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Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Springfield, Ohio
United States
HFP
Overcast
Total Time = 5h 48m 27s
Overall Rank = 64/135
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 9/12
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 4:30AM and for once actually slept through the night before a race without constantly waking up or having dreams about being late for the start. I had a banana and some waffles, threw everything in the car, and made the hour or so trip to Buck Creek with my lovely wife.

Since we arrived at 0 Dark 30 (they were still training the registration volunteers when we arrived) I had plenty of time to set up my transition area. I was less nervous than I thought I would be and had some fun chatting with a nice guy on my rack who was also doing his first HIM. It was also fun listening to the guys with nice bikes on my rack discussing what kind of bike I had (It's a used Trek 1000 fellas!).

It was very cool to have my parents there before the race. My wife helped me with the body gliding (I body glided almost my entire body... I learned after the marathon training last year that everything chaffs after 4 hours) and I got into my wetsuit and was ready to rock!
Event warmup:

I hopped in the lake while the Sprint and Mini waves were going off and did a few halfhearted strokes to "warm up". I really need to warm up better than I do. It was cool watching the waves start from in the lake. It really looked like people belly flopped when they did their dive at the beginning. Funny looking stuff!

Of course then the long awaited call came. Men Elite (not me) and 29 and Under (me) Half Ironman Start!
Swim
  • 42m 47s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards
Comments:

The horn sounded and we were off! I started in the back of the pack to avoid the washing machine, and I had a fairly clear path most of the swim as a result. Since I didn't warm up I spent the first lap warming up (especially since I hadn't hit the pool in a week). For some reason it seemed harder going out the first side of the rectangle than coming back.

On the way back on the first lap I decided that since I always say hi and thank you to the police on the bike and run courses, it would be polite to do the same for the lifeguards out there on surfboards. So on one particular stroke when I came up and sighted, I yelled, "HI!" and waved to one of the lifeguards. This was a stupid idea because she immediately thought I was in distress and started coming to my aid. I quickly sprinted off, slightly embarrassed but mainly amused.

The second lap went a lot smoother as I got into my groove and I was really happy with my navigation. I seemed to stay on track more than the other folks around me. That wetsuit is really a wonderful piece of equipment. I came out of the water feeling good and ready to rock!
What would you do differently?:

I should start warming up more. I should focus more on swimming than waving to the lifeguards. I should sign up for triathlons that don't make you run up a huge hill back to transition and include the time it takes you to run up said huge hill in your swim time!


Transition 1
  • 01m 57s
Comments:

Whoo-hoo! A transition time! First time in 4 HFP races I've got one! Evidently transitions are my best discipline because I managed a 5/12 in the age group. The wetsuit came off fairly easily. I wasted a few seconds putting a shirt on (one of these days I'll get that tri top...) but other than that I think this went well.
What would you do differently?:

Not a whole lot.
Bike
  • 3h 01m 23s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.52 mile/hr
Comments:

The bike went much better than expected. I was envisioning a 3:15 ride, but I guess the aerobars I purchased last week (nothing like waiting until the last minute) paid some dividends. During the race I pretty much stuck to my plan: Gels every 25 minutes (so I took 7) and Gatorade and water as needed. Some fun moments:

-I had dropped my sunglasses before the race and they broke. I used some electrical tape to "fix" them. Around mile 10 I adjusted them and the right lens popped out. I decided to ditch the sunglasses at the aid station, but I forgot and spent the next 20 miles wandering why everyone was looking at me funny. I must have looked like a crazy ass pirate with only one lens in my shades. At some point I touched them again and they disintegrated into pieces which littered Springfield, OH.

-On the first loop I grabbed a water bottle full of Heed at the aid station. When I went to drink it the top of the bottle came off and I was doused in Heed.

-The first woman who passed me told me "Nice Job". I said, you too Chrissie Wellington. She did not seem amused.

-My new water bottles stayed in their cages. And there was much rejoicing.

-As I was finishing the first lap my cheering section was going crazy. My wife, my parents, my in-laws.... it was awesome! I sped around the turn around and ... slammed on the brakes and hit the Port-a-potty. Probably a buzz kill for them but a much needed cramp relief for me!

-Not a lot of people passed me on the 2nd loop and I actually caught a few folks. I was really amazed I kept an 18.5 pace and I was super pumped I did both laps in about the same time.

-As I came into the finish I yelled that I was ready to get off the damn bike!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I had an absolute blast the entire race. I had some good conversations with people out there and I think the hills (which don't seem to bother me as much as they do other people) and the wind (same) kept me more competitive than I normally am on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 01m 40s
Comments:

This went fairly smooth I guess.
Run
  • 2h 00m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 13s  min/mile
Comments:

My plan was to take the first lap easy and walk the water stops because I felt that I didn't take in enough hydration during the marathon and that's why I sorta bonked. There's a time and a place to push it, and I decided that the first time you do a Half Ironman isn't one of those times.

Once again I can't say enough how awesome it is to have people you love cheering you on. My family was great and they really provided my with the spark I needed. Also I got cheers from random spectators which was great.

It took a few minutes for my Garmin to pick up the signal and to my horror I saw I was running a 7:30 pace. I immediately slowed to a 9:00 pace which I was determined to stick around. I wanted to have fun and finish running and I knew going too fast could easily turn this into a death march.

I also stuck to the plan of walking the aid stations. I think it really helped me get the nutrition in. It was pretty cool seeing all the faster folks on their 2nd laps and cheering them on. After each aid station I would flip my empty cup, repeat my mantra, "Time to get back to work", and start running again. If you passed someone and they said "Give em hell brother" that was me.

On the way out of the first lap one of my gel packs fell out of my fuel belt. So if on the way back you saw some guy pick up a gel pack on the ground and eat it, that was also me. And it was my gel pack so it wasn't as disgusting as you probably thought it was.

I felt good and was running easy at the turnaround. Just about 6 1/2 miles left! Of course on the way back out I told two different spectators that if anyone ever tried to talk them into doing triathlons, not to do it. I hope they knew I was kidding.

I continued to feel good and keep going. I ate a cookie and after I mixed it water I decided it was the best thing I had ever eaten. I also grabbed some pretzel sticks, but decided they weren't for me after the first one. So if you saw a guy chucking pretzel sticks at trees and chuckling when they exploded... yup.. that was me.

I had a brief downer moment just shy of 10 miles, but once I hit that point I knew that I could polish off the final 5K. I saw a girl walking in the opposite direction crying and I felt so bad. I guess she had bonked. I didn't know what to say but I know that had to have sucked. That was one of my big fears before the race.

As I headed towards the finish I couldn't stop smiling. I could have passed a guy right in the final straight away but I decided that he should have his moment so I slowed up a bit. It was awesome hearing the cheers of my family as I crossed the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

I could have probably gone faster, but like I said, I wanted to finish running and not walk the last 3 miles. I played it smart and I ran the race I needed to.
Post race
Warm down:

It was such a weird feeling. I was starving but nothing looked good! I hugged everyone and took pictures and laughed with some athletes. It was good to get called a Half Ironman!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Um.... probably nothing. Sure I probably waste energy chatting with the police and carrying on with spectators and volunteers, but it makes the race fun for me. The 5 months of training aren't the fun part of this sport. The race is. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Event comments:

I had a great time at this race!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2009-01-22 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:42:47 | 2112 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/12
Overall: 55/135
Performance: Good
Suit: Yes
Course: 2 rectangular laps
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 01:57
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
03:01:23 | 56 miles | 18.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/12
Overall: 88/135
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two laps of 28 miles on some nice rolling hills
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 01:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
02:00:42 | 13.1 miles | 09m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/12
Overall: 69/135
Performance: Good
Course: 2 laps on a bike path
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2009-08-24 5:48 PM

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Subject: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman


2009-08-25 7:17 AM
in reply to: #2367762

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman
Great job. It was a terrific day for a race.

I'm pretty sure I saw your sunglasses on the road. I wondered what they were doing there. Now i know.

JC

PS - Maybe the girl on the bike didn't know who Crissie Wellington is. If anyone ever called me that, I'd take it as a compliment!
2009-08-25 10:02 AM
in reply to: #2367762

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman
This has to be the funniest race report I have ever read (I mean that in a positive way of course)!!!! Congrats on a great race.
2009-08-25 6:28 PM
in reply to: #2367762

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Columbus, Ohio
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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman
Awesome! I loved reading your report! Sounds like you had a great time.
Congratulations on your HIM! I'm trying my first next month at Deer Creek.
2009-08-25 8:18 PM
in reply to: #2367762

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Alpharetta (until we find a home)
Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman
great race-I hope to hit those times when I do Deer Creek. Did you have a particular HIM plan or just bike and run longer?
2009-08-25 9:15 PM
in reply to: #2367762

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - 1/2 Ironman
JC in Cinci - 2009-08-25 8:17 AM

Great job. It was a terrific day for a race.

I'm pretty sure I saw your sunglasses on the road. I wondered what they were doing there. Now i know.

JC

PS - Maybe the girl on the bike didn't know who Crissie Wellington is. If anyone ever called me that, I'd take it as a compliment!


Thanks JC! I was hoping no one would run over my shades. Man. 3 triathlons this year and I've dropped 3 water bottles and a pair of sunglasses. Something is wrong with me!

DLaw - 2009-08-25 11:02 AM

This has to be the funniest race report I have ever read (I mean that in a positive way of course)!!!! Congrats on a great race.


Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the congrats!

ahohl - 2009-08-25 7:28 PM

Awesome! I loved reading your report! Sounds like you had a great time.
Congratulations on your HIM! I'm trying my first next month at Deer Creek.


Thanks! After 5 months of training pretty hard (and getting burned out towards the end) I was ready to have some fun! Good luck at Deer Creek!

bananatoes - 2009-08-25 9:18 PM
great race-I hope to hit those times when I do Deer Creek. Did you have a particular HIM plan or just bike and run longer?


I was following the Level 2 HIM plan in Matt Fitzgerald's book (Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide). I missed workouts here and there but I stuck to it fairly well. Then I stole parts of newbz's nutrition plan since he seems to know what he's doing! Kick some butt at Deer Creek!


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