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Door County Triathlon Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
United States
Total Time = 7h 10m 13s
Overall Rank = 509/545
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 109/112
Pre-race routine:

I actually got there early with Anna. I took my time getting set up, getting my chip, and getting marked. Then I kind of walked around and tried to take it easy. I met up with Lara, Clint, Terry, Amy Jo, Craig, BikerGrl, and her friend. All in all I felt like I wasn't overly nervous but Lara and Terry sounded like I looked like I was about to unravel. I hope it wasn't quite that bad. I certainly didn't want to make anyone else nervous or out of sorts before their race started!

I had the standard cliff bar before the race as well as the breakfast earlier.
  • 55m 11s
  • 2124 yards
  • 02m 36s / 100 yards

I started this nervous and not entirely confident. I kept repeating what Clint, Craig, and Amy Jo repeatedly told me, "Just take it slow."

I started off at the back and was kicked or jostled several times on the ~100 yards to the first turn. Frankly it was standard stuff but it did keep me from getting into a groove. Then I am swimming along the buoys and counting them. At about buoy number five things start to unravel for me. I'm keeping a pretty good breathing pattern but I'm definitely not getting enough air. I start to feel constricted in my chest from the wetsuit and my spirits go south. I start thinking about how poorly Lake Mills went and I really start considering the fact this may be the first swim I can't complete in a race. Things are really on the edge for me so I know I need to get outside of the line of swimmers and try to get control of myself. To do this I stutter stroke a touch and get out of the water enough to look up and see the guy next to me.

There he is, about buoy six in the water. There are at least 100 swimmers near me right now. All of us are in black wetsuits. All of us are wearing green swim caps. And all of us are wearing goggles. So I look up at this guy and I hear, "Josh?"

It was Don, dar89. I was shocked and instantly recognized him. The thing is that it interrupted my downward spiral of self pity. I just stared dumbfoundedly as he was coasting by, after saying his name.

He asks, "are you ok?"

I respond, "No I'm panicking but you go on!"

He looks at me like I'm crazy but I tell him to go again and he does. So I turtle and I get a game plan back. Just get to the next yellow buoy. After that it doesn't matter. So I get to the next yellow buoy but again I'm really tired. I modify the plan one last time. I'm going to turtle and breathe five breaths every 100 yards until I'm done. And I did so counting the buoys as I went.

I got out of the water feeling as though I've been in 10-15 minutes longer than I've planned but my family are all there and are saying I nearly hit my time. Huh.

Honestly I'd rather have swam it non stop and lost a couple of minutes that the on and off way I did it. In the end, I finished it.

Oh, the race results show that I swam this in 2.51/100 so I'm confused about the math.
What would you do differently?:

I need to swim in a wetsuit more than twice a year for sure.
Transition 1
  • 04m 47s

The strippers really helped. I took the time to use the rest room. Oddly I wasn't in a hurry. To be completely honest I felt the time here was insignificant to being ready for the bike and my final time.
  • 3h 14m 40s
  • 56.3 miles
  • 17.35 mile/hr

I went out pretty hard.

My main thoughts here were, try for 18 mph avg and don't kill myself. Oh and to not fall over this time.

The first thing that I'll say about the course is that I felt like it was a false flat, ie slightly uphill, for the first 10 miles or so. Which I found out later on was total crap. :) Obviously all in all it was a pretty flat course.

I hit some wind at the end of the first fifteen miles right along the coast. I could look out and see many boats in the bay and that was pretty cool. Some where in here a woman passed me loving the jersey. :) I felt like here I was doing well. I was keeping a good circle going and was entering Sturgeon Bay. Then I saw Wade and the kids as I passed them. That was pretty cool as they were hooting and hollering as I went by.

I passed the first aid station in pretty good shape. I grabbed another water but passed on the gu as I had three tapped to my bike and it wasn't an hour yet. I passed through feeling pretty good about the fact that I was able to get the water from them at a pretty fast speed without wiping out. I can see it now. Triathlete kills volunteer with bike. Sigh.

I headed out of Sturgeon Bay shortly after that and headed north. I grabbed a gu at an hour which was almost exactly 18 miles. That was exciting. I was in theory on par with my mph.

The second third wasn't as exciting. I saw people already heading back at mile 40 or so and I was only at mile 15 or so at the time. But I just kept trying to keep the cadence up and the pedals going. All in all I felt like I did pretty well. This may have been where the tail wind was but I'm not sure. I was trying to get out of the saddle every 30 minutes or so and stand up just to stretch the legs. Right around mile 20 it was starting to mist and the road was a little wet. I was standing up and felt my whole bike start to shudder as I was pushing through. I nearly dumped it. Bleh.

About mile 25 for me it started just pouring. And even better the medicine from my head cold was wearing off. So not only was I soaked but I was draining from my sinuses all over the place. It wasn't pleasant. I tried to farmer blow in a profoundly unsuccessful way. This is one of the times when the old adage, "Train how you race" works. Oh well. I just kept going as best as I could. I never "tied" myself to the 18mph. It is just something to shoot for and so when I noticed I was slipping just a bit I was ok with that. That was fine. I think Wendy passed me in the early 30s. I had another gu at 2 hours and grabbed some gatorade from the volunteers.

I hit the last third knowing that I'm in the "home stretch" if you will. I say thirds thinking of them in 18 mile chunks but obviously that is a bit off. At any rate I know that I'm in the "home stretch" but I know that the biggest hills are coming up. And I keep looking for them. I know where they were on the mile chart so I just keep pumping away watching the miles tick by and noticing that it takes longer and longer for them to do so. I was still getting complimented on my smile however by volunteers. I was having fun for sure soaked to the bone with shoes filled with water like they were aquariums. It was about mile 40 that my right hip flexor started to ache. This is odd for me because in the last HM I did it was my left hip flexor. Oh well. I just move on.

At any rate I believe it is on the last hill around mile 44 where the hills were the biggest that a father and daughter were watching in chairs on the side of the road. The daughter has a sign that says, "give us a Hoo-ha!" I was going up hill and didn't want to gear down so I stood up to take the climb and hollered "Hoo-ha!" I did this apparently with such gusto and body force that I nearly just dropped my bike again. The girl giggled but I'd like to think it was from my hollering than my bike skills.

The last six miles were tough on me. I desperately wanted to be done with the bike and finish. Knowing I wasn't going to hit 18mph sucked and I felt like the last six miles were all false flats up hill. However, since they were the same as the first six miles both can't be false flats!

Finally transition comes into view and I down my last gu to get ready for the run.
Transition 2
  • 03m 43s

I'm surprised that this was as fast as it was because again I just didn't care. I wasn't going to win that was for sure. Best to be prepared. How was it that I forgot to get gu's and sun screen on then?

I got the shoes and the visor.
  • 2h 51m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 07s  min/mile

I really had a plan here. I've been worried about this elevation chart for a week and I needed a plan. The plan? The plan was to run the first 5k and then walk me some hill.

So I started running. I get to the area where the finishing chute is on my way out and the first female finishes. That was a mental issue a tad. It wasn't that it was a woman. I'm so slow on the swim that generally the only people who "do" pass me are women because that is all that is left in the field! But it was because she was done and I had 13 miles to go and I was dog tired.

But enough of that. I'm .1 miles in and I'm running the first 5k. That is all I have to do is run the first 5k. The first mile is tough. I look down and I'm doing 11 minute miles. I'm ok with that. It isn't the best but I'm tired and I'll take it. I can beat three hours with eleven minute miles.

The second mile was tougher but I just kept focusing on the first three miles. That is all I focus on. A lady starts passing me and then stops suddenly. She grimaces in pain and I ask if she is ok. She is and we continue on. She passes me pretty easily.

The third mile I see Clint coming back and he is walking. He calls out to me, I think, and we chat. He says that he is in a bad spot and I call out that he only has 5k to go! Give or take. :) I hit my 3 miles and I'm at the hill so I start walking. I walk and walk trying to keep a decent pace. The hill goes on longer than I think so I start running again uphill. I don't want to loose to much time.

About mile four I start entering Egg Harbor proper. I see some of the stores and recognize them from Saturday. I think to myself, "this is where the brocure said to watch for runners" and sure enough there is my family and friends cheering me on and waving the donkey flag. They did this for Clint and Lara but think that they were unnoticed. :)

At any rate this was a boost mentally for me. And I hit the second part of my plan. Get to mile six and walk up part of mile five. I run down hill down by the actual harbor and then slightly up hill towards mile five. When I think it is going up pretty good I think I'll walk a bit. Again I feel like I'm loosing too much time as people pass me so I start running again. Another woman passes me and compliments me on my jersey. That was cool.

I get to the aid station at mile 5.5 and use the restroom and get some water. Then I head off to the turn around. Yay a turn around. Too bad it isn't half way. I run to a big ole hill but haven't seen mile six. I start thinking, "oh no I stopped and walked at the wrong hill!" It is too late now. I power walk up this hill with a few people chatting about the course. I don't feel that awful actually. Sure I'm a bit tired but things are pretty good. Sure I'm starting to zone out and just keep one foot moving in front of the other but I'm ok with that.

I get to the top of the hill and we start running down hill. They all leave me which is ok with me. Hey, I'm moving forward and I'm going down hill! The next plan? Hit mile 9 and then walk up the bluff. Just get to mile 9.

It is now that it has occurred to me that Wendy passed me on the bike but I haven't seen Anna. She should be killing me here and I haven't seen her. I'm a touch worried actually.

So I'm running down hill and actually enjoying it a bit and I start entering the area by the brewery again. I see my wife standing on the course with a water bottle. Now I'm as full as I can imagine and I'm starting to understand why marathoners can't control themselves. I'm bloated and I hurt in my guts. However I get to her and I drink a mouthful of water and hand the bottle back.

"That is all?", she asks?

"Yeah it is all I can take" I respond.

"You're 10 minutes ahead of your pace!", she says.

It doesn't compute really. Which pace? I gave her three numbers for times for the run. I look at my garmin and realize that things are ok for less than three hours. Sure.

I'm still running and doing fairly well I guess. I'm still on my plan to run till 9.

I see Tracy at mile 7ish and that perks me up.

Just after the 8th mile Anna shows up. She decides to run with me. Apparently I look bad because she says at the turn off toward the bluff, just to the corner. Oh I had that to the corner. We ran till I saw the bluff and then started walking up it.

I planned on the bluff sucking. Really I did. I planned on walking up it for sure. I just didn't plan on it taking everything I had left just to walk up it. There were at least two ladies that ran up the entire hill and to you ladies I give full kudos. I got to the top and try to run. Anna is there the whole way helping me out.

I have to say I wouldn't have done the last 5k as well as I did without Anna there. She pushed me, cajoled me, and so on. I think she thought she got annoying after a while. Really it was just that I had no energy to respond anymore.

At mile 10 my right foot started hurting every time it hit the pavement. Oddly it hurt on the outside of the foot under the ankle bone. I haven't had this pain before and I'm trying to grimace it away. I can't run for as long as distance as I'd like. We're talking maybe .4 miles at most right now. I'm worried about irritating Anna. :( At this point the bloat in my buts actually start becoming seriously discomforting.

At mile 11 or so my left foot starts hurting in the same exact way. Anna is trying to be cheery and distract me from it. I start telling her I plan on dying after I finish. I'm just going to lay down. Mostly to hear myself talk

Miles 12 and 13 were pretty bad too. I'd like to say I ran even a third of a mile at a time but I don't think that is true. I kept trying and Anna stuck with me the entire way. That certainly helped. It was somewhere around or before mile 12 I think that I started whimpering apparently. My feet hurt unlike any training run and my knees didn't which was really odd for me. But man my feet hurt.

Right at mile 13 I see my family again. I give all the kids high fives and I start getting a high. We get to the first mat that logs us so he can call our names and all the pain is gone. I think I hear Anna say lets sprint but it may have been a spectator screaming finish strong and I just sprint it out. It was a breakneck pace that nearly caused me to trip more than once but I crossed the line. I almost certainly would have been over 3 hours if it weren't for Anna so thanks Anna! Sorry for running away from you at the end there!
Post race
Warm down:

I got my medal and went to look for my family. I handled the finish for this way better than the Oly in Pleasant Prairie. So I have that. I was pretty tired.

Event comments:

This was the best run race that I've ever been in. It was awesome. The volunteers were great. The food at the end was ok. Honestly it may have been great but I couldn't stomach it.

Afterward a friends son asked me if it was fun. And I replied besides the panicking in the lake, the rain on the bike and the wanting to cry a little bit on run? Yeah it was fun. The thing that made this race for me was all of the donks. Seeing everyone was awesome. It was great. Thanks guys!

Last updated: 2010-07-12 12:00 AM
00:55:11 | 2124 yards | 02m 36s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/112
Overall: 0/545
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:47
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:14:40 | 56.3 miles | 17.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/112
Overall: 0/545
Wind: Strong
Course: The course was gorgeous.
Road:  Wet Cadence: 75
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:43
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:51:49 | 13.1 miles | 13m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/112
Overall: 0/545
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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

2010-07-19 10:29 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Madison-ish, Wisconsin
Subject: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

2010-07-20 5:59 AM
in reply to: #2991520

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Great job toughing out the course and the weather.  I have been where you were in the swim so excellent job staying strong and working through the panic.  It does get easier the more you do it!
2010-07-20 2:09 PM
in reply to: #2991520

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Great job dude - sounds like you had a plan and you were mentally tough! That rain was actually painful and the bluff is a joke. We can just laugh about it right? fun times hanging out.
2010-07-20 2:14 PM
in reply to: #2991520

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
You did GREAT Josh, especially with the head cold.
2010-07-20 3:29 PM
in reply to: #2991520

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West Allis, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Way to tough it out Josh!
2010-07-20 5:21 PM
in reply to: #2991520

Stoughton, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Great job Josh.  Glad we were able to cheer you on along the way!

2010-07-20 5:50 PM
in reply to: #2991520

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

Awesome race Josh!  You did it  and so deserve that 70.3 decal!  I enjoyed seeing you after the swim and hearing them call your name at the finish!  You should be really proud of yourself - next up IMMOO 2011!

2010-07-20 6:08 PM
in reply to: #2993372

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

I thought you seemed pretty calm at the start   I am impressed that you made it through the swim if you were having that much trouble.   That's an EXTREMELY hard place to be, so big kudos to you! The miles after the bluff are EVIL.  It was nice meeting you.

2010-07-20 9:43 PM
in reply to: #2991520

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Stoughton, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Josh, you did awesome!  This was a training race.  The swim was an important lesson and probably the most important of your race.  You know you can get through it now.  Just keep getting into open water and practicing!  Sorry to just leave you behind on the bike, but it was my "A" race.  Glad Anna could finish with you.  It was fun to see you 2 take off in a sprint at the finish!
2010-07-25 11:40 AM
in reply to: #2991520

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Extreme Veteran
Madison-ish, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Thanks everyone!
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