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Ironman 70.3 New Orleans - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 42m 9s
Overall Rank = 779/1775
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 103/193
  • 51m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 27s / 100 yards

This would definitely rank as the worst swim of my triathlon career. Honestly, they should have canceled the swim because the conditions were so bad. They even had to delay the start because the bouy's kept getting moved and the kayakers were not willing to go out and fix them. However, we triathletes are dumb and when the gun sounds we just do whatever.
Anyway, the first 200 meters were "ok", but as I got closer to the far edge of the harbor, the chop was so bad that I had to flip onto my back just to be able to continue swimming. I wasn't able to swim normally until about 2/3 of the way back towards the second turn bouy! Now, for perspective, last year I swam this in 28 minutes and I swam the full IM Texas in 62 minutes, so I am certainly not a weak swimmer. That's just how bad the conditions were. Almost 20% of my age group did not finish this race.
Anyway, I just kept telling myself to keep pushing and eventually I would get out of the water...
What would you do differently?:

I went into this race horribly undertrained, but my swim is generally strong. Not really much that I could have done to better prepare myself for the washing machine swim.
Transition 1
  • 06m 41s

Not the greatest T1, but I was really trying to regain my mental focus after dealing with that swim...
  • 3h 03m 3s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.36 mile/hr

All I told myself was make it to the turn around at mile 28 and then it would be all good. The first half was 27-33 mph headwind/crosswind with gusts even higher. Given this, and my training, I knew it would not be a great day. Still I was very happy to have kept my average at 16.8 mph for the first split.
Finally hit the turn and thought, "here we go!" However, what I thought would be all tailwind on the return trip turned to be about half tailwind / half crosswind, so I didn't get quite the boost I was hoping for. Still I did have a back split of 20.4, so I'll take it.

The only other item to note was that the winds were so bad, I was not able to properly fuel. The moments were rare that I felt comfortable enough to take a hand off the bars long enough to put food into my mouth or even grab my bottle of Carbo-Pro! I was sure to pay for this during the run.
What would you do differently?:

Like everything else for this race, increase my bike training to appropriate levels. While I'm certainly not killing it on the bike, I am very proud of how far I've come and the fact that the bike portion is no longer killing my times.
Transition 2
  • 04m 13s

I really wanted to stop and pee, but there was a line at the whopping 2 porta-potties that they had in transition. So, off to run I went...
What would you do differently?:

I keep telling myself to put some quick laces on my running shoes, but I never seem to do so. Maybe next time...
  • 2h 36m 33s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 57s  min/mile

As I mentioned, my inability to properly fuel on the bike really didn't set up well for a good run. Also, I had not put in enough time on my legs during my "training". Anyway, my plan was to do the best I could to just run between aid stations and not worry about pace. I really just wanted to finish on this awful day.
For the first 3 miles, I was on a 10 minute pace, but of course that dropped off with each split. I did a very good job of sticking to my plan for the first half, but then I hit the turn and smacked into the headwind. I really underestimated just how hard it would be to run in that wind. My pace fell off, and also my lack of fuel really started to show as I just kept getting slower and slower. Starting at mile 9, I was running a half mile at a time and then walking 20-3 tenths.
It was a rough day, but eventually I hit mile 12! At that point, I just sucked it up and pushed a run in for the final mile.
What would you do differently?:

Train, train, train...
Post race
Warm down:

I was really bad about warming down. I just wanted to sit on the ground and stretch out my legs for a bit.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Complete lack of training really played a part, but honestly the conditions were so bad that this would have been a long day regardless

Event comments:

I raced New Orleans last year and loved the course so much I wanted another shot at it. Unfortunately, I should have stuck with the memories.
The swim should have been cancelled, end of story. When you lose a quarter of your athletes to the swim, that speaks to the conditions.
Winds that were never below 25 mph and only got stronger as the day progressed made this a really rough day. However, all that being said, I am strangely more proud of this year's finish (my worst 1/2 ever) compared to last year's (my current PR) simply because I was strong enough mentally and physically to overcome such awful conditions.
Generally, this race is considered a good race for first timers, but I would say that comes with a HUGE caveat that the weather will truly dictate on this course.

Last updated: 2016-04-19 12:00 AM
00:51:39 | 2112 yards | 02m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 116/193
Overall: 853/1775
Performance: Bad
Suit: sleeveless
Course: They changed the course from last year to lengthen it. Also, unlike last year, the water conditions were HORRIBLE!! The course is shaped somewhat like an "M". You jump off the dock in groups of 8 and swim to the far end of the harbor, turn and head back to the docks, turn again heading back out, then a short swim towards the boats before turning in to the finish.
Start type: Dive Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:03:03 | 56 miles | 18.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/193
Overall: 642/1775
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Pretty much a straight out and back this year. They changed the course slightly from 2015 by removing a small "jut" on the return trip which I think was a good decision.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:13
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:36:33 | 13.1 miles | 11m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 103/193
Overall: 779/1775
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back mostly along the shores of Lake Ponchartrain. The course is very exposed, so you will definitely deal with the wind in one direction or another. There is also zero shade on the course, so it gets hot!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2016-04-19 10:06 AM

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New user

Greensboro, North Carolina
Subject: Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

2016-04-20 11:07 AM
in reply to: #5177922

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

Hey, sorry to hear you had a rough day but glad you can see accomplishment in sticking out on a tough day! 

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