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Ironman 70.3 Raleigh - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 34m 28s
Overall Rank = 373/2345
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 82/392
Pre-race routine:

In summary, I had a tough race.

I hydrated very well leading into this race. I had to #1 twice before the swim started, then again right when I got in the water, then another 4, maybe 5 times during the swim.
I felt perfect nutritionally, maybe a tad bloated. Saw Sid Mitchener in the corral, he looked ready. Saw the Scanlons, they looked great, shared some funny comments about bodyglide. Good vibe out there. Logistics getting in on the buses were seamless. My tires were fine overnight, but I'm glad I deflated tires and took my pump, as it was a hot commodity. Oh, and it would've been nice to have water bottles for pre-swim; I couldn't find any, so I grabbed a nearly empty gallon jug out of TA.
Prerace nutrition: 3:45am-bagel with honey, banana, started on 24 oz. of Ironman Perform. Clif bar at about 4:45. Half a clif bar at 6:30. Honey Stinger at 7ish.

Event warmup:

1/2 mile jog up to the bathroom I used for FS Half, only to find it locked. Heard they were kicking out folks that used the woods....
  • 55m 34s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 53s / 100 meters

Looking at the swim course from the beach, I thought man that's a long way. I'm hoping the swim was long (but I doubt it; it is WTC after all), because I've never swam so slow in my life otherwise...2:52/100m. I could've accepted 2:35 or so, but wow. Oh, and my wetsuit was in the trunk of my car because I "assumed" it would not be wetsuit legal with prior day's water temp of 79F. They called it as 76.0 F morning of, which made it wetsuit legal. I was devastated for about 5 minutes, then sucked it up and just went out to enjoy the swim. It was a brutal swim for me. I sighted laser straight. It was very easy to sight, but it took me a second to catch the line at the first turn buoy. I felt like I needed a cigarette after all the contact in the water. I had a cramp in my quad starting at about 400m that stuck with me the whole swim, just a dull ache. As I rounded the first turn buoy, I breathed right and saw the first pink cap. Guess who it was? Mr. long reach himself. Good job Greg. I was shooting for 48:15, ended up with 55:34.

What would you do differently?:

Take my wetsuit no matter what.
Learn how to swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 38s

Had a fairly decent T1 of 2:38, was shooting for 2. The whole "putt stuff in bags" thing was disorienting to me (even though I'd done it before at Over the Mountain back in 2007), and I wanted to make sure my pump made it back to T2, so I tied the bag to the pump. Seconds wasted there. And it was a LOOOOOOONNNGGGGGG TA. I felt like I moved fairly efficiently through there though.
What would you do differently?:

Be thinking about T1 in the water.
  • 2h 38m 43s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.17 mile/hr

Nothing new on race day, right? Well, I had ridden the new frame for maybe 3 rides prior to the race. Fit was as good as I could get it. The bike felt great right off the bat. I was so comfortable the whole time. Well, it did get a little hard on Avent Ferry, but Optimist Farm wasn't bad. I am thankful that I did FS Half there last fall, to know how the exit to the park feels. I rode it just like I did last fall. There were a LOT of position fouls and I managed to avoid any penalties. Did have an official stay near me for quite a few miles on Pea Ridge. I was sitting 4.1 lengths off a fast female (not sure who she was, couldn't get close enough to see her name). I came upon Dave on Pea Ridge, didn't recognize him, then called back to say hello. Through 26 miles I was at 22.1 mph. The last 30 was at 20.4, for an overall of 21.17mph. My gut shut down in Holly Springs, so the last 20 miles was only on electrolytes, no calories. Had to go #1 again for the whole ride, but did not stop or let it fly. I did stop briefly on Optimist Farm to say hello to my parents and Web, who were there cheering (they were also on Avent Ferry but I did not see them).

Was planning for 2:44 so was pleased with a 2:38:43, but it took its toll on the run.

Bike nutrition: one bottle of Perform up front, 2 bottles of Gu Brew electrolyte tabs (double tabs) plus one salt stick tablet in each bottle). Four Honey stingers in a flask on the top tube, mixed with water. The other half of the clif bar from prerace at mile 28. Been using Honey Stingers for a year, but the Perform for only about 2 weeks. It was a gamble and I lost. Also have never doubled the Brew tabs or used Salt Stick caps. However, I did not experience any swelling, so water retention was not a problem. I only went through ¾ of the Perform bottle, and 1-¼ bottles of Gu Brew. Picked up 2 water bottles on course (one on Pea Ridge, one on Optimist Farm), and stuck each one inside my tritop for cooling. Began alternating water and the other two fluids, then was mainly water when my stomach rebelled.

The volunteers and spectators were amazing on the route. Lots of folks out lining Avent Ferry Road, just an amazing amount of people out enjoying the morning! Great great water bottle handoffs by the volunteers, can not say enough positives. Great job!

What would you do differently?:

Never try to make up lost swim time by pushing the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 8s

Tough entry into transition. I was afraid I'd cramp coming off the bike, and I just about did. Managed to keep moving. Huge crowd at dismount line, which was at the top of a nasty 36 front/20 rear climb. I decided to change socks as mine from the bike were soaked, and that was a good 30 seconds spent.

T2 plan of 1 minute, ended up with a 2:08. It was a big TA and I had to run a long ways, both with the bike and after dropping it off. Did not stop for sunscreen.

What would you do differently?:

Get sunscreen on a day like this.
  • 1h 55m 25s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 49s  min/mile

The run felt like it might hold together, but nutrition crept up on me, and I went ahead and decided to walk every aid station. Stopped at mile 2 for #1 stop. Good move. It was really heating up, maybe mid to high 80s at that point, and my core temp was rising. There was very little shade for most of the run. It was blazing hot out at the Art Museum, and we had to do 2 loops out there which were brutal. It was a tough course. My legs were on the verge of total shutdown the whole time. I kept the pace just below shutdown. On the outbound leg I came upon Carolyn Fellowes-Gentry at St. Mary's School. We ran together for a bit, and I moved on ahead of her. At some point she passed me back (not sure where). I ran past a guy who was cramping just before Meredith, and I stopped to give him one of my salt stick caps.He was grateful. I kept one in reserve in case I just shut down. As we entered Campus drive, Linda Hatfield came roaring by me on the run. She just looked so smooth, but was doing work. Then as I entered the greenway, here comes Daryn just flying, on his way home. Wow. Quick stop for sunscreen at the greenway aid station. I walked up the big hill entering the museum. I walked a lot of the first loop out there too, but on the second lap I felt recovered, and cramps subsided. I ran by Jason Biggs on the second loop (he still finished ahead of me due to later start), and he said he was sick. Met Scanlon just after I crossed the bridge over 440, he looked fantastic. I walked the hill past the tunnel under Wade Avenue. A little further up I encountered Greg who was cramping. All I had to offer was encouragement and a salt stick cap, but he said he was good. As I exited Meredith on the way back, I again caught Carolyn, and we ran together for much of the rest of the course. I ended up pulling ahead of her at the finish, but I think it helped keep her going, and she got a Vegas slot. Gave my second salt stick cap to a guy cramping in front of State heading towards the museum. My legs were feeling good at that point, so figured I didn't need it. My friend Daryn Lambooy finished 2nd M40-44 and got a slot, as did Tara Wind formerly of Lifetime Fitness (now with WakeMed). Another new friend in Apex Scott Moomaw (who I've run and ridden with a bit) went 5:10.

My run plan was 1:39, and I ended up with a 1:55:25. I turned my fastest split in the home stretch. Last 4.1 miles were 18:51, 8:17, and 8:37, which included a long stop at aid station 3 (I had a coworker there I hung out with for a minute or so).

Run nutrition: plan was to carry the second flask of honey stingers. I did that, but only took one tiny sip to see if it would agree with me, and quickly decided to live off the course. Carried a bottle of Perform with me in my fuel belt handbottle. Alternated between that and water (and flat coke at mile 3). Ate a banana section at Meredith at mile 4, and an orange wedge. Water and ice in my tritop at the greenway aid station not far after. Banana wedge each time I passed the Art Museum aid station. Banana again passing the greenway station before Meredith. Water and ice every aid station. Orange slice again at the 5k to go mark.
What would you do differently?:

Never push the bike so hard that cramps appear ON THE BIKE. Have a plan B for when nutrition isn't working well. Wear a white hat that can cover my scalp AND contain ice. BONUS: That's exactly what the finisher gift is, a white hat!
Post race
Warm down:

Got a water, then went straight for a beer and slice of vegan zPizza. Then went back looking for Louis and rockstar Daryn, but they had vanished (they said the same of me). I stayed there and cheered in every athlete I saw for the next 45-60 minutes. Saw my friend Kevin come in, high-fived him in the chute, along with Wade, Jason Biggs, Marc Primanti, lots of folks. Heard Jennifer James announced, and went to meet her at the chute exit. Took her to find shade, then a few minutes later Scottie finished.
Bought a few things at the expo, then ran into IRONCAROL (keyone). She finished this freakin' thing swimming the one-arm freestyle. I.AM.AMAZED.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor wetsuit decision on my part, poor communication on the part of WTC in my opinion.
Piss-poor swimming performance.
Putting in a good bike split at the expense of a bad run split is a bad idea.

Event comments:

Could've used an aid station it seems between the last one past Meredith and the far one up at the Art Museum. That was a long stretch to me without anything, and there's a nasty stretch between.

My goal for the race was a 5:14 (not accounting for heat). That was a pipedream, 5:30 would've been more realistic, so I'm pleased I suppose with a 5:34:28. I had a buddy starting one wave later at 7:26 (Louis Holdstock), and we were joking last week about where I'd catch him on the run(he outswam me by a large amount). I ended up coming up to him with about 300m to go on the run. I touched his back, and he looked over and smiled. We ran in together, but I hung back and let him cross 1 second ahead. It was the sportsmanlike thing to do :).

Each of these events is a data point for me. I find out interesting things about myself each time. One thing I keep coming back to is the swim. I've got to figure this thing out if I'm going to keep doing these events. That will be my summer focus. I know I keep saying that, but I;m putting my money where my mouth is this time. Please force me to do that. Also, nutrition. It keeps blowing up on me. I've got to find what works and stick with it. Bike was comfortable first half, and a little too hard perhaps in the second. Mentally I was "trying to make up time" from the swim. That is a mistake. I did consciously back it off in the second half to save the legs a bit.

Next year?
The support on course was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Volunteers, staff, specators, law enforcement. Just a phenomenal effort on their part. Logistics were seamless once you got them figured out. I think I will do it again. It may be the ONLY race I do next year due to cost, but it will be fun to do again maybe. Only negatives were 1) not enough portapotties at swim start and 2) traffic impact. That's a wound that will take time to heal; there were a LOT of delays on the roads, but I believe it's the fault of the media AND the general public not giving a flip about it until they see a barricade/traffic cop in front of them.

Last updated: 2012-09-11 12:00 AM
00:55:34 | 1931 meters | 02m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 275/392
Overall: 1570/2345
Performance: Bad
Suit: none, dammit
Course: Triangular with long middle section, right turns.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:38
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
02:38:43 | 56 miles | 21.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 132/392
Overall: 574/2345
Performance: Good
Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank 26 mi 26 mi 1:10:36 2:08:48 22.10 mi/h 56 mi 30 mi 1:28:07 3:36:55 20.43 mi/h Total 56.0 mi 2:38:43 3:36:55 21.17 mi/h
Wind: Some
Course: Sedate first half, more hills in the 2nd.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:08
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:55:25 | 13.1 miles | 08m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 82/392
Overall: 373/2345
Performance: Below average
Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank 4.2 mi 4.2 mi 35:14 4:14:17 8:23/mi 6.4 mi 2.2 mi 21:08 4:35:25 9:36/mi 9.3 mi 2.9 mi 28:49 5:04:14 9:56/mi 13.1 mi 3.8 mi 30:14 5:34:28 7:57/mi Total 13.1 mi 1:55:25 5:34:28 8:48/mi
Course: Rolling for first 5 miles, then the hills started to come. Nasty little double loop out at the art museum really sucked the life out of me. I rebounded on the second half though and hung in there.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %5
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-06-03 1:10 PM

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Apex, NC
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

2013-06-03 7:07 PM
in reply to: #4765212

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Awesome report.

You rocked that bike and yeah that caused you to have to gut out the run, but you did just that. Solid day Bill. As always it was a pleasure to get to spend a few minutes with you at the race.
2013-06-03 8:42 PM
in reply to: qrkid

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Extreme Veteran
In front of computer when typing this.
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Haven't had the energy to put together a report yet but really enjoyed reading yours! I spent most of the run wondering when I would see you! Daryn said he saw you about 100m behind me at Merideth when he went by...pity you didnt catch me there because I think we ran about the same pace the rest of the way since you caught me 8.5 miles later and we could have run it together! X2 on the run difficulty, esp. mile 4-9, but the rest too! Thanks for helping me prep for this was really fun and thank goodness you had me ride Optimus...that would have been a shock to do first time on race day!

I'll do it next year with you if you like! I am strangely interested in doing this one again, which isnt my usual reaction to being in this much pain the day after! haha

You nailed the bike. I wonder if that affected your run or whether nutrition and heat was more the issue? I guess if we knew that we'd all nail pacing correctly! And am I the only one who thinks that perform stuff tastes nasty after 5 hours? :-)

Congrats though Bill on a really good race. Sort the swim out and you will be in the low 5s easy!
2013-06-03 10:39 PM
in reply to: #4765212

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Great bike split and awesome race overall! Awesome sportsmanship giving away your salt stick, too - some guy out there is extremely thankful, I'm sure!
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