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Timberman - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Gilford, New Hampshire
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 33m 18s
Overall Rank = 60/2141
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 9/360
Pre-race routine:

We were staying at the Inn At Mills Falls in Meredith. The resort was about 12 miles from the race start so we had to get up early. Had a terrible nights sleep the night before the race. Was up at 2 AM and then could not get back to sleep. The alarm went off at 3:30 and I got right up and went down to get some coffee. Jumped in the shower to wake up and loosen up and then got some food in me. Bagel with PB and a few yogurts with granola. Had a banana as well and started in with water and getting hydrated. Made our way down to the race site and by 4:30 the line to get into the parking lot was nuts. We were about 50 cars away from not getting into the lot and having to head over to Gunstock. Thankfully we made it in.

I went right down to my bike. Had to dry it off as it was soaked from the rain the night before. I got my tires pumped up and all the rest of my stuff set up. I am traveling really light in transition these days. My setup any more is as follows. Bike on rack. Helmet on aero bars with sunglasses in helmet. Running shoes at the base of my front wheel. That's it. Nothing else. After that I went back to the car and just hung out for a while. I kept on the hydration and tried to stay relaxed.

My wife and I finally made our way over to the transition area and it was time to get the wetsuit on and head down for a warm up swim.

Only part of the morning where I felt terrible was when I went to take a piss in the porta pots over by the transition area. The stench over there was ungodly. I went into one porta pot and gagged so hard I almost puked. Dear god people.
Event warmup:

Got in the water about half way down to the swim start and swam for about 5-8 minutes out. Was feeling a little amped from the coffee and could not find a solid stroke. My breathing was ok but I just could not get good balance in the water. Made my way back in and did a few solid sprints to get the HR way up. I was trying to get ready for the first 200 meters of the swim. Got the wetsuit all drained out and got right in line. Perfect timing.
  • 26m 57s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 17s / 100 yards

Got set up right in the front row and saw a few guys that looked like swimmers. I asked them what they thought they would swim and they said 25-26. I mentioned we might want to work together and they were all for it. So the horn went off and I darted for the first bouy. I had literally 25 yards of dolphin dives until I got to a point where I could swim. At that point I was about 4 body lengths ahead of everyone in the AG. I got settled into a solid pace which was not to hard or to slow. By the 3rd marker I had two other guys with me. I turned the first orange marker 1st and it got really backed up with some of the waves in front of us. I lost one guy and he was ahead of me by about 2-3 body body lengths but I just let him go. I was not willing to fight the waves in front of me so I went a different route. One other guy sat right on my feet. By the time we hit the return home I was done with the guy drafting off me and started to pick the pace up. I dropped it hard and lost him. I caught the guy in front of me and was just content with drafting him until I got into shore.

In all I must have swam through 4 different colors of swim caps in front of me. Going in almost the last wave of the day is bad if your a good swimmer. I could have easily been 2 mins faster if I didn't have to swim through so much traffic. I just didn't think it was worth it to push so hard as the course is much tougher than anything I've ever done to date.

One other thing to note. My quads where cramping on the swim. Never had that happen before. Was a little worried about that.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 02m 10s

Took my time here. Getting out the long shoot was messy. Some really bad cyclist out there. I had to dodge a few people to get up to speed and then some really psycho guys who were trying to win the overall race out of T1. Dude was screaming at everyone to move over. What a nut case.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 23m 50s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.36 mile/hr

Early in the week I was worried about the hills. After I rode a bit of the course on Saturday I was feeling better. I decided not to attack until after Marsh hill and stay really controlled. My quads were a little funky still and I was worried as they didn't feel 100%. But I just kept on it. It's tough to gague how hard your going early on as I started so late and literally must have passed over 1000 riders on the course. That sucks.

Made it out to the flat section and I felt great. I was riding 30-32 MPH for almost all of that section and felt super. Breathing was great and position felt good as well. Made it out to the 28 mile turn around and felt fantastic.

Another 1-2 miles down the road I felt my back wheel wobble or something. So I asked the guy I was passing if I was flat or he could see anything on the disk that looked off. He tells me I am flat and the wheel is wobbling a little. So I pulled over to check it. Bad move. I lift my leg over the frame of the bike and my right quad locks up. Bam. Get that stretched out and check the wheel. Nothing. May have lost some pressure but it was not flat by any means. The tire was so hard I could not even press on it with my fingers. In the mean time I must be sitting there for about 2-4 mins. People wizzing by me like mad. I can't pull back into the mix because there are so many people coming and the shoulder of the road is so narrow.

I finally get moving and realize I got passed by about 3 guys in my AG. I was not happy about that. I catch and pass 2 of them and then rode for about 10 miles with one guy. We decided to work together to get back to the hills. We rode legal the entire way and when we hit the hills he took off. I just wanted to save what I had left for the run so I decided not to chase him down. One other guy with a Timex jersey in my AG is the only other guy that passed me out there. He was about 140 lbs and rocketing up the hills.

The last half mile of the bike it started to rain lightly. Perfect timing.

On a fun note I hit 50+ MPH on Marsh hill. I was in the 53/12 and killing it until about half way down. Then I looked at the speed and near crapped myself. Fun stuff.
What would you do differently?:

Not listen to some jamoke about my flat tire and be about 2-3 mins faster? Who knows. But if I was flat I would have had to stop anyway. I'm not mad just a little frustrated.

Overall the gears on the bike were great. Hills were fun and I loved it.
Transition 2
  • 02m 1s

Nothing here. Quick stretch and on my way.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 38m 20s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 31s  min/mile

Legs where shot coming off the bike. Back up, legs were kind of shot coming off the swim. So I was a little worried. Started off controlled and my legs responded well. I felt better running than anything else I did all day.

Light rain for the entire run. Felt nice.


Used coke at every other aid station on the first loop. Walked only the big hill on the way back for about 10 steps. Pace was good. I was happy with 7 min mile pace and felt ok.

2nd loop came quickly and I was feeling good. Now I decided to take coke and gatorade every aid station for the 2nd loop. Made it out to the section of the course with the bubble machine and I started to feel it. Once I got back onto lake shore drive or what ever it's called I was falling apart. My quads were done and my feet and calfs were on their way. The last 3 miles where tough. I didn't make any stupid deals with myself but I just started doing math and tried to figure out how much more I had to deal with the pain. Up the last big hill I walked about half of it. It was a smart move as I was moving about as fast as everyone else running and it felt better on my legs. Got to the top of that and just decided to gut it out to the finish. Pace was slow but I was moving forward. What do you know? Guy in my AG passes me. I didn't want any parts of that so I took off and repassed him. He didn't stay with me so I just eased off and made the last left turn into the finish shoot. All alone down the shoot I was happy as could be. The run went quick but I just was glad to be done. Happy to finish and glad to be doing 70.3 again.
What would you do differently?:

I mean lets face it. Two years + ago I was enjoying this distance and starting to figure it all out. Then injury after injury. So I don't know what I would do differently. Not get a coach again? But that's all in the past and now all I can do is focus on what works for me. I mean those of you who are friends with me know I only ran about 500 miles this year. You also know that it's not enough to be in the top 3 AG @ 70.3 as well. I know what kind of work it's going to take and I'll get there, I just will take my time and let it happen over months and years. Injury to the level I had it is not an option any more. So what would I do differently? I'd run more and take my time at building fitness and speed. But more importantly I have a different family life now. 2 years ago my daughter was only 2 years old. Now I have a son that age and my daughter is 5. So family life is 1st. If I get back to where I was, then so be it. If not I'm happy right where I am. I don't need the 4+ hour bike rides and 2 hour runs. I'd much rather hang out with my kids and not miss that part of my life. :)
Post race
Warm down:

Went right to the massage tent and sat for about 1 hour in the cold rain. Got the massage, got dressed into some warm clothes and ate with my wife. We went back to the car and packed up and got ready to get out of there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Great race and a beautiful area of the country. Good fun.

Last updated: 2009-12-01 12:00 AM
00:26:57 | 2112 yards | 01m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/360
Overall: 29/2141
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Blue 70
Course: Box swim with bouys on right side.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:10
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:23:50 | 56 miles | 23.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/360
Overall: 24/2141
Performance: Good
BIKE SPLIT 1: 28 mi 28 mi (1:08:47) 24.42 mph BIKE SPLIT 2: 56 mi 28 mi (1:15:03) 22.39 mph BIKE END: 56 mi 2:23:50 23.36 mph 24 6
Wind: Some
Course: Out and back with a few off shoot sections. Hills in the 1st and last 11 miles then rolling and flat the rest of the way.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:01
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:38:20 | 13.1 miles | 07m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/360
Overall: 61/2141
Performance: Average
RUN SPLIT 1: 3.275 mi 3.275 mi (22:48) 6:57/mi RUN SPLIT 2: 6.55 mi 3.275 mi (24:00) 7:19/mi RUN SPLIT 3: 9.8 mi 3.275 mi (24:48) 7:34/mi RUN SPLIT 4: 13.1 mi 3.275 mi (26:44) 8:09/mi
Course: Two loops, rolling hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-08-24 9:41 AM

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Subject: Timberman - Half Iron

2010-08-24 11:19 AM
in reply to: #3060811

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Extreme Veteran
Watertown, MA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Fantastic race!  Doing 23+ on the bike with 2-3 minutes for a fake mechanical built in?  Amazing...You've gotta be pretty frickin fast if this is a disappointing race for you, well done. 
2010-08-24 11:32 AM
in reply to: #3060811


Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

very good race.  congrats on a top 10 ag finish

2010-08-24 12:29 PM
in reply to: #3061086

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Brownie28 - 2010-08-24 12:19 PM Fantastic race!  Doing 23+ on the bike with 2-3 minutes for a fake mechanical built in?  Amazing...You've gotta be pretty frickin fast if this is a disappointing race for you, well done. 

Just a little dissapointed that I had to stop for no reason and my legs locked up.  Other than that, no regrets.  1st 70.3 for me in 2 years and I didn't put nearly the training in that I did in the past.  It was a great day and I am very fortunate to have been out there in one piece.

2010-08-24 12:38 PM
in reply to: #3060811

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Congrats on a great result in particualr considering what you have had to endured in the past two years and the forced lesser training. But I like your attitude a lot regarding your family and while you might get back to your usual speedy way, the fact you won't let yourself stress about in my opinion will help you enjoy the sport much more.

Good job Mike!
2010-08-25 8:16 AM
in reply to: #3060811

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Great race Mike.  You've battled a lot of adversity the past couple years and it's good to see you back on the 70.3 train. 

2010-08-25 8:41 AM
in reply to: #3060811

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Barrington, NJ
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Great job man.  Top 10 in your AG is awesome considering the injuries and all.  Look forward to reading more of these race reports in the future!

2010-08-25 11:21 AM
in reply to: #3060811

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New Jersey
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
What Brownie said...

You went this fast and you were disappointed?????

Great race! Keep it up. Keep your priorities in order.

2010-08-26 8:30 AM
in reply to: #3060811

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Great job, Mike. The big man is back!
2010-08-26 12:15 PM
in reply to: #3060811

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Bucks County
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Damn man! You are a freakin' rocket! Terrific race brother and great report. So true about being a daddy - hard to sneak away for those 2 hour runs and 4 hour bike rides. So true.

Good luck if you decide to hit up Marlton Lakes in 2 weeks.
2010-08-26 1:22 PM
in reply to: #3060811

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Guilford, CT
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Nice race!  I know not what you may be capable of but impressive nonetheless.  I saw some of your other race reports and wow.  That's all I have to say about that.

2010-08-26 1:23 PM
in reply to: #3060811

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2010-08-27 12:20 PM
in reply to: #3060811

Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Great race Mike - so good to see you back doing what you do.

RR was a fun read as always.
2010-08-30 8:53 AM
in reply to: #3060811

Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Great job, Mike!  Awfully solid run all things considered.  And a beast of a bike ride, including the pit stop or not!
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