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Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon

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Springfield, Illinois
United States
Tri Harder Promotions
81F / 27C
Total Time = 8h 16m 29s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4am in hotel. Got dressed, had breakfast (1.5 bagels with peanut butter) and coffee. Left hotel around 5am to arrive onsite at 5:15am. Parked, drug all my gear around to transition.
Event warmup:

Didn't get much of a warmup in. Went to the water with the best of intentions, but then realized I was still wearing my wedding ring, which I had decided I was going to remove because during the run my hands swell. I figured it would be painful given the length of this run. Out of the water and back to transition I went. By the time I got back to the water, it was time for the pre race meeting. Ugh. I did get into the water for about 10 minutes while the first waves were going off. That was somewhat of a warmup.
  • 48m 16s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 17s / 100 yards

Overall I'm really happy with my swim. I was strong and swam smoothly throughout the race, but had some difficulty with sighting. I kept being pushed to the left, which is my natural inclination to swim anyway, so I was off course a couple of times. That would have cost me some time. I did manage to pass a bunch of guys who were from the two waves in front of me. There is a certain satisfaction in passing a 20 something guy floating on his back in the middle of the race course.

Swam all the way up until my fingers touched the bottom of the boat ramp. Swim pullers helped get me out of the water on a very slippery boat ramp.
What would you do differently?:

Sight more on the long leg of the triangle. I think I trusted too much that I could swim straight. Should have looked where I was going just a little more often and then likely would have been a faster swim overall.
Transition 1
  • 03m 14s

Ran from water to transition area (technically part of my swim time). Did great, remembered to do everything I wanted to do, and seemed to be smooth. Goggles and cap off on the run. First thing at transition area, I remembered to put on sunscreen. Then, sat down and wiped my feet off while having a gu (this will become important later!). Shoes and socks on after feet were dry. Helmet, gloves, sunglasses on and then off to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

I'd love to learn how to do a flying mount, or at least a faster mount than legs over bike while standing still, but honestly, this was the best T1 I could have hoped for.
  • 3h 37m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.42 mile/hr

The bike went pretty well, all things considered. Hit the first five miles to the main course in really good time and popped a gu right at the 20 minute mark. Shortly thereafter I passed the first aid station and noticed they only seemed to have water. Uh oh... I rapidly rethought my nutrition plan to gu every 30 minutes in case all aid stations were like this. See below--they were. As for the actual cycling, things went pretty well overall. As with my test ride of the course, I was faster on the first 20 miles than the last 36. There was a pretty nasty head wind on the way back from the last turn around, so the last 16-17 miles were really hard. I broke down at about mile 49 and stopped for a few seconds to put on some extra chamois cream, which was amazing! Pro tip though, if you are going to put on chamois cream mid-ride, do not use your primary shifting hand to do it!! My shifter was very slippery after that, good thing it was mostly flat into the transition area from that point.

All the information provided by the RD about the race course indicated there would be gels, HEED, bananas, and, of course, water, at each aid station (about 10 miles apart). I trusted that and only took about half the nutrition I normally would want on the bike, planning to live off the course for the most part. I shouldn't have done that. There were absolutely no gels or bananas anywhere on the course. No aid stations had anything like Gatorade/PowerAde. Only the 20 mile station had HEED, but it wasn't already mixed. I had to wait for the volunteer to open the canister (including the foil seal). She didn't know how to mix it either, so I ended up with a scoop of HEED (100 cal) in half a bottle of water. It was terrible, very hard to drink. Overall, on the bike I had 7 gels and a half bottle of HEED, plus one bottle of powerade I started out with, so about 1000 calories over 3.5 hours. I was planning on at least twice that amount.

I don't think the nutrition issue had a huge effect on my bike, maybe just a few minutes slower than goal. I KNOW undernutrition on the bike caused me to flame out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Be fully self sufficient on the bike. Don't trust RD when they say there will be calories available on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 04m 38s

I was tired, but excited because I'm right on target to hit my goal time after the bike, and T2 went off as I had hoped. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, sunglasses, and gloves, and then changed my shirt quickly. Honestly, not sure I ever thought I would whip off my shirt in public, but I did. I wanted to reduce the chance of getting horribly sunburned on my shoulders, which had already been exposed for 4+ hours at this time.

Sat down (which was sort of a mistake) and changed shoes and socks, first checking to see the bandaid I put on earlier to prevent blistering on my right second toe was still in place--it was, so no need to change it. Slathered melted body glide all over my thighs--left huge white chunks of glide all over my legs--didn't care one bit. Managed to stand up and put on race belt (thankfully it had two gus in it!) and hat. Trotted to the run out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, this went exactly as I had envisioned it when I drew up my race plan.
  • 3h 42m 22s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 16m 58s  min/mile

I ranked my overall run as "bad" only because terrible, awful, horrible, cataclysmic, and excruciating weren't options. This was the worst run of my entire life.

I started off after my bike at least 1000 calories down on nutrition due to a lack of calories on the bike course. I immediately, within the first 0.25mi of the run, took a gu with some water to wash it down with. I had hopes this could help me be okay on the run. My plan was a 4:1 run:walk with a gu every two miles and HEED/cola at alternating stations with water in my bottles as needed between stations. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! The best laid plans...

So, mile 1--4:1 run:walk ratio in effect. Can hear the awards ceremony for the Oly distance going off as I exit T2. Mile 1 is mostly downhill, so I feel pretty good about myself here. Hit the first aid station and pick up a Hammer gel. Gross, it is Nutella flavored. Gag...I choke it down anyway because I'm behind on nutrition. They have nothing else by this time.

Mile 2, also goes okay, but it is also mostly downhill. It is around the middle of mile 2 that I realize all this downhill is going to come back to bite me in the @ss when I return and it is mile 8-9. Oh well, keeping up with 4:1 run:walk and feeling not too bad, although I have a pain in my right foot that is new and not all that pleasant.

Mile 3--the wheels start to fall off the rails here. 4:1 goes out the window and I opt to walk up hills and run down them. Mile 3 is virtually entirely uphill (or at least I think it is). I still manage to run a little bit.

Miles 4-8 are very much a haze, but I'm pretty sure I walked most, if not all of them. Both calves have vague cramps in them and right ankle is tight and beginning to be very painful. In here is a vague memory of aid stations with out water, ice, food, HEED, cola, volunteers, or pretty much anything useful to me at the time. No one station was out of everything all at once, but it did seem to be that every aid station was out of whatever I happened to want at that particular moment. Somewhere in here I stood in the middle of the street under a sprinkler and peed. That was a bad move, because then my shoes were wet.

Mile 9--This is the farthest I ever made It in training. All my long runs were 9 miles or less. From here on out I was in uncharted territory and I knew I was going to finish this dang race, even if I had to do it on my hands and knees. I spent most of mile 9 calculating how long I would need to finish if I was going 20min/mile (I wasn't, but that was, I figured, the worst case scenario). Somewhere in the middle of this mile two guys came back toward me from the turn around and told me the turn around was at 10.75. That gave me a little mental boost.

Mile 10--still walking the whole time, but with a tiny bit of pep in my step. Aid station at mile 10.25 had everything, plus a very attractive 20-something offered to rub Vaseline on any chaffing spots I had. Damn, for once in my life I was actually chafe free. Took my time at this aid station, as there was no one else around and had two cups of cola over ice and some orange slices (aka now known as manna from heaven). Then, I tired to head out of the station the wrong way. Volunteers kindly directed me the right way and I headed out to the turn around and back. Stopped for another cup of cold cola on the way back and was off on the home stretch.

Mile 11--walking in a daze, but found out there were other people still on the course (by passing them on their way toward the turn around). Got to tell them the turnaround was just ahead and hope they appreciated it as much as I did when someone told me.

Mile 12--kind gentleman walking on the side of the road (not associated with the race) offered me an ice cold Gatorade. I was sorely tempted, but told him we weren't allowed to accept outside assistance. Man did I want that Gatorade!! I'm amazed that my innate rule-following extends this far. I learned something about myself today. Mile 12 is also the aid stop that had no volunteers to be found. All the stuff was set up there, but no one to help. I snagged two orange slices.

Mile 13--the promise land!! Last mile!!!!! Every single bit of me hurts by now. I can feel quarter sized blisters on the bottoms of both feet. My calves have seized up by now and I'm feeling every single step. Two nice racers ride by on their bikes and check on me twice. They are very encouraging and tell me all about how I'm almost done. I hate them and appreciate them at the same time.

Mile 13.1--there is an ever loving photographer at the end of this dang bridge. As I hit the top of the bridge I can see they have completely broken down the transition area except for three bike racks. I can see my bike sitting out there with two others. There are at least two people behind me!! Oh, damn, there goes one of them running by me in the last stretch. Back to the photographer--try to smile. Try to look like you are happy. Oh, I'm pretty sure that is a grimace. Yes, that is a grimace of pain. Wait, you should try to run, so you get a shot of you running in your half marathon. BT won't let me type the next string of thoughts, all of which have four letters in them. Pass the photographer and turn into the finishers chute. I do manage to start a very slow trot and then pick it up into a "sprint" toward the finish line. Both calves instantly seize into debilitating cramps. I hobble across the finish line where I'm offered a bottle of water and a chair.
What would you do differently?:

Essentially everything.
Post race
Warm down:

Ha! Warm down! I hobbled over to a chair in the med tent and tried to sit. It took two tries because my chest cramped up when I went to sit down the first time. Did finally manage to sit down and stayed there for about 30 minutes while volunteers brought me various things to eat and drink, most of which I accepted but did not consume. My favorite was a cherry/watermelon sno cone.

After getting up out of the camp chair (which required help), I wandered around looking for some food. Finally found some very cold gross looking pizza (website said their would be Asian food) and soda. Disheartened, I went and packed up my sad little transition, by now my bike was the last one in the area.

Had to give my bib number and contact info to volunteer because they ran out of finishers medals. She did tell me I won third place (final results say second) Athena division, which was nice, but then I had to wait for her to find the award--she had packed it away somewhere safe and couldn't remember where she put it.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike nutrition. Possibly run fitness, but there is no way to really tell if this was an issue given the bike nutrition issues.

Event comments:

I wanted this race to be great, but it just wasn't. The RD and volunteers were all very nice and helpful, but the organization seemed haphazard. There were simply too many things that didn't go well for me to call it an organized race, and the fact that all of the pre-race information said their would be nutrition on the bike course and then there wasn't any really adversely affected my race. Run aid stations ran out of a lot of stuff. No one aid station was ever out of everything, but I came across stations that were out of HEED, cola, water, ice, and food/gels. In the end, when they said they had run out of finisher's medals, that was kind of the last straw (although, they did say they will send them out as soon as possible).

Last updated: 2016-05-27 12:00 AM
00:48:16 | 2112 yards | 02m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: tri--no wetsuit
Course: triangular shape under the Lindsey Bridge
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:14
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:37:57 | 56 miles | 15.42 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: basically two out and backs with a tail back to transition area. Covered about 15 miles of the old Route 66, which was fun. It would have been more fun if the route was smooth all the way, but old roads aren't usually smooth. First 20 miles were basically flat as a pancake. The last 30ish full of rolling hills. Course change at the last minute took out the only real "hill" in the whole route, which made me happy.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:38
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:42:22 | 13.1 miles | 16m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Hilly out and back all around the lake area with supposedly closed roads.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2016-08-01 11:32 AM

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Southern Illinois
Subject: Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon

2016-08-01 3:58 PM
in reply to: #5193491

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon

Whelp, you finished!  Sounds like a tough run and the RDs should have done a better job managing the race. 

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