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HalfMax Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Innsbrook, Missouri
United States
72F / 22C
Total Time = 4h 47m 19s
Overall Rank = 9/59
Age Group = 40-44M
Age Group Rank = 3/11
Pre-race routine:

Drove across Missouri and into nearby Warrenton to shack up in a hotel for the night. I was up at 4:45 to eat a mostly maltodextrin-based breakfast (I still have no idea what to do for breakfast after all these races) mostly just making sure I have at least somewhere around 700 calories inside me. I was then on my 20 minute drive out to the Innsbrook resort area. Along the way it rained pretty good but it did stop before I arrived, but the clouds were kinda gloomy and the occasional lightning would shoot across the sky off in the distance.

As advertised, this was a pretty good set-up for a triathlon. A very nice spot for transition and and swim. Since I knew almost no one here, instead of talking my pre-race routine consisted of walking back and forth from the bathrooms and lazily setting up my transition spot.
Event warmup:

I alllllmost got a chance to warm up in the water, but just as I was setting foot in the lake the lifeguards blew their whistles to get everyone to exit the water because of lightning nearby. Ultramax tried to wait out the lightning, but each time another lightning strike hit the start got pushed back another 15 minutes. So, based on radar and the time schedule with controlled road intersections/police they made the call to fully cancel the swim.
  • 05m 59s
  • 1304 yards
  • 28s / 100 yards

At first there was going to be no run/duathlon start, we were just going to start from the beach as we would have had we just finished the swim. But they thought better of that and decided to go with a run in order to break up the pack of people that would've formed at the start of the bike. Just as this was being announced it began raining. This, coupled with a canceled swim, caused a few people to bail on the race altogether (including one of the few KC guys I knew of). I'm not sure what the big deal was, the rain was light and it wasn't cold, maybe there are that many people adamant about not doing a duathlon.

The run went by quick and ended with a bit of a steep uphill climb. Nothing else really to note other than I had my watch on swim mode and my per 100 pace looked amazing.
Transition 1
  • 00m 58s

Had to spend a few extra seconds placing my run shoes back inside a plastic shopping bag so that I could hopefully keep them dry during the rain.

  • 2h 41m 38s
  • 54 miles
  • 20.05 mile/hr

It was still raining on us as we first tackled the roads around the resort. The roads are wonderfully smooth and paved. But they are also slick from the rain, winding, hilly, and have two kinds of speed bumps scattered throughout. As such I didn't quite know what to expect as I came around each bend, so I had to hold back my effort at the start. I was primarily afraid that if I went too hard I would end up having my wheels slide out from underneath me and I'd wipe out. This went on for seven miles before I reached more reassuring roads that allowed me to finally settle in and get going.

Lap 1 was good. I sat somewhere around 2nd or 3rd place during this time. It was raining on us, but it wasn't a wind driven rain. It was actually kinda nice. My bike was a little filthy come the end of it, but I can't recall doing a half iron race where I wasn't eventually getting toasted by the sun or suffering in some humidity so this was a nice new experience. At the time I didn't feel I was pushing too hard, I just kept my eye on the one competitor I could see up ahead in the distance and hoped the gap wouldn't grow.

As I approached Innsbrook to start my second lap I climbed this very steep hill that affords no momentum to start your climb. I was a little wiped out by it and it was about then that I figured I'm gonna need to back off a bit on my effort on the second lap if I want to survive what's still to come.

Through the Innsbrook area again I yo-yo'd back a forth with some dude around the winding roads. Because the roads were wet from the rain and because my race wheels fit just barely into my bike frame my wheels kept making an annoying rubber squealing noise on all of the climbs and slow technical spots. Disregarding that whole issue, which I've never encountered before, it was a real nuisance to listen to and I can't imagine what the other guy riding near me was thinking, so I was thankful once I hit the main road and noise pollution ceased.

Lap two I did as stated above and kept my effort level in check. In fact, it got down right painful and at times I contemplated, if I were to ever do an IM, how in the heck would I ever be able to tackle 112 miles if I can barely prepare for 56. So miles 40-50 ended up being the low points for me and at times I felt like I was moving at a demoralizing glacial pace. But the home stretch provided some nice flat/downhill that afforded me to rest my legs and allow me to mentally prepare for the last few climbs before T2.
What would you do differently?:

Solid overall, I wouldn't approach it differently other than being more prepared for the distance.
Transition 2
  • 01m 4s

Smooth easy transition, although transition looked scare since the Olympic and Sprint folks had, for the most part, ended their day. I also couldn't tell if my plastic bag had any effect any preventing my shoes from getting rained on, but not much I can do about that now.

  • 1h 57m 43s
  • 12.7 miles
  • 09m 16s  min/mile

The sun had started to make an appearance but it was mostly a non-factor as the course is almost entirely shade covered and there wasn't much heat or humidity that had time to build up, although it did get a little sticky at the end.

For the first 4 miles or so I stayed about 15 feet behind some guy who left transition not long after me, and then not much changed beyond that. We kept almost the exact same pace and, had it been a flatter course, I may challenged him, but my sole focus was holding things together as I battled the hills. Nothing heroic, just try not to walk the hills for as long as I could and at least baby step my way up them until I could crest over the top.

To my surprise I was running some solid high 7 to high 8 min/mile pace, but by lap two that transitioned over to 9-10 min pace as I eventually succumbed to walking the steeper hills. Energy levels also seemed to come into play almost to point where I needed some food. I was hungry. But the aide stations didn't really have anything that sounded like it would fit my appetite or not induce a side cramp so continued to sip on my gel flask. As a measure of how bad I was handling the hills compared to everyone else I noticed none of the other male runners ahead of me were putting much of a gap on me, so they were fairing as well as I was, although there was one dude who blew by me at mile 10 who seemed to have a fresh new pair of legs on. However, he must have fell off a cliff because I caught up to him with less than a few hundred yards to go. That, of course, provoked me to use whatever pain and suffering tolerance I had in me to see if I could pass him before the finish. He then notices me and kicks it up a gear as we hobble to the finish. I had to just let him go because I had already used up whatever extra drops of go go juice I had in me. I do make it across the finish line and I then fall to the ground in a fit of exhaustion.
What would you do differently?:

I ran hills in preparation for this course, but not the right kind of hills and hill workouts. Next time: pick one giant hill, run up it, and then down it. Repeat.
Post race
Warm down:

Laid in the grass at the finish line for a while. Laid in the shade next to tree. Sat in the lake water. Basically a lot of sitting and laying down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Me. Work, kids, evening activities, part-time MBA classes. I probably needed at least one more good long bike ride, maybe two. Somewhere in the month prior my training got a little thrown off my ideal plan.

Event comments:

Ultramax is great. Always a good event. They really tried to make the swim happen but with the amount of lightning going off in the area and with the knowledge of what the weather might be, they made to correct call.

Last updated: 2019-02-28 12:00 AM
00:05:59 | 1304 yards | 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/11
Overall: 4/59
Course: 3/4 Mile loop
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:58
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:41:38 | 54 miles | 20.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/11
Overall: 7/59
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Two laps. Counter-clockwise. Beginning portion stared out within the Innsbrook resort remaining lap was on highways M and F as well as Schuetzen Ground Rd.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 81
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:04
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:57:43 | 12.7 miles | 09m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/11
Overall: 11/59
Performance: Good
Course: Two laps around the Innsbrook community. Almost completely shaded and good scenery. Primarily gravel surface. Hills and hills. Breakdown is approx 5 miles of uphill, 5 miles of downhill, and 3 miles of flat. In reality it feels like you're running down one hill only to have to climb another.
Keeping cool Good 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2019-07-15 11:28 AM

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Olathe, KS
Subject: HalfMax Triathlon
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