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Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake Stevens, Washington
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
58F / 14C
Total Time = 8h 00m 2s
Overall Rank = 1151/1222
Age Group = M60 - 64
Age Group Rank = 13/14
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 5:00am and ate a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Then ate a Clif Bar in transition while getting set up. Got body marked and after hitting the portapotties I got into my wetsuit.

The morning was quite cool at 11Celsius (about 52F) so the wait in the wetsuit was welcome.
Event warmup:

I found my wave group (wave 12 of 14) and felt pretty relaxed while watching the waves get started and waiting for our turn. When our time came we walked out onto a low floating dock then I just stepped off into the water and eased out to the start line. A fellow behind me lost his goggles. I'm not sure if someone got them for him or he swam without them.

I didn't actually do anything to warm-up. I felt good and relaxed just keen to get started.
  • 43m 10s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

There was about 100+ in our wave and at the start there was a lot of thrashing in the water and some crowding as we all tried to find our own space and jockeying for position. I started out slowly and let myself work up to full speed gradually.

I did get in behind feet a few times but I found they seemed too slow so I passed them. I was really enjoying the swim and even glancing around as I turned to breath and keeping an eye on everyone around me when my face was in the water.

I kept passing people quite quickly and began to notice different coloured caps so I was catching up to the waves in front of me. More than a few times swimmers behind me would grab my ankles but when that happened I just pushed harder and pulled further ahead.

For the whole swim I just swam about 10' to the right of a rope laid out under water along the course but in the last 200m I lost sight of the rope and had to site myself to the finish line. I was a bit unsteady when I stood up to get out of the water fortunately the volunteers were really helpful to get us onto the mats and out of the water.

I'm not sure about the distance of the course. It seemed a bit long to me OR my training swims that I thought were accurate 2km swims were a bit shorter than they should have been.
What would you do differently?:

I really enjoyed the swim and felt really comfortable in the water but in retrospect I think I could have easily gone faster so I need to push myself a bit harder than I usually do.
Transition 1
  • 06m 41s

I felt great coming out of the water and I didn't want to be too slow but I also wanted to take my time to get my equilibrium back to normal after the swim. I changed quickly and kept myself calm.

I also ripped open a Clif Bar and had it ready to eat once I got out on the bike route and I chugged a good bit of a bottle of Perpetuem.
What would you do differently?:

I was a bit too casual and could have been a bit faster than I was without getting anxious.
  • 3h 59m 31s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.00 mile/hr

On the way out of transition a fellow from my wave was staggering out of balance so I held back coming up to the mount line and let him go ahead. I quickly passed him and got comfortable in the saddle.

The route had a lot of ups and downs and I knew from reading past reports that I needed to ride as fast as I could for the first 36 miles because the last 20 miles had some of the hardest climbs and sharp corners.

I rode as fast as I could and planned to drink as much as I could every 15 minutes or so and I planned to eat a HS Waffle or Power bar at each AID station. I only stopped twice very briefly to open food packaging and once to refill my water bottle.

Everyone along the ride was supportive and encouraging. Many people called to me by name and urged me on and I got into it myself urging anyone on that I could. A lot of the fun of the day was talking back and forth with people and playing leap frog with others and encouraging anyone who was struggling.

I'm always slow on hill climbs and this was no exception. I did manage to push on the down-hills to make up time lost but I couldn't make it all back up.

Then we got into the last 20 miles and we came to the hills. At a few points here my bike computer showed 20% grades and it was pretty tough going. I managed to climb each hill even though I was pretty slow. I passed a lot of people walking up the hills and encouraged them to keep going. I passed one relay fellow who was zig-zagging his way up the steepest hill going up only a few feet at a time.

I finally reached the last 6 miles and there were still some climbs but nothing too hard and everyone was upbeat anticipating the ride finish. I heard later that someone had cast tacks out onto the rode and caused many flats. I was fortunate not to have any issues but I did see many people repairing flats.

I rounded the last corner and pulled up to the dismount line. The crowd was enthusiastic and calling to me by name and cheering me on. Pretty exciting.
What would you do differently?:

I am slowly getting faster but for Lake Stevens or any event like it I definitely need better bike fitness. I worked hard all winter to develop my bike fitness but I still have a long way to go.
Transition 2
  • 04m 57s

I was quite a bit faster here but I chose to walk out of transition to get my legs back under me and that cost me some time.
What would you do differently?:

As I said above I need to work on my bike fitness but I also need to get more comfortable with running off the bike.
  • 3h 05m 43s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 08s  min/mile

I'm not a good runner and I showed it on this run. After the hills on the bike I had little left in my legs to get me going. My HR seemed high so I tried to walk briskly to calm my HR down but it remained high so I found it hard to get going.

I managed to maintain a decent pace when I ran but I was only running about 50% of the time then walking briskly trying to calm my heart rate down. Otherwise I felt fine and I just kept going.

I felt well hydrated along the route and even stopped twice for a quick pee.

The crowds coming out of transition were even more vocal than on the bike and many called to me by name which really did help to encourage me. I also passed many of the people I had chatted with on the bike and many of them also called out to me which was really cool. I particularly enjoyed any high-fives I got and also the small children that held out their hands for high-fives.

All along the route the volunteers were fantastic and eager to help with anything we needed.

I met up with a fellow from Phoenix Arizona and we ran/walked together for a while. He was hurting a bit and he told me to go on ahead of him. We were close to the finish and I figured he had enough time to finish even though he was now walking and hurting. I did watch for him at the finish line but I never saw him. I did leave the area briefly to get my bike and gear out of the transition lot so I hope he finished then. I would have loved to see him finish.

I maintained a pretty steady pace on the course and I slowly got a bit stronger and picked up the pace a bit. Then in the last leg I was walking and came up to about 10 young athletic men and some ladies sitting by the side of the road (I think they had done the race themselves) and they all stood up and wildly cheered me on and they all high-fived me and shouted, "You've got this. You've already done it." I can't explain it but as I passed them I was full of emotion, tearing up (which I never do) and I started running and even though I was tired I ran my fastest mile ever and accelerated up the finish chute like I was a real runner.

That was my 1st ever half marathon. A lot slower than I intended but I'll be a lot faster next year. The finish was quite emotional to me. Two years ago I was neither a swimmer, cyclist nor a runner.

What would you do differently?:

I should have pushed myself harder through the bike and run.

I have a lot of room for improvement but I could feel I had the ability to do it better/faster. I will do this again as soon as I can find an event with less hills!!!

I will be faster.
Post race
Warm down:

After I got across the finish line and got my medal and hat I walked over and turned in my chip then they gave me an ice cold water. The water was awesome and went down really well.

As I walked through the finish area several people I had passed repeatedly called out my name one last time and I waved back to them. In my mind I was taking stock of what I was feeling. After 8 hours of non-stop hard effort I felt really good. I was steady on my feet and clear headed perhaps even capable of continuing longer.

I soon found my friend who won a third in his Age-group in his very first ever triathlon (he was third of four). He took me to the food tent and I picked up a couple pizza slices a big cookie and a Sprite. I enjoyed the food and also had brought along a "Recoverite" for after the event and took a Motrin.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think my own sense of comfort limited me. I need to learn how to push myself beyond my comfort zone as well as improving my training focus.

I loved the event and the spectators, volunteers and the other athletes made the event an incredible fun experience.

Event comments:

I would have appreciated an information booth in the package pick-up area to ask questions before race day.

Last updated: 2013-07-23 12:00 AM
00:43:10 | 2112 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/14
Overall: 939/1222
Performance: Good
Heart rate felt fine.
Suit: Blue Seventy Fusion
Course: Counter-clockwise straight out then approx. 200m left and then back to the finish. Under the water there was a rope along the course route.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:59:31 | 56 miles | 14.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/14
Overall: 1094/1222
Performance: Average
I kept my HR as high as I could and pushed fairly hard.
Wind: Little
Course: A big loop with LOTS of hills with some fast down-hills and sharp turns at the bottom.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 70
Turns: Below average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:57
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:05:43 | 13.1 miles | 14m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/14
Overall: 1144/1222
Performance: Below average
Course: A two loop run with a couple good climbs and descents.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-07-23 11:32 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Penticton, BC
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens

2013-07-24 10:21 PM
in reply to: #4812384

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Chicago, Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Congratulations George!  Great race report and great race.  
2013-07-24 10:39 PM
in reply to: #4812384

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens

"Two years ago I was neither a swimmer, cyclist nor a runner. "

That says it all! *I'm* tearing up (which I never used to do, then I had kids). Amazing, George, fantastic job! Of course you can improve your cycling fitness, but realize that you rode a super hard course! And then kept going!


2013-08-13 6:08 PM
in reply to: #4812384

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
I'm the fellow from Phoenix, and I did finish- I limped in at 8:19. Talking and running with you really helped me through a good part of the run. I had never experienced cramps like that before. Immediately after the race I was done for good with triathlons. I took a week of from training and I'm back it getting ready for Ironman Arizona! It was really nice to meet you. I have Lake Stevens on my calendar for next year- maybe I'll see you there.
2013-08-16 2:01 PM
in reply to: 97biggz

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens

Rock ON!  You did a great job of just putting your head down and keeping going.  To finish this having never even done a HM is a terrific accomplishment, and it sounds like you enjoyed the heck out of it at the same time.

Again, congrats on a great day.  Can't wait to read the RR from your next one!!


2013-08-16 2:59 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens

To think that not too long ago you didn't run, bike or swim...



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