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Ironman North American Championship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 11h 50m 14s
Overall Rank = 1100/3031
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 83/203
Pre-race routine:

Ate a small breakfast at the hotel. Wife dropped me at the swim start which was now T1 also. Aired up my tires, checked in my race day bag, and sat down for the wait.
Event warmup:

Some active stretching but not much.
  • 1h 18m 55s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

This swim went very well. I knew I had a long day ahead and didn't push it. My tempo was steady, sighting went very well. Probably sighted more than I needed because I was usually on target. Drafted a little but not much, usually passed the guy/gal. This was a rolling start were you placed yourself in line according to your speed. I probably should have placed myself closer to the front but no biggie. Some bumping but not much with a rolling start.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe pushed a little harder? I was one minute faster than my goal so I can't complain.
Transition 1
  • 07m 20s

I really didn't know what to expect. We grabbed our T1 bags and ran into a big tent to change. HOT in there and it was 8:15 in the morning! I had a towel so that helped. I put on my socks, shoes, skull cap, helmet, sun sleeves, and gloves. Most didn't wear all this but I didn't care. I was going out protected!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. It was difficult getting everything on while wet and sweating!
  • 5h 13m 34s
  • 95 miles
  • 18.18 mile/hr

My Garmin died around mile 35 or so. Imagine my shock when I realized I had no timer for nutrition/hydration, no pace/speed monitor, no HR monitor, no cadence, etc., etc. I saw a mileage marker and had an idea. I knew I was averaging 18 mph on the bike so I calculated my nutrition/hydration by mileage. I knew I had to have X amount ingested before the mile 50 marker but not more than X or I would have to take off from the next segment. Rinse and repeat at mile 60, or 70, or which ever marker came next. Darn if it didn't work out! I did realize that my one hit of Base Salt every hour was not going to cut it. Towards the end of the bike my quads started feeling crampy (if that's a word). I doubled up the salt and even increased it more on the run. I still managed to keep my 18 mph pace so I'm happy!

I did use and rented some Zip 404's. NICE!
What would you do differently?:

I can't go buy a new watch before each race so I can't really fix that. I probably could have rented 808's with the little wind we had but no biggie.
Transition 2
  • 09m 29s

I kept my shoes on and stepped off the bike. The helpers took my bike finally after a short run. Further down the trail in my cycling gear I saw someone stop to take off their shoes so I did too. It was a long run to the T2 bags and into the next tent. HOT!! Guys were handing out ice water in the tent which helped. I had a little confusion getting everything out of the bag so I could put all my cycling gear back in the same bag. Then put on my running gear. I took my time and made sure I got it right! Oh, and the ground was wet, wet, wet where I was so I didn't want anything to hit the floor.
What would you do differently?:

Spent a little too much time in the tent and probably should have left my shoes on the bike for a quicker run. It's all good.
  • 5h 00m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 29s  min/mile

On the run we had a storm blow in from the north with rain, lightning, high winds, and some racers got hailed on. The race director stopped the race at all the timing mats and/or aid stations until it cleared. Of course some people weren't stopped so it didn't effect them, some it effected a little, and others (including me) it effected greatly. A small group of us, out of 200-300 or more standing in the trees, huddled up in a group hug to keep warm. The rain and wind temps dropped rapidly and left us all shivering with really tight legs. One person said it was 41 minutes that we stood there. How they sorted out the 75 slots for Kona I have no idea! I'm still waiting for my time to be adjusted and even sent an email today.

I approached the run the same way I did the bike. I wanted to run a 10:30 - 11:00 m/m pace for the first lap and maybe a little faster on the second (depending on how I felt) then negative split the third and last lap. There were aid stations about every mile so I started doing the math. I only walked through the aid stations to drink and grab gels/blocks/etc to eat in between and I ran the rest of the time. I finished strong and had a fantastic race. I can't explain the emotional rush I had that last hour of the race knowing I had it right where I wanted it. No one passed me in that last hour, everyone was walking or doing a run/walk. I yelled, cried, did a little dance, celebrated, then turn the last corner and ran up the Ironman ramp and across the finish line in the rain!
What would you do differently?:

If I would have had a watch I could have pushed myself a little more on the run but I'm happy!!
Post race
Warm down:

The volunteers at the finish were fantastic!! Not much cool-down though.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

No timing device!!

Event comments:

I'm giving myself a 5 on mental effort for figuring out my nutrition and hydration on the fly and making it stick to the end.

I swear I felt better after this race than my marathon, lol.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-09-28 12:00 AM
01:18:55 | 4224 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/203
Overall: 746/3031
Performance: Good
Suit: No
Course: The course went mostly straight down a long and narrow lake, turned, and came back to the start. There were slight bends in the lake but nothing drastic. Keep the yellow buoys on the left going down and the orange buoys on the left coming back. Turn and the big red buoy and you're done!
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:13:34 | 95 miles | 18.18 mile/hr
Age Group: 94/203
Overall: 1194/3031
Performance: Good
My Garmin died around mile 35 along with my ability to pace myself, see my HR, cadence, etc.
Wind: Little
Course: This year was a new course. Some feeder roads near the interstate, country roads, and residential. I didn't find it to be as bad as it looked on the map. There was some road damage do to the flooding a few weeks earlier. Mostly marked with orange paint and some bottles on the ground. Overall it was a good course but this being my first time here I have nothing to compare it to.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 09:29
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:00:56 | 26.2 miles | 11m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 83/203
Overall: 1100/3031
Performance: Good
No Garmin, no pacing, no HR monitor, no idea how I was doing! I stayed slow and controlled in hopes that I would finish strong and run the marathon w/o walking.
Course: Around the lake and along the canal going into town. A great course!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2016-05-18 5:36 PM

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Cleburne, Texas
Subject: Ironman North American Championship

2016-05-19 10:58 AM
in reply to: #5182558

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman North American Championship

Great job! It's a huge victory to finish strong with those distractions.  I bet doing the math when your Garmin died at least helped to pass the time.  I can imagine that 40 minutes spent huddling with the cold would be hard to recover from.  Congratulations!

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Complete course preview of the North East triathlon on 8/17/2008 featuring a Sprint and a Olympic distance race. Mark your calendars!