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Halfmax National Championship - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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St. Louis, Missouri
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 6h 00m 30s
Overall Rank = 62/92
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 9/12
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:15 to start getting things together. My bike was already in the van...decided to put the bike case in the van too, just in case I was ambitious enough after the race to take it apart so I wouldn't have to mess with it later. Also had a power bar, bagel, lots of water too. I took one of my roommates wtih me in the van, while my other roommate took her car.

It was a strange setup at the race site. You'd think for a national championship it would be more regimented. Bike checkin was race day morning instead of the day before (would've been much more convenient the other way), and the racks were only organized by age group. Beyond that, it's first come, first served. Of course MY age group had to be WAYYY in the back in the lousy section so no mater what, it's a lot of running in transition with the bike for both T1 and T2.

I set my stuff up no problem. It was very easy to find our the middle of the center aisle where all the running traffic would be was a huge ditch in which they placed four orange cones so anyone going past there would be warned. LOVELY!

Event warmup:

Warmup never really happened. I stretched some before I left the hotel and tried to stretch while in line for my chip (and the potty), but IT WAS 45 DEGREES OUT! A cold front had hit the night before (high temps the day before were in the low 80s) and the high was only to be in the 60's. The thought didn't occur to me while I was packing to leave for St. Louis that I might even need cold weather clothes! All I had was my tri suit and fortunately the race t-shirt is a dri-fit long sleeved shirt so I figured I'd wear that on the bike.

Anyway, I got a decent amount of jogging in by running back and forth from the transition area to the van cuz I kept forgetting stuff!

When it was time to stand at the beach and wait for the swim wave to start I was afraid to warm up in the water. It was a running start and I was so cold dry that I knew if I warmed up in the water I'd freeze waiting for the gun to go off. I figured this swim is over a mile long...I'll ahve plenty of time to warm up then!
  • 32m 16s
  • 2150 yards
  • 01m 30s / 100 yards

I was SOOOO cold to start I just took it easy for a while. It really wasn't such a elbowfest like it usually is. I stayed a little bit towards the outside and barely got touched at all. Felt smooth and was able to get into a rhythm by halfway down the first straightaway. I was so happy with my sighting. I think the only real bumping I got was when someone who wasn't as wonderful as me :) at sighting swam into me. The lsat looooong straightaway felt so good. I could see the red inflatable arch from way out into the lake and just kept going until I hit the shore.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The whole swim felt great.
Transition 1
  • 01m 27s

Had just a tiny issue with the wetsuit on my heels, but I was pretty well lubed up with Pam that it was a fairly easy stripping. I do tend to talk to myself to encourage myself to keep going faster. I think I must've been a bit louder than "to myself" cuz the competitors next to me kept looking at me! I had to do a LOT of talking to myself to get that dri-fit long-sleeved shirt on over my wet arms though!
What would you do differently?:

Talk to myself a little quieter???
  • 3h 16m 38s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.09 mile/hr

The long straightaways with the headwind were the worst part. Very mentally challenging, not to mention physically. When I got back to the resort for it's hilly torture to begin the second loop, I was so tired I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through that nightmare again! The only thought worse than the hills, curves and speedbumps of the resort was knowing that it was in the resort we should've finally had the blessed tailwind, but because of the surrounding forests, we had no wind. ARGH!

I was very proud of myself on the downhills. I don't get to practice them in the land of pancake-flat roads, so I'm basically a coward. But even though I sometimes looked down those hills to the uneven brodge or speedbump awaiting me at the bottom, or the dangerous curve coming up (they had some signs up for those), I restrained myself from overusing my brakes.

Leaving the resort area for the second time I just had to say to myself "I'm on my last loop and only a run to go!". I repeated that many times. Then with probably 10 miles to go, trouble hit. I HAD TO PEE!!! The course was so technical I couldn't relax enough to go on the bike so there was nothing I could do. FINALLY I reached the resort entrance for the final time and only had a mile or so to go until transition area. I sure didn't want to pee on the run and there weren't any port-o-jons in transition, so I came up with a truly genious plan, but I won't tell you until the T2 section. Have you ever seen a cliffhanger on a race report?!???
What would you do differently?:

Stay in bed this morning and blow off the race?!??
Transition 2
  • 01m 41s

I racked my bike and instead of putting on my shoes and socks while standing, I plopped my butt on the ground and did some multitasking!!! Took care of the urge and the transition all at the same time! WOOHOO!!!

Put on my race number (a little detail I forgot to do in my last race!!) and my fuel belt, and I was up and ready for the run!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was VERY relieved after that transition!!!
  • 2h 08m 15s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 47s  min/mile

The run was SOOO hard I can't even describe how hilly it was. Some of the downhills were so steep I honestly felt I was going to fall forward and I had absolutely no problem walking some of those uphills (hence, the multiple 11:00 miles!). They were brutal! The good thing was the weather by that time was perfect for running. I was neither hot nor cold. Since the course started out as a steady climb, I ROCKED my way down it at the end of the first loop as well as going on into the finish line. As exhausted as I felt, it made me look REAL good to be shooting down that hill at the end!
What would you do differently?:

Be in better shape...i.e. have a better base going into it. Also, DON'T have a knee problem!
Post race
Warm down:

Lots of EZ walking, stretching. They had hamburgers at the finish line, as well as beer. Not typical of me immediately post race, but that day MAN it sounded good!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Knee issues all season and limited training.

Event comments:

This area of Missouri, Innsbruck, was absolutely georgous. It was one of the few things I could count on during that brutal bike and run, was that all I had to do to feel better was just look up at my surroundings. I loved the area. (hated the hills!)

Last updated: 2007-08-27 12:00 AM
00:32:16 | 2150 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/12
Overall: 50/92
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless Xterra
Course: Counterclockwise rectangle in the lake.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:27
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:16:38 | 56 miles | 17.09 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/12
Overall: 69/92
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Two gigantic loops starting out in an extremely hilly resort area with lots of twists, turns, and a few not-so-well placed speed bumps located at the bottoms of some of the steepest hills, just before the next climb. Then out of the resort into the countryside. The roads leveled out somethat, but it was windy with only a headwind or crosswind to greet me.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:41
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:08:15 | 13.1 miles | 09m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/12
Overall: 59/92
Performance: Good
Mile 1) 9:29 Mile 2/3) 18:58 Mile 4) 9:37 Mile 5) 10:21 Mile 6) 9:54 Mile 7) 9:22 Mile 8) 11:29 Mile 9) 9:35 Mile 10) 11:00 Mile 11) 10:49 Mile 12) 9:40 Mile 13.1) 8:00
Course: First mile was slow, steady climb uphill, starting on paved road and then changing to gravel road. This was a two-loop course with a few out-and-backs thrown in to make the full distance.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-09-17 8:55 PM

, Alabama
Subject: Halfmax National Championship

2007-09-18 8:44 PM
in reply to: #968609

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship

In my usual haphazard fashion I'm reading race reports and replying late.  I hope it's better late than never! 

Congratulations on what sounds like a tough race, with all the fast people in attendance.  I have read your logs with your knee troubles, and it's a tribute to your perseverance that you're able to not only run, but run well. 

2007-09-18 9:36 PM
in reply to: #968609

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship
2007-09-19 4:10 AM
in reply to: #968609

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South Florida
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship
You're such a rockstar, you could take on a race like this with 2 hands tied behind your back.  WHAT A SWIM!!!  and then to take on the "hills" , hop off the bike, pee, and go on with a great run and strong finish just proves what a champion you are!!!  I wanna be like you when I grow up  
2007-09-19 7:46 AM
in reply to: #968609

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship

Hmmm... not sure what happened to my first post, but I'll try again.


I didn't know we had another BT'er out there last weekend. Sorry we didn't get to meet. I totally echo your sentiments about the challenging terrain.  I spend a lot of weekends at Innsbrook during the summer, and I was STILL caught off-guard. 

Congratulations on the strong finish and great accomplishment!


2007-09-19 12:12 PM
in reply to: #968609

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship

Never seen a cliffhanger in a race report and rarely burst out laughing out loud, either. Genius to shoe and relieve yourself all at once!

What a great race for you under some brrrr and hilly conditions. Congratulations!!!

2007-09-20 6:51 AM
in reply to: #968609

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Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Halfmax National Championship
Good job. Next time I am coming for the beer and burgers.
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