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Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon - Triathlon

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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
Columbia Triathlon Association
Total Time = 6h 50m 40s
Overall Rank = 1516/2100
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 85/125
Pre-race routine:

It was a long day of travel, packet pickup, bike racking, and driving to the hotel. We found a sushi place to eat and we just had cooked sushi and appetizers. I was in bed by 8pm. We got up at 3am so that we could try to get a parking spot in the few available in the local neighborhoods which worked out well - that way Dave could use the car to charge his phone and rest between events. I took a quick shower to wake up and we quickly left the hotel that was 45 minutes away from the race site. We got a cup of coffee that I drank on the way to the race. I timed my breakfast for 2 1/2 hours before the start of my wave - had 1 cup rice with brown sugar and honey, with raspberries and almond milk at 5:30 am. I had a cliff gel at 7pm and sipped on 24oz of skratch. My wave went off at 8:05.

Event warmup:

I stretched well but otherwise I was using the swim as my warm up.LOL

Before the race, 83 year old Sister Madonna Buder spoke. Her message: “We are lucky to be able to do this today. Enjoy the day and the blessings we have.”

Buder continues to compete in half and full iron events and is the oldest person to ever finish an ironman, embodies the spirit that anything is possible. Amazing.
  • 57m 57s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 44s / 100 yards

I am just not a strong swimmer. I started with the pack and slowly they all pulled ahead. I was comfortable in the wetsuit and felt very buoyant. I was breathing on every other stroke for the first 1/3 of the course and had some weird scissor kick (not sure where that came from). I settled in finally and was able to breathe every 4 strokes and was kicking more normally. The buoys were very far apart and I had trouble siting them easily. Most triathlons seem to have double the buoys between the turns. By this time the next wave of 25-29 year old men tackled me. The water was clear, there was no chop, but there was a current at the back of the course that kept pushing me in the wrong direction. I kept correcting for this but I added more mileage than I needed to. In fact, being the over achiever that I am, I actually swam 1.41 miles according to my watch! This was a complete embarrassment of a swim. Three swim waves passed me when it was all said and done.My slowest swim in a triathlon yet.
What would you do differently?:

Consider duathlons in the future or figure out whatever key element I am missing that prevents me from swimming with any speed whatsoever.
Transition 1
  • 04m 23s

The string from the back of the wetsuit was stuck on the inside of my leg around my timing chip. I had to sit down to work that out. Otherwise, transition was smooth.
Because of all the rains 2 days before the race, the marshy transition area had turned into a muddy disaster. They laid large cloths over but with SO many people it just didn't help. The bike out was just 3-5 inches of mud to run through. My bike shoes were covered in mud completely. It was like a tough mudder getting the bike in and out.
What would you do differently?:

Reapply sunscreen. I had put a fair bit of water resistant sunscreen on before the race, but I should have reapplied here.
  • 3h 10m 32s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.67 mile/hr

I really liked this bike course. I love riding by water and through parks so this course suited me well. It was really flat so you were pedaling the entire time. I drank every 5 minutes for the first 2 hours and really 'worked' at my hydration. I stayed on nutrition and ate 1/2 of my honey stinger waffle at 20 and 40 miles. I felt great for the first 2 hours - I was in aero about 90% of this ride. The last hour of the ride my lower back and neck started to get really tight and bother me so I up was up and down a lot. By this time, the wind had started to pick up some - not bad but present. I stopped once at 22 miles to refill my aero bottle. I drank about 48 oz total, probably not enough. I wish I would have taken one of the waters that were available so that I could have rinsed my mouth of all the sugar. I hate that feeling and this was the beginning of my troubles.

What would you do differently?:

Take a water bottle when I start to get that 'feeling' in my mouth.
Ride in aero more so my neck and back get more accustomed to it.
I really wasn't sure how hard to push the bike and still have energy for the run. I think I could have gone harder as my HR wasn't that high.
Transition 2
  • 03m 42s

The run in with the bike was worse than getting out. Really bad mud.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 33m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 43s  min/mile

I will start by saying that this is my slowest HM time ever and I was so disappointed. In retrospect, I think I figured out where I went wrong. My first mistake is that I gave Dave my running bottle filled with skratch because it was so hot I couldn't handle the thought of drinking HOT anything by this point. The run started well and I was pacing at 9:50's. I stopped to use a port o potty after the first mile - I had to pee really bad. I still had that bad sugar taste in my mouth and I couldn't wait for the first aid station to get some cold water. I rinsed my mouth out and spit it out and felt much better. It was getting hot by this point (I think someone said it reached 86 degrees and it was muggy/humid by the marsh) with the direct sun and had some mild cramping and a dull headache. I ran to the next aid station and drank a cup of water and put ice down my shirt. I chewed on ice in between aid stations. My pace started to slow at this point. I was supposed to eat a gel at 4 and 8 miles but couldn't get over the thought of putting more sugar in my mouth. In my head I kept hearing Coach Scott say 'Keep to your nutrition plan even if you don't want to' - and although I really wanted to, this is where my mind won out and things got bad. I decided I would start drinking a gatorade (for calories and lytes), putting water over my head and ice down my shirt at eat aid station. I was still running between aid stations, but even though my mind wanted my body to go faster, for some reason I couldn't even when I tried. I ran with my head down and just kept shuffling/passing all the people who were walking. 90% of people were walking at this point. I think that played into my mental status as well. I told myself I would only walk the aid stations and I did stick to that plan. I also told myself that at the turn around I would force a gel down and I wish I had stuck to that plan. I somehow convinced myself that drinking gatorade was keeping my calories up. The last half of the run was just a shuffle all the way back. I really couldn't understand at the time why my body couldn't get up to at least a 10m/m. My feet started squishing also about half way through - between the mud that got into my socks from the bike and the water I kept putting over my head that got to my feet, I could tell I was getting some blisters (which I never get) - and yes, both big toes have blisters!

In retrospect, I am sure I was terribly hypoglycemic during the run. By that point in the run, I had only taken in my rice concoction, a gel, and a waffle for solids the entire day. I was like a zombie by the end of the run and although I was functioning I knew I didn't feel right. I did not want any of the food that was available after the race so we just packed up and left. We were about 2 hours away when we stopped to get some food and I felt IMMEDIATELY (like within minutes) better after some hot chocolate and cheetos (of all things). I think I was craving sugar and salt! I couldn't believe how much better I felt and I was talking and thinking much more normally. I was really stupid during the run and should have just stuck to the plan. It is clear now that I needed more calories to keep running.

What would you do differently?:

Follow my nutrition plan and take in more calories!!! Maybe add more calories to the bike in preparation for the run.
Post race
Warm down:

There wasn't much time for this. I knew we had a 4 hour drive home and I was now an hour later than expected.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think my decision not to take in more calories during the run really was my downfall. The swim is just always my worst event and although I try (or tri) really hard to improve this, it really is a limiting factor for me.

Event comments:

I think this was a great race! I loved this distance and would like to go back and have a 'redo' so I can do it better with better decision making! I couldn't have asked for better weather conditions!!

One of the things I need to get over is the fact that I am not that good - not that I don't try hard. I am just not a person who will ever 'win' at a big race like Eagleman. It is just part of my personality to 'be the best' at what I do and in this sport, unless you pick your race correctly, I will not win. So really I just participate in triathlon, not really 'race', especially at events of this size.

I worked hard! And I had fun!And I loved the journey to get here!

Last updated: 2012-12-22 12:00 AM
00:57:57 | 2112 yards | 02m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 110/125
Overall: 1792/2100
Performance: Bad
Suit: Yes
Course: rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:10:32 | 56 miles | 17.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/125
Overall: 0/2100
Ave HR 142 - should have gone harder? Cadence 77
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:33:15 | 13.1 miles | 11m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/125
Overall: 0/2100
Ave HR 145
Course: out and back
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-06-11 8:25 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon

2013-06-11 8:48 AM
in reply to: #4773056

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon
You did good Michele! You should be proud of what you did! Each race we learn something and this race was no different. I hope to see you back out there and getting ready for the next HIM
2013-06-11 3:13 PM
in reply to: #4773056

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Elgin, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon
Great race Michele! I hope to go into mine as confidently as you did yours. Way to get it done!
2013-06-12 7:36 AM
in reply to: #4773056

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Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon
Awesome job, and this sums it up... "I worked hard! And I had fun!And I loved the journey to get here!"... that right there is a total WIN.
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