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Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
United States
88F / 31C
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 02m 40s
Overall Rank = 658/1000
Age Group = W40-44
Age Group Rank = 35/56
Pre-race routine:

Pre-race routine was a little different since this was a later wave start for me. Typically I set my alarm to take in my morning nutrition, then go back to sleep for a bit. Since I wasn't starting until close to 9am I didn't want to take in my nutrition too early, so I slammed a shake right before we walked out the door then choked down some gluten free banana bread on the way to the race. I had WAY more nervous energy than I usually do on race morning and I didn't like it. Not sure what the problem was, but the nutrition wasn't going down well at all. This should have been a signal of the GI issues to come later on. Got to the site nice and early, took my time setting up transition and was pleasantly surprised to see Wendy racked right next to me. Was so nice to see a friendly face! Once I was certain everything was in it's place, it was time to walk down to the water and relax.
Event warmup:

Got in the water and swam out to the turn buoy. Felt MUCH better than I did in the water on our practice swim Saturday. Spent about 15 minutes floating around and then went back to the beach. I still had another hour to wait for my wave! It was TORTURE!!! I got back in the water with about 20 minutes until my wave to I could re-acclimate to the water temp (which was nice). FINALLY, second to last wave, starting at nearly 9am....it was time to GO!!!
Swim
  • 47m 47s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 16s / 100 yards
Comments:

By the time it was finally our turn to start the wind had picked up substantially and the water got really choppy. I started toward the back in the middle and for some reason lost my wave right away. I don't know how I got so far behind, but at least the start was low contact because I was trying to get used to the chop. When we turned right and headed north we had the current with us and you could feel it....felt so smooth and like I was flying! Then we turned around. It was SO choppy and we were getting bounced around everywhere! I could hear/see people bailing around me and I just kept reminding myself to stay calm. Once I got back into a rhythm, I did fine, although I had to keep popping up to site more often than I would have liked. The current was so strong it kept pushing us inside the buoy line....over and over and over! The most frustrating thing was I really wanted to pee, but I couldn't get relaxed enough in the chop. I mean I was really, really frustrated about that! :) Finally got to last turn buoy and headed to shore, at which point I got absolutely NAILED by this woman kicking so hard. I have no idea why anyone feels the need to kick that hard in a wetsuit, but she absolutely clocked me. Even the lifeguard said "oh shit!" I chalked it up to good IM training and kept on going. Swam all the way until my fingers touched sand and was so glad the swim was over!
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. Really glad this was a fairly calm (me, not the water) and confident swim for me. I continue to be so slow in open water....I don't know why. Keep practicing, I guess?
Transition 1
  • 02m 22s
Comments:

Wetsuit strippers! So fun! Since I have never had a wetsuit stripper before I didn't know quite what to do, but she instructed me "suit over hips and sit down!" I sat down and it was off in a second. However, I wasn't crazy about the energy it took to sit down and get back up again, so not sure if it was worth it? After that my transition was just sloppy. Had to put some extra stuff in my pockets since it was a half and that flustered me and slowed me down. Given this was my highest AG ranking of the day though, I guess I didn't do that poorly?!!
What would you do differently?:

Focus. Go through this mentally in my head before the race. I just wasn't focused enough for some reason.
Bike
  • 3h 16m 40s
  • 56.3 miles
  • 17.18 mile/hr
Comments:

Started out going south into a fairly strong headwind....it was nice because it didn't feel THAT hot out yet. This was fairly scenic on nice roads right along the lake. We went a full 16 miles before making a turn! I, however, was struggling the whole time. I had the WORST stabbing pain in my gut. It was terrible. I couldn't get into aero comfortably, I didn't want my nutrition and I seriously considered throwing the bike aside and DNF'ing. But I calmed myself down, switched to pure water and electrolyte pills for a while, and hoped it would calm down. Around 1:30, I finally started to feel better...I was so thankful and that put me in a much better mood! I also took my first caffeine in four days (did a caffeine taper before the race) and I think that helped too. :) Legs started to settle in, I got back on my nutrition plan and started feeling so much better. From this point on, the bike was actually quite enjoyable. I handled the couple of good hills very well and had some fun on some moderate descents. I was smiling and thanking all of the volunteers. The last six miles on the lakeshore road headed back to transition were AWESOME. We had a tailwind at that point and the roads were smooth and it just felt great. Although I did notice it starting to get REALLY hot at that point and started pouring water down my back. All in all though, I was extremely pleased with my performance on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

I definitely held back somewhat on this bike because goal #1 was to have a decent run. I probably could have pushed a little harder, but am pleased with 17mph+ and feeling good at the end. I do have to figure out the gut discomfort at the beginning of the ride though. Not sure if it's taking in too much air/water during the swim? This has happened before too. If it happens during IM I am going to be in big trouble.
Transition 2
  • 03m 1s
Comments:

I was SO flustered during this transition, which led to a critical error (see run below). I think I was already getting a little dehydrated which led to a loss of focus and I just couldn't get my act together. Eventually I just got my shoes on, grabbed my hat, number and all of my gels and figured I could get myself together once on the course. I ran out of transition and dropped half my gels...had to go back. Not a good start.
What would you do differently?:

Again, focus. Too much stuff to remember and I hadn't rehearsed it well enough in advance.
Run
  • 2h 52m 48s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 11s  min/mile
Comments:

MISERY. I started out on the run juggling all of my stuff from transition and decided to walk about the first half mile to get the HR down and get myself settled. There were people walking everywhere. I have never started the run segment of a triathlon and seen so many people walking. This was about 1:15pm so it was absolutely blazing hot out. Not only was it hot, but the humidity was sky high. I shuffled along and started thinking about starting my nutrition plan when it dawned on me...."where are my electrolyte pills?" I didn't remember sticking them in my pocket. I dug through my pockets and realized it was true...I had forgotten my electrolytes in transition. DISASTER. How was I going to get through a half marathon in the middle of the afternoon of one of the hottest days of the year? The thought absolutely paralyzed me. I kind of shuffled along, but also stopped to walk a bit because I didn't want to overheat until I had a game plan. Got to the first aid station and asked if they had salt pills. NO. Okay, time to switch up the nutrition plan. I was planning to go with water, gel and electrolyte pills. But knowing I HAD to get some electrolytes, I decided to go with mostly just Gatorade and water. This became my routine at every aid station for the rest of the "run." A cup of Gatorade, half a cup of water (other half over the head) and ice down the sports bra. At about mile 3 Jonathan saw me and jogged over to my side of the road. We just stopped and talked for a couple of minutes while I stood in a sprinkler. He gave me his last electrolyte pill. That gave me a good boost and I ran for a bunch of miles 3/4/5 where there was some good shade too. We hit the hill at 6 and I walked it. Then we were out in the sun so I was running/walking every 1 or 2 minutes. This was a fartlek half marathon. Run through this shade. Run to the next stop sign. Run to the end of this road. I just stayed focused on moving forward. My attitude was incredible positive and although I was miserable, I actually felt "good" (I know that doesn't make any sense). When I was running I was running strong. It was kind of frustrating because the legs were there, but I just kept overheating too bad. We hit the bluff and that was rough, but I knew once we got up it that it was mostly downhill to the finish. It was also like running on the surface of the sun. There was not one inch of shade that last three miles or so. I found a friend on "Sunnypoint" and we helped each other run....to the next aid station, to the stop sign. It was good to have company. Then around 12 miles I started to experience major GI distress. Really? Now? I'm almost done! My body had just had enough. I knew the finish was near and just took off running. I rad down the hill, to the finish and straight to the porta john. I barely even stopped to get my medal! Very anti-climatic way to become a three-time half ironman.
What would you do differently?:

NOT FORGET MY ELECTROLYTE PILLS IN TRANSITION!!!! I really do think if I could have stuck to my nutrition plan that I would have been able to take another 15-20 minutes off this time. Ah, well. I'm still proud of myself for keeping it positive and actually trying to run, which was so hard to do when everyone else was walking Great mental training.
Post race
Warm down:

When my hubby wasn't cheering for me at the finish I knew that something was wrong. He is ALWAYS waiting for me at the finish. I started to panic and immediately went into the med tent where I found him laying on a cot getting an IV. :( It was not a nice sight. I made sure he was okay, but it was so hot in the med tent that I was not feeling so great myself. Went and sat in the huge ice bath they had next to the med tent...it was like a big kiddie pool for adults! So gross, but felt SO good! I probably sat in there for 15-20 minutes trying to cool myself down. It helped tremendously. Jonathan got released from the med tent and we got my stuff from transition and headed back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It goes without saying...heat and humidity. I felt like my fitness was there to be able to PR, but in those conditions it was just not meant to be. I am very happy with the way that I stayed the course and got it done. I was TERRIFIED of the heat and humidity. My body typically just does not react well to that kind of weather. But I proved to myself that I can handle it if I have a plan (AND DON'T FORGET MY ELECTROLYTES IN TRANSITION!!!). All in all, a fairly good day for me.

Event comments:

I can't say enough good things about this race (although I hesitate to because I'm afraid it will start selling out quickly every year!!!). It was a tough day and I NEVER felt I was in danger on that course. The organizers brought in so much extra fluid, ice and even sprinklers and dunk tanks for us. It was incredible. Where there wasn't an aid station, there was a local spectator offering up their hose. People were SO nice and SO accommodating. I can't wait to go back and do it again next year....hopefully under better conditions. I am seeking some revenge on that run course!




Last updated: 2011-07-18 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:47:47 | 2112 yards | 02m 16s / 100yards
Age Group: 37/56
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Average
Suit: BlueSeventy Sleeveless
Course: Swim out to turn bouy and take a right to head north for a bit....make a sharp turn and head back south to the last turn bouy and directly back into the shore. They had 40 buoys - every 50 yards - all numbered for us!
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
T1
Time: 02:22
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
03:16:40 | 56.3 miles | 17.18 mile/hr
Age Group: 41/56
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Headed south down the lakeshore to Sturgeon Bay and then a loop around the town and a tour around the agriculture of the area. A couple of challenging climbs up the bluff, some fun descents and back up the road by the lakeshore.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 03:01
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Bad
Running
02:52:48 | 13.1 miles | 13m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 36/56
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Below average
Course: Ran up to Egg Harbor, through the marina and back through a nice shaded area. Then up a big hill and down back through town. The up the infamous "Bluff" which dumps you onto about 3 miles of unshaded blacktop until you hit the downhill (and I do mean downhill) finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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] 5

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2011-07-18 7:23 PM

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Veteran
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Oak Park, IL
Subject: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course


2011-07-18 8:27 PM
in reply to: #3602779

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Expert
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Portland, OR
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Congrats on finishing such a TOUGH RACE!  I was out there spectating, and I felt miserable, so I can't imagine how the racers felt.  You showed a lot of courage just to get through it.  Everybody on that course yesterday should be darn proud of themselves for even attempting it!  Hopefully I will see you on the course next year!
2011-07-18 8:27 PM
in reply to: #3602779

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Regular
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Stoughton, WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Nice Work!  At least at IM we will have special needs bags where we can stuff the items we might forget in transition.  It was great to see you and I am glad your hubby was okay.  Are you doing any other training up here this summer?  I am doing Dairyland Dare and the Madison Open Water Swim with a course ride after. 
2011-07-18 9:23 PM
in reply to: #3602779

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Master
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
I'm impressed with your run time given the heat!! Last year I ran 85 percent of the race and this year maybe 10-15 percent. My body does not cool well in humidity. Awesome job on changing up the nutrition plan on the fly. You definately seem like you'll be more then ready for September.

2011-07-18 9:53 PM
in reply to: #3602779

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Extreme Veteran
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Racine WI
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course

Congrats on a good race.  Loved the narrative about getting kicked during the swim and the remark from the lifeguard.  Looks like we were similar in the GI issue world, but it sounds like you made the best of it.  Cindy and I are thinking of doing DC next year instead of Racine.  Maybe we should try to get a group together and make a weekend of it. 

2011-07-19 8:09 AM
in reply to: #3602779

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course

I'm proud of you, Jen.  I know that going into this race you were worried about the heat/humidity ... and while it became a huge factor in the race, you continuously kept re-evaluating the situation, figuring out the best course of action, and pressing forward.

And I totally get how you can both feel miserable AND feel strong when running... the attitude really can win out over any physical discomfort if you decide to not let it get in your head.

Way to go!

(btw, I think you Total Time at the top of the report might be wrong....)

(and with the way you talk about this race, it *almost* makes me want to do another half iron....)



2011-07-19 9:51 AM
in reply to: #3602779

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Master
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Congrats Jen on a great race in horrible conditions.  I'm sure the GI issues were from the heat.  I'm glad Jonathan is ok as well.  If I do another summer half I'm coming up to Door County.  It sounded so much better than Racine.  Congrats again.
2011-07-19 10:03 AM
in reply to: #3602779

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Veteran
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Oak Park, IL
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Thanks Laura!  Overall time was wrong....still wasn't quite with it when I did this last night!
2011-07-19 10:47 PM
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Expert
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Denver
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Great job Jen! What a tough race, but you figured out how to get through all the challenges. That will serve you well in the Ironman.
2011-07-21 10:15 AM
in reply to: #3602779

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Extreme Veteran
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Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Wow, it sounds like it was brutal out there. I can't believe you didn't get to start until 9 am. That is craziness, especially on such a hot day. It seems like maybe that's something the organizers should address in the future, but it does also sound like they do a great job overall. Almost makes me want to make the trek out there sometime. Nice job toughing it out - and you are right, this was great prep for IM!
2011-07-21 10:46 AM
in reply to: #3602779

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Champion
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Chicago
Silver member
Subject: RE: Door County Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Hey nice job out there. Sounds steamy!!! Congrats.


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