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Ironman 70.3 Kansas - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
66F / 19C
Total Time = 4h 56m 10s
Overall Rank = 160/1204
Age Group = 35-39M
Age Group Rank = 27/169
Pre-race routine:

I did my packet pick-up on Friday afternoon. With no mandatory bike check-in on Saturday I wasn't worried about driving over to Lawrence early this year, so I didn't arrive until Saturday evening to the campsite. After setting up camp and getting things organized for the separate stops at T1 and T2 it was a very low key evening.

The morning of the race I wasn't sure if my alarm went off first or if the announcements coming from T2 woke me up first. I ate, in retrospect, a small breakfast that consisted of a banana, a small, plain bagel, and a Red Bull. I had picked up a Bolthouse Farms breakfast drink the day before, but having never tried one before and seeing that there was a fair amount of fiber on the label I had second thoughts about having this for breakfast this morning. No one needs GI distress during a race. I sipped on Gatorade for the rest of the morning until the swim start.

I rode my bike down to T1 and found my spot to be almost right next to the bike exit. Pretty sweet. It's a long run from the swim exit but at least I don't have to be running with my bike the whole way. I then spent the next 30-45 minutes sitting down near the start collecting my thoughts. I didn't feel like socializing too much this morning. Unlike the previous couple of time I've done this race I had a bit of nerves going on for the last two days. I think nerves and the energy it creates can be good thing, but it also had me second guessing my training and prep.
Event warmup:

I found a good friend of mine, and chatted. Then lined up with my wave and slowly inched closer to our start. No warm up opportunity, just the short swim to the wading start line.
  • 28m 53s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 22s / 100 yards

Lined myself up on the front line, off to the right. Good clean breakaway after the first 50 yards and then I had clean water ahead of me. I didn't go crazy at the start, but I maintained a very hard and efficient stroke technique. Very smooth water conditions. More than adequate buoy placement, which were all numbered. I didn't run into any real traffic until buoy #5/6 after which I easily spotted another guy from my age group wearing a reddish wetsuit just in front of me. I used him to shepherd me through the traffic until the first left hand turn. This allowed me to put in minimal effort into sighting, so I was able to relax a bit in this regard and not having to constantly wonder if I'm about swim over the top of someone.

I pretty much lost my guide in the midst of the congestion rounding the first turn. Congestion and traffic really picked up after the second turn, heading back to shore. A lot more effort expended on sighting and a bit more contact with other swimmers. But with about a 1000 yards left to go the field and the water started to clear out and I was able to concentrate much more on my technique and finishing strong. This is one area I've improved on. Before my stroke technique would get sloppy at the end and I was more concerned with moving my arms through the water as fast as they would allow. Much less energy expended now, speed maintained, and I don't find myself gasping for air exiting the swim and starting the bike.
What would you do differently?:

It's sometimes a crapshoot on knowing what kind of other swimmers you're up against in a big race like this. When in doubt I align myself to avoid unnecessary contact and to get a clean start. In hindsight, I would line up closer to the buoy line to find some feet to draft off of. Otherwise I am completely satisfied with this swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 31s

Great transition. Right after I exited the water a volunteer unzipped my wetsuit from the back (awesome) and then I spied the wetsuit stripper and took full advantage of them (double awesome). Long run to the opposite end of transition, but no worries. Stuffed my wetsuit into the transition/transport bag grabbed my stuff and go. No fancy or flying mounts today, kept it safe and simple.
  • 2h 42m 18s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.70 mile/hr

Really, a great ride all around, especially considering the previous time I've raced and trained on this course. Nothing particularly stands out. But worth noting:
•Nice, controlled breathing exiting transition. No sky rocketing HR, per the old normal.
•I was a little concerned about my lack of pre-race nutrition. I started hitting the calories early from my EFS and grabbed some additional Chomps (already had one packet ready to go) at the first aid station to make sure I had the energy ready to go, hopefully avoiding some blow up later on.
•By mile 10 I knew this had the potential to be a great ride. My last raining ride on the course I felt the exact opposite and it ended up being a long day.
•Not much interaction with other riders, although I did yoyo back and forth with a girl wearing a MTC kit. We ended up with very similar times, but she ended up besting me as she was a little quicker up the hills.
•The hills at 550 rd went great (mile 35-42), gave me confidence for my upcoming run.
•Very little wind and overcast conditions helped a lot. Only put down 3/4 of my 3 hour EFS mix and half of my watered down Gatorade. If I put in any more fluids it would've been forced and unneeded. Very different story compared to my 2012 race.
What would you do differently?:

Perfect. Rode the course hard but I didn't kill myself either. Left something for the run. Extremely pleased to break 20 mph on this course. Big psychological break-through.
Transition 2
  • 01m 22s

I moved as smooth and fast as I possible. I wish IM results made it easier to view, en mass, what everyone's T1 and T2 times were so that I could get some overall perspective on my time.
  • 1h 41m 6s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 43s  min/mile

As a rule (at least in longer tri races) I avoid looking at my Garmin for at least the first 2 miles. I go completely by feel, trying to not ride the wave of excitement of finally getting to run, but instead I try to find the mid point between suicide race pace and comfortable run. If I happen to be running 6:30 min/mi, awesome, but if its 8:30 pace then so be it, that's just what kind of run its going to be. Today, my run was going to be of the 7:15 split variety for the first go around of the campground, and this felt verrry doable. I held on nicely to this pace for the first 6 miles.

I hit the restroom right before the start of the second loop. It wasn't until I stopped here (only added additional minute to my time) that I realized how hard my body was working. I decided to back off a little bit on pace as I was still concerned about my nutrition levels, and thus my splits dropped to a 7:45/50 level. Because I've had past issues with muscle cramping on the run with this race I walked up the hill the second time around. That fear ultimately never came to fruition. When I hit miles 10 and 11 I was feeling off. I felt some tingling and fuzzyness going on my extremities. Nothing scary but I knew I needed some additional fuel. My only problem is that my stomach sucks at absorbing this stuff so late into a race. I did manage some coke and either that or some endorphins kicked in because I felt so much better for the last two miles. I didn't generate anything heroic, but I finished at very respectable pace.
What would you do differently?:

The issues that arose on the run were more related to macro training issues than race day execution, except for maybe my breakfast. Hard to know if I benefited from walking, but any walking that I do always comes across as a negative based on what I know I'm capable of. Despite this, it was still an overall decent run performance.
Post race
Warm down:

A nice an easy mosey to the food tent. I wanted to eat more, but couldn't yet at that point. Focused on getting in liquids. Walked over to my campsite and sat and relaxed, watching the other competitors still out on the course. I eventually went back to hang around the finish line before ultimately deciding to pack up and get myself back home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training volume. The hours put in leading up to the race were about on par with previous years. Believe me when I tell you that I squeezed every hour of training that I could each day in training. However, sometimes with work and family you're limited to what time you have available to you. When I do get that extra time to train (and it'll eventually be there as my kids get older) I will perform faster.

Event comments:

Great race, too many small things that I saw occur during race day to list, but I was impressed by the effort given by IM and Silverback. Their pre-race athlete guide could use some copy-editing as it appears to have contained information copy and pasted from previous years that would contradict other information found in the same guide. With that said, I love this race and I will participate again in the future.

Last updated: 2014-01-23 12:00 AM
00:28:53 | 2112 yards | 01m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/169
Overall: 72/1204
Performance: Good
Suit: Full-sleeved
Course: Counter-clockwise rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:42:18 | 56 miles | 20.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 44/169
Overall: 234/1204
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Rural roads of Douglas County, KS; south and west of Clinton Lake. Two hairpin turns.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:41:06 | 13.1 miles | 07m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/169
Overall: 178/1204
Performance: Good
Course: Two laps around and through Campground #3. Two hill climbs, flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5

2014-06-11 12:03 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Kansas
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