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Door County Triathlon Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
United States
81F / 27C
Total Time = 7h 24m 2s
Overall Rank = 818/925
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 48/51
Pre-race routine:

We drove up to Door county on Friday morning. It's a 5 hour drive but it seemed to go by quick enough. We were staying in a cabin with a bunch of Chicago Tri Club people that I've never met before. When we got there we though the cabin was locked, so we took a drive up to Egg Harbor to get some food. Upon arriving back no one was at our cabin still, but we discovered the door was unlocked you just had to push hard to open. We made our way over to the other cabin where other CTC people were and had a BBQ with them. They all seemed very cool.

Saturday had a short brick planned, but I ended up skipping it. We opted to instead drive the bike course to see what the hills were like. Picked up my race material packet and listened to the course talk... Found out the bike course is .3 miles long. Had a nice surprise that our cabin mates had cooked enough dinner for all of us. It was really good Pasta.Yum.
Event warmup:

Woke up around 4:30am and could not fall back asleep. Since we had a beautiful transition area with assigned spots I didn't have to worry about getting there right away so I had planned on sleeping in later. Ate 1 skinny bagel with sun-nutbutter and jelly and 2 bottled SB lattes.
  • 49m 4s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

Swim start ended up being delayed by a half hour. There was one lighting strike across the bay so they wanted to wait it out. The water the day before looked really choppy so I was afraid that was what we were going to deal with today as well, but the water was nice and nearly smooth and warm! 72 degrees which is supposed to be one of the best water conditions they have had so far for this race.

Just before our wave went off I said out loud "Wait why am I here again"? and got a bunch of laughs around me.

Nothing too eventful about the swim. All the males went first in this race and it's not a looped course so it was a nice CALM low contact swim. Of course since I was in the last couple of waves and on the slow side it was hard to find anyone my speed to draft off of, so it was basically a swim alone kinda affair. All of of caps were the same color too so I didn't get that demoralizing look all the different waves passing me felling that I usually get.

The course although oddly shaped is GREAT! I've never seen so many buoys! Sighting was CAKE even though my dominant side is on the right and the buoys were on the left.

I did get some niggling of legs wanting to crap. I only EVER get that in races. Not sure why. I didn't get any full on cramps though.

What would you do differently?:

Get more comfortable swimming Bi-Laterally. I can do it but I seem to revert to one side and therefore don't swim as straight as I could.
Transition 1
  • 02m 58s

Got stripped by a wetsuit stripper... not cause I really needed it with the sleeveless that I wear, but I wanted the full-on experience.

Oddly, I felt a little more disoriented then usual. I ran past my spot which I don't normally do but it really only took a few extra seconds. I also put on my bike shoe w/o a sock and had to take it off to put the sock on. Then when running with my bike and putting my helmet on I dropped my bike. One girl offered to hold my bike while I strapped it on. Given all that I'm happy it was still under 3 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Put helmet on and strap right away. Maybe bring a "brighter" towel. Learn to ride w/o socks.
  • 3h 22m 24s
  • 56.3 miles
  • 16.69 mile/hr

The bike generally is my best event and the one I enjoy most in a Tri. I have in the past tended to over-cook the bike though getting overly excited about it. Probably pushing hear rate zones way too high before I knew better. So coming into this I had planned my pace conservatively not knowing how bad the hills were. We took the time to drive the course the day before and it looked like there really was only 2 moderate hills to speak of so I decided to not hold back too much. All my training rides had been 3:30+ for 56mi to date.

The ride started out nicely on a long 15 mile stretch along the water (beautiful!) with no turns but some minor/moderate headwind. Nothing too bad... I've had races where it's been a lot worse it was just a slight annoyance. Once the headwind went away though it was time for rain! Whee! A good 45 minutes at least of some pretty good rain. Squishy shoe time. Boy was I glad I had both covered my transition stuff in plastic AND brought an extra pair of socks. Yes I still wear socks on the bike. Rain came just in time though for the hills. Two of them but they weren't all that bad compared to the Horribly Hilly Hills I had ridden on and they weren't all that long so it wasn't really enough to get my heart rate to climb too high.

Finally the rain stopped.

A bunny crossed my path maybe 10 feet in front of my bike. I don't know what it is about animals. I haven't hit one yet but I've had several close calls in training rides. At that point 10 feet in front of me doesn't seem like that close of a call, but it must have been close enough that a few minutes later the girl behind me rode up beside me and said "Was that a bunny or squirrel?"... She said she was hauling butt to catch up to me so she could ask me.

At about 1:45 I grabbed a bottle of water but it wasn't time to mix a bottle yet. I only had 2 bottle holders so I was silly and stuck it down the front of my tri-top. I figured I'd hopefully get a second bottle when it was time so I'd have enough to mix 24oz. I didn't end up coming to the next water thing until 2:15 though... but it was still in time to make my one stop to mix up bottle with the now 2 plain waters I had.

Time went by fairly quickly and it seemed like I was making good time. I though I was keeping 17mph+ but by the time the hills came and went my overall average was just under 16.7mph. I probably could have pushed the pace just a wee bit more but l was trying to make sure I still have gas left for the run. I kept my HR in Z1-Z2. Avg 155 which is right between the two. Don't know that sounds like I was taking it easy, but I don't feel like it was...

I only have two bottle cages so I had 1/2 bottle Infinite per hour. I had planned on 1 bottle of Nuun per hour but the temperature was only in the low 80s so I dialed it back to 1/2 bottle of that. Not sure I like juggling 2 different drinks though so I'm rethinking the Nuun. The whole point of the Nuun was so i don't have to worry about salt tablets though. Overall calories 275/hr Infinite + 1/2 Clif Bar. Nutrition seemed to work out well. I left the bike feeling fine.

Lovely bike course. Very low traffic. Not too hard. Not too flat. Not too Hilly. Extremely well marked (Volunteers, Signs every mile, Turn signs, and painted ground markings) Loved it.
What would you do differently?:

Push into zone 2 a little more knowing I really didn't have many hills to deal with. Maybe only deal with one liquid type and wouldn't had have to stop to mix a quick bottle of Infinite at Hour 2.
Transition 2
  • 02m 4s

Here is where I made a few mistakes by not taking my time. I was sure to take my helmet off because I made that rookie mistake my first year... what I did do wrong though was 1) leave garmin on the bike 2) leave salt tablets on the bike 3) grab too many things I had in a plastic bag.
What would you do differently?:

Make a check list for myself. For IM I'll put everything I need on both the bike/run in my pocket and not on the bike itself. (Except the Garmin) Don't bring more then you need. I had too many Gus (6!) which I knew they would already have on the course... my garmin strap w/o garmin, a mini sunscreen bottle. Too much stuff!
  • 3h 07m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 19s  min/mile

My goal going into this was to run as much as I could for at least the first hour... and then see how I felt. I ran past the first aid station (1.5 mi?) and just past that I decided I was going to have a much better race and be able to run more of it if I switched to run/walk. So I did run 5 / walk 1.

Mostly I feel good about this because I was able to sustain that w/o extra walking time (except for the 2 quite bad hills and one extra 5 minute walk to chew on ice after the bluff) However despite that my run was still really slow. I only averaged just over 4 mph between the walking and running which means I was probably a good 1 mph slower then usual. So I might not have had any better of a time even though I was running most of the time. But I think mentally I FEEL better about not having long extended walk breaks.

I wasn't really having too much trouble but around mile 9/10 I was beginning to wish for it to be done. I do wonder about doing that TWICE in a row after a 112mi.

Nutritionally I took in a GU about every half hour but I wasn't great about being exact about the time. I might have missed one or two but I also took some Gatorade so I don't think I bonked at all I was just normally tired from being at it 6-7 hours at that point. I do wonder if I would have run better though if I had salt tablets with me? It wasn't super-hot so I don't feel the impact is as bad as it might have been otherwise.

The bluff... I know some people are going to think I'm crazy... it IS steep... and I walked it... but I really don't feel like it was super-bad. Maybe it's because I walked those horribly hilly hills? ... While they might not have the same grade as the bluff they were LONNNNNG. The bluff is not all that long so really the HR didn't get sky high.

At one point someone drove by me and called my name near the end. I don't know WHO it was. I suspect it was either the CTC people in the other cabin or someone from my Wellfit-Group (or maybe Laura's friend?) but whomever it was THANK YOU! Was really nice to get a shout-out there. Just glad I was running at the time. :)

Running into the finish line was a steep downhill which some people loved but just before that I was getting sore knees so I had to take it SLOW. Kinda annoying.

I run in... they call my name.... I'm Half Iron Baby!!!
What would you do differently?:

Besides not forgetting my salt... maybe set a 1/2 hour timer on my watch, and maybe not go into walk/run so quickly.
Post race
Warm down:

Nothing really we went right over to get food. I was Hungry!! Ate a pulled pork sandwich and corn cob which you wouldn't think would taste good after all that, but it hit the spot.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run training. Don't think I did enough. Weight. I somehow have gained 10+ in the past 2 months. I need to drop 40-50 lbs.

Event comments:

LOVE this race. Of all the races I've done it was the best organized and seemed to go out of their way to make our lives easier. Things like buoys every 150 feet and volunteers at every bike turn make for a headache free day. Food was good. Medal Nice. Didn't like the Neon Yellow shirt, but I bought a nice purple cotton one at check in which was a nicer design. Door county is beautiful and quaint. Very peaceful out there. It was a 5 hour drive for me to get there but so worth it! Might be back next year. I was secretly hoping for sub-7 but my goal window was 7-7:30 and I still made that window despite my poky run. It was a good training test for IMOO, and gives me hope I might just make it. It will be close, but it's doable!

Last updated: 2009-11-03 12:00 AM
00:49:04 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/925
Suit: Sleeveless B.S.
Course: One Lap around a Pie shaped course. Kind of an odd layout but easy to navigate.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:22:24 | 56.3 miles | 16.69 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/925
Performance: Good
155 AVG HR.
Wind: Some
Course: One big loop with a side lollipop. .3 miles longer then your normal half course. A few short moderate hills.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:04
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:07:29 | 13.1 miles | 14m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/925
Performance: Below average
No Data - Garmin was left on bike
Course: Mostly a one loop thing w/ some overlap
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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

2010-07-22 9:12 PM

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Subject: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

2010-07-22 9:56 PM
in reply to: #2999139

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Awesome report Debb!  You had a great race!  You are still my hero! 
2010-07-22 10:39 PM
in reply to: #2999139

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Great job...great RR...thanks for sharing and congrats!!!

(One thing I can say from experience about running vs cycling...the more I emphasize the bike over running, the harder it is for me to manage my weight.  YMMV...)
2010-07-22 11:02 PM
in reply to: #2999270

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

Thinking of signing up for the Chicago Marathon for 2011 so that may help with the final weight loss push. Plus I'm thinking of letting myself get a tri-bike if I get close to goal... so there's some more incentive.

Edited by IdealMuse 2010-07-22 11:02 PM
2010-07-23 11:15 AM
in reply to: #2999139

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Way to go, Debb!  You paced yourself well and stuck to a wise plan!
2010-07-23 11:41 AM
in reply to: #2999139

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Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Congrats on the race.  All your hard work is paying off.  See you in Madison. 

2010-07-23 12:33 PM
in reply to: #3000218

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

Great race!  We had a lot of similar experiences.  I was totally amazed by the organization, in particular the wonderful buoys.   Although when I hit the #15, and thought "crap - did they say there were 40?" I was a little concerned.  Worked out okay, though    I think you're a little bit crazy, but a lot awesome, if you think the bluff wasn't that bad.   I guess you were prepared!  Great job.

ETA: I suggested to the RD that they offer more women's "half iron" shirts.   They had some okay shirts, but few said half iron in women's sizes/shapes.   I was opposed to the yellow shirt as well, although it's not as bad on as I thought.   A good winter layer, and it advertises the half iron very prominently

Edited by BikerGrrrl 2010-07-23 12:34 PM
2010-07-24 10:11 PM
in reply to: #2999139

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McFarland, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

Great job Debb!  You are a Half Ironman.

I know two people sitting behind you in your picture.  The lady on the same side of the bench in black is in her 50s and has finished IM WI and IM KY and is doing IM FL this year.  She is quite an inspiration for me.  The lady on the other side right behind you is also in her 50s and has done a marathon on each continent.  She is doing IM FL this year.  Both also did IM KS 70.3 this year.

You are going to do great at IM WI this year!  Your smile says it all.

2010-07-25 5:34 AM
in reply to: #2999139

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman looks like you had a great race!  Perfect tune up for September.
2010-07-29 7:40 AM
in reply to: #2999139

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman

You. Did. It.
2010-07-29 8:24 AM
in reply to: #2999139

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Congrats Debb!! Awesome job. Sounds like a great race course and a wonderful day for you!

2010-07-29 4:43 PM
in reply to: #2999139

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon Half Ironman
Awesome job and well done! I think you did great!!

Now it's onwards towards the IM! I will be following your journey to get there!
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