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Ironman 70.3 Syracuse - Triathlon

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Syracuse, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
47C / 117F
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /1616
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/97
Pre-race routine:

Woke up, got dressed. Ate two bowls of cereal and a banana and started hydrating on the drive to the race start. Ate another banana before the swim.

Event warmup:

Swam a bit in my wetsuit. Just prior to my getting in the water a local woman told me of the weeds - said they were disgusting and could even wrap around your neck and cut you ?? Not sure why someone would say something like that just before the beginning of a race!?

Water temperature was perfect and I felt good in my wetsuit.

  • 44m 26s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 18s / 100 meters

I placed myself slightly behind the first row of women but in line with the buoys and swam between two other women. Literally stroke for stroke until I got the idea to just pause a bit and then draft off the other woman. She sighted perfectly and all was good until she slowed and I almost swam over her so I took off on my own. Very little body contact with the exception of one woman that zigzagged in front of us. Pushed the pace once I rounded the final buoy and swam until my fingers hit the sand.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe swim a little harder at the beginning. I saw the time though and felt good about it.
Transition 1
  • 05m 27s

I went to a wetsuit stripper but didn't have it down fast enough and then it got stuck on my timing chip. Felt like it took forever to get it off. Put on my gear, some sunscreen and I was off.
  • 4h 04m 35s
  • 90.12 kms
  • 22.15 km/hr

Having ridden the course before I knew to pace myself for all the climbing. I was slow moving but that's nothing unusual. I felt fine for pretty much the full duration of the ride. Shoulders were really tight at the 40km mark so I pulled over and had a good stretch and then continued on. I geared properly on the big U hill and felt good about making it up without dropping my chain. I'm a very slow cyclist but was pleased with my effort and finished 15 minutes faster than I had anticipated.

What would you do differently?:

Drink more. I thought I was drinking a lot but in hindsight I had less than 100 oz for the full ride. I had almost finished 25oz of Gatorade after all the initial climbing and remember feeling really thirsty for water. I grabbed some at the first aid station and had to force myself to finish that bottle and start on another bottle of Gatorade. I grabbed a second bottle of water at the second aid station and finished it and almost all of the Gatorade.

I never feel like eating/drinking with the heat so I really had to force myself and I thought I was doing okay. I finished a larabar and about 4-5 dates.
Transition 2
  • 06m 4s

I don't know why this took so long. Changed the headwear and footwear, poured water over my face and dried off. Applied another coat of sunscreen and I was off.
  • 1h 31m 24s
  • 6.7 miles
  • 13m 40s  min/mile

I took a disposable water bottle with me but the water was boiling hot so I discarded it and focused on my run. As I head out I saw a friend from my swim group and thought she was done - I was embarrassed I was so slow in comparison but she yelled "I quit - it's too hot!" and this was the thought that occupied my mind for much of my run. If she - who is SO fast couldn't finish, how could I?

Got to the first aid station thinking it was at the 1 mile mark and felt ecstatic - I was just rushing through the race! ?? Silly girl. Had some water, Perform and shoved some ice down my bra and back.

I got to the road and so many people were walking uphill. I coasted down and felt okay. Arrived at the second aid station thirsty and drank some Perform and water. Grabbed some sponges and shoved them down my bra, back and one in my hat. I was so frustrated that I had done all this hill training and yet I was reduced to a walk. I chatted with a girl from Ottawa who agreed. Our warmest day was probably only 31 degrees so doing this race in 47 degrees was just too much. Rounded the corner and let a neighbour hose me down and started the second climb. Tried to run up a bit and was really sad to feel the familiar quad cramping begin. I was really thirsty at this point. The aid stations felt so far apart.

I took my time at the third station drinking water, Perform, coke - soaking my sponges and reapplying. Started a light jog down the hill, got hosed down and then proceeded to go down the last hill when my quads firmly cramped and I had to walk... on the flat shady portion. Frustrating.

I shuffled on and off up the last incline. I would fall in line behind someone else and let them keep pace. All the while I argued for and against stopping at the turn around.

-I wasn't having the run I'd trained for - the training I had done was a waste if all I could do was walk. I didn't come to Syracuse to walk.
-My recovery would take forever if I continued on cramped legs. They would be painful for days. They were already sore and I still had 6 miles to travel.
-I worried that with the heat - feeling a little lightheaded - I was putting myself at a health risk. My friend Nick always worried about this (his uncle had a heart attack on a marathon course). I'd never felt that way in a race before.
- I knew I could walk it. I had completed the Muskoka 70.3 before so it wasn't a matter of my not being able to walk it but I didn't want to. I had nothing to prove to anyone including myself.

-I've never quit anything before and I didn't want to set a precedent.
-I'd spent all this money on the race, traveling to Syracuse twice (training weekend and race weekend) and had even bought some race swag.

I got to the turn around - past the finish line - crossed the timing mat and quit. Turned around. Then changed my mind and crossed it again and started running. Had to stop and quit again - took my timing chip off and walked down the path. Then changed my mind again - cut across the grass and got back on the path and put my chip back on - hopeful no one would think I was cheating. I arrived at the first aid station - a crampy miserable mess and quit... for good.

What would you do differently?:

Drink more on the bike. Take salt tablets.

Not quit! Remorse is a horrible thing. I think I should have continued and walked it. But apparently it rained and with all the lightening the course closed so not sure I would have continued anyway.
Post race
Warm down:

They never tell you in the athlete guide how to officially quit. There was no way I was running down the finisher shute so I snuck in the back way and handed in my chip, collected all my gear from transition and went to my car. I felt so humiliated - as though everyone knew I had quit and yet another part of me was fine with my decision.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't think I drank enough on the bike. I should have probably drank close to double what I consumed.

Event comments:

Volunteers were great.

The parking lot was a disaster. I waited almost two hours. People were very aggressive about getting out - turning around and sneaking along the sides to the front of the park so those of us at the back were stuck. It was total chaos - very frustrating.

Photo showing the brief time I felt good and happy on the run!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-10-01 12:00 AM
00:44:26 | 1931 meters | 02m 18s / 100meters
Age Group: 48/97
Overall: 0/1616
Performance: Good
Suit: Nineteen Full Sleeve
Course: Single loop rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:27
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
04:04:35 | 90.12 kms | 22.15 km/hr
Age Group: 89/97
Overall: 0/1616
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Single 56mile loop with uphill climb for first 12 miles. Lots of false flats and a couple of other climbs. Last bit was all downhill.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:04
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:31:24 | 06.7 miles | 13m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/97
Overall: 0/1616
Performance: Bad
Course: Two loops where the turn around point is at the top of two steep hills. The majority of the run is on a shaded 'highway' of sorts.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-06-28 10:37 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse

2013-06-28 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4790584

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Great report and I'm sorry that you did not get to finish that day and having to agonize over whether to keep going or not. I can't imagine how tough that must have been for you and can totally understand being so invested in the race. I felt the same way.

You summed it up perfectly though, I don't the large majority of us trained or were prepared for the kind of heat and humidity that we wound up having to deal with that day. There were a lot of people who did not finish because of the heat and the race getting called. The run is very tough on a good day but with that heat and humidity it was nearly impossible to run the course much less the hills.

I was foturnate enough to finish before they called it. I wouldn't feel bad though if I were in the same situation I would have done the same thing. There will always be another race and it's not worth killing yourself to finish.
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