My first Triathlon
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Revolution3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman
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75F / 24C
= 6h 23m 58s
Age Group Rank
I travelled with my swimming buddy, Tom Hughes, to CT on Friday. He was doing the bike relay for Trakkers team member, Kelly
). Driving 15 hours in the rain took it's toll on my bike and the front brakes came loose. Bike checkin was the day before the race. I took my bike to the bike tech support. They kept it an hour and fixed the brakes and also pumped the tires to 100 psi. I went out for a 20 minute test ride, avoiding hills. Only way to avoid hills was to do 1/4 mile stretch near the race site over and over. LOL!
I worked the Trakkers booth, which kept me pretty busy. It was fun and people were really excited about it. BTW, my Trakker device worked for about 2 hours, so at 9:30 it stopped. That was right at the bottom of a valley, so cell coverage was probably non-existent there. Too bad.
Got to race site later than I like. Tried to pump up my tires to 140psi. But I had gotten short stem tubes, and could not get my CO2 cartridge to work with them. I actually let a little air out of one tire trying, and it was down to 80 psi. No time to go ask bike tech to help. Obsessed over this for a few minutes. Then decided I just had to let it go. No more short stems for me, tho!
Put the Trakkers device, which is like a pager, into my rear pocket of my tri suit.
01m 43s / 100 meters
It was a standing beach start. I usually get right out front for the swim start. But I posititioned myself back a little, because I knew this race was attracting all the hard core athletes, so I figured I was not one of the top swimmers like usual. That was a good call, I think I was in just the right place.
My goggles, which are brand new, started foggin up immediately. After a little while, I couldn't see anything, buoys or treeline, so stopped to rinse them out. That did the trick and could see clearly the rest of the way.
The Trakkers device felt very lumpy under the wetsuit, and bothered me, and I wondered if the pressure of the wetsuit would press the 'off' button. I obsessed over this for a while, because I wanted to be a team player and didn't want to disappoint my blog readers. Finally, I decided I would take the time check it at T1. Once I made that decision, I was able to forget about the device.
I had alot of trouble sighting. And I tend to veer right, so swam off course and was all by myself about 10 yards away from the pack. No chance of drafting. Once I rounded the first buoy, I again swam way out. Ditto on the 2nd buoy.
I was swimming moderately hard like I always do. I really only have one race pace, no matter what the distance. My lower back was tight and aching. I kept wanting the swim to be over. I kept wondering why I want to do an Ironman.
The water was beautiful and clean and clear with very little chop. There were also lots of little bubbles. I thought it looked like a carbonated beverage. lol! I thought what a shame I am not enjoying swimming in this beautiful water.
The temperature was really lovely. I thought 65 deg would feel cold, but it was perfect. I actually got a little warm near the end.
I kept thinking I was having a really bad swim performance. And the swim seemed to take forever and again, I just wanted it to be done. When I finally exited the water, I was floored to see my watch say 36 minutes.
What would you do differently?:
I need to learn to pace myself in the swim. I went too hard. Not sure if it hurt my race, but I feel sad that I didn't enjoy it.
Spent at least a minute checking on Trakkers device. Had to unvelcro back pocket, take out device, wait to make sure there were two green blinking lights, then put it back in. The final unit will be a watch, so this will not be an issue in the future. Again, I just wanted to be a team player!
Since I knew my T time was blown because of above, I kind of took my time for the rest of it. Meh.
Skipped drinking the boost and put it in my back pocket. I think going too hard in the swim made my stomach not want any food.
3h 19m 11s
I immediately had a splitting headache that stayed with me for 40 miles. It radiated down my face into my right jaw. I had this one other time during last year's Duke 1/2 race. I can't say that it slowed me down, but it sure took away the enjoyment of riding my bike. All I could think about was how much my head hurt. And why did it hurt? What did I do today and at last year's Duke 1/2 that gave me such a horrid migrane? I don't know.
I still didn't want to drink the Boost, so I poured it into my Aerobottle. That seemed okay. I had my computer set to show distance because I didn't want to see my pace. I was afraid I'd push too hard. My plan was to take a Gu every 10 miles, which should be about every 40 minutes. That went well.
I expected the bulk of the course to be about like Duke 1/2, with a couple long climbs. The course felt worse than the Duke 1/2. It seemed like all uphill rollers, no flats, and not enough downs to rest my legs. On each uphill, I chanted "steady eddie" in my head. Then I thought of my Trakkers teammate named Ed. lol!
There was one really fun fast descent that ended in a valley with a beautiful lake. "Bear Rock state park" or something. That was the only time I noticed the scenery. Very fun fast descent and I was really flying. Right after this descent, my friend Tom passed me. He was looking strong.
I knew the big long climb was about mile 23. So, I made sure to take a Gu at mile 20 and fill up my aero bottle with one of my spares. That left me with an empty bottle. I knew the hard climb started with a left turn. I eased off my pace to rest up for the climb ahead. Each left turn after mile 20, I kept thinking "okay, here it comes". Did that about four times until there was a water bottle handoff then I could see the climb starting. It was about mile 24, so I had gone easy for 4 miles. Probably overkill.
I dropped my empty water bottle and grabbed a fresh one. As I began the climb, I thought to myself, I really don't need this fresh water bottle. I already have 40 ounces with me. 20 extra ounces of water is more than 1 lbs. Why carry that up a mountain? So I ditched it.
I actually enjoyed that climb. I kept my HR in zone 3. I recalled my Uphill Grind 20 minute climbing simulations, and thought "Wow,this feels easier than those workouts". And it was easier. I really do like climbing! I would occasionally check my speed and it was 7-8mph. I felt good about that. After about 12 minutes, the climb leveled out to a false flat. I picked up my speed a bit. But I knew the climb was not over. Sure enough, rounding another corner, there was more of the mountain to climb. I just kept up my steady eddie pace. It was good.
There were some rollers beyond that climb, then the descent started. I pushed to get ahead of people there, so I could fly free down. I started flying fast, but the road was very twisty and turny, and there was a volunteer shouting something at me at one corner. I figured she was telling me to slow down because of a sharp turn, so I hit my brakes. The rest of that descent was like that...had to use my brakes to corner. So, that descent was not fun because I could not fly freely.
At mile 40, my headache subsided. I was extremely grateful, as I was not looking forward to running with a pounding head. At mile 45 the road was a long gradual down. That was nice, but I could see bikers in the oncoming lane. So, I knew I was also going to have to climb back up. I was worried about that, because I was actually getting tired of all the hills. Yes, it's true.
At the bottom of that slow descent, there was a turnaround. I had been playing leapfrog with a couple other bikers all day. I was tired of that game. I don't know why it bothers me, but it does. So, I hammered for a little bit to drop them. Never saw them again.
The last 5 miles, I started to have to pee really badly. I picked up the pace to bring it home, just to get to a potty break quicker. Near the very end, I tried to remember fast cadence for a good transition to the run. That helped.
What would you do differently?:
don't use short stems. they suck. figure out my headache problem.
T2 was smooth and fast. I wanted to hit the porta potty, but they were too far away, so I decided to hold it a bit longer.
2h 22m 3s
10m 50s min/mile
The first mile was a gentle downhill grade. That was nice. I focused on good posture and fast feet. I looked at my heart rate, which was in the 160's. That seemed too high. I wondered if I should ease up my pace. My breathing was controlled, and nothing hurt, so I kept it up. Before the first mile, I decided to duck into the woods for a pee break. There was poison ivy all around. I had already wasted precious seconds ducking in there, and had to go, so decided what the hell. It took me quite a while to empty my bladder. As I was peeing, a guy also stepped into the woods. I said "This spot's taken". He said "Sorry" and went over the other side of the trail for his business. It was funny.
At mile 1, my run time was 10:30. And that included a pee break. I was pleased. Mile 2 was less than 20 minutes, and mile 3 was less than 30. I was on pace. However, I also had been going down hill. There were runners coming up that hill on the opposite side, so I knew the final miles were going to be tough.
At mile 4, the hills just got ridiculous. Stupid hilly. Everybody was complaining about it. Everybody was just tired of hills. At that point I decided that I was sure that I would not make my goal of a pace of 10, and that I'd be happy with a pace of 11.
Even so, I kept trying to do my best. I didn't just give up and go slow. I kept up good running form, fast cadence and strong mental attitude. It was very hard. Many times I wanted to slack off. Take a walk break. Revert to slog mode. I didn't allow it. I just kept running.
At times I got a little emotional and choked up because I was happy that I was keeping myself together and keeping up a half way decent pace despite that the course was harder than expected. Getting all choked up made it hard to breathe, so I had to refocus that energy into my feet. That worked.
At mile 9, I had to go back up the hill I went down at the start. It didn't seem so bad. A woman with 46 on her leg passed me here. I watched her as she pulled away, and thought no way can I match her pace.
Mile 10 went right past the race site. I could see the finish line and hear the race announcer. That was cruel and unusual punishment. Then the course turned off for another 3 mies of rollers. I had trained for just those type of rollers and was pleased to have some nice running ahead of me, rather than more stupid hard hills. I was able to pick up my pace again. I did mile 11 at a pace of 9:30! I was very pleased that I had something left so late in the game. I'm usually dying by this point. Again I got choked up. Again I had to rechannel that energy into my feet.
When I saw the 13 mile marker, I started sprinting. I finished strong with a smile on my face. I heard my friend Tom call my name and he snapped my picture. As soon as I crossed the final timing mat, I broke down crying. I was so relieved that I didn't have to be strong any more. Then I saw some of my Trakkers teammates and got my emotions under control again. I got a race medal and a t-shirt. Lots of cool swag at this race!
What would you do differently?:
I think I did great on this run. Oh, and I used Gu Roctane for the bike and the run, every 30 minutes. It rocked!
Met my hero Natascha Badmann shortly after finishing. That made me start crying again. What a blubbering idiot! She was so sweet. She took 3rd place. Then I went down and soaked my legs in the cold lake water.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I thought alot about this race the days afterward. I did not make my goal of 10 min/mile on the run. I didn't make my goal of 17mph on the bike. I didn't make my overall time goal of 6:15. But the race was harder than I thought. So, was my time good? Did I push too hard on the swim? Did I push hard enough on the bike and on the run?
My place was 8th out of 15. That's not as good as I usually get. But the field of athletes at this race was a tough crowd. So, how I do I judge my own performance?
In the end, I decided that I did my best and I did do well. Most importantly, I kept up a strong mental effort until the very end. And... I actually got a PR for a half iron run split on the hardest course yet. So, it's all good.
This race was extremely well organized. For a first year event, and a new racing company, they did a fantastic job. There was nothing I needed while I was out on the course that wasn't taken care of. Except for the hills to be over. LOL!
Last updated: 2009-01-30 12:00 AM
00:36:20 | 2112 meters | 01m 43s / 100meters
150 avg bpm
Xterra Velocity Full
counterclockwise, one loop
65F / 18C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:19:11 | 56 miles | 16.87 mile/hr
147 avg bpm
Very hilly. Lots of rolling hills without much opportunity to rest. A couple good long climbs. A couple short steep climbs. One really twisty descent. Did I mention this bike course was hilly?
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:22:03 | 13.1 miles | 10m 50s min/mile
157 avg bpm
First 3 miles were easy, more down than up. Middle 7 miles were ridiculously hilly. Last 3 miles were nice rollers.
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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