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HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Half Iron Course - Triathlon

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La Quinta, California
United States
HITS Triathlon Series
50F / 10C
Total Time = 5h 48m 6s
Overall Rank = 145/393
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 27/61
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 430a. Had bagel with peanut butter, banana and half a cliff bar. Relaxed for a bit and took both dogs for a walk. Stretched a bit indoors where it was still warm since it was very cold outside. Woke up family at 5a and drove the 6 miles to the race. Dashboard temp said 39 degrees. This was going to be a cold morning. Got to the site in no time at all, very little traffic. Said goodbye to family as they would see me after bike and run. Got to transition and laid out all my clothes i would need for the day in the correct order.
Event warmup:

Waiting until about 10 min before race meeting to put wetsuit on to stay as warm as possible. Temp was probably about 44 by race start. Did some light jogging around some more stretching. Made my way down to water and got in a little bit of warm up. They said water temp was 61 degrees but I do a bunch of winter surfing and they was no more than 58. No booties but did do double swim cap. The water was a bit cold on the face but at least it was warmer than the air. Stood in knee deep water until race began.
  • 36m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

The start was a bit chaotic. I didn't even hear a gun, everyone just started swimming. Ended up right in the middle of the pack and stayed that way most of the first half of the first lap. It was a bit of a challenge sighting on the outward legs since it was directly into the rising sun. Good thing was it was hard to get off course since the space between buoys and shore was only 15 yards wide. Getting ready to round the first buoy I noticed a bunch of guys to my right wading thru the shallow water. I guess I didn't realize this was an aqua jog. Just after I thought that I found myself stopped in traffic so (full disclosure) I did a couple of running dolphin dives myself. Second half of loop thinned out a bunch and I was nice and relaxed. Didn't try to go to fast. since this was my first half I just wanted to keep an easy pace. Started getting pretty cold on second lap and couldn't feel my fingers any longer.
What would you do differently?:

Could have pushed a bit harder but other than that I thought it was a pretty good swim. Was hoping to be under 35 min but considering conditions thought I did a fine job.
Transition 1
  • 08m 37s

This transition seemed like and eternity but considering how much I had to put on it was not too bad. Did a complete change into dry clothes since it was too cold to be wet on bike. Was very hard getting wetsuit off with such cold hands and feet. Put on tri shorts, leg warmers, thermal top, beanie, full finger gloves.
What would you do differently?:

Make it warmer. Practice changing into leg warmers since this was the first time I ever used them.
  • 3h 00m 52s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.58 mile/hr

This was pretty much the time I was shooting for going into the race, so I have to be pleased. The road surface varied quite a bit. Some smooth sections but a bunch of pretty rough road. The wind was ok early but picked up toward the end. A few deceptive hills. The ride would have been much better with a TT bike. Just had my road bike with clip on aero bars. Perhaps next year Santa will bring me a tri bike. Overall goal was not to go too hard and burn out on the run. So in that regard, it was a successful ride. My nutrition was pretty much right on. Ate an uncrustable and 2 bonk bars and 1.5 bottles of Heed. Drank enough water but didn't need too much since their was limited sweat loss.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. could have pushed a bit harder but thought I paced pretty good. When passed, I had desire to go out faster but would have caused problems for me in the run.
Transition 2
  • 05m

Now the same process as T1 only in reverse. Had to get gloves, hat, leg warmers off. Kept my thermal top off since it was still cold enough not to bother me and save a few seconds. Figured, I could also take it off later. Lastly, I changed into fresh socks since the others were still wet. I really like to have my feet comfortable on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Not much considering the conditions.
  • 1h 57m 22s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 58s  min/mile

Pretty close to goal. Hurt my IT band about a month ago so have not been running beyond 6-7 miles the past few weeks, so this definitely pushed me to my limit. Was hoping to be just below 1:55 and was on track until the last 2 miles. We made the last turn heading home and were faced with a very strong head wind plus a little uphill. This was the first time I have ever run 13.1 miles and this last stretch was mentally and physically draining. I had to walk a few times and was looking for people to tuck behind. Me and a couple other guys took turns blocking. I probably averaged 10-11 min over this last bit. Maybe I went out a bit too fast the first 2-3 miles and I paid for it at the end but think I would have been in same position no matter what. I am now better prepared for next time.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go out a little bit slower. Looked down after the first mile and realized I was going at a 7:30 clip.
Post race
Warm down:

Got some water, Heed drink, cookies and fruit and sat down with my wife and kids and enjoyed finishing my first 70.3 race. Hung out with a few others from my Tri team and waited for some other finishers. Tried to stretch out a bit but just wanted to take my shoes off and rest. My knee held out for the entire 13.1 run but was now in a lot of pain. After a lot of rest and a good night sleep, I can report that it's much better. I can now rest it for a few weeks to get back to health. Then build up a run base for next year.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Never having raced this length before definitely limited me a bit. now have that experience and will improve next time.

Event comments:

This was my first HITS race and I can say that they really had their act together. Everything went pretty much as they said it would. Volunteers were very helpful and race was set up great. Mark Wilson is as involved as any race director can be. Even saw him chase down a guy at the Olympic to help him with his wetsuit after the swim. Transition area was great vs. all the tris I have done before. Was awesome getting your own space and stool. It's minor and a bit self serving but I would suggest they have finishing medals with the distance on them. Will definitely be back in the future if the weather gets above 50 degrees.

Last updated: 2013-08-19 12:00 AM
00:36:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/393
Performance: Good
Suit: full
Course: 2 laps
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:37
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:00:52 | 56 miles | 18.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/393
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: flat and boring
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 05:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:57:22 | 13.1 miles | 08m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 0/393
Performance: Good
Course: Pretty flat with a few slight hills
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-12-09 12:43 PM

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Subject: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Half Iron Course

2013-12-09 1:57 PM
in reply to: #4910566

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Palm Springs, California
Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Half Iron Course
Great, solid race, especially in those conditions! It looks like your decision making was rock solid.
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