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TryCharleston Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
78F / 26C
Total Time = 5h 28m 42s
Overall Rank = 92/240
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 10/25
Pre-race routine:

Got a late start on the 10 hour drive Friday morning because daughter Kelsey was sick and throwing up all night. My wife didn't make the trip so the drive was 100% me. Tried to relax on the drive with partial success.
Arrived too late to check-in. Drove to the start just to get an idea of parking, etc, then drove up the road to T2 just to orient myself. Simple grilled chicken dinner at Carrabba's Italian Grill. Perfect for me.
Typically rough pre-race night of sleep. Finally gave up and starting getting ready at 4am. Cereal, soy milk, and coffee.
Short 20 min drive to the event site. Got numbers, timing chip, and body marking very quickly and had transition set up by 6am. Plenty of time for porta-potty, checking out swim start, and general stretching. Anxiety rising as this was my first HIM distance race!
Event warmup:

Stretching. For once, I did not do a run warm-up as I had to check my stuff for transport to T2. Don't know why I skipped the bike. I did remember to set to lower gear. By the time I thought of a swim warm-up, there was only time to get in the water and get wet. Oops!
  • 38m 44s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

Started at the back of the pack so as not to get trampled. Surprisingly, I ended up having to pass some people. Guess I wasn't the slowest! Did a great job of maintaining an easy pace -- no problems over-doing the first 100 yards like in previous races. I was trying new goggles (I know, nothing new on race day) that I'd practiced with only once, and the right side was letting in water. Basically ignored this for first 2 legs of triangle, keeping my right eye closed for the most part. Finally took the time to cinch the whole thing tighter and had no further problems.
Every time I bumped or was bumped, I popped my head up to re-orient. This happened a LOT in the first leg. Surprisingly, though, I cornered every buoy tightly because there was no one else around. Perhaps the slower swimmers (like me) were afraid there would be contention? I always ran into traffic just after the buoys, though, and had to navigate through.
With all of the hype about alligators last year, I didn't think about that once. Too much else to consider!
First time using wetsuit went considerably well. Probably helped my time which was a pleasant surprise for me. It was too cold to try out the wetsuit in Ohio prior to the race. It did get a bit warm during the last leg of the second loop.
What would you do differently?:

Practice with the wetsuit prior to the race. Use my old goggles that I'm familiar with! Don't pop up every time I'm bumped. Simply re-sighting on the next breath would suffice.
Transition 1
  • 03m 17s

OK, this was my biggest failure of the day. Good thing it was only minutes lost, not hours! I hadn't practiced this transition.
I only walked after exiting the lake, but still struggled with my wetsuit top -- it's a two piece. Had it covering my head at one point and almost toppled over! Finally wormed one arm out and got it over my head more effectively. Goggles and cap into sleeve no problem.
At my bike, I saw my helmet and sunglasses handy and decided to put them on first. Sunglasses were foggy and I couldn't seem to clip my helmet. Meanwhile, my bibjohn was stuck on my ankles. Had to manually free them with my hands. Tried cleaning the sunglasses with my wet tri shorts. Brilliant! No luck.
Put on HR strap, then pulled tri top over my head. It rolled up tightly and would not come down! Messed with it for awhile to no avail. Finally had to pull it back off my head and try again. Finally got it right and exited transition. Kept the foggy sunglasses low on my nose.
What would you do differently?:

Practice exiting wetsuit! Practice entire T1. Don't put on sunglasses until end. Try Pam on ankles?
  • 2h 50m 38s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.69 mile/hr

Felt great about the bike. Settled into a brisk pace (for me) with my HR hovering around 140. I worried that I might be pushing too hard, but this eventually proved to be untrue.
Stomach felt awful at the start. Swim always leaves me feeling bloated. Was able to dispel this gaseous feeling in the first 10 miles or so. Still not great, but much better.
Lots of bikes passing until we hit the Sprint turnaround, then it quieted down. Got passed and did the passing about equally. It was a nice feeling. Finally found a perfect pacing partner around mile 45, soon after the section of rough road. (By the way, that was BUMPY! Hadn't actually been on a road quite as rough as that one.) I kept back the requisite distance and was able to maintain a perfect 140 bpm the entire time. Following her to the transition also served as a reminder to stretch the legs as well as spin in the final miles. Thanks #197.
My only mistake during the bike was skipping much of my planned nutrition. I meant to eat a Clif Bar during the first half and didn't even try it until mile 35. At that point I was only able to get three bites down. I basically had 2 GUs and three bites of Clif Bar along with water and Gatorade. I think I need more than that, but my stomach just wasn't up to it.
Very glad I decided to bring along the HR monitor for the ride. It was indispensable to me for pacing.
What would you do differently?:

Take in nutrition as planned.
Transition 2
  • 01m 6s

Volunteers took our bike upon dismount. Nice! Left my shoes clipped in. Almost forgot my Garmin! That would have bummed me out since I relied on it so much for pacing.
This transition went very quickly. Dumped all of my gear out of the provided bag, tossed my bike helmet into it, then pulled my shoes on. No major problems with my legs at this point.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 54m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

Felt great starting the run. Was amazed at how well my legs were working considering my concerns about my bike pace. First time at this, remember? Had to slow myself down after first 100 yards as my HR was up over 160. Whoa there!
Settled into a pace with my HR around 153. Tried not to look at the actual min/mile pace to keep from feeling anxious.
Grabbed iced towels at almost every stop, putting them under my hat. This seemed to work well. Missed water the first stop or two as a result until I got the hang of the aid stations. Tried to drink Heed every other stop or so. Managed about 1 small cup of water or Heed at every stop. This seemed about right, but at mile 4 I got ecaps instead. Took one with no water to wash it down. Again, why was I doing something I hadn't done in practice? Sucked on my wet towel to wash it down. Yuck. Couldn't wait for the next water stop!
At some point I had to will myself to keep moving, keeping my HR around 153. Near the end I noticed it falling to 149 or so. That was in the final 3 miles when they ran out of wet towels. I really started heating up at that point.
What would you do differently?:

Take in more nutrition. I had two GUs left out of my original allotment.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around T2 for about 20 minutes. Ate small section of a banana and a small box of Wheaties Fuel. Drank probably 30oz of Heed and water. Porta-potty stop.
Walked the 1/4 mile to the shuttle stop feeling very good. Boarded the shuttle back to T1 and proceeded to chat with another racer. Felt short of breath the more I talked. Arriving back at T1, I sought out the med tent. Seems my lack of nutrition finally caught up with me. The med guys did a great job of cooling me off with an ice bag, getting me to control my breathing, and having me eat an apple. After about 25 min I was feeling better. Got some food and a beer in me (at the med tent's suggestion) and felt 100% again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutrition! Lack of experience. Probably could have pushed the bike a little harder considering how much I had left for the run.

Event comments:

Really liked this race. Flat with very moderate temperatures. Loved my results as I'd hoped to break 6:30 publicly, 6:00 secretly. It was bittersweet without my wife there to share it. She was pretty bummed on Saturday to miss the race. It would have been her first HIM, too.
The bike felt easier than I'd expected. I felt that my training had really prepared me for the race.
The split transition was not ideal. Didn't affect my race, but single transition is certainly more convenient. Unfortunately I think TryCharleston is stuck with the dual transition layout due to traffic issues.
My wife has scoped out the White Lake Half on May 14th for her to do. Sounds like a similarly flat course. I'm seriously considering joining her in this race as my recovery has gone smoothly so far. Might as well make use of all this training, right?

Last updated: 2011-05-05 12:00 AM
00:38:44 | 2112 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/25
Overall: 109/240
Performance: Good
Suit: De Soto First Wave fullsuit
Course: Two loops of a triangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:17
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:50:38 | 56 miles | 19.69 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/25
Overall: 123/240
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Flat, mostly smooth with one very rough, 7-mile stretch.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:54:58 | 13.1 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/25
Overall: 83/240
Performance: Good
Course: Flat, 2-loop course, in mostly sun.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2011-05-05 5:07 PM

Lewis Center, Ohio
Subject: TryCharleston Half

2011-05-06 7:55 AM
in reply to: #3484368

User image

Southern Indiana
Subject: RE: TryCharleston Half
Great race and race report.  Nothing like knocking out your secret race goal by 30 minutes!  Go for it with the next HIM.
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