General Discussion Race Reports! » Troika Half Iron Triathlon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Troika Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Spokane, Washington
United States
95F / 35C
Total Time = 7h 23m 37s
Overall Rank = 181/195
Age Group = 40+ Athena
Age Group Rank = 1/3
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:15, had a glass of water and ate two packages of instant oatmeal with honey and 1 spoon peanut butter. No banana because DH threw away the ripe ones and replaced them with green ones. What can I say, he's an optimist. I had all my gear loaded into the van the night before. The best-ever tri-brother (who just completed his first tri yesterday - way to go, big brother!) and jockstrap came by at 5 to drive me to the race site. Once at the race site, I got my T1 setup, dropped off my run bag, got marked, hit the portapotty and wandered around looking at all the cool gear and trying not to think about what I was about to start. Really didn't feel too nervous...yet. Found another guy from my club who was doing the race - he's "Ironman Jerry" (he did CdA this year) and has been very encouraging on the way to my HIM goal. Ate a gel about 30 minutes before the start and got in the water to get used to it.
Event warmup:

Swam around for a few strokes just to make sure the OWS demons were under control - they were. Stood on the beach to watch the first wave (men) take off - gave a yell for IMJerry as he took off. Our club coach was also swimming and running on a team, and one other woman from our club was swimming for team. Found her and waited together for our wave to go off.
  • 45m 44s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

I've spent two years getting to this point. I was pretty sure I could swim this far, but had never swam this far in open water before. About halfway out the first lap, I felt pretty dizzy and disoriented. Very weird. I stopped and looked around for a minute but it didn't go away so I decided to just keep swimming (thanks Dory!) and see how I felt. There were plenty of kayaks out there, so I knew if it got worse I could get help in a hurry. The dizziness passed after a while and I felt fine. For awhile I was swimming right beside the lady from our club and we were swimming the same speed. I dropped behind a bit and got on her feet - after a few strokes she stopped so I stopped to see if she was alright - I asked how she was doing, she said fine and started off again so I got back on her feet. Duh. She stopped again right away...oh, I get it, she doesn't want me to draft. Lady, all you gotta do is ask! I felt like a dork but I wish she would have just said something. So I headed off on my own - no problem - but I DID invite her to 'hop on' - she declined. After rounding the second corner buoy my navigation seemed to be off so I struggled for a bit then finally found a sighting rhythm that worked. I got a mouthful of water about halfway back in and got a little discouraged at that point for some reason - stopped and looked around and visited with a kayaker for a bit, then got back into the rhythm and made it to shore...finally. I felt good getting out of the water, did a little happy dance and ran up to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Eat my gel a bit closer to start time. Don't stop even if the feet I'm drafting stop. Start a little further ahead in the pack and find some faster feet. When my navigation goes down the toilet, just switch to sighting every 3-4 strokes instead of every 5 until I pull it back together instead of stopping and looking around each time I'm pointed the wrong way. Not stop for a visit in the middle of the lake. NOT take out my belly button ring for the race - the d@#$ hole closed in ONE DAY so I had to get it fixed - I think that hurt more than the entire race!
Transition 1
  • 03m 23s

I kind of took my time here since it was a long ride and I wanted to be sure I got everything right. I took my goggles and hat off as I got out of the water hoping for a better picture - it didn't work - I look as dorky with swimcap-hair as I do with swimcap-head. No matter. When I got to my biek I think I bodyglided my feet (I meant to but may have forgotten) and I wore socks with blister powder in them for this ride hoping to mitigate the blisters I got on my 1/4IM race. I threw on my helmet, gloves and glasses, and stuffed everything into the bag to be transported to the finish line, took my bike and was off to my favorite of the three sports.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I marked T1 as "average" because I spent the time to make sure everything was right. I probably could have gone faster but this was fine for my first HIM.
  • 3h 27m 24s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.20 mile/hr

I didn't race as much as ride this ride, because I'd never done a half-marathon before and wanted to save my legs for it. There were some good uphills and some even better downhills. Within the first couple of miles of leaving T1, I needed to find a portopotty (can't pee while I'm swimming, and won't pee on my bike) so I was on the lookout. When I finally found one, it was a hallelujah moment. It was kind of hidden in a parking lot a little bit off the course - at that point the couple of minutes it would take me to climb down the hill to it and back up to the road were not an issue. The guy I had just passed stopped too.

I passed maybe 2 people this whole ride, but got passed several times - kept reminding myself to ride my own ride. One guy I passed - I saw him up ahead and thought I was going to (finally) get to pass someone younger than me - turned out he had a 60 on his calf - I told him they must have marked the wrong age number.

Oh yeah, and a bee flew down my shirt on one of the fast downhills and got stuck in my bra. Yup, stung on the boob. Ow. I have a bug issue - I don't mind them flying around, but if they're on me I have an immediate panic thing going. I could feel it moving around but couldn't get it out, so I made this weird 'uuuhhhh uhhhh' panic sound - very helpful. I tried to swish it out but it didn't work, then I just kind of pulled open the neck of my top and hoped for the best - out he came, but I saw him which caused the whole panic thing again. Then he wanted to hang out on my hand, so I was flying downhill doing the handjive dance trying to get the darn thing to fly away.

The bottle handoffs went well - the first one I got two grocery store bottles of water - one for the cage and one to refill the Aerobottle - all done while climbing a hill, and the second one was where they handed out the cool race bottles. I didn't have a throwaway bottle (how can that be with all the bottles that seem to be laying around my house?) so some very nice guy at the start gave me one I could throw away. Yet another tri-dork moment - I'm amazed about the things I get hung up on! The second handoff was where you got the race bottle with the race name and sponsors (my favorite LBS) on it - which was the real reason I needed a throwaway bottle - so I'd have room for one of these!

The volunteers and police officers for traffic control and direction were great!
What would you do differently?:

Not get stung by a bee and spend the next 20 minutes alone on the road wondering if this was the time I was going to have an allergic reaction. Bite the bullet, go to the store and buy a grocery-store throwaway bottle the night before, or better yet, actually plan ahead and get a throwaway bottle before the last minute.
Transition 2
  • 01m 58s

This was a really easy transition - a bike catcher stepped right in front of me and held my bike as I stopped, opened up a bag for my helmet, shoes, gloves and glasses (I have another pair of sunglasses that I prefer to run with) and directed me over to another volunteer who had my run bag held out for me in front of a bench. This time I know I put lube all over my toes - it probably took 1:50 of the 1:58! Threw on my fresh socks and run shoes, glasses on, fuel belt on, grabbed hat and number belt and was off.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except maybe tape my toes so I don't have to worry about toe lube.
  • 3h 05m 8s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 08s  min/mile

Oh My. 13.1 miles after the rest of the HIM is a long run. It wasn't as long as I thought it would be until mile 11 when the blister on my toe opened up. The last few miles were slow...ok, slow-ER.

I walked quite a bit on the run, but I had expected that. I felt the best between miles 5 and 7.

I got to see some leaders coming back as I was heading out - that is both cool and not-so-cool. Cool because its fun to see the leaders, but not-so-cool because they're getting done while I still have many many miles to go. Saw two guys from our club - one guy who was doing the whole thing (finish time 4:59) and our club coach who was right behind him. As I passed, after they said 'good job' to me, I heard our coach say to the guy in the front "I'm coming for you!" That was good for a laugh. Pretty soon afterward I saw IMJerry who was looking strong - it's nice to see familiar faces.

The aid stations had wonderful wonderful sponges in ice water - one for my hat, one for each shoulder, and ice to put in my hat, and ice-cold water - I never felt overheated at all during the day even though it was so hot. At about mile 4 I saw a good friend who had brought her kids out drive by yelling and honking. She said she might be driving on the course about that time between dropping one kid off and running other errands, but what blew me away is a little while later, there they were standing on the course with hot pink signs for ME! That was such a nice thing for her to do and it meant a lot. Thanks!

I ran with a lady from Moms in Motion who I'd met at an aborted OWS practice (called due to lightning). We were about the same speed so we ran along together for awhile, but after awhile we started playing leapfrog and then lost each other.

After about mile 7, I started blowing kisses to each mile marker...boy was I happy to see each one. At mile 11, the blister on my toe that I'd been trying to avoid came apart. I couldn't find a comfortable way to move - walking, running or hobbling. Luckily I was close to an aid station with Vaseline, so I slimed up my toes and hoped for the best. Ewww, I don't much like the feeling of Vaseline between my toes, but the blister didn't hurt as much and I could run again. Realize I use the word "run" loosely at this point.

I was OhSoHappy to see the mile 13 marker, so I took the sponges out of my shoulders and hat to look my best for the finish. :) I came around the corner, saw my brother who had been out there all day, and saw my hubby and two kids! I choked right up when I saw them, which brought on the closest thing I've ever had to an actual asthma attack - couldn't get any air in or out, wheezy and tight...but nothing was going to stop me at that point. The kids ran up the hill on the grass with me shouting "Mommy! Mommy!" as I ran up the path to the finish, and they were all I could see. It took a while and a good supply of hugs to get my breath back at the finish, but I had done it. Something I never thought someone like me could do.

p.s. gotta explain about the kids and hubby - they are incredibly supportive of all the training and races I do, but they have only come to one finish which was pretty much a disaster. They came to my second ever finish last year and there were tons of people, one daughter was getting sick although we didn't know it yet, they didn't stick with DH so it was like herding cats, and it was not a good experience for any of them. I understand (and agree) that triathlon isn't really a very spectator-friendly sport unless you're really into it and know more than one person (my opinion) and even then it can be a long day. Even longer at this distance! I never expect them to come to races, and am truly not disappointed that they don't. BUT (and this is a big but..) given all that, the fact that they came out for the finish was the absolute high point of the day.
What would you do differently?:

More run base over the winter, more longer runs in the spring, and longer bricks. The run went about as I'd planned given my training, so I just have a good focus for the off-season this year. Oh, and tape my toes to avoid the blisters. Train for running with gels instead of my Perpetuum/HEED/Endurolyte mix. Even though most of my training-day stomach troubles went away when I started using this, I just couldn't stomach it during the race. I had a few sips but mostly water on the run. I'd planned to drink two flasks during the three hours I was out there, and only got through about a half-flask. Perhaps the last part of the run would have gone better with more nutrition, but I didn't feel hungry or notice the lack of calories at that point. I'll work more on long run nutrition over the next year, too.
Post race
Warm down:

Stood around hugging kids and chatting with the club members for all of about 10 minutes, walked up a set of stairs to get my sweatshirt (upstairs after all that? Cripes!) Went over to the food area for fruit and surprised myself by wanting a turkey sandwich, then hobbled through HempFest on the way to the car. Yes, both our local HIM and HempFest to legalize marijuana were sharing the park that day. Felt kind of out-of-place at HempFest in my salt-crusted tri clothes. Note to self, wait a while before taking a shower after an effort of that magnitude - I got really dizzy and thought I might be taking a premature nap in the shower.

Napped, put away bike and rinsed wetsuit, napped, went out to dinner (I highly recommend RedRobin's Banzai Burger for a post-race meal), napped through the kids' movienight, napped through part of another movie, and went to bed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training volume and 20-30 extra pounds, pure and simple. I keep imagining being all ready to race, then picking up a 30# bag of dog food to carry with me all day - kind of keeps it in perspective. I think my weight will be another focus for the next year.

Event comments:

I had a great time at this race. It was well-organized (the organizing group has been doing this for a long time) the course was clearly marked, and there were lots of volunteers. They had police at every corner where we were not following the rules of the road (through stopsigns, etc) and volunteers throughout the course. They stood in the hot sun for a long time waiting for me, and I am very grateful to them. The run stations were staffed by very friendly people who were right on top of things. The only disappointment was in the swag - I got one gel and one sample packet of Endurolytes in my bag. The water bottles were handed out on the bike course, and you had to finish to get your sweatshirt. HOWEVER, any profit made on this race is given to several local charities - this wasn't publicized, but they mentioned it at the pre-race meeting, so I'm not complaining too much about the thinness of my race bag. I would recommend this race, and hope to do it again next year.

Last updated: 2006-07-18 12:00 AM
00:45:44 | 2112 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/3
Overall: 194/195
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless BlueSeventy Reaction
Course: When asked the shape of the course at the pre-race meeting, the swim director said "Lake Shaped." Went out on a long straight, then curved around across the lake and kind of followed the shape of the lake back in to shore.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:27:24 | 56 miles | 16.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/3
Overall: 194/195
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: An out and back followed by a point-to-point ride into Spokane. Two water bottle exchanges at about miles 15 (?) and 50.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:58
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:05:08 | 13.1 miles | 14m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/3
Overall: 198/195
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back along the Centennial Trail upriver along the Spokane River to the turnaround at the far side of Boulder Beach, then back along the same course. T2 was by the carousel in Riverfront Park, and the finish is at the Forestry Pavillion on the North side of the park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %1.6
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-08-08 2:32 PM

User image

Spokane, Washington
Subject: Troika Half Iron Triathlon

2006-08-08 3:53 PM
in reply to: #505711

User image

Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Awesome report... Congrats!!!
2006-08-08 5:00 PM
in reply to: #505711

Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon

Great Job!

2006-08-08 8:39 PM
in reply to: #505711

User image

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
It was a great race! Congrads on finishing it in fine style. See ya next year
2006-08-08 10:47 PM
in reply to: #505711

User image

Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
awesome job tri sis!!  You looked great out there!!  Keep it up!
2006-08-09 12:08 PM
in reply to: #505711

User image

Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: Troika Half Iron Triathlon
Great report!

Way to go finishing your first HIM - definitely a different beast than short course!



General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Troika Half Iron Triathlon Rss Feed