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White Lake Spring Half - Triathlon

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Elizabethtown, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 56m 11s
Overall Rank = 23/
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 4/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up EARLY and drove out to White Lake. Had a protein shake and coffee on the way.
Event warmup:

No warmup.
  • 41m 30s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

No swim fitness, so I started off behind the main body and just took it easy. I felt OK during this effort, and seemed to be swimming in a straight line most of the time. It did feel as though there was a lot of contact during this swim, but I don't normally start towards the back.

After reaching the end of the swim, I had to jump up on the ladder to exit the water and my right hamstring cramped up really bad. It took about 10 seconds for the muscle to relax enough to keep going.
What would you do differently?:

The obvious answer is train more. I haven't been in the pool much this past winter.
Transition 1
  • 02m 40s

My hamstring was tender after the cramp, so I didn't sprint to T1, like I normally do.
  • 2h 37m 9s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.38 mile/hr

I knew coming into this race that I didn't have the fitness to race a HIM. My strategy was just to get through the swim, push the bike just a little, and let the legs do their thing on the run. Well, I started to ride and felt pretty decent, getting up to speeds I was racing at last year.

I thought to myself, maybe I didn't lose too much bike fitness during marathon training, so I kept up the pace. I figured I'd slow down once I got tired.

I kept going and started to feel like my old self. I'd make a pass, push it a little to prevent a wheel sucker, then back it off just a tad. I kept thinking that I felt great, nothing was hurting, and it was great to be racing again.

Then the wind hit me head mile 35...and I was toast.

The wind was relentless. I went from going 22+ mph to 18, while pushing the same watts. I kept hoping the wind would die down, or that it'd shift, but no such luck. I had to ride straight into it for the last hour of the bike. My will to suffer was just not there and my lack of fitness convinced me to back it off. I was a man destroyed.

With 5 miles to go, I could not WAIT to get off the bike. The strain that I thought was healed, compliments of Myrtle Beach Marathon, really made things uncomfortable. Nothing I did would change that...but I kept trying different positions regardless.

At the end of the ride, I gingerly got off the bike and limped into T2. I noticed many more bikes there than I normally see, but, always the optimist, thought how I was going to chase them down. Watch out, cyclists, here comes a runner!

What would you do differently?:

I went out too hard for my fitness level. I should have toned it down a bit to save myself for the latter miles.
Transition 2
  • 01m 29s

In and out. Not my fastest T2 here, but decent.
  • 1h 33m 25s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 08s  min/mile

Well, the runner didn't show up today. I started off well enough, but the farther I ran, the more the crappy bike took a bite out of my legs. My body was tired.

What do you expect when your longest workout is under an hour! I don't know why I kept thinking marathon fitness would carry me through like a magic carpet. Not gonna happen!

I managed a 7 min/mi average, about my normal time at this distance, but it was tough to keep it going, especially with the slight strain of my lower back/hip. As for the temps, the first half was nice and cloudy, but the sun decided to pop out during the latter half of the run and it turned muggy really fast. White Bake strikes again!

This is also the first time I've raced a smaller HIM and got passed on the run. This guy was Marine, had a big 44 on his calf (AG alert!), came up on me, and made the pass. Oh, Hell NO! I ran with him for miles 9-12, but then the strain was beginning to bother me, so I backed off. I watched him run off.

At the finish, I met up with him and complimented him on his pace. He ended up 4AG and had the fastest run split of the day, but had a penalty and dropped right behind me in the AG and OA standings.
What would you do differently?:

The run was better than I expected with the fitness I had.
Post race
Warm down:

Had a water, a slice of pizza, bananas, and an orange soda. I talked with a few Warriors and hung out with a few others. It was great to see everyone again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Good location, plenty of snacks, shade, and scenery, and a good early season indicator of fitness.

This is a great race for beginners in that is is low key. The swim isn't particularly difficult, although I always think it's long, and the water is not deep. The bike is flat as can be, but expect wind. The run, too, is flat, but expect a beat down if the sun decides to join you.

Last updated: 2016-04-20 12:00 AM
00:41:30 | 2112 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Suit: ZOOT Sleeveless
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Bad Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:40
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
02:37:09 | 56 miles | 21.38 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/
Overall: 34/
Performance: Below average
165 W Avg Power | 437 W Max Power | 184 W Max Avg Power (20 min)
Wind: Headwind
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 82
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:29
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
01:33:25 | 13.1 miles | 07m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/
Overall: 9/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2016-05-02 1:49 PM

User image

Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: White Lake Spring Half

2016-05-06 11:23 AM
in reply to: #5179939

User image

Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring Half
Talk about muscling through! I wondered what your goal was based on training since the marathon. In any case, you have a boatload of fitness built up and if a 1:32 run split is slower than hoped, you're just plain fast. Nice racin', Ronnie...
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2013-05-06 6:19 AM colinphillips
date : January 26, 2012
author : dantheman1123
comments : 1
My first triathlon was at age 56. At first I was just the cameraman at my daughter's first triathlon, then I am doing the races that she has done.
date : September 15, 2008
author : Nancy Clark
comments : 0
While adequate protein is important in your sports diet, protein should take its place as the accompaniment to carbs (grains, fruits, vegetables) in each meal and snack.
date : August 10, 2007
author : Terese Luikens
comments : 0
The first time I ventured into the deep murky green lake and could not see the bottom my muscles tensed and my imagined fears surfaced. What exactly lies beneath?
date : April 17, 2005
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
Training in the cold can be effective and fun with some planning. Overall, prepare for the environment, stay hydrated and dry, listen to your body and have a great safe cold weather outing.