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Ironman 70.3 Augusta - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Augusta, Georgia
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
78F / 26C
Overcast
Total Time = 4h 57m 52s
Overall Rank = 361/3335
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 24/188
Pre-race routine:

The bittersweet race report. Be warned, the possibility of much whining in the following is a real threat.

This year I had one goal in mind. To be around 4:30 at Ironman Augusta this year after having a good (for the situation at hand) race last year. Although there were complications leading up (especially earlier in the year) to race day, for the last couple of months I had been hitting very solid numbers in training... all pointing to a stronger showing than last year. My last couple of long runs in particular were promising.

I left out of TN on Friday morning with my mom. We arrived and I checked in at the Marriott fairly early. Here I made a very terrible error. After coming through check in I decided to have a look around the shop. A shirt caught my eye so I picked it up... unfortunately it was a FINISHER shirt. Holy crap. I dropped it quick, but I was already sweating it nonetheless. Stupid superstition. The rest of Friday was calm and easy.

Saturday my dad was coming down, but about halfway his car broke down! (30 cars on a car lot and he drives the one that has 300+ thousand miles on it) He decided he had had enough sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and returned home. I went over the bike a couple of times, checking (obsessively my mom would say) over my equipment making sure everything was 100% and then I checked my bike in. Afterwards a drive of the bike course and that was that. Dinner and in bed early.
Event warmup:

I woke up about 3:45 Sunday morning. I took my time with everything since I was in WAVE 20... starting at 8:48. No hurry. When I got to Transition that morning there was quite a bit of dew on the bike. I noticed the tape I had stuck to my trispoke to cover the valve hole was a bit loose, but figured it would stick or just fall off at the worst. All ready to rock and roll. I ended up in my wetsuit pretty early in the morning as it was noticeably cold (I had chills) standing there. We do some joking in the wave, and then it's go time.
Swim
  • 27m 26s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 18s / 100 yards
Comments:

Well, it's difficult to predict what I "wanted" to do. Last year my swim was pretty close to the same time, but with a stronger current. I had hoped that with similar current I would be closer to 24 minutes with the increase in swim speed I've had. That said, looking at the move in overall placing (almost 200 spots better) I assume that I was quicker, but the current was slower.

The swim itself was fairly uneventful. The beginning was pretty physical, moreso than usual. I never really found a good pair of feet to draft off of, and on a few occasions trying to find some nearly got me hurt... there were lots of different colored caps still floundering around ahead of us, so I would see a kick ahead of me and assume it was somebody in my wave, then have to get out of the way when I realized it was a slower swimmer from the waves before us kicking around. Finally I settled out by myself and the rest of the swim was uneventful. As I came up I saw my watch was at 28 minutes and I kind of had that sinking feeling that it was going to be a hard day at the office.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I need to continue to work on my swim and do a bit more open water swimming in practice. I am also going to try a sleeveless wetsuit in the future as I have had some issue with my shoulder plate and a full sleeve lately.
Transition 1
  • 03m 14s
Comments:

I came out of the water and had just a tad of vertigo. The long run went right by the strippers (who were empty) so I decided to give that a shot. It worked out pretty well, although I'm not convinced it was any faster than me just doing it myself... plus laying down didn't exactly help my sense of equilibrium. Then it was on to the bike. I ran it out of T1 and was involved in my first cluster**** of the day... the mount line. I ran it out another 15 or so feet before I hopped on the bike and took off, all the while trying to avoid the deadly swerves of those ahead of me.
What would you do differently?:

-Story of my life, skip the strippers.

Bike
  • 2h 28m 24s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.64 mile/hr
Comments:

Oh boy. Here is where my day takes a decided turn for the negative.
I come out onto the main highway in Augusta feeling good. There's plenty of people out here, but I expected that coming out of the water... just like last year. About half a mile in I hear an odd noise... kind of like a baseball card stuck in the spokes. I start to panic, thinking I've flatted, or that my derailleur is messed up. Despite the sound, the bike is working fine. Finally I notice that every time my front wheel is spinning around, something is slapping the fork. It takes me a minute until it dawns on me... that friggin tape! How it was not sticky enough to hold onto the side of the wheel, yet sticky enough to get stuck on the tire and slap the fork I will never know. It sounded BAD. Not just bad, but loud as well. I tried to pick it off, but couldn't get it off the tire (even after the race it took me some muscle to peel it off the tire) without risking digits in the spokes. Finally I just accepted the noise and tried to move on.

A few more miles in (about 10) I started to notice something... the crowds weren't thinning out. I would pass 5 or 6 people and another hundred foot there would be another "pack." Even worse, there was rampant "blocking" going on, so I was often having to attempt a pass 2 or 3 people wide. This was killing my time in Aero... as every time someone would pull out in front of me I'd have to brake and sit up and let them complete their pass before I could finish mine. My voice is cracked today from all the "on your left"s I had to repeat.

Here is where I lost it. My goal was Avg watts around 205, with np close to 215, not going above around 270 on hills. Well, as I would look down at my Joule I noticed I was running low (about 183w avg) and so I thought to myself "I'm fine." Well, yeah... if AV and NP were all that mattered I would have been. Unfortunately, I was spending a lot of time passing on hills, but at 300+ watts. I mean, when you are passing a line of 15 people, all you can really do is get past... but I was not cycling smart.

From mile 1 to mile 56 I was never out of a group, and never spent more than a couple of minutes at a time in aero... it was just too dangerous (for me) especially after seeing ambulances go flying by and a cyclist on the side of the road. I rode in the last few miles knowing that 4:30 wasn't happening.
What would you do differently?:

Not go off in Wave 20
Be more aggressive passing people
Be able to stay in aero :/

I made some mistakes (breaking my watt limit was a big one)
Transition 2
  • 02m 36s
Comments:

I hop off the bike (like a boss might I add)and head into transition. In the endless row of racks everyone has decided to hang their wetsuit by the side...generally covering the #'s on the signs. I run right by my rack before I realize it and have to do a little backtracking. D'oh.
I get my hat and shoes (and belt) on and head out the gates.
What would you do differently?:

Landmarks. Memorize them.
Run
  • 1h 56m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 52s  min/mile
Comments:

Just putting down the time it took me was embarrassing. I ran the same course nearly 13 minutes faster last year with a bum hamstring and in the blazing heat. My garmin did a great job of letting me know I was going to slowly every couple of minutes, and I very strongly considered throwing it in the trash... although I restrained myself. I saw my mom on the first loop and she had that "putting on my best face because I know you are getting crushed" look that just made me feel worse. I will say, this was probably the toughest run I've ever gutted out. It's really hard to dig deep when you know your race is already over.

I cruised into the finish line at 4:57:52... over 10 minutes slower than last year in much hotter conditions. To say I felt disappointed would be understatement of the century.
What would you do differently?:

Either learn to run or become a roadie.
Post race
Warm down:

I had a beer. Then I had a good choke up moment feeling sorry for myself. Then I put on my game face and went and hugged the family (mom & grandparents) and then went and cheered on some of the other people out there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

David called it "A bad day to have a bad day."

That sounds about right to me.

Being in Wave 20 didn't help me out IMO, but it didn't seem to hurt the other 24 guys that crushed me, so no excuses. HTFU and all that.

Event comments:

Augusta is a great place to go. My first year was awesome and the experience this year was great as well. It was also the biggest 70.3 Ever.




Last updated: 2012-07-01 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:27:26 | 2112 yards | 01m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 41/188
Overall: 665/3335
Performance: Average
Suit: De Soto T1
Course: Straight down the Savannah river.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding:
T1
Time: 03:14
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
02:28:24 | 56 miles | 22.64 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/188
Overall: 361/3335
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Out into Aiken SC. A pretty nice course with mostly flatland.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 02:36
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
01:56:12 | 13.1 miles | 08m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 24/188
Overall: 361/3335
Performance: Bad
Course: Out through Augusta downtown.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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] 4

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2012-10-02 9:26 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Augusta


2012-10-02 11:51 AM
in reply to: #4436618

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Nice race report....appreciate the honest write-up.  Sorry to hear about the bike/run combo.  The good news is that your bad day is a great day for most.  

You mentioned you tried to pull the tape off of your tri-spoke, so I'm assuming you stopped for this ;)  Plus, you spent 56 miles in and out of aero, and burning matches on passes above your power target. Given your thoughts on your favorable run training, do you think you that the bike portion set up a disappointing (for you) run?  Or was it just a bad day?  

Anyway, thanks for sharing. You'll crack 4:30 soon enough.

2012-10-02 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4436618

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Sorry you didn't hit your goal, but under 5 hrs is still a good race.  Your times on the swim and the bike were outstanding. 
2012-10-02 12:23 PM
in reply to: #4436618

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
That bike course was insane with all the traffic.  I felt like I was in a group ride.  Saw so many riders go in the left lane when they had no business being there.  And I feel your pain on the noise.  My Garmin started beeping with a full database about mile 30 and I couldn't get it to stop so I eventually just turned it off and rode by feel.  You still had a stellar bike time!
2012-10-02 12:24 PM
in reply to: #4436982

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
bdesotell - 2012-10-02 12:51 PM

Nice race report....appreciate the honest write-up.  Sorry to hear about the bike/run combo.  The good news is that your bad day is a great day for most.  

You mentioned you tried to pull the tape off of your tri-spoke, so I'm assuming you stopped for this  Plus, you spent 56 miles in and out of aero, and burning matches on passes above your power target. Given your thoughts on your favorable run training, do you think you that the bike portion set up a disappointing (for you) run?  Or was it just a bad day?  

Anyway, thanks for sharing. You'll crack 4:30 soon enough.

thanks :P

I didn't stop for the tape, It was actually caught on the middle of the tire (had fell off and then been run over i guess) so I did try to reach down and pull it off (unsuccessfully) but I wasn't willing to put my hand too far down there :P

I think really my run training had me set to run a 1:35-1:40 if I had a good day and things went right. Considering I expected to bike a 2:22 or so I thought that would be where I needed to be. (although with the swim time being different it probably still wouldn't have been)

On the day, I think part of my bad run was burning too much on the bike, but just as much the "fire" to want to run a hard (good) split to battle for 4:4x instead of 4:5x not being there. I didn't "give up" per se, but I couldn't really convince myself to *hurt* for a few minutes faster.

2012-10-02 1:15 PM
in reply to: #4437049

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Leegoocrap - 2012-10-02 1:24 PM 

thanks :P

I didn't stop for the tape, It was actually caught on the middle of the tire (had fell off and then been run over i guess) so I did try to reach down and pull it off (unsuccessfully) but I wasn't willing to put my hand too far down there :P

I think really my run training had me set to run a 1:35-1:40 if I had a good day and things went right. Considering I expected to bike a 2:22 or so I thought that would be where I needed to be. (although with the swim time being different it probably still wouldn't have been)

On the day, I think part of my bad run was burning too much on the bike, but just as much the "fire" to want to run a hard (good) split to battle for 4:4x instead of 4:5x not being there. I didn't "give up" per se, but I couldn't really convince myself to *hurt* for a few minutes faster.

Thanks Chris - valuable insight. Awesome to see you make the most of what the conditions and "fire" allowed. So the obvious question is, "What race is next?"

Brian



2012-10-02 1:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

I think I am done with A races for a while. I'm moving into the 30-34 AG and even if I had had a great day Sunday I still wouldn't have been competing with them, nor will I until I learn to run.

 

So I guess I'm saying for 2013 I'm not racing anything stressful. I'm taking the year to pile on run mileage and have fun.

2012-10-02 2:14 PM
in reply to: #4437246

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Master
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Tough day. Checked your progress a few times Sunday as I knew you had a good race last year and were hoping to improve on that. I've done nothing but olympics and sprints this year....not nearly the pressure of that "one big race". If it doesn't go well there's another race in a couple of weeks. Still, doesn't make things easier to swallow.

Randy   

2012-10-02 2:25 PM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

You are still a bada$$ triathlete to me!  Sub 5 is no joke!

And what the heck was with everyone mounting right at the mount line?  It looked like one the offensive line of the Steelers.  Like a good running back, I found a small gap and headed for it.  Mounted my bike about 15' past the cluster.

2012-10-02 3:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Leegoocrap - 2012-10-02 2:40 PM

So I guess I'm saying for 2013 I'm not racing anything stressful. I'm taking the year to pile on run mileage and have fun.

Pretty much my plan every year ;)  I'm in the 40-44AG, but maybe we'll end up at a "fun, low-stress" race next year together. I haven't laid out next year's races yet, so we'll see...

2012-10-02 6:19 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Chris, sorry to hear you didn't have the race you dreamed of, but sub 5 still rocks! You should still be proud for gutting it out and not throwing in the towel when thing weren't going your way. 

I know what you mean about aging up, I move to the 30-34 age group next year and I am already scared, those ladies are FAST!!!! 


2012-10-02 7:33 PM
in reply to: #4436618

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Chris, your bad day is 17 minutes better than my best day so far.. would've loved to see a sub 5 out there, but not this time (although i'm thinking now that I won't have many more chances with weather like this in the future)..

I was in wave 7 and although better, it was still very crowded.. they need to cap that race at something below 3000 people..

congrats again

Derek

2012-10-03 2:17 AM
in reply to: #4436618

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Thanks for the honest report.  It's these types of reports that I learn the most from, so thank you for sharing.

They can't all be good days...otherwise the good days wouldn't feel so good.  You'll bounce back.

I know you weren't able to ride aero for long stretches, but how did the tweaks in your position feel?

2012-10-03 6:51 AM
in reply to: #4438127

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
tri808 - 2012-10-03 3:17 AM

I know you weren't able to ride aero for long stretches, but how did the tweaks in your position feel?

When I was down, I was moving. I was ~ minute slower than last year but on similar equipment, but at almost 10 watts lower avg. Of course drafting probably didn't hurt either! :/

I'll just say the position was encouraging... one of the few good things about my bike ride Sunday.

2012-10-03 2:30 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Nice RR. Good job on a tough day! I know the feeling of not hitting your goal times and it sucks. Having said that, your a fast hombre' and you will have that A race in the future where it all clicks and you kill it!!

Cheers,

John

2012-10-04 8:46 AM
in reply to: #4438205

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

It looks like you were thinking too much...how many hot babes did you encounter in your A race.

Sub 5 is still my goal



2012-10-04 12:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta

You still a great race time.  Nice report.  I had the same problem passing people on the bike with the crowds and blocking. 

2012-10-10 11:31 AM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Good race report. You will learn from it and move on.  Enjoyed the read.  I can sympathize with feeling disappointed but you'll keep improving.  Experience goes a long way in this sport at those longer distances.
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