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Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Mt. Sterling, Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
60F / 16C
Total Time = 6h 46m 35s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

We stayed at the Deer Creek lodge so it made the morning a lot nicer than a few years ago when I had to leave the house at 5:30 to get to the race and pick everything up. Got up about 7 and ate half a bagel with some peanut butter. Left the lodge around 7:30 to head to the venue, then made a u-turn halfway there to return and get my race numbers that I left in a bag in the room. went back and retrieved the bracelets then headed back over again. Got to the venue and parked, got my timing chip and set up transition.
Event warmup:

I have never swam with a wetsuit so I got it on prior to the race start and swam 50 yards or so to get the feel. Not much besides that.
  • 27m 14s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 17s / 100 yards

Just tried to pace the swim. I had my watch on and started it with my wave. I had about 24:20 coming out of the water, but i just walked all of the steps and took my time getting to T1 and stopped to give the wife a kiss and the kids a high five. I figured I was in for a long day and being my first half, wasn't wanting to be out of sorts starting the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 03m 29s

Took my time debating on throwing on a extra layer or some calf sleeves and arm warmers. In the end I just opted for the cold route with the tri top and shorts I had on. Just spent some extra time being sure I had everything I needed and had it in order before leaving transition. I was really stressing over the possibility of a DNF with the bike cutoff time as I'm not a strong biker typically. (15mph or so average)
What would you do differently?:

Not much. It could have been a touch faster, but I was checking and rechecking to be sure all of my ducks were in a row and I had a good bike with everything at hand so I think the extra minute was a good tradeoff. I wasn't under any illusions of winning, I was just wanting to finish for my first half.
  • 3h 16m 3s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.14 mile/hr

I came out of T1 and wheeled around and stopped at the water station. Took 2 bottles and filled my own bike bottles with them before heading out. I was planning to set a nice even pace and as I came out of the park, there was a couple riding side by side about 15-16mph so I figured that would be a good pace that I could maintain and bring me in under the cutoff as well. That lasted about 2 miles until I felt like I was barely moving and not expending much energy so I made the pass and hammered down. Should have stuck with pacing. I rolled in off the first loop and stopped at the water station to refill the 1 bottle I drank. I checked my computer and I was on a 18.5 average. That is a lot faster than I have ever ridden for 18 miles. I'm normally a 15-16 average but I still felt good due to the colder temps and the lack of wind.

Lap 2 I slowed a bit but was still averaging about 17 so I made a conscious effort to really slow the pace on the 3rd lap. I slowed to 15.5 or 16 but it wasn't due to lower effort output, the wind seemed to pick up significantly on the 3rd loop and that slowed me a bit. For nutrition, I had a bottle of water the first 2 loops and a bottle of gatorade on the 3rd. I ate a pack of sports beans on loop 1 & 3 and had a snickers marathon bar on the second.
What would you do differently?:

Try to pace better. Maybe drink a little more as well.
Transition 2
  • 04m 4s

Didn't bother with any crazy dismounts or running. The dismount line was right before the transition entrance so I just got off the bike and walked it to the other end. (I was in row B) My breathing returned to normal quickly but my legs were cooked. I put a lot into the bike to be sure and hit the cutoff and I was about to pay for it on the run. Sat down on my towel and changed shoes and put on my calf sleeves, made sure I had everything put away and headed out for the "run".
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Once again, my goal was finishing so I planned to take as long as I felt necessary in transitions.
  • 2h 55m 43s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 25s  min/mile

I'm not a strong runner to begin with and today was no exception. I am typically about 11 minutes per mile on a distance run without swimming and a hard bike ride before. I had absolutely nothing left. I tried to force myself to run thinking I would catch a second wind, but that ship sailed long before I put the run shoes on. Made it to the first aid station and got a cup of water and a gel then waited to hit the porta potty. Took a leak and headed back out. Every time I would try to run my legs would just laugh. I finally started alternating shuffling and walking between the cones along the road for about 3 rounds, then it would be back to walking for a few.

I got to the turn around at the 5k mark and started back, the sad realization that I was only 25% into the run becoming very evident. Finally shuffled in to the turn around to a huge ovation coming down the parking lot, before explaining I still had to do another lap lol. To the credit of the fine folks, they still tried to make me feel like I was doing great, even though the pain on my face had to be evident. I made the turn around at 1:20.00. On the way back out, I stopped to give the kids a high five and grab a drink of water.

I started the lonely journey back out determined to finish under 7 hrs. I I continued the shuffle/walk routine as long as I could before being reduced to walking for extended amounts of time. I made the last turn and started doing some calculations, realizing I had about a 5k left and approximately an hour to do it if I was going to break 7 hrs. I started back and was "running" as much as I could. I was close to DFL by this time, but that still trumps DNF and I was coming to the homestretch as I grabbed one last drink of water at the aid station near the spillway. I headed across and saw the 1 mile mark going the other way and knew I had 7 hrs in the bag but I still wanted to finish strong. I hit the grass section for the last time and funny enough, I must have looked on the verge of kicking the bucket because there were about 20 buzzards circling me and swooping down pretty close. I finally made the last turn into the park and every car leaving the venue had encouraging words to hollar out the window on their way out. I came to the parking lot and my brother in law and my oldest boy were waiting for me and cheering. My son ran with me down the length of the parking lot and then ducked off with my wife and my youngest as I entered the finish chute. Crossed the finish line in 6:46. Felt pretty good as I was just hoping to finish under 8 hrs.
What would you do differently?:

Ease up on the bike a bit so my legs aren't spent before I even leave T2.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk to transition to collect my belongings before heading to the truck. I knew if I sat down I was going to have a hard time getting back up so I waited until I was in the truck.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I pushed too hard on the bike limiting my run, but conversely if I had backed up on the bike, that doesn't guarantee I would have made up that same time up on the run. Overall, I finished my first half and exceeded my expectations by 45 minutes or more.

Event comments:

I had 3 goals entering this race. 1)avoid cardiac arrest. Check. 2)finish the race. Check 3)Finish under 71/2 or 8hrs. Check 6:46.

For my first half, I can't be upset. It's hard to complain about a half that costs less than $100, but the one thing I'm not a fan of is multiple loops. There is nothing quite as disheartening as approaching the finish line and really struggling, only to have to turn around and go do it again lol.

Last updated: 2012-07-15 12:00 AM
00:27:14 | 2112 yards | 01m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless X terra
Course: Rectangle swim x2 and about a 100 yd jaunt up the stairs and to the timing mat outside T1.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:29
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:16:03 | 56 miles | 17.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 18+ mile loop on some township/country roads done 3x. Aside from a few stretches, they were actually a bit smoother than I recalled.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:04
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:55:43 | 13.1 miles | 13m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back 2x. Mostly pavement with a little grass about a half mile into the loop.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-09-23 8:12 PM

Subject: Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

2012-09-24 6:52 AM
in reply to: #4424322

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2012-09-24 12:38 PM
in reply to: #4424322

Subject: RE: Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon
Thanks, I appreciate it.  The swim is actually my best leg as I was a swimmer in school.  Unfortunately, it's also the shortest leg and not much more than a warmup in triathlons.  This was my first time with a wetsuit and I'm a huge fan.  I felt like a torpedo and wasn't putting out a whole lot of effort.  Now I see why everyone calls it legalized cheating lol. 
2012-09-25 9:44 PM
in reply to: #4424322

Columbus, Ohio
Coaching member
Subject: RE: Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

Nice job! 6:46 is nothing to laugh at. That's a respectable time, especially for a first time at the distance. My first was at Deer Creek and I think it was 7:34 or something.

Sorry to make you wait at the bathroom at aid station 1. I didn't mean to jump in there ahead of you. Seriously.

2012-09-27 5:22 PM
in reply to: #4424322

Subject: RE: Deer Creek Fall Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

Great job!  Deer Creek "elements" can sneak up on you with the sun on the swim and the hills at the end of the bike loops.  Hopefully I'll get to meet you at one of these Ohio races!!!  Again, great job!


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