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PrairieMan - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Grand Prairie, Texas
United States
Ironhead Race Productions
93F / 34C
Total Time = 5h 59m 32s
Overall Rank = 132/268
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 21/34
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:55. Had a banana, oatmeal raisin clif bar, and a piece of PB toast. Drank water all the way to the race site. Had to stop at a gas station at the exit off of I-20 to go to the bathroom. Better than waiting for the portajohn I guess.

Got to the race site, got everything out of the van. Got just about all the way to the transition area when I realized I forgot my bag of bottles for the bike. So I got a little warmup on the bike going back to the van.

Quickly found the BT clique and got bodymarked by Laurie (tri_it_cajun_style). She put a little smiley face inside of my race number for good luck.

Got everything out of my backpack and got set up (so I thought), took a quick trip to the portajohn, then back to transition since I forgot to get my HR monitor on. Oops. Not the first thing I would forget this day. On the way to the prerace meeting, I realized I had forgotten to get my chip. Crap. Ran over to the table and got it. Also forgot the handy-dandy chip strap supplied by the RD. Crap!
Event warmup:

None. I was going to do a little swim, but ran out of time. Walked down the chute with Seb (sebjamesm), Aaron (JeepFleeb), and our good buddy Chris Leigh from the Gatorade commericial. Joked around about grabbing his timing strip and throwing it as far as I could. Not that it would have mattered much.
  • 45m 9s
  • 2111 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

As soon as I started my right lens started leaking. Figured I could make it with just one eye, so I ignored and and kept going. Tried to keep a comfortable pace, focusing on keeping my elbows up and rotating my hips. Round the first buoy ok, then started veering to the right. Had to do lots of corrections, which slowed me down. Ran into Seb at some point after the first turn, tried to draft off of him but he was gone in an instant. This stretch seemed endless. Started passing a few people from the first wave, but then I started getting passed by even more people from the third wave. Took a nice punch to the head at the turn home. Took a minute to collect myself, backstroking while I put my goggles back on. The way home was ok, just tried to swim comfortably while letting the waves push me home.

1 leg down, 2 to go!
What would you do differently?:

Make sure goggles are on tighter. Better navigation, that really slows me down.
Transition 1
  • 04m 58s

Where to start?

I took the time to dry my feet off and get my socks and shoes on. Had trouble with my socks, and my feet weren't dry either. Maybe those two are related. Anyway, got my shoes and gloves on. Then I grabbed my helmet and sunglasses. Got my bike off the rack, then remembered I needed my race belt. Re-racked, got my belt on. Then I remembered I needed my salt pills. Ran through my backpack and found them. OK, think that's everything. Got out of my rack, out of my row, and almost to the exit. Crap, might want to take your Garmin with you, doofus. Ran back and got it. Finally, everything's ready to go (so I thought, more on that later).
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 53m 16s
  • 55 miles
  • 19.05 mile/hr

Immediately out of transition I could hear the BT jockstrappers (jcagg90, Doughboy, tri_it_cajun_style, DerekL, Comet, Chippy, Tri Take Me Away, and of course my wife swatson) hooting and hollering. John (jcagg90) had an airhorn blasting as soon as I went past. It's good to have friends at these things.

Original plan was to take the bike segment easy, maybe 17 mph. Once I got out onto Lake Ridge, that went right out the window. I felt great.

So I get out on Lake Ridge for the U-turn, and I look down to drink some water. Crap! I mistakenly put my Endurox bottle on my bike instead of water. That's not good. So much for the good Polar bottle. I dumped it after a couple of miles at the first water bottle handup. 10 bucks down the drain.

There was a decent SW wind on the ride. Not much of a factor on Lake Ridge, but it was tough going on Broad St. The section NE on 360 rocked! It was fun going 24 mph without even trying.

Passed a guy on the first lap who was also riding a 2004 Fuji Finest. Now those of you who know me know that I love to complain about having a sucky bike. If I let this guy beat me, then I can't gripe that my bike makes me slow. It would only be me that was slow. No way was I going to let that happen!

Followed my nutrition plan religiously. Did 150 cals per hour of HEED, 1 gel per hour (110 cals), and 3 salt tablets. That gave me 260 calories and 568 mg salt per hour. I did not want to repeat my mistakes and have too many calories in my stomach when I started the run. Also grabbed a fresh water bottle 3 times at the bottle handup on Lake Ridge. I couldn't figure out why so many folks were doing Camelbacks. There were 2 handups on the need to weigh yourself down with 2 liters of water on your back. To each his own I guess.

Anyway, was feeling really good at the end of lap 2, when I hear a sonic boom behind me. I look over my shoulder. Wow it's...(now looking ahead of me instead of behind me)...Chris...(now squinting to see him in the distance)...Leigh. Holy crap, I'd never seen anything like it. I was going 23 mph and he passed me like I was standing still.

Saw Tommy (zia_cyclist) and Seb coming N on Lake Ridge on my way out to the south U turn on Lake Ridge. Seb and I yelled at each other as we met.

Relaxed on the way back up Lake Ridge. Tried to pee on the bike, but I couldn't perform. Oh well, there are portajohns on the run course. I didn't really need to go, but it sounded like a good idea at the time. No such luck though.

On the way into the park and back to transition, I passed the BT clique again to roars of support. It's good to have friends at these things.

2 legs down, just 1 to go!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I flew on this course but still felt good at the end. Nutrition was great.
Transition 2
  • 02m 13s

Much better transition this time. Got everything off, put my cap on. Changed out of my soaked biking socks into my Brooks running socks that I use for all of my long runs. Tried to dry my feet off again, but no luck. I was severely pruned already, so I knew blisters were a formality. Oh well. Started my Garmin timer as I left.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 13m 53s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile

Started out great the first mile and a half. HR was pretty high though. The BT crew was awesome. Shannon handed me a cold towel as soon as a left. Put it inside my hat and squeezed it every now and then to keep cool. Once I did the 2 mini loops it was off to the dam. Saw Seb as I was turning on that stretch. He asked how I was doing. Pretty good so far.

Passed the BT canopy and saw lots of BT sidewalk art. I was definitely "Focused" thanks to some of the pics on the ground. Got a fresh towel from Laurie as I went past to some jeers about being a 30 year old. The signs were great -"Hurry up! We're bored." Next sign- "And we're out of beer." It's good to have friends at these things.

Stopped to walk every aid station. Did 2 cups of water at each of them. One and a half to drink, the other half to resoak my towel and pour over my head. Did gels at 4 miles and 8 miles. Tried to drink Gatorade at one of them, but I could just manage one sip of it. Not in the mood for it. Probably should have had it anyway. Maybe I wouldn't have run out of gas later.

Hit the portajohn at about 2 1/2 miles in, right before the dam. It was some kind of hot in there. Glad I didn't have to pee very long, because I couldn't have run very far after being in there much longer. It was stifling hot.

Break time over. Off to the gut check. Saw David (dgillen) doing a short brick run after his Aquabike. About mile 4 I saw Aaron's flag in the distance. He told me I had another 2 miles to the turnaround. Gulp.

Started slowing down and running out of gas miles 5 and 6. Saw Tommy somewhere in there. Finally hit the turnaround. The good news, there was a bit of breeze in my face, which helped cool me down a little bit. The bad news, there was a bit of breeze in my face, which made me slow down even more.

Miles 7-11 was super duper slow. Didn't help that I needed to go to the bathroom again (#2 this time), so rather than mess my pants, I slowed down some more until it subsided. Also stopped in mile 9 to fix my timing strap. It was under my sock and was rubbing me raw. Took it off and put it over my sock. I figured 4 blisters were plenty for a single race.

Finally made it off The Dam, down the hill and to the portajohn. Gut check was over. I had survived The Dam. Was smart and took in a cup of ice water to pour over my head while I was sitting in the portajohn. Kept me from getting too hot.

OK, 2 1/2 more miles, let's go. Mile 11 was great - got splashed by 4 cups of water at the aid station, which gave me a nice boost, but I think I pushed it too hard. By the time I reached the BT canopy, I was dogging it. What sucked was that when you are about to hit the BT canopy, you can see the finish line, but you still have 1.5 to go. Still have to do 2 mini-loops again. Ug.

Got a fresh towel from Shannon with some ice. Passed the last water station and tried to convince myself to run some more. Just one mini loop to go. Shannon started to run alongside me trying to get me to speed up. I was doing good to trot. She knew I was close to breaking six hours, she just didn't want to tell me.

Finally made it to the finish line and crossed it at 6:05 and change. Then remembered that they started it with the first swim wave, which was 5+ minutes ahead of me.

I had broken 6 hours in my first Half Ironman. Rock on! The end! 3 legs down, none to go! Where's my cheeseburger?
What would you do differently?:

I didn't fuel enough on the run. I only took in 2 gels and 4 salt tablets. That's 220 calories and 780 mg sodium. I should have had 2 more gels. That would have given me 440 calories and 1180 mg salt. Right on target with what I had on the bike. Maybe that would have prevented me from running out of gas on the run. I didn't bonk, I just didn't have any juice left at the end. Or is that the very definition of bonking? Regardles, I left it all out there on The Dam somewhere.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat down with my finisher's mug, finisher's shirt, and a bottle of Gatorade endurance. Got up after a minute or so, changed into my sandals, then headed over to the BT frathouse. Drank a couple of bottles of water since nobody offered me a beer (sigh) and ate 2 stacked slices of pizza. Not the cheeseburger I was craving (that would come later on), but it sure was good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Underfueled on the run.

Also had lots of stupid mistakes with my transition area that could have saved me 2 minutes easy.

Didn't really start training for it until mid-July after completing my first Oly.

Event comments:

I set no goals for this race but to finish. I had only trained weeks or so after doing my first Oly, so I knew I could complete it. Sub 6 hours and top half of the finishers is way better than I expected. Better management of my run nutrition and transition area and who knows what I could have done.

All of my milestone races (1st tri, 1st Oly, and now 1st HIM) have all been Jack's races. They're all very well run and very safe. Some people gripe about his rules and dictator-ish personality, but it works for me.

Next stop - Ironman...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-07-07 12:00 AM
00:45:09 | 2111 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 28/34
Overall: 176/268
Performance: Average
Suit: Javelin Tri Top and Shorts
Course: Triangular. Orange buoys marked the lines, yellow for the turns.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 83F / 28C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:58
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:53:16 | 55 miles | 19.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 25/34
Overall: 173/268
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 152
Wind: Some
Course: Headed out the park then North on Lake Ridge. Did a single U turn on Lake Ridge back down to Broad Street. Then 3 loops going W on Broad St, N on 360, E on Camp Wisdom, and South on Lake Ridge. After the 3rd loop, continued S on Lake Ridge a few miles to a U turn, then back up Lake Ridge and into the park. 2 water bottle handups on the loop, one on Lake Ridge and one on 360.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:13
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:13:53 | 13.1 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/34
Overall: 113/268
Performance: Good
Avg HR : 167 Mile 1 - 7:38 HR 170 Mile 2 - 8:16 HR 172 Mile 3 - 8:49 HR 171 Mile 4 - 8:51 HR 172 Mile 5 - 9:54 HR 170 Mile 6 - 9:43 HR 170 Mile 7 - 11:06 HR 166 Mile 8 - 10:00 HR 168 Mile 9 - 11:17 HR 165 Mile 10 - 10:53 HR 162 Mile 11 - 10:49 HR 160 Mile 12 - 9:20 HR 170 Mile 13 - 11:45 HR 164 Leftovers (my Garmin had the distance at 13.31) - 3:14 HR 165
Course: Out and back with 2 short mini-loops, then out onto The Dam. This was a brutal 8 mile out and back stretch with no shade and no end in sight. Big time gut check.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2006-09-12 8:09 AM

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McKinney, TX
Subject: PrairieMan

2006-09-12 8:33 AM
in reply to: #537484

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Queen BTich
Gold member
Subject: RE: PrairieMan

Great job Andy, you did so well for your first HIM. Don't beat yourself up about the run, you can't make yourself take gels when you're not feeling it...they will come back to haunt you. Maybe next time tuck a Marathon bar in your top or something just in case. An extra 200 calories that can be easier to stomach.

Dude, T1? Sheesh.

Congrats, you were awesome.

2006-09-12 9:22 AM
in reply to: #537484

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: PrairieMan
Great job!

I thought that was you I saw you during the swim, but I wasn't sure. Didn't kick you in the face, did I?
2006-09-12 9:32 AM
in reply to: #537484

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San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: PrairieMan
Good job, Andy!
2006-09-12 10:13 AM
in reply to: #537484

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Subject: RE: PrairieMan

The hell? We didn't offer you a beer? We suck!

Oh, great race btw

2006-09-12 11:39 AM
in reply to: #537484

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Kansas City, MO
Subject: RE: PrairieMan
Dude...great job in the race!  Sounds like you had a good plan and ran a smart race.  That's cool that all the BT crew was there.  BT people rock!  Breaking 6 hours....great job!  The next one will be even better...

2006-09-12 12:22 PM
in reply to: #537484

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Keller Tx
Subject: RE: PrairieMan

unbelievable.  Great job sub 6 in your 1st 1/2

Sorry about the beer.  You know us all better than that.  You should have asked!

2006-09-12 1:05 PM
in reply to: #537484

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: PrairieMan
Thanks for the detailed race report!

Great job!
2006-09-12 2:27 PM
in reply to: #537484

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Extreme Veteran
Round Rock, Texas
Subject: RE: PrairieMan
Congrats Andy!  Good race report as well.  Thanks for explaining why there was a puddle in the porta-can near the damn. 
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