Oil Man Texas Triathlon - Formerly Iron Star Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Conroe, Texas
United States
Outloud! Productions
Total Time = 7h 16m 36s
Overall Rank = 319/383
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 50/65
Pre-race routine:

My first HIM was preceded by 18 weeks of training mostly to the Tri Newbies plan, with a few missed workouts, and the last “Quality” week cut out because of a sinus infection. I still had a decent two-week taper though, and was off my antibiotics 2 days before the race. I went in with guarded optimism that I would finish in the 6-7hr range, based on my training. Packet pickup and expo on Saturday evening were uneventful and I had time to walk part of the run course and ride the rest. Checked into my hotel about 15 minutes away then hit the store for some snacks and water and Chili’s for a chicken sandwich. Fell asleep around 9pm watching college football, had a couple sleepless hours between 11pm-1am. Overall felt fine when I got up around 4:30. Had a Coke and a coffee to get things moving, ate some peanut butter crackers and a Clif Bar and drove to the race.
Event warmup:

Parked about ½-mile from transition and got everything ready to go. Filled 1 bike bottle w/water, left the other for Gatorade. Talked w/another first-timer on the way in. Got marked (just age, as we had tri-tats already), chipped and set up transition before sunrise. Poured 20oz of Gatorade into bike bottle then drank the rest. Hit the porta then got my wetsuit and headed to the swim start. There was time for a practice swim, which was great because the air was warm but the water felt really cold compared. The first time I put my face in, my heartrate shot up and I wondered if I would be able to get it back down before the start. Did some splashing around and breaststroking, then calmed down enough to really swim. Ended up swimming about 100yds warmup before they called us out of the water for the start.
  • 48m 3s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 17s / 100 yards

The first swim wave got slightly misdirected by a kayak, but only by about 10-15yds and the RD hit them up on radio and corrected it right away. It actually helped those of us watching because we were doubly sure which way to go after that. The sun started to peek out from behind the clouds, but not enough to cause a glare. I was thankful for that. My wave went out right on time and there was a little more contact than usual, but to be expected in such a big wave on a relatively narrow start. It smoothed out by the second turn and most of the contact after the 1st 500yds was people from prior or later waves. I did take a random gulp of water early but got over it and had few problems after that. After the last turn, with about 100yds left to the finish, the water got about waist-high and it seemed everyone was walking. I did for a while but the water remained waist-deep and I started feeling it in my quads, so I swam again until my fingertips hit bottom then walked in through knee-deep water. Overall I felt great coming out of the water. The wetsuit strippers did a good job, and I jogged easy all the way to transition.
What would you do differently?:

This was my fastest swim at this distance, ever. I think I went a little hard (for me), and probably burned a match that would cost me later.
Transition 1
  • 05m 13s

I took my time but still got out fairly quickly. Socks, shoes, helmet, shades, watch and I’m gone. Easy time at the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

40th out of 65. T1 is not a problem for me.
  • 3h 36m 51s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.49 mile/hr

The first few miles have some turns and gentle grades but nothing special. Traffic control was first-rate and I felt really good going out. Sipped water for the 1st 45 minutes then ate a Clif Bar. Maintained 17mph avg through the 1st 20 miles, with the hills, and felt spot on. Some light hints of rain, but not enough to wet the road. Grabbed water at the 1st handup and mixed that w/Gatorade to get me to Mile 29. At this point I could tell I had slowed down some and didn’t feel like going any faster. At the Mile 29 handup I took more water and stopped for the porta. I had to wait a few minutes there but it felt good to get off the bike and I confirmed that I was not dehydrated. That done, I got back on and was ready to rock. The feeling didn’t last long as I just didn’t have much power and the hills kept coming. By mile 40 my pace had dropped remarkably and the hills and headwind were taking their toll. I ate my last cliff bar, grabbed a drink at the last handup, and just tried to spin easy the last several miles. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. I had done this swim and bike before so I knew it was long, but I was still very tired.
What would you do differently?:

I had plenty of long rides going into this tri, but none with interval work built in. I should have combined long rides w/intervals to simulate the hills. This was my worst bike leg in a tri ever.
Transition 2
  • 02m 37s

Easy flying dismount and it felt good to be off the bike. Racked, took bike shoes off, then looked at my running shoes and decided to sit down to put them on. That felt really good. Got them on, grabbed race belt, then headed to a porta. Still not dehydrated! Grabbed a cup of water for good measure and hit the run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. 39th out of 65. Woohoo this is my best event (jk).
  • 2h 43m 52s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 31s  min/mile

Start of the run felt good but I purposely kept my stride short and my turnover high because I know how running off the bike can be. Right out of transition, and then again at about the 1-mile mark, there was a variety of surfaces, including a caliche road crossing with golfball-size rocks to watch out for. I picked my way through this area and ran easy. I walked for about 30 seconds at every aid station and took a little water, Gatorade, or both. I saw my wife and kids on the backside of the loop, a perfect spot for them. I certainly wasn’t going too fast, as the 1st 4.3-mile loop took me 50 minutes! “Wow, I think I’m going slow enough.” At the end of the 1st loop I did get a slight tingle/burn in my right Achilles, which concerned me because I’d never felt that before on a run. I made it a point to keep my toes up and let my foot flex both ways, trying to keep my heel area relaxed. Everything else felt good but the tired feeling came back and was very strong from miles 4-8. The little voice telling me to quit got louder and louder. I took a Double Latte gel for the caffeine and just kept running between each aid station. No single muscle group was complaining loudly, but my left hamstring and glute would whine every time I started slouching, and it was hell trying to maintain form w/the fatigue. Basically, nothing hurt too badly but everything hurt! Backside of the 2nd loop my family was not at the same spot, so I was a little disheartened but then I saw them, a little closer to transition this time. “Just 4.5 more miles,” I said to myself “I can do this.” Once I got through the rough surfaces on the 3rd loop I intended to dig deep and do some real running for the last 3 miles. Right about then I got that little shiver/chill feeling that told me I wasn’t going to be digging any deeper. It’s all about finishing now. I did actually pass 2 guys in my age group on the last loop, but it didn’t bring me much joy. I made it to the aid station at 10.6 and took about a 1-minute walk to drink both water and Gatorade. The sun was up and it was getting warm, so half the water went over my head. This helped me get to the next station where I did the same thing, and again at the next. I felt good enough after that to run past the last station and all the way to the finish. My wife and kids were there and I asked the boys to run the last 20 yards with me. They did and it felt great to finish with them.
What would you do differently?:

This run was 28 minutes slower than my standalone HM last February, but looking back, I did fine. The bike was what killed me. Apparently I saved something becuase I ranked higher on the run than either the swim or the bike. If I died on the run, I did so later or less horribly than a few others in my age group.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my cold water and my medal, got my chip removed, then got one of my boys under each arm to walk me around for a few minutes. Usually after a race I want to find some filling food and beer right away. But now I just wanted to walk around (with help) and sip water. I was borderline queasy and very, very tired. We found a little shade and I sipped water. After a little while I was able to go ask for a Muscle Milk and drink that. I sipped some more water and the pizza started looking good, so I got a slice and a Coke. Normally this is a great post-race snack for me. But this pizza tasted so salty and greasy I couldn’t take more than 3 bites. I finished my Coke and said, “Let’s go.” Got my bike, handed my bags to my boys, then headed back to the truck. The drive home (about 75 minutes) was long and painful. I did kind of wish I had made plans to stay on that side of town for another night, but real life beckons.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

With just 4 sprints and an Oly under my belt, a 70.3 at the end of my first full season of triathlon was a lofty goal, and I am very fortunate to have such a supportive family and tri club that enabled me to prepare for and finish this race. In the end, my overall health and some holes in my training put a dent in my time goal, but I was able to finish on my feet and stay out of the medical tent. My wife and I decided several weeks before the race, based on how we handled the training load, that this would be my last 70.3 for a long, long time. So again, I’m very grateful that I got to do the race and finish, but I won’t be back any time in the near future. Writing this 10 days later, I am well rested but still have some aches and pains. I have run a little and played some soccer, and I look forward to keeping my run mileage up and maintaining my fitness over the winter. I think a February half-marathon should enforce this goal, and I will probably pick 2 or 3 Olympic-distance races to keep me focused next year.

Event comments:

Race is well-organized and the RD clearly is looking out for the athletes. Excellent course control and post-race activities. The venue worked but some of the run surface was sketchy. Overall very good.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-08-12 12:00 AM
00:48:03 | 2112 yards | 02m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 49/65
Overall: 0/383
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3 sleevelss
Course: Modified clockwise triangle.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:13
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:36:51 | 56 miles | 15.49 mile/hr
Age Group: 59/65
Overall: 0/383
Performance: Below average
Official results say I avg'd 16mph, so the course may be 1-2 miles long.
Course: Rolling hills through a rural area, mostly wooded. Beautiful scenery. Some chip-seal, but nothing horrible.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:37
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:43:52 | 13.1 miles | 12m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 48/65
Overall: 0/383
Performance: Average
Course: 3 loops around a resort and the surrounding neighborhood. Mostly smooth streets, but with some funky surfaces built in (see below).
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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] 4