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Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Knoxville, Tennessee
United States
Revolution3 Triathlon Series
63F / 17C
Total Time = 6h 26m 1s
Overall Rank = 59/
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 7/
Pre-race routine:

Woke-up, dressed, applied number tattoos (instead of bodymarking - cool idea!), picked up bagel/PB/Banana from the starbucks setup in hotel lobby, and drove to parking. Got to transition WAY earlier than normal for us, but we wanted to be sure we could find parking and transition was only open for 1 hour.
Event warmup:

Does panicking due to a cold water swim in a sleeveless wetsuit count as a warmup? If so, that's what I did. Otherwise, nothing. :)
  • 48m 4s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 17s / 100 yards

This was a disaster for me - but I did finish it. First, I HATE cold water. I was not expecting this cold of water and really freaked out before getting in. I was wishing I had paid more attention to the temp and rented a full-sleeve suit. I was almost in tears before the start and Kirk had to talk me into the water. He finally convinced me to just go down and jump in, that I could get out if it was that bad. I waited until a few seconds before the start to jump in - which I think was smart. It was COLD, but I decided to suck it up and just start swimming.

This was the most full-contact swim I've had so far - I guess because I wasn't in the back as usual (not really on purpose, but I just jumped and and started swimming). It threw me off a little and it took a while to convince myself to calm down and get a reasonable stroke going. I still felt like I wasn't swimming as I should basically the whole race, but I did finally get some kind of rhythm about 50%-75% of the way through the swim.

The swim upriver wasn't quite as bad as I expected, probably because I thought when we turned around it was going to be really nice. When we finally reached the turnaround buoy, I was surprised to not really feel a difference. It seemed to take FOREVER to reach the first bridge. As I was nearing the bridge, it didn't seem like I was making progress, so I actually started watching a building on the shore to see if I was moving forward. I was, but it wasn't very fast forward progress. I have never been so happy to finally reach the end - where I pulled/rolled myself onto the dock (weird that they didn't have people to help pull you out).
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out about the water temperature. It was COLD, but it was manageable. Not sure how to practice swimming in the strange conditions we had, there's not really a similar open water location in our area.
Transition 1
  • 03m 16s

Okay - I have no idea what I was doing in transition for over 3 minutes, but I was cold, shaking, and dreading the bike. I guess I just took my time - I know better than this, and generally my transitions are much better.
What would you do differently?:

Move faster, dang it!
  • 3h 35m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.61 mile/hr

This was a brutal course - tons of hills. I think we must have climbed a few mountains on this course.

Exiting transition, I looked down at my Joule to see NO DATA! Nothing, no watts, no time, no distance - WHAT?! I decided to pull off to the side and get this working, I needed to work on my watt pacing during this race to prepare for IM. After some clicking, I found that all the sensor pairings had been erased - no HR pairing, no PT pairing. Paired with the PT, tried to quickly adjust the wheel circumference based on memory, and tried again. As I started going, I realized all the dashboard data areas had also been reset - so it wasn't showing the data I planned on tracking. I have trouble clicking the buttons correctly while riding, so I just watched current watts, knowing my target range for the ride. At one point, I did get it on the mph/distance, only to realize that was completely off (apparently I didn't get the wheel circumference set correctly, too flustered) and I had no mph/distance the whole ride. Honestly, that might have been okay, as I didn't really focus on who slowly I was riding - just watts.

For nutrition, I had a 3 hour bottle of infinit (I plan on using two of these bottles for IM) and refilling my aerobottle with water from the course. The first water stop was out of water (only gaterade), I ran our just before the second water stop (which had water), and the last water stop was also out of water (one of the volunteers yelled that they didn't get their delivery of water). I ran out of water with about 15 minutes to go on the bike, which worked out okay. My nutrition plan is to stop taking in nutrition with 30 minutes to go, only sipping a little water. This worked perfectly today!

The climbs were tough. My legs felt great the whole time, but it was hard to let everyone fly by me. It was interesting that I would generally catch and pass some people on longer climbs - they would fly by me to start, then fall off as the hill wore on. I was in a dark place through about mile 30, but then was able to pull out and focus on doing the math in my head to figure out where I was, how long I had left, and focusing on the 10 mile markers to track my progress.

With about 15 miles to go, I recognized how good I still felt. My legs were not overly tired, only my butt (ugh...tri shorts). As slow as this was, I think this was appropriate pacing for me. I really need to work on my FTP, so that I can ride faster at this Power Zone, but happy with what I did today.
What would you do differently?:

I guess I need to check my Joule pre-race to make sure it's still set up correctly. I thought that validating that during the pre-race brick on Saturday was enough - I guess not! I have a ticket open with the PowerTap folks, because PowerAgent is also not recognizing my unit right now, so something is off.
Transition 2
  • 02m 2s

Transition snuck up on me, so no flying dismount. Running in my shoes was weird, not used to that anymore. :) This is about a minute slower than it should have planned, I don't know what I was doing. Not a good transition day for me.
What would you do differently?:

Move faster, again!
  • 1h 57m 26s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 58s  min/mile

This is where the pacing on the bike really paid off. If you know me, you know that I fall apart on the run at just about every tri I have done. This was one of my main goals for this race - run!! First two miles I was worried that I was running too fast, but I couldn't make myself run slower. Tried to listen to my breathing and just keep my momentum - don't stop. Loved my hand bottle today - it didn't bother me at all and really liked not having anything around my stomach. I grabbed a gel every 3 miles and ate part of it, chasing it with water. I was nervous about using course nutrition, but they had plenty and it worked out well. I refilled my bottle at mile 4+ and again at mile 8. I had to stop and fill with 3 cups of water. I also had two salt tablets (edurolytes, maybe?) at mile 8, because I was feeling a headache come on and assumed I needed sodium. It seemed to help, so I guess that was the right choice.

I did walk up a few hills - the super-steep one around mile 4+, one of the long ones before 8, and one of the short ones around 10. I felt like my breathing was getting too labored and I know that if I let my HR get too out of control, I tend to lose it. Was it the right decision - don't know - maybe I could have been faster. Or maybe not.

Saw Stephanie right before the turnaround and tried to use her as my rabbit - she was too fast for me though - didn't even get close to catching her!

I'm really happy with this run overall. I don't think I've done better than 10:10s on a HIM run yet, so this was a HUGE improvement. I have a feeling it's always been about poor pacing on the bike for me. I don't like to ride so slow, and I pay for it on the run. :) This was a much more enjoyable way to do it!
What would you do differently?:

Fill my bottle with one cup as I ran through every aid station - that would have eliminated some wasted time as I stopped and refilled completely.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a used space blanket (they were out), got a HUGE small finisher's shirt, and grabbed a bag of food for when I got hungry. Sat down and stretched my legs, complained to Kirk & Doug about my technical difficulties on the bike, and just enjoyed sitting down for a few minutes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough power on the bike - that's my biggest weakness right now. This is something I want to focus a lot more on in the future - which is why I spent all that money on the Power Meter (although it would be nice if it would work a little better). :)

Event comments:

This is a hard course - seriously hilly. It's a great test for the HIM distance, but not a course to expect a PR. Be prepared for some serious climbing on the bike and decent hills on the run. Swim is hit or miss, could be a current or not.

Last updated: 2010-12-31 12:00 AM
00:48:04 | 2112 yards | 02m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 13/
Overall: 67/
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Swim against the current for 500M or so; turn around and swim back "downstream" into the wind.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:16
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:35:13 | 56 miles | 15.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/
Overall: 86/
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Ride through the rural area around Knoxville. Lots of climbs, several very long, nothing too steep.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:02
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:57:26 | 13.1 miles | 08m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/
Overall: 59/
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back with a mix of flats, one serious climb, and long slow hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-05-16 10:37 AM

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Marietta, GA
Subject: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon

2011-05-16 10:52 AM
in reply to: #3501498

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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon
Great job! I felt bad for the people I had told "oh yeah it's been 80+ degree's outside the last two weeks" then Sunday it was cold and overcast. Glad you enjoyed our "rolling hills" haha
2011-05-16 11:39 AM
in reply to: #3501498

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon
Good job on your race. I enjoyed your report!
2011-05-17 4:28 AM
in reply to: #3501498

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon
Great race.  It looks like you have nailed the two boogie men of IM racing: nutrition and bike pacing.

2011-05-17 9:34 AM
in reply to: #3503173

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Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon
Ha!  We had the exact same race plan!  Going that slowly on the bike really really helped my run (the cooler temperatures helped too), so I am going to stick with La-Di-Da pace on the bike.  : )
2011-05-19 7:01 AM
in reply to: #3501498

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Extreme Veteran
Milford, MI
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman Triathlon
Great race and way to rock the run - awesome job!

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