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Ironman 70.3 Steelhead - Triathlon

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 4h 45m 49s
Overall Rank = 93/2200
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 9/246
Pre-race routine:

Big bowl of oatmeal, two cups of coffee, two bananas,400 calories of standard bike fuel.

Had to drive 40 minutes to race site because I was dumb and waited too long to schedule a hotel.

Usual prerace checklist, transition area set up.
Event warmup:

1.2 mile walk down the sand beach to the start had me sweating. Put on the wetsuit and swam for about 10 minutes pretty easy with a couple accelerations to feel like I could go fast......

I went off in the second to last swim wave at 0800. By the time we went I was already getting hungry and thirsty. Not good but not bad either.
  • 37m 49s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

This swim was rougher than it looked like it was going to be. Waves were coming toward us at about 30 degrees from North-Northwest. It was sometimes hard to breathe to the left (my better breathing side) because of the waves. It was definitely "against the current/waves."

Water was amazingly clear and felt great. Temperature was great with a wetsuit. Very little contact in this swim in stark contrast to Muncie a month ago where I felt like I had been used as a punching bag after the first 200 meters.

I feel like I didn't have the performance that I should have. Just didn't swim fast enough. Never felt bad or out of control. Just swam too slow.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster. Start swimming at age 6 instead of 36.
Transition 1
  • 03m 56s

Long transition area.

I need to learn to push harder and run faster in transition. Jogging through transition is a bad idea.
  • 2h 28m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.60 mile/hr

I had a great bike. Instructions from coach were to not go as hard as Muncie and save something for the run. I haven't actually looked at my power numbers for this race but I suspect that they would be close to Muncie but metered out in a much smoother fashion. I knew I was working but never at the point where things got too hard.

I pumped my tires about 10 PSI higher than I usually do and I could feel the difference. The bike seemed to roll easier but I do think that it might have been a bit harsher as well. A pretty good trade off as far as I am concerned.

Drank two bottles of my standard drink mixture (about 800 calories) plus probably in the area of 1.5 bottles of water. I noticed that when I had about 45 minutes left in my ride that I still had a lot of sports drink left so I drank a lot more in the last 45 minutes than usual. I felt a little full and sloshy coming off of the bike.

As we were riding, it was clearly getting hotter. I used probably half of every water bottle that I grabbed to douse my jersey and shorts and helmet for some evaporative cooling. Never too early to start doing this during a warm race.
What would you do differently?:

I think I could have pushed 5-10 watts more and gone a little bit faster without destroying my legs for the run. I am still trying to find the right balance of pushing on the bike and having good legs left for the run. I'll get it down some day.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

It would be hard to do it too much faster with the length, density and overall layout of this transition area. I sure didn't lolly-gag around.
  • 1h 33m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 08s  min/mile

Still didn't have quite the run that I wanted to have but it went much better than the last one. Still working on that balance I was talking about above.

I started the run feeling reallly full and did not take any fluids at the first aid station, just ice and water to douse my uniform. It was getting hot! I also felt like I had taken too much nutrition in the last 45 minutes of the bike and decided that I likely wouldn't need any sugar during the run so I skipped the cola, which is my usual go-to run fluid in favor of water. This worked fine for the first 7 miles or so, but at around mile 8 I started to get that dismal, doom and gloom, I don't want to do this any more feeling. Started taking in cola at that point and I think it salvaged my race. My pace dropped from miles 8 to 10.5 but not too bad. Lesson learned.

It had gotten pretty darn hot by this time and my main focus was keeping cool. Ice in the front and back of the tri-suit at every aid station. Cold water over head and jersey. Water to drink, just a mouthful or two at each aid station and cola at the last several as above.
What would you do differently?:

Cola earlier. Stick to the plan!

Run faster :)
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around. Quick dip in the lake. Saw my position in relation to the field and knew that even if it rolled down I wasn't going to Austria. It was almost three hours of driving to get home so I high-tailed it out of there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I have been reducing my run mileage noticably in favor of getting stronger on the bike. It is working. The bike is coing along nicely but I have probably sacrificed just a little bit off of my top-end running capability. It should be easy enough to regain with some increase in volume.

Event comments:

Great race as usual. Well organized. Well run. Great competion. Super volunteers and nice crow support on the run.

A race that is definitely worth doing.

I want to make sure that I mention my coach, Steve Johnson, AKA DarkHorseTri. He has taken me from a guy who wanted to break 5:00 for a HIM to a guy that is disappointed that he didn't break 4:40 and that has a goal of getting to 4:30. Steve is really good at what he does and had made me a much more complete and better triathlete. I was mentally thanking him for all of the work on the bike while out there on Sunday. This is the first time that I remember thinking that I was really prepared for the bike (while I was out riding it).

Last updated: 2014-06-10 12:00 AM
00:37:49 | 2112 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/246
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Average
Suit: Aquaman Cell Gold
Course: Out 50 yards, right rurn, swim for 2000 yards, turn right, swim for 50 yards and done
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
02:28:41 | 56 miles | 22.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/246
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Big giant loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 89
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:54
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:33:29 | 13.1 miles | 07m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/246
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Average
Course: Big loop with the middle portion done twice. Some moderate hills. Not a lot of shade. Hot.
Keeping cool Average 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2014-08-13 1:08 PM

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead

2014-08-13 1:34 PM
in reply to: #5039053

User image

Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead
good race!

If only we could go back and tell our younger selves to get in the pool
2014-08-14 9:57 AM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

User image

Norton Shores, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead

Nice race and great run in those conditions! 

I was looking for that run split but the heat just destroyed me.

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