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Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
Oklahoma Redman Triathlon
70F / 21C
Total Time = 11h 23m 30s
Overall Rank = 15/181
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/19
Pre-race routine:

Try not to do anything unusual or too much different than I do on normal training days; other than get up much earlier...
Event warmup:

It had been raining in Oklahoma City all week, but the weather forecasts all indicated that things would be clearing up on race day; with only a 20% chance of light, scattered showers in the morning. I think we all know where this is leading... Shortly before the race was supposed to start, we started feeling a few rain drops, and they announced that there were reports of significant rain further out on the bike course. A few minutes later, torrential downpour. In very short order, everybody and everything was soaking wet; and the transition area was covered in about an inch of running water. With temps in the 60's, it was also a fairly cold rain (at least for this Texas boy), and even with my wetsuit on I started to get very chilled. Then came the announcement that we all dreaded... the bike course had flooded in a couple spots and they might have to cancel the bike and go to the contingency plan. NOOOO!!! I still had IM Cozumel coming at the end of November, but I had not come all the way to OKC and gone through all that stress to not even get a chance to race! The race director and staff were awesome, though, and they ended up with a workable plan to allow us to race. They delayed the start 45 minutes, and implemented a mandatory dismount at the spot on the bike course where the road was flooded. The race was on!
  • 1h 07m 5s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

By the time the swim started, the rain had subsided, and I was ready to go. I knew the bike course would be wet, meaning I'd have to be more cautious, but I could deal with that. The swim in Lake Hefner was great. All the full iron distance folks went first in one group of about 200, which is certainly less chaotic than the branded IM races where 2200+ start at one time. We swam parallel to shore for the first part of the swim, then turned out away from the shore and looped back around, then did that whole loop a second time. The water on the first part of the loop was pretty shallow, so you could actually stand up at any point if you wanted to (and some people did...). At the end of the first loop, I stood up just long enough to glance at my watch and take a couple deep breaths. I was under 33 minutes, so that made me feel great. On the back half of the second loop, I started noticing rain drops again, which was a little disappointing, as I had hoped that we were done with the rain (Ha!). I finished the second loop uneventfully, and got out of the water at 1:07, 10 minutes faster than my time at IM FL, and feeling very good. All that extra swimming this year seemed to have paid off!
What would you do differently?:

Not much; good strong swim and came out feeling good.
Transition 1
  • 02m 51s

One of the nice things about the Redman Tri is that you can set up your transition like a normal triathlon (at many IM's, you have to have a clean transition area and keep all your gear/nutrition/etc. in transition bags that you grab between events). So, I was able to get in and out of transition and off on my bike in less than 3 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Hope everything wasn't soaking wet :)
  • 6h 06m 15s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.35 mile/hr

I have to admit that the rain, which was coming down pretty hard at this point, was making me fairly discouraged. The first 10 miles of the bike course have a slight downgrade, and I normally can use high cadence and really make good time on that type of stretch, but the wet roads and poor visibility made me much more cautious. And the roads are not great to begin with, especially one 3.5 mile section on the back side of the course (which we went thru 4 times). I had a bad fall in wet conditions in April, and thoughts of that day were definitely playing in my head. I wanted to be conservative on the bike, anyway, but this was slower going than what I wanted. The rain cleared again, and once again I thought maybe that was the end of it and started feeling a little better; but sure enough it came back again a while later. And that repeated another time or two, the rain finally ending for good after somewhere around 3 or 4 hours into the bike. The positive side of all the rain is that it kept the temperature down, so I had no problems with overheating. If anything, I was pretty chilled at times. Yes, I am a cold wimp... that's why I live in Texas! So, I was finally able to finish the last part of the bike in relatively decent conditions, and came in with a bike time of 6:06:15. That was slightly slower than my bike time in IM FL, but I knew I was still well-positioned to meet my goal of beating 11 1/2 hours if I had a good run.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe not be quite as cautious on the bike, but then again I did see one guy that took a bad fall which really messed up his race.
Transition 2
  • 01m

Nice quick 1 minutes transition and I was off, wondering how the run was going to unfold. This was going to be the make or break part of the day, for me.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 04m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 19s  min/mile

When I first started, everything felt great. Good pace, good heart rate, stomach feeling pretty good. Of course, the rain and clouds were now gone, so it was sunny and warmer. Would have been nice if that was reversed - sunny and 70's on the bike; then cloudy and a little rainy on the run! :) And the rain had left it's toll on the run course, with some flooded and muddy sections that made things a little more interesting. But that's all part of the challenge; it's a long day with a ton of variables and surprises, and how you overcome the obstacles is a big part of the race.

The run was broken up into 4 loops of about 6.5 miles, and I felt pretty good on the first loop. By the second loop, I could tell I was going to face some challenges. My stomach had started to act up, not wanting to take in any more gels or food, and really not tolerating much liquid other than a little bit of water. That is often blamed on not getting nutrition right, but I think it has more to do with the body just being pushed too far and starting to shut down. The right nutrition plan helps, and I certainly make that a big part of my planning and training, but in the end it comes down to your training, your pacing, and adapting your body over time to handle something that it is just not built to do! I had similar things happen at IM FL in 2007, so I was able to recognize and deal with things earlier and better. I didn't try to force anything down, and I took a couple of short walk breaks to allow the stomach to settle so I could get some nutrition in there. Potatoes and vanilla wafers were great, by the way :)

Around mile 17, I was starting to reach my limits, and had to take a couple of longer walk breaks. I was able to get running again, and then I did a final 5 minute walk with just over 4 miles to go. At that point, I knew that I needed to just put my head down and gut it out if I wanted to meet my time goal. Never saw a sight as wonderful as the finisher's chute, and I crossed over the mat with a 4:04 marathon run split. Total race time: 11:23:30.
What would you do differently?:

Just continue to train and improve; continue working on understanding how my body reacts to different race/nutrition strategies.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked into the food tent, and my first thought was that I needed to sit down. A couple of the volunteers asked me if I was OK and did I need anything, so I asked if I could just get some water. I drank a couple of small bottles of water, and they were asking if I needed anything else, so I half-joking told them "a place to lie down". They pointed right behind where I was sitting, and told me that was the medical tent, which had some plastic lawn chairs I could sit in. Sounded good to me!

Of course, if you walk into the medical tent, they are going to start checking you out. My pulse was a little weak and my blood pressure was a little low, and I was shivering quite a bit (told you I'm a cold wimp). The medical staff was fantastic and took great care of me, eventually giving me an IV when drinking liquids wasn't getting me hydrated fast enough. That did the trick, and I felt much better; and was able to go pack up my gear and haul it back to the car and get to the hotel. Half a pizza later, it was time to crash and get some much-needed sleep.

Went to award ceremony next day and found out the guy in my AG that beat me won the entire event! The good news for me was that it left me as the winner of my AG :) First time for that, so very happy.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Legs held up great, but stomach issues really can slow you down on the run. See comments above regarding run.

Event comments:

If you want to do an iron distance race and don't need a bunch of hoopla and glitz, this is a very good race. Well organized, great staff and volunteers, and good course (other than some rough spots on bike course). Lower cost, don't have to get there as early, normal transition, less crowded... great way to just get out there and do an IM distance race.

Last updated: 2009-05-07 12:00 AM
01:07:05 | 4224 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/19
Overall: 0/181
Performance: Good
Suit: Yes
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:51
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:06:15 | 112 miles | 18.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/19
Overall: 0/181
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: No hills, pretty much always slightly downhill or slightly uphill (1% grade). Road surfaces mixed, with one pretty bad 3.5 mile section that you go over 4 times (first time you hit it is around mile 20 I think).
Road: Potholes Wet Cadence: 85
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 01:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:04:17 | 26.2 miles | 09m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/19
Overall: 0/181
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-09-26 8:54 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman

2009-10-01 11:37 AM
in reply to: #2427398

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman
Great race!  That's a great run split!  Very well done - congratulations!
2009-10-01 2:11 PM
in reply to: #2427398

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman
Wow - VERY nice! Congrats!
2009-10-01 2:27 PM
in reply to: #2427398

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman
Great race -- congrats on your AG win!!!  I'm def considering doing this one if I ever get brave enough to do an IM.
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