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Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Spotsylvania, Virginia
United States
Set-Up, Inc
Total Time = 6h 31m 27s
Overall Rank = 183/231
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 28/31
Pre-race routine:

Up early and ate 1 1/2 PB&J's, loaded up the car and headed to the race site. I got to meet captantony (Doug) in the hotel lobby and we chatted for a couple of minutes while heading out to our cars.
Event warmup:

Racked my bike and set up my gear. Ran for about 10 minutes. Put on my wetsuit and got in the water about 20 minutes before the race was supposed to start. The water was around 53 and we were all encouraged to get in early and get used to it. I swam for about 10 minutes, got some water in my suit and got out and let the water in the suit heat up. The race start was delayed for about 20 minutes so I got back in again and did it all again.
  • 26m 17s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 45s / 100 meters

The water was freezing and had left me really anxious about the swim in the days leading up to the race. The swim had been shortened to an Olympic distance because of the cold. Between the full wetsuit and the neoprene swim cap, it turned out to not be that big of a deal.

There were only about 40 men in my wave, so I was expecting an easy start with not much contact. Ha! This was the most bumping and swimming into people that I have experienced in a race yet. The swim course was kind of narrow and everyone was swimming to the inside, close to the buoys. The first few minutes were full of being swum over and swimming over other people. There was a ton of contact throughout both loops on the course.

I felt pretty good. I remained calm and didn't let the cold bother me. I tried to draft, but had a hard time making it work with all of the bumping going on.
What would you do differently?:

I need to relax more when making contact with others in the water. Whenever I made hard contact with someone, I would stick my head up for a moment and slow down.
Transition 1
  • 07m 13s

My feet were so cold that I did not feel the ground when I was running to T1, but they still somehow hurt. I got to my bike and started to strip my wetsuit, but my hands were so cold that I could not completely grip anything. It was a really odd sensation that I do not know how to fully describe.

I also had big problems getting my shoes on, I could not hold them to pull them on. Several other people around me were having the same problem. A woman in the row behind me was laying on the ground yelling "I can't hold my wetsuit to get it off!" Some kind soul helped her strip it off.

I pulled on a long sleeve jersey to help warm up on the bike.

The ear plugs and neoprene cap must have really helped because I never got dizzy.
What would you do differently?:

This was a long T1, but I am not sure I could have done much to speed things up. Perhaps if I had worn gloves on the swim my hands would not have had problems.
  • 3h 15m 54s
  • 55 miles
  • 16.85 mile/hr

I felt good at the start of the bike. I was afraid of being really cold after the water, but I warmed up immediately. I ran into Michelle (shelly123) on the first mile of the bike. I recognized her bike and her blue top from her picture. We chatted for a minute and then she pulled on ahead.

I felt good on the first loop of the course. I kept to my plan and took in nutrition and kept my HR where it should be. At mile 32, I started burping and then unexpectedly threw up all over myself and the bike. I did not even know this was coming. I can always tell when I am about to puke!

I cleaned myself off with my water bottle and slowed down a little bit to try to figure things out. About 6 miles later I threw up again. And I knew that this was the beginning of the end of my race.

I have read about how the stomach can shut down and stop digesting during these races. I am not sure why this happened to me though and I need to work on figuring that out. I do not feel like I was overexerting myself or overheating or taking in too many calories. I was using Infinit at about 300 calories an hour. I have been training with it and have not had problems.

I pulled over and stopped. I was hoping that a short break might allow my stomach to settle down and kind of reset itself. I got back on the bike after about 5-10 minutes. I knew that it was not long enough, but I didn't want to sit out an hour during a half iron.

I finished the next 20 miles without any real problems. I was able to get a little more in my stomach. It did not feel great, but was not too bad. It did hurt a lot more in aero, like my stomach was mashed up.
What would you do differently?:

I need to figure out this stomach thing. I guess I should have sat out longer and let my stomach get better. I am convinced that the aero position is part of the problem. My stomach gets mashed up and feels a little uncomfortable.
Transition 2
  • 02m 48s

This was a pretty fast T2 for me all things considered. I peeled off my long sleeve (and really foul smelling) jersey. I was a little slow trying to get a feel for what was going on with my stomach.
  • 2h 39m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 10s  min/mile

My first few steps into the run my stomach started cramping. I knew that it was not good, but I was hoping that I could run through this thing. The first couple of miles I held my planned pace at around 9:30-9:45, but then on mile 3 I threw up again. My stomach was in knots.

I tried to get in what I could at aid stations, but it caused my stomach to cramp up more. I started walking when the cramps got bad and then running again when they let up. I repeated this pattern and also walked the aid stations for the next several miles. It had also gotten really hot at this point. It was about 80 degrees, there was no shade and we were running on black asphalt that was just radiating heat.

I tried everything at the aid stations, but nothing would stay down. I could get a few sips of water in and managed to swallow a few Endurolyte capsules that I was carrying. I knew that the lack of water and nutrition was compounding my problems. I seriously considered dropping out of the race a few times, but did not want to quit. Dropping out might have been the wiser decision, I don't know.

At mile 10 my guts finally just "locked up". From my waist up to my chest turned into a solid mass of pain. I considered sitting down and waiting for someone to come pick me up. I think that if this had happened earlier in the run, I would have stopped. But I was only 3 miles from the finish so I moved along as fast as my body would let me. I figure that I walked about 90% of the last 3 miles.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I hugged my wife and kids which felt great and then was dragged to the first aid tent. They debated for a while whether or not to give me an IV to rehydrate me. They finally decided to do it, but the only guy that was qualified to give it to me was missing. By the time he reappeared, they decided to just let me nurse on a bottle of gatorade and goldfish crackers.

While I was laying there, a young marine who had lost a leg in Iraq was brought in and was down next to me. It kind of put things in perspective, you know? He had just done something that I consider pretty miraculous and I was complaining about my stomach. I got up and moved around. After about an hour, I felt fine and could eat and drink anything.

BTW - who on earth invented the Gatorade Fierce Melon flavor? On a good day that would be hard to get down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I am bummed about the whole thing. I really felt like I came into this race in pretty good shape and ready to have a great day. I am going to chalk this up as a learning experience. At least it happened during a training race.

Event comments:

I am still waiting for the race results. They are going to look something like this for a total of 6:30:
Swim: 24 min
Bike: 3:20
Run: 2:30

Last updated: 2007-04-11 12:00 AM
00:26:17 | 1500 meters | 01m 45s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/31
Overall: 78/231
Performance: Good
Suit: DeSoto T1
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 53F / 12C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:13
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:15:54 | 55 miles | 16.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 29/31
Overall: 185/231
Performance: Below average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:48
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:39:18 | 13.1 miles | 12m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 28/31
Overall: 180/231
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-04-22 4:46 PM

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Northern VA
Subject: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half

2007-04-22 5:09 PM
in reply to: #771939

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DC Metro, slowly working my way to NC
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half
Wow, sounds like an insanely hard day - I'm blown away that you powered through all of that.  Good job, even if very painful.
2007-04-22 5:26 PM
in reply to: #771939

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Reston VA
Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half

Oh boy you did have a hard day - but you overcame it and finished! This bad experience will help you so much on IM day. You have already felt what its like to get sick and have a bad day.

It was nice seeing you at the beginning of the bike. I was very upset at this point because I just realized that I forgot to fill my aero bottle with water so I had no liquid to drink - except for a bottle of 800 calorie drink that I could not drink without water. Thankfully they filled the water cups already at the run aid stations.

You really looked strong on the run considering the situation.

BTW they never posted updated results at the race site. I have no clue how I placed. I checked this morning at the Sprint race.

2007-04-22 7:09 PM
in reply to: #771939

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Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half
I am so sorry to hear about your stomach problems!! As soon as my race report comes up you will see I had the same thing, minus the puking. I think the heat was a big factor, I didn't do much training in the heat, neither did anybody else! Way to power through and finish! Sit down and evaluate what went wrong, what went right (I actually wrote down a list of mine) and use that as a tool for your IM training!!
2007-04-22 7:40 PM
in reply to: #771939

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Middletown, DE
Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half
Sorry to hear about your stomach problems.  Nonetheless, you had the toughness to finish!!   That's determination!!  Good for you. 
2007-04-23 8:07 AM
in reply to: #771939

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half

Wow - sorry to hear about your stomach issues -- NOT FUN!  Yeah - I agree those Marines put things in perspective.  I was struggling on the second run loop and I passed one of them.  It really made me feel like my pain was no big deal.  

I hope you are feeling better now. 

2007-04-23 7:56 PM
in reply to: #772480

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Virginia Triathlon Series - Race #3 Kinetic Half

Oh man, I am SO SORRY to hear about those stomach issues you had. That is such a bummer. You really did a great job pushing through them, though. I'm not sure I would have been able to finish. I'm glad to learn you were feeling better after the race, though. I hope you're able to figure out what caused it. I am at a loss...sorry! That cold water did not sound pleasant either...EEK!

Well, hopefully, you have your "bad" race out of the way and the rest of your season - especially the IM - will be smooth sailing.


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