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Pigman Long Course Triathlon - Triathlon

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Palo, Iowa
United States
JMS Racing Services
90F / 32C
Total Time = 7h 01m 10s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 12/17
Pre-race routine:

My 10th Half Ironman can you believe it!?!? This race was our 8-week-out practice race on the journey to IM Louisville in October. Saturday morning I drove to Kansas City, picked Linda up and we drove to Iowa. Did packet pickup and ate dinner in Cedar Rapids and stopped at Wal-Mart because I forgot a race belt (yes I have THREE at home!) - found a makeshift solution - an elastic/velcro multi-use strap - in the sewing aisle, I was proud of our resourcefulness here! Back to the park where we checked into our log cabin on the camp site/race grounds. Air conditioning and electricity was the best decision ever! We loved the little log cabin.

Did a check ride around the camp grounds and prepped for the race. We were in bed before 10. I slept probably between 5 and 6 hours, not bad for the night before a race.

In the morning we hit the restrooms and then rode our bikes to transition to set up. Everything was pretty relaxed and stress free.
Event warmup:

With the water temps at 81 degrees, no wetsuits (well for us anyway,some people decided to wear them. But it was actually a relief, I'd rather swim without it). Down at the water they had to explain multiple times what the heck was going on with the swim course - it was a double/reverse/out-and-back type of course. It couldn't have been more confusing, but I decided I would just follow the swim caps in front of me.
  • 46m 25s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 12s / 100 yards

This was a time trial start by age group and one of the most pleasant starts I've ever done! They sent someone off every 5 seconds - I started just ahead of Linda and as soon as I hopped in I felt AMAZING! Every positive thought and confirmation about how much I love to swim came rushing over me and I was smiling from the get-go.

Apparently Linda was swimming right next to me the entire first loop, but to my left so I didn't see her - ha! Just before the turnaround I saw her in front of me, how fun! I tried the whole rest of the 2nd half to catch her but never did. She came out of the water just 11 seconds in front of me. My right foot cramped 2x and my right calf once at the very end, annoying but nothing I could do about it.

I was a bit surprised at my time though, as I'm usually more of a 40-42 minute swimmer, but to be fair that's always been with a wetsuit. My last 70.3 non-wetsuit swim I cam in at 49 minutes so I guess this wasn't so bad after all, especially considering how dang good I felt the whole time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I really loved this swim, despite the overly-complicated course. The water was warm but felt good, and I was steady the whole way.
Transition 1
  • 03m 37s

Long run to the rack and I was on Linda's heels, then we were at T1 together the whole time - that was fun! I unapologetically stuck my hands down my shorts with some Udder Butter, not sure when else I could have done it as it would have come off in the swim if I would have applied before.

Moved pretty fast here and headed out ahead of Linda, but knowing she would catch me soon!
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 11m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.56 mile/hr

This was a strange little bike course for sure. After you rode out of the state park, the course was FOUR LOOPS up and down one single road. Felt a bit like a hamster on a wheel, but it is what it is.

The first two loops I was shocked to see my average was over 18 mph (!!!!) - I thought for sure I would start to fade but I just barely did. After the third loop my average was 17.8 and then the last hill on the 4th loop + the hills coming in to the park dropped me to 17.6 but THIS IS A 70.3 BIKE PR FOR ME WOOOOO!!!

I was SO happy and having SO much fun on this bike - despite the roads being open to traffic (some sketchy situations with trucks pulling boats and one RV that was the size of a tour bus) having to cross a railroad track with a makeshift ramp 8 times total, and all of the 180-degree turns. I saw Linda like 10 times and it turns our we were riding the exact same pace so she never caught me.

On the last loop I was on such a high, I told myself out loud how great of a bike I was having and I cried just a few happy tears. The bike has always been where I've felt the most out of place in triathlons, and for one of the first times in 10 years of racing I felt good, I felt fast, and I felt validated on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

For starters, I drank my Infinite too fast. It was almost gone at 2.5 hours and I was burping some of it up in my mouth so I had to back off. My other takeaway is this may have been my "could" pace rather than my "should" pace knowing I had a half marathon to run. Undecided on that one.
Transition 2
  • 02m 14s

At the dismount I took off my bike shoes and ran with them in my hands - good decision I hate clip clopping so far in cleats. Racked and did all the normal things - felt good!
  • 2h 57m 34s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 33s  min/mile

Oh my goodness you guys, it was 90 degrees by now and full sun. I started running and immediately knew this was going to be ridiculously hard. And it was.

Ran most of the first loop and was like OMG I have to do this 3 more times?! The heat, the sun, the people. It was too much. I melted so fast and so hard. Linda passed me around mile 4 and I couldn't even match her pace for a little bit. Nope. Nope. Nope.

On loop 2 the aid station said their ice had been "taken away" so everything was warm. I even heard someone come up and tell the volunteers to stop giving athletes what ice they had left. What?? Warm water and warm knock-off Gatorade was unpleasant to say the least. Some kids here had well water that was 55-degrees they were dumping on people but I didn't want to have sloshy socks for 9 more miles.

Loop 3 I started walking so much more. I just couldn't even. This loop was really hard, knowing I had one more to go. I tried very hard to keep my spirits up. I talked and joked with people when I could, but at one point I just broke down and cried. I want so badly to do well on the run and I kept telling myself that Louisville will be like 20-30 degrees cooler so it will be totally different - but I was just so discouraged here.

The last loop was mostly walking, trying to run 20-30 steps here or there. They had finally put some unofficial aid station volunteers at the far end of the camping loop with ice and water, I'm guessing since they realized they didn't have nearly enough water or ice spread across the loop. Campers were offering us ice out of their coolers. Large groups of people weren't even trying to run anymore. Around me people talked about how this was the hottest year for this race ever. No one was happy here. It was brutal.

I finally got to round the corner to the finish chute and I just shook my head - what a miserable running experience.
What would you do differently?:

I severely regretted not bringing my Cool Wings and not wearing my sunglasses with my hat. Other than that, I couldn't control the weather and I couldn't control what was available on the course. I did bring a hand held water bottle but it just kept getting filled with luke warm water.
Post race
Warm down:

Linda was right there and I had to sit down in the shade. I was kind of out of it. Covered in thick salt. Spastic leg cramps. Cranky. Ugh. A guy with his two dogs sitting next to us lifted my spirits, the dogs were so chill and so sweet, that made me smile. Got up and drank some chocolate milk and headed to pack up the cabin and the car.

After we showered we got on the road and I didn't feel very well at all. Linda was so nice and drove all the way to Kansas City. We stopped in Des Moines to eat at Chipotle and I felt a little better after that - and that was the first time I had peed (7 p.m.) since 8 a.m on the swim. Yeah.

I stayed at my grandparents house in KC because we didn't get there till 11:30 p.m. Woke up and had breakfast with them, then drove the rest of the way home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat, heat, heat.

Event comments:

This is a small, strange race. A too-complicated swim course, 4 loops on the bike (open to traffic and over railroad tracks) and 4 loops on the run (zero shade). Not enough aid stations on the run and not enough cold beverages or ice. If you live in the area it may be a good "local" choice, but I won't be driving 9 hours to do it again.

Last updated: 2015-01-15 12:00 AM
00:46:25 | 2112 yards | 02m 12s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/17
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: Too complicated.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:11:21 | 56 miles | 17.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 8/17
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 4 LOOPS on one road outside of the park.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 02:14
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:57:34 | 13.1 miles | 13m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 14/17
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: 4 loops around the camp grounds
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2015-08-17 3:04 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

2015-08-17 3:29 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon
Congrats on your finish. A tough day out there. You will be ready for Louisville!
2015-08-17 3:29 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

Just focus on the bike part.  Let the run fade into the fog of memory.  You keep going strong year after year.  You are amazing.


2015-08-17 3:49 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon
So nice to hear you felt so good in the water and on the bike. Hot run? Well, you're getting pretty good at those too!!
2015-08-17 5:45 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

Congratulations!  Really cool to see you feel so good in the water and on the bike. Great job.

2015-08-17 9:07 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon
Frankly, considering the heat, I think your run was great! Congrats on another HIM finish!

2015-08-18 10:48 AM
in reply to: #5135435

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

Thanks for a great race report. I've always had Pigman on my radar as a potential future race and it's nice to get someones first hand experience. Repetitive loops are a bit of a turn off for me, especially on the run or when I'm suffering in general. A long drive for a uninteresting course might not be in the cards for me after all.

It's funny, I'm trying to recall the heat and pain on the run at the 70.3 in Lawrence this year as I was reading and I just couldn't adequately do it. Maybe that's why I say I'm never doing another half ironman immediately after finishing (and truly meaning it) but then sign up for another 6 months later.

2015-08-18 12:14 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

Wow!  It sounds like you had a well executed race to lead up to IM Lou!  Way to go!  The cabins were a real find.  Now that you have a stuff that says Pigman, no need to head there again though, huh?  Very fun name!


2015-08-18 2:03 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon
Great job on the race! I'll take a bike PR every single time!
Don't let the heat on the run get to'll be much nicer at IMKY.
Congrats on the race! Now it's time to really focus for the big race!
2015-08-18 3:06 PM
in reply to: #5135435

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

Wow - a great swim, a FANTASTIC (and a PR!) bike, and then pushing through on the run.  Nicely done!!  

You are going to be SO ready for Louisville!  :D 

2015-08-26 10:14 AM
in reply to: #5135435

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Pigman Long Course Triathlon

I think you did great out there, despite the heat, and you did an awesome job on the bike! You SHOULD feel validated there - you were really fast! I could never catch you!  'Twas a fun trip overall, but we always have fun at our races, don't we?

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