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Ironman 70.3 Raleigh - Triathlon

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
86F / 30C
Total Time = 6h 15m 28s
Overall Rank = 1017/2239
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 87/262
Pre-race routine:

The day before, had gone to the Ironman expo to get packet, drop off T2 bag, and then went out to Jordan Lake to drop off bike.

Woke up at 4:30am Sunday morn. Ate half a bagel with peanut butter, 2 Carnation Breakfast Essentials drinks, some coffee, and water. Donned my race kit with Garmin 920XT and Garmin HRM. Knew that race would be wet suit ineligible, so I didn't even bring it with my T1 bag. Left at 5:15 to pick up my race parnter, with my wife driving us to the event.

Since I live near the swim start, going to Raleigh to catch a shuttle back was not going to be logical. We opted to get dropped off at the remote lot which was about 6 miles from the start. WTC had a shuttle running to transport athletes to the T1 site. No private cars were allowed anywhere near the start. The shuttle they sent was small--only sat about 25 people, but my buddy and I got on the first one that came, fortunately. Sure hope the other 50+ people standing in line there got to the race on time!
Event warmup:

T1 set up was quick. Since my bike was already there, and they didn't allow you to set out your stuff (it had to stay in the "swim to bike" bag provided), I just had to put my water bottles on my bike, fill my aero bottle, attach my bike packs (under seat and bento), and get out my swim stuff. Since I wasn't wearing a wetsuit, that was simply the swim cap and goggles. Fortunately I didn't need to pump my tires because the line waiting for tire inflation was quite long. Went to the potty with very satisfying results (!) and then went to the lake for a brief warm up swim. Got out just before they called my wave.
  • 43m 41s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

It was a tough swim start. Our wave was quite big, and I positioned myself toward the back. That put me with a lot of slower swimmers that wanted to stop a lot. I could not find clear water until about the 2nd or 3rd buoy. I didn't get kicked or grabbed too much, but it really slowed me down. Once I found open water, I was able to swim at my pace and found another swimmer or two that I could draft behind, which worked for about half the swim. Stayed comfortable with regard to temperature, but if it had been 2 degrees lower, I definitely would have worn the wetsuit and probably have posted a faster time.
What would you do differently?:

Position myself better at the beginning to try to be up with faster swimmers. Learn to draft better.
Transition 1
  • 03m 20s

T1 was set up as VERY long rows. And my bike position was nearly at the end of the row, so I had run about 100 yards on asphalt in bare feet after the swim. But without the wet suit, transition was quick, for me. Quick towel off, put on bike shorts over my compression run shorts which I swam in, helmet, shoes (no socks, no gloves). Quick swig of water and I was out. Did not stop for sunscreen since I already had some on from earlier. I'm not much for flying mounts, but even if I was, there was not much room for it because there were a LOT of athletes mounting there, so there wasn't much room.
What would you do differently?:

Need to learn to mount with shoes clipped in and fasten once riding; haven't mastered that yet.
  • 3h 05m 5s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.15 mile/hr

Admittedly, I'm not as strong on the bike as others in my age group (better on swim and run). I do not ride a tri bike or anything carbon. But I really tried in this race to improve my performance and for me, I think I did. I hadn't averaged over 18 mph for any training ride over 20 miles, so I was really cranking this one. The course was excellent, there were 3 aid stations with amazing support and offerings. But in the end, the hills, the speed, and eventually the heat caught up with me. I started having some significant cramping of hamstrings and quads in the last 5 miles and the hills just kept coming. I consumed plenty of fluid, calories, and sodium through four 24-oz bottles of Gatorade Endurance, and 5-6 gels, which had been my plan. And overall, I did beat my goal time for the bike which had been 3:10. But I believe it cost me on the run...
What would you do differently?:

Under the circumstances, I probably should have slowed down, because the 5-10 min I saved on the bike may have been lost (and then some) on the run. Overall, I probably should have trained more, faster, and better on hills on my bike.
Transition 2
  • 05m 20s

For the group that arrived with me at T1, no one did a barefoot dismount and everyone walked their bikes to the racks. Perhaps that was because of the course, or maybe it was the fact that the entire last 1/2 mile was uphill to T1! Anyway, T1 was in an open-air parking lot and the sun was beating down (it was about 11am). I walked in my bike shoes to my rack and sat down with my bike to run bag. Took off my bike shoes and shorts, slipped on my run 2 quad cramps while I was doing this...put on my visor and race number, and strolled out. Stopped just before T1 exit to pee @ portajohn, and get sprayed with sunscreen--that is why my T1 time seems long. Headed out to figure out if I could run with my legs cramping so much.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to dismount by getting out of shoes while riding.
  • 2h 15m 28s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 20s  min/mile

Ok, this run was just plain hot. By the time I got running, the temp was in the mid-80's with some humidity and direct sun for >60% of the route. On top of that, my quads are in pain every step I take, feeling like they are going to twist into a square knot. But I took some quick salt replacement in the first 1/2 mile that I had on hand and made it to the first aid station. My plan was to walk through each aid station, but run between them. This worked well. At each aid station I got a water (drank half, poured rest on my head), got ice (poured down my shirt), gatorade, and a cold sponge if they had it. No food taken except for 1 gel on each lap, early. After the walk at the first aid station, my legs actually stopped cramping for most of the first lap. The crowds all along the race course were continuous and amazingly supportive. Because my name was on my race tag, many were calling to me by name. As I finished the first loop, I got a taste of the finish line--there, the crowds were thick and loud. Really spurned me on for the last half. Kept going with water-ice-gatorade. I dumped so much ice down my shirt, I should have looked like a camping cooler, but it melted quickly. Cramps started coming back on the 2nd loop, but I pushed through. Walked a little more between aid stations, but mostly ran it. When I made the last few turns to get to the last leg down Fayetteville street, I really got energized. Could see the finish from about 1/4 mile back and again the crowds were raucous. Saw my wife, kids, and parents on the side about 100 yards from the finish so I swung over to them to give high-fives all around. Ran in to the finish strong and was able to move on through under my own power. What an amazing feeling and an amazing race.
What would you do differently?:

Not much--I believe I performed about as best possible given the conditions, given the heat and how cramped I was after the bike. My half-marathon time was 2:18, which was about as good I could have expected, all things considered.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with family and my race partner (came in about 15 minutes later). Well supplied with fluid and food afterward. Took an ice bath when I got home, went to bed early after a celebration dinner.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training on the bike--needed more intervals, more hills, and a few more long rides equivalent to race distance or further. Better heat acclimation probably would have helped, but the weather here didn't get hot until just days before race day so it was hard to train in the heat.

Event comments:

This was the most mentally grueling race I have been in, and I've completed one half-iron distance before, as well as several marathons. The course definitely demanded concentration and careful race execution, and the heat and my muscle cramps definitely instilled some doubt into my performance. I would do this race again (with different preparation) and will consider it for next year.

The only chaotic part was getting my T1 bag--the process was to hand out at this fence and wait for a volunteer to get your bag--kinda analogous to standing at a bar waiting for a drink. Had to be sorta persistent to get someones attention. WTC could set up a much more orderly process to move people through quicker.

Last updated: 2015-06-01 12:00 AM
00:43:41 | 2112 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 87/262
Overall: 801/2239
Performance: Good
average HR 124
Suit: none
Course: triangular lake swim
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:20
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:05:05 | 56 miles | 18.15 mile/hr
Age Group: 159/262
Overall: 1069/2239
Performance: Average
average HR 145
Wind: Little
Course: Primarily rural roads, though last 1/3 was more suburban and urban as got to Raleigh. 90% of the roads were in good shape and smooth. Beautiful scenery, and surprising number of people out cheering even in rural areas. First half was small hills, but last half was significant rolling hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:20
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:15:28 | 13.1 miles | 10m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 146/262
Overall: 1017/2239
Performance: Good
average HR 148
Course: 2-loops of a ~6.6 mile course through downtown Raleigh toward NC State campus. 3 aid stations serving both directions, so each loop you got 6 stations. Very well supplied and serviced by volunteers. Kudos!! There were maybe 2-3 hills that needed respect, but manageable.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: 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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-06-01 2:09 PM


Subject: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

2015-06-01 2:53 PM
in reply to: #5119652

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

Nice job for an early season race! 

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