow brick road finish with all my reserve tanks tapped. But that's how it should be!
What would you do differently?:

More heat training!!!
Post race
Warm down:

I was just tickled that I bagged a PR without much training. But then I thought "what if you HAD trainined? what could you have been capable of doing?" and I got kind of frustrated. I am ALWAYS saying this after a good race that I manage to eke out on minimal training. One of these days the stars will align in the months before a race and I'll train hard and see what I'm really caapble of. But then again I've really been enjoying myself in other areas of my life (as anyone can see when I wear spandex), so I guess it's a wash. It'll always be a fight between training and work and my social and love lives. Training is always the runt in the fight.

Anyway, I found Dime and it turns out we both had pretty good races. Then we saw Alaina and Ryan and heard that both of them killed it too (Ryan almost broke 5 hours on his FIRST half!). And Lisa PRed! Everyone in our group had a great race, so it was really cool to celebrate with everyone b/c we were all so stoked.

I went back to the campsite and drank PBRs and cheered on the slower runners who were still out on the course. It was fun and I hoped that I helped them instead of annoyed them.

The big group of BTers that were camping in our area went out to mexican for dinner. And then we roasted marshmallows at night. It was GREAT!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

oh, everyone knows this already

Event comments:

The whole weekend was a blast. I really couldn't ask for more. I loved camping and hanging with the big BT crew. A new PR was just icing on the cake. The race was well run and I liked the course. I would totally do it again, only next time get better directions.

Last updated: 2009-01-12 12:00 AM
00:31:17 | 1931 meters | 01m 37s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/1492
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:57
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:58:02 | 56 miles | 18.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/1492
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:42
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:50:52 | 13.1 miles | 08m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/1492
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-06-22 5:54 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: Ironman Kansas 70.3

2009-06-22 8:15 PM
in reply to: #2235344

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Time to invest in a car Garmin? Wow I had no idea you were exploring the dirt roads of good ol' Kanzassss! Well done.
What a great account of everything! You did stellar!
2009-06-22 9:06 PM
in reply to: #2235344

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Another great race and another great race report. Who else could use rigamaroll, discombobulated, and cattywampus in one RR?

Great job represe'in for your SBR peeps. Bet they're happy they picked the chick from Colorado in the costume.
2009-06-23 7:57 AM
in reply to: #2235344

Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Nice job on the PR!  And to think if you trained....

2009-06-23 7:59 AM
in reply to: #2235344

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Hehe, great report, even though I am 100% offended by your comments

That really was a blast, and I'm glad you had as much fun as we did! You are such an amazing athlete, and you bring such joy and enthusiasm with you wherever you go. What an awesome race you had, even with your totally rockstar life! HUGE congrats on the PR on a tough course!!
2009-06-23 8:35 AM
in reply to: #2235344

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Boston, MA
Coaching member
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
even though you used some words I have no idea what they mean that was a fun RR and big congrats on the PR! 5:23 hrs on that course with little training is damn impressive... imagine what training would do for you... something like a sub 5 hrs??? (just saying)

2009-06-23 8:42 AM
in reply to: #2235344

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3


2009-06-24 9:10 AM
in reply to: #2235344

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
I am sure sorry about being so nonchalant about directions to the race : ( - how pathetic of me to assume that you would have the route all mapped out. I can't imagine the wrath of attitude that would have fell on me if you had a horrible race! I can't even begin to tell you just how happy I am that you PR'd the course (no, I'm not being sarcastic).

Seriously, you killed it! You must be one of those super tough heads or you have an inner athlete just waiting to be unleashed. I think you are both but stop repressing the rabbit, will you?!
2009-06-24 10:09 AM
in reply to: #2235344

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Congrats on your PR at Kansas!  Wow.  You really rocked that swim.  Kelly got lost trying to find the right campground too.  Thanks so much for hanging out with her and cheering me on.  I was fading fast at the end and your support helped me reach the yellow brick road!

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