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Outer Banks Half Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Manteo, North Carolina
United States
FS Series
90F / 32C
Total Time = 5h 59m 20s
Overall Rank = 29/65
Age Group = 35-39M
Age Group Rank = 11/181
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:30 and wolfed down a bowl of cereal. Brian and Teresa were up, so we got in the car and headed to the course area to get set up. Around 6:40 or so I couldn't wait any longer and put my wetsuit on.

Brian was there to do the Oly starting 45 minutes after the Half, and Teresa (his wife) to cheer. My wife and two small boys would follow after when they could.

My Plan:
* Easy in water, ~40 mins, priority to keep effort easy and calm.
* Bike moderate, target HR 145-150. Hopeful ~20mph, or 2:48 time.
* Run moderate until last 5k. Hopeful 9 m/m, or 1:58 time.
Event warmup:

Got in the water for 5 minutes and meandered back and forth to get a feel for water conditions, current, waves, etc.
  • 36m 9s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 42s / 100 yards

I was pretty calm considering that this was my first OWS with waves. My swimming has gone from abysmal to above-average (by tri standards) thanks to six months of hard work in the pool. All 60+ men were in the first wave, nominally starting at 7:00. My plan was to keep effort level very easy, almost warmup/base-level effort.

We were going clockwise around two bouys in an inverted triangle. The first leg the current was from ahead and to the right. Breathing my options were to breathe into the waves (right/northwest) or look directly at the sun (left/southeast). I had a pair of 'calm down' moments swimming into the waves where I paused to sight, recover my composure, and continue. Both times I was swimming within 10 seconds, so not much lost. The 'back stretch' was largely uneventful.

The final third with the current should have been easiest but wasn't. We were swimming back toward the sun, and the 'air-dude' blowup thing they put up to mark the exit wasn't visible because of the terrain behind it. I picked out what I hoped was the acquarium and tried to aim just right of that. Halfway through I paused a moment and couldn't see or hear anyone and became concerned that I was way, way off course. Started playing tricks - crap, how long have I been out here? Am I all by myself? Have I been out here an hour already? Am I going to miss the cutoff? Didn't really have any other option than to continue, though, and eventually could spot the finish.

When I got out of the water I noticed Brian waiting to get in, and it wasn't until then that I knew that I had a good swim.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Sighting not perfect, but considering my lack of experience I am very pleased with this.
Transition 1
  • 03m 58s

Long run from water to T1. Wasn't that speedy, but I took the time to get my socks on, catch my breath, and apply bug spray. Wasn't worth risking it if Mashoes road was as bad as it looked the day before. Didn't really have any trouble getting wetsuit off.
What would you do differently?:

I know I lost a minute here, but not sure how much I care at HIM distance, at least not until I'm competing for age group position.
  • 2h 50m 36s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.70 mile/hr

Not much of note here. Kept it easy for first hour, and easy/moderate for remainder. Ate bonk breaker, 3x scoops infinit, and three total bottles of water.
Transition 2
  • 01m 15s

Fairly quick. Nothing of note.
  • 2h 27m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 17s  min/mile

This was brutal. Hit 90 degrees and was a sufferfest for me and many others. I'd taken it easy the whole route and kept a moderate 9 m/m pace through first three miles. HR around 165 - high but sustainable.

On second quarter, started having difficulty breathing. Started walking aid stations. Later started getting dizzy and sometimes had to walk between stations. HR around 160 but pace slipped to 10:45.

On third quarter managed to maintain 11:15 pace with walks every half mile and avg HR around 157. Still dizzy and hard to breathe but making time. 5:30 no longer in play but 6:00 should be easy.

Last three miles were brutal. Had to walk most of way. Averaged 14:15 per mile but HR remained elevated at 149 avg. Had ridiculous pain in side that required me to stop and bend over for relief every 100-200 yards.

The last mile in open sun I totally gave up on 6:00 time. When I came around last bend and saw time was able to run last 100 yards or so to barely beat 6:00. Honestly can say I couldn't have gone much faster the last stretch. The pain was extremely high. Could occasionally jog up to .1 miles, but would frequently end with me holding knees bent over trying not to fall over or get sick.

Jonesy walked with me some of the last quarter mile. That was a big help.
What would you do differently?:

Needed to do better job managing electrolytes in heat. I honestly don't think I over-did my fitness in this leg or others, I think my body was shutting down. Stopped sweating, etc. Bad stuff.

I wish I'd known they were serving HEED. I e-mailed the race directory asking if there'd be a sports drink on the run course and if so what but never got a response. If I'd known I'd have practiced with HEED, but since I didn't know I was afraid to drink it on the course. Nothing new on race day, and I'd heard/read not to mix it with gels. Oh, well.
Post race
Warm down:

A guy grabbed me when I finished because I wasn't sweating and poured banana / gatorade / electrolyte tablets into me. I hurt pretty bad. Sarah (wife) joined me and talked to me to make sure I kept in shade. I tried to stand and started to cramp. Tried to stretch my quads and my hamstrings seized up. It was pretty unpleasant.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bad electrolyte/salt management given unexpected heat. Need to do better with this next time.

Event comments:

Thanks to everyone involved with FS Series. They did a good job setting it up and watching after me when I was done. I just wish they'd posted on the website they'd be serving HEED on the run course or responded to my e-mail when I asked. If I'd been comfortable enough to drink some maybe I'd've had fewer problems and not lost 30 minutes on the back end of the run.

Last updated: 2011-04-26 12:00 AM
00:36:09 | 2112 yards | 01m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 27/181
Overall: 9/65
Performance: Good
Suit: yes
Course: inverted triangle returning to start spot. into current at angle 2/3 of triangle, fully behind us last 1/3.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:58
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:50:36 | 56 miles | 19.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/181
Overall: 22/65
Performance: Good
First hour: 143 HR, ~19.6 mph Remainder: 150 HR, ~20 mph
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops, each loop with two turnarounds, five turnarounds total Almost entirely flat except 4x bridge crossings with mild hill
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:15
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:27:55 | 13.1 miles | 11m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/181
Overall: 33/65
Performance: Bad
Course: Aid stations every mile. Out & back.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-09-12 9:11 PM

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Subject: Outer Banks Half Triathlon

2011-09-13 10:19 AM
in reply to: #3683505

Subject: RE: Outer Banks Half Triathlon
Nice race, way to push it through that run.  I had similar problems, but they started earlier.  I had never drank HEED before, but figured after I was turning into a total ball of fail, what could it hurt.
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