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Cutting Edge Half Classic - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Effingham, Illinois
United States
Cutting Edge Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 15m 7s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 3/6
Pre-race routine:

Woke up to booming thunder and lightening at 3:15. Tired to get back to sleep but after about 10 min I gave up. Ate a banana, 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and a cup of coffee. Packed up the van and headed out! The storm was so bad I didn't even like driving in it. Streets were flooded, I was getting increasingly anxious.
Event warmup:

Got to the race site and sat around. Didn't unpack one thing while we all waited to hear if/when we could start this race. Plan from the RD was 45 min delay due to lightening and there was some flooding on the bike route. When the lightening and rain let up a little I finally decided to set up my transition. I brought two garbage bags - one for cycling gear, one for running gear and a plastic table cloth to cover it all up. Started to get really hungry at about 8:00 so I had a bite of my power bar and a gel. I drank about 2 bottles of water during the rain delay. Finally we got the announcement that the race could go on! Squeezed into my wetsuit as fast as I could and got about 5 min to warm up.
  • 40m 55s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

I started at the front and to the side of the pack. This was a beach start, water no higher than your knees. Horn blew and I did a diving start. Lots of people run for a while at this race as the water is shallow. I just like to dive - it's fun :). Took off hard to try to get away from the pack but my heart rate was way too high so I backed off before we reached the first bouy. I was surprised how long it took for the pack to thin out! No major problems, just the usual kicking and hitting etc. Things finally thinned out and I got in a groove. I paced myself really easy, tried to focus on keeping my heart rate low as I kept thinking about the long day a head of me. Rounded the first set of bouys, swam as far up the beach as I could, got out to call out my race number then dove back in as soon as I could. This made me a little light headed but it didn't last long. Lap 2 went fine. I was so excited to be finishing the swim I patted each bouy I passed with a kiss. I love to swim but it is my least favorite part of the races for some reason.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I sited well for me. I have a tendency to keep my head down and get off line. Swallowed lake water several times which was gross. Several times I really wanted to hammer down but this whole day was about pacing for me and my hardest obstacle was still 3+ hours away.
Transition 1
  • 01m 47s

Transition was a mud hole which could not be helped. Took a little longer to get to my stuff since it was in a garbage bag. Really I could have probably left my bike stuff out. My shoes were going to get wet anyway.
  • 3h 03m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.30 mile/hr

Wet roads and sprinkling rain but very little wind to start the bike. Original bike course had to be changed due to chip and seal work done on the roads the week of the race. Bummer but this course was flat and fast except for all the turn arounds. I liked the two laps though. Helped to break the 56 miles into pieces for me.
I fumbled with my Garmin at the beginning because I forgot to turn it on before the race and got passed by several people. Right from the start I knew my pace/mile plan was blown out of the water. Lack of wind and all the flat roads (which I LOVED) made this course fast. I had to really dial in to listen to my heart rate and how my legs felt. I was tempted so many times to just hammer down on this course but I held back. Saw one guy drafting for a long time. This was such a small race there really was no reason for that. At the very end of the course with only 1 mile left I saw him pulled over to the side with a flat tire - Karma.
Temps were mild so I only took one salt stick. Ate about 1/2 of my power bar, sipped on my gel flask and drank a 24 ounce bottle of EFS. Drank 2 bottles of water.
About 1/2 way through the ride I had to pee bad. I knew this was coming. Happens every long ride. I kept looking around for a ditch or somewhere I could stop but with all the mud I knew it was hopeless. This is an issue for me because when I feel full like that it is hard for me to continue to take in fluids. I just really put it out of my head and pressed on knowing that I was not going to stop.
I'm happy with this ride. I blew my original goal of 17 mph away and my legs felt fantastic to start the run. I really love my tri bike so much. I am so comfortable, my legs feel great and my knees never hurt. The more I ride it the more I love it!
What would you do differently?:

I accidentally filled my aero bottle with EFS instead of water. This was not tragic but annoying. It probably helped me take in all those calories though.
Turn my Garmin on before the race!
I unclip my shoes through the turn arounds because I'm paranoid about falling down. Today my cleats were a little sticky from the mud in transition so it was hard to clip back in. I should probably just keep my feet clipped in.
Transition 2
  • 01m 55s

Meh - I was absent minded by this point. Had trouble gathering my thoughts because all I wanted to do was get to the porta potty! My running gear was still in trash bags so I had to drag it all out, put on my socks, slipped on my shoes, grabbed my race belt and headed to the potty. Came out and realized I didn't have my Garmin - DUMB. Went back into transition to get it. All of that time going to the bathroom and back into transition was actually added to my run.
What would you do differently?:

Keep it together. Leave the Garmin although monitoring my starting pace on the run was very important to me.
  • 2h 26m 54s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 13s  min/mile

Sun came out by the time the run started - humidity was 70%, temp 80. Really not bad, just hard to breath. Started down the road and saw my family and some friends cheering for me. What a huge lift that was!

I felt really good for the first lap. It went by so fast. I got myself into a groove of walking through the aide stations. I would take two cups of water, one to drink and one to pour on my head and drink a few sips of gatorade. I loved the aide stations!! Every 3 miles or so I would take a sip of my gel flask instead of gatorade. There was a sprinkler on the course so I ran through that. They had sponges soaked in cold water too. Nice. I was regulating my temp just fine but I realized I forgot my salt sticks on my bike. DUMB mistake again from T2. I really wasn't too concerned about this because I felt fine but I did get the cold chills at one point. I asked around to the race staff driving the course and they got some out to me. YAY! I think I took two. Not sure I needed them or not. I may have just been chilled because I was soaked all over!
Second lap got harder but I just kept tuning in to how I felt. I realized I really felt good - Honestly. I was tired and winded but that was all. Now it was mental. It got harder to run after the aide stations. I kept thinking of my mentor group and how everyone pushes on so hard. I thought of my loved ones who have battled cancer and probably wanted to quit but never gave up. I kept smiling. I kept cheering for people. I got emotional when I realized I was really going to finish this thing and not be totally miserable! I was at the back of the pack by this point. For you fast people who don't know - this is a difficult place to be. I watched 3 guys cramp up right in front of me. One guy had to sit out at the aide station. People were walking all over the place. I stuck with the plan - it was all mental. At the 9.5 mile aide station when I stopped to walk with my drinks I realized my legs were getting really tight! UH oh - I pressed on. I can't tell you how I had to fight myself to continue to run. The last mile I saw a guy walking and yelled at him to run with me because I wanted to walk SO BAD! He ran with me for a little while but dropped off. I got near the finish and saw my family and all of my fast friends who were already done :). My son (age 5) ran through the finish line with me galloping like a horse the whole way LOL. I did it!
What would you do differently?:

Hmm, not forget my salt sticks? All through the entire plan I knew the run would be the hardest for me. I want to be a better runner but years of constant problems with my feet really limit my progress.
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I stopped I knew my legs were shot. I could barely walk to the side to sit down! Hugged my family, sat on the ground, went down to the water with my training partner and stood in that nice cool water. AHHH. Went in to hear the awards. Turns out I got 3rd place in my age group but there were only 6 woman in my age group. Tried to eat but I just wasn't interested.

Event comments:

So, that is the end of my story. If you read that whole thing you deserve your own medal!

Last updated: 2011-06-20 12:00 AM
00:40:55 | 2112 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Wet suit legal
Course: 2 loops
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:47
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:03:34 | 56 miles | 18.30 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/6
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loops with 6 turnarounds.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:55
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:26:54 | 13.1 miles | 11m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/6
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops on country roads. One road was dirt/gravel which I loved. It was nice and soft from the rain. I hate pounding the asphalt.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-06-20 7:42 AM

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Subject: Cutting Edge Half Classic

2011-06-20 8:23 AM
in reply to: #3557359

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Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Congratulations and great job on your half!

Very nice pace on the bike.
2011-06-20 8:27 AM
in reply to: #3557359

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Somewhere in the Swamps of Philly
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Awesome report, but you need to edit your total time as it is listed as 8:20.  I think you are off by 2 hrs - give yourself all the credit you deserve.
2011-06-20 8:46 AM
in reply to: #3557359

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Waterloo, IL
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Nice race report!!!  Take care of yourself and bask in your accomplishment!!!
2011-06-20 9:59 AM
in reply to: #3557489

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Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
i did this race too. The bike course was way too boring for my liking... but good job Laughing
2011-06-20 11:15 AM
in reply to: #3557359

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Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Great job.  Despite a few fumbles (which are expected), you did an awesome job keeping your race together and pushed through at the end.

2011-06-20 12:03 PM
in reply to: #3557359

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic

Dina....A big congrats to you on a great race and a very impressive finish time!  It turns out that 20 week HIM week plan worked out pretty well for you.  Enjoy a little rest time while soaking up all the memories of your fine accomplishment.

2011-06-21 10:08 AM
in reply to: #3557359

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Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Dina, awesome job on the race.  Looks like the weather gods were listening to you on the day!
2011-06-21 11:26 AM
in reply to: #3557359

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-06-21 11:38 AM
in reply to: #3557359

over a barrier
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
There is something about this race and weather....flooding? Its usually stinking hot! I have an old pair of shoes that have melted road tar from the year I did it. Did they have the custom Transition boxes? Nice touch when I drove down.

Congrats on the finish....
2011-06-21 9:26 PM
in reply to: #3557359

St. Louis
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Great race and RR!  That is a huge accomplishment.  You worked hard for it and did it!  Congrats!  

2011-06-24 10:54 AM
in reply to: #3557359

Wesley Chapel, FL (Tampa Bay Area)
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic
Awesome and vivid race reports!! Congrats and looking forward to more race reports in the future. ((((Hugs)))))))))))))
2011-06-24 11:10 AM
in reply to: #3557359

Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Cutting Edge Half Classic

WOW!!! great job out there, awesome write up, loved the report!!  Congrats!!!


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