PrairieMan Half Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Grand Prairie, Texas
United States
Ironhead Race Productions
Total Time = 6h 11m 37s
Overall Rank = 94/215
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 10/21
Pre-race routine:

Maybe Gina is rubbing off on me, because this is going to be long. So brace yourselves. After all, it is my first HIM, and it's something I want to remember when I'm old in my 80's...and still racing! If you want the highlights, just look to the right.

We'll start with the night before. Headed with Gina over to Ken's house to catch him and his wife and kid as well as Aaron. Fresno State took texas a&m in triple overtime, and I wanted the upset because I bleed burnt orange and thoroughly take great satisfaction in watching the aggies suffer. But I was really upset because it was stalling the telecast of the Texas game. See Aaron is a TCU grad, and I'm a former Texas student (never graduated due to undisclosed reasons). No betting was involved, but you never want to see your team go down to the other team with opposing fans present. Ate some lasagna and salad. Big thanks to Ken's wife for the dinner. Watched the game while chatting about ultra events. My focus was more on the game, while I'm thinking everybody else was more focused on the conversation. Texas goes down early, and I'm a little excited because I'm finally focused and nervous about something other than the HIM tomorrow. This darn race has been tearing at me for a couple of days. Texas finally comes back to take tie the game, and we leave after the 3rd quarter. Catch the rest on the radio. And yes, Texas won!

Packed the bag after getting home. Tried to hit the sack around 10:30, but I knew it wouldn't work out. 11:30, still awake. Look at the clock again. 2:00. Still awake. Look at the clock again. 3:15. Still awake. I might've dozed between 3:15 and 4:00, but I'm really not sure. Once the alarm went off I jumped out of bed and practically ran to the bathroom. The excitement was unbearable. Today I would complete my first half-Iron. One more step towards the M-Dot. Grabbed a bagel with a little peanut butter, a banana, and a 32 oz gatorade. Measured out the perpetuem and mixed it in the blender. 6 scoops. Enough for 3 hours of riding, even though I knew I wouldn't take more than 3 hours. Filled up the water bottles. Filled up the gel flask. Grabbed my endurolytes. Gina was fast in getting ready. She had the real workout today. 22 miles of running after 20 yesterday! Could I have found a better girl? She offered to drive me, which I considered a blessing since I knew I would be in no shape to drive after the race. Wow, is this some foreshadowing!

Stop at a gas station, and the clerk is obviously bored out of his mind and wants to go home. Get me a coffee, and Gina gets some food for the day. Sip the coffee and it's ice cold. Spit it out and throw it away. Wait a couple of minutes for the clerk to brew some while I listen to him whine. I'm positive today dude, no negative vibes brother! So I try to cheer him up a bit. He gives the coffee to me for free, and I'm on my way.

Gina gets me there about around 5:30. Grab my gear and head to transition. Body marking as usual. Quite a few people here already. I think every rack has bikes on it but mine. Cool, I grab the end. Head to grab my chip, and there's Aaron. He provides some encouragement and hands me my chip. See the number 2116. I'm bib number 216. Question in my head what kind of odd numbering system there using, but the numbers 2,1, and 6 are there so I figure all is good. Grab some water. Find my mom, her friend, and Gina and chat for a second. Find Gary and Ken and chat with them for a few. Tommy comes over during this time. Head back to finish up may transition area. Go ahead and drop a couple endurolytes since it's about 30 minutes before race time. Head over and chat with mom and Gina and chat until I realize that transistion is closing and I'm still wearing khaki shorts and a t-shirt. Run into transition and Jack is hollering for everybody to get out. Change very quickly and head for the pre-race monologue.

I love the way Jack is such a stickler on time, yet when he is giving his pre-race speech it's ok for him to run over. Some guy even told him during his speech that he only had 3 or so minutes. And Jack is only on the swim! So we start late, but that's no big deal. Stomach is still turning, but I'm not to the point where I think I'm going to throw up like Friday afternoon. Turns out I'm in the last wave. So I'm going 11 minutes after the first. Good. Don't have to worry about getting caught from behind. That always kills my spirit. Once the waves start I find Ashley. Chat with her, which was good. She helped to calm me the nerves. Finally get in the water. It's about time.
Event warmup:

Missed out on warming up all together. I know Dave (my master's swim instructor) told me it's always good to at least swim 100 just to get a feel for the water. Should've done this, but forgot.
  • 46m 4s
  • 1930 meters
  • 02m 23s / 100 meters

And we're off! The waves were nice and thin, and amazingly I got little contact early, with the exception of me putting some girl in the headlock. Hmm, wrestling and swimming...probably not smart to mix. Learned not to say sorry long ago. Contact is just part of the experience. But other than this, it was smooth sailing. Find a person to draft off early, and end up reaching and touching toes for the first 300 meters probably. Feeling really good, and remembering not to overexert myself. Got to remember I'm in for a long day. Focus on good extension, deep pulling, and good hip rotation. Over and over again in my head, just keep highlighting these points. First yellow buoy comes pretty fast, and I corner it well. I lose my drafting partner here, but I feel I'm swimming pretty straight so I continue on. Finally decide to see what's going on, and I realize I'm lost and find my way swimming inside the triangle. As I look up the kayaker tells me to go left. Get back on track and find somebody to draft off again, but not for long. Still running the three points of emphasis through my head. Suddenly I realize my swim cap fell off. And the bad thing is I tie my goggles underneath it so that they stay extra tight. So I start getting leakage. Swim to a kayak and hang on for a second to recompose, while putting the swim cap and the goggles back on. About half way done now, and I feel just fine.

Continue on, and I'm starting to pass a few white and green caps. Hell yeah! Big time motivation. But I'm still having trouble seeing out of my goggles. Now I can feel my timing chip flapping a little bit. I stop, reach down, and tighten it up a bit just to be sure. Round the 2nd buoy and find somebody to draft off again. Stop sighting because I think I'm in good hands. Wrong! Eventually she stops, and I stop. Look up. I'm way off course! Like 100 meters possible off to the left! Shit! I tell her to follow me, and I take off. Before too long I can see shore, so use that as my target for the remainder. Keep on swimming until I can dig ground. Some guy grabs my arm to help me out of the water. I think it was Aaron's friend Jacob I briefly met at the Summer Solstice Duathlon I did at White Rock a few months back, but I could be mistaken. Head on in to T1, where my major blunder of the day occurs.
What would you do differently?:

Let's see. I wish I could find somebody to draft off the entire swim. And I like to think that putting my faith in the person in front of me for sighting would work, but that failed me here as well. I really believe I could swim this in around 2:00/100 meters if I swam straight. So sighting is the biggest concern.
Transition 1
  • 01m 34s

Tried to run a bit coming out of the lake, but I was a hair fatigued. Nothing serious though. Plus, there's quite a bit of traffic in front of me. I immediately see Gina, and that's when I decide I can at least jog. Somewhere in this time frame I make the huge mistake of stepping on a loose rock that gets lodged in my heel. I don't know it until later. All I know is that it hurts like hell running to the bike out of the lake.

Not too concerned about time here. Just wanting to make sure I remember everything. Grab my helmet first, then shades. Stick my gel flask in one pocket, endurolytes in the other. Race belt on, and away we go! Run with the bike, hop on, and get ready for the fun.
What would you do differently?:

Grab a broom and sweep away a path from the lake the the bike racks. This would've been a life saver! All in all, a solid T1.
  • 2h 45m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.28 mile/hr

Have a bit of trouble getting into the shoes, but I'm not too concerned about saving seconds here in a HIM so I take my time for the most part. Look at the HR monitor and it reads 175 or so. Crap! That's way too high. I haven't even started to get going yet! I think maybe my monitor was a little off from the swim or something. Jumps down to 155 within a couple of minutes. Little swig of perpetuem. Drop a couple of endurolytes. Water. And settle into aero.

I immediately realize that my aero bottle has lost one of it's rubber bands. So it's only hanging by one. What to do, what to do? Try to hold it for a second and realize there's no way I'm doing this for 56 miles. Stay steady. It appears to be hanging on fairly nicely, although it is wobbling alot. Decide to see what happens. I don't exactly have alot of options. Make my way out to the loop. Feeling good, but the HR is still a bit high at 155. Slow down to 17 while crossing the bridge to get it down to 150, as planned. Come up to a sharp right turn, and my fear came to reality. The aero bottle flies off. Consider turning around to grab it, but I know the perpetuem should've flown everywhere. So I don't bother and keep going. Maybe I can pick it up on the next loop? At least that way I'll save my 15 bucks, or how ever much it cost. Ok, backup plan. I still have my gel flask, but I'll need about 600 more calories for this ride. Guess I'll have to settle for the gatorade at the aid stations. I hate to do this, because that's so much fluid since every bottle of gatorade is 150 calories. And it leaves that nasty aftertaste. But I gotta get my calories for the run.

HR is doing ok. Staying in the low 150's for the most part. I was supposed to keep it in the high 140's, but I figured a few bpm wouldn't hurt too much. See Gina running about this point, and this provides a boost. Think to myself, I can't believe she is on the bike course! What is she going to do about nutrition? I tell myself she's smart, she'll figure it out. But who's that girl with her? I hope she knows she's in for a long day if she's going running with Gina. Back to riding. Grab the gatorade, and it goes pretty smoothly. Just point and grab. Good aid workers.

Eventually I get passed by the space cadets. I have no clue who these guys are, but they have those crazy cool helmets with the long points on the back. Looks like they're about ready for the mars mission. You could probably take one of those helmets and stab someone straight through their body. They are so sharp. But these guys are flying. Maybe it was Chris Legh? He went by too fast to really know!

Drop a couple more endurolytes after 45 minutes on the bike. Gel too. Backup plan seems to be doing just fine, although I feel like I've had a bit too much fluid. This continues until the 4th lap. Rather uneventful riding actually since it was fairly spaced out. Although I do find myself making lots of passes. Averaging about 21.0 as I start the 4th lap.

Come up to an intersection and the cop points right. Right I go. After a minute or so I get this eery feeling that I'm doing something wrong. This doesn't look familiar. But the cop said go right, so I think everythings fine. I look at my front tire more than the road anyways when I ride. Eventually I come to a road closed sign. Shit! I'm off course! Turn around and pound it back to the intersection. I'm guessing I lost about 5-6 minutes in this mistake. Yell at the cop that he directed me the wrong way, but hold my tongue after deciding that cursing at an officer of the law is probably not a good idea. Look at the HR. 166. Ok, calm down. You made a mistake, Clint, and it cost you some time. But you can't allow this to get out of hand. You've got to conserve for the run. Drop back into the low 150's.

As I make the turn to get back on the main road (Lakeridge?), I start to hammer. This was coach's instructions. Go ahead and let'er rip for the last 20-30 minutes. Then recover early in the run. He told me not to look at HR, but I couldn't help it. Mid 160's most of the way into T2. My LT was recently tested at 168, so I was pushing pretty hard. See the transition area, and unstrap for T2.
What would you do differently?:

I probably should've slowed down a bit and rode in the high 140's as directed. My avg HR for the ride was 153, and it would've been better for it to be 148 or so. Also, I should've probably paid more attention while riding. Making the wrong turn really frustrated me to no end.
Transition 2
  • 01m 50s

As I'm entering T2 I'm thinking to myself, you're so money baby! I feel like a million bucks! Ok, maybe 900,000. And suddenly. Disaster!!! Slide my left foot out of my shoes. Decide that I'm not wiping ass again like at RiverCities, so I unclip the right and just dismount normally. First step on my left foot, and AAAAHHHHH! Where did this pain come from?!?!? I can't put any pressure without pain. Walk the bike to my rack, rack it, take off my other shoe, and finally look at the bottom of my left foot. There's a rock in my heel! Where did this come from. Had to come from that painful run during T1. Ok, I'll just dig it out. Nope, this sucker is buried deep. I then see Ashley. My first thought is, hell yeah. Not trying to be arrogant here, but I knew she was in my swim wave, and if she got off the bike before I did, then she must've had a really strong performance. Then I think to tell her, I've got a rock in my foot. But she wouldn't understand, so I don't bother. Put on my running shoes and running cap. Take a few steps, and decide that the pain isn't quite as bad with shoes on as it was bare foot. This run is going to suck more than I've ever imagined now. Hell, I've never even ran 13.1 miles before. Now I've got to do it with a rock in my foot?!?! Should I quit? Oh man, should I quit? NO. I'm not quitting. Tell myself to be a man and tough it out. Here we go!
What would you do differently?:

I don't care. After I felt the sharp pain when my left foot hit the ground, I had no concerns at all about hurrying. Considering the circumstances, a sub 2 minute time ain't too shabby.
  • 2h 36m 19s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 56s  min/mile

See Gina within seconds, and I tell her I have a rock in my foot. Later she tells me she was thinking, "Well why don't you pull it out?" Hmm, if it were only that easy! Look at the HR. 177. What the hell??? Why so high? My HR monitor says I'm running somewhere around 9 minute miles. Ok, slow down to 10 minute miles. Gotta get the HR to 150ish.

Oh, this hurts like hell! Every step. Pain. Be tough. Fight through. See Aaron. Think to myself, don't look soft. I don't want people to see me down. Try to look normal. Give him a fist pump. Run by, and I hear him holler my name. Then he throws something. Oh crap, I dropped my endurolytes. Thanks if you read this Aaron. You didn't exactly save me from cramping as you already know, but your intentions were good. And you've got quite the cannon.

Make the loop and I'm still running 9-10 minute miles. Ok, I've got a couple of miles down. You're going to get through this Clint. Make it to the dam, and the pain becomes unbearable. I'm running on the balls of my feet to compensate for the impact of the heel. I decide to stop around 3 miles in to sit on the rail and try a little more to dig this rock out. No luck at all. Put the shoe back on and start running again.

At this point it's really starting to get hot. But it's tolerable. I'm a Texan dammit. We thrive in the heat! Mile 4 comes, and I stop again to sit at the rail. I'm determined to get this rock out. But still no luck. Try again at mile 5, and finally I decide it's hopeless.

I've been stopping at every aid station along the way for water. I dropped 2 more endurolytes at mile 5. Only 2 more with me now.

Mile 6. Just when I think it can't get any worse, it does. Left calf begins cramping. Ok, just a slight tweek. Nothing serious. This has happened before. Just never during a half-freakin-marathon! Stop and massage it a bit. Decide it would be best to drop the endurolytes at the next aid station. Make it to the turnaround (6.48 miles) at 1:06:xx. Ok, I'm hovering around 10 minute miles. Not bad considering I've stopped at every aid station to walk and get water down, and I've stopped three times to dig out the rock.

Mile 7. It's hell from here on out. Left calf cramps. Stop to massage. Start running. Cramps again. Massage. Walk about 10 seconds. Start running. Cramps again. Massage. Walk about 10 seconds. Start running. Are you getting the picture here? This is the endless cycle I faced from mile 7 on. I was so determined to keep running. Couldn't walk. The HR was around 155 mostly. I felt fine from an endurance standpoint. I know deep down in my heart that if I wasn't cramping I could've mustered out at least 9:30 miles. But I couldn't stop cramping. But running on the balls of my feet to compensate for the heel pain had just worn out my calves apparently.

By this point I've completely forgotten about the pain the rock was causing. Maybe my foot had gone numb? I just wanted the cramps to stop! Please stop! People are constantly asking me if I'm ok because I'm hobbling. Mile 9 some guy says he couldn't digest anything so he dropped his endurolytes at the next aid station. Sweet! Maybe those will be my savior. He said they were in a mint box. Get to the aid station after my run/hobble/walk mix. The guys at the aid station have no clue what I'm talking about. Just when I thought I was saved, my bubble is burst! But they have pretzels here. So I'm grabbing pretzels and sucking off the salt, praying that it will help. No help. I guess my calves were just worn to hell from my new running form.

Somewhere along mile 8 or 9 a few drops of rain come. I stretch out both arms, curl my hands hoping to bring more rain. Nope. No such luck. Some guy behind me makes a smartass comment, but I wasn't quite sure what he was saying. Didn't even care. Much bigger problems to deal with.

Mile 10 or 11. They are somewhat of a blur now. Some girl offers me her shot blocks. What a sweetheart! Devour all 6 of them, just hoping the salt will help finally. No good though.

Mile 12 we start to circle the loop near the lake. I hear several ooh's as spectators watch me hobble, trying my damndest to run. Circle the lake and I see the finish line! Oh thank heavens! But I have to make some funny loop and enter from the back side. I believe at this point some medical people see my struggles. Think to myself, "Don't let anybody see you down like this. No matter how bad the calves are cramping, you've got to cross that finish line like you're a man". I see David, and I think stay strong. Run strong. Don't let him see you down. I don't know if I fooled him or not, but I sure as hell tried. Then I finally see the finish line for real, and I do my best to run across. But I just can't do it. Cramps in both calves at the same time, and I'm thinking I'm about to hit the ground. Stop. Loosen a bit. Jog across the line. Only 2 steps across and the medical guys are in my face. I tell them I've been cramping since mile 7, nearly about 1 1/2 hours. Thank you God for giving me the strength to finish this race!
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. I wish I did. I had enough nutrition and 15 endurolytes I believe. I just can't help but think that the calves weren't due to nutrition but to me running funny because of the rock.

Just how in the world did I beat over 100 people in the run???
Post race
Warm down:

Great! I'm finishing my first HIM in the medical tent. They get me down on a stretcher and put ice on the calves. I tell them I have a rock in my foot. They ask, "When did you get it?" I reply, "In T1. I ran the entire run with it". So they get some tweezers and start digging. No luck. She calls over the EMT. He grabs some small scissors and starts cutting away at the surrounding skin. Still no luck. As I'm lying there Aaron is taking pictures. Great, just how I want to be seen. He did get me to crack a smile though. In the meantime I'm telling Gina how I really don't feel too tired. It's just the pain of the cramps and the rock. If the weren't there, I really feel like I could go run another 10 miles.

The med people then inform me that I'll need to go to the ER to get it out. Oh come on! I can take the pain. Just get the thing out! Needless to say, I end up in the ER.

They give me the paperwork for insurance purposes, and a downpour hits. Where was this rain when I was on the course?!?! Thank goodness Gina drove, because I was in no condition to do so. Hobble to transition and grab my bike. She packs all my soaked stuff for me and carries it to the car while I'm hobbling with the bike. Pack up. Off to the ER!

The rain is coming down hard. In fact, we hydroplane on the way there while water covered the windshield. I braced for impact I was so scared! Ha, I guess I could tell the ambulance I was heading for the ER anyways. How about you give me a ride?

We finally get to the ER, and it takes forever. For some reason they want to x-ray my foot. They say that sometimes in situations like this it can appear a rock is there when it is really not. Fine, whatever. Let's just get this thing rolling. I just finished a HIM, and Gina has ran 22 miles. Neither one of us really had much food today, and we're both starvin' like Marvin!

They decide it is in fact a rock. How stupid are these people? More waiting. Gina was growing impatient, I was fine because I was hungry, but at least I with Gina and watching football. Although I felt really stupid in the hospital wearing a tri-suit while we're both soaked from the rain in the ice chamber that was the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Hell, I feel stupid at a triathlon wearing spandex. Now I have to be in public!

They give me a shot to deaden the foot. If you've never received a shot in the foot, let me forewarn you. It hurts. It hurts alot. He then proceeds to pry the rock out. He asks me, so does it feel like it's out? No, I reply. Well it is, he says. Awesome! Let's get out of here so we can take a hot shower, eat like there's no tomorrow, and watch the Cowboys play over a few beers!

And that's what we proceeded to do. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

#1: poor sighting
#2: losing my perpetuem
#3: pushing a bit too hard on the bike
#4: taking wrong turns
#6: CRAMPS to no end

Event comments:

The experience of my first HIM is one I'll never forget. Especially now through this novel of a race report! Ironhead always puts on a good race, and I'll never have a second thought about signing up for one put on by Jack. What he did considering his accident last week is very admirable. While I came nowhere near my overall goal, I really believe I could've come across in the 5:40's had I not taken a wrong turn and had a normal, maybe even below average run. But this was really just a training day for the Longhorn HIM, and ultimately one more step on my way to becoming an IRONMAN.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-07-18 12:00 AM
00:46:04 | 1930 meters | 02m 23s / 100meters
Age Group: 17/21
Overall: 167/215
Performance: Average
Suit: TYR tri-shorts and sleeveless Zoot tri-top
Course: triangular, with the 2nd leg being the long stretch
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:34
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
02:45:41 | 56 miles | 20.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/21
Overall: 86/215
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: out to a 12 mile loop, make 4 loops, then back in
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:50
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Bad
02:36:19 | 13.1 miles | 11m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/21
Overall: 99/215
Performance: Bad
Course: out and back on this awful unshaded dam
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4