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Patriot Half Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Freetown, Massachusetts
United States
Sun Sport Events
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 37m 3s
Overall Rank = 10/505
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 1/34
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:50, breakfast of cereal and OJ. On the road by 4:30, sipping Gatorade and eating a CliffBar in the car.
Event warmup:

Arrive around 5:30. Checked in and met up with my teammates. It was cool, because four of us were right on the same rack in transition.

After setting up transition, we went for a quick run and then a short swim before the start.
  • 35m 45s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

Swimming is the area where I have the most to gain, but at the same time putting in tons of time at the pool doesn't translate to huge time gains on race day for me.

Our wave was pretty packed and I took a few elbows and kicks during the first third of the swim. After we rounded the first corner buoy I began to settle in.

Some racers from the wave behind us caught me, and I tried to get a draft off a few of them, but I was only able to hang for a minute or so on each.

I came out of the water feeling good and wasn't tired. I know I could have pushed a bit more, but that would have been detrimental to the rest of the race.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Over time and doing more volume my swim will improve, but I've only been at it for about 18 months now.
Transition 1
  • 01m 27s

Pretty solid transition for me. No real issues.
  • 2h 21m 22s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.77 mile/hr

The bike was where I was supposed to make up the time difference from the swim, and for the most part, I did.

My first lap was great, and I hit my target wattage of 265 and was averaging 24.4 mph. I was going through liquids a little faster than expected, so I decided to get another bottle of water at a bottle exchange. I had about 18 miles to go, and I had 1/2 bottle of water left.

I had already done one bottle exchange fine, but the 2nd one didn't go as planned. I'm not exactly sure what happened - it may have been that the volunteer held the bottle a bit too long or I just turned a bit too much to my right to get the bottle. Either way, before I knew it I was on the ground, sliding on my left side. My shoulder landed first, along with my left hip and forearm. I also got some nice rash on my lats and left side. My areobars took the brunt of the force on the bike - I'm glad they're aluminum!

I jumped back up adrenaline kicking in, checked the bike, grabbed the bottle that had been handed to me, and started off. 100 yards down the road, I realized I didn't have my sunglasses - u-turn, and back for the glasses. A volunteer squirted my shoulder and arm where I landed, and I was back on my way again. I was upset at my carelessness and regretting the decision to stop for the water, as I probably would have been fine on 1/2 a bottle for the remainder of the bike.

A few hundred yards down the road I looked down once I'd gotten a little settled and noticed that the bottle I had was cracked and only about 1/4 full. In a stupid act of frustration I grabbed the bottle, had the remaining water and threw it down. Bad move! Right behind me was the one motorcycle with a referee.

At this point I could have gotten more upset and pushed even harder to try to make up the penalty time. However, I realized I had about 18 miles to go and no liquids left. I decided to dial the wattage down to around 240 and not get that upset.

As a result of my stupidity, my second lap ended up around 1:13 as compared to my first lap of 1:08. Time after the fall, getting my glasses, and slowing down to not kill my run were all costly. In hindsight, I gained nothing by deciding to get the bottle at the exchange. I ended up with no water, some serious road rash, and a 4 minute penalty.

I came in averaging 255 watts on the bike, definitely lower than I'm capable of.
What would you do differently?:

Not be so darn stupid!
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

Overall, another pretty good transition. I quickly put socks on slipped on my Kinvaras, and grabbed my hat, gels, and race belt.
  • 1h 32m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 05s  min/mile

My goal was to be around 1:30 on the run. However, my left hip was really starting to hurt and it was quite sunny. I was able to hit my target paces for the first few miles, and I was getting two cups of water at each aid station. About 1 1/2 to drink and the rest on me.

Heading into the run I was in 6th place overall.

The sun did a number on me and some of the hills seemed a bit bigger than expected. I was passed by two runners on the course and didn't pass anyone.

I kept looking at my splits and was realizing that I was slowly loosing time. My left hip was hurting and I just kept thinking of finishing and getting some food and sitting in the shade with a cool drink.
What would you do differently?:

I simply need a bigger and longer running base. It's coming, but a year from now (if I keep up with running in the 40-50 mpw range) I should be able to do better on this course.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a few cold towels and ice and saw the EMT's about my crash. They treated my road rash and checked me for more serious injuries. Everything checked out OK. Then I waited for Colin to come in.

We headed over to transition, and it was only then that I realized that I had hit my head when I fell. There were only a few small scratches on the outside of the helmet, but several large cracks inside - I guess it did its job - RIP MR. aero helmet!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Crashing certainly didn't help. If the crash didn't happen I may have been very close to my 4:30 goal time.

In the future I'll definitely be a bit more conservative when getting on-course bottles.

Event comments:

The race began about 15-20 minutes late due to people still in registration.

Overall, I feel pretty good about my effort during the race. Crashing is never fun, especially in a race. I used some poor judgement and had to pay for my foolishness. Without the 4 minute penalty, my time was 4:33 and I was in 8th overall. Without the crash my bike time would have been faster and my run probably would have been as well, but I'll never really know.

I'll simply have to preform better and make better decisions in my next race if I want to race to my potential.

This race was the one-year anniversary of my first triathlon. I did the sprint that coincides with the half last year. Now, if I can make those same gains in my next year, I'll be quite happy!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-11-07 12:00 AM
00:35:45 | 2112 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/34
Overall: 109/505
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3
Course: Rectangular course. Based on swim times, it looks like the distance may have been pretty close this year (compared to previous years).
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:27
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
02:21:22 | 56 miles | 23.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/34
Overall: 3/505
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 150
Wind: None
Course: Two loops of 28 miles each with about 900 feet of climbing per loop. There aren't all that many long flat stretches. Mostly gradual uphills and descents.
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:35
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:32:55 | 13.1 miles | 07m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/34
Overall: 15/505
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 158
Course: Rolling course that was mostly gradual uphills or downhills, like the bike. Not a ton of shade, and the sun was out in full force! 1100 feet of elevation.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-06-19 9:31 AM

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Bedford, MA
Subject: Patriot Half Triathlon

2011-06-19 10:06 AM
in reply to: #3556306

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Just South of Boston
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Grea job Nate! Congrats on the win, in spite of the bike problems. Hope you are feeling ok today!
2011-06-19 10:20 AM
in reply to: #3556306

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Great race. Way to HTFU and finish. Very impressive.
2011-06-19 10:26 AM
in reply to: #3556306

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Well done overcoming the adversities. I think you run was right where it is for your current run fitness. You can see now running a fast Half IM split isn't nearly the same as running an open half. The fatigue from riding is a real challenge to overcome. Keep at it!
2011-06-19 10:46 AM
in reply to: #3556306

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Extreme Veteran
Medway, MA
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Top 10! Congrats! Bummer that the ref was there...

P.S. You beat me by nearly 2.5 hours. Hehe.

2011-06-19 1:48 PM
in reply to: #3556306

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.

Edited by Fred Doucette 2011-06-19 1:52 PM

2011-06-19 2:10 PM
in reply to: #3556530

Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Fred Doucette - 2011-06-19 12:48 PM

Throwing a bottle down in frustration?? Really?? I'be never even thought of doing something like this, but I am glad that no other rider was hurt by riding over it as I have seen riders go down riding over bottles in drink exchange areas. Some officials might have DQ'd for that. I think your biggest lesson from this race (hopefully) is to keep the emotions in check when things get tough.

x2. Some seem to be saying that was a tough break to get a penalty, but you broke the rules and deserved that one. From your report, it sounds like you agree, good on 'ya.
2011-06-19 2:26 PM
in reply to: #3556306

University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Nice result! And you know there's more to come. You certainly had 4:30 in you.
2011-06-19 3:16 PM
in reply to: #3556306

New Port Richey
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Pretty damn impressive time. ouch!!! Glad you were able to get up and still go hard... GREAT RACE!!!!
2011-06-19 7:43 PM
in reply to: #3556306

Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Great to meet you, and great result. Top 10 is awesome!!

Keep up the stellar season!!

2011-06-20 10:33 AM
in reply to: #3556306

Stamford, CT
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Crazy awesome race! Very impressive

2011-06-20 12:47 PM
in reply to: #3556306

Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Great job Nate....really impressive biking...

Now, stop throwing bottles!

2011-06-20 4:37 PM
in reply to: #3556306

Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon


Bummer about the hand off fall at Bay State tri team aid station.

I saw you in transition after you finished as you checked your helmet and found cracks.

2011-06-20 5:34 PM
in reply to: #3556306

, California
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Glad your head's ok - that would've shook me up.  Nice recovery!
2011-06-20 6:17 PM
in reply to: #3556306

Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
nice job, 4:37 + 4 min penalty you can go sub 4:30 in the next one, good luck.
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