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Timberman - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Gilford, New Hampshire
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 4h 44m 16s
Overall Rank = 46/1246
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 10/185
Pre-race routine:

After RI 70.3 it took me a good week plus to recover as I ended up super sore and with some aches and pains that required rest. After I got back to training my focus was to do Half Ironman specific training in particular on the bike/run for the Timberman course for 4 weeks.

My swim training wasn’t optimal by any stretch; after RI I took almost 3 weeks of swimming and I focused on Physical Therapy and rehab for the discomfort I’ve been battling since June (thanks Jess!). I knew that would be a limiter as I only managed to swim 8 times prior to the race for a whopping (not really) 11,680 yds which was all my prep. Still I was able to work a lot on my bike and run and log around 700 miles of cycling though only around 100 miles of running. Nevertheless while I knew my swim might be my weakness, still I could be able to compete on the bike and run.

The week leading to the race specially the last 3 days I wasn’t feeling all my usual self but I figured it was just the tapering, which was a bit longer than usual due to the training block of 4 weeks leading to the race so I didn’t worry much about it. Aslo my parents came to visit and be my super triathlon sherpas for the race so I was very relaxed and happy to have them there hence we just hanged out and enjoy some quality time together.
Event warmup:

*** PRERACE ***

I waked up around 4:30am to eat b-fast: a wheat bread peanut butter & honey sandwich and apple juice. I could tell I wasn’t my normal self and I was just feeling a bit 'off' but I figured I was just still asleep. I headed to the race with my support team: my triathlon Sherpas as well as Cynthia which was also there and part of the best support I could ask.

We got super early at the race site and since my wave didn’t go until after 8am I had lots of time to kill so I spent time with parents/Cyn and say hello to friends. I drank a 24oz bottle of Heed which in retrospective wasn’t enough due to the time between b-fast and the swim start and the heat/humidity of the day. I still was feeling off and with a slight sore throat but since I usually have one all the time due to allergies and digestive disorder (reflux) I didn’t make much of it.

As a warm-up I jumped into the lake and swam like 10 min and then I did dynamic stretching while waiting for my wave to go off.
  • 30m 40s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 27s / 100 yards

The plan was to start a bit fast and then try to draft my way to T1 hence I place myself at the front of the wave and went hard as soon as the gun went off. I managed to grab clean water right away and settle behind this fast swimmer. I was working to stay with him but as soon as we settled around 200-300 mts I just tuck in behind and follow him around. I was enjoying the free pull and not having to worry much about navigating or looking for buoys. After we turn around at the 1st buoy we were catching other waves and I had to work a bit hard to stay with this guy but I figured it was worth the effort. I knew something was definitely off when every time I would up the pace I would have a feeling like my legs would cramp. I managed to stay with my free ride until about 3/4s of the swim until I began running out of gas due to lack of fitness and he pulled away. I swam comfortably the last portion back to the beach. Jessica asked the announcer to call my name hence they screamed "Jorge is coming out of the water", and I was like WTF?
What would you do differently?:

nothing much, did what I could with minimal training
Transition 1
  • 01m 58s
  • 2h 29m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.52 mile/hr

As soon as I began riding I knew something was not right. I was feeling a bit light headed, I could feel my body and specially my legs weak and that cramping feeling on my quads would come at any time. Still I remained calm, focused on my pacing/nutrition and kept on moving. My plan was to ride around 215 watts but adjust the pace by perceived exertion. The first 10 miles are the hilly part henced I focused at staying within my goal and stay aero all the time even on hills unless my speed would get down to around 10mph. Within the 1st 20 min of the ride it was obvious my legs/body weren’t happy and I chose to ignored my watt target and kept pacing by perceived exertion; I figured since I was feeling odd if I would shoot for a particular wattage I might be risking blowing up at some point.

Anyway, I kept on moving and even though I wasn’t feeling myself and the legs were feeling weak, stil I was moving and passing lots of people. Usually the strong cyclists blow by me at some portion of the ride but this time around only a few guys passed but never dropped as I stay within sight most of the time. The out and back section was fast and I kept on moving riding aero no matter what and saw many of my Boston Tri teammates which was fun. After we turned back to head back I saw Austin on the side of the rode with a flat tire hence I slowed down and asked if he needed help but he replied he was ok so I kept moving. 10-20 min after I then saw Lauren with a flat as well and I slowed down and asked if she needed help and while she was not happy she was on her way to change the tire so I kept moving.

This portion I kept passing people but every mile passing by I could feel my legs getting weaker and weaker, it was the weirdest sensation and I knew it wasn’t due to improper fueling I was drinking a bit more than usual due to the heat and eating as usual. Once I reached the last 10 miles with the hills again I began getting super thirsty and I was having trouble swallowing as my sore throat got worst and it is when I realized the reason I’ve felt off days before the race and during the race was that I was coming down with a cold of some sort. At that time I began drinking more water and focused on getting back to T2 and see how the legs would feel on the run. The water bottles they were giving out were small hence I tuck one in my trisuit but it quickly ejected out and I was down to one small one for the last 10 miles. I had it on my bottle cage between my aerobars but when I stand up to climb a steep hill it ejected out and I was out of water or sports drink for those last 10ish miles.

As soon as I got close Ellacoya Park I knew I was going to be around my original goal of 2:30 hrs but again my legs were getting weaker and now I was getting super thirsty.
Bike nutrition: 24 oz of Heed x hour, 1 hammer gel every 45 min and 1 Salt pill tablet every 30 min.
Power #s:
- Entire ride: 2:29:13 hrs, 1649 kJ, 184 watts, 195 NP, VI 1.06, 129.8 TSS, 0.71 IF, 93 rpm, 55.55 Mi, 22.4 mph
Based on all my training it is evident I was just not my normal self as my power was a good 25-30 watts lower of my usual pace. Still, looking at previous previous power files from past Tman races I went 10 min faster with less power which means the work I've been doing on my bike fit/aerodynamics plus better tire choices for lower Crr had paid off, I wonder what time I could have achieved feeling normal?
What would you do differently?:

not much, did as good as I could while coming down with a cold. Maybe just drink more
Transition 2
  • 01m 40s
  • 1h 40m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 41s  min/mile

I began running and my legs felt weak, heavy and quads had that feeling that at any movement they would size up and cramp. I was very thirsty so I focus on drinking and getting more salt pills in. I was running by RPE but before the race I figure a 6:10-15 min/mile was good pace to shoot considering the training I’ve done and the run split I had at RI. After the 1st mile I saw I was running 7:40s which was a bit demoralizing but I kept moving focusing on nutrition. I kept drinking some G-ade and/or Coke every aid stationm I began feeling better and it began paying off. My pace went to 7:05, 6:50, 6:30, 6:29 and 6:25. I was far from feeling good, legs felt weak, but still I thought I to had a chance to be close to 6:30s for the 2nd half, it really seemed very doable.

I began approaching Ellacoya park and I gain my motivation back as I felt like my body was feeling descent for a solid 2nd half run but as soon as I got close to the 2nd loop turn and began running on the grass towards all the crowds I began feeling a terrible side stitch on my right side. I soon realized in my hopes to catch up with my thirst I drank way too much and now I had to battle what turned to be the side stitch from hell. I usually get this on training when I drink/eat too much or close to a run but I’ve learned to get rid of them by controlling my breathing and drinking just enough.

Only one time in a half marathon like 3 years ago I had such a bad one I had to stop and walk/run most of the race as it wouldn’t go away. Well this time around it was the as bad as that time, I barely managed to complete the turn around in front my parents, Cynthia and BTT teammates running but the pain was so bad I had to walk as soon as I got into the asphalt. Then I saw Brian Kearney, he have me some nice encouragement words ("hip hip... Jorge!" were his words, lol) but I just couldn't get into a groove and get rid of it. Anytime I would run I would feel like someone was stabbing me with a knife.

After another mile or so I was not only feeling weak and unmotivated but also the stitch was getting too painful to try to run. I was ready to drop out and DNF when Quigley came by and encourage me to keep moving so I tried to stay with him which I did until the pain was again too much and I slowed down. I also thought of my parents and realized I wanted to finish, not because they would be dissapointed, they support me no matter wat but because I felt like I owed them that effort. I saw Austin, Matt and other BTTers and I tried to remain positive, smile and I to try to run/jog but the side stitch just wouldn’t go away. Getting near the turn around at the far end of the run Brian Hughes caught me and gave me some nice words and told me to squeeze the side stitch out, this reminded me to try run while exhaling the air on the side stitch side all the way until I had no more air in me and the breathe in again. This worked and soon enough I caught Brian H and I was running at a solid pace again. I figured if I could have a last 3 miles at least I would save a decent placing but at the very next aid station I took some g-ade as I was very thirsty since I couldn’t drink anything since the side stitch hit me and as soon as I did BAM, the side stitch flair up with vengeance so I had to walk again. Brian H passed me and I lost all interest in the race I just walked/jogged my way back to the finish line trying to smile and thanking volunteers. I jogged the grass portion towards the finish line and while I usually close sprinting as hard as I can this time around I couldn’t due to the $%& stitch and it was pointless so I just smiled and finished?
What would you do differently?:

nothing much, the race was just a big challenge with the cold and catching up with hydration, plus battling side stitch
Post race
Warm down:

I saw my parents and Cyn and they were very supportive, I was down on myself due to the stitch and just feeling like shit due to the cold which got worst and worst as the day went by. We stay there for a bit and hanged out with some of the BTTers for a bit but I was just feeling crappy hence we decided to take off as soon as we were able to and we went to eat some food and then I went to lay on bed for the rest of the day. The cold has lingered every since; it comes and goes.

Unlike RI 70.3 which I had a great run this was very different day. I am disappointed not because of the result as we all have bad days and tough races but because my fitness is been the best ever and I didn’t had the chance to prove it that myself. I think I had the chance to finish sub 4:30which for Tman course is pretty solid and would have placed me close to the podium but in the end it is just a "could have, should have but didn't!".

On a side note it seems many of the studs racing had a tough day particularly on the run, many who can run very fast had slowish days for them. Maybe being sick and the side sticth made me unaware that the day was tough due to the heat/humidity and still I would have come short of a good race, who knows. I do know that with my fitness it 'felt' I could have had a good day if no cold/sticth would have bugged me but it is easy for me to say that now. I do believe it but we'll never know and I won't stress thinking about it.

Well, 2009 fought back and bitch slapped me at Tman really good and beat me like a piñata! But it is ok, I won’t be able to race Cancun due to life priorities but I am focus 1005 on Austin. Who knows what will happen then but I am going to towards closing the Tri season on a good note and bitch slap 2009 convincingly!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

cold, side stitch, lack of swim fitness.

Event comments:

One of my favorite bike courses and races. very competitive and great organization.

Last updated: 2009-01-12 12:00 AM
00:30:40 | 2112 yards | 01m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/185
Overall: 155/1246
Performance: Average
Course: rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:29:13 | 56 miles | 22.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/185
Overall: 69/1246
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: one loop out and back, hilly 1st 10 and last 10 miles, fast in the middle
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:40:47 | 13.1 miles | 07m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/185
Overall: 73/1246
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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

2009-09-03 10:24 AM

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Boston, MA
Subject: Timberman - Half Iron

2009-09-03 2:54 PM
in reply to: #2387105

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Major bummer about the cold & side stitch.  However, your attitude always impresses me.  Every reason to DNF and you didn't.  

You have major unfinished 2009 business to take care of in Austin.  Bring it.
2009-09-03 8:30 PM
in reply to: #2387105

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Way to gut it out and keep fighting Jorge!

2009-09-04 12:21 PM
in reply to: #2387105

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Houston, TX
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
We've all been there(I've been there a few times)! Way to suck it up and get it done, even after a bad start to the run. That can be rough mentally.
2009-09-08 9:24 AM
in reply to: #2387105

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Way to man up Jorge!  It's races like that I learn the most from. 

I feel bad for the TX course.
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