Iron Star triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Conroe, Texas
United States
OutLoud! Productions
Total Time = 5h 34m 11s
Overall Rank = 118/516
Age Group = M20-24
Age Group Rank = 6/16
Pre-race routine:

I spent the night at Andrew's parents' house in Houston. Got up about 4 hours before the race start. Had 2 whole wheat bagels w/ peanut butter, two bananas and a flat Red Bull. Drank a bottle of AminoVital Pro on the way to the race.
Event warmup:

Got my transition spot setup and found my chip. It wasn't exactly clear where we would come out of the water when I walked over the course the day before, so I had to check that out now. I didn't like the idea of getting sand all over my feet but the grass was wet so I guessed that it would take care of itself. Walked around transition to check out all the bike porn (there were alot of really nice bikes there). Did some quick stretching as I talked with Andrew. We were standing near the start when Daniel Henschied found us. I went to go get in the water (I only got ankle deep; it was COLD that morning) and it seemed like it was actually warmer in the water than standing on the shore!
  • 42m 14s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m / 100 yards

I felt like shit. I was already cold from standing around for an hour, but the water made me feel especially terrible since I didn't have a wetsuit. I wasn't treating this as an A race so I let everyone else run into the water as I leisurely walked in at the back of the pack. Coming up to the first turn I couldn't find a rhythm. My breathing felt horrible and I couldn't turn my head without getting a mouthfull of water for some reason. On top of that my left goggle kept filling with water. I must have stopped to empty it 4 or 5 times the first 300 yards. This is where I actually considered just swimming to shore and DNFing. I did not want to do this race anymore.

Finally at the first turn I got my goggles to seal properly. I could see all of the 6 people behind me. So I was very alone and had no one to sight off of. As I came around the tip of the peninsula I could see people literally walking on the water! Turns out that they were DNFs who happened to be walking where the water was very shallow, but it was really confusing at the time. Looking at the race map I thought that we would be swimming mostly along the shoreline but it turns out that we had to go pretty far into the lake before we turned back. I still didn't want to do this swim but I knew that if I swam out, I wouldn't have a choice but to swim back. So I made my lonely way to the second turn. There was a sand barge along the way where we could stand up and walk. I reverted back into my mud pit strategy from the Marine Mud Run last week and tried to churn my legs and pull with my arms. That just made my quads burn and it felt horrible to try and kick my legs once I was swimming again.

Made it to the second turn and finally started to relax. My breathing was finally getting into a rhythm and I knew that I could at least finish the swim before dropping out. I could see the next yellow bouy, but the red ones in between were well inside. So I took a straighter line and actually ended up catching someone who was swimming from bouy to bouy. That made me feel better and I started to focus more on my form and tried to go a little faster. Then by the next yellow bouy I had caught 2 more poeple. I was making progress and feeling much better. So I really pushed myself the last stretch to home. Came out of the water running. Looked at my watch: PRed the swim by 4 minutes!
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 01m 26s

Longer than average run from the water to the transition zone. Nothing went wrong. Took a little longer than usual since I would be carrying food (which isn't necessary on shorter races) and a Hammer Gel flask for the first time. 2nd fastest T1 time in my AG.
What would you do differently?:

I can always go faster.
  • 2h 52m 20s
  • 59 miles
  • 20.54 mile/hr

I was freezing! The cold weather and being wet from the swim were bad enough but the majority of the first half of the bike course was shaded! My arms and feet just felt terrible. Rolling hills aren't something that I get alot of practice with so I knew this wouldn't be my best bike ride. I just tried to keep things comfortable and enjoy my day rather than race the course.

I passed 2 or 3 guys in my age group within the first 10 miles so I was doing okay, all things considered. I had to stop at mile 16 when nature called. During my first HIM I tried to hold it through the entire bike course but there was no way I would put up with that much discomfort today. Finally at mile 19 my legs loosened up and I actually started to feel good for the first time all day. I was at least dry by this point but I still couldn't feel my toes. Had some light winds at mile 21 but nothing very spectacular.

I wasn't passing people on a regular basis like I usually do. Instead it would be long stretches by myself and then I'd come to a long chain of riders. Not close enough to each other to be drafting, but just keeping everyone in sight. So I'd pass a dozen people all at once and then go back to riding alone. I was eating my Fig Newtons every 10 miles or so and drank as much as I could force myself to early on.

Finally at mile 40 my toes started to thaw and I was feeling like myself again. Had to stop and pee again at mile 46. Not long after I got back on my bike I saw another rider stopping for the same reason, but instead of getting off his bike like I did, he just stood over his frame and turned to the side. Genius! I must have lost half a minute by getting on and off my bike. So there's your tip of the day. (Sorry that I can't give any equivalent advice ladies.) I started to eat my Clif Bar at mile 50, but I was sick of eating food by this point. I got down to the last 1/3 of it when I hit a bump and dropped it. I didn't like the idea of abandonment of equipment but it was an accident and there weren't any officials around so I just kept riding. Took a few swigs from my Hammer Gel flask (I highly recommend these flasks now) over the last 10 miles and cut out the majority of my fluids.

Got back to 105 and could see the runners out on the course now. I got into a game of leap frog with a 24 year old on a Cervelo P3C with Zipp 404s on the last stretch before the turn into the resort (I won). Had two slower riders ahead of me but I decided to just hang back and take things easy before my run. I was actually looking forward to the run for some reason. I hadn't pushed myself on the bike like I usually do, but I finally felt like racing so the run was my only option.

The dismount area was a disaster. Not for me, but in general. The dismount line wasn't marked very well (it wasn't there when we got on our bikes) and there wasn't much room so things got very congested at times. Apparently a good number of people ate it because of this. I got out of my shoes and was coasting up to the line while balancing on one pedal. The two guys ahead of me had stopped to get off their bikes. I had to go between them and there wasn't much room. Luckily I squeeked by and didn't loose a shoe in the process. Off and running into T2.
What would you do differently?:

Tube socks for arm warmers. Two pairs of socks to warm my feet? I won't say that I should have tried to push myself harder; I wasn't racing and I did enjoy riding the course quite a bit.
Transition 2
  • 01m 8s

No mistakes here. Made sure that my race belt was aligned the way I like it so I wouldn't accidentally tear my number off trying to adjust it while I ran like at Stonebridge. Second fastest T2 in my age group.
What would you do differently?:

I can always go faster.
  • 1h 57m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 56s  min/mile

New running shoes! My first marathon of the season (and my only A marathon of the season) is next weekend, so this was my race to break in my new shoes (which I've had since February). There were alot of people there to cheer as I was coming out of T2 so I started much faster than I wanted to, but I did a good job of realizing it and slowing myself down before I went too far. I just wanted to hold a nice steady pace the whole way.

I passed two or three people on the road out from the resort and was really happy to be running. I had done a several big bike/run bricks over the last few weeks and I could really tell that they have helped. My legs felt fresh and I could see that other people were hurting where I felt great. The run along the main road was nice since cars would drive by and honk their horns and cheer. Dennis(dgunthert) found me while he was running back the other direction. At the second water station I kept reaching for cups but for some damn reason the girls working it would pull it away before I could get it. This happened three times at this station! I wanted to kill them! But I was doing a good pace and wasn't about to stop.

The road up to the first turn around was a a straight shot up a slight incline before a small hill. You could see the porta-potty at the end and knew just how far away you were. There was no shade anywhere so this was probably the hardest part of the run. I just kept reminding myself of how good I felt and that this would be a piece of cake. I met Sheri(itri2) just before I hit the turn around. Got myself a drink and took a swig from my gel flask. I had been worried that the flask wouldn't stay in the pocket on the back of my top. I've had problems with gels staying put, but the flask was wide enough that the tension would hold it in place. Even if it did bounce up and down quite a bit. But I was having a great run and that was just a minor annoyance.

Made it back to the u-turn to start my second loop, took some more Hammer Gel and checked my watch. I had a legitmate chance of breaking 2 hours on the run! So that became my new goal. I had also passed two guys in my age group before that u-turn. Since I knew placing in my age group wouldn't happen today, my other goal became to just beat the living hell out of these two random guys! The sun started to really wear down on me the second lap. All I wanted was some shade. I was taking two cups of water at each aid station now; one to drink, one to pour on my head. I still felt good and was holding my pace well. Second loop was pretty uneventful, but I had fun since I felt surprisingly good. Made the last turn around and took a little more gel. Looked at my watch again and knew that I could break 2 hours. So I made myself a deal; if I can keep this up and have a good race after all, I'll do something extra special to comemorate the end of my first season. More on that in my logs in the next few days.

Got back to the turn for the resort and knew I was making great time. I had to go through a small neighborhood before the finish and I wasn't sure just what to expect. Luckily this neighborhood actually had some trees in it and that was a good mental booster. I got to the last u-turn at mile 12 when I could feel myself start to bonk. I was shuffling my feet and loosing focus. I hadn't walked a single step all day and I wasn't about to now. Practically showered with cups of water at the last aid station and made my final push. Andrew had jogged into the neighborhood to get some pictures of me. I was afraid to even think it until I saw him and then I had to make it official, "I'm going to break my half marathon PR!" My run at Prairieman took me 2:17 and my fastest half maraton was 1:58:28. Now I was at 1:50 a little past mile 12.

Finally I got out of the neighborhood and onto the road I was familiar with. There was a small group of us (4) who all came towards the finish at once. I made my final sprint and one guy went with me. So even though nothing was at stake I made it a foot race. He barely beat me but it was a fun way to end the day.

Results: PR'ed my half marthon time by nearly a minute and a half. PR'ed the swim by four minutes. PR'ed my half Ironman time by just over 17 minutes! Great way to end the season. So despite feeling like shit to start, I had a great day. I'm glad that I took this race lightly instead of really trying to race it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I had fun and wouldn't ask for anything more.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a bottle of water and talked with Dennis for a bit. Went to get myself some watermelon and caught up with Sheri and Dan(DanTX). Had myself some sausage pizza and a cream soda. Picked up my finisher mug and then I heard them announce that the massages were free! So I had to jump in line for that. Ate some cookies and drank a can of lemonade while I waited. The two guys in front of me in line were both in my age group (one beat me by four minutes, the other was one of the guys I slaughtered on the run) so we BS'ed about racing and our plans for next season. While we were in line a girl crossed the finish line and her boyfried proposed to her. Gotta love that kind of thing. The massage was great and even though I didn't really feel very sore I knew it would make the next day go much easier. Packed up my stuff and Andrew drove as we headed back to the Metroplex.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I didn't have the right mentality coming into this race to really race it. I felt terrible on the swim (a wetsuit would have made things much better) but I pulled myself together by the end and had a great day.

Event comments:

Great race. The course was good and challenging. 800 is a good field size for this kind of race. I liked that they had different finisher mugs for first, second and third time finishers (this was the race's thrid year). Free massages afterwards were fantastic. I wish they would do that at every race. I'll definitely be back next year.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2005-09-06 12:00 AM
00:42:14 | 2112 yards | 01m / 100yards
Age Group: 16/16
Overall: 441/516
Performance: Average
Suit: Tri shorts and top
Course: Started on the beach and went out and around a little peninsula to finish on the shore closer to transition.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:52:20 | 59 miles | 20.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/16
Overall: 92/516
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Single loop course with rolling hills on country farm roads.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: ~95
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:08
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:57:05 | 13.1 miles | 08m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/16
Overall: 131/516
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop out and back course with a little extra loop through a neighborhood at the end. No shade the whole way!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %1
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5