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Patriot's Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Williamsburg, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 22m 29s
Overall Rank = 14/155
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 2/31
Pre-race routine:

got up at 4:15; ate an orange, steal cut oats, a boiled egg, and an almond butter on ezekiel bread sandwich and coffee; got dressed, loaded up the car; clipped shoes onto bike and pumped up tires at the hotel; headed to the race site; filled my aerobottle upon arrival at 5:30 and high-tailed it to transition to try to claim the prime bike rack spot on the aisle
Event warmup:

didn't have time for much of a warm-up, but walked back to the car to shed some layers, get my dry clothes bag, and put on some sunscreen; jogged back to transition to warm-up a little
  • 42m 18s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m / 100 yards

I started the swim by dolphining out a bit through the shallow part. This really helped to settle down into a deep slow breathing rhythm. I was already pretty calm and relaxed by the time I started swimming. The trip to the first buoy took FOREVER because we were being pushed off course. In the beginning of the swim, I headed for a red buoy and then realized that everyone else was to my left. I "corrected" myself and joined them, but in hind sight, looking at my Garmin data, I think I should have kept following the red buoys. I probably would have ended up on a straighter course. Instead, I got washed down stream with everyone else and then had to swim against the current to get back to the buoy. The trip to the second turn buoy was short and quick. After getting going with the group around the second turn buoy, I managed to get continuously tangled up with two other swimmers until I stopped and looked around for an open spot to swim. Once I found a spot and started to spot the wiggly man, I swam in uneventfully, dolphining the last little bit into the shore. This paid off as I definitely gained ground on those who were already standing up and trying to run/walk through the water. I attempted to draft a few times, but I definitely need more practice to be able to stay right on someone.
What would you do differently?:

Stick to my initial plan to follow the buoys. I learned that your perspective when it comes to sighting, just like swimming, is relative to the water and the current so things can look pretty deceptive. From the shore, the red buoys looked like a straight line to the turn buoy, but they didn't seem that way once I was in the water. I need to rely on my understanding of relative systems (physics) and what I see before I start more than my perception during the swim when it comes to this type of swim. I think I actually started out better than the herd, and I should not have joined them.
Transition 1
  • 02m 53s

3/155 female, 1/31 AG; I got my cap and goggles off while I was wading out of the water. I unzipped my suit and had the top off, goggles and cap trapped in the sleeve, before I got off of the beach. I stopped to pull the suit off the rest of the way on my way to transition. This allowed me to run a little faster and more easily. My sun glasses were covered in dew, so I stopped to wipe them with a towel before I put them and my helmet on. I did not manage to jump onto the bike with a left-foot push-off, but I did step quickly onto the right shoe (rubber-banded into place)and put the shoes on before I got to the main road without posing any hazard to others!
What would you do differently?:

Figure out how to run and jump onto the bike. Keep practicing the new skills that I implemented from the clinic so that it continues to get more smooth and easy.
  • 2h 48m 39s
  • 56.9 miles
  • 20.24 mile/hr

At the beginning of the bike, my HR seemed pretty high compared to my RPE, but I figured that this was mostly because I was well rested and able to sustain it. I found a good rhythm and things sorted themselves out quickly with pace and spacing. I skipped the first bottle handoff, but got an idea of the layout and how quickly I would need to dump my bottle. At the second handoff, I fumbled my first grab attempt, but I got the second one. I wobbled a bit trying to unscrew the lid and dump into my aerobottle, but I got it done in time to toss the empty near a volunteer with a trash bag. In the meantime, a peleton of about 10 people caught up to me. I attempted to ride forward out of it, but there were basically two lanes of traffic and the left lane wasn't passing well enough for things to break up. If I dropped back, I would have sacrificed the benefit of the most downhill part of the course and I would have let A LOT of people pass me. Instead, I repeated struggled to get ahead of it, caught in a drafting situation the whole time. Finally, once we turned onto Rt. 5, I decided to drop back just to get out of the situation. At that point, there was a bit of a head wind and I started to zone out a bit on my effort. I realized that my HR was way too low for a good race effort and that at this point, my breathing was going to end up a bit harder in order to sustain the pace/effort that I started with. After a couple of miles, I found a new rhythm that felt more like my training tempo pace and I knew I could hang onto that to the finish. I tried using the dates for nutrition, but the first one didn't go down well, so I stuck with the gel flask and the cherry drink - no problems there. My plan had been to keep HR in the 135-145 range. I didn't worry when I went above that as long as RPE was low. I think my pacing was really good except for the two mile or so stretch on Rt. 5.
What would you do differently?:

practice taking the lid on and off of a Deer Park bottle while aero; stay out of a peleton at all cost; stay focused and realize that the "feel" of the effort will change along the way
Transition 2
  • 00m 46s

2/155 female; 1/31 AG; I got my feet out of and on top of my shoes plenty early. I was following another person into transition. I waited too long to swing my leg over the bike and suddenly had to grab the brake and get off the old fashioned way. I didn't managed to stop fully until my front wheel was over the line - not good! I got my helmet off on my way to the bike rack and racked the bike really quickly. I fumbled a bit with my socks, but I don't think I lost too much time there.
What would you do differently?:

Perfect my dismount and swing that leg over in plenty of time.
  • 1h 47m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 14s  min/mile

My plan on the run was to carry my cherry drink and two gels and try to drink as much water along the way as possible. At first, my left quad was threatening to cramp. I kept thinking about staying loose, and after walking through a couple of water stations, it felt fine. Then my stomach started to cramp. I had to walk a good :30 halfway through the first loop to let the cramp pass. I tried a little more cherry drink, but thought maybe I was overdoing the water. I started to skip some water stations and just stopped when I felt a little thirsty. I started faster than 8:00/mile for the first three miles and decided I'd better back off of that a bit for the long haul. I settled around 8:15 miles. Then mile 9 and 10 got down to 8:30. I started to think that maybe I hadn't taken enough or long enough walk breaks. I tried to fit a few more in after that and was able to push back to 8:15 or so for the last three miles. The last couple of miles were really mentally tough. Based on the HR data, I realize that muscular endurance is a much bigger factor for this type of race than HR capacity.
What would you do differently?:

Stick to my usual plan of walk breaks lasting at least 30 sec (or longer) every 10 min. or more, except for maybe the last 3 miles or so. This approach worked well at the Historic Half and many other races - I shouldn't mess with it!
Post race
Warm down:

I walked a bit and drank a bunch of water until I started to feel "normal". Then I organized my transition area a bit and headed to the river with my dry-clothes bag for a good rinse-off and a good walk. After changing clothes and feeling refreshed, I started snacking on things that sounded manageable and took pictures of Alan and Sam at the finish line.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just muscular endurance and my swimming ability. I think my cardio endurance was just fine. I need to keep working on the level of output that I can sustain for longer periods of time, although this has gotten a lot better. I also still need to work on my swimming speed/efficiency and get more open water/navigating experience.

Event comments:

The swim ended up being harder than I expected. More buoys definitely would have helped make navigating easier. The bike course was fast and fun. The run course was also nice with several stretches of softer surface (crushed stone/low grass). There was fun music afterward and the prizes were AWESOME - etched wine glasses and bottles of wine. I only wish that the post race food was something I could have handled. BBQ with potato salad and mac and cheese was just too heavy at that point. I would have liked more fruit, bagels and peanut butter, soup or stew, or pasta. But overall, this was a really fun event and I will definitely look forward to doing it again in the future.

Last updated: 2010-06-07 12:00 AM
00:42:18 | 2112 yards | 02m / 100yards
Age Group: 9/31
Overall: 52/155
Performance: Average
Suit: full zoot suit
Course: a rectangular course in the James River; The course did not feel rectangular at all because when I rounded the first buoy, I felt like I was swimming back parallel to the people headed to the first buoy. It turns out that this was because they were being washed down stream so much. After rounding the second buoy, I realized that I needed to turn much more than I did at first, again because of the current.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:53
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:48:39 | 56.9 miles | 20.24 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/31
Overall: 19/155
Performance: Good
avg HR - 138, max HR - 169
Wind: Some
Course: pretty flat course with a couple of slight rises and some faster downhill sections; most road surfaces were smooth but there was one rough section; there was a bit of a head wind coming back on Rt. 5
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:46
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:47:55 | 13.1 miles | 08m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/31
Overall: 16/155
Performance: Good
avg HR - 142; max HR - 148
Course: very flat two loop course on a very nice bike/running trail
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2011-08-20 1:50 PM

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Subject: Patriot's Half
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