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Ironman 70.3 Hawaii - Triathlon


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Kohala Coast, Hawaii
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 31m 40s
Overall Rank = 229/1553
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 31/120
Pre-race routine:

Honu 2012 was tough. Insane winds made the bike "sketchy" and the run tough. We got to Kona on Thursday and were greeted by some really calm winds and overcast skies. Everyone was crossing their fingers hoping for optimal conditions. That was until we went to the pre race meeting where local weather man and triathlete Guy Hagi gave the NWS forecast for tomorrow. 10-15 mph gusting to 30 in the morning, and 15-30 gusting to 45 in the late morning. I seriously thought he was full of shit and just trying to scare everyone. When I woke up at 3 am and opened my door...reality set in.

Ok...no big deal...I've dealt with worse winds last year...or so I thought. I figured my 5 hour ish goal was still in reach, but sub 5:10 for sure. More to come on that...
Event warmup:

Swam about 150 yards to warm up.
Swim
  • 39m 23s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards
Comments:

You would think that when the split the men and women starts, there would be less contact. Fuck no...there was contact the entire swim. The first 200 meters I fully expect there to be chaos, but I had to fight for space the entire swim, and every turn buoy was a log jam.

Unlike last year, the winds were not calm in the morning so while the first 80% of the swim felt normal, the last 400 meters in were straight into the current and chop. I took a peek at my watch a few minutes after the last turn buoy and saw 32 minutes thinking I was going to have an awesome swim time in the 36-37 minute range but that last leg just took way too long. I seriously thought there was a jet ski or boat next to us causing waves.

Despite the conditions, I was completely comfortable in the water. Breathing was under control, pull felt strong, etc. When I got out of the water seeing 39 minutes, I knew sub 5 was going to take a really solid bike...and here begins the adventure we call Honu 2013.
What would you do differently?:

Can't say I would do anything differently. Considering my training partners who normally smoke me out of the water either only beat me by a few minutes or actually came out of the water behind me, I can't complain. The lead pros swam 2+ minutes slower than last 2 years.
Transition 1
  • 03m 43s
Comments:

Goal was to move faster this year. It was a longer run through the soft sand by about 30 yards, so that added some time but I was still about 20 seconds faster than last year. I passed a lot of people on the run up to the bike racks. Got everything pretty efficiently and made my way to the mount line.

Mount line is on a pretty steep hill. There really is no other way to do it, but it's just chaos. Guys trying to get clipped in or slip into their shoes on a 5% grade. I got in ok, but a guy up ahead to my left decided he would ride completely perpendicular to the road to try and get clipped in. He almost took me out as I rode 3 inches from the edge of the road and accelerate hard to avoid him. I'm not the best bike handler in the world, but I'd say 75% of triathletes in my situation would have gone off the lip and crashed into the gravel...or wouldn't have had the power to accelerate hard enough to get past him before taking out your back wheel.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I did what I set out to do and I was aware of the dangers at the mount line.
Bike
  • 2h 40m 9s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.98 mile/hr
Comments:

Goal was to ride at 210 watts and around 160 HR. I fucked both of those up right off the bat. I forgot to calibrate the quarq on race morning and I forgot to sync my HR monitor with my Garmin 500 since I put in a new battery. I did sync it with my 910, but with my hand position on the aerobars, I can't see shit on my 910 while riding.

Out of the gates I'm probably riding a bit too hard. Ok...settled down to about 210 watts within 8 minutes or so...but suddenly 210 felt too hard. It was at this point I realized I had not calibrated my PM and it could be reading low, so I decided to play it on the safe side and go by RPE for the first hour and see if I can build back to 210. I was waiting for my HR to kick in as it normally doesn't work right out of the water, when I finally realized my second goof up. For some reason I couldn't get it to sync through the menu options and I didn't want to fuss with it any longer as it might cause me to crash. So from there on out I would just go by RPE and use power as a general guide, but not shoot for an exact number.

I was passing people in bunches as I expected, and I was looking for some of my training partners assuming they had gotten out of the water before me. Turns out only Astro and Randy got out before me, and not by much. I skipped the first aid station as I had one bottle of water and one powerade, but I took way too long to drink that. I was already 45 minutes into the race before I started taking in calories. Whoops. I did end up taking in everything I planned to, and my stomach handled it fine, so no excuses there.

As I descended to Kawaihae, I noticed I was spinning out and tucked in at 47 mph. WTF...I don't ever remember going that fast. My avg speed was around 22 mph which was also a bit fast despite power being at 200 watts. Ok...just roll with it right? The climb to Hawi wasn't that bad (I passed Astro pretty convincingly at this point)...as I hit the turn around still averaging 20.5 mph...where last year I was at something like 19.0. I got a little excited thinking I was going to SMASH the bike...until I got a punch in the face both literally and figuratively.

At the turn around aid station, I asked for a bottle of water, pointed out to the guy holding it so we made eye contact. I held out my right arm to give him a target, but for some reason he decided that no matter where my hand was, he would just hold the bottle out with his arm fully extended and make me adjust to it. Not so bad if you do that 10 yards in advance...but sucks when you do it about 5 feet before I get to you. The bottle hit me square in the face, and I was able to pin it against my face preventing from dropping it. I also went into a little bit of a wobble on my bike, but didn't crash. I'm not sure how. I normally would have yelled out a "WTF", but the guy is just a volunteer, and I decided a simple "oh my god" would get the message across that he needs to think about how he hands off bottles next time. I can laugh about it now, but that would be a shitty way to crash in a race.

Ok...back to racing. So the descent from Hawi and basically all the way back to Mauna Lani is supposed to be a cross tailwind. Umm...I didn't get the hints along the way that wasn't going to be the case. It was a relentless cross headwind and explained why my first half speed was so fast. Normally on the way back you can do a lot of tucking and coasting at 30+ mph to give your legs a rest but some downhill portions you had to pedal just go keep it near 20 mph. I say again...the wind was just RELENTLESS. It wasn't as "strong" as last year, but the direction of it was perfect to make the race as hard as possible. The climb back up Kawaihae was a grind to stay above 7 mph even though it's only about a 3-3.5% grade. I did have enough gearing with 34/26, but I thought I wouldn't use the 26.

After that climb, I knew my bike split was toast. I was still on pace to have a faster split than last year, but only at the expense of trashing my run, so the last 10 miles was simply damage control. My power was also dropping off pretty badly as my legs were starting to revolt a bit. It was at this point that a handful of riders started to pass me...which has never happened at this point of the course before. I'd say about 20 total passed me, with 15 coming in the last 12 miles.

It was at this point that anything close to 5 hours was completely out the window. And considering how my legs felt, I knew the run was going to be a struggle, but I was trying to ease it in to still give me a shot at running 1:52 ish.

Got to the dismount line and saw my cheering squad as I shaked my head...
What would you do differently?:

Calibrate the PM and set up the HRM on the 500. Still though, I biked too hard. My ego got in the way, and I was about to get served some humble pie.
Transition 2
  • 01m 27s
Comments:

I had an awesome T2 spot right at the end of the rack so I didn't have to run far with my bike. 2 seconds faster than last year even though I fumbled with my shoes a little.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Run
  • 2h 06m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 41s  min/mile
Comments:

I ran out of T2 thinking that Randy was already ahead of me. I know I out biked him, but I assumed he was out of the water so much ahead that I didn't pass him on the bike. Well...I have no clue where I passed Randy on the bike, but I got word from Darrin that I was the first one from our group to hit the run.

Running legs felt good at first as they always do, and I forced myself to settle down early into the low 8's. As usual at Honu, I had to pee within the first mile of the run. I don't know why, but I just do, but luckily I can go while running. So I just let loose while nobody was around.

I noticed the wind on the run course wasn't nearly as bad as last year, which meant less wind to run into, but hotter. Got to mile 3 still holding pace and HR was in check at 170ish. First out and back and I finally see Randy who is about 5 minutes back and Astro about a minute behind him. I'm still holding pace at the second out and back when finally reality sets in as my effort goes up. HR climbing to 174 and I see Randy is only 3 minutes back now with Astro still about 6 minutes back. I knew Randy would hunt me down even on his worst day, but I had to manage my effort.

From there though, I don't know if I just broke mentally, or what, but I decided that I couldn't push the envelope today. I knew deep down that I biked too hard and would pay for it...so once I saw the 5 mile marker I decided to walk for 20 seconds. It helped...I got back to running in the 9 mm range and I was in pure survival mode from there on out. Randy passed me just before mile 6 and said he wasn't ever doing this race again. That at least confirmed it was a hard day.

I walked the aid station after mile 6, then I walked a lot more here and there. I thought it was a lot worse than it actually was, but it took me 27 minutes to get through a 2.1 mile stretch where I simply walked whenever I felt like it. The short steep hills and downhills on the golf course just wouldn't stop during that section and I actually couldn't wait to get to the "road to nowhwere" as it's not as rolling. It was during this time I actually had thoughts of walking the last 6 miles. I wasn't cramping, I wasn't injured, I wasn't overly sore...I was just exhausted. A few times while I was running I almost rolled my ankle from running to close to the edge of the road or path. I was fully aware of what I was doing, but I could have gone to a bad place if I pushed it.

So I took the time to thank a lot of volunteers, cheer on other racers, and just look around and enjoy the beauty of the Big Island. I mean, how many people can say they get to race in Hawaii...I get to do it all year, every year. Astro passed me at this point. He was struggling too, but he managed to run most of the way and I give him credit for toughing it out. The roles were reveresed last year when I caught him on the run as he struggled to a 2+ hour HM, so it was a little bit of payback for him...LOL.

A blister was forming under my right foot from all the water and ice I was dumping on myself, but it wasn't that bad. When I finally got to the last out and back, I knew I could at least finish without dying or spending hours in the medical tent so I decided to run more. I ran between aid stations and then finally saw Stan and Duane coming down about 5 minutes back. I figured as long as I kept a 10 minute pace, I would force them to run 8:20's to catch me before the finish which didn't look like they were capable of.

I continued to run except for the aid stations and the last short steep hill but I looked back with a mile to go and saw someone who was wearing the exact same kit as Stan about 100 yards behind. WTF...how did he make up 4 minutes on me in less than 2 miles? I picked up the pace and was running as hard as I could. I probably ran the last mile close to 8:15 which tells you just how easy I was cruising those middle 4 miles just to make sure I could survive.

I crossed the finish feeling pretty good as far as pain in my legs, but just exhausted. For nutrition, I didn't take anything in but water and cola. A few sips of perform, but I didn't touch my gels. I also had 2 salt tabs. I don't think nutrition was an issue at all.
What would you do differently?:

Not bike so hard. Race on a day with less wind.

When I found out Crowie won with a time of 4:05, it made me feel a lot better. I also noticed the bike times were a lot slower, and my finishing time of 5:17 would have been good enough for 145th this year where it was 214th last year. My overall and AG placings were pretty similar given how crappy my run was.
Post race
Warm down:

Food and lots of beer.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I bike way too hard. The conditions today were tough. Crowie said that it was the worst wind he ever rode in. Probably not the strongest, but the wind was in such a way that it just beat the shit out of you. This was no day for time goals. Check your ego in at the door and the smart ones prevailed today.

I never walked so much in a race before. It's only the second time I ever walked and the first time was because I couldn't even stand up on two feet. I made the decision that I wasn't about to wreck myself for this race by pushing the limits. I fucked it up royally on the bike, and there was nothing really for me to gain by seeing how little I could walk on the run.

I probably could have managed to come close to Astro who finished 5:26, but it wasn't worth it to me. I do this for fun, and that was not going to be fun trying to do that. I just wanted a cold beer, which I got lots of at the finish. I was actually surprised I didn't finish closer to 6 hours. Kona chewed me up and spit me out.

Event comments:

This year was by far the hardest of the 3 years I've done Honu, and the hardest race I have ever done overall. It was simply RELENTLESS...I'll use that word again. I was completely humbled by Kona on this day. The co-emcee and former IM world champion Greg Welch has said at the pre race meeting every year that this is one of the toughest 70.3's on the circuit. I have nothing else to compare it to, but I always thought that was bullshit given some of the other course profiles and conditions. Honu doesn't seem that bad on paper, but I'm becoming a believer that it's at least in the top 7-8 toughest 70.3's. Maybe not by finishing time, but just because the race is HARD. The wind, the heat, the grass, the short steep hills on the golf course, etc.




Last updated: 2013-01-24 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:39:23 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 50/120
Overall: 468/1553
Performance: Good
Suit:
Course: They reversed the direction of the course which shouldn't have changed much, but we were forced to swim into a huge chop/current to finish the last leg which felt like it took forevery.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 03:43
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
02:40:09 | 56 miles | 20.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/120
Overall: 0/1553
Performance: Below average
Avg Power 181, NP 190, Avg HR 162
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Same old Honu course
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 89
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 01:27
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
02:06:58 | 13.1 miles | 09m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/120
Overall: 0/1553
Performance: Bad
Course:
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2013-06-03 12:20 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii


2013-06-03 12:48 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Veteran
306
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Dallas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Dude! ! ! I loved your report. I just did IMTX 2 weeks ago, and did the Honu Half yesterday with my wife. This was her First Half Iron race. Before the start, she had already convinced herself that she wasn't going to finish. Well, she finished in 8:05. I was with her the whole way. I cannot believe the winds! By the time we got to Hawi, the winds up there were about 35 to 40mph. The last 2 miles into Hawi were indescribable! Anyway, so many of the things in your report are exactly what we have been talking about. Great job on a tough day!

Oh yeah, the hardest part of the day was getting the bikes and bags from transition to the stinking cars in the shuttle lot.
2013-06-03 1:09 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Extreme Veteran
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, Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
I was wondering how this race stacked up to those in years past. Great job on tackling the conditions and thanks for the thorough report!
2013-06-03 1:16 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Master
2912
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...at home in The ATL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Great race report, Jason - and way to get it done out there. It is hard to know when to say when and save it for another day, but it sounds like you were smart about it after over cooking the bike. Next time you forget to reset the zero offset on the quarq just back peddle 5 times while coasting and it will do it for you without going through the setup screens. Good to get in the habit several times on every ride, particularly if the temps are fluctuating. From what I understand a PT does the same time every time you coast - both PT and quarq reset the offset whenever they sense wheel revolutions (PT) or cadence (quarq) while getting a zero power reading.
2013-06-03 2:55 AM
in reply to: shamgar7

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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Great RR Jason!  Sounds like absolutely brutal conditions.  What was I saying about doing the race in 2014......?  
2013-06-03 4:52 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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46
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Great write up.. I enjoyed the way you described the remorseless of the race... Sounds like it was tough, good job on finishing.


2013-06-03 6:53 AM
in reply to: Tbjeff

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Much respect for you for knowing that you do this for fun and dealing with it properly on the run instead of putting yourself into a serious hole.  Sounds like a tough race with that darn wind
2013-06-03 7:25 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Master
2411
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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Wow! Crazy winds, sketchy bottle hand offs, blisters...you dealt with it all on race day! 

That was a great read and thanks for sharing your experience in such an honest way. I am so sorry that you didn't hit your goals on race day but you rallied and were able to thank the folks that helped out there.

Congrats on the finish and for being an all around badsa$$!

2013-06-03 7:39 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Pro
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NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Jason, excellent report on a tough day. It sounds like you made a lot of good decisions dealing with challenging circumstances. Grat job. Well-done and thanks for sharing!
2013-06-03 7:54 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Master
2177
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Exhausted just reading! Sounds like it was a tough one all around. Great job doing as well as you did!
2013-06-03 8:11 AM
in reply to: Blanda

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Great report Jason. I could feel the heat and wind just from reading it. 


2013-06-03 8:24 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Master
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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Wow, nothing but the utmost respect from me. That day sounds like it was really tough. Good job on toughing it out!
2013-06-03 8:26 AM
in reply to: 0

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Champion
7136
5000200010025
Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Very good report Jason. Sorry it wasn't the day you were hoping for. Sounds like a gut fest.

Some random things that caught my attention reading through.
- Never seen the T1 mount line (or the course for that matter) but it's not unreasonable to actually run your bike PAST the mount line. I do that sometimes and it's a lot easier than trying to get going uphill. (you also dodge a lot of "wobblers")

- Set some kind of alarm (or write a note on your bars/hand/arm/top tube) to remind you to start fueling. 45 minutes is too long to start.

- Of course it's person dependent, but just coke and water on the run seems VERY low, especially in the heat. On longer stuff, once my mind starts "making deals" (lets walk for a minute) it's almost always due to too few calories.

Again, good race on the day.



Edited by Leegoocrap 2013-06-03 8:28 AM
2013-06-03 9:20 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Wow, you handled a tough day quite well.....took accountability for your own screw ups and moved forward carefully. Excellent race in less than ideal wind circumstances.
2013-06-03 9:22 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Veteran
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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Sounds like an incredibly tough day out there.  Thanks for writing a really honest race report about it.  It sucks to not hit your goals, but days like that just aren't made for PR's.  Will you do the race again?
2013-06-03 9:49 AM
in reply to: Tbjeff

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Master
2770
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Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Tough, tough day. It sounds like you made smart decisions about the run. Those crosswinds are the worst, in my opinion. With a straight head wind, you can just settle in knowing you will have the benefit of a strong tail wind later, but when the wind is coming every which way, and the course is always turning and climbing, you're just beat up every way you turn. Your description of "relentless" is a great description.

Congrats on hanging in there.



2013-06-03 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4764560

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Way to persevere on a tough day Jason. Thanks for the honesty
2013-06-03 12:10 PM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Originally posted by Leegoocrap

Very good report Jason. Sorry it wasn't the day you were hoping for. Sounds like a gut fest.

Some random things that caught my attention reading through.
- Never seen the T1 mount line (or the course for that matter) but it's not unreasonable to actually run your bike PAST the mount line. I do that sometimes and it's a lot easier than trying to get going uphill. (you also dodge a lot of "wobblers")

- Set some kind of alarm (or write a note on your bars/hand/arm/top tube) to remind you to start fueling. 45 minutes is too long to start.

- Of course it's person dependent, but just coke and water on the run seems VERY low, especially in the heat. On longer stuff, once my mind starts "making deals" (lets walk for a minute) it's almost always due to too few calories.

Again, good race on the day.




Good questions.

The hill is about 75 yards long. You "could" push your bike all the way up that hill if you wanted to. When I mounted, the area was pretty clear (especially since the female wave started 7 minutes back), but it was just that one guy who rode perpendicular that almost took me out. If he rode a reasonable straight line, it wouldn't have been so bad. If you came out to the mount line with the "masses" as I have done in previous years, then yes...it may be a better idea to push your bike all the way to the top of that hill.

I have set an alarm in the past, and will likely do that again for future long course racing. I was way too busy passing people and making sure I was draft legal the first hour. As for the run...to me coke is just sugar water as a gel is sugar paste. I really didn't think that nutrition was an issue for me, but I suppose it is something I could have done better.
2013-06-03 12:31 PM
in reply to: #4764560

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Master
2855
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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
great job regardless of the outcome Jason.

I know how hard was and you went for the bike hard, and that was the gamble.

A lot of folks had a hard time this year, it was deceptive and easy to assume the conditions were forgiving (at least initially)..HA!

Overall, I enjoyed the pain, and it was a fun race. Ready to sign up again! ;-)
2013-06-04 2:01 PM
in reply to: #4764560

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Elite
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Ontario
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Tough day out there Jason - you still managed a heck of an effort, even though you overcooked the bike.
2013-06-04 7:53 PM
in reply to: GoFaster

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Veteran
2834
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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Yowza - great effort.  Sounds like it was incredibly tough...

Can't thank you enough for a report like this, as it's incredibly helpful for those of us starting out (your truly).  As a pilot friend said to me once, "You'd better learn from the mistakes of others, cuz you won't live long enough to make them all yourself."

Much appreciated and congrats on racing smart after a hot bike (just sounds grim&hellip - and on finishing what seems like a heckuva challenging day.

Matt



2013-06-05 3:24 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Master
6640
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Orlando
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Sounds like an absolutely brutal day; congratulations on getting through it so well. BTW, I think your post race cool down was spot on: food and lots of beer, perfect!
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