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Ironman St. George - Utah - TriathlonFull Ironman


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St. George, Utah
United States
WTC
68F / 20C
Total Time = 10h 51m 28s
Overall Rank = 57/1943
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 4/200
Pre-race routine:

It was over 1 year ago I decided my 2nd IronMan would be the one I'd have a shot at a Kona slot. And when IMSG was announced I knew this was the perfect race for me. I was hoping for the hilliest, hottest, windyest race possible. They said it would be tough. How tough? Well, I was about to find out.

For over a year, every training session served one purpose. I NEVER missed a key workout and followed my coaches plan to the letter. For the first time in 2 years I was able to stay healthy for 1 year straight and I knew my fitness was at a level it has never been at. All that was left to do was execute.

The last month of training I definitely felt the pressure. Family was talking about going to Kona and how much fun it would be. I finally had to tell them A LOT had to go right for me to qualify and A LOT could go wrong. With the comfort of knowing I was ready to race, I arrived in St George to simply race and let the chips fall where they may.

We arrived Tuesday and I used the time for some short swim, bike, and run workouts. I was a little concerned about the cold water but after a couple short pre-race swims I was able to get comfortable. I raced with an old hockey buddy and all week long he just kept saying how calm I looked.

I knew I was ready, it was time to race.
Event warmup:

This was just like any local sprint race for me. I woke up at 4:15 and had my normal breakfast of toast, banana, and coffee.

As soon as the pro's went off they let us in the water. I was one of the first into the water because I wanted to get some sort of swim in before the gun went off. I was able to get a short swim and I came back out of the water for the anthem. When it was over I went back in the water and positioned myself in the 2nd row right side.
Swim
  • 1h 06m 40s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards
Comments:

I'm not the strongest swimmer but decided to start up front. I figured it was better to have stronger swimmers go over top of me than for me to have to go over top of someone else.

The start was rough and I was getting hit and hitting quite a bit. There were very few times the entire swim where I was able to get open water. When I could find feet I'd draft as best I could but this swim was much rougher than IMFL.

I just tried to keep a good pace and keep my breathing easy. For some reason I swallowed a lot of water and actually started to feel a little blaoate.

I really can't complain about this swim time. I've always said my swim is what it is and as long as I'm close to the leaders I can make up the time. As it turns out I was 31st out of the water in my AG.
What would you do differently?:

Not swallow so much water. :)
Transition 1
  • 04m 8s
Comments:

I grabbed my bag and took 2 steps into the tent and didn't see an empty space anywhere. I decided just to back out and get ready outside of the tent. I had a great volunteer all to myself who got everything out of my bag and re-packed it. My calves started to cramp as I was putting socks on but I was sure that was just due to the cold water.

All in all, a pretty good transition.
Bike
  • 5h 42m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.59 mile/hr
Comments:

I knew the bike had to be paced properly if I wanted to survive the run. I'd ridden the course in February and I knew what to expect. I started easy coming out of T2 as the first 6 miles are pretty much downhill. I went easy up the first long hill and then headed through town. I was cruising along and was passing a lot of people and not getting passed by anyone. I was hoping I wasn't going to hard but I just went with what felt comfortable.

As I got through town we started heading into the mountains. Even on the first loop you could start to feel a little headwind. I was with a couple guys for quite a while on the first portion of the loop and then I dropped them at the switchback. Something was definitely wrong with my hydration because I peed 4 times (yes, 4 times, in the first 40 miles). I knew I swallowed water in the swim but there's NO WAY I should go that much.

I lost my 2nd bottle of nutrition on one of the cattleguards which meant I now had to stop at special needs to grab my spare bottle. After the switchback I really took it easy on the downhill back into town to prepare for the 2nd loop.

Things started going bad nutritionally on the 2nd loop. I was having a hard time absorbing my nutritional bottles and for some reason my feeling a little nausueas. I had to back off taking anything in and tried to drink more water. When I was done with the ride I was nowhere near the calorie intake I should've been at and I was hoping it wouldn't kill me on the run.

As I started up the hills again on the 2nd loop it was a very strange feeling. I was pretty much all by myself and the only people I was passing were people that were still on the 1st loop of the bike. The 2nd time over the switchback was an absolute bitch but I made it. Once over that I knew I had 1 more climb outside of Veyo and then it was all downhill to T2....

But wait, I forgot I had to take the bike path again and after that there was last little climb before heading into T2. The climb wasn't tough it was just a pain mentally when I thought all I had left was downhill.

As I made the last turn on Bluff Street into T2 my coach yelled to me that I was in 4th place in my AG. I was a little surprised because I didn't think my bike was that good. I guess it was better than I thought because I now moved from 31st to 4th.
What would you do differently?:

I gotta make sure I can get my calories in. Not sure if it was the climbs or what but I need to get it figured out for Kona.
Transition 2
  • 03m 12s
Comments:

When I got into the transition tent it was almost an erie feeling. There were only 2 other people in the tent when I came in. Again, since I was pretty much all alone I had a great volunteer pull everything out and put it away.

Pulled my calf sleeves on, grabbed my hat and nutrion and stretched my legs a little and I was off.


Run
  • 3h 54m 30s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 57s  min/mile
Comments:

I started up the hills and just wanted to hold a good pace. I was actually feeling pretty good which I was happy about because I was concerned my bad bike nutrition would bite me in the ass. I was able to hold form and pace well up the steep hill at Red Hills Parkway until I got to the very top and then BHAM, my left hamstring cramped up right at the aid station. I stopped to work it out and my left quad started cramping. I was pissed, there was NO WAY my race was going to get screwed at mile 4 when I knew I was in 4th place. I asked the volunteers for 2 Gatorades. I sucked them down and luckily I grabbed the salt tablets from my bike. Gulped down the 2 cups of Gatorade and asked the girls for 2 more. Drank those and asked for a banana. Ate the banana and asked for 2 more Gatorades. It was risky drinking that much as I wasn't sure I could absorb it but it was a chance I had to take.

It seemed to work. Cramps subisided and I was off. I had to shorten my stride a little but I was fine through the first turn around and even back to the turn at Bluff. The downhills were actually worse on my legs and eventually caused more cramping later on. I was passed by the eventual age group winner by this time so I knew I had dropped to 5th.

As I headed to the turnaround at the halfway point I must've passed someone in my AG because my coach told me I was in 4th place and that there wasn't anyone behind me that was gaining ground. At this point I decided I just had to hang on for 13 more miles.

I cramped and had to stop 3 more times on the last half to work them out. Every time I bent over to stretch I checked every racers calf to see what AG they were in. As long as I didn't see anyone from my AG I knew I was ok. There were times I had to run with my toes up completely striking with my heel because it helped stretch my calves and hamstrings to keep them from cramping.

I decided to walk the last big downhill on Red Hills Parkway because I knew the downhill would cause cramps. I did the same thing on the last little hills at the Elks Lodge. The strategy worked as I didn't cramp again and at that point I knew I could just cruise the last couple miles to the finish.

It was a great feeling the last couple miles as I had a pretty good sense that I had just earned my Kona slot. I was never 100% sure I was still 4th because someeone could've passed me that was wearing compression socks and I wouldn't have known their age group.

When I crossed the line I saw my wife and my coach and just put my hands up asking "where did I finish?" Did I get the slot? When my coach held up 4 fingers I lost it. All that hard work, all the sacrifices had just paid off.

I went to my wife and gave her a big hug and we were both in tears. We were going to Kona!
What would you do differently?:

I've had cramping issues in my last few races and I need to figure out if it's a hydration/nutrition issue or bike pace issue.
Post race
Warm down:

Aside from the cramping I felt great! I had a lot more in me and could've been much faster on the run as I had plenty of jump left. I went for a massage, ate some pizza, and went to the finish line to watch my hockey buddy and others cross the line.

Event comments:

I talked to all the other guys on the podium in my AG and they all said this course is tougher than Kona.

Well, I guess I'll be able to determine that for myself come October 9. :)


Profile Album


Last updated: 2009-06-17 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:06:40 | 4224 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/200
Overall: 283/1943
Performance:
Suit:
Course: Single loop rectangular.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 04:08
Performance:
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
05:42:58 | 112 miles | 19.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/200
Overall: 86/1943
Performance:
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 03:12
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
03:54:30 | 26.2 miles | 08m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/200
Overall: 146/1943
Performance:
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2010-05-04 1:18 AM

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Extreme Veteran
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Austin, TX
Subject: Ironman St. George - Utah


2010-05-04 6:01 AM
in reply to: #2835116

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Wow, congrats!!!   Enjoy that well earned slot!!
2010-05-04 9:57 AM
in reply to: #2835116

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Extreme Veteran
347
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, Utah
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Totally awesome congrats!!!
2010-05-04 2:43 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Regular
105
100
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Well done.  Great to hear what it took to qualify.  Congrats.
2010-05-04 2:46 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Elite
4564
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Boise
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Nice job. Way to tough it out and earn your Kona spot.
2010-05-05 12:12 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Veteran
225
10010025
Decatur GA
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Major Awe!


2010-05-05 12:31 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Veteran
210
100100
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

Great race. Way to keep your head in the race and make good decisions. Good luck in Kona!

2010-05-05 1:36 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Master
2621
2000500100
Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
great rr.....amazing race!  Congrats on EARNING your way to Kona!!!
2010-05-05 2:02 PM
in reply to: #2839073

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Expert
1149
100010025
CenTex
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Great job!  Nice to see a hometown racer earn the ticket to Kona!  Congrats!
2010-05-05 3:37 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Master
1410
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White Plains NY
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Congrats on not only the finish but also earning the Kona Slot! Such an inspiration to read a Kona qualifying race report.
2010-05-05 5:34 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Elite
2998
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Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Awesome job!! Congrats!! Sounds like you prepared just like you needed to and definitely conquered the day!! Best wishes in your recovery and prep for October!! Super job!!


2010-05-05 10:45 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Regular
130
10025
austin/tx
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
congrats rick and sorry i didnt get to meet up with you. i saw you cramping on your way back to town on your first lap when i was running out to pioneer park. i was worried you might be in trouble but glad to see you overcame your issues to reach kona. i have some products i am now using that could help with your cramps if you are interested. take care and see you at the races around town this summer.
2010-05-06 11:02 AM
in reply to: #2840318

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Extreme Veteran
492
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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
jwithyco - 2010-05-05 10:45 PM

congrats rick and sorry i didnt get to meet up with you. i saw you cramping on your way back to town on your first lap when i was running out to pioneer park. i was worried you might be in trouble but glad to see you overcame your issues to reach kona. i have some products i am now using that could help with your cramps if you are interested. take care and see you at the races around town this summer.


Let me know what you're using. I'm taking SCaps for my sodium intake but because I was behind on my bike nutrition I was also well behind with my sodium intake. I need to get the cramping sorted out before Kona.
2010-05-10 8:21 AM
in reply to: #2835116

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Extreme Veteran
333
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Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

I remember seeing you come across the line. Glad to see you're a fellow BTer. Congrats on a Kona slot! An athlete I coach crossed in 10:45 and placed 6th in 25-29 AG and missed his Kona slot by one. So close! Race well done and enjoy Hawaii!!

2010-05-13 1:43 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Pro
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The Land of Ice and Snow
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Huge congrats!
What an awesome accomplishment! 
2010-05-14 9:35 AM
in reply to: #2835116

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Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
I just came across your RR.  4th in your AG and KQ on a tough tough course -- huge congrats!  Enjoy your well-earned break!


2010-05-19 1:59 PM
in reply to: #2835116

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Member
12

Basking Ridge
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Awesome !!!!!!! Nice report. Congrats on Kona -

Fellow age grouper 45-49 who maybe someday will experience the same thrill............
2010-06-14 9:27 PM
in reply to: #2835116

Champion
9430
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No excuses!
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Just came across this one, amazing race and great race report. Enjoy Kona!
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