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Patriot Half Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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East Freetown, Massachusetts
United States
Sun Multisport Events
68F / 20C
Total Time = 6h 48m 7s
Overall Rank = 506/611
Age Group = W45-49
Age Group Rank = 27/42
Pre-race routine:

(This is long - many apologies if you like a shorter report)

I started trithalon several years ago with the intention of slowly working my way up the distance ladder...after the first year of sprints, the second year of Olys, last year was supposed to be HIM...but alas, I got injured and last year was totally derailed. I have a cuboid bone in my right foot that was out of place (due to my foot being run over by a car 20+ years ago) and it took a good year to figure that out and recover.

I have been training pretty well this year in anticipation of doing an HIM and was really looking forward to experiencing my limits. I think that is one of the reasons I like triathlon - I want to see what I can do and what it's like when I get to a breaking point. I spent WAY too much time reading other HIM race reports to try to anticipate what it would be like and how others responded.

The week before the race, I got all kind of stressed out. I didn't realize it at the time, but the pounding headache I had for three days before the race -> all stress. I had a hard time sleeping for a few days before the race as well.

The kid's last day of school was Thursday, and I took Friday off from work so we could head out a little early. Alas, my husband's work was crazy so we didn't get on the road until 1pm or so...and as a result hit the bulk of Friday afternoon traffic out of Boston. A 4:20 hour drive took almost 7 hours. Blergh. By the end, we were coming up on the close of packet pickup (I completely missed the pre-race dinner with other BT folks) and I was sweating! Made it, drove to the hotel, checked in and went and got some dinner. Back to the room, got everyone settled for the night and tried to sleep.

I ended up having bizarro dreams all night long to the point when I woke up for the last time I was really disoriented. I couldn't figure out (for a while) what day it was, where I was, etc. But finally figured it out and got going.

I woke up at 5am at the hotel, quietly got out of bed and sat in the bathroom eating breakfast. I ate part of a scone, two hardboiled eggs and a frappucino...I was so nervous that everything tasted like sand. I had hoped to eat a peach as well and all of the scone....but just couldn't choke it down. Once I was ready (applied the tattoo - I love that for the looks so nice), I woke Matt up and he drove me to the site, leaving the girls at the hotel (they were still asleep). He dropped me off at the entrance and I got very verklepmt when he left...what a huge undertaking...almost overwhelming.

I walked all my stuff through the entrance to transition, found my rack (they number the racks, so you have a very specific spot - very nice) and started setting up my rack. I was two racks from the run out, but sadly all the way across transition for bike in and out. least I was there, in one piece and healthy - right? Got everything all arranged - waterproof tablecloth first, towel, bike stuff, run stuff. I wore sweats and a sweatshirt there and walked around a bit scoping the scene.

Event warmup:

At 6:30, the RD did the usual race announcements and I started getting my wetsuit on. 20 minutes later, it was finally on (!) and I decided to take a quick swim to make sure everything felt ok...thank goodness I did - my timing chip was pretty loose and chances are good I would have kicked it off during the swim. Tightened it up and put it under my wetsuit.

They had the swim go off in waves - I was in the 4th wave (the 40-49 year old women), about 15 minutes after the really fast guys went.
  • 46m 8s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

Started out towards the back close to the buoys...this was the most considerate group of women swimming I have ever encountered. If someone touched you, they would immediately change their course, if someone accidentally kicked or hit you, they stopped and made sure you were okay. The swim out was ok - a little choppy (the wind picked up as the day went on). I felt like I sighted pretty well - was able to swim fairly close to the buoys throughout, made the turn and then the turn back to shore...the current really picked up - pushing the swimmers to the right of the finish line, so I had to adjust by swimming slightly at a diagonal. I finally have learned the lesson for me - quit trying to find someone to draft and swim your own race. I felt pretty good throughout the swim - but I'm thinking a sleeveless wetsuit may be in the cards...I spend a lot of energy fighting the wetsuit - the way it pulls my arm back, regardless of how careful I am putting the suit on. As a result, I don't get to focus on my form as much as would be helpful and I think it could make a significant difference in my speed.
What would you do differently?:

Sleeveless wetsuit? More time in the pool/lake/pond
Transition 1
  • 03m 1s

heard from another participant that the swim exit was pretty rocky, so I followed the "swim until your hand touches the bottom" rule which worked well...unzipped, put the goggles, ear plugs and swim cap in the arm of the wetsuit, ran to the rack (all the way across the transition).

Wetsuit off (a little sticky on the left heel, but nothing fatal), sat down on the ground, dried my feet off, socks on, helmet on, shoes on and off I go!
What would you do differently?:

Move more quickly. Meh.
  • 3h 24m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.47 mile/hr

What a blast! Fairly flat course, extremely well marked, lots of volunteers/police providing traffic control, nice and smooth. It is a two lap course - so once you finish the first lap - you know what to expect! There were a couple of bumps - not too many hills at all. I have totally figured out the new gearing on the bike, and was able to stay in the big ring almost the whole time. I felt so good, I think I might have pushed it a little too much (considering how I felt later - yes, this is foreshadowing), but the whole time, I kept thinking, "I'm doing a friggin' half ironman!"

The portapotties were at mile 28. By mile 20, I really needed to go, so I started singing a song to myself (never thought that would happen) - "I get to pee in 5 miles, 5 miles"...finally made it, hopped off the bike, propped it against the side and sweet, sweet relief! Back on the bike and started the second loop.

At the start of the second loop, I kept thinking, "What's going to go wrong - I feel great, I've totally got this." I like having the two loops - mentally for me I knew what to expect, what things to watch out for, what landmarks would let me know how much farther.

The whole time I was riding, I was passed by maybe one or two people in my swim wave and a whole bunch of younger men (they were in the swim wave behind me). Part of the course went past a sheep farm - they kept "baa-ing" at all the crazy people in the race. Made me laugh both times I passed them.

By mile 40, my neck was fairly grumpy and I was getting tired of being on the bike. The end of the run course overlapped with the bike course. As I was riding the last couple of miles, the overall winners were headed in - that was impressive to see! Those guys are SMOKIN' fast!

I had a gu each hour, a sip or two of Nuun every 5 miles and a bunch of water with each Gu...seemed perfect.

Rode up to the dismount line and was VERY happy with my time + to finally be off the bike!
What would you do differently?:

Train in aero more so my neck didn't get so grumpy.
Transition 2
  • 04m

Slow. Slow. Slow. I had to run from the dismount, all the way down to the bottom of transition, and then back up to the top of transition where my rack was...then sat down, took bike shoes and helmet off, got cuboid pad/duct tape into position, socks on, shoes on. Just took a really long time.
What would you do differently?:

Move faster than molasses?
  • 2h 30m 57s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 31s  min/mile

This is where how good I felt on the bike came back to bite me a bit. I felt tired starting out on the run and my legs were a little crampy. My stand alone time for a half marathon runs about 2:15, so 2:30 after swimming and biking isn't too bad - but I know where I can improve.

I decided to follow the plan of walking the aid stations and trying to run the rest - which I followed pretty well for the first 8 miles. Then the cramping got REALLY bad, so I allowed myself to walk up hills as well. I had to stop around mile 10 because I could feel a blister coming on under my right pinky toe. I took the sock and shoe off, rubbed the skin and put everything back on. Didn't help. Nutx.

The whole time I was running, I kept thinking, "This isn't too bad. It hurts a whole lot, I wish I was faster, I'm uncomfortable." but I knew I was going to make it. Even at mile 12 when I dumped a whole cup of ice in my shirt (that felt GREAT), I knew I was going to finish. Even if I had to walk, I would finish.

Around the end of mile 12, I ran past the car (not many Maine Adopt a Pet license plates on old model mini-vans around) and started getting excited to see the family. About another 200 yards up the road (right as you turned into the park for the final (foreverly long) run up the finish chute - there they were! Wooooo hooo! I was so happy to see them. The girls ran for a little with me (Lillian said at one point, "Mom, slow down!" I told her I really couldn't slow down or I would stop.) and then I headed down the chute.

As I ran towards the final chute - the announcer read my name, said I was from Camden, Maine. I still had a little mojo left and was able to smile and raise my arms over my head. Wow did that feel great!
What would you do differently?:

Run more, run faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Got post race water bottle and wet towel, medal and collapsed into a folding chair to wait for the family. Wiped my face off with the towel (that felt great) and just chilled for a bit.

They showed up, hugs all around, a couple of pics and then Matt graciously offered to go get the car. I picked up my transition area, shuffled to the car and he packed everything in.

So many thanks to my wonderful family. They took great care of me throughout. Friday night when I got my first look at the swim, I panicked a little and both the girls were so kind giving me encouraging words. On Saturday - Matt was absolutely awesome. He did all the hard stuff and just let me cope. I am so blessed that my family supports me, tolerates me and is willing to go along with all of this.

Really a great day. Now I want to do another. Must be the ibuprofen speaking.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Age, no athletic ability, working full time while raising a family.

Event comments:

Fantastic job by the organizers. From the seamless packet pickup/check=in, numbered spots for transition, plenty of volunteers, all intersections well marked, potholes, etc marked on the road, well manned aid stops, friendly encouraging volunteers...well worth the time/effort//money. I would do this again in a heart beat.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-01-23 12:00 AM
00:46:08 | 2112 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/42
Overall: 0/611
Performance: Average
Suit: Full Wetsuit
Course: .5 mile out, .2 mile across, .5 mile back
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:01
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:24:02 | 56 miles | 16.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/42
Overall: 0/611
Wind: Some
Course: 28 mile loop - twice. Rolling hills, mostly flat. Water bottle exchange at mile 10 and mile 25 (twice). Pretty windy, with the wind picking up quite a bit for my second loop.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:00
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
02:30:57 | 13.1 miles | 11m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/42
Overall: 0/611
Performance: Average
Course: Long fairly flat loop with minimal tree coverage and quite a bit of road camber
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 5

2012-06-18 6:33 AM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: Patriot Half Triathlon

2012-06-18 10:41 AM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
WOW!  Big congrats.  This looks like a very well executed race after a great training plan.  So glad you enjoyed it and I totally get the "I'm doing a friggin half ironman" comment!  Must have gone well for you to want to do another one already.  That's usually not until a few days later!
2012-06-18 10:47 AM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Congratulations!! What a great report. You did AWESOME!!!

I hate that feeling when the bike ride goes from..."this isn't bad" to "OMG, when can I STOP."

2012-06-18 10:57 AM
in reply to: #4266402

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metro west, MA
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
You did it!  Congrats!!!  What a fabulous first HIM.
2012-06-18 2:07 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

such awesome pics!!!  Great job on your first!!!  Congrats!!!


2012-06-18 8:03 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  You did absolutely awesome!!  Great times all around for a first HIM.  Glad you had a great time and everything went according to plan.  You definitely earned and deserved the race results you got.

2012-06-19 8:36 AM
in reply to: #4266402

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Just South of Boston
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Fantastic job!!! Way to knock that thing out! coming back next year?

Wish we'd met up either at Friday's dinner or on Saturday.

congrats on a race well run.
2012-06-20 2:14 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Wow, way to go!

You're an awesome role model for your daughters. 

2012-06-21 12:19 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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SF Bay area
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Great Job!  Your report was not too long at all - lots of good detail and made me feel like I was right beside you the whole way.  Way to perservere during the run when it started to get tough - great focus!
2012-06-21 1:12 PM
in reply to: #4266402

South Shore, MA
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

Great race and report!  Love the photos.

We were right in the same time range ;-)  Hope you can make it again next year!

2012-06-27 11:54 AM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Great job!

2012-06-30 2:56 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon

I finally had some time to read this!

HUGE Congratulations to you! You did awesome and you can be so proud of yourself! All your hard training paid off!

2012-06-30 3:02 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
"What limited your ability to perform faster:
Age, no athletic ability, working full time while raising a family."
That is just about the best answer possible. I want to use that for my sig line!
Great job and race report.
2012-07-02 12:03 PM
in reply to: #4266402

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Triathlon
Fantastic job! Wonderful race report and I hope to see you at another one of these someday!
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