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Echo 1/2 IM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Echo, Utah
United States
Tri Utah
97F / 36C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 49m 5s
Overall Rank = 50/143
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 15/22
Pre-race routine:

This is a long one, so sit back and enjoy!

It has been a long, strange journey to this triathlon. Since my first race of the season on May 14th, I have really focused most of my free time on triathlon training and getting to the point that I would be comfortable for the longest distance possible during a half ironman distance race. In the month of June, I really stepped up my training and swam 11,400 meters, biked about 855 miles and ran 85.2 miles. Coming from a running background, I am used to working out hard and always being sore or stiff somewhere. I found with tri training, I was never sore or stiff, just generally tired. I loved the month of June and I wanted to see if my training was going to pay off in this race. Before the race, I thought I was peaking at the right time and began my taper 10 days out from my race. I haven’t gotten sick since about April, so things have been going my way.

On the Friday before the race, I stayed up in Park City, which is about 20 minutes away from the race site. My logic was I would be able to save about 80 minutes of sleep by staying in Park City vs. staying at home the night before the race. So, Friday afternoon I checked into my condo and was excited about the kitchen in the room where I was.

I immediately went out to drive the bike course. If you have never been to the area where this tri is held, it is all sage brush and tall grass – that means there are no trees and subsequently, no shade, but more on that later. The course was great. There were lots of rollers to challenge you with trips up a couple of canyons and some rough spots on the road, but overall a fantastic place for a bike. I thought it wouldn’t be a place for a PR, but a fun course none the less.
Event warmup:

So I had a buddy call me up who races with me a lot and he decided to stay with me in Park City on Friday night. There was plenty of space in the room, but I will say this: Never follow anyone else’s schedule. I love this guy, but he is late to everything. I really needed to follow my own schedule of getting up early, getting to the venue early and setting up my area early. But, I followed his and it really took me out of my groove for a while. I am not ever going to follow someone else’s schedule on race day again. He and I have a friendly bet of lunch at the races we do, and he is much faster than I am. One of my goals for today was to beat him for once. He has done the Florida Ironman, the Wildflower Long Course several times and many, many other tri’s as well.

So we got up, ate some oatmeal, took some Enduralytes, drank some Ensure, Gatorade and water. I felt hydrated as I was peeing every 20 minutes, and I was ready to go.

This venue was a little different as with the high water at the Reservoir, there was no parking. You had to park in town and ride your bike to the transition area and either carry your gear with you or walk back to your car and get your gear and ride the shuttle back. It was only a mile away, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. A little annoying, but you knew that going in, so why get upset.

We park the cars and ride our stuff into the transition area. Oops, I forgot my race numbers in the car. Why didn’t I take care of that the night before? I am not sure, but it won’t happen again. A quick bi9ke ride back to the car to get my numbers, and I am back at the transition area. I go off to get body marked, hit the porta-potties and come back to my T area. I threw on the wetsuit, checked the gear one more time to make sure I didn’t forget something like my running shoes in the car. Not to worry, those were always in the transition bag.

At this point, I really felt off of my game. I was flustered. It felt like I was really not focused on the task at hand. My goal was to go sub 6:00 and I had a super secret goal of going 5:30. Either way, I knew I needed to focus on my “box” – the six feet in front and in back of me at all times. I took a moment and got my head in the game. Lesson learned.

A really cool moment happened at that point. The RD was giving some last minute instructions over the loud speaker and it came time for the national anthem. A local 10 year old girl sang it. It was very difficult to hear her over the noise that naturally happens on race morning. But by “the rockets red glare”, everyone was silent. It was amazing that all of those people shut up. Everyone, regardless of politics, was united in that moment. It was really cool.

After the final instructions finished, I headed down to the swim start. The RD suggested that we bring shoes for the run from the swim to our bikes, but I thought I was too tough for that. But, that run and the transition were both made of loose dirt and small rocks, which made for a very painful run. Another lesson learned. Next year I will bring shoes.

The lake was warm (about 70 degrees) and I almost thought about ditching the wetsuit, but I remembered how it makes me float and my brain prevailed. Took about 20 seconds to warm-up and got out the start buoys and ready to swim.

Just a note, the chip times are not available yet. I am taking all of my timing for a combination of my Garmin and my HRM. Because the results are not available, I don’t have my rankings either. Sorry.

Swim
  • 35m 26s
  • 2000 meters
  • 01m 46s / 100 meters
Comments:

The start for this tri was really cool. Since the ½ IM people had to do two laps of the swim course, they let us go first. They started the men and then 10 minutes later, they started the women. There were only 147 people in the ½ IM, so this race was not that crowded. The course was a diamond shape that we had to complete two laps of.

They send us off and due to the lack of people there was not much battling during the swim. My strategy was to go out easy on the swim and just swim. I am a 2:00/100 m guy, so I told myself I would be happy with anywhere between a 40 and 45 minute swim. I wanted to keep my heart rate down as the day was supposed to be very hot by the time we got off of the bike and I wanted to conserve all that I could. I kept finding feet to draft and I got behind a couple of really straight swimmers. I only sighted twice during the swim. The first time was going around the first buoy and the second time was coming into shore for the finish.

I swam until I touched the bottom and then I got up. I looked at my watch and holy cow, I came in at a super fast for me 35:26. At first I was a little disappointed in myself because I really wanted to slow down during the swim. But then I thought, get in the box and don’t worry about it. I took my own advice and began the walk on cheese graters up to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Shoes for the run to my bike
Transition 1
  • 04m 11s
Comments:

I stared my T1 time at the shore of the swim, so it reflects the slow walk up to my bike. I really did take my time in T1 though. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed for the bike. I took with me two large bottles of Gatoraide/Gu20 that had about 400 calories in them each, a flask of Hammer Gel with about 400 calories and one bottle of water. There was supposed to be two aid stations on the bike course with water, so I really thought I would have enough water.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Bike
  • 2h 49m 58s
  • 56.4 miles
  • 19.91 mile/hr
Comments:

Man, I had really worked hard to get my bike times down. I spent a significant amount of time on my bike and logged some serious miles to try and feel fresh getting off of my bike. I feel that work really paid off.

In my first race this year, I averaged 18.63 mph on a 26 mile course. One of my goals for this race was to average over 20 mph. I wanted to at the least come in under 3 hours and give myself a chance for the super secret goal of a 5:30. A couple of weeks ago I rode a century where I averaged over 20 mph, so I thought it would be very possible to average 20 mph on the bike.

I jumped on my bike and immediately felt great. I looked at my HRM and I knew I would need to bring my heart rate down, so I really took it easy for the first couple of miles. The strategy was to keep the heart rate under 150 for the first ten miles. There was a net downhill for the first couple of miles, but then we started up Echo Canyon and there was a net uphill for about 5 miles. You turned around and came back down the Canyon for a net downhill.

I also immediately began drinking my water. I knew there was going to be aid stations at miles 20 and 40, so I thought I would get started on hydration and nutrition. Every 15 minutes I had planned on drinking either Gatorade or water with a hit from the gel flask on the hour.

The course was very cool. I really didn’t have any points where I though I was struggling. It is true what they say – if you want to be comfortable on the bike, ride lots. There were some technical sections with tight turns on a downhill where I was going 30 – 35 mph. That was a little spooky and really the only time I hit my breaks. I ride a lot of hills, so the hills on this course were tough but manageable. We had another canton we rode up and that was a little tough on the quads. Again, tough, but manageable. My attitude stayed positive most of the time.

There were only 147 of us racing in the ½ IM, so the bike was not really that crowded. I passed some people, and others passed me. It seemed like once I people passed me, they pretty much rode on and I didn’t catch them. I think these are people I beat on the swim and are stronger cyclists than I am.

I did see one guy with a serious road rash. As I was passing him, I asked him if he was alright. He shot back a line from Monty Python, “It is only a flesh wound!” I just about fell off of my bike I was laughing so hard.

I got to mile 40 and I was looking for the aid station as my nutrition had gone according to schedule. I was out of water and my nutrition bottles were almost empty. By mile 45 I was out of liquids and a little nervous as part of my strategy was not to come into T2 dehydrated. At mile 50 I pretty much decided to drop the topic as I knew there would not be an aid station. I am not sure if they didn’t have enough volunteers, but that really was a bummer. Most people I talked to after the race were pretty upset about it. For a 56 mile ride, three bottles is usually enough for me. But man was it hot. It was in the mid nineties when I started the run at noon.

The last three miles were uphill, and I executed my strategy of spinning those last miles. I rolled into T2 feeling good and like I had pushed the bike hard. My equipment performed well and although I did not average over 20, I am happy with my ride. I really pushed myself hard, as you can see from my average heart rate.

The finish for the bike was over more of the dirt and rocks that I spoke of after the swim. Part of me wanted to walk my bike in, but I rode it all of the way to the dismount line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Transition 2
  • 03m 30s
Comments:

Yes, I know, a slow time for T2. My only defense is I had to dodge crowds because most of the sprinters and some of the Olympic distance people had finished and their families were in the transition area. Not cool people. I got a little feisty with some people and I even heard one person who was not racing say, “What is his problem?” I turned around and shot that person a look and I think they immediately knew what my problem was and they called their several children they had brought with them into the transition are who were playing in the aisles to their side. Bad karma point for me, but I got people out of my way.

I also took a little extra time as I had not done a terrific job of cleaning off my feet after the swim and I had a couple of small pebbles between my toes. So, I took about 30 seconds and cleaned my feet really well before I went off on my little jog.
What would you do differently?:

No visitors in the transition area.
Run
  • 2h 15m 50s
  • 13.3 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile
Comments:

It was hot. Can I say that again? It was hot. I was talking with one of the RD after the race and he told me his thermometer measured it at 101 by 2:00 p.m., right before I finished the run. This race is done well for the most part and they have aid stations at every mile. We ran along a dirt trail for the entire run and it was comfortable on the knees, but there is also no shade along this lake. Did I say it was hot?

The first aid station was at mile 0, so I took five cups of water and drank them all. I seriously thought I had put my head in a microwave. My legs felt fine and my race was going according to plan as I had gotten on the run course at about 3:30 total, giving myself the chance for a 5:30 for the race. But after the first mile, I knew there was no way I would be able to sustain a 9:00 m/m pace for the entire run. I ran the first mile in 8:40 just to test and I knew it was too much to ask of my body. So, I set my sights on my other goal of a sub 6:00.

There was never any point that I thought I wanted to quit. The heat was horrendous, but with the aid stations at every mile, I really hydrated well. I estimate that I drank about 20 ounces of water at each aid station for a total of 260 ounces of water, which is just over two gallons. I took a couple of Enduralytes at mile 6 and 10 to make sure I was absorbing it properly. I did not want to dehydrate and DNF because of something I can control.

So I kept plodding along. My stand alone ½ marathon PR is a 1:34, but I wasn’t breaking any records that day. My wife had written me a note that I read before the run and it really got me thinking about how lucky I am to have the life that I do. I thought about my son and being able to look him in the eye and say, “Boy, you just are going to have to try harder,” because during that race, I did. I thought about an Ironman and laughed out loud. For right now, I am not planning on an Ironman, but I am definitely leaving my options open.

Like I said, the course was hot, which severely limited the number of spectators. Even at the finish line, there was one gal with her kids and the volunteers. Everyone else had either packed up or had found some shade to get out of the sun. Man it was relentless.

So I came within about 100 yards of the finish line and I knew what I was about to accomplish. I knew I had my goal in my sights and I could just enjoy this moment. There was no applause, no fanfare. But when I finished, I knew I had just reached a milestone in my life. It was a cool moment.
What would you do differently?:

Turn down the thermostat.
Post race
Warm down:

The only shade even within a mile of the finish line was at the volunteer tent where they were giving water to the finishers. I kicked a volunteer off of the cooler she was sitting on and sat and drank my water for 30 minutes in the shade. This nice coed tried to make conversation with me, mostly to make sure I wasn’t going to pass out on her. I really just wanted to be alone with my thoughts, but I talked with her so she didn’t make me get into an ambulance or something.

I got it together after about half an hour and a couple of sports drinks that they gave me and waited for my friend to finish. That is right, I beat him. No, I smoked him. He came in almost exactly 50 minutes later and was really hurting from the heat. But, no mercy for the weak – he now owes me lunch.

Loved the venue, the distance, the volunteers, everything. I stopped at a gas station and got a 44 ounce Coke for the drive home and called my wife and let her know I was alright and to get a babysitter so we could go for steak.

So here we are the day after and I am not sore. I thought I would be, but I am just tired. I have been eating everything in sight, so I know my stomach feels fine. I know I can do this distance again and improve my time. This race is the USAT Rocky Mountain Regional Long Course Championships, so I am not real confident in my age group rankings as I race in the dreaded 30-34 age group. But, I feel really good about my effort and the training. My last race of the year is an Olympic at the end of August, so I will be ready to really fly on that one.


What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat.

Event comments:

It was hot, so most people had taken off, limiting the post race activities. This was not the fault of the RD, but it was a problem none the less.




Last updated: 2005-06-06 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:35:26 | 2000 meters | 01m 46s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/22
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Good
163 bpm average
Suit: Orca Predator
Course: Diamond shaped two lap course
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 04:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Yes
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
02:49:58 | 56.4 miles | 19.91 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/22
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Good
158 bpm average
Wind: None
Course:
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 03:30
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
02:15:50 | 13.3 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/22
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Average
157 bpm average
Course:
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2005-07-18 12:25 AM

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Master
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South of SLC
Subject: Echo 1/2 IM


2005-07-18 1:01 AM
in reply to: #200644

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T1
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
I didn't see you there, but great job! Congrats on a great first 1/2 IM!
2005-07-18 5:46 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Extreme Veteran
557
5002525
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
What a great race and a great race report!  Congrats on your first 1/2 IM!  That was amazing in that heat!  Great job and thanks for the great report!
2005-07-18 7:12 AM
in reply to: #200669

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Congratulations on beating your goal.

Great report!!!
2005-07-18 8:15 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Champion
19812
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MA
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM

Great Job!!!

Your rr makes me feel like I was there. The heat was brutle but you did excellant and beat your goal. All your time in the saddle really came through for you...made your bike time great plus you were strong in the run and you needed as much in the tank as you could given the heat.

You learned a lot about you and how to prepare and race!

Awesome Race....you rock!

2005-07-18 9:28 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Veteran
118
100
Roseville, California
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Excellent race report! Congratulations on a great 1/2 Ironman. Your preparation really paid off (can't believe you biked almost 900miles in June. That's sick!)


2005-07-18 10:24 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Expert
1836
100050010010010025
Lafayette, CO
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Nice job Hoss-mate!  You rock!
2005-07-18 10:41 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Master
1359
10001001001002525
South of SLC
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Thanks everyone. I looked for you Victoria, but you were most likely off of the course once I hit the run. Still a little tired today, but no soreness. I have a nice recovery swim scheduled today at lunch and then I will be back at in tomorrow, getting ready for Jordanelle! I also have to actually hit my training goals this month for Team Hoss!

Mike
2005-07-18 11:09 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Not a Coach
11473
5000500010001001001001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Great preperation = great race!  Nice job!
2005-07-21 3:40 PM
in reply to: #200644

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Elite
3223
20001000100100
Hendersonville
Gold member
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM

Wow, I loved your race report.  A big, huge congrats on working your butt off in training and getting great results from it.  Beating your friend is awesome!!  What a feeling.  Are you sure about not wanting to do an Ironman?  There are a lot of us BTers doing IMAZ in April and I think it's still open....

Jessica

2005-07-21 3:56 PM
in reply to: #200644

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Master
1927
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Congrats on a great race. I received some bad reports about this race and I understand that 1/2 the field DNF due to severe dehydration. But from your race report is sounds maybe some folks didn't bring enough hydration with them? I don't know. This was a regional championshp race but because of the complaints the RMR BOD is trying to see if this race is good enough for next year's regional. Glad you finished and from what it seems like you were lucky.


2005-07-21 4:45 PM
in reply to: #204136

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Master
1359
10001001001002525
South of SLC
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Hey, I loved reading your logs for the Race Across America. Very cool stuff.

From what I see from the timing company, across all three distances 22 people DNFed. It was a tough race weather wise, I am not sure why all of the DNF's occured. The lack of a second aid station as advertised on the bike was a little tough, but not impossible to overcome.

As for next years race, I would hope they keep it there. The only real problem I could see with the race is the transition area. About the only way to overcome that would be to pave it, but even then people would complain because of the heat coming off of the asphalt. I am not sure what they should do about that.

Thanks for the support!

Mike
2005-07-22 7:45 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Master
2314
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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
Awesome race and tremendous race report. Congrats!!!
2005-07-22 10:36 AM
in reply to: #200644

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Extreme Veteran
527
50025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM

Congrats on a great race! BTW - was it hot there? (just kidding)

Interesting read, sounds like I am on similar plan this year doing the Oly & then 1st 1/2 IM (Yet to come)

great job...is there a full ironman in the future?

2005-07-22 11:25 AM
in reply to: #204609

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Master
1359
10001001001002525
South of SLC
Subject: RE: Echo 1/2 IM
pkingfl - 2005-07-22 8:36 AM

Congrats on a great race! BTW - was it hot there? (just kidding)

Interesting read, sounds like I am on similar plan this year doing the Oly & then 1st 1/2 IM (Yet to come)

great job...is there a full ironman in the future?



I wanted to wait until after this race to decide if I wanted to sign up for Silverman in November in Las Vegas. It is a first year race, but the RD is a quality guy who has experience putting these type of large events on.

I swore to myself on this course that not this year. I am not sure that I am ready for the mental challenges associated with an IM. The physical I think I can do, but the mental is where I need to get tougher. That only comes through training on the tough days I think.

But, I am playing with IMCDA right now. I know it is not full yet and I may have some time before I have to decide. IMAZ is too soon in the season, but I think IMCDA could be manageable. I need to weigh my options for about another week and then I will decide.

Mike



Edited by Rollin' Thunder 2005-07-22 11:25 AM
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