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Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake Stevens, Washington
United States
WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) (Ironman 70.3)
69F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 04m 5s
Overall Rank = 483/876
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 63/102
Pre-race routine:

Wife, kids and I checked in to the hotel across the street from the race HQ about 3:30 on Saturday, then mozied over to packet pickup. Got there about 4:05 but still managed to squeeze into the 4:00 mandatory brief. I'd forgoten about it, so got lucky. Didnt' realize that you had to have the brief BEFORE you could do anything else (i.e. check in and packet pick-up). Definately agree with an earlier post that you should sit in the back of the brief so you can be in the front of the line to get your packet. This line moves slower than any other tri I've done so far.
Jumped in the car and headed over to the lake to rack my bike. I'd planned to drive the bike course afterward, but it was getting late so we headed back to the hotel. Figured I'd leave the bike route as a surprise. Took the family to a nasty dinner at Denny's (yuck!... but it was across the street). The wife has learned that I'm not that much fun the night before a race, so she took the kids and stayed with our oldest daughter about 45 minutes away.
Up at 4:00 on Sunday, slept pretty well considering I was really nervous about my first 70.3. Had my standard half bagel with peanut butter. Washed it down with a bottle of warm clif shot block cider (first time I've tried it... not too bad). Got to the race site ~5:00 and glad I shelled out the $20 for parking early on- had a great spot a block from the start/finish. Set up my transition (in the dark, didn't think about bringing a headlamp!) among the very cramped bike rack. Satisfied, wandered over to the start, picked up my chip then headed back to the car to chill/listen to music until ~6:20.
Event warmup:

Did my standard warm up (no sense breaking tradition), which includes swinging my arms around a bit and watching people "warm up" in the water. I always thought the swim portion of a tri was designed as the warm up...
  • 32m 29s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

The DJ should have been playing the Deep Purple tune "Smoke on the Water"...nice layer of fog over the water delayed the start by 10 minutes. They shouldn't have bothered 'cause the fog didn't lift any when we did start. Got out in front when the horn sounded and felt good with plenty of open water in front of me. That lasted for about 5 minutes at which time I caught the slower swimmers from the wave in front of us. At this point I latched on to another guy in my AG and followed his feet for the majority of the outward leg. With the fog on the water and lack of visisblity (couldn't see the bouys until you were 100yds away), most people seemed to be following the white cable 6' down. That worked fine, but made for some serious congestion.
Thought I was swimming faster as I was planning on maintaining a 1:20 pace to come in under 30 minutes, so a little disapointed to exit the water at 32:30. Not too worried though, because I wanted to ensure I had plenty in the tank for the bike and the dreaded run. And afterall, the swim is the warm up for the rest of the race :)
What would you do differently?:

Push it a little harder now that I know what to expect on the bike and run at this distance.
Transition 1
  • 04m 36s

I've always taken my time in transition, but this was a bit much. Probably spent more time than needed getting by 305 Forerunner on and set up. Also put on bike gloves which I probably could have done without.
What would you do differently?:

Not put on bike gloves and get me one of those new waterproof Garmins...
  • 3h 07m 15s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.94 mile/hr

Really enjoyed the bike course once I got warmed up... it was a bit chilly (~52 degrees). Took it a little slow for the first loop not knowing what to expect around the next bend and to not trash my legs yet. Still had the dreaded run to contend with. Ate two GUs (do you really eat a GU or is it more like drinking?) and drank two bottles which was according to plan. REALLY like having the aero-bottle on the aero bars. Makes it easy to maintain you hydration plan with the straw right in front of your face. Not too many hills that I needed to get out of the saddle for, but it was good to stretch out the legs.
Quads started to complain a bit after mile 50, but I wasn't too worried becuase I'd left the loop behind me at this point and I remebered it being fairly flat on the connecting road. I was a little surprised to find more hills than I remember on what I thought was only a 2 mile stretch. That last leg seemed to be the longest of the course...
Bottom line, I was trying to hit 18mph average and came pretty close.
What would you do differently?:

-Survey the course before hand.
-Try to stay on the aero bars for the screaming descents. A little gun shy after watching that German guy from Saxo Bank do a face plant at 50+mph during the tour...
Transition 2
  • 05m 45s

Again, not the fastest guy in transition, but if you take out the two minutes I spent taking a leak (talk about hydrated!), not too bad. Never needed to worry about pee breaks during Olys and sprints. As I headed out of T2 I heard the speaker announce Jeffrey Symonds crossing the line (2nd place finisher). Couldn't help thinking "man, I wish I was done..."
What would you do differently?:

Lose the riding gloves. Also need to be more familiar with changing the mode on my Garmin from bike to run...
  • 2h 14m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 14s  min/mile

Now the fun begins. Saw the wife and kids in the crowd cheering me on as I started on the first loop. Asked my son to take over for me... he declined. After looking at my elapsed time and a "quick" calculation (no calcutations were quick for me at this point in the race), I figured I'd break 6 hours (goal #2. Goal #1 was to finish upright...) if I maintained a 10 min/mile pace, which was also my plan. After 6 miles my hard-to-program Garmin said I was averaging a 9:30 pace. I felt pretty good at this point so thought that my goal was in site, just needed to endure the second half of the run. This is where I could have used a wrench, 'cause the wheels started to come off. My legs were done (quads, hammys, calves, you name it...), so started walking a bit longer through the ample water stations, then started walking between water stations. At this point I was just trying to hold on and keep from cramping so bad that it would keep me from obtaining Goal #1. During the second lap of the out-and-back I keeping pace with another guy my age and we encouraged each other the rest of the way in. The last mile my legs actually felt pretty good (relatively speaking), so now I'm thinking it was a mental thing. Maybe I just need to push through the pain more...
What would you do differently?:

Need to run more. Think I'll sign up for the Seattle Marathon in Nov...
Post race
Warm down:

Elated to cross the line (you can tell by the picture of me on the Brightroom search page for the event!). Struggled to take off my chip without falling on my face, then asked the guy giving out finisher medals if he wouldn't mind giving me one.
Found the wife and kids, had some pizza, walked around to cool down, then had my massage therapist wife work on my legs. Ahhhhh....

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being too slow. Happy to obtain Goal #1 (finish), a little bummed that I missed Goal #2 (break 6 hours). I'll get it next year...

Event comments:

Well organized race, which you would expect from an Ironman event. Why else would they charge an arm and a leg?
PLENTY of water stations on the course with Gatoraide and PowerBar Gel. Unless you really need your own stuff, no need for a fuel belt.
Loved the pizza and cookies after the race.

Last updated: 2009-03-24 12:00 AM
00:32:29 | 2112 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/102
Overall: 0/876
Performance: Average
Suit: sleeveless
Course: Basically out and back with 100yd seperation
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:36
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:07:15 | 56 miles | 17.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/102
Overall: 0/876
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Average
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:45
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:14:02 | 13.1 miles | 10m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/102
Overall: 0/876
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-08-19 4:00 PM

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Kingsland, Georgia
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens

2009-08-20 5:35 PM
in reply to: #2358798

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Congrats on a great race!  I like that you're already planning your attack for next year
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