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Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Providence, Rhode Island
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 37m 11s
Overall Rank = 96/1307
Age Group = M3034
Age Group Rank = 19/149
Pre-race routine:

I selected this race because it fit into my IMWI plan well and it was closer to home than Musselman. I read many of the previous year's race reports and was fearing the lines and traffic on Saturday. My strategy to minimize the hassles was to go as late as possible, knowing the type-A obsessive triathletes would be there as early as possible. The athlete's guide was not clear about several things like if you really needed to bring your bike down to Narragansett on Saturday (it turns out you don't have to) so I heeded the advice I read in the threads here and planned on taking my bike down on Saturday, then going to my parents house for the night since they live about an hour from Narragansett.

I left my house at 2:00 on Saturday and drove to Providence and arrived at the Convention Center at 4:00. I parked in a 15 minute zone outside the center, walked in, checked in, got my stuff and went back to the car. The T2 bag drop off was a few blocks away, so I drove around and found it. Parked illegally in the street, ran in and dropped the bag and then started on the trip to the beach. Arrived there around 5:20 and rode my bike around the parking for a safety check, inflated my tires, adjusted my brakes and put my bike in the rack.

We drove to North Stonington and planned on stopping at a pizza place to get a grinder for dinner, but there wasn't any on the drive until Westerly and then I thought we'd just go to Mystic Pizza II in NS, but there was a long wait there and the Green Onion was closed for vacation, so we just went to my parents' house and raided their fridge and pantry for some pasta and meat sauce. It was a pretty good pre-race meal, so that worked out, but it was later in the evening than what I wanted.

Got to bed at 9:00 and set the alarm for 3:45. Got up and had a bagel with PB and a banana and coffee. Left at 4:20 and made good time on the way to the race and looked to be getting there at 5:15. The traffic was backed up at race site, so actually got to the parking lot at 5:30. Danieel dropped me off and waited in case I needed anything and I had to go back for my bag balm and water bottle. She wasn;t going to stay for the start since she had a long run to do and went to Providence to run on a rail trail while I raced.

I didn't have much to do and got my T1 bag set and dry clothes bag on the truck. Put my suit on by the water and realized I forgot my pre-race Gu.
Event warmup:

Swam a little to see how the surf looked close up. Did some stretching for the 25 minutes the race was delayed and then for the other 20 minutes before my wave went off.
  • 28m 58s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 30s / 100 meters

The waves were a foot or two tall and it was windy. It looked like one of the two red buoys for the turnaround had floated away and the yellow and orange buoys were getting pushed around so it was a zig-zag pattern each way.

I went in easier than usual since I expected it to be a tough swim and didn't think there were going to be drafting opportunities. I stayed pretty straight and sighted when I was on top of the waves. For the first few hundred meters I was struggling and my stroke was crappy until I got out past the biggest waves. After that I felt pretty good and got out to the turnaround without drinking too much seawater. The way back in was much easier and I used the water tower to sight and aimed to the left of it. I never found anyone to draft off.
What would you do differently?:

I should have found the water tower landmark before the swim instead of having to stop and look for something while I was out there. Aside from that I was happy with my time especially since I did it on my own with no drafts to help. My time was so good, I think the course might have been short.
Transition 1
  • 03m 9s

Got my wetsuit removed by the strippers and ran over to my bike. I grabbed my shoes and socks from my bag and put them on. Put my race belt, helmet and glasses on and put my 7 GUs and two power bars in my jersey pockets.
What would you do differently?:

I need to figure out a way to attach my nutrition to my bike. Getting everything sorted took too long and I dropped one of my power bars running out. Luckily the guy behind me picked it for me and ran me down to give it back.
Looking at the results, this slow transition cost me two places in my age group and maybe ten overall. I need to get this straightened out before WI.
  • 2h 31m 38s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.16 mile/hr

My number one goal for this race was to prove my nutrition plan. The plan was to have a GU at the 15 and 45 minute marks and half a power bar at the 30 and top of each hour except for the 2:30, where I'd have another gel. I started with a full aero bottle of HEED and a bottle of water in my cage. At each aid station I'd grab a Gatorade and refill my bottle. I didn't finish my last bottle, so the total fluid was one water and 3.5 HEED/GEs. I think it worked out to >600 calories per hour, but I'll have to double check that figure. I peeded once just before getting to Providence, so I must have been good and hydrated.

My second goal was to stay in mid Z2 for the whole ride. This will be just about my IM pace and I wanted to have the exertion be equivalent to IM to make sure my gut could process the calories while working. It took several miles to find my groove and stay in it and there were several miles in the 30s-40s where I slacked off and fell into high Z1. I picked it back up towards the end.

My last goal was to try out my new gear: wheel cover and aero helmet. I wore Danielle's old Tifosi glasses since my Oakley's didn't fit well with my helmet and let too much air into my eyes. The gear was fine and probably faster, but who knows. I also packed my flat fixing gear differently so I wouldn't need a seat bag.

Not much interesting happened on the ride. The weather was overcast, which was good and there was often a tailwind. It was a fast course with a few hills. The end was pretty technical and I had to bunny hop potholes and train tracks. I put my empty gel packets and bar wrappers up my short's legs and they worked better than filling my pockets with trash.

1-5 12:30 24.0mph 160bpm 94rpm
5-10 12:42 23.6mph 159bpm 97rpm
10-15 12:31 24.0mph 156bpm 96rpm
15-20 14:18 21.0mph 156bpm 93rpm
20-25 15:50 18.9mph 157bpm 87rpm
25-30 13:28 22.3mph 151bpm 92rpm
30-35 13:26 22.3mph 149bpm 90rpm
35-40 12:55 23.2mph 149bpm 94rpm
40-45 14:17 21.0mph 151bpm 92rpm
45-50 12:27 24.1mph 153bpm 94rpm
50-55 12:38 23.7mph 151bpm 92rpm
55-56 4:00 21.3mph 154bpm 89rpm
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I should have focused more on keeping my exertion where I wanted it during the middle.
Transition 2
  • 01m 53s

Had a decent dismount and ran into transition to my spot. My sneakers were wet from the rain the night before, so I should have tied my bag tighter. I put my knee straps on for this race since I viewed it as training and my patella tendons have not been giving me problems this year and I wanted to keep it that way.
What would you do differently?:

I put my Garmin strap on in transition, but I should have put it on while running.
  • 1h 31m 46s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 01s  min/mile

I wanted to stay in mid to high zone two and use what will be my IM nutrition. I brought three GUs for miles 3, 7 and 10 and I had gatorade at each aid station. I'm guessing it was over 500 calories for the whole thing, but it is hard to estimate how much gatorade I had. I had the last GU closer to 10.5 since that was where the aid station was and I wanted water with this one.

I was passed by a few male pros, but that was it until mile 8 when a 30 year old male passed me. I kept him in sight and reeled him back in and stayed right behind him for a couple miles with the plan of trying to pass him on the steep downhill at the end. I attacked the downhill the first time and passed a few people I was trailing then and thought I'd do it again. He ended up pulling away from me on the uphill and I couldn't make it up.

The infamous hill was pretty steep, but I just ran up it and let my HR go up into low Z3. It wasn't too bad since most of my running routes have hills of similar size on them, but maybe a little less steep.

Before the run I changed my Garmin to display my average pace. I liked seeing that and will definitely do that in the future instead of time elapsed.

1 6:48 175bpm
2 6:23 173bpm
3 6:49 173bpm
4 6:59 173bpm
5 6:53 170bpm
6 7:00 173bpm
7 6:57 174bpm
8 7:24 176bpm
9 7:08 173bpm
10 6:57 173bpm
11 7:01 173bpm
12 7:19 175bpm
13 6:58 178bpm
.1 6:29 183bpm
What would you do differently?:

I should have kept my own pace instead of following that guy from my age group. I might have done better if I just tried to pass him when I caught up instead of trying to be sneaky. There is a good chance that he would not have let me pass and still beaten me, but it might have meant a better time. This was 1:20 slower than my stand alone half marathon in Providence last May, so I am happy with it.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my hat and medal, which were pretty nice. Some guy that just finished was trying to figure out what our time was by subtracting 25 from what the clock said. I had 4:37 and change on my stop watch, but that didn't match what the clock had. I realized later that they must have reset the clock to take out the pro waves, which was why the math didn't work.

Danielle and my parents found me and congratulated me on my time. I had estimated 4:45, so I had exceeded that. We stood around and talked for a little while and then walked over to where the bags were. I got my dry clothes bag, but no wetsuit since it had not arrived yet. I had a cookie and soda, said goodbye to Mom and Dad and then went to the car in the mall parking garage to get cleaned up a bit. Discovered we had some time to kill before I would be allowed to get my bike at 12:30, so we walked around the mall and Danielle got a salad spinner from Bed Bath and Beyond.

We drove the car out and Danielle let me out to go get my bike and wetsuit bag. Apparently the wetsuits had just arrived and were in a corral being sorted. The athletes stood outside the corral, with their numbers up and tried to get the attention one of the five or six poor volunteers that were searching for and distributing bags. I was probably standing there for a half hour before I got mine. Then I got my bike, found Danielle in the car and we got the hell out of Providence.

We stopped at a Vietnamese place in Cranston on the way home and I had some pho. Salty soup is a perfect post-race meal.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My taper was only a few days since this is only a training race.

Event comments:

I rate the actual race a 3 since the swim course was good, the bike course was good to poor and the run course was OK since the double out and back aspect made it boring. Everything else, from the late Athlete Guide that was not clear and had internal inconsistencies, the point to point nature and the hassles of doing so with 1700+ people, beach traffic, 25 minute delay in starting, leaving my bike outside overnight in the rain, nowhere to change and get cleaned up after (usually I would go for a swim at least, but the beach was now 56 miles away) to the late arrival of the wetsuit bags to finish which required waiting around for an extra couple hours, this part gets a 1.

I'll never do this race again. The five hour drive to Musselman would have been less annoying and the cost with a hotel in NY would have been about the same. If I didn't have Danielle to drop me off in the morning and pick me up after the finish it would have been twice as bad.

Last updated: 2009-05-29 12:00 AM
00:28:58 | 1931 meters | 01m 30s / 100meters
Age Group: 21/149
Overall: 181/1307
Performance: Good
Suit: Blueseventy Reaction
Course: Out and back.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:09
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:31:38 | 56 miles | 22.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 29/149
Overall: 142/1307
Performance: Good
Wind: Tailwind
Course: Mixed terrain from south RI into Providence. There was a nice tailwind off the water for much of the ride. The last five miles were rough and technical.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 01:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:31:46 | 13.1 miles | 07m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 14/149
Overall: 77/1307
Performance: Good
Course: Double out and back with hills. Kind of boring to see the same roads four times, a loop would have been better.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2009-07-13 11:26 AM

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Middletown, CT
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

2009-07-13 1:04 PM
in reply to: #2281152

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Excellent race!  Nice balance--shows some solid pacing overall!  I'd say you are looking good for Moo!

Logistics of this race do sound 'unique'.  Having gone to school in Providence, I've thought that I'd like to try it.  I'm not so sure anymore. 

Suggestion:  Flasks for the GUs.  And 600/hr seems awfully high.  I'm impressed you ran so well without any issues at that rate.  But if it works that way consistently, stick with it I guess.
2009-07-13 3:03 PM
in reply to: #2281152

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Smoking fast times for a Training Race.  I definitely would not have have drove down to T2 at that time.  The swim start was delayed because they lost the buoys due to the water conditions, that's not the Race Director's fault.  I'm just glad they didn't call the swim off, cause that very well could have happened. 

Again, congrats on a smoking fast HIM.   

2009-07-13 4:01 PM
in reply to: #2281944

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Middletown, CT
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
JohnnyKay - 2009-07-13 2:04 PM
Excellent race! Nice balance--shows some solid pacing overall! I'd say you are looking good for Moo!

Logistics of this race do sound 'unique'. Having gone to school in Providence, I've thought that I'd like to try it. I'm not so sure anymore.

Suggestion: Flasks for the GUs. And 600/hr seems awfully high. I'm impressed you ran so well without any issues at that rate. But if it works that way consistently, stick with it I guess.

I'd pass on this one if I were you. The Providence marathon / half marathon is good if you want to race in the city. Although that was point to point and had some logistical issues too.

Dream Chaser - 2009-07-13 4:03 PM

I definitely would not have have drove down to T2 at that time.  The swim start was delayed because they lost the buoys due to the water conditions, that's not the Race Director's fault.  I'm just glad they didn't call the swim off, cause that very well could have happened. 

Thanks. The race was good from the starting gun to the finish line.

The drive down to T2 was fine. I saw traffic lined up for miles going the opposite way, so it would have sucked if I had to go back to Providence that night. Good thing I was staying to the west and had someone to drive me around on Sunday. I would have avoided the T2 area on Saturday if I knew that was an option.

It is someone's fault if they can't secure the buoys. That area is popular with surfers, so it shouldn't be surprising when there are one to two foot waves. The buoys were out the day before - that was not smart when there was a storm forecast.

But whatever, it is done now, and now I know to avoid point to point races in congested touristy areas.

Edited by steven_lohmann 2009-07-13 4:05 PM
2009-07-13 4:50 PM
in reply to: #2281518

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
JohnnyKay - 2009-07-13 2:04 PM
And 600/hr seems awfully high.  I'm impressed you ran so well without any issues at that rate.  But if it works that way consistently, stick with it I guess.

I KNOW!!!! I tell him this too!  But he did the same thing at his first IMWI with no issues.  His stomach is not normal.  He considers expiration dates to be mere suggestions, perhaps that's why?

Edited by DMW 2009-07-13 4:59 PM
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