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Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Grand Coulee, Washington
United States
Total Health Events, LLC
74F / 23C
Overcast
Total Time = 7h 01m
Overall Rank = 144/214
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 4/8
Pre-race routine:

The race didn't start until 9, which was nice--it gave us a leisurely morning and time to get up to eat. Coffee, oatmeal, tried to eat pbj but that wouldn't go down. Drank fluids. Got to the race site, where my bike was already racked yesterday--we didn't get to set up transition areas, which was weird. Instead, we had 3 plastic bags--T1, T2, and finish line. It took considerable planning to make sure everything was where it needed to be, but eventually it all came together.
Event warmup:

I wanted to do a little run but since we had to check in all the bags, I didn't have my running shoes....so I managed to swim all of 4 minutes before they cleared us (women) from the water so the men could start. I did spend extra time making sure my wetsuit was fitting good, and I stretched out my arms pretty well since my shoulder sometimes haunts me.
Swim
  • 40m 19s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 07s / 100 meters
Comments:

My goal was to go out and not use up all of my energy....stay mellow, relaxed and just finish with lots of gas in the tank. It worked! I did a few 'power tens' to pass people but otherwise just kept it steady and pretty soon I was done, it went really fast. I loved the buoy line--although on the final stretch it disappeared and I instantly (of course) got off course and had to sight for a while until it came back. I got really used to it and hope that every race director will start using buoy lines!!
What would you do differently?:

As always, swim faster....but I felt really good about this swim today.
Transition 1
  • 03m 32s
Comments:

It was a bit chaotic and time consuming to do T1--my time is estimated since I don't recall where any of the timing mats were. You had to run up a hill out of the water, find your T1 bag, and take it into the changing tent (which was nice, mellow....). I made sure I had everything in order and headed out to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Get faster at removing wetsuit.
Bike
  • 3h 53m 55s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.36 mile/hr
Comments:

We had driven the course the night before so we knew what to expect. My race plan was to just spin up the hill and not burn out my legs--I knew they would have plenty of burn out opportunity in the hours ahead. I made it to the top just fine. I didn't wear my Garmin on the bike so I don't have any HR data.

The rest of the ride...oh my. We got weather--rain and wind--some hot sun--more wind. And by wind.....this is a flat land full of wheat farms, it is windy! The hills were 'rolling' which means we rode up up up and a little down, then up up up up and a little down and up up up up up up and a little down.....for the whole ride. Mostly up. I don't know how they found a course like that. There was one downhill just about at mile 20, so that was nice, but it was over soon. I ate my pbj at 28 miles, as planned, kept drinking and having gels. Grabbed a banana as I rode by a rest stop in the little town of Almira. Leaving Almira is a 10-mile slow, steady grind uphill. The wind stopped and the sun came out during this. Oh joy. Drank as much as I could. Sang to myself "100 bottles of beer" to keep my mind off the hills I was going up. Finally about mile 40 there was a downhill, some more rolling hills of the up up up up up down, up up up up down type...then a HUGE hill on fresh pavement, a little rough. Scary. I am sure I was going 35 or more, didn't look at the odometer. It was about 5 miles down, holding on for dear life!! I didn't want to brake and my arms were killing me from holding the bike steady. At this point, the wind picked up and by the time I hit the bottom of the hill it was really windy for the rest of the ride. The last five miles were tough mentally and emotionally but I made it. Happy to see the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

I really need to lose at least 20 more pounds to be better on hills. A faster bike would be great but my weight was a factor today, for sure. I didn't catch a break on most of the course and it was really hard!!!
Transition 2
  • 06m 17s
Comments:

We had to take our T2 bag and change in the tent again. I liked it. I took the time to dry my feet and change socks after I covered my blister from my run a few weeks ago that bugs me. Got my ipod and also wore a fuel belt thinking I'd save time by bypassing aid stations. I had to use the facilities, as well, as I couldn't pee on the bike!
What would you do differently?:

No fuel belt, no old blisters to contend with, speed laces.....could have gone much faster here!
Run
  • 2h 16m 45s
  • 13.11 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile
Comments:

This was hard. It got hot when I first started out...although my early pace was fast I knew I couldn't keep it up so I slowed down. I was wearing my fuel belt and realized pretty early on that my drinks were not making me happy--gatorade and gatorade with nuun--so I started getting water at the aid stations and eventually was having them fill my fuel bottles for me at a couple. Water was tasting so good, as was ice, and everything else was awful. We had ridden the bike course on the highway portion and knew to expect the steady hills....but the gravel course was a big surprise, as were the hills on it. I walked the hills. I walked through the aid stations. And walked a bit more when I just felt like it. I took a gel and some endurolytes on the second pass through the gravel trail--that was nice. I was disheartened on the first lap for some reason, as I was hot, thirsty, slow and tired and could not for the life of me imagine actually doing it again. However, I managed to do it the second time, and despite walking more than I had wanted, I didn't feel too bad and kicked it into the finish where I saw all my pals waiting and cheering!!! I DID IT!!

I wish I'd kicked it into the finish--the woman ahead of me, in my AG, beat me by 3 seconds, leaving me in 4th place!!! Live and learn. My run time was pretty good compared to everyone in the race, which is surprising! Almost in the top 50%, MOP for sure, whereas in the other areas I was totally BOP! :)
What would you do differently?:

Hot weather run training. No fuel belt on this course--tons of aid stations that are well-stocked. I did wear my ipod and really liked having music to block out the wind. Run faster.
Post race
Warm down:

My friends grabbed me about 5 seconds after I finished and we took pix, then went and sat in the lake for a while. Went back to the hotel, showered, went to Mexican food and 2 beers. Then came back to the hot tub with another beer, and then went to the laser light show at the Grand Coulee Dam.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight. I think this was a serious factor in this particular venue. It was so hilly and unforgiving!! I still liked it and was not too far off my goal times. I would definitely do this race again, it was fun and everyone was super nice. Except the pizza place the night before, but that's another story.

Event comments:

Fun times at the Grand Coulee Dam! I am so very glad it is over. I have been focusing on and training for this all season, and now I can get back to living my life again....although I do have a 1/2 mary in a few weeks. Aw geez!




Last updated: 2009-07-18 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:40:19 | 1900 meters | 02m 07s / 100meters
Age Group: 6/8
Overall: 146/214
Performance: Good
Suit: Zoot full
Course: Counterclockwise in Banks Lake, triangular course. The lovely thing about this race was the buoy line, so sighting was (nearly) unnecessary. Rocky exit so had to be careful when finished to not break a toe or bruise a foot.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 03:32
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
03:53:55 | 56 miles | 14.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/8
Overall: 169/214
Performance: Average
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: This was a really, really hard bike course. Especially if you are, say, a big gal who really does well on flats and downhills. There were very few of those. To start off, there was a 3 mile hill where you climb and climb out of the coulee to the top of the plateau. Nice views...but it's so steep there are banked turns on the switchbacks!!! Of course they photograph you up there doing that.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 06:17
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
02:16:45 | 13.11 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/8
Overall: 97/214
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 158 Lap 1: 1:07 Lap 2: 1:10 (a teeny bit longer)
Course: 2 out and back loops--up a long, slow grade, down a long slow grade on the highway, then turn off into a park and run on a gravel trail for about 2 miles or so total....couple of notable hills on that trail. Each way. Twice. And then back up the hill and down, turn around, do it again.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2009-09-20 9:44 AM

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance


2009-09-20 9:47 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

The finish line, at long last!

LUNA peeps!

Before the race....

I will update with official times and all that once they are posted.

 



Edited by Medusa_Ann 2009-09-20 9:49 AM
2009-09-20 11:05 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Veteran
133
10025
Snohomish WA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Well done. Our biker said it was the hardest bike course he's ever done. The whole transition thing seemed weird. The pizza place was our second restaurant of the night. We were completely invisible at the first place. 
2009-09-20 12:56 PM
in reply to: #2415991

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Veteran
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Kauai girl now in MIll Creek/Silver Firs
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
I am so in awe of you - I almost cried reading your report because I know how hard you've trained for this all year. You are just incredibly inspirational.
2009-09-20 7:18 PM
in reply to: #2415991

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Veteran
214
100100
North Bend, WA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

Congrats! Nice job for your first.  you did wonderfully.

They actually allowed ipods?  that is a first ....

Glad you were happy with the race...you had it all, what more could you ask for.

2009-09-20 7:25 PM
in reply to: #2416602

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

stampinann - 2009-09-20 5:18 PM

Congrats! Nice job for your first.  you did wonderfully.

They actually allowed ipods?  that is a first ....

Glad you were happy with the race...you had it all, what more could you ask for.

Well, they never said we couldn't have ipods!    I asked a couple of people beforehand and nobody knew either way, so I took a chance. Worth it on that run!  I am so glad it is over now.  It's amazing how it takes over your life!  You know that, though!



2009-09-20 7:25 PM
in reply to: #2416182

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

KauaiShan - 2009-09-20 10:56 AM I am so in awe of you - I almost cried reading your report because I know how hard you've trained for this all year. You are just incredibly inspirational.

Shannon--thank you, that is so sweet.  I am happy to have accomplished my goal this season, for sure!

2009-09-20 8:36 PM
in reply to: #2416612

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Veteran
214
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North Bend, WA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

great pics btw.

2009-09-21 8:11 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Expert
663
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Williamsburg, VA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Congrats on your first HIM!!! 7 hours is a great time.  I did my first last weekend, was scared to death 2 weeks before had but the finish line was such ELATION!!! Very nice half mary time!!
2009-09-21 8:26 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Champion
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PA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Congratulations Ann! 

That is an awesome accomplishment.  I admire your determination.
2009-09-21 8:58 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Expert
856
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Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Congratulations!  Sounds very tough, and you did a great job hanging in there with those conditions and all those hills!

Very nice!


2009-09-21 10:39 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Veteran
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WA
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Great job on the run. We visited in T2 about the bike ride. Wish I would have had something left for that run. Way to go!
2009-09-21 11:43 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

I have updated the times now.....bummed that I was less than 4 seconds out of placing in my AG!  I had wanted to switch to Athena but the people at packet pick up made it seem like a huge pain for them, so I skipped it.  There were no others in it anyway.  It's nice to see that my run time was pretty good overall, since I didn't feel that great on it.....hopefully in the future I will do better on the other 2 events and I can be more of a contender!  It was still a great day, fun to experience my first half iron surrounded by friends in a pretty part of the world.  I am sort of in shock that it's over, after focusing on it for so many months!!!  NOW WHAT DO I DO???  (Just kidding...I have to run the Nike Women's half in a month).

I also thought it was interesting that 39 people were DNF on the course!  That seems pretty high.



Edited by Medusa_Ann 2009-09-21 11:44 AM
2009-09-21 3:41 PM
in reply to: #2415991

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Expert
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5001001001001002525
Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Wow, Leslie, congrats!! What a huge race -- I'm totally, thoroughly impressed that you tackled the HIM. Your training -- not just this year, but the past few years -- has really paid off. It's so cool to see you taking on this distance. So when's the IM?

Looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks! I won't be racing the half mary but I know we'll find a way to hook up (even if it's just at the finish line).
2009-09-21 9:03 PM
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Master
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Metro NY Area
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Great Job! Big Congrats! Awesome!
2009-09-22 8:22 AM
in reply to: #2415991

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Elite
3494
20001000100100100100252525
Renton, Washington
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

Well done on your 1st HIM.  You can now officially coach me for mine. Did you know that?  I knew you'd do great and you did better than great!  MWAH!



2009-09-22 4:32 PM
in reply to: #2415991

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Extreme Veteran
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Iceland
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

It sounds like you had a really good race. BIG Congratulations on your PR

Awesome job!!!

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