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Ironman Kansas 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 34m 41s
Overall Rank = 430/1476
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 79/207
Pre-race routine:

Rolled into town Saturday afternoon. The campsite was empty so I went ahead and checked in. Met Kevin (Kjivie) after that and two of his friends (Jeff and Rodmy) with whom I was camping with. Checked the bike, hung out for a bit and then went to dinner at some pseudo-italian restaurant.

Went to bed wondering about the weather. It was supposed to start majorly storming at 6 in the morning and all the chatter was about whether or not the race was going to take place. Honestly, when I woke up at 4 and was trying to decide if my tent was going to blow away with me in it I was almost hoping for a little lighting so I could go back to bed.

As it was it really wasn't all that bad out. Went and set up T2 then buzzed down to T1 so get the bike all ready to go. I've done a couple of two transitions race and I'm not a big fan. Had an hour to kill between transition close and my wave start so we hung out at our campsite for a bit which was conveniently located as close to the swim start as possible.
Event warmup:

I got a little bit of an adrenaline rush heading down to the start. It was about 20 minutes to start before my wave went off, but when I showed up there were already red caps in the water. Apparently they don't have 16 unique colors for swim caps because I panicked a bit and thought I was way late. Eventually I figured it out and settled myself before we started. Told Kevin and Jeff good luck and swam out to the start line.
  • 40m
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

Got out to the buoys with about 30 seconds to start. I barely had time to think about anything before we were off. I don't know if it was the chop but things spread out fairly quickly. I didn't notice the waves at first but they were big. A few hundred yards into it and I realized breathing to the left was not going to be an option, or at least not a very good option. I breathing every 4 strokes to the right side and when I couldn't catch a breath on the right I had to really exaggerate the roll on the left to catch a clean breath. Easily the choppiest water I've ever been in in a race.

Honestly though, I kind of enjoyed it. Long swims can be really monotonous and it seemed like I really had to work for every stroke I was taking. I couldn't just stroke mindlessly and let the wetsuit do all the work for me. That said I'm really glad I had the wetsuit because it would have been far worse without it.

Sighted well to the first buoy and turned quite well into the waves. Holy smokes, it was a short section into the chop but a difficult one. No side was safe to breathe on and it took a lot of energy to get to the next turn. I was in the homestretch now, heading into the finish. There was a LOT of people cutting the inside of the buoys on this stretch. I made a conscious effort to get on the outside like we were supposed to and just made my way in. Like every swim I was glad to get to the exit when I did.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I've never experienced that sort of chop before and in hindsight was quite glad to only be about 4 minutes slower than expected.
Transition 1
  • 02m 59s

Came into transition ready to get going on that bike. Passed Kevin and he asked me how the swim was. "Fun!" I told him, then proceeded to my bike. Was getting out of the wetsuit and putting the helmet on when I noticed Rodmy a rack away doing the same thing. He just shook his head when I asked how the swim was. Ready to go, I ran out of T1 after that.
What would you do differently?:

It was a big transition but was still a little slow. 2:30 would have been better
  • 2h 50m 58s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.65 mile/hr

This was the first HIM I've done where I've been a little freaked out by the bike portion of the race. Coming into today I've done only two 50+ mile rides in preparation. Other HIMs past I have had at least 7-8 under my belt beforehand. So the goal was to bike conservatively, which if you know me is really hard to do. I was exhausted coming out of transition so I dialed it back to get the heart rate under control. Within the first mile or two both Kevin and Rodmy passed me. I waited another mile before kicking it in and heading out past them. The course was cool to start and everything felt under control. I think we had the wind at our back and I just really enjoyed myself heading out to the first turn around.

Coming back I noticed the wind for the first time, although it really wasn't that bad. You've got hills in Kansas, we've got wind in Iowa. I was getting passed a lot and had to keep the ego in check a bit because I knew my bike fitness wasn't where it has been in past seasons. I couldn't expect to put up a huge split and have a decent run after that. Hit the first water exchange and tossed out the crappy gas station bottle for their replacement. Unfortunately they had a cheap replacement too and decided to cut off the flip top cap to these bottles so when I tucked it into my aero bottle cage it was dribbling out the top. It took me awhile to realize why my legs were getting all wet and I really hoped the people I was passing didn't think I was peeing on them. I was expecting a pull open spout like on a bike bottle like the bottles they handed out at IMWI last year. I guess I could've put the bottle of infinit up top and the water on the downtube, but you don't really think that clearly during a race. Fail WTC Fail.

Attacked the hills and wind with gusto on the second half of the course. I really really enjoyed this bike course. The hills were great, not quite wisconsinesque but great nonetheless. Fun and challenging. Wish I had hills like that to ride on here at home. Towards the last third of the ride I felt the legs start to get a little toasted. With the limited bike training and the hills that was expected. I wish they had kept bike splits on the course because I'm pretty sure I was 20+ until the last ten mile or so.

We got back into the park with a few miles left and down a huge downhill had to maneuver around a guy and his flying water bottles when his bike went into a full frame seizure-esque shimmy. Rodmy had caught up to me at that point and we were both amazed that the guy had managed to retain control. I thought for sure he was going to wipe it hardcore.

Not much after that. Cruised into transition ready to run.

What would you do differently?:

Train the bike more. I'm kind of ashamed of how many long rides I've done outside. Too many easy spins on the trainer this year. It just doesn't compare with hard work outside.
Transition 2
  • 01m 22s

Was happy to have a good flying dismount. Ran in. Helmet off shoes on. Wait! There's a rock in my right shoe that's going to be uncomfortable. Took that shoe back off and wiped the rock away before putting it back on and heading back out.
What would you do differently?:

Wipe the feet off prior to putting in the shoes. Probably would have been closer to a minute. T2 seemed way shorter than T1 however
  • 1h 59m 22s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 07s  min/mile

Oh boy, where to start here? Things started off good. I had decent legs coming off the bike and was thinking things were going to turn okay. The quads started to cramp just before the first mile marker, but I walked at the aid station and took down some perform to make those a distant memory. Saw Kevin's family cheering for me soon after that. Even though most of them had only met me the day before it was beyond awesome to have a cheering section out there on the run course. They were awesome for those two hours I was out there I even got to joke with them when I knew Kevin was about to catch me on the second loop.

Headed down to the asphalt beach and had a conversation with a guy about how 10 minutes ago I wanted off the bike and now I wanted back on. Powered back up the hill, running the whole way up (this was the only hill on the run course). Turned into the campground still feeling good and weaved my way through there.

Eventually I started to get hot. The sun was out despite the stormy predictions and waters on the head from the aid stations just weren't cutting it. I can't remember which one it was but they had ice and I remembered how ice down the back of the tri top (along with sponges) was a life saver at wisconsin last year) So I dumped an entire cup down the back of my trisuit. Well, apparently the one piece suits don't retain the ice the same way the tri tops do because they don't have that elastic band that keeps the ice in the small of your back where core cooling is optimal. The ice slid ALL the way down to the ass/crotchal region. OH MY GOD that was cold! Now I know what my brother must have felt like when he tried to take a drunken dump in that snowbank a few years ago. I felt like I was running in an ice filled diaper, which was awkward and uncomfortable to say the least. At least it took my mind off other pain for a bit and fortunately it had all melted within a half mile.

Hit the halfway point feeling okay, but pain was starting to mount in the gut. I've dealt with quad cramping and general gassiness in other races but this was different. It eventually became so sharp I had to walk a bit to alleviate it. Once it went away I tried running again but it didn't take more than a few minutes before it came back. Thought about jumping into the porto-john at the asphalt beach to try and relieve some pressure, but it really didn't feel like that was going to do any good. Bowel trouble and gut trouble are different So I suffered through the last 5 miles like that. I tried the bargaining system where I promised to run for 10 minutes before another walk break, but I never made it. Eventually I got to the point where my only goal was to beat my first HIM time and it became a battle to beat that toward the end. I was never so glad to see the yellow brick road and pull it in through the finish line. Although it was a subpar performance it was very cool to have Chrissie wrap the finisher medal around my neck

RUN SPLIT 1: 2.5 mi 2.5 mi (19:31) 7:48/mi
RUN SPLIT 2: 7.75 mi 5.25 mi (41:21) 7:52/mi
RUN SPLIT 3: 9 mi 1.25 mi (14:55) 11:56/mi
RUN SPLIT 4: 13.1 mi 4.1 mi (43:35) 10:37/mi
What would you do differently?:

Suck it up, buttercup
Post race
Warm down:

Walked and found the food tent. Pork sandwiches, chips, oranges, bananas. That's it? Fail, WTC Fail

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training fair and simple. I think this has been the theme of all my race reports this year. I HAVE to put in the training to expect the results I've had in the past few seasons. That's all there is to it. Different course but still 40+ minutes slower than my PR. There's a lot of work to do before Wisconsin this year if I want to have a chance at going sub-11 or even beating last year's time.

Event comments:

This was my first WTC 70.3 event. Great course and I would like to come back here again!

Last updated: 2011-06-09 12:00 AM
00:40:00 | 2112 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/207
Overall: 371/1476
Suit: QR Ultrafull
Course: Big rectangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:59
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:50:58 | 56 miles | 19.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 374/207
Overall: 67/1476
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: I don't know how to describe this course other than I absolutely loved it. Awesome mix of challenging hills and flats and the roads were great
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:59:22 | 13.1 miles | 09m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 79/207
Overall: 430/1476
Performance: Below average
Course: Great run course too. Running through the campground was awesome.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2011-06-13 9:28 PM

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Ames, IA
Subject: Ironman Kansas 70.3

2011-06-14 7:16 AM
in reply to: #3547525

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Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

disturbed275 - 2011-06-13 10:28 PM

The run sounds pretty brutal but I still maintain that you did a fine job with the training you had.

2011-06-14 9:44 AM
in reply to: #3547525

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Nice job out there!
The only boueys on the swim you have to clear are the turn ones... doesn't matter if you cut inside on the others as you still have to swim the same distance regardless of which side you are on. I've even heard some pre-race announcements encourage people to do this so they spread out. Definitely a rough swim!

You had me LOLing at the ice down your suit... now that's funny

2011-06-14 10:14 AM
in reply to: #3547525

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Husker Nation
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Now I know what my brother must have felt like when he tried to take a drunken dump in that snowbank a few years ago. I felt like I was running in an ice filled diaper, which was awkward and uncomfortable to say the least. At least it took my mind off other pain for a bit and fortunately it had all melted within a half mile.

Now if that's not reason enough to do a HIM, then I don't know what is! hilarious! And way to keep it together on the run when it seemed like everything was falling apart.
2011-06-14 12:52 PM
in reply to: #3547525

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
2011-06-14 1:16 PM
in reply to: #3547525

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Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Sometimes I wonder about you I think all my "fail" talk is rubbing off on, WTC, fail. 

Great race considering you didn't feel all that ready!

2011-06-14 5:29 PM
in reply to: #3547525

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Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Great report Neal. I'm glad to hera you had a good time despite the hurdles, and I'm sure you're going to come back and kick some major butt the next time you go 70.3. Keep it up!

2011-06-14 10:23 PM
in reply to: #3547525

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Liverpool, New York
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

awesome race Neal!  i think it was a very very wise move to take the rock out of your shoe



2011-06-16 8:03 AM
in reply to: #3549679

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Quebec, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Really good race report Neal!

The course sure didn't look that easy, I think you did a great job out there!

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