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Silverman - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Henderson, Nevada
United States
72F / 22C
Total Time = 7h 32m 7s
Overall Rank = 300/
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 8/13
Pre-race routine:

Bike and gear bags were in place on Saturday. I went to bed early, but woke up at 3:45 and couldn't get back to sleep. We were out the door around 5:30, stopped at Starbucks, and arrived at Hemenway harbor around 6:15.
Event warmup:

The first thing I did was place my bottles, helmet, sunglasses and shoes, then pumped up my tires and gave my bike a final once-over. Got my chip and got marked, then watched the full start and waited for the rest of my spectators to arrive. Started getting my wetsuit on around 8. I didn't feel the need to warm up. The weather was so completely different this year - no wind, mostly sunny, and just a beautiful morning. What could possibly go wrong?
  • 40m 40s
  • 2100 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Shortly before getting in the water, I noticed that the velcro backing on my chip strap had come partially unglued. It was too late to do anything about it, so I secured it as best I could and started the swim. As soon as I started kicking, the tail end worked its way out and started trailing, Fortunately, the strap stayed on. The swim was crowded, my feet were grabbed a lot, and I stopped a couple times to check the strap. I was hesitant to kick too hard, but I made myself do it anyway, and turned in a super fast (for me) swim split.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure I have a good strap.
Transition 1
  • 03m 15s

Last year's wetsuit stripper was faster than the guy I got this year, but he still took it off at least as fast as I could have done it. All I had in the changing tent was spray-on sunscreen and chapstick, so I applied those and then got out of there. I had an end spot, so my bike was easy to find. Shoes on, helmet and sunglasses on, and I was out of there.
What would you do differently?:

I wasted several seconds in the changing tent trying to unlock the top on my sunscreen, and then I did a crappy job applying it. The sunscreen volunteers outside probably would have taken less time than I spent doing it myself.
  • 3h 55m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.26 mile/hr

The ride was great for the first 28 miles. I felt good, my pace was comfortable, and at that point I was starting to mentally prepare myself for the 3 sisters and the bike path. Suddenly, I started to hear a thwack-thwack-thwack noise coming from my front tire. I pulled over. No hiss, still firm, it wasn't a flat. I spun my wheel and noticed a big bulge in one area. A 3 to 4-inch section of the bead had become unseated from the rim. I let out a bunch of pressure, reseated the bead as best I could, then pumped my tire back up with my mini pump. When I stopped I could tell it was not at full pressure, but this is hard to achieve with my super small pump, and I was also afraid the problem would repeat itself if the pressure was too high. I continued to ride, but remained very focused on the problem. There was still a once-around noise, and I checked on it at the mile 30-something aid station where I also stopped to use the port-o-potty. I pumped up the tire some more (still not at full pressure) and decided to just deal with it and finish the ride. I encountered the 3 sisters, still as lovely as I remembered, then the false flat on the bike path, which seemed shorter and not as bad as last year. I'm thinking the lack of headwind had something to do with that. By about mile 40-45 I had pulled myself out of the mental dark place and become angry that something so stupid had threatened to screw up my race. At this point, I started to hammer. I knew I shouldn't, but it felt so good, and I really wanted to break 4 hours. I passed many people in the last several miles, including in the sections of uphill through the streets of Henderson.

I want to point out that while I was stopped on the road (2 or 3 times) most if not all of the several people who passed me asked if I needed anything. Thanks to any of you who might be reading this.
What would you do differently?:

I blame myself for this problem. I rode on the same set of tires all year, and even though they were becoming worn, I didn't change them. Two weeks ago, my rear tire flatted at the end of a training ride. Instead of ordering new tires immediately, I waited until the following weekend, went to the LBS, and bought a replacement. Of course they only had one set of 650 tires, they had a red stripe, and they were expensive. Instead of buying both tires ($$$$$) or just replacing the rear tire (leaving me with one red and one black tire) I only bought one tire, remembering I had another red tire at home. It was still new and it was hanging on a peg in my garage. I got home and looked at it. It was a Michelin Ironman tire and I had a bad experience with one in the past. I put it on anyway.

Normally when I change tires I take the opportunity to true my wheels. This time, I was in a hurry to get out on the road, so I just threw the new tires on and left on my training ride. I later noticed a slight imbalance in my front wheel, but never fixed it. I don't know if this contributed to what happened.

Also (embarrassing confession time) I do not use CO2. After reading/hearing horror stories about people screwing up and running out of cartridges (i.e. Chrissie Wellington at Kona last year) I figured my mini pump was the safe way to go, even though it takes way too much time and energy to get the tire up to full pressure (this thing is like 6 inches long and fits in a seat pack). I will be making a change as a direct result of what happened in this race.

Oh, and hammering the last 1/4 of the ride would soon prove to be a stupid mistake.
Transition 2
  • 02m 21s

Uneventful transition. Off the bike, socks and shoes, race belt, hat. Sucked down some water and left.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 50m 17s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m  min/mile

This was not a run, this was a death march. By riding too hard for the last quarter of the bike ride, I set myself up for an awful run, and I knew it as soon as I started. Last year I had a GREAT first mile, it felt so good to be off the bike. This year I had a terrible stomach cramp, my legs were burning, and I just felt awful. I shuffled the first 3-4 miles (all uphill). I knew that I couldn't walk, that if I did I would end up in a place mentally that would be nearly impossible to pull myself out of. So, I shuffled, gradually started to feel better, and managed to pick up the pace (relatively speaking) for the middle 4-5 miles. Once I hit the mile 10 marker, I felt a brief high, then started to experience a lot of pain, especially in my right leg. My hamstrings and calves were just burning. It was awful. I kept running, no longer caring about my time, just wanting to be done. I have never wanted to be done so badly before, I don't know what else to say about it.
What would you do differently?:

I can't say I would do anything differently. It was by far the slowest half marathon I've run, but it was all I could do given the condition I was in.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, ate, had a beer, hung out with my family, picked up my stuff.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My own lack of preparation combined with some bad luck made my performance in this race fall short of what I had expected and hoped for.

Event comments:

This is just an awesome race and I hope to be back next year.

Overall, this day was a success. It was an extremely humbling experience. I am disappointed that I caused so many problems for myself, but I am also somewhat proud that I was able to keep going, pull myself out of some really dark places, and finish as best I could. I have a pretty bad temper and frustrate easily, but instead of pitching my bike into the desert, I calmly handled the problem and continued. During the run, there were so many times I just wanted to stop and walk, but I didn't allow myself to. I knew I would not forgive myself for giving up.

I still managed to cut around 20 minutes off last year's time. I'm looking forward to a few weeks off (NO SBR) and then easing back into half marathon training.

Last updated: 2009-05-12 12:00 AM
00:40:40 | 2100 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: XTERRA Vortex 3 full suit
Course: Triangle shaped course starting and ending on the boat ramp
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:15
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:55:34 | 56 miles | 14.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Hills, hills, and more hills. Great pavement and course closed to traffic once it gets to Henderson.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:21
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:50:17 | 13.1 miles | 12m  min/mile
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Course: Lots of gradual uphills and downhills through the streets of Henderson. One loop for the half.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2009-11-09 10:09 AM

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Woodland, California
Subject: Silverman - Half Iron

2009-11-09 10:23 PM
in reply to: #2504642

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Woodland, California
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron

splits are up

2009-11-09 10:38 PM
in reply to: #2504642

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Way to hang in there and still take 20' off!!  Congrats!!
2009-11-10 1:47 PM
in reply to: #2506057

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
It IS a great race.  That's why I was back for round 3...

Good work!
2009-11-10 2:06 PM
in reply to: #2504642

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Silverman - Half Iron
Congrats on overcoming so much out on the course. Being level headed saved you in the long run and got you to the finish in one piece. I'm sorry to hear about your tire trouble. So frustrating but dealt with like a champ. Congrats! Enjoy your recovery time, you've earned it.

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