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Patriot Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Freetown, Massachusetts
United States
Sun Sport Events
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 02m 15s
Overall Rank = 43/489
Age Group = M3034
Age Group Rank = 5/28
Pre-race routine:

This race is the half iron distance race that should be in the second week of my peak phase for IMWI. It is a three weeks earlier than I'd like it, but close enough. According to my plan, the goal was to practice my pacing and nutrition. My personal goal was to beat my time from 2006 FirmMan and to be smarter about my pacing than I was at Firm.
I had trouble sleeping the night before, partially nerves, loud hotel and also drinking too much sugary Gatorade. Before the next big race, I'll hydrate only with water and salty foods and avoid sugars.
Got out of bed at 4:50, ate a bagel with peanut butter and banana and drank some coffee. Got to the race site at 6:15 and some girl said that we had to be marked before going into the transition area. The body marking/registing booth was far from the transition area and we had to haul our gear across the site to get marked before going to transition area. It turned out to be unneeded, but it made me think that having my own sharpie in my bag would be good for when I'm running behind schedule - which is almost always.
Event warmup:

The lake was lined with trees and with all the athletes milling around, there was no easy way to get into the water to warm up. There were five or six waves before mine, so I just stood with Danielle and waited for my turn.
  • 29m 18s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 23s / 100 yards

I positioned myself right in the middle, thinking that it would be a good way to get some more full contact swimming experience before IMWI. It turned out that the wave was so small and spread out that there was not much fighting.
I swam hard at the beginning, but the water was choppy and I couldn't get a good stroke going until the second bouy. I found some feet and followed them until the turn, where I passed the feet's owner and swam along side for a little bit. I decided to save my energy for later, so I moved back behind him and stayed there for the rest of the swim. He swam nice and straight and I took it easy following his draft. This was my fastest ever swim leg and I felt fresh coming out of the water. Drafting is the way to go.
What would you do differently?:

Find faster feet to follow? I'm not sure how I'd do that unless I scope out the competition before hand, but that doesn't seem reliable.
Transition 1
  • 03m

I still suck at T1. This time I took off my chip and wrist watch so my suit wouldn't get stuck.
What would you do differently?:

I think riding without socks would be a good idea. I'll start trying that in my training rides.
  • 2h 50m 17s
  • 59.84 miles
  • 21.08 mile/hr

I thought I was riding faster than I was and decided to back off after about mile 20 and let my HR drop to high Z1/low Z2.
I brought my Aero Drink plus one large bottle filled with HEED, got two small bottles of HEED and half a bottle of water on course. I ate 5 servings of Hammer Gel and two Clif bars.
According to the sweat rate tests I've done, what I drank should have been less than what I'd sweat out, but 1/3 through the second lap nature was calling urgently. I thought I might be able to hold it until T2, but since I'll probably want to pee on the bike at IM, this would be a good chance to try it. I waited until there was no one behind me and went. It was liberating and not as gross or difficult as I used to think it would be. I got a bottle of water at an exchange and gave myself a shower on the go.
What would you do differently?:

Ride a little harder. My HR was too low and I could have gained a few minutes with just a little more effort. I should have finished eating my Clif bars sooner instead of having the second one towards the end. That might have helped my stomach during the run.
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

It was a longish run from dismount to the rack and it was hard running with rubber legs in bike shoes over dirt and gravel. When I was putting my running shoes on and grabbing my stuff I heard someone jokingly ask some guy if he had sunscreen for his bald head. That reminded me that I should put some on, and went into my bag and got my bottle of sunscreen and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Put sunscreen in my pile of things to take on the run. Be more careful getting my socks straight to avoid them bunching. If I can't ride without socks, leave a second pair that would be fresh and dry for the run.
  • 1h 38m 7s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 29s  min/mile

I put on my sunscreen while I ran and settled into high Z2. I intended to run Z2 for the first 1/3 and then move to Z3 for the remainder of the run. My foot started hurting because my sock was folded under and I stopped to fix it in the 1st mile.
I intended to have HEED at every other aid station and pour water over my head at the others. My stomach was bothering me (maybe from the Clif bar late on the bike), so I had Cokes at miles 3 & 4. The first cup of Coke was still fizzy - I guess that aid station didn't know it was supposed to be flat. Had a gel at mile 4 and hit the porta potty at mile 5.
I was passing people constantly, but they were all from the waves ahead. I only saw one guy in my AG and a handful of 25-29s that were in my wave. Half way through, I started hearing someone behind me and he stayed on my heels for a few miles. He passed me and I let him go since I saw he was 29. Later I'd catch him and pass him, but then he stayed just behind me for a few more miles. At mile 10 I started pushing harder and maybe lose the guy on my heels and got into mid Z3 for a little while, but I was tired and couldn't stay there. I had no kick at the finish, which might mean that I ran a good race and left everything on the course or my nutrition was off. I think it was my nutrition.
In the chute, my hat tucked into my race belt fell out and a spectator picked it up for me.
What would you do differently?:

Eat another gel at mile 8 or 9 for some extra energy for the finish.
Post race
Warm down:

I drank some water, had an orange slice and went back to retrieve my lost hat. I was told the person that picked it up had gone to find me and we missed each other. Too bad - it was a nice hat and matched my singlet.
I hobbled over to my transition area, took off my shoes and then went for a swim in the lake to wash off the sweat, Hammer gel, HEED and Coke. Changed into some dry clothes and wandered back to the finish line to wait for Danielle.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

There is not much high intensity time in the current phase of my training, and I noticed it was hard to get out of Z2. My taper was short, but the point of this race wasn't to go fast. but to test my nutrition strategy for IM and I think I got some good experience.

Event comments:

They did a good job for this new race. I'd give it a five except that the course was long and some of the roads were really rough.
I might make this my A race next year if I don't do an Ironman.

Last updated: 2007-06-22 12:00 AM
00:29:18 | 2112 yards | 01m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/28
Overall: 28/489
Performance: Good
Suit: Blueseventy Reaction
Course: Counter clockwise rectangular course in a lake. The water was pretty choppy, but the water I swallowed seemed pretty clean.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:50:17 | 59.84 miles | 21.08 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/28
Overall: 80/489
Performance: Average
Dist time speed AHR 05 15:42 19.1 164 10 13:40 21.9 155 15 14:30 20.7 155 20 13:30 22.2 151 25 13:44 21.8 148 30 14:00 21.4 146 35 14:36 20.5 147 40 13:46 21.8 148 45 14:17 21.0 148 50 14:14 21.1 147 55 14:24 20.8 146 60 14:53 19.5 150
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops of rolly and sometimes winding roads. The surfaces were generally good, but with a couple miles of really rough pavement. Due to unexpected road work, there was a last minute course change, which added almost four miles to the course. Two bottle exchanges on each loop that offered HEED and water. After the first bottle exchange, I started looking forward to the next one - it was fun to grab bottles riding at 20 mph.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:38:07 | 13.1 miles | 07m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/28
Overall: 31/489
Performance: Average
mile pace AHR 1 7:11 171 2 6:46 175 3 6:49 174 4 6:56 175 5 6:54 174 6 8:09 171 (pee stop) 7 7:28 171 8 7:14 172 9 7:35 173 10 7:24 170 11 7:13 175 12 7:14 175 13 7:28 174
Course: A 13.1 mile buffet around town. Aid stations every mile with HEED, water, Coke and food. It was often shaded and featured rolling hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2007-07-03 11:17 AM

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Middletown, CT
Subject: Patriot Half Iron

2007-07-03 11:49 AM
in reply to: #870536

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron

Great race!  Thanks for the report--thinking of putting this one on my schedule for next year.

Good luck at IMMoo!

2007-07-03 5:44 PM
in reply to: #870536

Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron

That's it!  I'm putting cement in your bike frame. 

Nice work, Steve!  I wish your fitness was contagious, because I'd love to catch me some of that.

Edited by DMW 2007-07-03 5:44 PM
2007-07-03 9:13 PM
in reply to: #870536

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Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron
Great job Steve! Looks like you got a good feel for what you need to do at IMWI. You were pretty fast all around too!
2007-07-04 10:26 AM
in reply to: #870536

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron
Nice race Steve, you had three awesome legs in this race. Your race report as always makes it sound very easy!!!
2007-07-04 10:54 AM
in reply to: #870536

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wrightsville beach, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron
Great job steve!! You must have been one of the MANY who flew by me(2nd swim wave) at some point!! Good for you, I just try to stay out of the way.  Your description of the course is right on. Keep up the training regimen, you are on-target!

2007-07-05 7:58 AM
in reply to: #870536

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Extreme Veteran
Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Patriot Half Iron
Great race Steve! Sounds like this was a wonderful training race for you. Just some minor tweaking of your nutrition and IMWI won't stand a chance against you.
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