My first Triathlon
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Full Vineman Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman
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70F / 21C
= 11h 29m 29s
Age Group Rank
Today was the big day. This was my first Ironman race. I sort of skipped a lot of baby steps to get there. I learned to swim about 14 months ago and also picked up my first road bike and got serious about it at the same time as well. The most I've ever rode then was maybe 20 miles as a fun pace. I did dedicate my life to this race pretty much though. Well ~7 months of hardcore training with the other months of just building a better fitness and running marathon. Anyway....
The day before the race, I met up with some fellow BT'ers. We had some drinks at a coffee shop and talked about the race for a bit. It was a good time, more so since I went the race alone with no support. This was a solo trip for me.
Nothing. Just stood there like a deer in headlights. I drank what was left of my Gatoraid that I did not put in my water bottles. I did no warm up since my swim is slow enough to where I consider that my warm up. I was standing at swim exit instead of swim enter...so I had to move quickly as they were just entering the water. Oops.
1h 20m 59s
01m 55s / 100 yards
I was in the first wave. Good and bad. Swimming is horrible for me but my HIM time was 44:##, so this was an improvement. There was this thin seaweed like net in the water that kept getting on my face. Then there were the people who were going over top of me, even though I was pretty much alone. It was as if a few people were aiming for me. One guy swam right into my side pretty hard and then speed up and immediately went in front of me, kicking me while doing so. Looked left...looked right. Yup no one was around. Just some asshole in the water.
Anyway, other than that, it the was good. The water was cold at first but within two minutes, it felt nice. I wasn't too hot or too cold. It was perfect. I did need to use the restroom while in the water. I saw the exit 100m away and I was freaking out since I couldn't get it started. Trying to relax enough to pee and swim, using your legs, is a skill that I never tried before. I just barely got it off in time, which is good because I did not want to waste 2-3 minutes in T1 finding a restroom.
What would you do differently?:
I need to join a master's swim class. I'm not a great swimmer, as shown by my lackluster position, but this was a good swim for me since I was planning it would take 1:30 in my head due to my usual horrible sighting and slowness in general. I sighted about perfectly this time.
My transitions from my HIM a few months ago showed that I suck as these. I'm pretty good at sprints but I followed the advice of the book I read and just kept my composure. It was really sandy and muddy at T1. It would have been nice to be on grass or pavement but sand is what I had to work with.
I got out of the water and didn't even know they had wet suit strippers here. Score! Just laid on the ground and the thing was off in a second. I ran to my bike. I decided to go the tri shorts + bike short routine as I did for my HIM. I swam in my tri shorts so I just put my bike shorts over top of them. This saved me from having to go to a changing tent. I put my shirt on, HR monitor, and gloves. I was super worried about rocks being in my shoes, so I had a water bottle on my bike just for my feet. I sprayed them down twice, wiped them off, and quickly put on my shoes.
After that, it was Vaseline time. Got the tub out, two fingers in, and a huge gob comes out. Two guys next to me were looking at me. I couldn't tell if they were thinking "why didn't I think of that!?" or "Wtf!?!...did he really just do that here?". Either way, fuck it. When I took a shower after the race, my ass cheeks didn't burn like I was raped with sand paper.
What would you do differently?:
Get faster. I can't believe it took me nearly 8 minutes to do what I did. I did have to walk my bike a lot since there was only one path and people in front of me were walking.
5h 53m 32s
I'm used to training on a mostly smooth bike trail with horrible winds. So this course was quite different than what I trained for! The roads sucked! Ok, they weren't awful but wow was it bumpy and with all the shade from the trees, I didn't see a lot of the potholes. There were a few times where I almost fell off my bike. My left aerobar tape actually started to unravel at the end of the race, to give you an idea on how hard I was holding onto my dear life sometimes. I should note that when I put my bike back together, I completely screwed it up. The markings on my bike did not hold and when it came time to put my handlebar and aerobars back on, I had to rely on pictures I took. I did a quick ride around the parking lot and it seemed fine. On race day, I got on the bike and within 3 seconds, I told myself, "this isn't right...the aerobars are too high". My spine hurt the second I got on the bike. I don't know if it was from that...I sort of doubt it, but it wasn't what I trained on but overall it didn't seem to matter too much.
The course was pretty hilly and had 2 or 3 pretty good hills. I don't care what people say, I'll take hills over the winds I trained in. Considering that I trained on a flat bike course and averaged 18-19mph and I managed that and even beat that pace on the first few splits.
The course was pretty nice in that it wasn't too hard and wasn't too easy. I didn't like the open traffic as there were two cars that looked like they were aiming for us. One car got behind every bike and hooked all the time. Jerks will be jerks I guess. The course was a 2 loop course and they only had mile markings every 5 miles on the road. These were very hard to see some of the time. I needed these because after 60 miles, the bumpyness of the road knocked my speed sensor out of alignment with the magnet but I didn't want to stop to fix it since my HR + cadence is all that mattered to me. Pace and average speed is just a bonus.
Looking at the splits, I did the first 29 miles @ 20.4mph, the next 56 miles at 19.4mph, and then I feel apart and did the rest of 18mph. I averaged 19.0mph though, and I was really happy about that but I thought I was going to get close to 5:40 based upon my pace, when my speedo did work, but those jolts just took it out of me! At the end, I wanted the run part to start so bad I almost thought about resting and/or walking with my bike. I saw someone walking their bike up the Chalk Hill on the course
(the main really long and steep hill
) on the second lap. That didn't set well with me, since once I see people start to give in, it brings me down and puts doubts in my mind. None of that today! I unhappily finishing the course with a sore back and a neck that was stiff as hell.
What would you do differently?:
Make sure I mark my bike better next time to reassemble it. Going to get on the trainer this week and iron out the correct placement of my aerobars. I would have liked to have gone faster but not at the expense of my run.
Bike part was FINALLY done. Wow did it feel nice to clip out and get off that damn bike! I got off the bike and noticed that everyone was walking their bike. Err...I'm ready for the run...NOW! I decided to go a light jog with the bike. Didn't care if it messed up my clets, this is a damn race and I'll let my HR calm down while I change.
I ran past my rack, turned around, ran past it again, finally stopped and looked for my bag. I used a paper bag to store my stuff and mark my spot since I thought it would be obvious but nope. I was also the 2nd rack from the entrance, so I don't know what happened. Wasn't in the right state of mind I guess since it should have been super easy to spot.
I tossed off my bike shirt
(decided against tri top due to sunburns I got in HIM using it
), and put on my running shirt. Took off HR monitor for bike. I brought my Garmin one to use for my running watch but I decided against it. Normally I could hardly run more than 8-10 minutes after biking on my training days. No need to have HR dictate my pace if I'll almost never get to target HR.
I ate 2 Gu chomps. I bought 4 Gu gels since I heard they used Cliff shots on the run and I never had one before. One problem: my shorts don't have any pockets! Zing! Well it's the thought that counts I guess. Put on my hat, drank some Gatoraid
(water went flying off bike somewhere
), and put on my awesome running shoes. Finally got off those damn bike shoes. Notice that I'm still wearing tri shorts and bike shorts. This comes up later.
I needed to pee really bad but I didn't see any restrooms. Err....Played the game of hold it as long as possible and off I went.
What would you do differently?:
Remember to take off my damn bike shorts! Remember where I put my junk at instead of wasting time trying to remember which rack I'm at.
4h 00m 36s
09m 11s min/mile
During my first and only HIM 2 months prior, my stomach was so tight on the run, it felt like I was doing ab crunches for 3 hours. I couldn't move at all without it hurting forever. It took 10-12 minutes of walk/jogging for it to finally release enough for me to think about jogging more than 2 minutes at a time. Luckily that did not happen here. I ran out of T2 with an initial 8:30 pace but felt great so I decided to try to stick to that.
One mile into the run I see a port-a-potty. Thank god. Run into it and take one of the longest pees of my life, which is weird since you'd think my body would want all liquids but I guess after ~7 hours of no restroom breaks, something needs to come out. As I'm standing there wasting time, it hits me. I'm wearing bike shorts!!! Oh crap. Million things went through my mind. Ok, I still have my tri shorts on and wanted to run in those, so I just need to toss my bike shorts somewhere. Err...how much did I pay for these? What would running a marathon be like wearing 2 shorts? Hmm...well sacrifices need to be made and off they went. I stashed them behind a big rock behind the port-a-potty with the hopes that no one saw it and I could pick it up after the race. Only a mile walk after a 140.6 mile race right?....
Well at this point I'm down to one pair of shorts. Wow, much cooler and more comfortable :
) I see the aid stations and decide to do a Gatoraid at station one and do water at the next. This worked out pretty good since when I went all Gatoraid on my last marathon, the gut bomb hit me pretty bad. Actually I was getting a gut bomb here as well, and that's why at aid station 2
), I decided to grab water. At each station I grabbed some ice and dumped it into my hat and put my hat back on. Something I saw people at my HIM do. I heard two people behind me say they wish they brought their hats...yeah that's how I felt at my HIM :
) Live and learn.
I'm going pretty good going at a 8:30 pace and then walking at the aid station and pushing that pace up ~30 seconds or so, but it was worth it. I tried to run through one station and burped for half a mile afterwards and felt horrible, so it wasn't worth it. The course was slightly hilly. I saw a lot of people walking the hills and I wanted to as well but I told myself no. I know what once you start to walk in a marathon that it's game over. You've given up on the race mentally and that's all a marathon is: a mental test. It's too hard to want to run more than a few minutes after you're "forced" to start walking. I've been there and experienced it many times.
I made it to the first ~4.5 mile turn around point and saw some old guy with a stand of rubber breasts or something. Very weird. He didn't seem like the joking type...more of the weird creeper type. Whatever, I'll only see him two more times. At this point I told myself I need a gel. I tried to have one every 45-60 minutes during training. So at the next aid station I grab one and hold onto it for 3/4 of a mile and then open it. I like to eat my gel slowly first while running and then down it with water afterwards. I tried Gatoraid the first time and that didn't settle right so I made sure to drink water after the Cliff shots.
When I was at the second turn around point I looked down and saw that I did a HM in 1:56. Whoa! I'm doing awesome, way way better than I was planned. Seeing that it was possible I'd finish this thing at around 12 hours, my ultimate goal for future IM races, not this one, my spirits and determination just sky rocketed. Nothing in the world is going to stop me. At the aid stations, I started to grab a Gatoraid and water at every station. It wasn't even that warm out, so I have no idea what I would have done if it was 90+ like I trained in.
At mile 21 or so, I meet a guy named Brian and I told him if he motivates me, I'll motivate him and we'll finish this together. He was going at the same pace and he agreed. I got to talk him and it helped keep my mind off what I was doing. 2 miles into it though, we stopped talking and I was hurting...bad. I wanted to stop and walk so bad but I kept looking at my watch. Under 12 hours is possible, even if I walked. I should give in right? NO! I told Brian to go ahead but I can't go any faster. My pace went to about ~10min/miles but I refused to walk. Then I hit the last aid station and see my stupid bike shorts by the rocks. Errr....should I grab them now and have a stupid finisher picture with bike shorts in my hand. Decided against that and glad I did :
) One mile left and my pace picked up. I started to smile, felt awesome, and started passing people. I get to the guy who tells me to turn right for more laps. Not today mister! I'm here to finish my race! I take the left side, as I already did my two loops, and my pace goes up. I get my name announced and there's tons of people cheering for me. They cheered for everyone with such vigor and enthusiasm, it was insane. I cross the finish line, I can hear the claps, and I see my time of about 11:30. I couldn't believe it! I beat my beat my goal by 90 minutes and the feeling of accomplishment that hit me was was insane. At this point I wish I had someone there for celebrate the moment with me but I was happy none-the-less.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. I would have liked to get under 4 hour marathon time and I could have got it if I knew I was that close but I can't complain. This is only 35 minutes away from my marathon PR, so I think I executed it perfectly.
I ate some food. Well I tried to at least. Half the food I grabbed I had to toss since I couldn't stomach hardly anything at this point. I stretched a bit and then it was time to get my shorts. I think this actually worked to my benefit since it was a 1 + 1 mile walk to get it and get back, which is a nice cool down. I walked on the sidewalk, off the race, with my medal and finisher shirt on. I kept cheering the runners on but they didn't seem too happy when they looked at me. I felt they thought I was trying to show off, which I wasn't, I just wanted to cheer them on. Hoping it was just the race and not that they thought.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I think I did great but I think me cheating myself on my bike interval days since I had to do them on the trainer really hurt me. The last 2-3 weeks I actually did my proper bike interval workouts and I could tell it helped me on my long workout. Not huge benefit but I just felt better in general.
Swim needs to improve a lot.
Run was great but if I want to move up
(Kona?!?...haha not in my life time..
), I need to get this better as well.
Last updated: 2013-07-28 12:00 AM
01:20:59 | 4224 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Water was really shallow. At the turn around, you almost had to stand up. I tried to side stroke as much as possible though but did have to stand twice.
72F / 22C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:53:32 | 112 miles | 19.01 mile/hr
Rolling hills with a few tough ones. Light wind (for what I'm used to), that others were complaining about it.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:00:36 | 26.2 miles | 09m 11s min/mile
3 loop course. I thought it was pretty hilly. One bad hill. The turn around seemed easier than the way out, which helped.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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