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Ironman Kansas 70.3 - Triathlon

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
Total Time = 6h 18m 55s
Overall Rank = 808/1476
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 37/68
Pre-race routine:

We stayed with friends in Overland Park, about 45 minutes away from the race site, so we got up at 3:45 to dress, fix bagels, collect frozen/refrigerated bottles, and load bags into the truck. Pulled Aidan out of bed at 4:15, poor kid! Parked at Clinton Lake at about 5:00, and got a good parking spot about 3/4 of a mile from the finish line/T2 area (yes, that would be a good parking spot--we didn't have to take a shuttle bus!). Ocky got Aidan and their provisions for the day settled in the stroller and I grabbed my bag, then we set off for T2. As we are walking with the masses, Aidan says "silly Ironman." Yeah, maybe.

Set my shoes, visor, and hydration belt in a grocery bag under my number on the bike rack in T2, and continued on down to T1 and the water, about a 1/2 mile down the road. The forcasters had been predicting thunderstorms all day, and I didn't want to start the run with my shoes soaking wet.

Down in T2, I put my bottles on the bike, aired up the tires, and staged my helmet & sunglasses on my aerobars, and my socks, shoes and number belt on the ground by my bike. Grabbed my wetsuit, goggles, cap, bodyglide and sunscreen as they were trying to corral us out of transition. I still had nearly an hour until my wave started. Waiting in line for the loo with Ocky and Aidan keeping me company (in line, not in the loo), I put on the sunscreen and body glide. Spotted our friends (T-Maw & T-Paw as Aidan refers to them) as I was pulling on my wetsuit, and chatted with them briefly before heading up to join my wave.
Event warmup:

Swam out to start boueys and treaded for a minute or so.
  • 40m 50s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

This swim was downright ugly. The predicted thunderstorms had moved around the area, but we had some nasty wind whipping up big chop. I have had worse swim conditions (see IMCdA 2007), but at least there I was able to catch a decent draft. I didn't draft for 10 seconds of this entire swim. I just couldn't find a good pair of feet, and others kept cutting me off. I drank more of this lake than I would have liked, and really found myself fighting the waves. On the plus side, everyone faced the same conditions, and everyone went longer than they would have expected on this swim.
What would you do differently?:

More OWS practice, and more practice drafting. I lead basically every set for my lane in Masters, and really need to practice finding and staying on some feet!
Transition 1
  • 03m 18s

When I got to my T2 spot, it was clear someone had knocked my helmet and sunglasses off my bike. This wasn't a huge deal, but it did throw off my flow a bit. I also had a heck of a time getting my wetsuit off my heels--no good reason for it!
What would you do differently?:

Move faster. :)
  • 3h 22m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.56 mile/hr

This was fun! I approached this race as a long supported training day. I wasn't going to push too hard, although I did want to put out a good effort. I wanted to ride well within myself so as to be in position for a strong run.

The big rollers started essentially right from the start, within the first 1/2 mile, and we were nearly constantly either climbing or descending. I can only think of two "flat" stretches, one being crossing the dam for the lake. My legs were feeling good, and I just spun up and zoomed down. At times, I was in aero, spinning away, passing guys who were out of the saddle mashing up the hills.

It was mighty windy on the course, and we encountered it from all directions. I was very grateful for all the windy training rides MissKelly and I had this Spring, as the wind didn't really bother me at all.

I saw lots of folks with flats and dropped chains, and asked as many as I could if they needed anything--no one took me up on it. I saw one ambulance flying along the course, and saw the shell of an aerohelmet laying off to the side--I really hope that athlete came out relatively unscathed!

I happily sipped my custom Infinit every 15 minutes, and drank water to thirst (well, a little ahead of thirst). Although the temps weren't terribly high, with the humidity, it felt warm enough to me, and I wanted to ensure I was well hydrated. Mission accomplished! With about 15 minutes left in the ride, I took a final sip of Infinit and switched to just water from there on in to give my stomach a chance to process all protein before I hit the run.

Legs still felt good pulling into T2, and I was looking forward to running!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe push a little harder, but again, I was approaching this as a training event.
Transition 2
  • 02m 19s

My rack spot was at the far end of T2 from bike in, so I had a long way to run with my bike. When I got to my spot, I found others had engaged in some "creative" racking, and I had to get a little creative, as well. Otherwise, this went smoothly.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 09m 31s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 53s  min/mile

The run! I have never before been excited about the run leg of a tri. Running just hasn't come easily for me, but I have seen a lot of improvement in my running going into this season, and I was excited to see how I would do. I decided going in to only run by feel, and therefore had only my watch and no speed/distance info.

I came out of T2 feeling great, with one minor exception. The day before the race, in practicing my T1 barefoot, I had managed to burn the soles of my feet. Yes, you read that right. It's not like I stood on hot coals for extended periods. I trotted through T1 barefoot on asphalt. That was evidently enough to cause a blister on the bottom of my left foot. I had contemplated popping the blister before the race, but decided to just let it do what it was going to do. Now, starting out the run, it just felt like there was an extra lump in my shoe under the pad of my forefoot. Not bad, just weird. Regardless, I was moving, and overall felt great!

Ocky, Aidan, T-Maw and T-Paw where just outside of T2, so I got to see them several times on the run :) Most of the first lap was pretty uneventful, which was good. I took a gu at the 1st aid station, water at the next, and Powerbar Perform and water in equal parts at the next two, then repeated the cycle. This seemed to work well, and I had no GI issues on the run. This is notable, because I have had GI issues during the run of every long course race I have ever done until now. I think we may be onto something!

Towards the end of the first lap, I needed to hit the restroom. I had not had my tea that morning before the race, nor had I experienced the "fringe benefits" of drinking a caffinated beverage. Because of the locations of the timing mat, this meant my third of 4 run splits looked really slow. Ah well! I came out of the loo ready to tackle the rest of the run!

About mile 7, I felt a gush between my toes on my left foot the blister had finally popped. This gave way to a new odd sensation, but again not terribly painful, just weird. I kept on trucking! Shortly after this, I began chatting with a guy named Aaron/harveyclone, who turned out to be another BTer. We chatted and ran together for about a mile. As he was wearing a Garmin, I asked at one point what our pace was, and he told me about 9:20s. I was pleasantly surprised that I was comfortably holding that pace in a HIM!

On the second lap, it was definitely getting a bit warmer...or maybe that was just me. Either way, I decided to take ice at a couple of the aid stations and dump it in my "ice chest." Worked like a charm.

Saw Ocky and the crew at the last turn-around. I had worn my hydration belt out of concern for the heat/humidity, but found I didn't need it at all, so I threw the belt to Ocky as I passed by. One last gu, and I was off for the finish. I felt great, and was running comfortably! This is a major breakthrough for me!

I crossed the finish line feeling very pleased with my race over-all.
What would you do differently?:

Not walk barefoot on hot asphalt the day before the race.
Post race
Warm down:

I looked for Ocky, Aidan, T-Maw and T-Paw and danced to the finish area music. Ocky says I didn't push hard enough. :) Walked down to T1 to collect my transition bag and swim things, back to T2 to pick up my bike and other gear, then the 3/4 mile back to the truck. Whew!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Choppy water, decision to hold back.

Event comments:

This was a great event! Very well organized, with fantastic volunteers and spectators. Running through the campground, we encountered lots of wonderful folks out there supporting the athletes.

My one criticism would be that all of the vendors (aside from the Ironman tent and the food vendor) apparently packed up Saturday evening, so there was very little for spectators in the "village" to do during the race Sunday. Given the secluded nature of the race site, this made the event a little (more) boring for family & friends.

Last updated: 2010-12-18 12:00 AM
00:40:50 | 2112 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 19/68
Overall: 423/1476
Performance: Below average
Suit: Blue Seventy Full
Course: Long skinny rectangle, with the short ends parallel to shore.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: High
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 03:18
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:22:57 | 56 miles | 16.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 41/68
Overall: 872/1476
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: Big rolling hills on a course with a few out and back stretches through the Kansas countryside.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:19
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:09:31 | 13.1 miles | 09m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 37/68
Overall: 808/1476
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop course, each loop including 3 out-and-back sections.
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? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-06-16 6:16 PM

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Littleton, Colorado
Subject: Ironman Kansas 70.3

2011-06-18 1:57 PM
in reply to: #3553267

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Yee haw Shannon!  Nice race - you are amazing!
2011-06-23 5:10 PM
in reply to: #3553267

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Extreme Veteran
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Great effort Shannon!  Right on track for Moo!

2011-06-24 7:03 AM
in reply to: #3553267

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Centennial, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Nice race!!! Sounds like your training is going great.  Glad to see you doing so well.  Good job and keep it up for the IM.
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