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Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Providence, Rhode Island
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 6h 04m 3s
Overall Rank = 909/1302
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 121/172
Pre-race routine:

"This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain..." Fort Minor

Pre race:
After all the rigmarole of checking in bikes 50 miles away, checking in T2 gear the day before the race, and everything, it was all over but the shouting when my alarm went off at 3am. My son had been sick, so he actually woke up a few minutes before the alarm, so I actually got to say goodbye to him and my wife before I left. I had laid everything out the day before, so I got dressed in the bathroom went downstairs, got a coffee at Starbucks and met LazyMarathoner in the lobby for the bus ride to T1.

Event warmup:

"This ain't a scene, it's a goddamned arms race."Fallout Boy

Nothing like a IM70.3 T1 area to make you feel like you have no business being there. At one point, I was standing around and I looked and every guy within 10 feet of me had either an M-dot tattoo or a finishers shirt from a IM race.
I felt ready, but really, how do you know you're ready for something you've never done? It was really cold, and I was shivering in my shorts and thin l/s shirt with more than an hour to go before race start. The ocean was windy and full of chop, the buoys were being blown all over the place. Everyone was, or at least looked, more prepared than I felt. When they offered to let people bail on the swim, I honestly never considered it, which I think boosted my confidence and told me I was ready after all. I put on my wetsuit and decided to take this race one segment at a time. Worry about the swim. Then deal with the bike. Then run. I knew that if I could get to T2, that I would finish the race no matter what.

I didn't really warm up. I put my wetsuit on with 40 minutes to go before my start time because it was so cold. I did a few stretches for my quads, calves and hip flexors. I walked into the water and was happy that it wasn't nearly as cold as it looked.

  • 34m 19s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

"His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy," Eminem

I've been very comfortable with my swimming lately, so I seeded myself towards the front and on the left side. The water was still very choppy, and so I assumed that getting out to the bouys (the course was almost a straight out and back) would be the hard part. When the cannon went off (so close to me that my hearing went away for a second) I ran into the water, high-stepped until the water was about chest deep and started swimming. I realized right away the current was pulling me away from shore. I was in a small pack which thinned out quickly. I had a good feel for the water, found my stroke right away and cruised out to the turn buoy in what seemed like no time at all. I went around the turn, had a little trouble orienting myself, but found the line of bouys and headed in. Coming in was harder. I often felt like I was treading water until a wave came from behind and shoved me forward. Eventually, I passed some people from the previous wave, and then, closer to shore, passed a few people from two waves before, which always gives me a boost. I got out of the water at about 33:00 and ran up the beach to the wetsuit strippers.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was pretty close to a perfect swim, especially considering the conditions. If anything, I would have been even more aggressive and seeded myself closer to the front, and run faster into the water.
Transition 1
  • 03m 15s

This transition was ok. I had to pack up my wetsuit, goggles, cap, towel, and whatever else was in my spot that wasn't coming with me on the bike. That took some time. I put on my shoes, ran to bike out and jumped on.

What would you do differently?:

For some silly reason, I had tied a loose knot in my wetsuit bag, which took a few seconds to unravel.
  • 3h 07m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.96 mile/hr

"My pile shakes as I hit eighty on the open road/ This is an open road song." Eve 6

The bike course was pretty crowded and I had no idea really what to expect. I passed quite a few people, especially the slower riders from the previous wave, and got passed by lots of aero helmets and disc wheels. I kept a steady cadence, tried to remember to shift often and use the whole range of gear, especially to use my granny gears on the hills. This was a pretty hilly, or at least rolling course. I felt like I was going up or down all the time. I started with my aerobottle full of Accellerade and refilled it w/GE at each aid stop, and ate a gel every 30 minutes or so. My nutrition plan worked really well all day. Only problem was, it wasn't very hot, so I was drinking a lot and wasn't sweating much, so, by about mile 30 I had to pee like crazy. So I did what any self-respecting Triathlete would do during an event of this magnitude: I peed on the bike. Yes I did. And you know what? About 15 miles later? I did it again. At the last aid station, I took a bottle of GE and a bottle of water, and sprayed the water all over myself and my shoes and my saddle and then tossed it. I really didn't push on the bike at all. In retrospect, I probably could have pushed a little more than I did. My HR was really low most of the time, I used the downhills (some of which were really long and fast) to rest my legs, and didn't hammer on any of the flat portions. It was a fun, challenging, pretty course. I really enjoyed myself--a little too much, maybe. It was easy to forget that this was a race and not a century ride. The last 6 miles were pretty technical, with lots of turns and railroad tracks and potholes, and a few narrow shoulders, so I rode quickly and cautiously, with a lot of time on the horns rather than in aero, partially because the woman in front of me seemed a little unsteady and the lanes were too narrow to pass. When I rolled into T2 I had to go to the bathroom again but I didn't feel like stopping.

What would you do differently?:

In retrospect, even as hilly as the course was, I probably could have gone a little faster. I also ended up with one bottle on my bike that went unused, although, if it had been hotter, I would have needed it. I felt like a pro on the bottle-handoffs. I barely slowed down.
Transition 2
  • 02m 54s

Racked my bike, and started getting on my shoes, when the guy who had the spot next to me rolled in. He said, jokingly "We should start training together", since we'd arrived at T2 at exactly the same time (I finished the swim faster, but he made it up on the bike). I put on my socks, laced up my shoes (I'd had blister problems lately when my feet had gotten wet in these shoes, and I wanted the extra support, so I went with laces instead of yankz. I forgot to spray on my sunscreen--oops. Wife and kid were right by the run exit, so I threw on my cap and ran out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, it was pretty fast, considering I was a mile from bike in and I had to fish my shoes and stuff out of a plastic bag.
  • 2h 16m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 25s  min/mile

"I'm rollin' thunder, pouring rain/ I'm coming on like a hurricane." AC/DC

My legs felt pretty heavy when I started so the first mile was more of a shuffle than a run. I saw the hill and ran about 2/3 of the way up it, took a short walk-break of about 30 seconds, and then ran over the top of the hill. At that point, I really had to go, and I stopped at the next aid station and peed for what felt like a couple of minutes. I was stressing over the lost time, but I felt 100% better afterwards. My plan was to eat a get at about the 4 mile point, and then another at the 8-mile point, and to take in a cup of Gatorade at each aid station. I ended up having to increase to 2 cups for the last few aid stations, but otherwise the plan worked really well. I also took sponges and put them inside my shirt at every stop. I never felt exhausted or bonky throughout the run. My legs felt better and better as I went along, and the stretch from the top of the Hill on the second loop to about the 11-mile point were the best I felt all day. At about the 9 mile point, I looked at my watch and realized that 6 hours wasn't out of the question. I picked up my pace a little and started trying to run people down in front of me. I managed a pretty fast pace for a few miles. Condorman caught up to me at about the 11-mile point and I was feeling pretty good and like I could maybe squeeze in under 6h. Then we hit a long hill section that really took it out of me. I tried to return to my fast pace after I crested the hill and my legs just didn't have it. I hit the 6-hour mark just as I was crossing the river, less than a mile from the finish line. I still felt good though, especially my calves, which had felt fine all day, and I ran up the hill, past the crowd, blew a kiss to my wife and son and sprinted (yes, sprinted) through the finish line as the announcer called out my name.
What would you do differently?:

Other than not forget to reapply sunscreen in T2? I probably could have picked up the pace earlier. I wasn't thinking about it at all until I looked at my watch with 5 miles or so to go and realized that I was on close to a 6h pace. I had spent most of the run up to that point just being excited that I was actually going to finish. My HR was pretty low and so I think I could have gone harder than I did, but I'm not unhappy at all with the result. I consider it a huge achievement just to finish this race after what I've been through with all my injuries, and to finish at 6:04 on a hilly technical course in my first 70.3 is pretty cool. I passed a woman and a man at about the 6 mile point and the woman was in some pain and said to us that she wished she was able to run faster. I said to her, "You're going faster than everyone who stayed home today."
Post race
Warm down:

I went into the finish area, drank three or four little bottles of water, got my medal and little "finisher" cap and took my picture. I had told my wife and son to meet me by bag-pickup, which was clearly marked on the map in the athletes' guide. Of course, they decided to move the bag drop somewhere else. So, I wandered over towards where it was, hoping that my wife would do the same, when I saw my kid running towards me across the field. I was really happy to see them. I went and got my bags, and chatted with LazyMarathoner (who rocked it, btw) had a slice of pizza, looked to see if there was any 70.3 stuff I wanted to buy (there wasn't, though I'm going to get an IM70.3 visor online), and headed back to the hotel. My wife and son went first, since I still had to pick up my bike and T2 gear. I saw them when I was still a couple of blocks from the hotel, and I was staggering along, sweaty, pushing my bike and lugging my T2 bag up the hill towards the hotel when my son looked back and saw me and yelled out "Hurry up, Dad!" which got a chuckle from the people standing around.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Overall, I think the fact that this was my first 70.3 and that I was focused solely on just finishing for the first 62 miles or so was what held me back. With all the injuries I've had, I was really determined not to get hurt or bonk or do anything that would jeopardize my finishing.

I think if I had known in advance how good I would feel late in the run, I would have pushed harder, earlier. But, again, I'm in no way disappointed with how I did. I was hoping to finish in the 6:15 to 6:30 range and told my wife that I might not finish until closer to 7:00, so to be 10k from the finish line with a chance to finish sub-6h was more than I could have asked for.

Event comments:

In spite of all of the logistical headaches, having to drop your bike off the day before the race and 50 miles away, not being able to set up T2, etc., it turned out to be a fun race. The course was really good, spectators and volunteers were great, aid stations were well-stocked and plentiful. From what I hear, this year was better than last year, so next year might be even better. They need to work out a better system for retrieving your gear bags at the finish line, since that was a nightmare. In general, I'd recommend this race as a first 70.3.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-09-13 12:00 AM
00:34:19 | 2112 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 77/172
Overall: 568/1302
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU Comp II (full)
Course: Straight out, two left turns around a couple of buoys and back in.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:15
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
03:07:06 | 56 miles | 17.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 136/172
Overall: 949/1302
Performance: Good
HR was on the low side for most of the hills. Stayed in Z2/Z3.
Course: Rolling route through suburban Rhode Island. Lots of hills of varying sizes. Three aid stations.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
02:16:29 | 13.1 miles | 10m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 120/172
Overall: 939/1302
Performance: Good
I think my second lap was faster than my first. HR was comfortable LT is 167 and I was generally in the mid 150's.
Course: Two loops of a course that was basically out and back. One monster hill, a couple of other smaller ones, and some flat areas. Very little shade and a long gradual climb to the finish in front of the state capital building.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-07-13 9:58 PM

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

2009-07-14 6:22 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Great race!! Nice job on the swim - sounds like you nailed it

2009-07-14 7:42 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Great job. Maybe I'll see you next year at the race.
2009-07-14 8:44 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Great Job Jonah!!!!  awesome result and a great swim!!!  Hope to meet you in NYC next week!!!

2009-07-14 9:21 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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New York, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
great job!!!

come do Timberman!!!!
2009-07-14 10:25 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Great Race Report, Jonah.  Love the music theme to each segment

Dude, you had a solid first HIM time.  You had a great attitude the whole way -- and you really had a smokin' fast swim time.

Was very cool meeting you down at the Pool hotel.  I'm sure I'll see you at more races.  Come do the HIM in Montauk this October!

2009-07-14 11:02 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Congrats Jonah! This was a huge milestone in putting that injury behind you and kicking in your first HIM. I'm rather impressed and jealous you peed on the bike! I just can't let it fly and I was literally about to burst. I will have to work on that in training, which likely means you wont want to do any rides with me

And yes, the Century is now a distant memory!
2009-07-14 11:31 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Congrast Jonah! It was nice meeting you (although breifly) on Friday
2009-07-14 11:36 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Congrats!! Awesome job on your first HIM!! Come do Austin
2009-07-14 12:08 PM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Congrats Jonah! It was a long road to that first 70.3, but you took full advantage of it. Awesome job!

2009-07-14 1:50 PM
in reply to: #2282994

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Great race report. I plan on doing this race next year! Congrats on joining those of us who pee on our bikes!

2009-07-14 3:46 PM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
LOVE your race report, esp. the lyrics!
sorry I missed you there !
2009-07-14 3:48 PM
in reply to: #2282994

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NYC/South Jersey
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Good job! Nice pics!
2009-07-17 11:14 AM
in reply to: #2282994

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Love the rock lyrics!
CONGRATS on an awesome race.  Your attitude just rocks! So inspiring!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you @ NYC Tri.  I'm in the red transition zone, so will try to do your tour.

Ben S.

2009-07-17 5:59 PM
in reply to: #2282994

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
Awesome job man! would have liked to have met u...maybe next year. U rocked it!
2009-07-23 9:34 PM
in reply to: #2282994

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Sous Mon Diadème
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

This is the best race report ever... not only because you did an awesome job on your first HIM... not only because it was, indeed, paying homage to my playlists... but mostly, it was this:

I passed a woman and a man at about the 6 mile point and the woman was in some pain and said to us that she wished she was able to run faster. I said to her, "You're going faster than everyone who stayed home today."

Thank you for remembering to inspire others along the way.

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