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Ironman World Championship 70.3 - Triathlon

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Henderson, Nevada
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 43m 17s
Overall Rank = 229/2463
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 43/267
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:30 AM. Had the usual breakfast and then off for a quick shower and get the rest of what I needed ready. We made our way down to the car in the parking lot of the hotel and as soon as we opened the door we realized it was pouring rain. Not what I had expected on race day and certainly going to make things a little different on the race course. Earlier in the week I went for a run in the pouring rain and almost killed myself. The roads and sidewalks are very slick in Vegas when they get water on them. No worries though, everyone has the same conditions and you can only take care of yourself out there. Just a note to be a little extra cautious on the bike when passing people and going into any sharp turns. Thankfully this course really only has maybe 1-3 turns where I could see myself going down.

Made my way down to my bike. Tires pumped, water bottles and computer on the bike and pretty much all set. All of 10 minutes tops. Back up to the bridge over the lake and I found a quite spot to sit, relax and try to dry off and get warm again. Yes, get warm in Vegas. Ya know the town where it was only 106 on Wednesday prior to the race. Oh well.

Made a quick pit stop over to the bathroom, speed suit on. Some stretching of the hips and legs and then some upper body movement to get the blood flowing. I honestly felt pretty good and was ready to go.

I headed on down to get lined up for the start. Only about 20 minutes to go and that usually goes pretty quickly. I went to the front of the age group in line which might have been a mistake. The last few races I've kinda been in the water in my own time and place. This time around I had a few of the top guys in my AG come up to me and say... hey mind if we swim together. Then if we come out together we can work on the bike. I don't mind this line of thinking but I think I execute better when I go into this on my own with my own game plan. Needless to say I was stuck.
Event warmup:

Got into the water and did some swimming. Water temps were about the same as the air so it was not that bad. After about 3-5 minutes of swimming I lined up as far left as I could. Most of the faster guys did the same. After reading the recent article about swim lines for this race it was clear that swimming on the left of the course and taking a straight line to the rocks was the fastest and straightest path to that last turn at 800 meters.
  • 27m 58s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 19s / 100 yards

Horn goes off and right away the pace was fast but I felt great and my form and stroke rate felt fantastic. Maybe this would be an easy swim. I felt very even and balanced and the high stroke rate was working just fine. I was clearly broken away from the entire field on the left within 200 meters. There were a few guys off to the far right but I was not even concerned as they were going to be swimming much more yardage than I was where I was positioned.

I made the first right turn and felt fine. Made the second right turn and was slowing a little as I was catching the waves in front of me and it was a royal mess. I'd literally take 2 arm strokes and be on top of someone who appeared nearly 10 yards ahead of me when I was sighting. I tried to be as cautious and easy on them as possible and as soon as I felt someone I literally made a lateral move right off of them. Needless to say for some reason I swam way left on the way back. I wanted to be right on the buoy line on the way back in. Not happening as it was ultra crowded. But by the rock wall there was a huge wake that was bouncing off the wall. So I was swimming in what felt like ocean swell conditions.

Back to the exit and I went to get out and realized that the dam ramp was only 3 feet long and I was in 10 feet of water. They didn't put a lower ramp on to swim up on. So I literally had to do a push up to get out of the water. Think getting out of a pool at the deep end that has a 2 foot high bulk head. There were people there pulling us out but it was just not what I expected.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 04m 5s

Horrible mess here. Muddy, soft mud and puddles all the way through the transition area. The grass on the back end of the run was like 6 inches deep. Then to top it off we had our transition bags hanging from our bikes. All your stuff had to be packed back in the bag before you left. Well if you wanted it at the end of the race that is... I grab my bike and realize I can't see a dam thing with my glasses on. So I take them off and try to put them in my back pocket on my kit. Pocket is too small on the new kit and the arm snaps off my glasses. Good lord. I look down in the mud grab the arm. Snap it back on then sigh and keep on moving.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 24m 43s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.22 mile/hr

Right away I knew it was going to be a long ride. As I went up the first hill in the hotel area towards the Westin I was with one of my main competitors. A guy I beat numerous times over the last three years. There's no way I should not be riding with this guy. We go up the hill and the pace is stiff and power is a little high but Im pretty certain that things will level out as we get out of the hotel are and onto the main part of the course.

By the time we got out on the main roads there was a group of 4-5 of us and everyone was not giving a single inch. We had last years AG Overall winner and then a few of the better guys in the Overall game all together. I look at my power meter and the effort is way to hard for my liking. Not to mention that my average power and normalized power is well north of what I would ride an OLY distance race at. Either Im gonna have a killer ride or there's going to be an epic melt down. One thing was certain, I was not about to let the top 5 guys ride away from me when I clearly know I should be riding with them.

By mile 20 it was getting really tough. Again the effort for me was way to high. I was really struggling with the amount of power. On a better day I might have been able to hold on longer but I think it would have been much smarter to smooth things out and ride a smarter race. By the turn around in the park it was a huge mess. The rubber band had stretched as far as it would go and I lost contact with the group. They were probably 40 seconds up the road but it was stretching. Now I was in no mans land and riding alone.

As I made my way back to Henderson I made and effort to keep my power in the 260-280 range and ride more smoother. What I should have been doing all along.

Approach mile 50 on Warm Springs Rd and BAM my left quad and hamstring locks to the point where I can't do anything. Standing and stretching is not even working. Sitting and stretching was not working. Some deep breathing and forced relaxing finally gave it enough to release. What goes through your mind at that point? Well, I've got 6 more miles of riding and they are all up hill. Oh and I have 13.1 mile run. Oh and hey look the sun just came out and it's an absolute steam bath.
What would you do differently?:

Not race? Nope. I'll do it again next time. Maybe not as aggressive but I'm not traveling all this way for 10th or 20th or 40th place. I am however interested in finishing and quitting is not an option. Even when it does not go according to the plan.
Transition 2
  • 01m 49s

Legs were very rubbery off the bike. Why? Well I over biked. Have not felt like that since my first triathlon that I ever did.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 44m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 59s  min/mile

I started off feeling a little rough. Expected. The first mile is down hill. The plan was to take the entire first loop easy and controlled but fast. Mile one on my watch was 5:55. I was ok with that. I was not pushing and I felt just fine. Mile 2 was 6:29 all up hill. I was pleasantly shocked to see that. Still feeling very good and my running legs are with me. 6:34 on the next mile and still ok. Head to the next down hill and back down to about 6:05. Next down hill is in the low 6s as well. Start to head to the up hill and I'm a mess. Completely overheating and short of breath. I'm still running but the pace is falling way off. Ironically Im still passing people in droves. Ok. Keep on moving and just get to the top. But the next section that has a short little steep section right into the aid station and then the rollers I was falling apart. I was so overheated that I could not do anything but slow down to a walk. So I walk the aid station get ice and water and cool off. I'm mixing ice with water since the water Im getting is piss warm. This went on at every aid station until the finish.

From here on out it was a huge mess. Run a little, legs cramp up. Run a little more legs are ok, I am overheating and short of breath. Walk a lot and run when I could. That repeated itself until the downhills. I made sure to run those as they were much easier on me.

I was glad to get to the finish line. The last mile was pretty interesting. Each step my legs were buckling beneath me from the cramping. I would literally place a foot down and near fall. Regardless I ran it in and was done. Very glad to be done!
Post race

Last updated: 2013-06-11 12:00 AM
00:27:58 | 2112 yards | 01m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/267
Overall: 98/2463
Performance: Good
Suit: X-Terra Velocity M
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:05
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:24:43 | 56 miles | 23.22 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/267
Overall: 62/2463
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:49
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:44:42 | 13.1 miles | 07m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 43/267
Overall: 229/2463
Performance: Bad
Course: 4 loops of up and down
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-09-17 9:35 AM

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Subject: Ironman World Championship 70.3

2013-09-17 11:38 AM
in reply to: #4857530

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship 70.3
Nice going Mike! Definitely a tough day out there.
2013-09-17 12:47 PM
in reply to: #4857530

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Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship 70.3
You put it out there man...that's for sure. Congrats on racing when most would be content to do their own thing.
2013-09-17 1:41 PM
in reply to: Fastyellow

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship 70.3

Way to go hard and stick with it.  Might not have been the outcome you wanted, but a great effort!

The end of the run sounds brutal, so good on ya' for gutting it out.


2013-09-17 2:07 PM
in reply to: #4857530

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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship 70.3

Tough conditions but great job putting in the effort to go for your goals.

2013-09-18 2:56 PM
in reply to: #4857530

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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship 70.3
Can't fault you for getting after it! Good on ya Mike.

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