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Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Macon, Georgia
United States
GMI Multisports
88F / 31C
Total Time = 6h 08m 11s
Overall Rank = 186/288
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 37/50
Pre-race routine:

Title: "Bringing an Knife to a Gunfight"

Well, here I was, getting ready for my second HIM in a month. Yesterday, (Saturday), from 7am-2pm, I moved (as in moved from one house to another). It entailed a lot of manual labor, lifting boxes, moving furniture, etc which really wore out my legs and back. By 2pm, I had packed my tri gear and bike to begin the 2hr drive to the race site for checkin. I met a few other BT'rs for dinner at The Olive Garden in Macon. It took a full 2 hrs to get the food. So, instead of being asleep by 8:00, it was 11pm when I laid down to sleep after I had mixed all my fluid bottles and organized my stuff.

I got up at 4:00am Sunday morning, ate a Bakers Breakfast Cookie and a bowl of Crispix. Gathered all my stuff and headed out to the race site.

And, get this. My bib # was 1. Yes, I was #1. Here I am, a MOPPER, with Bib #1. What were these people thinking? You wouldn't believe the looks I was getting race morning while walking around the transition area. I constantly had to explain that I was not a pro. I felt like I had a target on my back. I also felt like a total poser.
Event warmup:

Nothing. It was already getting quite warm. I worked up a sweat just standing around in my wetsuit.

The one funny thing that happened was when they were "playing" the National Anthem. Evidently, they didn't know which track it was on the CD and we listened to about 2 minutes of some song before they realized it wasn't the right one. Someone hit the skip button a few times before we found the right song.
  • 26m 7s
  • 2122 yards
  • 01m 14s / 100 yards

I am sure that the race course was not a full 1.2 miles. I was stunned when I exited the water and looked at my watch. I was 9th in my AG, but I don't think I'm capable of swimming this fast. That time also includes a 200 yard dash across the beach and up to the transition area. The fastest non-wetsuit mile for me was 28 min. This can't be right.

Swimming has become my favorite discipline. I was cut off once by a wayward swimmer who swam across my line, but otherwise, it was a very enjoyable swim. I love OW swimming.
Transition 1
  • 02m 27s
  • 3h 01m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.49 mile/hr

All I can say is Rollers! This friggin course was very hilly. I don't think there was a single flat spot on the course. It was, by far, the toughest biking segment in a race for me to date. My legs were sapped by mile 48. It was at this point that I unclipped my left leg to stretch it and it immediately cramped in the quad. For the next 6 miles, I could feel it twinging, kind of sitting on the edge of cramping again. I've never had a cramp except in the arch of my foot, so this was a strange occurance. I was hoping it was simply due to the tough bike and would work itself out. I didn't think I was dehydrated cause I ingested nearly double the normal intake of fluids.

Clearly, I was foolish to think I could put in some hard labor on Saturday (moving) and then perform well in a HIM on Sunday. It was clear to me that I was cooked when I got off of the bike.

I definitely need to train more in the hills. I also need to do more strength training on the legs (squats, extensions, etc). I exhausted my legs on the bike and left nothing for the run.
Transition 2
  • 02m 10s
  • 2h 38m 11s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 05s  min/mile

That left quad started to cramp within the first half mile of running. I stopped to stretch it out by lifting up my ankle behind me and upon doing so, the hamstring cramped. It was painful and at this point, I was actually thinking I may not finish this race. I stretched out some more and started jogging again. Within a minute, I now had both legs cramping and in the big muscles (quads and hamstrings). I had to stop a lot and stretch.

I ran/walked for the next 7 miles...doing more running than walking, but walking through each aid station. I wanted to be sure to get fluids down. I also grabbed as much ice as possible to keep the noggin cool.

Once I saw the 7 mile marker, I actually started to believe I could finish the race. The heat was oppressive and it was very difficult to cool down. I began to wonder whether I was dehydrated or suffering from hyponatremia. I drank a ton of fluids on the bike and hit every aid station on the run. I stuck to the endurance fluids (cytomax) and took a few enduralytes at the aid stations.

At mile 9, I took one of the rags they were handing out and rolled up some ice inside, tying it around my neck. It began to cool my neck to the point that I stopped sweating and my skin became dry. This was a problem. Remembering my anatomy classes, I recalled that the part of the brain that regulates body temp (hypothalmus, hippocampus...something like that) is right there and I had cooled it to the point that my body was fooled into thinking it was cooler than it really was. I removed the ice and within 5 minutes was sweating again. Scary moment cause I thought something was going very wrong.

The run was 2.5 hours of pure pain. I fought off constant cramping by walking through the aid stations so I could drink plenty of fluids and gel. On the bright side, I did finish when I could have easily thrown in the towel. This was, however, not to be my day.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I wouldn't do a Half IM after moving the day before. I did way too much heavy lifing on Saturday while moving boxes and furniture. Additionally, I just did a real crappy job of preparing for this race. I did a half IM 4 weeks ago and was much better prepared. I slacked off inbetween and didn't keep the level of training up to par. This situation was entirely my fault, due do a lack of discipline and poor planning of the weekend's events.

Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was grabbed by one of the EMT's and taken into the medical tent. They laid me down and covered me with iced towels. My legs immediately seized up. It was very painful. The folks in the med tent continued to ice me down for another 15 minutes or so.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Aside from what I mentioned above, Triple H (better known as hills, heat, and humidity).

Event comments:

This stuff is not to be taken lightly. This course chewed me up and spit me out today. It got the better of me. I will sign up for this one again next year and will come back better prepared. It was also a great wakeup call regarding my training. I slacked off after last month's HIM and that didn't help me today.

Photo's are in my album:

Last updated: 2005-03-08 12:00 AM
00:26:07 | 2122 yards | 01m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/50
Overall: 63/288
Performance: Good
Suit: Wetsuit Legal Swim
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:27
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:01:45 | 56 miles | 18.49 mile/hr
Age Group: 31/50
Overall: 169/288
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:10
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:38:11 | 13.1 miles | 12m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/50
Overall: 210/288
Course: Rolling hills
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2005-06-07 7:00 PM

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Marietta, Ga
Subject: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

2005-06-07 8:00 PM
in reply to: #170724

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St Charles, IL
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Been waiting for this one! 

Short swim or not, 9th in your AG is pretty kick ass.

That sounds like a tough bike for sure, with that heat.  Cramps definitely suck.  I've gotten that foot cramp before, not sure what causes it, or how I ended up fixing it.

You stuck it out, and pulled off a 6 hour HIM on a rough day.  That says tons about your mental ( and intestinal! ) fortitude.  You kept you head about you on the run, and worked on actively fighting to the end of the race.  Nothing to hang your head about there!

At the end of the day, you learned something about yourself, and learned how/what to do differently next time.  I predict that next year, it will be you who does the chewing up and spitting out. 

2005-06-07 8:39 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Plant City, FL
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Karl-- What an amazing job!  Your performance in this race says a lot about WHO you are!!  

2005-06-07 8:44 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Wow Karl...what a fight!  Glad to see you hung in there and perservered!!!  I don't know how you did it with all the weightlifting from the day before.

Very cool being #1.  I thought #13 was cool.  #1 is waaaay better.

Congrats on your finish!

2005-06-07 9:56 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Newbury Park, CA
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Great effort.  You are one tough SOB.
2005-06-07 10:12 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Palisade, CO
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Great Job! Way to gut it out and keep on going .

2005-06-07 10:24 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Way to hang in there and tough it out Karl

On the bright side, you're now STRONGER because of it.  The body REMEMBERS the training that you did....every single step you took has made you stronger

Do you know what caused the cramping? Heat? Flexibility? Remember to address those issues.  IMFL will be here in a couple of months

Rest well.

2005-06-08 1:29 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

ALL that adversity, and you STILL did a 6:08??????   Thats guttin it out!  I'd a laid down in the road when the cramps hit and make 'em bring the stretcher to me! 

You da MAN Karl!!! 

Congrats on a great and TOUGH race. Like Charles said - it will make you stronger! And that guy knows what he's talkin bout!!!

(BTW, I think its your hippopotamus

2005-06-08 3:39 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Oh Karl - once again a wonderful performance from a very talented athlete - talk about pushing yourself! You don't know when to stop and that is a GOOD thing my friend!
Buckets of admiration as always.
2005-06-08 6:41 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Extreme Veteran
Plant City, Florida
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
going through adversity will only make you tougher and mentally stronger....way to gut it out and truly continue to inspire....great race....
2005-06-08 7:04 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Queen BTich
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Karl, it makes me feel better that someone felt the same way I did at the end of the bike and on the killer run. I thought I was the only one not prepared for the conditions.

Maybe next year you'll get #9.

2005-06-08 7:55 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Extreme Veteran
Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Your #1, an no one can take that away from you   Great race! See you at Indian Springs.

Can you teach me how to swim that fast?

2005-06-08 8:04 AM
in reply to: #170724

Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Awesome job!! AMAZING SWIM!!! You did great!! The cramping had to be extremely painful!!!
My friend that has been racing for years did this race for the 1st time and performed well, BUT ended up in the medical tent for the very 1st time ever and also commented that it was the most difficult race he had done. So you considering that, your move and the Triple H factor you did wonderful!!

You learned a ton about yourself too!

Again, congrats!
2005-06-08 8:26 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Pensacola, Fl
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

What kind of guy would I be if I made fun of a guy who went to the medical tent after a demanding race???   Ah hell, gonna do it anyway!!!!   Nice pic Dude!!!   You looked like Shit!  And they say this triathlon stuff is supposed to be ain't looking like you are lovin life in that pic!!!

Kidding man....that sounded like one hell of a race and you had the heart  (and NADS) to keep pushing through and pushing your body to its limits!  Even though you went to the medical tent, it seems like you had your wits about you throughout the race.......Awesome job!  You are definitely well prepared mentally for IMFL. 

Now let that body recover then get back to it slow and easy....within a week, you will be back to your monster workouts!!!

2005-06-08 8:29 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Way to hang in there Karl!  Amazing swim.  I hope you are feeling better.  We can talk about sports nutrition/fluids sometime. Sounds like the heat and the hills really gotcha.  Not much you can do about the heat. I was thinking that moving the day before a 1/2 maybe wasn't such a good idea...But you finished anyway.  Congratulations -SMO 
2005-06-08 8:53 AM
in reply to: #170921

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San mateo California
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
holy cow man...   that was an amazing swim....  Darn...   Great stuff.
Great race report...   bib #1...    did yo sign before everybody else?   Great story...

Sorry about the cramps.....   but at the end of the day is the fact that you finished...  you are pretty much ready for Florida.....   it is going to be fun..   
Are your kids thinking of getting into their dad's footsteps and do some of this crazy stuff?

Great race man...   congratulations..

2005-06-08 9:00 AM
in reply to: #170724

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wrightsville beach, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Karl, we are all just glad that you made it. Sounds like a truly tough course that tested you to the highest. made it, and with a very decent time. There are many folks that would love a 6 hr half IM, never mind a half IM. You did great, under duress.

It may not just have been the moving etc. Your 'tank' may not have been refilled from the last half IM. I did a marathon 6 wks after my half and felt pretty much the way you did. The advice I got from an experienced long distance athlete was that I had done them too close for my level of experience and that my 'tank' was too low and had not refilled. This caused a whole host of issues, so ....please chill and reconnect and refill.

Now, take a break and refill.
2005-06-08 9:34 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Extreme Veteran
Winston-Salem, NC
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

You are one TOUGH athlete, Karl! And you are one STRONG man - to have raced this race with moving the day before. AWESOME swim. I also love OW swimming.

You are well on your way to IMFL.

2005-06-08 3:14 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Dude! You freaking rule! I can't believe you did a HIM the day after moving... Are you baked? Regardless, looks like you brought a knife, a chain and maybe a pair of brass knuckles to do that well with the problems you had with your legs

2005-06-08 3:23 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
Wow!  That race sounds like it was quite brutal!  Way to go sticking it out and finishing, and that's a great time to boot!  Terrific race report, and I'm looking forward to future reports.
2005-06-09 8:44 AM
in reply to: #170724

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Norcross, GA
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

You did an awesome job!! Way to go! I wish I could have gutted it out a better than I did. I was so focused on doing well on the bike before the race that I didn't mentally prepare myself for the run. I ended up walking 80% of the course. My run was 1 second different from last year which is disappointing. Other than that, I improved my overall time by about 50 minutes from last year and that makes me happy.

Macon is a tough race, especially dealing with the heat but you did an excellent job and should be proud of yourself. It was really nice to meet you and your family and I hope we can hook up again at a future race.

Take care!!

2005-06-09 11:12 AM
in reply to: #170724

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molto veloce mama
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman
wow! congrats on a good race. sorry to hear about the painful run, but kept going, and that is awesome. even if you didn't have the best of circumstances leading up to the race, you were still THERE and you FINISHED!!!! you also kicked tail on the swim and bike! congratulations!
2005-06-09 1:27 PM
in reply to: #170724

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Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Jeez, Karl, that took some cojones to not DNF. Way to go! Just think how many MOPers you made feel good with your #1.... "Whoa! I just passed/got passed by the dude who won last year! I'm a badass!"

It's funny that the worst run of your life is at my usual pace... LOL! Anyhow, way to hang in there and be so incredibly mentally tough!

2005-06-09 1:46 PM
in reply to: #170724

Online or Offline
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

2nd HIM in a month? YIKES!!! Way to hang in there, Karl....GO BIG OR GO HOME!! I think I hang in my comfort zone too much - your race report definitely has motivated me to push myself a little more!

Great race report and way to hang in there! Thanks for sharing pics!

2005-06-09 3:40 PM
in reply to: #170724

, Alabama
Subject: RE: Georgia Rock-n-Roll Half Ironman

Karl, you totally rock!  They knew what they were talking about when they made you #1!  (it IS a pressure situation with that, to be sure).  Way to gut it out!  Hope I never have to feel ice towels and seized up legs like you did.  You are one tough cookie!.


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