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Ironman 70.3 Muncie - Triathlon

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Muncie, Indiana
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
84F / 29C
Total Time = 4h 50m 18s
Overall Rank = 116/
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 22/187
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 0430, ate oatmeal, then drove to the race site with Art.

During the car ride, I went over my strategy a bit, but knew I was going in undertrained for the race I wanted to have. My average training leading up to this race had been about 4.8 hours a week. Too low! At the last minute, I decided to change my strategy a bit and push the bike harder than originally, yeah. That didn't work out all that great.
Event warmup:

Some dynamic stretching, then a short 3-5 minute swim to get warmed up, then a short run to the swim start.
  • 38m 44s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

Started off the swim feeling well, but I could tell that it was going to be a long swim. I just could not lift my legs in the water. They felt like they were low and dragging the entire swim.

The water felt great, and there was some contact throughout, but it was minimal. I was surprised to come up on the BOP swimmers in the first 150 meters. I say that b/c the time between waves was 4 minutes. I hoped they'd make the cut-off, but they were probably going to be close.

At the start, the sun was behind us and it made sighting fairly easy. There was some chop, but b/c it was coming from left to right, it was fine. As we rounded the first buoy, the sun was off to the right, but it wasn't too bad. The wind and chop were a little more noticeable, too. I caught a few mouthfuls of water a few times during a breath, but expected it afterwards and didn't drink anything else.

The swim back to shore was the toughest of the three legs. The chop was more pronounced now, hitting me on the side I breathe on, and the sun was straight ahead, making it difficult to see/sight. I was also getting whiffs of fuel from the emergency boats that were out there to help us should we get in trouble.

At the finish, I was a little disoriented and stumbled a bit due to the rocky (pebbles) shore, but the rocks were mostly smooth. Looking at my watch, I saw a 38:xx. Meh.
What would you do differently?:

Aimed for 36 minutes, so just need more time in the pool.
Transition 1
  • 02m 3s

I sprinted out of the water once I found my bearings. Ironman laid out a carpet, but it was quite narrow. Any time I came up on someone walking, or jogging slowly, I'd jump into the rocky ground and go around them. It was a little rough on the feet.

T1 was a grassy area, which felt great after having to run on those rocks most of the way up. I then got to my bike, dropped goggles and cap, put on sunglasses and aero-helmet, then sprinted out.
What would you do differently?:

Good T1. I don't know that I could have gone faster...
  • 2h 27m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.77 mile/hr

The original goal of the bike was to average ~190 watts and attempt to go 2:32, which I felt was in line with my current fitness, but I decided earlier in the day to push it a little harder.

The first things I noticed when I got out on the course were the wind and the large amount of cyclists swerving all over the place. The wind wasn't all that noticeable during the first bike segment, but as you turned onto the next, it was a wall. During these sections, I tucked in as tight as I could, dropped my head down as low as I could get it, and didn't break aero unless I was on one of the gradual climbs on the course. I was also very alert as to my surroundings. Cyclists were everywhere, swerving this way and that. It'd be very easy to get taken out by an inattentive cyclist.

Halfway into the bike, I knew I was going too hard. I say this b/c my quads were burning, but the discomfort was low enough that I knew I was right at that point where the lactic acid buildup is accumulating slightly slower than it is being removed by my body. I decided to keep up the pace, however. Around this time, two AGers came up on me and I knew I wasn't going to let them go without a fight.

For the next half of the race, we jostled for position. I was very mindful to stay at the appropriate 6 bike lengths (or more) back and was rewarded time and time again when an official on a motorcycle drove by, not even taking a second look. That's one thing that went right this time around...I saw plenty of officials out on the course.

During the last 10 miles, one of the two guys fell back, possibly to back it off a bit before the run. My legs were really starting to feel the fatigue of the current pace, but I just kept thinking, "Shut Up Legs!" Too many Sufferfests. My gut was also not all that happy. It felt knotted and I could barely stomach the thought of eating anything, but I continued the pace.

At around mile 50, I thought to myself, GI distress be damned! I need to take something in! So I did. I drank half of my bottle of nutrition in a few gulps while continuing with the torrid pace.

At the very end of the ride, I did a dismount right before the line and ran hard to the rack. I could tell my legs, especially my quads, were dangerously close to being rendered useless by severe cramps. As long as I didn't push the run too hard at the start, I should be able to run through these cramps without costing me a good run.
What would you do differently?:

New 70.3 PR, but not a great choice to ride this hard! That little voice in the back of head warned me!
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

Quads were cramped up badly, but I ran through it. Socks, shoes, hat and belt, then ran out. A little slow, but it was all I could do without causing the cramps to get worst.
  • 1h 40m 3s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 38s  min/mile

I started the run slower than normal to let the cramps work themselves out. They were fairly noticeable at the first aid station, but I slammed a few Gatorades and gel and kept running at a pace that would prevent them from getting more pronounced. After 3 miles, the cramps were only noticeable on the hills. At this point, I felt good enough to pick up the pace a little.

Through mile 7, I was cruising along at a 7min/mi, but then hit a hill and it let all the wind out of my sails. The lack of nutrition, the overbike, and the lack of training were just a perfect storm that sunk my ship.

The rest of the run was just a slog. I tried to keep the pace under 8, but it was a real struggle. I think this would qualify as a bonk. I walked the remaining aid stations, then picked it up afterwards. I was really, really angry with myself at this point. Why did I ride so hard?! Why didn't I take in nutrition, as I had planned to do?! Why didn't I train better?!

The darkest miles were 11 through the finish. I got passed by 3 guys in my AG during this part of the run. I never get passed this late in a race, and, oh, look...a 54 year old d00d just blew by me!

The final quarter mile is uphill. That's a tough finish.
What would you do differently?:

Everything listed above! The lack of training, overbike, and lack of nutrition (all my fault) contributed to a spectacular bonk and the worst 70.3 run I've had since the first two years in the sport.

Post race
Warm down:

Sat down, pounded a few waters, then waited for Art. He had a GREAT race!

I loved talking with a few athletes that were hobbling around, asking how their races went. Everyone had the same comment..."the wind sucked!" Yes, right!?

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Muncie is a fine race, but I didn't expect it to be SO rural. There's nothing out there (other than crops and livestock)! Not that it was all that bad, but USATF also held an event that weekend. I talked to a USATF official that stated there were over 1000 athletes + their families competing in the same weekend. No wonder lodging had been so hard to get!

It was also one of the most bare bones IM 70.3s I've ever seen. Not many booths/stands and the music was only really audible from the transition area. I will admit that the food was nice, and they had ice cream for all the athletes!

I enjoyed this race, but I don't think I'll go back.

Last updated: 2016-04-20 12:00 AM
00:38:44 | 1931 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 53/187
Overall: 415/
Performance: Average
Garmin 910xt data lost during transfer.
Suit: Tri Suit
Course: Triangular, clockwise, with the sun behind you at first, to your right as you turn the first buoy, then head on during the swim back. Large body of water, so the wind and chop can affect you.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 25C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:03
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:27:34 | 56 miles | 22.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 22/187
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Garmin 910xt data lost during transfer.
Wind: Strong
Course: Two loops, four segments of aprox 14 miles. Course is flat, well paved (for the most part), no shade, and extremely windy. At turn-arounds, you do a 180 and go back the way you came.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:40:03 | 13.1 miles | 07m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/187
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Garmin 910xt data lost during transfer.
Course: Hilly course with minimal shade. A few flat sections here and there, and tons of sunshine. Some low elevation spots didn't have much wind and it made them really hot.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 3

2016-07-11 12:44 PM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Muncie

2016-07-13 7:23 AM
in reply to: #5190358

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Fort Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie
Nice overall race. your transitions were super fast from my perspective. For the swim, did you go outside all the buoys on the way back to the beach? I did but most people in front of me I think did not. The Sun on the return swim leg I can relate to it's blinding nature.

I was impressed with you bike split. I'm still shooting for ANY race distance to average over 22 mph. I can relate to the congestion. For my first loop it was clear but the second loop it was really tough to follow the 6 bike length rule due to the congestion.

Nice overall race.

2016-07-13 9:33 AM
in reply to: #5190358

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie
To go 4:50 on less than 5hrs week training and still call it a just ok day...You're strong, mate..!

The nutrition deprivation definitely must have hurt, compounded by responding to two people in AG on the bike. But still, a 1:40 run is still fast as all get out for the rest of us. And it still qualifies as running..

I think your breakthrough to the 70.3 WC's is just around the corner. You're going to punch that ticket for sure.

Nice day, d00d - hopefully see you at IMNC.
2016-07-13 10:10 AM
in reply to: alltom1

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie did great. LIke others have said with the amount of training that you have done you did just fine. I can only wish to be as fast as you on any of the disciplines.

I agree with you about the "ruralness" of the event. The Athlete Village was very small; easily the smallest of the 5 IM branded events that I've participated. I was getting really sick of the Interstate after the first bike loop. By the time we got back to the neighborhoods I was relieved to just have some different sights. Wind was definitely tough and I had to change my strategy to "spin against the wind". I enjoyed the run and got a 70.3 PR. I'm glad the weather cooperated with us.

Similar to you I liked this race, but will probably not be here again. For me I think I'm doing IM 70.3 Austin next.
2016-07-18 2:58 PM
in reply to: FurnaceM3

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Muncie

Definitely agree with the others - perhaps to you this wasn't the best but given everything you said it's a pretty awesome day to put together.  Even if it hurt - a lot. 

I hope you're recovering well!

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