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Kinetic Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Spotsylvania, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 10m 1s
Overall Rank = 1/374
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

Leading into this race a few people on this site kept asking me how I felt and if I was ready to race. I think my response was yes but I kept letting everyone know that I probably should sign up for the event so that I could actually race it. So just about the week of the race I think I finally registered online. We had planned on staying at the same resort as in 2011 but this year we stayed at a cabin on the property. Two bedrooms with a nice kitchen and it was nice and quiet. My kids kept asking me all year, "Dad, when are we going back to Virginia?" We finally made it down on Friday. I think the general consensus was that the traffic on I95 sucked.

Got to the race site on Friday, did a quick one loop run of the course in reverse and then grabbed my bike and hit the roads for a 15 mile spin on the new race wheels. Gusty winds made for some sketchy moments on the bike with that new 808 front but other than that pretty uneventful.

I could not sleep much the night before the race and was up about 3:30 on race morning. Took the typical shower and got started on some food. We left the cabin about 4:20 and made great time over to the Lake. No traffic into the park this year which was nice and I made my way over to set up transition. Got my timing chip and then hung out for a bit with Dave, Matt, Ian and a few other guys.
Event warmup:

Made my way down to the lake and was starting to get very cold. It was in the mid 40s and damp. My feet were frozen and I just wanted to get warm. There was a heavy layer of fog on the lake so they pushed the start time back by about 15 minutes. Dave and I took a nice swim out to the first orange bouy. He decided to drop me on the way back in so I just focused on warming my feet and getting ready for the race start.
  • 25m 33s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 13s / 100 yards

I guess let me start with a few comments on my swim fitness and whats been going on there. I added in two masters swims a week for the first time since college swimming. I've been doing all of my swimming in the past years by myself. It was nice to recently have a decent push from some other guys at the pool twice a week. But, some time in the last 4 weeks my swim as fallen off the face of the earth. Form is gone, technique is gone and I feel terrible. I guess we all go through those patches in the season I just didn't like that mine was leading into my first race. So I have been working on a lot of quality work with more rest to get my stroke back. So, leading into this race I had no idea what to expect.

I was in the 2nd wave 3 minutes back of the first wave. I started all the way to the left of the field. As far left as I could get. I could barely hear the announcer but did hear the horn sounds and made a decent run into the water. Some high strides and then a few dolphin dives and I was off. I made quick separation from the field and didn't really lay on the gas as much as I normally do. I wanted to try to start off controlled and not go into O2 debt like I sometimes do. I realized I had one guy with me and he was swimming pretty solid. I was going to let him go in the first 200 yards but I’m glad I didn't. I only pulled up along side of him 1-2 times and I think he saw my white cap and didn't like that. Each time he laid it down and pulled ahead of me. I didn't want that type of effort so I just sat right on his feet and let him tow me along.

Overall, navigation on this course seems tough to me. This is the second year I felt like I was all over the place. At times I felt like I was struggling and then other times I felt pretty good. I didn't use my legs at all in the swim except for the start and may be a bit at the end. I will focus on getting a better kick going in the next race.
Came out of the water feeling pretty good, heard my wife yell my name and my kids were going nuts. That's always a great boost.

What would you do differently?:

Swim straight!
Transition 1
  • 01m 31s

Made it to my bike quickly. Wetsuit came off in one pull. Ran to the mount line at the base of the big hill and had a heck of a time getting moving. Shoes were on the bike but I could not get any speed to get the bike rolling up the hill. Finally got some speed and was off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 16m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 24.53 mile/hr

Got moving out of the park pretty quickly and by the time I was almost out of the park I was in 2nd place in the race. The goal was to catch the race leaders and then put in a solid stretch of work and ride out of sight. I caught the race leader on the first right turn after you get out of the park and then really started to lay on the gas up the hills to get away. The lead motorcycle led me out for the entire first loop. By mile 10 I didn't have anyone in sight and I felt good. Speed was about 24.7 avg and power was over 300 watts. I kept things in a fairly easy gear on the bike as I wanted to really start to add some harder work on the 2nd loop. At the back end of the first loop I had a really rough patch. I started to feel bad and the roads get really choppy. It's also a lot of false flat sections with rollers and it's deceptive for sure. A few people asked me what I thought about that part of the course. By the time I made my way to the start of the 2nd loop I was coming out of it a bit but was losing speed off my AVG and it had fallen closer to 24.4 which I was not really happy about.

The 2nd loop was pretty uneventful but I started to feel much better. At this point I had to negotiate race traffic and there were a lot of people who simply don't get it. I can't count the people who ride on or near the yellow lines when they are not even near anyone. I had to yell move right 20 times to get people out of my way. A fine line between being polite and starting to lose my cool a few times.

I made the last left to make my way back to the lake and my avg watts had dropped closer to 285 which was fine with me. Over the last 5 miles it's mostly rolling and downhill back to the lake. I kept things spinning fast and really focused on smashing the downhills. I didn't want to lay off and rest on the way back in, I wanted to use the extra speed to gain every second of separations I could.

I came back to the bottom of the hill, jumped off the moving bike which was tricky on this hill and was back into T2.

What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 01m 3s

A little slower here as I had to put my Garmin on. Visor on, race belt on, shoes and socks on and I was out of there.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 24m 59s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 29s  min/mile

It's been a goal of mine at this distance to really get some sizable time gains regardless of course or race. I've been running 6 days a week for over a solid year now and feel like my body has been really starting to handle the increase in miles. Again, I'm very prone to lower body injury so I take things very slowly in my training. But this year, I've been about 10 miles per week more than last year for the entire year so far. I had no idea how I was going to respond to that on race day.

Quite frankly I've been pretty tired the last few weeks after a change in the weather hear lots of pollen and the increase in bike and run volume.

So off I went on the run and did the quick out and back near the transition area. Glenn Cook was leading me out on the bike and we were chatting a bit. The pace over the first half mile was way too fast. Over the first qtr. mile I looked at the Garmin and my avg pace was 5:40. Ops. Especially considering the massive hill I had to go up in about 100 yards. So I went through the first 4 mile loop and was feeling pretty good. Stomach was a bit off but I just tried to stay focused. The Garmin read low 6:20s avg pace which I was a little concerned about. I thought it was simply too fast with two more laps to go. I stayed on it though and worked on keeping my stride in check and managing the uphill’s and then blasting the downhill’s. By the end of the 2nd loop and about 8 miles in I was still on the same pace. I was either going to have a massive melt down or I was about to drop a big chunk of time from last year’s race.

I hit the 3rd and final loop and it was great. Every time I would come through the main spectator area I had a little cheering section of my kids and a few other racers kids going nuts. It was really awesome. A big boost to see that.

The last up hill was good but I got half way up it and felt like my body was responding to the pace better so I just kept on moving which was a shock to me. Pace still in the 6:20s so I decided with the lead that I had it was time to shut it down over the last 3+ miles and not do anything stupid. I came out of the loop in the back of the run course, stopped at the aid tent, got a full coke, Gatorade and water in me and was on my way. Only time I stopped on the course. I didn't need to but I wanted to be sure those last 2 miles were going to be ok. Pace dropped closer to 6:29 pace which I was ok with and made the final push to the finish line. Once I got to the wooded section where you do the downhill kamikaze run I really started to pick it up again. Hit the back stretch of the course and laid on the gas to the finish line.

What would you do differently?:


Fastest 13.1 to date. Very happy with the effort and run time.
Post race
Warm down:

Water, shower and then lots of chatting with great people.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

2nd Year for me doing this race. I love the area of VA that it's in. Greg and Setup Events do a fantastic job of putting on a great race. So much so, that you don't even really know they are there. They are in the back drop the whole time. But, you can clearly see, they work very hard to make the race run as smooth as it does.

Fantastic weather in 2012 and a great day. Highly recommend this event for anyone looking for a tough half ironman to race.

Last updated: 2012-01-16 12:00 AM
00:25:33 | 2112 yards | 01m 13s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/374
Performance: Average
Suit: Full B70 Helix
Course: Diamond
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Bad
02:16:57 | 56 miles | 24.53 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/374
Performance: Good
Distance, mi 56 Work, kJ 2285 Temperature, °F 62.9 Average Power, Watts 277 Average Cadence 97 Average Speed, mph 24.36 Average Heart Rate 148 Weight, lbs 178.0 VAM 253
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back from park with two loops at the end of the lolly pop stick!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 97
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:03
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:24:59 | 13.1 miles | 06m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/
Overall: 6/374
Performance: Good
Course: 3 Loops
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-05-14 9:00 AM

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Subject: Kinetic Half

2012-05-14 9:09 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Beastly Mike. Gotta love how 6:20 pace is now half iron pace. Congrats on a great race!
2012-05-14 9:34 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Nice RR and fantastic race. That is a great time for that course and it is good to see your running has caught up to your swim and bike. Hope you and the family had a good time in VA!
2012-05-14 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Great report.  Even better result.  See you next month for the next one.
2012-05-14 9:57 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Gotta be happy with that run, really solid.
2012-05-14 10:23 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half

I first found you by a random report of yours i read last year, So i had to read this one.

Congrats on the Win!!  That is awesome, and thanks for the great read!!!

2012-05-14 10:24 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Bedford, MA
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Nice race! That's around the same wattage I'm planning on in my upcoming HIM, but I'll be a bit slower on the swim and run. It sounds like a well-run and fun race to do!
2012-05-14 11:07 AM
in reply to: #4208270

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Fairfax, VA
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
um - wow is all I can say.  What a performance!  Congrats on the win!
2012-05-14 2:10 PM
in reply to: #4208270

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Falls Church, VA
Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Wow, you really rocked it. Great race!
2012-05-15 5:24 AM
in reply to: #4208270

Subject: ...
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2012-05-15 7:36 AM
in reply to: #4208270

Subject: RE: Kinetic Half
Wow, that is just flying!  I was on the run trail and heard someone coming up behind me and say "yeah, downhill, my legs are burning" as you past me or something to that affect. Then I came out of the woods and heard the announcer say and her comes our lead racer, shouted out your name and time as a course record as I watched you crossed the finish line!! That was pretty cool. Fantastic job gadz!

2012-05-15 8:23 AM
in reply to: #4210115

Subject: RE: Kinetic Half

mdfahy - 2012-05-15 8:36 AM Wow, that is just flying!  I was on the run trail and heard someone coming up behind me and say "yeah, downhill, my legs are burning" as you past me or something to that affect. Then I came out of the woods and heard the announcer say and her comes our lead racer, shouted out your name and time as a course record as I watched you crossed the finish line!! That was pretty cool. Fantastic job gadz!

Thanks.  Yeah that down hill beat my quads up pretty good..  LOL I was didn't realize I was talking to myself out loud!  Sorry for that! 

Thanks again, everyone!

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