Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
CAPRI Events
Total Time = 6h 58m 37s
Overall Rank = 1633/1790
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 269/289
Pre-race routine:

First Triathlon or race of any kind. Didn't get to sleep until 12:30 or 1:00am. Woke up in hotel at 4:45am, put on clothes, ate Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Bagel, drank Diet Mt. Dew. Waited for 45 minutes on bridge trying to get to parking so was rushed when we got to the transition area.
Event warmup:

Didn't really have time. Got my stuff together, potty, put wetsuit halfway on and walked 1.2 miles down beach to swim start.
  • 48m 34s
  • 2310 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

I was pretty confident of the swim beforehand, even though I hadn't had much experience in open water. I had been told about panicking at the start from others and thought I was prepared. I wasn't. I panicked at the first turn and couldn't catch my breath. I had to tell myself to slow down and get into my stroke, even though it felt like people were flying by me. Had trouble navigating (sun, left goggle leaked a little) and turned for shore one buoy too soon - had to swim back out and around final buoy. Was mentally disappointed at my time when I came out of water.
What would you do differently?:

Swim more open water, especially Lake Michigan with swells. Also will wait and start in back of pack next time instead of middle. Total Immersion technique works great in pool, but I need to work on upper body strength more so I can pull harder in rougher water.
Transition 1
  • 09m 10s

Wasn't too concerned about this since it was my first. Just wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything.
What would you do differently?:

Work on having things laid out better so I can speed through this without forgetting something. Also wouldn't worry about trying to eat any in transition - I can do that on bike.
  • 3h 14m 44s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.25 mile/hr

I went into this phase trying to hold back something for the run. What I discovered is that my legs were tired anyway when I got done, so it didn't seem to matter. Also started getting stomach cramps toward the end.
What would you do differently?:

Push harder. I could have easily pushed it and been in the 18 to 18.5 range, saving a lot of time, and not been much worse off for the run. Also should have listened to my body instead of following set routine with the nutrition (I have hypoglycemia and was trying to make sure I was taking in enough calories). I overate and overdrank and paid for it on the run.
Transition 2
  • 08m 5s

Again, wasn't too concerned here being my first one. Wasn't feeling very good at this point, so I didn't rush it.
What would you do differently?:

Same as T1. Eat on run, not in transition.
  • 2h 38m 6s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 04s  min/mile

This is where I got frustrated. Ran first couple of miles, but stomach cramps were getting worse. Ended up having to run/walk the entire rest of the course trying to let my body catch up.
What would you do differently?:

Not eat so much on the bike and even on the run. Also need to train more bricks so I get use to the feeling of running when my legs are worn out instead of trying to save my legs on the bike - won't happen.
Post race
Warm down:

Plum, gatorade, sit down in chair for awhile. After about 1/2 hour I was feeling much better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I let bad swim start drag me down mentally instead of letting go of it and focusing on the rest of the race. Should have pushed the bike harder, especially since that's the stage I felt most prepared for. Listen to my body and don't eat/drink more than I should. Learn to run on tired legs (more bricks). As frustrating as it sounds, I learned so much from my first race experience that I can change to make it better next time.

Event comments:

Only real issues were parking in the morning (which made a lot of people scramble to get to their swim wave in time) and a few of the rough roads. Overall a great race, wonderful volunteers, and a good experience for my first race. The real successes were finishing and raising $4000 toward digging a clean water well in Africa through Team World Vision (which is why I did this in the first place). I'm looking forward to doing a few shorter triathlons during training next year, and then really racing the race at Steelhead.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-08-08 12:00 AM
00:48:34 | 2310 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/289
Overall: 0/1790
Performance: Bad
Course: Beach start, swim out to first buoy, make a hard right, swim parallel to beach for 1.2 miles, hard right at buoy and swim for shore.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 09:10
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:14:44 | 56 miles | 17.25 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/289
Overall: 0/1790
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: A little more hilly than I expected, but not bad. Some of the road surfaces were rougher than I expected.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 08:05
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:38:06 | 13.1 miles | 12m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/289
Overall: 0/1790
Performance: Bad
Course: Run out approx. 1.5 miles (steep hill in first mile), then run 2 loops through Whirlpool headquarters, then approx. 1.5 miles back to beach for finish. Other than first hill, nothing significant. Course on Whirlpool property would have been neat run if I'd been feeling better.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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