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Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Aurora, Colorado
United States
Racing Underground
Total Time = 6h 49m 34s
Overall Rank = 240/322
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 38/41
Pre-race routine:

First, its been a hell of a year. Today was the culmination of my 12 1/2 month couch to HIM plan, though it didn't start out as a HIM plan and I would never have thought that I would be doing this a year ago. I started out just generally wanting to get into shape and lose weight, and a triathlon was just a goal to push me forward. I had no aspiration at the time of doing anything beyond a sprint.

I was up at 4. Had a bagel with cream cheese and coffee. Hit the road at 5 and was at the gate at the entrance to the park shortly before it opened. Got a good transition spot on the end of the racks and set everything up.
Event warmup:

Just a very brief spin to make sure the bike was working properly, and a few strokes in the water to get used to the water temp.
  • 42m 43s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 13s / 100 meters

I started off right in the middle of the pack. The normal bumping and pushing, but nothing too bad. We were swimming directly into the sun, so I just tried to keep swimmers on both sides of me and find the next buoy.

My plan was to start off at an easy pace and then slow down. I got into a pretty decent rythmn quickly. About a 1/4 of the way through, I was swimming stroke for stroke with the guy next to me, so I eased up a bit to drop behind him and try to draft off of him. That worked for a bit, but then I lost him.

Just before the turn, I passed a couple of people from the first wave. This was a new experience for me, and I was excited. I hit the turn in a little under 20 minutes, right on target.

It was a lot easier to sight coming back without the sun in my eyes, and I just tried to find feet to draft off. This was the best I have done at drafting, but I never could hold on to one person for very long.

As I continued on, I tried to think about my form and just maintain a comfortable pace. I was really enjoying myself at this point.

I hit the beach at about 40:30, so the official time must include the run up the beach and back to transition. I had estimated 41 minutes for my swim time, so I was right on target and felt really good.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 02m 41s

In all my previous races, I was bottom 1/3 in T1 time. Today I was solidly middle of the pack, so I am happy. I tried to focus on staying smooth. I have very fair skin, so I took the time to put on sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

The tri-top exposes I lot of skin. I got to work on my sunscreening technique to make sure get everything covered. Otherwise, nothing.
  • 3h 20m 8s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.79 mile/hr

I spent the first couple of miles just trying to get my HR down. After about 15 minutes, I had the HR under control, tried to settle into the right pace and started my nutrition plan.

In all of my previous races, the bike has been my strenght. After the young guys with their fancy bikes go flying past me, I have then been the one passing everyone. Not today. I was getting constantly passed in the early stages. My plan was to keep my HR to no more than 138 bpm on the flats and under 150 on the hills. It was frustrating to just let everyone fly by me, especially since I was feeling really good at this point, but I stuck to my plan and let them go.

I hit the 2 hour mark averaging 18.5 mph, but then the hills, wind and the heat of the day started to take their toll. What started off as I rather cool day (cool enough I actually started with arm warmers), was now pretty warm. I went through 6 full bottles of water and could have used more. I did everything I could to stick with my plan regarding my HR, but I just couldn't keep it under control on the hills. I knew I was working too hard, but I was already in a little bitty gear, and there just wasn't much else I could do. I was able to stick with my nutrition plan, and got in 900 calories, but I was beginning to feel a little bloated.

I finished about 5 minutes slowing that my predicted time, which wasn't too bad, but I had worked a lot harder than I wanted to over the last 15 miles. I knew I would pay for this later.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I stuck to my plan as best I could given the conditions and my conditioning.
Transition 2
  • 02m 23s

Smooth transition. Took time to reapply sunscreen
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 41m 40s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 20s  min/mile

It was clear that the run was going to be tough, right from the start. It was brutally hot by this point, and my HR was sky high. And what's with all the hills?

I alternated walking a bit and running a bit the first 2 miles, trying to get my HR down. At around mile 2, the course flattened somewhat, and I settled into a rythmn. From then to mile 11, I ran, only walking long enough to take on fluids at the aid stations.

My stomach was unhappy right from the start of the run. I knew I needed more calories, but I didn't think I could tolerate anything but liquids. I decided to give HEED a try even though I had never tried it before. My stomach never felt much better, but I didn't get worse either. I took a cup of water and a cup of HEED at each aid station, and another cup of water to pour over my head.

I read Dean Karnazes book this past week. Early in the run, I thought about what his father had told him during the last few miles of the Western States 100, "If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl." I was moving awfully slow, but I would try to run as long as I could. I hoped the crawling wouldn't become necessary.

By mile 4, I was feeling a bit better than I had the first couple of miles, but it was painfully slow. At first I was frustrated by the slowness, but as the run went on, I started to find it comical. I was working as hard as I normally would for about a 9 minute pace, but my Garmin kept saying my pace was closer to 12 minutes per mile.

At about mile 8, my legs decided they had had enough. I took even more e-caps, and walked a little farther at each aid station, but pushed on.

At around mile 10, I had my first experience with bizarre emotional swings. Although I was doing OK and I knew I would finish, I had a very strong urge to cry and really just wanted to lay down on the grass and curl up into a ball. I figured at that point, it was time to try some cola.

At around mile 11, I started to have some cramping, first my calves, then my quads. From here to the end, I just ran until the cramps hit, walked some, then repeated.

Finally, I could see the finish in the distance. I wanted to finish strong, but I knew that anything more than a shuffle would bring on cramping, so I shuffled on. My wife and kids met me about 50 yards from the finish, and my kids ran across the line with me.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I went back to the lake and sat in the cold water.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat and the wind made this a tough day, but inexperience and conditioning were the limiting factors. I have come a long way over the past year, I have been very consistent in my training and I followed my race plan as best I could. I think this was the best I could do on this day. I will be back to give the distance a try again at some point

Event comments:

This was a well run race.

Last updated: 2007-09-18 12:00 AM
00:42:43 | 1931 meters | 02m 13s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 246/322
Performance: Good
Suit: full
Course: out and back
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:41
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:20:08 | 56 miles | 16.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 245/322
Performance: Average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:23
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:41:40 | 13.1 miles | 12m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 223/322
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-09-18 1:23 PM

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Golden, CO
Subject: Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon

2007-09-18 1:47 PM
in reply to: #969492

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Highlands Ranch, CO
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon
Nice job.  The next one should be much easier.
2007-09-18 1:55 PM
in reply to: #969492

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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon

Way to go with the race and keep moving forward on the run!  You were wise to take the sunscreen.  I have burns in interesting shapes and locations - more lessons  learned I guess.

Way to finish solid. 

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