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White Lake Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Elizabethtown, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 4h 54m 25s
Overall Rank = 28/453
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 7/114
Pre-race routine:

I slept in the back of our minvan at the race venue. Not luxury accommodation, and I woke up with a horrendous back ache, but I don't think that really affected my race. I woke up when the race venue got going, of course. Get dressed, set up, the usual. I ate a few bites of bagel and peanut butter, about half a scoop of Heed (with water of course), and a gel about 15-20 minutes before start time.
Event warmup:

Just a brief run (maybe a mile), the a swim from shore to the start line.
  • 36m 26s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

I was out of the blocks pretty strong, for me but starting with the 'Elites' (that's what they're calling us now, instead of 'Open', stupidly) makes finding a draft difficult -- I have to magically find the few 'elite' guys who swim as slowly as I do... In this case, the combination of foggy goggles and the fact that I can't swim soon left me in no-man's land. No draft to be found. I had to stop four times to clear my goggles -- I just couldn't keep them from fogging up and when they did fog up I couldn't see a dam* thing. But I held a fairly decent line (for me), and kept the effort smooth and comfortable. According to my watch I was out of the water in <36:00 (there was a run to the mat), which is about what I expected. Overall, given my recent training and expectations, I can't be unhappy with this swim.
What would you do differently?:

Train more.
Transition 1
  • 02m 5s

I couldn't get the stupid wetsuit off. Ugh. Everything else was fine.
  • 2h 28m 20s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.65 mile/hr

The course was advertised as having good roads. For the first 35-40 miles that was true. Then it turned ugly. There was a lot of pavement with the cracks that go side to side about 15-20 feet apart, so you experience continuous "Tha-THUMP". I had to squeeze the botle on my aero bars to keep it from ejecting. It didn't help that this portion of the course was into a significant headwind. I was not enjoying myself at that point, but I tried to remain calm. Only two guys (young studs) passed me on the bike, and I passed about 15 or so, so I guess that's good. I spent long periods of time (15-20 minutes at a time) by myself, which is tough, psychologically. I do better when there are others around.

I'm happy with this ride. I kept the power right where I wanted it the entire time. Nutrition was perfect -- gel on the quarter hours, sports drink on the half hours, water as needed.
Transition 2
  • 01m 6s

I pulled my feet out a bit early going in, but overall this was a good T2. One of the quickest in the race, even though I put on socks.
  • 1h 46m 30s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 08s  min/mile

Ugh. Heat and lack of run fitness really killed me here. I got off the bike feeling great -- I had ridden quite conservatively hoping to set up a good run - but right out of the blocks I knew it wasn't on. The first mile -- downhill! -- was over 7:30. Normally I'd go too hard and run <6:30 off the bike then have to slow down. In this case, I just tried to focus on keeping a steady easy pace and forget about time goals, etc. The heat was killing me. By mile 8 I was running station to station and pausing at each to down water and dowse myself with ice, ice water, whatever I could find. By the end, it was just f-ugly. Still, I managed to run -- in some sense of the term -- the whole way (apart from pausing at aid stations), and finish feeling somewhat OK.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure how to fix this. I didn't overcook the bike (for once). I think I just need to heal up and get in more run training.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training and heat.

Event comments:

This is supposedly an easy, fast, course, and I can see why people say that. But today, it was anything but. The winning time here is normally ~4:00, and several guys go sub 4:20. Not today. Nobody went <4:20. I assume it was the heat and winds on the last part of the bike course -- those are certainly what got me. I'm proud that I didn't overcook the bike -- power numbers were right where they needed to be -- but I'm a little distressed that I wasn't able to put together a better run performance, even in spite of the heat. I've got a lot of work to do before IMWI....

Last updated: 2012-03-25 12:00 AM
00:36:26 | 2112 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 37/114
Overall: 136/453
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:05
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:28:20 | 56 miles | 22.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/114
Overall: 25/453
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:46:30 | 13.1 miles | 08m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/114
Overall: 39/453
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat and hot.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-05-05 7:58 PM

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: White Lake Half

2012-05-05 8:30 PM
in reply to: #4192757

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: White Lake Half

Nice race and very nice bike. That run will come back to you and most probably would have been alot better if it was not for the crazy heat.

Considering the injury, you are on track for a great IMOO.

2012-05-05 8:54 PM
in reply to: #4192803

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: White Lake Half

Great race Michael.  Can't do anything about the conditions but sounds like you adjusted well.  Knowing you, if you can get this injury behind you then your run will be fine come IMWI.  Take it easy and then get back at it. Excellent time!


2012-05-06 12:02 AM
in reply to: #4192757

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: White Lake Half
Good work on the continued comeback. The run will surely come soon.
2012-05-06 7:59 AM
in reply to: #4192980

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Subject: RE: White Lake Half
That's a really impressive performance in those conditions, especially given your foot problems.  Swim and bike were good and really, your run will be there once you heal - it's your bread and butter.  Congrats, Michael!
2012-05-08 10:42 AM
in reply to: #4192757

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North Carolina
Subject: RE: White Lake Half
Great race! I think I experienced a lot of the same issues from start that you mentioned. Sub 5 on that day is an awesome accomplishment! There were 38 of us. I know this because I was 37 with a kid on my heels..

2012-05-08 12:48 PM
in reply to: #4192757

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Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: White Lake Half
Nice job Michael, it seems you've really picked up your cycling.  Your run will come around once you are healthy and acclimated.  Was this swim with or without wetsuit?  Water temp was 78F, so I assume without?
2012-05-08 2:14 PM
in reply to: #4192757

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Subject: RE: White Lake Half
Great job Michael. 
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