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Ironman 70.3 Raleigh - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 23m 53s
Overall Rank = 366/2069
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 66/289
Pre-race routine:

Had a good run up to this event, but sabotaged myself the day before. Saturday morning I went to the gym and had a nice 700m swim in my wetsuit, did a nice transition to go do a 30-minute bike, and then came back and did a 2-mile run. Swim was good, on the bike I discovered a squeak in the bottom bracket (more on that later), and the run felt great, effortless, like a taper week run might feel if everything had come together.

Then I came home, had a bite to eat, and set to work on assessing the bottom bracket. And then all hell broke loose. I have the tools to do the job. Allen wrenches to take 2 bolts out of non drive side crank. Cap comes off non-drive side end of "axle". Drive side bearing cup comes right out, unscrewing clockwise. Nondrive side should unscrew counterclockwise. It didn't budge. I was using the proper Shimano spanner wrench, and nothing. And then it slipped on the teeth and began to strip them off. And it got worse. So of course I resorted to the channel locks, and made it even worse. And then I went inside and called my local bike shop, The Bicycle Chain. I explained my problem to Steve, and he said, over the phone "Never, ever touch your bike the day before a race." Jokingly, but I knew he was serious. He said bring it in, I'll see what I can do, no promises.

So I loaded the boys in the car, bike on the rack, and off we raced up the road to the shop. I walked in, he immediately took the bike to the rack, looked at it, looked at me, and said "You may be screwed." I got on the phone while he was assessing and lined up a 54cm Blue road bike (my friend Paul's road bike) just in case. Steve, the mechanic, got to a point where he said "Either it comes loose, or your frame cracks. He broke out a big socket, bolted it in place across the BB shell area, and used a pry bar 3 feet long. And it came loose.

I said, "what do you drink?" he said he didn't.
"What do you eat then??" he chuckled. I wanted to give him a hug.

He unloaded my bike, handed it to me, and I said "how much for your time?"
"5 bucks" he said. I said "let's make it $20" handed him my credit card, then handed him $10 cash and said lunch was on me.

He didn't have a replacement BB in the store, but called the other BC location on Glenwood and they had one. I set out with my boys and my bike in that direction, but had a hunch that InsideOut would have one, even if they didn't have a mechanic there to install it. Swung by there. As luck would have it, there was a mechanic in the store, even with bike check-in going on at the lake! From my arrival to my departure with a newly installed Dura Ace bottom bracket, 12 minutes elapsed.
I am floored with the response I received in "my" emergency. I will be writing letters of appreciation to both company owners.

Then, after all that, I had to get the bike prepped to take to the lake, as I was then leading a group of 11 Boy Scouts out there all afternoon volunteering. Oh, and driving the Church bus for the first time down 2-lane roads to get there.

Spent all afternoon at the lake, left there at 6:20 after being out in the sun and on my feet all day, drinking a bottle of water every hour but that wasn't even enough. I got home, and was completely wiped out. Was supposed to gather at smoom's house with louiskie and families, but was just cooked.

And then I got about 2 hours of sleep...
Event warmup:

No warmup at all. "Woke" up (meaning got out of bed) at 3:20am. Showered. Bodyglided. Dressed. Cup of coffee. Made breakfast that I would eat on the bus to the lake. Started drinking Powerbar perform. Out the door at 4am, at Paul's house at 4:05, we were on our way to downtown Raleigh at 4:06.
Boarded the bus and were on our way. I think we got to the lake at maybe 5:25? On the bus, I read the facebook posting that it would be wetsuit legal, and patted my swim bag just to make sure I felt my wetsuit in there :)
Stepped off the bus to the most amazing bodymarkers. They were so energizing! Went to TA, pumped up my tires (had let air out Saturday afternoon to avoid pops), set up the area, went to make sure Paul, Louis, and Scott didn't need any air (took my pump), then exited TA with Louiskie. Hit the LOOOONNNNGGG portapotty line with louiskie, and we chatted with a very pleasant lady from Virginia the whole time, just a very fun casual morning talking about all sorts of stuff, borrowed her sunscreen. Finally made the potty stop, then Louiskie had to get marked. National anthem played and it was awesome, beautiful, perfect. Gorgeous sky, beautiful day. Then it was go time for the pros! I really didn't pay much attention to anyone in the water, I just tried to wrap my mind around the work ahead. Paul Kelly has always said "it's a long day, be in the moment". So I tried to do that. I was comfy. I had my wetsuit. I've done the distance before without. I was low on swim time this year, but that was okay. I staged myself at the very rear of my wave. And then it was 7:22, and we were off.
  • 44m 24s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

Enjoyed this swim. Peed 5-6 times. Saw an eagle flying overhead when turning to breathe, so then tried to track it for about a minute.
What would you do differently?:

Same thing for every race report. Learn how to swim. Paul said this was a good swim, so I'll say it was a good swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 35s

2 words: wetsuit strippers. I ran out of the water, passed 3-4 guys up the ramp who were lollygagging, pointed to the first set of strippers and they got to work. I've never had that done, never practiced it. I was fumbling with my cap and goggles and one lady said "STOP! ARMS OUT". I complied, suit came off my arms and down to my waist. Now "SIT" and I did, and they pulled, and my suit was off in a second. I jumped up, said THANKS! and took off running. Mentally pictured where my bike was and zeroed in on my green Zoot socks left strategically beside my front wheel in my shoes. Got there, wiped off my feet, put on socks, put on shoes, put on helmet, put on glasses, grabbed the honeystinger off the rack (had taped the top tab to the rack so I could pull it open and eat it), shoved my wetsuit, goggles, cap, and pump in my bag (and my gel wrapper), pulled the strings over the handle, grabbed the bike, and took off. Ran up my aisle only to get caught by slower traffic. I was looking for places to pass, saw that the right side aisle was more clear, and went up that side. Some guy backed out into the aisle without his bike, just changing clothes and my right side cowhorn nailed him but not too bad. I stopped and apologized briefly, then kept going. Ran as hard as I could when time permitted to get to mount line. Pretty decent mount, was in the right gear to get moving right away.
What would you do differently?:

Not run into that guy. Not eat the gel in transition. Wish for a better rack next time. Have cap and goggles off before getting to stripper.
  • 2h 49m 25s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.83 mile/hr

Tough day. Wind sucked. I kept saying "save for the run" out loud and mentally. I rode the first 25 miles smartly, just under 21mph. No drama, except for hitting someone's CO2 cartridge and about going down. Craziness at the bike aid stations with squirrelly handling, I stayed left and up out of the aerobars until through it all. Loved Pea Ridge, just picking folks off on the uphills and such. Same for Old 1, nice to ride on home course. Saw Lainey and the boys at the Old 1/New Hill intersection, gave them a smile and thumbs up.

An athlete was struck just minutes ahead of me on New Hill Holleman Rd. by a crazy woman who tried to pass the cyclists then cut back in front of them. I rolled through that intersection as EMS was heading out with him. It was sobering.

But then I saw amazingly stupid behavior by my fellow athletes. They were racing 3-4-5 wide through the bike aid station, left of center. Then we came upon a truck, following an SUV towing a boat. These guys started passing the truck on the left of the yellow line, just before Harris Lake County Park. I mean way over, on crooked New Hill Holleman. I stayed behind the rear truck as dozens went past. Finally, we got through the curves, and both the truck and the vehicle towing the boat slowed and moved right, and waved me by (I was the last cyclist not passing) and I could pass them on their left but within the lane.

I caught up to everyone that passed me in that pack within the next mile.

I continued to ride steady. I climbed very well up Avent Ferry. Riding that route helped me know when to push and when to hold back. I tried to pick up a water bottle after the Avent Ferry climbs, but the guy didn't flex with me when I grabbed the bottle and it was dropped. Oh well.

I climbed 55 best as I could, and saw the family again here. I made the turn on to Sunset Lake and settled in for some more climbing, again picking off a few folks. Passed the PCA on the tandem here, and got prepped for Optimist Farm. Climbed pretty well there, but was starting to struggle. Grabbed a water at the National Guard water stop, saluting the troops as I came through. Some to drink, most to cool off, then kept rolling.

Saw my parents just before the left onto Lake Wheeler. Again, I was climbing okay but my flat and downhill speeds just aren't there. Pushed as best I could up the last climb before Tryon Road, then started taking stock of the legs on the descent into the Farmer's Market area. Knew on the climb up and down to South Saunders that my legs were toast and it was going to be a long run day.
What would you do differently?:

Ride by power and not by feel? I don't have that technology so have no idea, but my legs were toast.
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

In and out. Changed sunglasses, chose the hat, grabbed the waterbottle with race number tucked in it. Even stopped for sunscreen, and attempted a potty stop, but the john was full. Really needed to go too...
What would you do differently?:

Mentally had a little issue with visor versus hat. Need to not have a choice. Had considered a sock change but my socks were good so didn't.
  • 1h 45m 20s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 02s  min/mile

Man that hurt. Just zapped legs from being on them all day Saturday and all the drama with the bike. Not a smart way to prep for a HIM.

As my stomach was still accepting things, I was shoveling stuff in I thought might help. Started with an orange wedge and flat coke mile 1, then banana and perform mile 2, and pretty much alternated that throughout. Was running with handbottle with Nuun, and was taking that in as I could. I did not open a honey stinger (was carrying two). Picked up some cold sponges along the way, put them either under my hat or in my tri top and would squeeze as needed for a shot of cold water on me. Only walked the station long enough to get what I needed and get moving again.

Guess I can't be too upset with an 8:02, but I felt like I could've done lots better. Kept seeing smoom get further and further away, but was slooooowwwwlllly catching louiskie. Really wanted to run it in with him again this year, but had to shut my effort down briefly as we rounded the Capitol for fear of total shutdown. Slowed it long enough to get HR back in check, cramps briefly subsided, and was able to regain composure after turning onto Fayetteville St. and seeing the finish ahead. Rearranged my sponges so they didn't look like huge growths in my hat and tritop, zipped up the top for the finish photo, and gave it my best kick down the chute.

Lainey and the kids were RIGHT at the finish, what a great spot they got! Lainey shot a great pic of me.
What would you do differently?:

No volunteering day before, or if I do, it's something light and sitting down. And don't fiddle with the bike before a race again.
Post race
Warm down:

Was very concerned about Paul. Crossed the finish, got a water, chocolate milk, found Lainey, and went to Medical to see if Paul was there. They told me he was gone and that he left under assisted walking. Then had to go find the family again, got the boys some pizza and sodas, Lainey and I shared a falafel and some adult beverages, then once T2 was open, got my stuff, went by the merchandise tent where they were no longer honoring the 10% discount due to NOT HAVING FINISHER'S HATS (!!!), then loaded up and headed home.

Was able to navigate pretty well, but this one beat me up. Lainey had tickets to Mama Mia, so it was me and the kids and Marshall's friend over for a playdate. Ate a nice grilled tuna steak, enjoyed a glass or two of wine, then ice cream with the boys, and went down for the count about 9:45. Slept pretty well.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind. Swim. Overexertion day prior. Dehydration. Determination to push through the cramps (but I've tried that before). Wrong nutrition. Poor leg strength. Bad decision making.

Event comments:

The volunteers at this race are AMAZING! I should know, I was one of them Saturday, and raced on Sunday ;). Still, this is not a cyclist-friendly area by motorists, and there will be backlash against the race by the motoring public. Which I hate. It's such a good event!
Oh, and did I miss the beer tent? Thought we had one of those last year...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-05-21 12:00 AM
00:44:24 | 2112 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 222/289
Overall: 1379/2069
Performance: Good
14:01 to the first turn 16:42 middle section 14:05 last section I'm not sure how the course was laid out, what the leg lengths were. Maybe someone's Garmin could help...
Suit: Zoot john
Course: triangular clockwise
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:49:25 | 56 miles | 19.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 100/289
Overall: 522/2069
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Headwind on 64, Old 1, Avent Ferry, some on 55, again on Sunset Lake, some on Optimist Farm, then a tough stretch on Lake Wheeler just past 1010, pretty much anywhere with a northeast trajectory.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:45:20 | 13.1 miles | 08m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 66/289
Overall: 365/2069
Tried to capture mile splits but failed once or twice due to just not seeing the mile markers. They need to put GREAT BIG MILE MARKERS up for us like marathons do. 1- 7:11 2-7:06 3-8:08 including looking for potty stop and taking in fluids/food 4-8:44ish including potty stop 5-8:33 missed mile marker 6-6:35 short mile 7-7:32 8-7:47 9-9:25 some walking right before run aid station, cramps just about did me in 10-8:36 walking aid station 11-8:33 12-8:18 pushing to catch up to Louis 13.1-8:46 running almost all the way in with Louis
Course: Double out and back from Fayetteville Street area to Gorman and back along Hillsborough. Different from last year's single lollipop route.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2014-06-02 9:37 AM

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Apex, NC
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

2014-06-03 10:25 AM
in reply to: #5005562

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Extreme Veteran
In front of computer when typing this.
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Great report Bill! I think you are too hard on yourself- you improved on your swim by a ton from last year, the bike WAS harder and you managed a strong run, despite being in some serious pain/fatigue. I think that is where us non-runners benefit mentally...we are just so happy to be moving forward that a 1:50 is a victory for us, but you crazy runners expect to "run" so when things shut down you it is hard mentally. :-) It was so nice to share big chunks of the day with you- thanks for all that...good times and really a huge reason why this sport continues to be interesting. I hope Paul K is OK- nasty day for him. See you out there again soon. :-)
2014-06-03 2:02 PM
in reply to: #5005562

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
nice job out there, d00d! sucks about the bike, though. too much stress the day before!

too bad about the crazy lady, t00. hope that person is ok.

good race, though! those zapped legs still got you to the finish in a quick time! congrats!
2014-06-03 3:06 PM
in reply to: #5005562

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Out running or enjoying a fine glass of red...
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh
Great race report - glad you had a good race despite all the crazy the day prior! (And I loved the strippers too!)
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