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PrairieMan Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Grand Prairie, Texas
United States
Ironhead Race Productions
85F / 29C
Total Time = 6h 58m 54s
Overall Rank = 124/146
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 12/12
Pre-race routine:

This was my first HIM. 4 weeks before race day, I crashed while on a bike ride and ended up requiring 9 stitches in my left elbow. This was a major setback to my final month of training. Before the race, I had never completed a bike ride longer than 47 miles. Everytime I would try, I would either crash, have mechanical issues, or once I got severly dehydrated and had to quit early. Also, with the stitches in my elbow, the doctor wouldn't let me in the pool. I ended up cramming in two hour long swim sessions the week before the race, but that was my only swimming in my last month of training.
Event warmup:

The race location was about 3 hours away from where my wife and I live, so we traveled down on friday for check-in and stayed in a hotel for the night. We got up before 5 am in order to get some breakfast before heading out to the race.

Once on site, I got checked in, set up my transition area and applied lots of sunscreen. I was scheduled to be in the first wave of the HIM, but because a buoy broke loose over night, they had to track it down and reposition it before we could start, so we started about 20 minutes late.
  • 49m 34s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 21s / 100 yards

For the most part, I was very pleased with my swim. Right after the gun sounded, I put my head down and ended up swimming directly into a steel pole which was painted white to mark the no wake zone, hitting it with my right shoulder. After getting that behind me and getting out into the water, I was very pleased with my swim. The wind was strong all day long, averaging around 20 mph I believe. This created what felt to me like 3 foot swells in the water. The direction of the was never directly in line with the direction I was swimming, so it was always pushing me to the side. It was difficult to stay on course, buy I was overall very pleased with my sighting. I finished the swim in 49:34, which is right where i'd though that i'd be. I hoped to be better, but with only swimming twice in the previous month, I was still very pleased.
What would you do differently?:

Swim more during training. Try to swim twice a week instead of once, and don't get injured a month before the race.
Transition 1
  • 04m 26s

T1 was slow for me. When I got to my area, I dried off my feet before putting on my socks and bike shoes. I then sprayed on more sun screen, but it didn't help because I was still wet and it just rubbed right off. I then put on my bike gloves, sunglasses, and helmet and headed on my way. After about 10 seconds of running toward the mount line, I realized that I forgot all of my gels, so I turned back to get them and put them in my jersey pocket. I figured that this cost me about 30 seconds or so.
What would you do differently?:

don't forget the gels. dry off better before applying sunscreen, because this sunburn still hurts 2 days later.
  • 3h 20m 21s
  • 55 miles
  • 16.47 mile/hr

I was very pleased with my bike time. When I crashed a month ago, I was in aero position. Ever since then, I have been hesitant to ride extended time periods while in aero because I feel like I don't have that control back. I tried my areo position early on the first lap and didn't feel comfortable, so I just decided to ride upright the whole time. The way the course was laid out, it was basically 6 miles headed south going downhill with a 20 mph tailwind and 6 miles headed north going uphill into a strong headwind.

During my first lap, I wanted to hydrate a lot and take an easy pace to save some of my energy for the second half and the run. I was passed a lot during this lap, but I knew that I am not the strongest biker and was expecting that. On my second, and third lap, I gradually started to pick up the pace a little bit while continuing to hydrate and fuel appropriately. there were two water/gatorade stations on the route, so I picked one and decided that I wanted to have an empty bottle every time I passed to switch out. I alternated gatorade first, then water, then finally gatorade. I also picked out a corner where I could comfortably pull over and get out of everyone's way so I could take a gel. I did that on the 2nd, third, and 4th laps.

I was very pleased with my final lap. I felt like I had saved plenty so I tried to push my tempo a little. I was also not passed at all on that lap while passing several others. Up to this point, I was very pleased with how my race was progressing. The last turn-around headed back to transition was uphill, and the wind was just brutal by this point. It was a very oppressive wind that at times I felt like I was going backwards.
What would you do differently?:

become comfortable in aero position again to cut through the wind better.
Transition 2
  • 02m 21s

T2 went very well for me. I got my bike racked, my shoes transferred from my bike shoes to my running shoes very qhickly, got my helmet off, reloaded on gels and applied more sunscreen before taking off on the run.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 42m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 23s  min/mile

I was very disappointed with how my run ended. It all started off so well. Leaving transition, I had fantasies of finishing my race in under 6:30. I had planned to run/walk the whole thing, running about 3-4 minutes for every minute walked. I wanted to stop at every aid station to refuel between water and gatorade, while taking a gel at mile 1, 5, and 9. About the time I got to mile 4, my stomach was bothering me a little. I felt very bloated and a little nauseous. I felt like taking a gel at mile 5 was going to make me throw up, so I skipped it. I continued alternating water and gatorade until about mile 7, when I couldn't stomach the gatorade anymore. At this point, my back was also in severe pain. It was around mile 8 where my run/walk plan went out the window. I ended up walking most of the last 5 miles, only running occasionally. At this point, I was still hoping that I could endure enough and finish in 6:45, but I wanted just to finish. I think I walked close to 80% of the last few miles, but all things considered, I am very happy to break 7 hours.
What would you do differently?:

do a couple long brick workouts to figure out the nutrition aspects of the run a little better. better yet, stick to the aquabike.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around some, sat down for a few minutes, drank some water, and went to the bathroom for the first time all day. I also ate a granola bar, which was the first solid food that I'd had since breakfast nearly 9 hours earlier. It took a while to eat it because my saliva didn't want activate and help soften my food.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

aero position on the bike and figuring out the nutrition aspects of the run some more.

Event comments:

It would have been nice if it had started on time because the buoy blew away. Also, I wasn't a big fan of all the road construction along the bike course, but it was nice to have our own lane for the most part.

Last updated: 2012-07-11 12:00 AM
00:49:34 | 2112 yards | 02m 21s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 87/146
Performance: Good
Course: triangular loop in a lake
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 88F / 31C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:26
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:20:21 | 55 miles | 16.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 121/146
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: approx. 12 mile loop done 4.5 times. Road construction caused them to cut off a mile, making it a 55 mile course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:21
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:42:09 | 13.1 miles | 12m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 124/146
Performance: Below average
Course: an out and back through the park and along the dam with no shade
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %-1%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-09-10 9:48 AM

Norman, OK
Subject: PrairieMan Half Iron Triathlon
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