Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
CAPRI Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 07m 35s
Overall Rank = 1017/1764
Age Group = 30 -34
Age Group Rank = 134/257
Pre-race routine:

Had dinner the night before with my family. At the end of dinner, Jen handed ma a book she made. She got all of my friends and family to write inspirational messages to me and printed them all in a book with their photos. That was great.

Woke up at 4:30. Ate a yogurt and bagel. Jen drove me down to the start area, and hung out with me while I set up my transition area. I was in transition by 6:00. I guess that was early enough for my 8:20 start.

Here were my goals for the race:
Swim - 00:35:00
Bike - 3:00:00 (18.66 mph)
Run - 2:00:00 (9:09 min/mile)
T1 + T2 - 00:10:00
Total - 5:45:00
I know this is ambitious, and really wanted to finish sub 6:00:00.
This is my first HIM and 3rd triathlon.
Event warmup:

1.2 mile walk on the beach to the swim start.
  • 33m 40s
  • 2310 yards
  • 01m 28s / 100 yards

Started out near the front. Got stuck right between 2 guys for about 3 minutes. They were right next to me, kind of pinching me in the middle. After I got away from them, I started to cruise. The waves started to get bigger, and that only made it faster.
Was my best swim ever.
I also used the porpoise dives at the end of the swim. That helped a lot.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 03m 49s

The porpoise dives at the end of the swim really worked. This is the first time I didn't get dizzy and fall over in transition.
I un-racked my bike before I put on my HRM strap and race belt. Had to re rack it to get those on.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. No big problems.
  • 2h 58m 26s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.83 mile/hr

So I'm flying along averaging about 22 mph. My goal on the bike was 18. I'm thinking, hey this is great! I'm really padding my time so I have a little room for slower times on the run. I did so many calculations in my head. I was calculating how easy it would be to meet my overall goal now that I was averaging 22 mph instead of 19.

Well, then we turned back to the west. The wind knocked me back down to reality. At that point, I stopped working on my acceptance speech. Luckily, I knew we didn't have too much farther to go westbound. Southbound couldn't possibly be this bad.

Well, Southbound was worse. I have been racing sailboats my whole life depending on the wind, and I can now say I hate the wind and wish it didn't exist. Blue Star Highway is the most God Aweful place on earth and if should be ripped up and closed down. I hate you Blue Star Highway.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I went pretty hard, and am happy about my pace. I just don't know how much that hurt my run. Possibly a lot.
Transition 2
  • 02m 21s

Good transition. No problems here.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 29m 19s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 24s  min/mile

Well, I didn't quite make my 9:09 pace goal. I think even on a perfect day, that was ambitious. Today, it was impossible. My legs were fried from the windy bike. I did a bit of walking. I walked all the uphills, and all aid stations. The last half I walked for 10 to 30 seconds every 3 to 4 minutes.

My legs really started to cramp up the last 3 or 4 miles. I could feel that any second a muscle would seize up. The last mile they would kind of pulse and harden up. luckily they didn't relly set into a full on cramp.

The second I crossed the line my right lef cramped up so bad I fell into the volunteer's arms. That was one miserable feeling. They brought me over to the tent and sat me down. After about 5 minutes I thought I was ok. As soon as I bent my knee it cramped up again. After about 5 more minutes I was able to get up and walk cramp free.
What would you do differently?:

I think a lot of the walking was mental. I was in pain, but I think I could have run through some of it. Sometimes it was just too easy to walk for a minute than to keep running through the pain.
Post race
Warm down:

none. couldn't move.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

wind and run fitness.

Event comments:

Volunteers were wonderful. Thought the race was organized very well. The rain after the finish took a little bit away from the experience, but overall, it was great.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-12-28 12:00 AM
00:33:40 | 2310 yards | 01m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 39/257
Overall: 390/1764
Performance: Good
33:40 included a 150 yd. run to the timing mat. Was out of the water under 33 min.
Suit: Full
Course: Straight shot from the Benton Harbor Pier to the transition area.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:49
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:58:26 | 56 miles | 18.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/257
Overall: 0/1764
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:21
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:29:19 | 13.1 miles | 11m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/257
Overall: 0/1764
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4