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Chisago Lakes HIM - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Chisago Lakes, Minnesota
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 20m 25s
Overall Rank = 68/223
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 9/22
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3:30, took a shower, ate some breakfast, and was on the road by 4:30. Got to the race, and felt really rushed. Transition did not open until 1:30 beofre the race started, and everything was pretty unorganized. Got my race packet, got my T-area set up, got bodymarked, and my timing chip, stood inline for the biffy's...that about covers it
Event warmup:

Went for a short 5 minute bike ride, and due to the time of the race starting, I was not able to get a quick run in. I looked at my watch and saw that I had exactly 14 minutes before the race started and I still had to wait in line for the biffy's AND get ready for the swim...YIKES, the lines were long. I ended up seeing one of my friends who was doing the short course, and since I was in wave 1 I politely asked if she would mind if I joined them in the line for the bathroom. She said no, and that saved me about 40 minutes, becasue the lines were crazy long. Last year they only had about 300 people, this year, someone said they had almost is porbably hard to plan appropriately when you have that large of an increase.
  • 38m 5s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

This was a different course than what was on their website, but was still decent. the only problem was that in the line of bouys, there was not a single bouy from about 600 yards, to about 950 yards. It made it really hard to sight, and make sure you were not off course.

I seeded myself about 1/2 way back in the first wave, and it seemed to be about the right place to be. There was only one person who attempted to swim over me and I did not have to swim over anyone to get moving. There was one guy who I was able to draft off for a while, but quickly realized that he was not that great of a navigator, so I bid him adeau.

On the way out, my performace was dead on where I wanted it to be, I was hoping for a :37 minute split and when I hit the turn around bouy my watch said 18:22, which would have brought me in just under the :37 minute mark.

On the way in, the aforementioned lack of bouys did not do me any favors. I was having a hard time navigating for the first 500 yards of the way back in. Appearantly others were as well, because I even had a head on colision with another swimmer. Luckily for us, I was just popping my head out of the water to sight, and he was right there. I stuck my hand out and he ran into that.

Once I got moving again my swim was ok. Towards the end, I could tell that my shoulders were getting a little sore, and that I was not reaching and staying as long as I had on the way out.
What would you do differently?:

Learn better technique so that I can increase my speed
Transition 1
  • 02m 5s

My T-area was about 15 feet from the bike in/out of the transition so it made it pretty easy to get out quickly. The only problem was that I had to run up a hill and through the rest of the ~1600 bikes to get there.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 38m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.25 mile/hr

Once I got out of transition, the course takes a sharp left and then a right and goes over a grassy area...I didn't think I signed up for a cyclocross HIM! :)

It took about 5 miles for my HR to come down to where I wanted it to be at, which was right around 140. At first, I thought I was pushing to hard, but then realized that it will take a while for it come come down and to just concentrate on putting a solid effort in and keep the pedals turning.

For the first 15 miles the bike course is shared with the sprint course, and it was really hard to remember that I should not counter attack anyone who passed me becasue they will either blow up, finish before me, or were on the short course. I was able to use some of the people who passed me as pacers for a while and then let them go.

At mile 15 there was a bottle exchange, but since I started with 2 full bottles of Gatorade, I did not need to grab one. I decided to get a bottle of water just to pratice the hand off, since I knew that I would need to get a bottle of gatorade at mile 30.

At mile 30, the hand off went realtively smoothly. I chucked my bottle, and grabbed the first one I problems. At about mile 31 was the huge down hill into the river valley. It was a nice break from pedaling, and my speed topped out at 36.4 mph.

At mile 34 there was a little hill, but it seemed to go on FOREVER! on the other side of the hill was the WORST patch of roads that I have ever had the displeasure to ride on. That stretch lasted about 4-5 miles, and was absolutly horrible. There really is not anyway to describe it besides that I was averaging about 22mph before on the flats, and with the crappy roads, I was down to about 18-19.

At mile 38 was a LOOOOONNNNGGGGGGG climb back up out of the river valley. I was able to granny gear it up about 80%, and then I stood and finished it off. After that my legs were pretty cooked, so I took a little longer to spin the legs and get them back to normal.

The last 15 miles were pretty much into a head wind of about 10 miles per hour. I did not think to much of it when I saw the forecast, but it is amazing how even a little headwind makes the bike that much harder, after you have already ridden 40 miles.

At the 40 mile mark I had planned to pick my HR up to about 145, but decdied mot to becasue I was already a ways about my goal pace of 20.3 Mph, and thought that the run will be tough enough, so I will just stick with the 140 mark. Realistically I felt good enough to do it, and looking back I probably could have brought it up to the 150 mark, but I am glad I didn't.

There was one more hand off at mile 45, where I attempted to grab water, but missed. Oh well, my nutrition at that point was spot on. I had taken a gel every 30 minutes (5 total) had eaten an 1/8 of a Harvest Powerbar every 30 minutes (15 minutes after the gel) and was dinking gatorade every 10 minutes, except when I needed to wash down the granola bar. I ended up stoping the granola bar intake at 1/2 the bar because it was drying my mouth out too much and just continued with the Gel/Gatorade plan.

Another thing that I realized is that it is really lonely out there. It really felt like a hard training day because I was not about to really attack to course. Once you got out there people spread out enough where you really didn't see a ton of people, unlike the sprints and other races that i have done.
What would you do differently?:

I could have pushed a little harder, but that would have made for a really tough run. Overall, this was a great ride, and I am very happy with my split.
Transition 2
  • 00m 51s

Normally I would have taken my feet out of my shoes and left them on the pedals but for some reason my head was not with it and I did not realize that the trasition area was coming up as quick as it did. So I ended up unclipping and running with my shoes on, no biggie
What would you do differently?:

take my feet out of the shoes before I ge tot transition. Overall though this was 1 minute faster than I was expecting so I can't bee to upset.
  • 2h 01m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 14s  min/mile

The first 2 miles were right on target of 8:22/mile, the 3rd was at about 8:40, and then the wheels came off. I ended up walking a few aid stations just so I could get enough water as it was REALLY hot, and there was very little shade.

At about the 3.5 mile mak I had a lady in a Emergency Services Truck ask me if I was doing okay. I said yes, and she asked if I was sure. I guess by that point I looked about as bad as I felt! :)

At about the 5 mile mark I felt like I was going to puke at any second, but I kept on moving, knowing that if I puked, I was still going to finish the race.

At mile 6 I made a deal with myself, I would allow myself to walk one aid station to fill up the water bottle and to get enough to cool down, as long as I ran past the next one. Well, that strategy seemed to work and I was able to make it through the rest of the race that way.

With about 2.5 miles left to go I got to the 2nd to last aid station. I filled up my bottle with water, and since I had been drinking only water to this point, I really wanted something with some sugar in it, so I ended up downing 3 glasses of gatorade. Then the nice lady asked my if I needed some electrolytes. I looked at her hand and she had a handful of e-caps. I took about half of what shee had (probably 8-10) crammed them in my mouth and washed them down. She gave me the wierdest look I have ever seen...I think she thought I was trying to OD or something! :)

With about 3/4 of a mile left I turned a corner and there were some people sitting in lawn chairs and they said "you are looking really straong...keep going" I looked at them and replied with a smile "you guys are a bunch of liars!" They laughed, and I managed to smile a little more, knowing that all I had left was 1 more turn and a little down hill and I was done!.

My nutrition was pretty spot on again, I took a gell at mile 4 and another at mile 8. I kept hydrated with water for the most part, and dumped water on my head when I got to the aid stations.

Overall I was hoping for a 1:50 split, but being as this was my first race of this length, and I walked a few of the stations, I am pretty satisified with the 2:01.
What would you do differently?:

train more. Even though I ran a couple of 1/2 mary's and did plenty of races, and got in one long brick of 62/6.2, I will definately get a few more long ride/run workouts in for next time
Post race
Warm down:

staggered around, got some gatorade and some fruit. Loaded my stuff and hit the road

What limited your ability to perform faster:

current level of fitness, not enough long training days, and long bricks, and this was my first shot at this distance

Event comments:

This was the 2nd year of this race and it was pretty unorganzied. I will probably go back next year as it will get better, but it is a far cry from what I am used to in all of the other races that I go to.

Last updated: 2007-03-03 12:00 AM
00:38:05 | 2112 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/22
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Good
HR - 166
Suit: Orca sleevless
Course: Out and back, only one line of bouys
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:05
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
02:38:06 | 56 miles | 21.25 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/22
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Good
HR = 142
Wind: Some
Course: decent course, about 20 miles of the course were on really crappy roads, the rest was almost brand new black top
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:51
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:01:00 | 13.1 miles | 09m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/22
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Below average
HR ~ 153
Course: Winding course through neighborhoods around the lake that we swam in
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2007-07-30 8:20 AM

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Lakeville, MN
Subject: Chisago Lakes HIM

2007-07-30 8:52 AM
in reply to: #906276

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Central Minnesota
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Wow! Great Job, Ben!

I enjoyed reading your detailed report, and way to work through it on the run!
2007-07-30 9:48 AM
in reply to: #906276

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Lakeville, MN
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Thanks!  If you are able to take anything away from it for Square Lake that would be great, just make sure to get plenty of long Bricks in, and do them as close to race pace as you can (both bike and run)
2007-07-30 10:11 AM
in reply to: #906276

Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Nice race Ben! Was it just me or did it seem like that little uphill in the valley took WAY to much effort to get up? I looked ahead and knew it was uphill, but the mph's just kept dropping and I was actually passing people so I thought it couldn't just be me. That was a very strange section (about mile 30-32 or something like that).

I hear you about the quality of the roads, they were in lousy shape.
2007-07-30 11:05 AM
in reply to: #906276

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Nice one.  The run really sucks after all that.  Makes me wonder why the hell we do this.  Sounds like you had a solid plan and stuck to it.
2007-07-30 2:46 PM
in reply to: #906276

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Extreme Veteran
Twin Cities, MN
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Nice race! The reality of the distance really kicks in when you're out there, doesn't it? Hope you're recovering well!

2007-07-30 8:00 PM
in reply to: #906276

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Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
I will bookmark this report for next year. The detail is amazing! I am strongly considering this race as my "goal" race for next year.

Your cycling performance was commendable. 21 MPH + for 56 miles is excellent.

Sounds to me like you had a nutritional issue. The long bricks would have helped you with your nutritional plan. This is the part of the race that I worry about the most.

You ought to be well rested for the Nevis race. I'll start a thread next week, if one isn't going already. I'll come up with a meeting place and time.

2007-07-31 7:28 AM
in reply to: #906276

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Lakeville, MN
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Thanks.  I honestly felt like my nutrition was pretty good, but then again, this was my first HIM, so who knows.  I think what really limited my ability was LONG bricks.  I will definately make sure to work A LOT more in next year! 
2007-07-31 3:30 PM
in reply to: #906276

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Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Great report Ben.  You showed a lot of guts and determination out there as well as an ability to stick with your plan.  I think the nutrition part is what scares me most about my HIM in 2.5 weeks.  I know I can do the distances at a slower pace, I just don't want to fall apart.
2007-08-01 6:32 AM
in reply to: #906276

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West Bend, WI
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Wow- sounds like you had a great race!!  Good job
2007-08-01 6:17 PM
in reply to: #906276

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Extreme Veteran
Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM
Awesome job! You kicked and you're going to be able to take this race to improve on for next year.

Try not to OD on electrolytes next time.

2007-08-03 2:06 PM
in reply to: #906276

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Chisago Lakes HIM

Great race and race report! That was a heck of a run pace for feeling that bad. Awesome time for a HIM, especially your first HIM.


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