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Duke Liver Center Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
North Carolina Triathlon Series
70F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 01m 39s
Overall Rank = 187/286
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 32/43
Pre-race routine:

Night before I stayed with my sister in Cary. Ate dinner, had a beer and some wine and was in bed by 8:30. Got up about 12:30 a.m. and had a can of the Walmart version of Ensure and went back to bed. Got up at 4:30, ate my oatmeal and bananna and Red Bull and got ready.
Event warmup:

After setting up transition, I rode a very short while (traffic was backed up so there wasn't anywhere to go) and ran about a mile. Stretched, used the Stick and chatted with Nuthouse and other rack mates. Drank water and nibbled on a muffin. Went to the port-a-potty several times. (this is a theme that comes back later)
  • 44m 19s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

Did I mention the wind? Oh, forgot that did I? Well, there was wind. Lots of wind. Such that this swim was the equivalent of an ocean swim without the salt water. About 250-300 yds into the swim the swells got to around 1.5 feet to 2 feet. About every third stroke was through the wave instead of over it. But that really turned out to be a nonissue. It made me concentrate on form and rotation.

On the homeward tract, in the beginning of the pull portion of the stroke, I hit something with my hand. I thought it was somebody's pull strap on their wetsuit. It turned out to be someone's timing chip. I had it in my hand and tried to figure out what to do with it. As I was trying to figure out where to put it for the rest of the swim, one of the females stops and asks if I am ok. I told her I was and had caught someone's timing chip. She replied that she was worried I was drowning. :) Anyway, I did a one fisted swim the last quarter of the swim with the timing chip in the right hand. When I got to shore, I walked up the ramp, handed the timing chip to the little girls giving out water before the timing mat and then started jogging.
What would you do differently?:

Not find someone's timing chip. No seriously, nothing. I would hate to lose my timing chip in the swim and have to pay for it, so I hope someone would return the favor.

This was a good swim for me. Not down to the sub 42 that I would like, but still a good swim. Fastest I have had in a 1/2 yet.
Transition 1
  • 02m 11s

Took my time getting to my space. Made sure I had everything that I would need on the bike. right leg was a little tight in the back of the quad (this will come back in a little bit)
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 13m 1s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.41 mile/hr

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about how to race this course. I decided I would not push the bike and save my legs for the run and see what happened. Well, the time would reflect that I did not push the bike. That is partially correct. The other factor was the right leg. From about mile 3 until mile 37 (will get to that in a minute) it felt like someone had taken the hip flexor muscle/tendon and tightened it with a screw driver. It hurt from my achilles up through the ITB to the hip. I basically plugged on thinking that this sucked but that it would work itself out and that this pain was what the better triathletes put up with. On top of it all, I was racing without a watch and heart rate monitor, so I'm thinking that I am right at the level I need to be at. At about mile 15, my rear derailluer started getting horsey with me, like I was riding one of those bikes that automatically changes gears for you. Except you don't want the gears to change. Need to work on that.

So, I'm trudging along, drinking every 10 mintues, taking my salt tabs every 30 minutes. Around mile 25 or so, I'm thinking I need to pee. Yes, I said I needed to pee. Amazing, I need to pee on the bike. You can't imagine how excited I was. All these races, and finally I need to pee on the bike. Now, where to pee? That was a bit of a problem. Every time I thought about stopping there was a house. So, finally around mile 37 there is some CP&L land on the right side of the road with a dirt path into the woods. I drop the bike, run into the woods and pee. Did I mention I peed on the bike? I'm sorta excited about that if you can't tell. Anyway, I get back to the bike, start pedalling again and my right leg is feeling great. Damn, if knew that all I had to do was get off the bike and jog in place for 20 seconds to make my leg feel better, I would have done that around mile 15 or so. Of course, I still would have gotten off the bike to pee. Did I mention I peed on the bike ? :)

The rest of the ride was uneventful. Like most, if not all, of the ride, the wind was constant. It felt like it was always either in my face or at my sides. I'm sure that is not the case, but you know how that goes.
What would you do differently?:

Get the derailleur straight. Figure out why my right leg is bothering me on the bike or get off the bike for 20 sec breaks every 15 miles or so and let the blood flow back down, if that is really what the problem is.

Also, ask mother nature not to blow so damn hard.
Transition 2
  • 01m 18s

overall a good transition
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 00m 52s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 14s  min/mile

Ah, the Duke run course. The past two years we have had a love/hate relationship. The course has loved to hate me. I have said before that I was going to beat this course. Well, I didn't beat it, but we can call this year a draw.

As I mentioned above, I have been thinking for the past few weeks about how to tackle this course. I decided that I would walk to the two steep portions of the big hill and run everything else. I did stop briefly at the aid stations so I didn't splash liquid on me. At the aid stations I alternated water w/salt and coke. At the 2.5 mile mark I went to the port-a-potty to pee. (notice a recurring theme here?) Kept running, including running down the big hill and to the turn around, then back up. Walked the steep parts of the big hill again and then ran the top and back down. Peed again around mile 8 or so. (that's twice on the run for those keeping count. I know I am :) ) About mile 9 I caught up with nuthouse and we ran together for a while. On the way down the big hill the last time I saw kapinto. He was looking strong going up. By this time, my legs were starting to balk and I threatened them if they cramped up I was going to get some new leg muscles. For a change they listened.

Got down to the bottom and ran as hard as I could to the finish line. As I got there I saw that my time was just at 6 hours. That meant a 2 hour run. I almost cried. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I had run the run course in under 10 minutes a mile. Fastest run in a 1/2 yet.
What would you do differently?:

not much. I was a little slower because I walked the big hill. But if I had tried to run it, I would possible have locked up. I could have run faster up top, but I know that now.
Post race
Warm down:

walked and stretched, used the Stick and drank my recovery drink.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

biomechanics on the bike and overall fitness

Event comments:

The whole race beat me bad in 2005. The run beat me bad in 2006. I call this year a draw. My swim was 30 seconds faster than last year. (fastest swim in a 1/2 yet) My ride was 14 minutes slower, but not quite as slow as 2005 and definately not at the 2005 level of pain (Please God, get me off this bike). My run was 34 minutes faster that last year and almost 25 minutes faster than White Lake this year (7 minutes faster than White Lake in 2006). My overall time was almost 22 minutes faster. (That's nothing compared to 2005.) I guess I would take the slower bike to finish that much faster. I beat White Lake 2007 by almost 11 minutes. If I put this run on White Lake, I am well under 6 hours.

Probably the most important thing I learned is that I can do this length race well without gels. All I took on the bike was slightly more than 2 bottles of Infinit Iron man mix. Goal was 1 bottle an hour, but I took closer to 2 1/3 bottles. I had water for the ecaps. Other than that, I had a hammer bar on the run that they had at one of the aid stations. Probably could have done without that. Just coke and water and salt pills. No GI issues. Actually had fun on the run. First race I have done that I had no GI issues. I am done with gels. You can use me as an endorsement for Infinit. (I doubt they would use me because I am slow)

Overall, I was really happy with the race. I wish my time translated to a better standing, but it didn't. It did give me the confidence to know I can run like I thought I could run. When I got into this sport, I always thought my run was going to be my strongest leg. Until now, in the 1/2's it hasn't been. I have my ideas on how to adjust the training to get faster and we will see in May if it works.

Last updated: 2007-08-27 12:00 AM
00:44:19 | 2112 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 33/43
Overall: 210/286
Performance: Good
Suit: shortie
Course: an out and back course, though you could not call it a straight out and back. There was a bit of a curve to it. Since the record drought, they had to make sure the swim course was in the channel, so I can only guess that the channel makes that curve.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:11
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:13:01 | 56 miles | 17.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 35/43
Overall: 228/286
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: one big loop with lots of rolling hills
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:18
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:00:52 | 13.1 miles | 09m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/43
Overall: 133/286
Performance: Good
Course: I call this a pinwheel or lollipop. You run up to the top of the hill and then you run sort of a figure 8 up on top, then come back down and do it again. The hill up to the top has two pretty steep portions. Up on top, you have 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? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-09-17 7:25 PM

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Kinston, NC
Subject: Duke Liver Center Half

2007-09-17 8:06 PM
in reply to: #968501

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Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: RE: Duke Liver Center Half
You did phenomonal.  But if you think I looked strong on the run when you passed me, you should see me when I am not racing.  I was trying to figure out how I was going to cover the last 6 miles at that point.
2007-09-18 8:42 AM
in reply to: #968501

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Extreme Veteran
Clayton/Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Duke Liver Center Half

Great race, congrats! Next year you will beat the run course in your battle! Your race report cracked me up - glad to hear that 'everything came out ok'

2007-09-18 9:13 AM
in reply to: #968501

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Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Duke Liver Center Half

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about how to race this course. I decided I would not push the bike and save my legs for the run and see what happened 


Sounds like the strategy worked really well for you!  9 min miles on that course is freaking phenomenal.  So you gave up a little bit of time on the bike to have an incredible run.  How you ran this faster than your previous 2 White Lakes is beyond me.  And you say that you walked the monster hills too.  That puts you around what - 8:45's on the rest of the course?  I think you dialed this sucker in bro.

I guarantee that if you would not have been the good Samaritan and stopped for that chip and then swam closed fisted for the rest of the course that you'd have knocked off another couple mins off that swim.  Could have stuffed it down your suit maybe?  But, I'm glad you picked it up!  I would have been pissed if I had to pay for a lost chip.  Amazing that you ran into it in the first place.  I'm surprised that they don't make those things out of materials that would float.

Congrats on your race and on beating down the run course.  I can't wait to see what's next in your bag of tricks! 

2007-09-21 9:49 PM
in reply to: #968501

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Subject: RE: Duke Liver Center Half
You had an awesome race. Thank you for carrying me for those 2.5 miles. Maybe I can return the favor sometime.
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