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Timberman - Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Gilford, New Hampshire
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 19m 9s
Overall Rank = 1051/1492
Age Group = 20-24 F
Age Group Rank = 8/11
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to NH on Friday and stayed at a cute little inn, where I spent the majority of my time in the jacuzzi. On Saturday one of my neighbors was kind enough to watch my stuff (and ensure I didn't drown) while I went for a quick swim. My bike ride that day woke me up a bit in terms of what I could expect the following day- I wasn't quite prepared for the hills or the wind. I am usually a heavy sleeper, even before tris, but after midnight I woke up every half hour until my alarm went off at 3:55 (yeah, I'm a bit neurotic about being prepared and on time.) I drove to the course and ended up sitting in the car for awhile with my coffee because it was so cold outside.
Event warmup:

I typically am very bad at warming up for tris, so I swore to myself I was going to warmup for this one. Hah! It was so cold I was afraid my muscles would just tighten up so I chose to run between the car and the porta potties as my warmup until we had to head down to the water. There, I hung out with some other pink caps that I had made friends with in the transition area and attempted to pump one girl that had already done three 70.3 races this season for information- she wasn't so forthcoming! Apparently there were some buoy issues, so we had quite a bit of time to chat/freak out/shiver.
  • 44m 28s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

My nerves really got to me on the swim. Not only did I have WAY too much time to think about the race, but I put a lot of pressure on myself for this race (my A race of the season.) I let that dictate the beginning of my swim- I couldn't catch my breath, I couldn't get into a rhythm, and I couldn't stop worrying about the girls around me.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out so much at the beginning. Trust myself. I'm never going to be one of the first swimmers out of the water, but if I can put the effort into moving forward that I have to put into calming myself down it'll do wonders for my swim.
Transition 1
  • 01m 52s

The wetsuit strippers were great- oh high school boys!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing- I thought transitions were one area I shined in.
  • 3h 18m 25s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.93 mile/hr

My emphasis during the bike was on patience. I know that I have a tendency to push hard on the bike if I am surrounded by faster people, and I knew I just had to let them go and focus on my own race. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in the race that an hour passed on the bike before I realized I had only taken in water. NOT good. I knew not to try to make up calories, but I started taking them in immediately. Throughout the entire bike, I prayed that I didn't get a flat because I was stupid enough to be racing without the proper equipment to change one. Fortunately for me, my luck held out. At about mile 40, some guy who obviously knew me (I *think* it was Jorge's friend, either that or the guy from the inn) passed by me and yelled words of encouragement, which was perfect timing since we were headed for a tough section of the course. Overall, I think I did well controlling myself on the hills and riding my own race, although it did seem that I was doing a lot of back-and-forth with 5 or 6 riders. I was petrified of drafting, so that may have led to some of the back-and-forth nature of the ride. It was a solid ride in general, and I'm excited to see how my riding improves as I spend more time with my baby.
What would you do differently?:

Spend more time in the saddle (I've only been riding my bike for 2 1/2 months). Get that nutrition in in the first hour.
Transition 2
  • 01m 51s

Again, transitions were solid.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 2h 12m 35s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 07s  min/mile

I started out on the run and thought "hey, this isn't so bad." Yes, that thought actually went through my mind. The plan for the run was to start at about 9 min/mile pace and pick it up as the miles went on. Clearly I had never done a race of this distance before. According to my watch as I went through the mile markers, I was doing between 9-9:30 miles for the first loop. The second loop came around and I knew I was going to have to REALLY pick it up if I wanted to be anywhere near 6. My body wasn't having it, though. Part of it must have been mental, because, according to my family, there was a significant change in the way I looked between when I came into the area at the end of the first loop and when I headed back out again on my second loop. This was just a matter of seconds, but passing over that mat and realizing I had another loop to go really must have taken a toll on me mentally. By the time I hit mile 7, my body was giving out. At that point, I took a Gu at the aid station, and thankfully it helped some once it kicked in. But I had already hit a wall, and my body just wasn't moving- I had still convinced my body to continue running (there were lots of walkers around me at this point) but I was really just slogging along. As miserable as this second loop was, however, the spectators, volunteers, and other competitors were AMAZING. I loved that the run numbers had our names on them because it made me feel as if the people shouting for me knew who I was, even if they didn't have a clue. Around maybe mile 9 I kept in pace with a guy from Arkansas for whom Timberman was his first ironman too. We had a great little conversation that kept my mind off of the physical agony for awhile (see Monday's blog for a particularly funny bit.) At mile 11, I hit my last wall and the final big hill all at the same time. It wasn't pretty, but I somehow convinced myself to keep moving forward. there was no way I was walking the last two miles if I had gone this far.
What would you do differently?:

Practice bonking during training. Get more races at this distance under my belt so that I can actually race, as opposed to hobble, the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Apparently I looked AWFUL after the race. I had several strangers come up and ask if I was okay. I *think* I was- I walked around in a trance trying to find my family, who, once I found them, pushed me in the direction of the food tent. One of the guys from our weekly Walden swims (Rob) came up and said hi, and I was having a very hard time carrying on a conversation with him.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor nutrition on the beginning of the bike. Lack of experience at the distance and/or at triathlons in general, as this was my first season.

Event comments:

As disappointed as I was at not hitting that sub-6 mark (or making it anywhere near it), this was an amazing race. Not only was it well coordinated, but the camaraderie of all the triathletes there was unsurpassed. In fact, I may just have to come back up next year, even if the trek will be a little bit longer!

Last updated: 2007-01-31 12:00 AM
00:44:28 | 2112 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 1115/1492
Performance: Below average
Suit: 2XU
Course: 0.5 miles out, 0.2 across, 0.5 miles back in
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:52
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:18:25 | 56 miles | 16.93 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 1123/1492
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Out and back with hills the first and last 10-15 miles.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:51
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:12:35 | 13.1 miles | 10m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 1029/1492
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loops with a fun hill at about miles 5 and 11.5
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2007-08-22 9:32 PM

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Subject: Timberman - Half Iron

2007-08-22 9:38 PM
in reply to: #936984

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Emily, I personally think you had a great race in particular since it was your 1st HIM AND considering you did your 1st tri ever like 6 weeks ago!!! To me that is just incredible and what makes it even cooler is that we got to train together for the race. keep on training smart to race fast

We'll miss you LOTS during our traiing weekends but you better don't slack once you move to the big EZ or I'll have to come down there to set you straight!

2007-08-23 4:48 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Quebec city
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Good job Em!  You showed character out there and you did a fantastic race.  First HIM during your first tri season is awesome!  I'm impressed. You can be proud of yourself :-)
2007-08-23 6:35 AM
in reply to: #937068

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Hey, great race. I know you're disappointed, but your performance was awesome, especially considering this is your first year of tris. It's a long race, and without experience at that distance, it's really tough to hit all your goals for the day. There's just so much that's unknown about it. I couldn't hang on to my run goal either.

But you did great, and I think that when you go back next year, you're going to have an amazing race and shave a good 30 minutes or so off that time. Enjoy the rest of your season and have a great move down to NOLA. Good job, girl!

2007-08-23 6:42 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Sous Mon Diadème
Gold member
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

You are amazing, Divine Miss Em.  I know you didn't meet the goal you set out to, but you had a great race.  The fact that you set your sights on a 70.3 in your first tri season speaks volumes about your determination and ability.  Congratulations on finishing your first HIM and doing so in the top ten in your age group .

2007-08-23 7:17 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Portland, ME
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

There would be no way I could come close to do what you accomplished in my first year of tris. It is difficult not to feel disappointed when you don't meet your time goal, but that race was tough. I think no one there who has done a HIM before PR'd or hit their time goal. I know I was off by 16 minutes from where I wanted to and thought I could finish.

You'll easily get sub 6 at your next race.

2007-08-23 7:19 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Emily!!!  Awesome job!

After being on that course myself the weekend before, I have some serious respect for how well you did.  That was a hard race with some tough competition.  Not only did you do a half in your first season, but you did what has the be the hardest half in the area.

We'll miss you here in Mass. 

2007-08-23 8:15 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
I think you did amazingly. Even if this had only been your first HIM, 6:19 in those hilly, cold conditions is pretty damn good. And considering that this is only your third or 4th event ever? And that you've only been on a real bike for a couple of months?
You kicked a$$. And not only that, you probably made that wetsuit-stripper-boy's whole summer. Because you're such a giver.

Proud 'a you. (Virtual chuck on the shoulder)

Edited by jmk-brooklyn 2007-08-23 8:15 AM
2007-08-23 8:44 AM
in reply to: #936984

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San Antonio, TX
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

Hey hot shot.  You did great.  I trained for a year for my HIM and you did it in 6 weeks.  Our times are not that far apart.    You Rocked it and should be proud!!!

Awesome job!


2007-08-23 9:46 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Nashville, TN
Gold member
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
Great RR!  As I said before, the race is a learning experience.  You have come a long way this season and should feel every bit accomplished for setting high goals and racing on the 70.3 circuit.  Next race will be even better.  CONGRATS!!!
2007-08-23 10:30 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Clifton, NJ
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

only a tri rock star would attempt a HIM in their first tri season ever!

may i admire you?

2007-08-23 3:28 PM
in reply to: #936984

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Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
6:19 is a very respectable time especially on that course and for your first HIM.  You did awesome.  I commend you for doing an HIM in your first season.  That's awesome.  I waited a whole year before I tried one.
2007-08-24 2:34 PM
in reply to: #936984

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Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron

So let's get this right:

1) It's your first HIM

2) You didn't have the opportunity to train in the same kind of conditions

3) This is your first season of tri's

4) You've only had your bike for 2 1/2 months

5) You forgot to eat for an HOUR on the bike


6) You FINISHED in 6:19 and your bummed.

The math isn't adding up.....

You could remove 1-5 and 99% of the popluation would be happy, but then again, they wouldn't be Em.

Congratulations! You did fantastic.

2007-08-25 9:17 AM
in reply to: #936984

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Extreme Veteran
Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Timberman - Half Iron
I don't care what you think WE think this was awesome - especially in your first seasons of tri's! I wouln't have the balls to even attempt a HIM this year so the fact you did that is a major accomplishment. Thanks for the great report - good info for thise of us hitting our first HIM next season. Em you rock! And woohoo for the strippers, that had to be worth the trip alone -I hope there are HS boys stripping me next season (heehee)!
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