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Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon


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Columbus, Georgia
United States
TriColumbusGA
82F / 28C
Sunny
Total Time = 6h 07m 51s
Overall Rank = 97/146
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 4/7
Pre-race routine:

2 days before & day before - Drank Hydration drink for electrolytes and sodium. 20 mile bike ride (2 days before).
Day before - Dinner: Mexican food (steak burrito and beans). No workout. I think I got a headache night before from having more sodium in my body than I am used to.

Morning of race - Cu of coffee, protein bar and banana. Took me over an hour to get protein bar and banana down. Did not help when I saw a guy throwing up just outside of transition after I finally finished my banana.


First time ever I had diarrhea before a race (went three times).

Event warmup:

I made a pre-race drink mix of pre-workout and Niteworks (helps with nitric oxide production) and I did get in the water before the swim to loosen me up and hopefuly I would not panic.
Swim
  • 34m 22s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards
Comments:

I am used to my entire wave pulling away from me in the beginning of every swim, so I was not phased by that during the swim. I am a slow swimmer, but I don't mind. I was the in the second of nine waves and each wave after us was faster and faster. When the men came up on us, I was pushed under a few times. When rounding the buoy, I was pushed down by a guy and that totally freaked me out. He apologized (it really wasn't his fault).

After rounding the buoy, I started the 1/2 mile swim up river, which I was not prepared for. After swimming and flipping on my back I looked over at the buoy and seen I had not gone anywhere. This made me panic and I think I couldn't do it. Something inside of me said flip over put my head down and sprint so I could get close to the bank and then swim up river against the least amount of current. Whenever I looked over at the other swimmers I started to panic and worry I wouldn't make the cutoff time. I did have a few moments of doubt that my race would be over before it had ever even started. I finally found my stroke about a mile into the swim (probably because I was almost done).

I felt good getting out of the water. I wasn't tired and when I looked at my watch it read 34 minutes..... figured it was broken cause I felt like I had been in the water much closer to an hour.
What would you do differently?:

I would not have gotten so close to the shore on the upriver section of the swim. Secondly, I would have practiced more intervals in the pool so I could have handled the upriver swim better.

I am truly proud of myself - This was my very first ever half iron distance swim and I finished. I can't beat myself up about that.
Transition 1
  • 01m 56s
Comments:

Transition was good. I took a sip of my preworkout/Niteworks mix and a bite of my protein bar. I also sprayed sunblock on my back. I swan with my arm warmers on underneath my wetsuit and they did not slide off when I pulled my wetsuit off. I put on one bike glove in transition and waited till I was on the course to put on the other.
What would you do differently?:

I could have shaved off few seconds if I waited till riding to put on gloves when m hands were dry and I should have had my protein bar open and in bento box on bike and took a bite when I started riding.

Considering I wasn't even worrying about my transition time, I think I had a great transition.
Bike
  • 3h 06m 14s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.04 mile/hr
Comments:

90% of my training ries were doe on a stationary bike in the gym (not a spin bike, but a fat seat upright bike that is not at all like my road bike- I normally ride on a random setting between 5 - 8, my average pace is usually 13 mph). The few outdoor rides I did get in, my average pace was 14.0 - 14.7 mph.

I stayed in my comfort zone for the first half on the ride. I knew if I could ride comfortably on the first half, than I could push a little on the turn around.

My nutrition plan:
3 water bottles on bike (1-water, 2-electrolytes, 3-calorie heavy protein/electrolyte mix)
Mile 10 - sandwich (wheat bread, banana slices, honey, and peanut butter)
Mile 30 - sandwich (wheat bread, banana slices, honey, and peanut butter)
Mile 45 - sandwich ((wheat bread, banana slices, honey, and peanut butter)

I got passed by A LOT of riders in the beginning. I wanted to get mad at myself, but I reminded myself that this was a half iron distance and that everyone out here had trained for this and even if I came in last, I would still be earning my half iron distance badge. This helped me significantly and at that point it became a long training day and not a race.

I missed a turn and road a few hundred feet down the wrong road and someone was nice enough to yell at me. Thank goodness.

The 56 mile ride was challenging, but my legs felt great. I did decent climbing the hills and kept on pace with a 57 year old gentleman and we kept the conversation going as we took turns being in front of one another. Eating went well. I crammed those mushy sandwiches in my face and I am sure people laughed when they saw me and I remember at the very end of the race wiping peanut butter and salt off my cheeks-lol.

I lost one of my water bottles going over a nasty speed bump and then my protein bars when I had to cross a dirt path onto the road. I though I would have suffered a 2 minute penalty for not going back for my water bottle, but I didn't. I grabbed a water bottle at every aid station (there were 4). I drank several gulps and poured water on my neck and back.
What would you do differently?:

It is hard to say what I would have done differently. 6 out of 146 people (4%) of people did not finish the race and 4 of them were claimed on the bike leg. I had no idea I did as good as I did and I honestly felt like I could have pushed the second part of the bike leg harder.

I only passed a few people on the bike and it was while climbing hills. I feel like this could be a natural strength and I think I want to work on getting better in this area. I was still able to talk to people while climbing hills and at first I wondered why they weren't responsive and then I realized they probably couldn't catch their breath. Standing only 5'0 tall and riding a 47cm bike puts me on the smallest adult bike that is made, so I am sure I look a little funny with my little runt self climbing a hill. When my bike is racked, the front wheel dangles about 4 inches off the ground.
Transition 2
  • 01m 41s
Comments:

Stopped to dig water bottles out of cooler and stick in my hydration bet. Also took bike gloves off, arm warmers off, and sprayed sunblock on my shoulders, which I forgot to rub in and now I have to blotches on each shoulder post run.

I had to pee, but forgot to hit the port-o-potty on the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Stopped and went pee.
Run
  • 2h 23m 40s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 58s  min/mile
Comments:

So, it took my legs a few miles to warm up. Since I had forgot to pee, I kept a lookout for a place to potty (trees, alley, anywhere) and finally found a construction site port-o-potty around miles 5. Talk about major relief.I felt like a million bucks after going pee. I am sure that up until this point I was trotting along around 13 minute mile pace.

After relieving myself I was able to maintain a decent ace but felt the inevitable blisters form at mile 7. I ran the rest of the miles with my toes curled under on my left foot. I did wonder if my left leg would cramp up at the end as a result.

There were 5 other people from my tri club racing and every time I saw them I talked to them and made goofy comments. I found out later that one girl wondered how the heck I could run and talk when she could barely raise her arm to acknowledge me comment. She finished before me, as I all I can say is that I enjoyed the experience and without a watch to pace myself all I could do was trot along where I felt good (which I thought was probably a 12:30 pace).

I stopped at every aid station and dumped ice into my tri top, got water and a few pretzels. Dumping ice into my top made the biggest difference. In my hydration belt I had electrolytes, a little bit of a sugary fitness drink with a little caffeine.

Near the end of the run I felt like I had a little too much liquid in my tummy. If I did not have blisters and had to cover ore miles, I definitely would have taken on a walk/run approach. I didn't feel dehydrated or overheated. I truly enjoy running, but don't fee the need to run FASTER. Several people yelled at me to run faster and finish strong- I told them they were crazy and I was going to keep trotting along at my comfy pace.

Since I did not know how my pace was coming along - I had bumped my watch and lost my tracking on the bike, I wondered if I would make cutoff. There were only 146 people that raced, so when you are meandering through part of the course and see no one, you d begin to wonder if you are the last one left.
What would you do differently?:

Knowing that longer races require running later in the day, I need to plan future training runs later in the day.

I was truly shocked to learn my overall pace was under 11 minutes a mile. Do I want to work on running faster? I actually don't know the answer to that question yet.


Post race
Warm down:

1. Find husband, give him a big giant salty, stinky, wet hug. :)
2. Find water, gatorade, cookies, and a banana.
3. Walk to transition to find flip flops and clean up gear - sure seemed like along walk).

I did not get an upset stomach or any cramps. I thought I might.
At the time of this writeup (just under 24 hours post finish), I feel a little soreness (more like fatigue) in my legs, calves, and upper back, delts, and triceps.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of speed & interval training. Not enough long runs.

Event comments:

During the run, I asked myself if I would come back and do this course again next year. Initially, I thought the hellatious hilly bike leg would deter me. Then, just a couple hours later, while on the ride home, I already began to think how I will modify my training when I come back to take on the course next year. I think I have a problem.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2014-04-27 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:34:22 | 2112 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/7
Overall: 0/146
Performance: Good
Suit: Full suit
Course: swim down river 3/4 mile, round buoy and swim upstream against current for 1/2 mile.
Start type: Dive Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Bad
T1
Time: 01:56
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
03:06:14 | 56 miles | 18.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/7
Overall: 0/146
Performance: Good
I did not have my GPS so I rode where I felt comfortable. Basically, I had no idea what my pace was at all.
Wind: Little
Course: Hilly and sandy. Since I had recently fell on my bike (at a very slow pace) I was nervous every time I saw sand, lots of the course had sand which unnerved me significantly. The turnaround pint is at a place called cardiac hill.... so, not only do you have to bust your butt to get up the hill once, but then you get to turn around and do it all over again. This torturous hill turns serveral riders into walkers. The first 6 miles and last 6 miles is through a windy tree covered bike path along the river. It's beautiful, but full of sand, people enjoying their Saturday leisure ride, and it makes it very difficult to pass.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 01:41
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
Running
02:23:40 | 13.1 miles | 10m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/7
Overall: 0/146
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loop course with water ever 1.5 miles.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2014-04-27 9:44 AM

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Veteran
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Cairo, GA
Subject: Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron Triathlon


2014-04-28 8:38 PM
in reply to: #4987653

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Master
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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron Triathlon
Congratulations on a great race. Despite not getting the training volume you have liked to have gotten you seem to have had a good experience.

Your swim time is awesome! My 3 HIM's are right in that same time frame so you absolutely killed the swim!

It sounds like you had a really good bike too! But I am curious about the picnic you had while riding. ?? That's quite a lunch. Your time on the bike at the gym seems to have kept you with a good bike fitness.

Cingratulations on a really strong race! That was an awesome first half iron distance race!

2014-04-28 9:10 PM
in reply to: DirkP

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Veteran
454
1001001001002525
Cairo, GA
Subject: RE: Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron Triathlon
Thanks Dirk. The sandwiches were actually pretty small and when I mashed them into my mouth I think I ate about half of each sandwich. I truly had a blast!
2014-05-05 3:10 PM
in reply to: jenbmosley

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Expert
2380
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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron Triathlon
Jenn congrats on finishing your first HIM. You did a really great job of pacing yourself throughout the race. For all the trouble you sound like you had during the swim you really did a great job not giving in and getting your head back into that swim and finishing it, that's a great time.

That's also a great bike time as well especially considering the difficulty of the course and your lack of training time, you did a great job. I have to agree with Dirk though I don't think I ate that as much you did when I did IMWI last year lol. You took the rolling buffet thing to a whole another level.

You also had a very sold run to finish up the race. I think a great overall race especially for your first HIM, great job and very well done. I also agree with more training time you can certainly improve performance for your next one. Also the fact that you were feeling good after the swim and bike means you paced yourself properly and did a good job with your nutrition. Congrats again.
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