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Ironman 70.3 Muncie - Triathlon

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Muncie, Indiana
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
84F / 29C
Total Time = 4h 37m 55s
Overall Rank = 34/1518
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 4/204
Pre-race routine:

Had a clif bar and coffee on the drive to the race (white chocolate macadamia nut is my go-to race day breakfast). Brought a banana and ate that after transition closed.
Event warmup:

I had planned to swim for a few minutes at the public beach before heading up the hill to go through the timing mats with my wave. Well that didn't work so well as I misjudged my time and realized my wave was next to go off and had to run to get there. I made it in enough time to at least flop in the water and fill up my wetsuit.
  • 29m 25s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 23s / 100 yards

We lucked out and had a wetsuit legal swim. Can't believe after last year's 89 degree swim it was 75 this year. I started fast but not all out, and settled in pretty quickly. Contact was minimal, and after a couple hundred yards I found some feet.

Swam on the feet for a while but kept getting the feeling that we were going a little too slow. I pulled out of the draft a few times but realized that the pace was good. Finally the pace did slow as we hit the previous wave and I went around.

From the point we hit that first group of swimmers from the previous wave it was non-stop traffic and I lost sight of all the other yellow caps in my wave. Contact got pretty heavy and I got smacked and kicked a few times.

I had trouble getting my goggles clear before the swim start and that came back to haunt me after the second turn buoy. At that point we were heading straight into the sun and the best I could do was keep track of the swimmers around me. I couldn't see any buoys from that point on unless I was right next to them.

At one point I went off course to the inside and a kayaker herded me back in line, but I ended up finishing with a very satisfying time and a PR at the instance for the swim. I'd say that I owe a lot of this to the wetsuit.
What would you do differently?:

Get new goggles. This decision was easy for me as I stepped on them in T2 and cracked the nose piece.
Transition 1
  • 02m 56s

I got a new wetsuit this year and have had a little trouble getting out of it at every tri so far. This time i had to sit down to get it off my heels. Time to cut it a little shorter on the legs.
What would you do differently?:

Would have jumped on the bike but too many people at the mount line. Just stopped and swung a leg over.
  • 2h 25m 39s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.11 mile/hr

Age group and overall rankings are cumulative swim/bike.

I had planned to ride with an average HR just below 160. Starting out after the swim my HR was high but that's to be expected. I quickly got up to speed and was cruising nicely on the smooth road after going through the neighborhoods around the reservoir..

I hit the first .75mi section of no passing zone and immediately found myself behind someone riding 16mph. At this point my average pace was over 24 mph, but quickly dropped .5 by the time we made it through. Now, I have nothing against the other rider! I was however frustrated at the race organizers for routing us through not one but TWO .75 mi no passing zones. This is an IM brand race with nearly 2000 registered participants... Really??

After the no passing zone, we were treated to miles upon miles of chip seal roads with cracks running through them. These were honestly the worst roads I have ridden, race or not. I won't belabor the point; the only other thing I want to say about this section is that the right side of the lane was worse than the left, so everyone wanted to ride left of center. This made passing dangerous.

After finally making it through the second no passing zone, I was back onto the smooth road for which Muncie is known. Unfortunately my average speed had dropped well below 23 mph at this point and I decided to try and make up time. I got back above 23 before the neighborhood roads and small climbs back to T2, and finished with 23.0. Had a sneaking suspicion that I had over-cooked the bike.
What would you do differently?:

My average HR for the bike was higher than it should have been. I should have ridden my own race and not fell into the trap of trying to compensate for the rough roads and lower average speed.
Transition 2
  • 01m 50s

My dismount was slow, and my shoes kept getting stuck against the ground when I ran into T2. Ugly!

Other than that things went pretty well.
  • 1h 38m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

Age group and overall rankings are cumulative swim/bike/run.

I started the run actually feeling pretty good! The first three miles ticked by with an average pace right at 6:30 which had me feeling like my concern about over cooking the bike wasn't going to be an issue.

Well, luck ran out after three miles when my left hamstring cramped up badly and I had to completely stop on the side of the road. I was standing there in front of some guy's house trying to get my cramp to unlock and he actually came out to me and offered to help! I told him I was going to make it but every time I tried to stand up it locked up again. He offered his truck for me to lean against but I don't think I could have made it the 20 feet to get there.

After what felt like eternity I was finally able to stand up. It was actually 2-3 minutes but that's a long time to stand still in a race! I thanked my friend for the moral support and hobbled off at a greatly reduced pace.

What's unfortunate is that I had been slowly closing on a guy that I thought was in my AG over the first few miles, and now he was completely out of sight. I didn't know where I was in terms of placement, but my goal was to hit the podium (top 5 in IM races) and that now appeared to be slipping away.

From that point on it was one foot in front of the other, trying not to let the hammy cramp up again. It was feeling twingy and felt like any wrong step could set it off. This could be a long 10 miles....

Thankfully it never did cramp up again, but my pace slipped considerably as I struggled through in disaster aversion mode. To my surprise the guy I had been reeling in early in the run came back to me around mile 10. I'm not sure if he had an issue, but he seemed to be struggling and I passed him fairly easily.

As I closed in on the finish, I didn't know if I had put any time into him and didn't want to chance it so put in a final surge to the line.
What would you do differently?:

Not over cook the bike so I could run like a normal person.
Post race
Warm down:

After I finished I was happy about setting a new PR at this distance, but disappointed in myself for messing up my race strategy. I thought that surely it hurt my placement badly and was surprised when my wife told me the results were up and i was 4th in the AG.

I'm very pleased with this result as it checks off one of my goals- to make the podium in an IM branded 70.3. It also was satisfying in that I was an automatic qualifier for the 70.3 WC since there were 4 slots for my AG. Last year I finished 8th at Muncie and took the final roll-down slot but this year it was mine for the taking. That said, I turned down the slot as I don't feel the need to go again so soon. Vegas was a great experience but I don't want to get caught up in the rat race of trying to qualify and race the WC every year.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor pacing decisions the bike.

Event comments:

The race was well organized, well run, and staffed with great volunteers. However, if this new bike course layout doesn't change I doubt I will be back. I would expect better quality pavement on the roads in my local sprint, which costs roughly 1/5 the $ and has 1/6 the registered participants.

Last updated: 2013-03-15 12:00 AM
00:29:25 | 2112 yards | 01m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/204
Overall: 43/1518
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra vortex
Course: Out, across, and a rectangle but without the fourth side.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:25:39 | 56 miles | 23.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/204
Overall: 45/1518
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Out and back
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:50
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:38:05 | 13.1 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/204
Overall: 57/1518
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back with rolling hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-07-17 11:38 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Muncie

2013-07-19 12:59 PM
in reply to: #4807419

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie

It looks like you had a great race!

I am glad to hear I wasn't the only one frustrated by the road conditions and cooked myself off on the bike.  Had it not been for the road conditions I would imagine we both would have set bigger PR's than we each did.

Your run split looks like a dream to me.  I would have loved to have a 1:38 for the run.  I think I would have been much closer had the bike been executed better.

Hitting the podium is awesome in a race of this magnitude!  Big congrats!!

2013-07-23 6:21 PM
in reply to: DirkP

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie
Thanks Dirk!
2013-07-23 10:04 PM
in reply to: #4807419

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie
You, sir, are the one who is crazy fast. Woah! Excellent race. "Bummer" about the run, though it still is so fast it's hard for me to comprehend ; P I'm guessing you were a runner pre-tris? What's your favorite tri distance?
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