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Redman Full Distance Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States
RedMan Triathlon
Total Time = 14h 47m 1s
Overall Rank = 109/153
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 10/11
Pre-race routine:

Why do you race? This question was asked by the gentleman leading the FCA Endurance Prayer Meeting prior to Redman. Even though I'm bringing it up now, I plan to tackle that question later. Just think on it as you continue reading.

I'm going to begin my story back a few weeks ago. While training, I noticed some chest pains. They were funky, dull, sometimes sharp, came and went while I was excercising or while I was doing normal daily tasks. Didn't think I had any heart issues, but decided to check it out after the prompting of some friends and family. During this time, my stress level shot through the roof (I worry about everything). Not only was I anxious about the results, but I thought about all the costs associated with the tests AND I had back-up plans to my back-up plans to whatever the doctors said about my results.

The Sunday before the race, my cousin unexpectingly died in her sleep at her parents while visiting for a family reunion on her mom's side. This was a huge blow, none of us saw it coming. Her and I had a nice conversation while she was in the store the day before passing away.

That Tuesday, I had my cardiology appointment in Lincoln. He said my tests looked normal and I probably had muscle/skeletal pain due to overtraining. He referred my back to my doctor. Later that day, I received the all clear from my doctor in M-ville. Good to go there.

Thursday-Dina and I went to Shelly's funeral (were I was a pallbearer). Even though it was a difficult funeral, it was great to see all my other cousins and family members I hadn't seen in awhile. Afterwards, I went home because Dina had left before me. I got the kids ready, van packed, and we were on our way to OKC.

Friday-Woke up, ate, did a shave down, and then we all went to visit the Oklahoma National Memorial. Very surreal (sp?). Made you think about life a bit. Afterwards, we ate at a Subway and then went to the race site for packet pick-up and bike check-in. By then, my family had came down (mom, dad, Grandma and Grandpa Ehnen, my uncle, my aunt, and one of my aunts friends) and were waiting for us at the hotel. We wrapped things up and came out of the Event tent when the Van Winkles (Jeff417 and lavanwinke) suprised us. Totally blew us away. We were not expecting them. Cool. After chit chatting with them, we met the family at the hotel and the Van Winkles met us all at Chili's for supper. Afterwards, all of us went back to the Memorial to view it at night. Made a huge impression. After getting back that night; Dina's sister, nephew, and a friend got to the hotel. They drove up from the Dallas area.

The next morning, I woke up and ate my trusty Honey Nut Cheerios and my uncle drove me to the race site. After walking with me and helping carry bags, he took off to get everybody else rounded up.

After he left, I attended the FCA Endurance Prayer Meeting (where we were asked, "Why do you race?"). After the meeting, I finished getting transition ready and chit chatted with Jeff and Lorie for a bit. I then bumped into Dan M (another B-town resident and 4th Overall in the half-Aquabike). We chit chatted and helped each other zip our wetsuits.

While walking the seemingly 5 miles to the water, I saw my family and gave them all hugs and handshakes. Time to go.
Event warmup:

Walk to the race site and walk to the lake.
  • 1h 31m 18s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

The swim felt great. Even though I'm slow to some in comparison, it's by far my favorite of the three disciplines. Honestly, I felt like I could've swam all day. My issue was my navigation. I believe this was the first time I've swam a triangular course and somewhere during the second loop I ended in the middle of the triangle. Burned a lot of time correcting what I had done wrong. Other than that, I had a good swim.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe study the layout a little better and be conscious of what's going on.
Transition 1
  • 08m 15s

Ran the abnormally long trail to T1. Reminded me a lot of Cornhusker State Games in Lincoln, but the Redman trail was longer. Once in T1, everybody was helpful. First time using wetsuit strippers and the foot bath was nice. Once in the tent, the guys were cool. They helped me unpack and repack. I had one guy spray suntan lotion on me, including my neck. He asked if I was sure, I told him to do it. It stung. Guess I didn't put enough body glide on my neck. FYI, I took my time at T1. Coming out of Transition and jumping on my bike, my family was cheering me on at the 'mount' line. Izzy and Ian were holding a sign that Makalah had made for me. They looked so cute, especially Izzy.
What would you do differently?:

Put more Body Glide on my neck before the swim.
  • 6h 45m 19s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.58 mile/hr

Realized once I jumped on my bike that my bike computer wasn't working. I just needed to sync it up, but didn't feel like stopping to do so. I'll go by feel for this one.

Anyway, there were two things that I couldn't believe: 1) How much vehicle traffic we were riding with and 2) The road conditions. It seemed like the road was worse this year then in 2009 when I did the half.

First lap went good. Felt strong and kept up on hydration. Coming back in, I noticed the wind was picking up. Had a nice tailwind going back to the lake, but I had another lap to do. Knocked out the first lap at 3:03:25 (18.3 mph average).

I knew the second lap would be difficult. I stopped at the Bike Special Needs Aid Station and hung out for 15-20 minutes. Ate a Snickers bar (bad idea), went to the Johnny on the Spot, drank water, filled up the bottles, and took off. The second lap was difficult like I expected. Had nice headwinds, got hot, and my stomach began hurting.
What would you do differently?:

Not stop for so long and not eat that Snickers bar. Maybe next time eat some pizza or something. Also, take blister band aids on the bike with me. Both of my big toes began hurting around 80 miles and I had nothing to help them.
Transition 2
  • 08m 57s

Dont remember much, except I took my time trying to recoop from the ride and put band aids on my two big toes.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 13m 15s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 15s  min/mile

This is where everthing fell apart and then came back together for me. Let me start by saying I had specific goals in mind for this race: 1) 17.1 mph aveage on bike (averaged that on my 1st half here at Redman), 2) Run all but 3 miles (last year in Ironman Louisville I walked all but 3 miles), and 3) Have a Overall Time of sub 14 hours. As you can see, I did not hit any of thos goals. However, God had something bigger and better for me.

Beginning on the first lap of my run, I had a run/walk/shuffle going on. My legs felt great, but my stomach was having issues. I would run for a bit and my stomach would be upset. Beginning my second lap, I felt horrible. Tried eating and drinking different things, but nothing seemed to work. Seeing my whole family and friends (17 people in all) temporarily made me feel better, but things were rough. After seeing them, I dry heeved a couple times. I knew things needed to change or it would be a DNF for me.

After the dry heeves on that second lap, I made the decision to walk until I felt better. I also spotted out some Saltine Crackers at one of the Aid Stations. What do you give an upset stomach? Crackers. From then on, every Aid Station it was crackers and water please!!!

Anyway, the whole second lap was me dealing with my upset stomach and my failing at hitting any of my goals. I thought about all the time and family time I sacrificed to not hit any of MY goals. I thought about the mileage, amount of money, and the time everyone spent to watch me do Redman and not hit MY goals.

Why do I race? If you were to ask me that, I'd superficially say, "For Jesus". Really? Is that the truth? If I honestly got to my core motivation, I'd say thats a huge lie. Sure, I like to race, compete, meet new people, and give Jesus a little recognition. But that isn't what spurs me on. If I was honest, I'd say I race to: impress and be proud/conceited. A big head might you say. Superficially, I'd tell you my priorities are: God, family, work, music, and then triathlon. Realistically, my priorities are backwards and shuffled around.

During this second lap, I was dealing with these issues on top of my stomach issues.

During the third lap, I was feeling much better and ran most of it. Makalah even ran about 1/2 mile with me. She's 12 and has already done 3 triathlons. If she keeps this up, she's going to smoke her old man. I remember Ian throwing Glow in the dark necklaces at me as I cruised by. What a stinker.

Anyway, my last and final lap the stomach issues came back. That was fine with me. Gave me a chance to walk the final 6.5ish miles in the dark and reflect on everything again: my messed up priorities, my walk with God, my relationships with others. This was definately a God moment. The goals and accomplishments meant nothing to me. My God, my family, and my friends meant and means everything to me. I thanked everybody at the Aid Stations for their help. I tried encouraging the other athletes still on the course. I kept thinking about the "Gift of the Goose" and sharing that. If you've read "Gung Ho", you know exactly what I'm talking about. At the Athlete Parking area, I stopped and shook hands with the 2 volunteers who were directing traffic. They were cool and full of encouragement. At mile 25, I took that time to pray a 'Thank You' prayer. Made a conscious effort to not ask God for anything, but just wanted to thank him for everything.

With approx. 1/2 mile to go, I began running again. The place where my family and friends were camped up at was deserted (I knew where they were). I ran down the Finishers Chute high-fiving everybody I could and hooping and hollering. This Finish was for them. They endured the whole day for this moment. I wanted to deliver instead of being a bore while finishing.
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing. This was a God moment. We may have plans, but He guides our steps.

Post race
Warm down:

Chocolate milk, bagels, water, talked with family and friends and got the gear. Dina wanted to get back to prepare for her race in the morning.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

At this point, I'm not worried about it. It was a God moment.

Event comments:

Race was good. Didn't like the road conditions and traffic control. Volunteers were awesome and the informal Q & A sessions on Facebook were excellent.

Last updated: 2012-01-11 12:00 AM
01:31:18 | 4224 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 0/153
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless Wet Suit
Course: Triangle-2 laps
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Time: 08:15
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:45:19 | 112 miles | 16.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 0/153
Course: Out and back-2 laps.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:57
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:13:15 | 26.2 miles | 14m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 0/153
Course: Out and back on paved trails along the lake-4 loops.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-09-24 3:27 PM

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Subject: Redman Full Distance Triathlon

2012-09-24 4:24 PM
in reply to: #4425464

Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon

Love the report!  I went through a very similar thought process on my run.  I came to the same realization of my priorities and would run the race a thousand times over to have everything come into focus as it did.  God bless, and best of luck on all of your future races!

2012-09-24 6:57 PM
in reply to: #4425464

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Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon

Justin great job!  I did the half at Redman this year and had some of the same problems.  About 6 weeks out I started having some chest pain and was sent to see a cardiologist and had several tests run.  Everything came back good but I ended up missing 3 out of my last 6 weeks of training.

2012-09-25 4:50 PM
in reply to: #4425464

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Bartlett, TN
Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon

Great race report. I know I have some of my best God moments while I am out running, no ipod, no headphones, just my thoughts.


Thank you for sharing.

2012-09-25 10:46 PM
in reply to: #4425464

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Husker Nation
Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon
Wow, glad I am finally able to read through that, deep stuff man! It's awesome when nothing goes your way and you still finish the race feeling satisfied. Can't wait to race with you again next year. Great race and great write-up!
2012-09-26 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4425464

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon
Great race report.  Goals mean nothing its the journey that is important. Thingis you never know what path the athlete next toyou has take to get to that spot.  I think thats half the fun.   Congrats on an IM fiish!!

Edited by Socks 2012-09-26 10:34 AM

2012-09-27 12:49 PM
in reply to: #4425464


Subject: RE: Redman Full Distance Triathlon
Thanks for sharing your race experience. I was also thinking about "Why I race". The FCA guys had a great devotion and prayer to put things into perspective. It was my first full IM and I'm still processing the experience. Hope to post a race report soon.
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