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Ironman 70.3 St. George - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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St. George, Utah
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 00m 31s
Overall Rank = 193/2000
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 14/288
Pre-race routine:

I did Leadman 3 weeks ago and had a bad race, or at least a bad swim and run, bike was good... so I was of course a little worried how this race would go, but really tried to refocus and think that this is totally new and start over.

I blew apart my body the day of Leadman and the remaining week... I know that it was supposed to be a rest but I decided to put a little more pressure on my body, then go into a taper for the remaining 2 weeks. I feel that it would help me handle the stess of St. George better.
Event warmup:

I did a small practice swim and a bike and gear check on Friday... nothing on race day except some light stretches.
  • 31m 55s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

I had a failed swim 3 weekends ago when I used my wetsuit for the first time. I was able to use it once in a YMCA pool and bond with it, last weekend. That pool session gave me confidence in the suit and made me more comfortable swimming, less stressful for St. George. Further, after the practice swim on Friday, I was at ease.

Our age bracket was one of the last waves, so I had an idea that things might get congested as I encountered front waves. The water was a balmy 61 to 62F, but felt pretty comfortable... thank goodness for swimming in a local pool at 68 to 70F in a swimsuit only... as this may have helped me cope with water that a lot of people thought was cold.

At the sound of the horn, I put my head down and started at a medium pace, once I established rythmn with my breathing and stroke(which was quick), then I was able to up my pace to a medium-hard... I continued at alternating between a medium (for rythmn and some short hards)... I was sighting welll and swam the buoy lines. After the first turn is where there was traffic and thus had to swim some zig-zags around other swimmers, ran into legs here and there. The back leg went well... and got to the last turn and then things thinned up, sighted the boat dock area and put me head down more and upped the pace to medium-hard with some hard, started kicking more and swam right until I hit ground with my hands. I got out and saw 31 minutes, and was elated! A new PR by about 45" to 1' (with little or no swimming practice), redemption from the epic Leadman swim fail.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, just need a local pool for practice, get another video analysis and a couple more technique lessons, cause I know that I am capable of 29 to 30' swims.
Transition 1
  • 02m 56s

I guess this was a decent transition, had a little bit of a sticky wetsuit maybe took 10 seconds longer than just a good rip off.

I struggled to get my suit in the bike bag, and of course wiped my feet on my towel before putting on my shoes. I hate rocks or debris in my shoes when cycling.
What would you do differently?:

I should have put my shoes on my pedals and rubberbanded them like a Leadman, but I forgot the rubberbands... I didn't want to bother anyone or tech for any.
  • 2h 36m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.44 mile/hr

Since I had never been here, I really had to go off of the elevation map. For 4 months I studied it and practiced it on paper. But as I looked over sections of the bike course on Friday, I realized that the paper was not even close to reality. I had a estimated goal of doing this part around 2:26, but when I was there on Friday, I backed it down to 2:30. I had a power target of around 250 to 260 avg. I should get it done pretty easily (at least I thought).

I also tried something new... I didn't wear a heart rate monitor. I have always maintained wattage as the primary but with backup from HR. This time I knew with the mountains that HR would be thrown out the window and just use PRE as a backup.

I got on the bike ok from transition, rolled past folks that were still clipping in and headed out.

My equipment:
Bike: 2011 Valdora PHX 2
Wheels: rented Zipp Firecrest 606 (404/808)
Gearing: 54/42 and 11/25

My splits were:

22.5 mi 22.5 mi 1:02:03 1:36:54 21.76 mi/h GOOD
44.7 mi 22.2 mi 1:10:32 2:47:26 18.88 mi/h GOOD until mile 42
56 mi 11.3 mi 24:10 3:11:36 28.06 mi/h GOOD

Total 56 mi 2:36:45 3:11:36 21.44 mi/h

Power: 256 avg. / 274 NP - perfect!!! (except for that section, only 200w???)

This split matrix doesn't tell the whole story... I was around 22.3 mph avg. up until mile 40 to 41 and I was at my marks, I was passing 45 - 49 agers, and holding my own, when I let one cyclist go instead of pursuing and blowing up, but then the dreaded wall and my undoing. I can't put my finger on it exactly but it was miles 42 to 44.5 to the top that seemed to go on FOREEVER!!! and this is the section where I lost at least 4 or 5 positions.

I was grinding in my lowest gear, a 42:25 (way overgeared) at a 50 cadence... I couldn't stand since that hurt... I was maxing my HR and just couldn't get my legs turning... I couldn't even maintain any watts at that cadence either, the mountain won and I was a humiliated fool for those 2 miles.

The top came and I tucked at went like a bat out of hell reaching speeds of 40 plus and a peak of 47 mph, scary shit on these rough roads and turns, I got hit with a puff of wind and a little wobbly, then on a downhill section where the road squeezed and narrowed I was coming up on a cyclist and yelling to the left, he didn't hear me or something, then again, well I had to hit the brakes a little hard and I felt that I almost went over the front end of the bike and caught myself. I had to make up time.... then the stupid cart path walk, and back up to speed and home.
What would you do differently?:

Overall, satisfied with the bike, except about a 3 mile section from 42 to 45 where I lost major positioning.

Back home, I have 8% grades but they are only about 1/4 mile lengths, not 2 to 3 miles.. LOL. I was way not prepared or trained for this part... I also was way overgeared... next time, IF, I'm going to have a 26 or 27 as the largest cog.
Transition 2
  • 02m 42s

I had a great flying dismount out of shoes. I put on my socks, stowed away my gear and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Not much
  • 1h 46m 13s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 07s  min/mile

I got off the bike, the legs were a little heavy but I was taking my time building speed as we trudged uphill along Tabernacle. I was looking at my Garmin and showing aroun 8:30/mile, a lot slower than I wanted to be BUT anyways. I was picking up some pace but not rushing it b/c I knew what lay ahead.

It was at the bend then looking at the hill at mile 2-ish that just sent a chill down my spine, I thought, OMG!!! this is not a 1.5 or 2% grade as I thought, and I also was starting to cramp in my lower back and lower front quads. I had to slow my pace down dramatically b/c of this... a couple of times, I had to stop to massage my quads and go on... thankfully, the aid stations stock perform and I guzzled down 2 cups and chased with water, the cramps abated a smidge, but resurfaced... I had to change my gait and stride just to keep moving up the hill... I was NOT going to walk.

The PRE was a little low, meaning I could have gone faster up the hill, but if I did, my quads would have locked up... so the uphill part killed my pace, BUT at each aid station I grabbed as much perform as I could and splashed myself with water.

As we reached the apex on the outleg, the dowhnill was a relief, my pace quickened up to 6:30/mi and I had absolutely no cramping or major strains from my legs, but the turn around... I tried to keep up a good pace despite the onset of cramps and increased PRE, b/c I knew that the hill would end in 1.5 miles.

My pace quickened or my motivation improved as I knew I had 4.1 miles left at the top of the mountain. I was able to hold about a 7:15 through the next mile, then that little jog up the hill at mile 10, WTF??? that is sadistic stuff, cramps all over again as I really barely prevented lockup on the little offshoot... but I was motivated that it was almost over and got my pace down to a 7:05 ish... the next 2 to 3 miles were tough as I maintained the 7 min. pace, then about 1/2 mile to go, I could hear the announcer... despite the pain, I put the hammer down and motored in at close to 6 min. mile. DONE... I'm a half-Ironman... LOL.
What would you do differently?:

I need to figure out a better electrolyte strategy or hydration/nutrition on the bike, since this is the 3rd time I've dealt with mild to medium cramping. These issues prevent me from running closer to my potential. Another thing is I REALLY need to do more and longer hill work, from Leadman to this race... I SUCK!!!
Post race
Warm down:

Limp around, find some friends, eat food and have a good time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I need more specific training in certain areas.

Event comments:

I was going for a Vegas slot... there were 7 spots... I came up short... but I thought that I would be depressed about it... I'm not depressed,a little dissappointment, BUT I also know that I gave it my all and didn't back down from the rough patches.

Overall, this was a good race, I had 2 rough patches on the extreme grades. I know that if I would have performed a little bit hard on those rough patches... perhaps I could have found up to 5 minutes, but....

I know the course and next time I know I can go harder and hopefully will be better trained and can find do about 10 minutes better.

BTW, thanks to all the volunteers!!!

Congrats to my fellow Arizonans who qualified for Vegas, I'm happy for you all.

Thanks to coach Mike Ricci @ D3 for helping me get there

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-11-07 12:00 AM
00:31:55 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 26/288
Overall: 242/2000
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Pro Vector
Course: A square pattern in Sand Hallow Resevoir
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:56
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:36:45 | 56 miles | 21.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/288
Overall: 166/2000
Performance: Good
Wind: Little with gusts
Course: A course with 3600ft.of elevation gain with ups and downs from the lake through Snow Canyon and to downtown St. George.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:46:13 | 13.1 miles | 08m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 16/288
Overall: 193/2000
Performance: Average
Course: A very tough run out of and back into St. George. A hilly and some mountain paved trail out and back with over 1000ft. elevation gain.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %4
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-05-06 11:46 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Ironman 70.3 St. George

2013-05-06 12:11 PM
in reply to: #4729395

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Boulder, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George
Good race Brian. We're getting there. I'm proud to coach you! Nothing but better races ahead!
2013-05-06 1:02 PM
in reply to: #4729395

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George
Looks like you put together a great race! I was out there this weekend as well, so I can appreciate your great time on such a tough course.  Well done!!
2013-05-06 2:22 PM
in reply to: #4729395

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Queen Creek, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George

Dude!  Way cool report and way well done!

Quite the departure from the beloved Leadman.  Sounds like you did an amazing job and kept it all in check with a few niggles to work out. 

You'll get all those hills, hydration, and cramps figured out and be on your way.  Besides, I've never done it, but St. George has to be one helluva course to go straight up 5:00 on.  There's no way I could do that, even in my sleep. 

2013-05-06 6:05 PM
in reply to: #4729870

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George
14th place in a competitive field and age group, I'd be happy too! Congrats on  a great race!
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