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EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
Columbia Triathlon Association
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 23m 40s
Overall Rank = 449/1561
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 96/237
Pre-race routine:

Alarm went off at 4am. After reading about HIM nutrition on BT and ST, I opted to try for a high calorie liquid breakfast, consisting largely of Boost. I mananaged to get down 3 bottles and 1/2 a bagel. Showered and went to the race site with Joe (Emtri). BTW, the Boost did not sit well initially, although I had no GI issues by the race start.
Event warmup:

No formal warm-up. I figured the first few 100 meters of the swim would serve that purpose.
  • 48m 53s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

The Choptank clearly earned it's name for a reason: chop! The swim was simply brutal. The first few hundred meters heading out went with the waves (and I guess current), and wasn't so bad. However, the bulk of the swim was going into the choppy water (and I think against the current), which made for absolutely miserable conditions. Much of the time I couldn't see over the oncoming waves to sight the buoys, and about 1/3 of the time I sighted I looked right into an oncoming wave and got slammed. I never found a rhythm.

Also, for some reason my sighting was horrible for this swim. Twice I had to cut back to get back outside the buoys, costing me probably 2-3 minutes. And likely due to the large size of my age group, I had a real tough time finding clear water to swim in. It seemed there was always someone barging in front of me or smacking my feet behind me (maybe drafting?), which further hindered my success in finding a nice rhythm.

To add insult to injury, I was stung by a jelly fish. I never saw anything, but about 1/4 way into the swim I had this strong burning sensation on my face. It lasted maybe 10 minutes. I now have this focus of red spots on the back of my neck, which is probably where I got bit. Ouch.

Brutal, miserable swim. My time is over 10 minutes longer than what I predicted.
What would you do differently?:

I guess more exposure to rough conditions would help.
Transition 1
  • 05m 20s

Longer T2 than usual. As I got to my transition spot, I saw the guy next to me getting out of his wetsuit. I made a general comment about the rough swim conditions as I was starting to pull off my wetsuit. The poor guy goes on to tell me that he had been disqualified from the race. The water was so rough, he had actually gotten nauseous and was vomiting into the river. One of the kayakers went to check on him for support. He said he needed to hold on to the kayak, at which point they disqualified him from the rest of the race. That really stinks for the guy. He looked to be in great shape and ready to race.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I lost about 1 minute talking to a fellow racer that was having a bad day.
  • 2h 39m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.09 mile/hr

This ride was demoralizing. The headwinds and sidewinds, complemented by gust after gust made for tough riding conditions.

I tried to pace myself so I could keep a steady effort for the duration of the ride and still have something left for the run. My strategy was to simply survive the portions of the ride that had the worst headwinds by maintaining a high (90's) cadence, regardless of speed, and hammering a bit harder (but still keeping the cadence >90) during the brief moments where there was a tailwind.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my perfomance, especially considering that I've done minimal long rides so far this season.

My nutrition goals were to consume 2 bottles of gatorade/hour plus 1 gel and 2 endurolytes every hour. At the end of the ride, I was ahead by 1 bottle of gatorade.
What would you do differently?:

Turns out that by the end of the race I was pretty dehydrated. I would change my nutrition plans to include alternating straight water with gatorade.

As far as the biking went, I'm satisfied with my performance.
Transition 2
  • 02m 47s

OK, this was a little longer than normal, but I really didn't care. I had a couple of baked lays before heading off to the run. That may have cost me a few seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. This was my first HIM, and I didn't feel the urgency to win T2.
  • 1h 47m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

I'm not thrilled with my performance on the run. I really hoped to keep my pace under 8 minutes/mile. The bike clearly took a lot out of me. Also, I was definitely getting dehydrated (really thirsty during the run, and never really having to use the bathroom until after the race--which was nowhere close to 'clear' if you know what I mean). I haven't done enough bricks either.

Two things I am really happy about during the run are:

1. None of my irksome running injuries (ITB, runner's knee) bothered me in the slightest,

2. I managed to pull negative splits to the end. That paid off nicely, as I passed several runners by the end that had passed me early in the run.
What would you do differently?:

More running, especially coming off the bike. I hadn't even done a 13 mile run yet this year.

Hydration, hydration. I was certainly beyond the 3% dehydration level, where dimished performance is expected.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, watched some of the other finishers.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This was posted on my training log 6/1/06: "New adjusted time goal for Eagleman: < 6hrs (5:30 would be a dream)"

Well, based on the comment in my training log from a little over 1 week ago, I guess my race results are a dream come true. Having never done a HIM, I really didn't know what to expect. In the end, I'm very happy with my performance, but being competetive in nature (like most of us), I find it easy to criticize the race and see areas where I should have done better--even though my overall time really far exceeded my expectations.

Event comments:

Extremely well organized and run event. I would definitely consider doing this race again (if I could stomach the Choptank!). This race, and doing the 70.3 distance was a great challenge.

Last updated: 2006-01-04 12:00 AM
00:48:53 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 188/237
Overall: 870/1561
Performance: Bad
**NOTE: "Overall" numbers are really for "Overall Male" category. Actual overall results weren't published.**
Suit: Full Orca (rented)
Course: J-shaped course. The short side of the 'J' was the out portion, with the long side of the 'J' being the back portion.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Below average
Time: 05:20
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:39:21 | 56 miles | 21.09 mile/hr
Age Group: 63/237
Overall: 240/1561
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Flat course around the parkland.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:47:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 86/237
Overall: 330/1561
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat out and back course. Largely in the sun.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 5

2006-06-12 6:44 PM

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Roseville, California
Subject: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

2006-06-12 7:40 PM
in reply to: #451892

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Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Great race. Very nice bike leg in that wind. To beat your expectations in those conditions was awesome. 
2006-06-12 8:35 PM
in reply to: #451892

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Royersford, PA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Awesome race. You got tagged by a Jellyfish and still put out a quality bike and run! Negative splitting the run for a HIM is pretty darn impressive in my book. I've been thinking about trying this race next year but the Jellyfish stories are starting to creep me out.
2006-06-13 7:05 PM
in reply to: #452006

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Roseville, California
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
The jellyfish were certainly a pain, but it wouldn't keep me from going back again. It's a great race!
2006-06-19 6:33 AM
in reply to: #451892

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Extreme Veteran
Brisbane, Australia
Gold member
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Great job in beating your revised targets especially given the conditions . Choptank sounds horrible!
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