My first Triathlon
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Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon - Full Redman - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Redman Triathlon, Inc.
91F / 33C
= 14h 29m 36s
= M 30-34
Age Group Rank
We got out of town about 6pm Thursday night after Shannon's parents showed up to take care of the boys. They were going to take them to school on Friday and then take them to Keller for the weekend. I checked, re-checked, and checked my stuff again. Then we were off.
We drove up to Sherman and ate at Johnny Carino's. Ate at the bar so I could see what I hoped would be a good A&M-Miami game. Instead it was a terrible game and some dude was smoking like a chimney. Our food took forever. I think it was because they put the sauce on Shannon's pasta and realized it right before bringing it out. So Shannon ended up getting hers for free. Meh. Seems like 1/2 the time we eat out somewhere we get something free.
Then we headed to Gainesville on 82 and up 35 to OKC. We got into OKC about 10pm. Found the hotel without too much trouble and got checked in lickity split. Finally got ready for bed around 11.
Had an alarm set for 7:15 so we could get over to the prerace swim. Of course we were both awake by 6:30. We found the lake really easily. It was only one exit up from the hotel. The wind was ferocious. It was whitecapping like crazy. Shannon wasn't too keen on swimming, but once we got in the water she felt better. They didn't have the buoys up yet, so I just swam towards a tower on the dam at the end of the lake, then headed back.
After getting out of our wetsuits and taking a few pictures, I got on my bike for a short spin on the dam. Wind was definitely going to be a factor.
Then we headed to Madison's Pancake House next to our hotel for breakfast. Got some pecan pancakes and hashbrowns. Yum. In retrospect, we probably should have eaten breakfast before the swim. We didn't finish until close to 10.
After breakfast, we headed to Target to get a couple of last minute items. Then we headed back to the hotel for a nap. About 1:30 we got up and tried to find something to eat. Ended up getting some energy bars because we still weren't hungry for much. Headed back to the hotel and ran into Mike and Dorothy, who swim Masters with me at Lifetime. They were checking in, getting ready for the half. Talked with them for a little while, then we went back to the room, where I spent a little time re-checking my stuff. I'm so OCD.
Mom and Dad showed up to the hotel about 4:00. After getting them checked in, it was off to the race site for packet pickup, gear check-in, and prerace meeting. It didn't take any time at all to get this done, maybe 15 minutes. I had expected an hour. So we had lots of free time to sit and people watch. Prerace meeting started at 6 and ended about 6:45. Got a call from John
) and Laurie
) that they would just meet us for dinner due to traffic.
We had dinner at Macaroni Grill, which was good. Familiar food and lots of water. Did spaghetti, tomato basil, grilled chicken, and garlic. Probably 2 loaves of bread all to myself. Yum.
Surprisingly had no trouble getting to bed. Fell asleep about 10:30. Unfortunately I was awake by 3. Laid around till 4:30, then got up and took a shower. Had a bottle of water, a clif bar, an Ensure, and a 5 Hr energy. John and Laurie met us in the parking lot, then we were off...with a short pit stop at 7-11 for them to get some coffee.
Hit the race site around 5:15. Did the usual body marking, checked on my bike, loaded my Infinit into my aerobottle. Nothing major. Checked the name of the athlete racked next to me and it was none other than BT's own Shermbelle
). Pretty cool. Then it was time for portajohn trip #1. And who is there but Danny
), getting ready for the half. Crazy.
One last trip into transition and I see Dave, my swim coach, heading into transition. Then I found Robyn
), who was getting ready for the half. One more trip to the john, posed for a few pictures, and got my wetsuit on my legs. Then it was time for a kiss goodbye for Shannon. Gotta go do a race.
Waded out to waist deep, pulled up my wetsuit. Robyn helped me zip up from the other side of the fence. Eerily calm, I step out into the water and floated on my back until the gun went off.
1h 28m 55s
02m 18s / 100 meters
Washing machine? Nope. This was the easiest start to a OW swim I've ever had. No panic, just an easy start and straight into bilateral breathing. I thought I had a good line to the first buoy, but I was looking at the wrong one. Oops. That was the theme of the day...sighting. It was bad.
After the first turnaround, we started getting slapped by waves. That was something I wasn't used to. Pool swimming doesn't train you for that. Breathing was tougher on the way back. I'm proud that I never felt like I wanted to quit, especially when I started the 2nd lap.
Sighting was really bad at that point. A couple of times I almost had head on collisions with folks who were going the other direction. So at least I wasn't the only one who was off target.
Tried to draft a few times, but the water was a little too murky. Every time I saw someone I would try to stay with them, but I couldn't find them. I was pretty much on my own.
Finally hit the last buoy and the ramp. At least I was able to go straight on the homestretch. Was a little dissappointed with my time, but there wasn't a thing I could do about it. It was what it was. Looking at the rankings, it was my best event of the day. Crazy.
What would you do differently?:
My T1 bag was waiting on me when I got into the tent. Turned on my Garmin while I dried my feet off and Body Glided them. Meanwhile, a volunteer was spraying sunscreen on my back, even getting the holes in the mesh part on my jersey.
Went out and grabbed my bike, ready to roll. Started the Garmin, hopped on, and off I...uh oh. Left shoe got caught. If it had been a movie, you would have heard dramatic music building up to a crescendo, followed by the sound of the needle coming off the record player. Not sure what that's called or how to spell it, but you get the idea. Rearrrrrr.
"One second!" I yelled. Had to take the shoe off the pedal and put it on. Oops. I'm sure I looked like a complete buffoon. Who cares?
What would you do differently?:
Um...not get my shoes caught?
7h 09m 31s
Wow, where to start? You ever have one of those workouts where your legs just feel like crap from the start? Where you have a 30 mile ride planned and you end up doing 15 before calling it a wash? This was one of those days. Even with the tailwind, I was just over 17 mph to start with. Granted, that was keeping it in Z1, but still...I had no mojo. And I was having all kinds of trouble keeping my HR down. It was very annoying to pedal for less than a minute before Myrtle
(that's the name I gave Shannon's Garmin
) started beeping at me.
The volunteers were wonderful. Every intersection and exit was controlled in town. Once we got out of town there were fewer volunteers, but they were all still rocking and rolling. Aid stations were every 10 miles and were great.
The tail wind on the Northbound trek became a headwind when I turned West on Waterloo. Here the road wasn't quite as good, but it wasn't any different from what I've been riding on the past few months. But the wind was killing me. Having to coast to get my HR down while going into a headwind was not cool.
Finally hit the 28 mile mark and had a nice tailwind for 14 miles. That helped, but it always seems like a tailwind never helps as much as a headwind hurts. When I turned South and into the wind again, it was the same old game. HR jump, coast, pedal, HR jump, coast, pedal. Not much fun.
My nutrition plan the first lap was fine. I had my 3 1/2 hour aerobottle with Infinit that I finished right when I hit the 56 mile turnaround, and I grabbed a bottle of water at each aid station. It was nice to hit the turnaround, but I wasn't looking forward to another lap. Saw my folks, then Shannon, John, and Laurie as I turned around and headed to Special Needs and lap 2.
A volunteer held my bike while I went to the bathroom. First time I had done it since before the swim, so this took a while. When I got back they had already topped off my aerobottle with my Infinit refill and had gotten me a fresh bottle of water. I had a Clif bar in my bag, but it sounded terrible. I was hot and tired. The thought of eating one of those made me gag. Grabbed my Double Latte Powergel for mile 75
(where I would usually hit a lull in training
) and headed out for lap 2.
The volunteers were still yelling their heads off when I went past them. Then I hit the major intersection where there were 4 police and 2 volunteers helping direct traffic. I noticed a Suburban had pulled up and was trying to turn into my lane. The cops were motioning for her to stop and were blowing their whistles, so I figured she would notice. She was even looking directly at them and nodding. But she just kept easing into the lane trying to turn, right when I was going to pass her. Finally a cop ran right in front of her car with both hands up, yelling at her. I ended up about 2 feet away from getting hit. Moron. She was getting a nice chewing out while I rolled away.
I braced myself for the headwind again when I turned West again, but it wasn't as bad this time. Took a pit stop at mile 76. Had to go again. Guess I cracked the seal the first time I went. Unfortunately, when the volunteer grabbed my bike, a bunch of my Infinit must have spilled out. Stupid Aerobottle. One of these days they are going to design an actual lid for that piece of junk. Anyway, that would be a factor later.
It started getting really hot in the john, so I tried to go as fast as I could. Got back on the bike, did my Gel to get the caffeine buzz going, and took a big swig of water. Not 2 miles later I hit a bump and launched my water bottle. No place to stop - in the middle of a hill, so I just kept going. That's when I noticed my Aerobottle was low. Not cool. I was 30-something miles away from the finish and I had nothing to drink or eat. Ouch. At least I could make it to the aid station at the turnaround. I still had some Infinit left, wasn't sure how much. So I could water it down and still get some calories.
Grabbed some water and filled up the Aerobottle, and grabbed another bottle of water. Turned out that I barely had any Infinit left. To top things off, the reason that the headwind I had been expecting wasn't so bad was because it was a tailwind. Now I was facing the worst wind of the day, a constant 20-25 mph from the southwest during the hotest part of the day...for the next 28 miles. Fun.
So now I'm barely plugging along, trying to keep my HR in check. "This sucks," I said to myself. It was all I could do not to just mash through it and ignore my HR, but I reminded myself I still had a little thing I like to call a "marathon" to go. I was in my small ring, smallest gear, spinning at a whopping 90 RPMs and could barely stay in Zone 2.
By mile 88 I was getting dizzy and tired. I was getting close to passing out and a DNF. My shorts were completely white. I was doing whatever I could to keep my mind in the game. Anything. I whistled. I hummed. I quoted movies. I told jokes. I did multiplication tables. That's right...I did math. 9X9 is 81. 81x81 is....6561. OK, stay with me brain.
It was at this point that I knew all my time goals were gone. 13 hours? Nope. Not happening. Sub 6:30 on the bike? No way. But then I remembered the last thing I wrote on my race plan: "YOUR TIME DOESN'T MEAN SQUAT. FINISHING DOES."
Remembering that helped. I quit worrying about a number and remembered to have fun. I finally made it to the next aid station. It was great. Went to the john again, and got some more sunscreen. I ate 2 bananas and an entire package of Endorolytes, chasing it with a 20oz bottle of water. I went ahead and slurped up the rest of my Aerobottle, then filled it with water. Then I grabbed a bottle of Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance. Yuck. I hate that stuff, but it was all there was. I probably stayed at the aid station for 10 minutes. Once I felt like I could think clearly, off I went. Just 20 more miles. Just 20 more miles.
The wind stayed strong, but at least the weather slowly started to cool off. I made the turn South and the wind wasn't too bad. Think it had shifted to straight out of the West. That's what I told myself anyway. Stopped again with 10 miles to go for another bathroom break, water refill, more nasty Gatorade, and to turn on Mr Turtle
(my Garmin that I would use on the run
). This aid station had a bunch of Jr High-aged kids helping. They were very excited to be helping me out, so that was a nice boost.
Off I went for the last 10 miles. I finally started feeling good again. Probably because I was having fun. I yelled thanks to all the volunteers and police and they replied with all kinds of encouragement. Once I hit the dam I felt incredible relief. I had ridden slower than pretty much any training ride in the last year in my goal race for the year; moving speed was barely over 16, and I didn't care. I was off the bike.
What would you do differently?:
Control my HR better. I never had any trouble with my HR during training, except that I never could keep it as high up as I wanted it. With this ride, I could never keep it low enough.
Robyn chased me into the transition area to get some pictures. I managed a muscle flex, but that was about it.
A volunteer had my bag ready for me. Body glided my feet, switched Garmins, put on socks and shoes, grabbed my hat, and re-sunscreened. Just a walk in the park to go now. Let's see how that bad Achilles holds up.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. Took my time.
5h 37m 59s
12m 54s min/mile
This was the part that I expected to be slow. Not having run much in the 2 months before the race, I knew my run fitness wasn't going to be there. I just concentrated on having fun and encouraging the people I met, passed, or that passed me. There was all kinds of chalk writing on the course, but it was easy to pick out which ones were for me, even the ones that didn't have my name...."Dude, that thing is huge" was quickly followed by "That's what SHE said." Nice.
They were very smart at the aid stations. Instead of giving you a cup of water that you would spill all over yourself, they had little 8 oz bottles of water. Those were perfect. I would sip on a bottle from station to station, and then I would refill. On the first lap, I kept to my plan of 2 gels and 2 salt pills per hour.
Kept my HR in Zone 2 the first 10 miles and felt really good. So good that I think I annoyed a lot of people. I wanted to have fun, and I wanted everyone else to have fun too. I passed one guy and told him a joke - the one about the horse that walks into a bar - and I think he wanted to hit me. He was completely humorless.
For anyone considering any Ironman
(or any kind of race that you set as your goal race for the year
), please remember this: You train too hard and put in too much time for this thing not to enjoy it. Have fun!
On the other hand, there was one guy who really played along.
Me: "Having fun yet?"
Him: "Oh yeah, you?"
Me: "Wyatt, I am rolling."
Him: "Tombstone. Nice. Keep it up!"
Me: "That's what SHE said!"
Him: "You're hilarious man! Go get 'em."
The aid stations were wonderful. They had someone 30 yards or so away from each of them on either side with a walkie talkie. They would ask you what you wanted and relay that to the aid station so you didn't have to wait. I was in no hurry. I stopped at each of them on the first loop even when I didn't need anything more than a bottle of water. My favorite station of the day had to be the one with the 2 TVs. One of them had OSU-Texas Tech, the other had USC-UW. And beer. I politely passed though.
There was one guy on the course at several different spots with his daughter. He would stay in one place for a while, then he would hop in his truck and go to another spot. He must have been watching someone in particular. I asked him if he was stalking me. It was good to have something to focus on. Where would I see him next? Kept me moving.
When I hit mile 10, my plan allowed me to run in Z3. I just didn't have it in me. My legs were shot. I just kept the same pace and kept moving. I passed by the pub that I remembered on the way out. Mom and Dad were right there cheering me on. Next thing I knew I saw Shannon, John, Laurie, and Robyn, and I was at the turnaround. It was kind of cruel to pass the finish line, but at least I got to sit down for a few minutes.
A volunteer already had my bag waiting for me. While I was changing socks, she helped open up my packet of Biofreeze. I didn't ask her to rub it on my legs, but if asked, I had the feeling she would have. I refilled my Gels, but I was already tired of them. From then on, I was going to try whatever was on the course.
I managed to jog the first half mile of lap 2, but then I had to walk. I remembered what Dave had said about walking the entire marathon in one of his Ironmans. No shame in that. Just keep moving and don't quit. That's the secret.
I stopped at every aid station and tried what they had to offer. I was craving some solid food. At the first I tried some potatoes. Not bad. At the second station, I stopped to go to the bathroom again. Had to wait as someone was already in it. Decided to stretch and chill out. After that I looked over the menu. They had pickles, but I didn't feel like eating one. Instead, I had them pour me a large cup of pickle juice straight from the jar. They thought I was either kidding or delirious, but they did it. I chugged it. "Thank you sir, may I have another!" Whoo!
At this point it was dark on the course and I was walking in the moonlight. "That's no moon, it's a space station," I told someone. I completely lost them on that one I think. The dark stretches between the aid stations were pretty lonely. Around mile 18, I saw a car pull up in the marina parking lot next to the course. Out popped two shapes I'm used to seeing in low light - Mike and Dorothy. They were driving around trying to find me. Had a few laughs with them about how tired I was and if they would give me a lift. Told them their turn would come in 2 months
(they're doing IMFL
). Dave was out looking for me too. He got out and talked to me for a minute, telling me my pace was looking strong. He's a good liar.
After that I managed to jog half a mile to the football station. They had PB&J. Yummy. Then I caught up with a guy from Little Rock who was doing his 2nd lap and his first IM. We walked together to the turnaround, swapping race stories. That's when I noticed I had stopped sweating completely, but I was hot. Not good. Don't want to end up in the medical tent. At the halfway point, I got some Coke - the REAL stuf, no diet - a bottle of water and 4 Endurolytes. No dehydration tonight!
The sugar and caffeine from the Coke was awesome. It sat really well in my stomach. One good belch and I was good to go. Told Dean I was going to try to run a little bit. He wished me luck, as he was more shot than I was.
From then on, I would get the same thing at the aid stations. Coke, water, salt. It was fun. Dave had told me I would get my energy back and he was right. I was doing 11 minute miles, but I swear it felt like I was doing sub 7. Got my own glow stick at the football aid station. One more check of scores, and I took off to the next one.
With 3 miles to go I had to go to the john again. Bad. Wasn't sure I was going to make it. I almost went off into the woods, but I made it. The head volunteer was great. He had my stuff waiting on me and said "If I'm not mistaken, you only have about 2.5 miles to go!" I joked with him that I might just do another lap for a cooldown. Not.
The rest is a blur. I remember seeing Mom and Laurie right before the finish turn. I told the volunteers at the turn that I was turning left and there wasn't anything they could do to stop me. The next thing I knew I was on a red carpet with bright lights on me. I heard my name and saw the clock. 14:29:something. Whew. Long stinking day is done. I am an Ironman. Where's my cheeseburger?
What would you do differently?:
Training - Not have achilles issues that prevent me from running anything longer than 3 or 4 miles for the 2 months prior to the race? Luckily it didn't hurt during the run.
Race - Start taking in Coke as soon as I started my 2nd lap. That stuff was incredible.
No finish line collapse for me. I felt good. Very dirty and stinky, but good. Chugged a bottle of water and got my shoes off. Between pictures I stretched.
After changing clothes I went to the massage table. Ahhh. Simply awesome.
Then off to the Cheesecake Factory with Shannon, John, Laurie, and Robyn for a Double BBQ Bacon Cheesburger and a piece of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake, plus more Seinfeld quotes than you can shake a stick at.
Big thanks to all of them for hanging out all day, and for Shannon putting up with me training like it was going out of style for 4 months. Love you babe.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Sighting on the swim.
No energy on the bike.
Lack of run fitness.
This was just an incredible race. I've never seen better, more enthusiatic, helpful volunteers. They made the race what it was.
I don't know if I'll ever do another Ironman, but if I do, I don't know how it could top this experience. Redman really knows how to listen and respond to the needs of the age group athlete.
Last updated: 2006-10-30 12:00 AM
01:28:55 | 3862 meters | 02m 18s / 100meters
Orca Predator 2 Sleeveless
Very slim rectangular course. Full did 2 loops, half did 1.
75F / 24C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:09:31 | 112 miles | 15.65 mile/hr
First 40 miles: 2:19:55, HR 141 Second 40 miles: 2:30:15, HR 144 Last 32 miles: 2:18:53, HR 145 Course splits: 28 miles: 1:37:04 56 miles: 1:44:48 84 miles: 1:43:27 112 miles: 2:05:10
Strong with gusts
The course went west across the Lake Hefner Dam, then due North to the 14 mile mark, then due west to the 28 mile mark and back. 2 loops for the full.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:37:59 | 26.2 miles | 12m 54s min/mile
First 10 miles: 1:48:23, HR 158 Next 10 miles: 2:29:49, HR 137 Last 6.2 miles: 1:31:46, HR 139 Course splits: 6.6 miles: 1:08:08 13.1 miles: 1:16:24 19.9 miles: 1:48:42 26.2 miles: 1:25:41
Flat out and back on the park trail by the lake.
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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