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Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
CAPRI Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 7h 04m 31s
Overall Rank = 1504/1660
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 91/106
Pre-race routine:

I set my alarm for 3:45. Due to my nerves, I was wide awake. I almost literally choked down a bagel with PB and had some gatorade. I double checked all my gear and put it in the car and waited in the lobby for some friends. I now realized I should have brought a headlamp. OMG it was dark in that parking lot. I pumped up my tires and had to make an adjustment to my front brakes because they were rubbing. We had to ride about a mile to transition from the parking lot. Not too bad, but I had a shoulder tote for a bag - not a backpack. Transition was still pretty empty when we arrived around 5am. I set up my bike and checked my adjustments and laid out the rest of my stuff.
Event warmup:

I found my friends and we walked the mile down the beach to the swim start. On the walk I had a pretzel and water. We got there just in time to see the pros start. My AG was to start in 30 minutes so I hopped in the water for a few strokes and a potty break. 20 minutes out, I had a Hammer gel and water, and waited. I said good luck to my friends and went and waited in line. I felt like if I opened my mouth I would throw up. My nerves nearly had me to the point of trembling. I took some deep breaths and closed my eyes and took myself back to my oly race 3 weeks earlier where I had the best swim of m life. Then, my wave was called up.
  • 46m 31s
  • 2310 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

The beach start was different for me. I started swimming when I reached waist deep water. I was able to stay with the pack for a good portion of the swim. There were several times I wanted to get past some slower swimmers. THAT has never happened to me before. I slowed and took advantage of the draft. Once the pack thinned my navigation became a little tougher. I sighted to the right and mostly was able to keep a swimmer in view except when I was between the waves or looked directly into the sun. I did much better at swimming in a strait line than what I used to do. A point came in the swim when my mind started to wander. After several minutes I realized my form had broke and I was wasting too much energy - and the fast swimmers in the next wave had caught me. I refocused and took advantage of their draft. I knew I was doing ok when I rounded the last buoy toward the beach and had not been caught by the large pack of the wave behind me. Once I was able to stand up in belly deep water I already had to pee again. I started peeling down my wetsuit and pulled it off in ankle deep water. It was about a 75 yard run in the sand slightly uphill to the timing mat in transition. I wish the mat was at water's edge for a more accurate swim time.
What would you do differently?:

FOCUS! I admit my nerves got the best of me. I started thinking about the whole distance instead of 'the next buoy'. Also, I think I want some shaded goggles. The sun affected my sighting more so than I expected.
Transition 1
  • 05m 22s

Transition was a long narrow obstacle course of wetsuits, bottles, and the occasional athlete not moving as fast as I would prefer - and considering I'm pretty slow, well...I didn't race through transition, but I did keep moving forward at all times. I reapplied the chamois cream and hoped for happy girlie parts at the end of the bike. It was impossible/unsafe to run with my bike because of gear scattered in transition.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
  • 3h 22m 47s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.57 mile/hr

The first 40 miles of the bike were AWESOME for me. I was easily maintain 19-20mph with little effort. My plan was to take it easy on the bike so I would have legs left for the run. For the most part I think I did that. The rough roads took a toll on my gut and nutrition. There were several times I wanted a porta-pottie but I stayed with it. I had only 4 gels and didn't drink the amount of water I had planned. At the aid stations I had tossed half full bottles of water for a full one. It was kinda fun to have someone hand you water on the fly! My great ride turned fugly when at mile 41 I turned south onto the highway and stared down a brutal headwind. I looked at the line of riders ahead of me and they all seemed to be moving at a snails pace. I looked at my computer and noticed I was pushing to maintain 12mph. This was going to be a L O N G ride back to town. I even had to push it to go downhill. By this point both of my feet had gone numb - I'm not sure why. My velcro straps were not tight. And my shoulders and back were aching. This is something I will need to figure out before IMSG.
What would you do differently?:

The only things that I had control over would be my hydration. If I could have the roads resurfaced and stop the wind I would.
Transition 2
  • 05m 17s

T2 was an even more challenging obstacle course than the first. Now there were gear bags tossed out in the aisles along with everything else. Again, I just kept moving forward.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 44m 35s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 34s  min/mile

It took awhile to get my legs under me. I think it was around mile 5 or six when I really started to feel good. I really liked the winding 2 loop affair since I could see other athletes at various points along the way. I walked through every aid station and dumped ice in my top and poured water on my head. I stayed with my marathon nutrition plan and it worked. My gut settled down on the run. On the second loop - about mile 8-9 - I got a twinge of a cramp starting in my right calf on an uphill. Once I crested the hill I started running again and on the next uphill it came again - this time worse. Looks like I am walking up the hills. I felt it a couple more times is the flats but some stretching and rubbing quickly helped it. The rain started coming down during the last 1/2mile. It's ok. I was almost done. I pulled off my sunglasses and smiled. I had done it. All of those negative thoughts of my abilites disappeared. I crossed the finish line with a big smile.
What would you do differently?:

Not start the run mildly dehydrated by drinking more on the bike. also I should have thought twice about running through the hoses and sprinklers that soaked my shoes, therefore giving me blisters.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank an EAS Myoplex and some water. It was pouring rain at this point. I was getting cold and wanted to put some more clothes on.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind and rough roads. Not under my control.

Event comments:

This was my first 1/2 iron and first experience at an IM branded event. I loved how big it was and the overall competitiveness of it, although i'm a BOPer. I enjoyed seeing the pros. Andy Potts and Leanda Cave were awesome to talk with.

Last updated: 2009-02-20 12:00 AM
00:46:31 | 2310 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/1660
Performance: Good
Suit: QR Hydrofull
Course: Point to point in Lake Michigan. We weren't too far offshore and the water was about 10-12 feet deep. There were plenty of kayaks and boats on each side of the course.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:22
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:22:47 | 56 miles | 16.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/1660
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: A loop out in the country with several sharp turns. The last mile was a walking/bike path some some sand blown on it. Most roads were very light on traffic but the highway was heavy. There were a lot of cones set up to warn drivers
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:17
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:44:35 | 13.1 miles | 12m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/1660
Performance: Below average
Course: A 2 loop course with some hills tossed in.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-08-03 4:51 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Traverse City, MI
Subject: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
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