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Ironman 70.3 St. George - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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St. George, Utah
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 7h 16m 15s
Overall Rank = 1717/2684
Age Group = 30-34 M
Age Group Rank = 216/243
Pre-race routine:

We got to St George on Thursday night and had dinner at a nice Italian joint by the Village. Friday morning we went to Kneaders for breakfast, met up with my friends who were also racing and went to check in together. Breezed in and out in 10 minutes. Did some shopping and checked out the expo area. Ran into Merideth Kessler and said hi and talked to some of the other athletes in the area. Went out for a short 30 minute ride and took the bikes to T1 to check them in. Dropped off the bike and checked out the water before heading out on a course preview. drove a majority of the course and headed back to meet up with the families for dinner. Ate and caught a showing of Ironman 3 (funny) and got to bed around 10:30. Slept great! I woke up at 4:15, showered, ate oatmeal, a banana and sipped on some gatorade. Got my gear together and got to the buses around 4:45. Took the bus to T1.
Event warmup:

Got marked up and found my bike. I hit the Rent a Johns before there was any line! Checked my tire pressure and tried to stay as relaxed as possible. Got my wet suit on, took a Gu and found the rest of the yellow caps.
  • 37m 59s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

Swim went well! Water was cold which I don't have a problem with. I started on the outside in open water and had it the entire way. I bumped into a few people here and there which is to be expected but no real thrashing or anything like that. I did run into a guy who was swimming perpendicular to the course, haha, he popped up and said "what the hell man?" I just pointed toward the shore and he looked and laughed and on we went. Funny moment. Sighting was right on which I am happy about. I caught some of the people in the wave before me and also got caught by people in the wave after but all in all it was a good swim for me. I've never done this distance so I figured 35:00 and was close.
What would you do differently?:

More training. Lose some weight!
Transition 1
  • 04m 58s

I didn't use the strippers. I ran past and took the suit off quickly. The water being so cold I needed a minute to get my bearings. It seemed like I couldn't get my Gu's into the pocket on the back of my jersey because of how disoriented I was. I seriously need to invest in a bento box type of thing.
What would you do differently?:

Have a better plan and practice the plan before the race. Maybe save me a minute or two.
  • 3h 29m 43s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.02 mile/hr

Came out of T1 and first noticed I was COLD. My legs were cold and I took the gear down a notch and tried to spin in out. That wasn't working so well for some reason but I stuck with it to see if I could get it to warm up and focus on what I was doing. I felt one of my Gu's hit my butt as I went over the plywood over the cattle guard and I reached back to make sure no others came out and all I felt was my bag of salt tabs. I was holding that baggie with my teeth when I rolled over the 2nd cattle guard and lost the bag. I started to panic a little bit. I started the climb out of the Sand Hollow area and just lost focus. I stopped. "What in the WORLD was I doing?" It took me a minute to refocus and back on the bike I went. Got out of that and towards Hurricane. I was now warmed up and through Hurricane and all the way to the 15 Fwy I felt great. As we were cruising up Red Hills Pkwy we saw the Pro Men leaders pass. The only one I recognized was Any Potts in 3rd at the time. It amazes me the speed those guys have. I got into a good rhythm through the hills and carried that to the aid station at 42 (?) miles (right before Snow Canyon).
I stopped at the aid station because I had to pee really bad. Stopped, gathered my thoughts and focused on the climb. Cruised up past the camp grounds and saw the main climb. About halfway up is when it started. I could feel my quads "grab" and start to cramp. Then it locked up. I had to stop and unclip. Both quads were locking up and I was saying "NO NO NO NO PLEASE NO NOT RIGHT NOW!". I drank some water and gatorade and walked a few steps and tried again. This went on for almost 2 miles. I pulled over into the far lane so I wasn't blocking or impeding anyone elses progress and tried to get them to loosen up. Immediately my thoughts went to my salt tabs I lost right out of the gate. I didn't know how close we were to the top or I would have just walked to the guard shack and jumped on. I thought if I could just get to the downhill portion of this I could spin them out and drink more gatorade and water and hold the cramps at bay until I get to transition.
I got back on the bike and made it the last few hundred yards to the guard shack and headed down the hill. Man that was fast. I drank as much as I could and spun my legs to get them flushed out. Everything seemed fine and my legs seemed like they were feeling good. I started up the final little hill before Diagonal Street and that is where the wheels fell off completely. Both quads locked and down I went. Lucky for me there was either a Tri Coach or a Relay team member there who helped me up and told me what to do. I couldn't walk. I couldn't do anything. I hit the deck again. I was in a bad way. He massaged my legs for me and gave me 4 salt tabs and water. I started getting dizzy. He helped me up and made me walk up the hill. The more I walked the better it went. He told me to spin all the way back. I got back on the bike and headed into transition. Besides feeling like I was about to cramp the entire time I was amazed to see all the spectators. It was a huge boost and for about 30 seconds I ALMOST forgot about the pain in my legs. Came in, racked the bike and took a seat to put on socks and running shoes.
What would you do differently?:

This is my first time at this distance. I've heard before that Nutrition is the 4th Sport of triathlon and for those of you that read this and have aspirations of completing this distance this is absolutely true.
Transition 2
  • 05m 30s

Plopped down and got my socks and shoes on and headed to get some sunscreen and water.
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing.
  • 2h 58m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 35s  min/mile
Comments: when I got off the bike and onto my feet it felt SOOOOOO much better. I stopped at the aid station in transition and drank a few glasses of water and had a gu from my run gear bag and took 2 more salt tabs. Headed out and kissed my wife and head out diagonal street. I felt surprisingly good. My quads were sore but were holding steady. I made it to the 2nd aid station on Hwy 18 and walked the hill as we turned onto Red Hills Pkwy. At the top of that I started up again and got into a good turnover and felt ok. I thought to myself "You can do this pace all day!". I found a few people to chat with and walked through each aid station taking some water and Perform...which is NASTY! Anyway, when we got to Pioneer Park the quads started again. I walked the park...which was a little demoralizing...(not like everything else wasn't). I made it to the turn around and knew if I could do that on the way back I might be in alright shape. That was not to be.
I turned around and started back up the hill and my legs just stopped moving. I forced myself to walk. People around me were walking past me like I was standing still. At the aid station I drank everything. Had an orange, ate a pretzel. "Ran" through the park and to the next aid station and the minute I started walking is when I really don't remember anything else from there to the last aid station on Red Hills Pkwy...except what went through my mind. I went through almost every emotion you can have. I cried because I was letting myself down. I was upset with myself because I "wasted" my time and spent all that time away from my wife and son and this is what I have to show for it? This is how I repay her for letting me do this? This kind of performance? Forget it...I'm selling my bikes and my gear and this would be it for me. I don't know how this came all the way full circle.
At the aid station I remember I needed to pee so I did...and it was dark. Something clicked on in my brain telling me I needed to get to medical help and some how the closest medical personnel were at the finish. So I ran...kinda. I don't remember much of that part either...except a little girl about a mile from the finish standing on her front lawn say "Let's go boys!". I ran down the finish and took a second before collapsing and waking up next to a guy in the med tent that was shaking like I was.
What would you do differently?:

I don't even know where to start.
Post race
Warm down:

Took about an hour and 2 bags of fluids in the Med Tent. It took me about another hour and a half before I could get my bearings and had the presence of mind to act like a human being again. Had some pizza and grabbed my gear and headed back to the hotel.
This part is my beautiful wife was helping me into the hotel, Craig Alexander was coming out. He asked how my day went and gave me some good advice going forward. He also talked about how his wife just had a baby 7 weeks ago and he wasn't racing because there are things more important. My wife is 6 months pregnant so that definitely struck a chord with her. What an amazing guy. Took 10 minutes of his time to sit and talk with someone who finished in 7 + hours.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutrition. I've got to figure this out. I had an amazing time. But I wanted to do better. I wanted to feel better about it.

Anyone who reads this...PM me or leave a comment. I want to discuss nutrition. I need help and I do not want this to happen in my next race.

This was an incredibly humbling experience. I absolutely loved getting ready for this race but I have serious doubts if I could ever do this distance again let alone 140.6. I'm taking some time off and waiting for our baby in August and I'll see what happens from there. I really am still contemplating whether to see my tri bike and gear and wait until I'm older to try this stuff again.

Event comments:

Awesome event. Incredible location. Wonderful volunteers!

Last updated: 2012-10-26 12:00 AM
00:37:59 | 2112 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 101/243
Overall: 809/2684
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Counter clockwise around an island.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:29:43 | 56 miles | 16.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 197/243
Overall: 1504/2684
Performance: Bad
Wind: None
Course: Around Sand Hollow, Hurricane, St George and Snow Canyon.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:30
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:58:05 | 13.1 miles | 13m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 216/243
Overall: 1717/2684
Performance: Bad
Course: Hilly out and back.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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 2:54 PM

Subject: Ironman 70.3 St. George

2013-05-06 5:44 PM
in reply to: #4729958

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George

You tried your best, and learned a lot.

Definitely a tough race for anyone.

I'm sure you have a good list of things to get right for the next 70.3, which I'm sure you'll do way better.

Usually the main trick is to hydrate, and eat early and often on the bike. Salt pills seem to help with cramps, although debated (I use them).

Once you get to the end of the bike and onto the run, the damage is done.

2013-05-06 5:51 PM
in reply to: #4729958

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. George

Thanks for sharing your RR. I admire you for finishing under such tough circumstances. Craig Alexander has always been at the top of my list of favorite pros but now he's taken it to the next level. What a cool guy.

As for the nutrition, I am not an expert but salt is critical on hot dry course like that. I am still learning myself but the thing that has helped me the most is training myself to drink an electrolyte bottle an hour during training. Hope you get it figured out.

You are right about the venue and area. Amazing!

2013-05-07 9:27 AM
in reply to: #4729958

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

At least you didn't forget to pee. 

You did fine.  You finished and obviously are ready to do it again as you are wishing to see how to get better at nutrition.

Well done!

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