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MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Morgantown, West Virginia
United States
HFP Racing
Total Time = 6h 09m 34s
Overall Rank = 229/293
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 25/31
Pre-race routine:

I was not able to leave for the race until around 2pm on Saturday. I got to the race site around 6:00-6:30 and checked in. I spent a few minutes at the expo, it was small, but had more stuff than a lot of other races. I spent a few minutes talking to someone from Infinit.

I went for a quick spin on the bike before checking my bike into transition. All bikes had to be racked and left the night before. The transition area was in the bottom level of a parking garage. Very different! The day of the race, you could park in the garage above the transition area and just carry your stuff down to the bike. That was nice.

I found my hotel, cooked a small dinner (stayed at a Residence Inn with a kitchen) and then went to drive the bike course. Came back to my room, organized my stuff and went to bed.
Event warmup:

Got up at 3:30am and drank 2 bottles of Ensure and had 1/3 of a bagel. Went back to bed for 2 more hours and then up at 5:30.

Drove to the race site and set up my transition area. Went for a 10 minute slow run with several pickups, avoided the porta potties and ducked into the next door hotel for a first class bathroom experience.

Put on my wetsuit and headed to the swim start. Jumped in the water a few minutes before my wave started and warmed up a little.
  • 30m 51s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 36s / 100 meters

This was a deep water start off of a boat ramp. The water was very warm, wetsuit legal for age groupers, but not the pros. I started at the front of my wave towards the outside. I went out a little fast, but calmed myself down after about 5 minutes.

There was not too much contact with other swimmers. I worked on keeping my head in the water and not stopping after hard collisions. I felt really comfortable in the water and found a nice pace. I tried really hard to find swimmers for drafting, but just couldn't find anyone at the right pace. I drafted for probably no more than 5 minutes. There were people on my feet for a good part of the race.

I swam a bit off course, I'm not sure why, I am usually dead on with sighting and staying on course. Maybe I do better with odd shaped courses rather than straight lines.
What would you do differently?:

Work harder to stay on course and find opportunities for drafting.

If the water temps in IM Louisville are going to be this warm, I might need to invest in a sleeveless top for my TI wetsuit. I was getting really warm in this HIM, I might overheat in a full IM.
Transition 1
  • 05m 16s

This transition includes a long run from the boat dock to the transition area. About 3 minutes of this time is the run. I had my wetsuit top off and my bibs pulled down by the time I reached my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Until I start riding without socks and start with my shoes already on the bike, there is not much that I can do to save any more time.
  • 3h 15m 47s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.16 mile/hr

I worked really hard to calm down and take it easy the first 10-15 minutes of this ride. I wanted to settle my heart rate way down. There were two big climbs on this course. The first was a long, slow 5 mile climb. The second was a shorter, very steep climb. Going up was slow, but coming down was fast and fun!

After finishing the first loop, you felt like you had kind of conquered the hills, but then had to head back out for another loop, which was a little depressing. Any time that my stomach felt a little shaky, I would sit up and slow down a little. I felt good and finished the bike feeling strong. I could have pushed it a little harder.

I did not quite have enough to eat and drink on the first loop, but was spot on with my nutrition plan on the second loop. I carried one bottle of Infinit and used my aero bottle for water. I stopped once at a porta potty. I kept my HR in check the entire ride.

My damn shoulders and neck are really hurting and cramping up on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

I could have pushed harder, but was trying to treat this as a training day. I was also being careful so that I would have some gas left for the run. I should have pushed it just a little harder.
Transition 2
  • 01m 8s

Nice, quick transition. Pulled off my bike shoes and threw on my running shoes, hat and race belt.
  • 2h 16m 32s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 25s  min/mile

The first couple of minutes on the run my right foot started to feel funny, kind of like it was swollen in my shoe or something. I finally stopped and pulled my shoe off and found a Gu packet in the shoe. I'm glad I found it before it burst and filled my shoe with goop.

My plan was to run the entire 13 miles, only stopping for aid stations. I had not been able to do this in my previous 2 HIM's. I started at a 9:30-9:45 pace. I walked every aid station, but no more than 10-20 seconds.

My stomach was feeling funky the first few miles. I spent a good deal of the run negotiating with my stomach. Seriously. "I will slow up a bit and calm down, but you need to let me drink a cup of sports drink and a cup of water at the next aid station and keep it down." I spit up just a little bit between miles 3 and 4, but eventually my stomach calmed down and all was well.

I took in a cup of water at every aid station and a cup of sports drink with the water at every other. I was only able to get one Gu in, my stomach wanted nothing to do with it. I took a total of 4 Endurolyte capsules. I stopped once at a porta potty.

I spent so much time stressing out about the hills on the bike course that I ignored the run course. About 60-70% of the run was flat, but the rest was full of hills. There was one hill that was a couple of blocks long that was so steep that you could not run it. Everyone just walked it. When you got to the top, you turned and faced another hill that was not nearly as steep, but your legs were so fried from the climb that you ended up walking most of it. There were about 3 miles of these nasty up and downs that you hit twice on this 2 lap course.

This area was also where there was some great local character out for the race. At the base of the giant, evil hill, there was a guy dressed up as the devil egging you on. At the top of the second big hill, there was a girl out in front of her house in a bikini with a BIG snake wrapped around her. She should have been at the base of the big hill chasing people up it with the snake. There were also a couple of what must have been group homes for the college with guys sitting out drinking beers cheering us on, trying to get us to stop and join them.

After the first trip through the hills, I could not maintain my 9:30 pace. They just zapped some strength from my legs. The second loop was pretty uneventful. Around mile 9 I passed a guy throwing up and then almost stepped on a big black snake. My HR spiked, I hate snakes.

I had saved enough gas to take off and run the last 2-3 miles at a faster pace, but this is where the hills were and they slowed me down considerably.
What would you do differently?:

Overall I feel great about the run. I only walked the aid stations and a couple of the hills that were really nasty. I should have taken in more calories of some sort, but my stomach is a big baby and needs to be pampered.
Post race
Warm down:

After finishing I met akustix (Brian). He was at the finish and heard my name announced. He had been kind enough to offer to make sure someone would be around for packet pickup if I did not make it on time Saturday. I picked up some food, they had some pretty decent post-race food, but could not stomach much. I did, however, eat several of these awesome breadsticks that they were serving with the pasta. They were big and hot and just great. I ate a ton of them.

I packed up my gear and then decided to brave the massage line. I really needed to work out the kinks before getting back in the car for the drive home. I had a terrific massage. He worked on my legs and my neck and shoulders. He commented that my neck and shoulders were a complete mess.

I then got in the car and headed home. About half way home, I got the brilliant idea that I might be more comfortable out of my tri shorts and running shoes. I stopped and put on some gym shorts that I had in my trunk and drove barefoot the rest of the way.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I could have gone harder on the bike and run; I held back a little bit too much. I need to train more to get better on the bike. This was a PR for me by about 20 minutes in an HIM. And it was on a more difficult course than my first 2.

Event comments:

This was a very organized and well run race. There were an incredible number of police on the bike and run course directing traffic, more than I have ever seen before. Tons of great volunteers, plenty of aid stations stocked with a variety of goodies.

This was a beautiful course, more difficult than what I am used to, but very scenic and nice. Great post-race food as well. A great event!

Last updated: 2007-06-27 12:00 AM
00:30:51 | 1931 meters | 01m 36s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 92/293
Performance: Good
Suit: Full T1
Course: Long, narrow rectangle
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:16
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:15:47 | 56 miles | 17.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 255/293
Performance: Below average
HR avg: 141 HR max: 165
Wind: Little
Course: Two laps through the hills
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:08
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:16:32 | 13.1 miles | 10m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 221/293
Performance: Average
HR avg: 156 HR max: 167
Course: Two laps with half the course very flat and the other half very hilly.
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
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-07-02 1:04 PM

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Northern VA
Subject: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman

2007-07-02 1:44 PM
in reply to: #869044

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Lugoff, SC
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman
Great race!  You seem to be dialed in for IM Louisville!
2007-07-02 2:05 PM
in reply to: #869154

South Jersey
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman

Great job out there. It sounds like you went it with a plan, stuck to it, and did great. Do that at KY and you'll do awesome!

Sorry to hear you had some lingering stomach issues, but they don't seem to be as bad as before, so that's good. Hopefully all those kinks will be worked out within the next month or so.

I'm glad you had fun out there! And good job on finding the nice bathroom before the race. It sounds like a nice venue and a good race. Good job.

Oh, the devil was at the Philly Tri too. I think he's with Well, I think that because I saw it written somewhere on him. The snake lady sounds scary, though .

2007-07-02 3:24 PM
in reply to: #869044

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Sullivan, WI
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman
sounds like your ready for your IM to me......nice work
2007-07-02 7:30 PM
in reply to: #869044

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Reston VA
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman

Great race! What a confidence builder!

That sounds like a challenging course that I may have to consider next year!

2007-07-03 10:07 AM
in reply to: #869044

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Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman
Ahhhh I like the old pass by the porta potty and use the hotel think, I wish I would have thought about that. I also did the race, agree that it is a fine race and also recomend it.

2007-07-04 8:03 AM
in reply to: #869044

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Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman
WHAT AN AWESOME RACE!!! You did an amazing job of sticking to your plan & that seems to be the key to a successfull ironman. Congratulations!! Hilarlious race report, I'm sorry I missed out on all the charactors!
2007-07-06 11:09 AM
in reply to: #869044

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Middletown, DE
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Half Ironman
Great race & great report.  Nice times all around!! 
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