Tag Archives: triathlon

Eagleman 2011

This was my third, and what will be my last time at Eagleman. This was my most disappointing race and first Did Not Finish (DNF) of any race I’ve done. I think I’ve decided that I don’t race well in the extreme heat/humid so why keep doing it when I have plenty of other races in cooler weather to choose from?

Swim (40:00)

The swim was a non-event. It was a non wetsuit swim so I wasn’t expecting a low 30s swim but thought I might have been a few minutes faster, but all in all not to bad. I was 3 minutes faster then last years also non wetsuit swim, but it’s hard to compare times since it’s a river swim with varying current and chop. But I moved up a few places overall and in the AG compared to last year so the swim is getting better.

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The start had some contact and pushing but settled down quickly and I took a good line around to the first turn buoy. The water was very calm this year without much chop and I didn’t have any trouble sighting. After the first turn I started catching up to stranglers from the earlier waves and had to do some weaving but it wasn’t to bad.

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One thing about this year was the water was very shallow. In fact if you really wanted to you could have walked in the last leg of course. I choose to swim in most of the way and only start walking about 20 yards from the finish.

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T1 

Was quick without having to worry about getting a wetsuit off and I was on my way.

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Bike (2:29)

The bike was what I expected. I had three section according to my race plan. The first section was 10 mile to get the HR back down after the swim and settle into a good rhythm. This section went well and I was right on plan and average 22 mph.

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The next and longest section was a bump up in HR for the next 30 miles. I was trucking along for this section still feeling great and average 23.4 mph for the this section.

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The last part was another bump in HR for the last 16 miles. This section didn’t go as well as I couldn’t sustain the higher HR but was only a couple of BPMs below where I should be so I wasn’t to concerned. The speed dropped a bit down to 22.2 mph but that was more a result of riding into a headwind during a long stretch and being on some bumpier roads.

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What I’m more interested in is the drop of 30 watts average power during this section. I have noticed a lot of drift in the power #s during my longer training rides and I think something might be wrong with my powertap or could be an actual drop-off in power, but I find it hard to believe I averaged over 22mph on only 206 watts.

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T2

In and out quickly with no issues

Run

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This is where it all fell apart. On the bike I followed my nutrition plan just like I have been doing on my long rides and I’ve never had issues in the past. But I was a little worried how the run was going to turn out because around mile 50 I got a little cramp in my foot while biking but it managed to work itself out.

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The run started with heavy legs as expected but I started moving along at just under an 8 minute pace which was where I wanted to be at this point. I got through the first two miles fine and was starting to feel better until getting near the mile 2 aid station when my legs started to feel really tight in my hamstrings and both sides of my knees (IT band?).

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I slowed down to pick up some water and my legs locked up and cramped really badly on me. Remembering my med tent adventure from last year this had me really worried. I grabbed a banana and some Gatorade and kept walking for 2-3 minutes and my legs finally loosened up so I could start “running” again but now my stomach was mess. I made it two more miles before my stomach was on the verge of revolting and starting to cramp. My legs didn’t feel too bad and my HR wasn’t out of control but my stomach just wouldn’t let me run. I was reduced to running until my stomach wouldn’t let me and then walking until I could start running again. I did this until about 8 when my stomach just wouldn’t let me run anymore. I walked for the next 2 miles but I started to feel some cramps in my calves coming on so I made the decision to drop out of the race and end my day.

Post Race

Obviously I’m very disappointed in my race. I’ve done a number of 4 hour rides with race intensity for the last hour this spring and hopped off the bike to run sub 7 min per paces without feeling wiped out so I know I was in great shape for this race. It’s just tough that my body decided to quit on me today. This was especially disappointing because my run has been the most improved and consistent part of my races so far this year; I got off the bike in 15th place in my age group and really thought I was capable of running my way into the top 10. 

But after my med tent trip last year and disappointing race this year I think I have finally learned my lesson that I don’t race well in the heat and humidity and will not be back at Eagleman next year. I’m leaning towards doing Mooseman or maybe another race. I’m also going to stay away from heat and go to the other weather extreme and do what is sure to be a cold race at Ironman Poconos this October.

Kinetic Sprint 2011

Overall 1:20:32, 12th Overall, 2nd AG

I did this race last year and was able to take 6 minutes off that time which for a race this short is a huge improvement. Given the disappointment with the Rumpus race last month I am very happy and I think this race is a better indication of where my fitness is at and the improvements I’ve made.

PreRace

The lead up to the race went fine and traveling there was uneventful. I did have to deal with my bad case of poison ivy and infection, so I was coming off some antibiotics this week.

I got to the race site with plenty of time to spare and was able to take my time getting set up and get in the water for a good 10 minute warmup before the start of the race.

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Also, I used my brother’s wetsuit for this race which fits me much better then mine and I think made a big difference with the swim.

Swim (12:31, 5th AG, 47 Overall)

This swim was a triangular course with a beach start where everyone runs into the water at the horn.

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After the initial start everyone settled in and there wasn’t much contact at all. This time I did a much better job with my sighting and making sure my stroke didn’t sloppy. The swim was uneventful and 12 min later I was out of the water and ready to start the bike.

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T1 (1:51, 4 AG, 29 Overall)

Transition was a short run along the beach,

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and then a longer run along a path and up a little hill to all the bikes.

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Bike (46:20, 2nd AG, 14th Overall)

The bike course was 2 miles to get out of the park of and then a roughly 10 mile loop with some rolling hills down and around lake anna.

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Coming out of transition is a short hill which could make it difficult to get up to speed if you are in the wrong gear or tried to slip your feet into a shoes without enough speed. So I got up to speed and waited a while before slipping my feet into the shoes.

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It seems like I can never have a race without any technical issues. This time my Garmin decided to give me a message of “multiple HR monitors detected” and never started reading mine even when I was nowhere near anyone. Luckily my coach does my race plans as a combination of HR, watts, and effort level so I mainly focused on watts today.

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The first 5 miles of the ride was to get settled in at a moderately hard effort level and I was able to get 21 mph on 256 watts. The last 12 miles was at a hard effort level and I was trucking along at 23.8 mph on 270 watts.

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The bike felt like it went by in a flash. Being towards the front of the race the ride was a mix of passing people, riding by myself for a few miles, and then passing some more people.

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I’m also very happy about the weather holding off. The forecast was originally calling for rain and thunderstorms all day but thankfully it held off all morning and didn’t start until the afternoon.

T2 (0:46, 2nd AG, 11th Overall)

Another very quick T2. I went with the flying dismount coming into the transition area,

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And because the run was only 5k I decided to go sockless and save some time there. The only little fumble was I missed my shoe trying to put one foot in and had to reach down and adjust it, but overall it was very quick.

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Run (19:05, 3rd AG, 13th Overall)

The run was a loop with the first mile being uphill, an out and back section, and then downhill to the finish.

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Just like last race I am very happy with how my running is going. The hard work, and dropping the extra lbs has made a big difference. My race plan was basically broken into four parts, up the hill, to the turnaround, back, and then the downhill to the finish.

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The first part was to put in a solid effort going up the hill in the first mile and I was able to put in a 6:38 pace.

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Next was to ease off a bit and take advantage of the downhill to the turn around. I didn’t see anyone out of the course in the first mile but in this section I saw the leaders coming back from the turnaround and counted about 8 people in front of me but everyone was at least a minute up so I was unlikely to be catching anyone. I was able to run a 5:59 pace for this section.

The third part was to put in another hard effort going back uphill from the turnaround and I put in a 6:09 effort here, but I did get passed in this section. At the turnaround I saw two people about 15 seconds back. I knew that one of them was in my age group because I passed him in the last mile of the bike course and made it out of transition before him. I got passed just after the turnaround by the guy that wasn’t in my age group and he was running to fast to try and stay with.

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The last section was to go downhill to the finish as fast as comfortably possible. I just focused on keeping the guy that passed me in sight and making sure no one snuck up and caught me from behind and I managed a 5:44 pace here and just missed going sub 19 in a triathlon 5k.

Post Race

I managed to snag an age group podium and get an award. SetUp events usually does good awards but this was probably the best I’ve gotten so far.

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It was a bottle of lake Anna winery wine, a Setup Events water bottle, and an insulated bag which I think is intended for picnics.

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This was the last race before Eagleman so now it’s time to put in a solid month of training and getting ready for a solid race.

2011 Rumpuss in Bumpass Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Report

Overall 2:23:59 (11th AG, 60th Overall)

I’m bummed out about this race, the weather was bad so that had something to do with the results but I know I am capable of a much faster time than yesterday’s race. This was the third year I’ve done this race, and was 3 minutes slower then last year. The 2010 and 2009 reports are: here and here.

Heading into this race I didn’t exactly have an ideal taper. I was in Atlanta all week for work, flew home Friday afternoon and then woke up at 4:30 to drive to the race site.

The weather forecast all week did not look promising with some strong thunderstorms and heavy rains forecasts for race day. Fortunately the thunder held off until later in the afternoon but starting around 7 it rained most of the day in varying intensities. 

Swim 29:56 (17th AG, 106 Overall)

The race directors were keeping an eye on the forecast to decide if they would need to delay the start for lighting but with 15 minutes to go they gave the go ahead for an on time start, so I got in the water to do a 10 minute warmup.

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The water wasn’t horrible with a temp of 68 degrees but I decided to use a thick swim cap warmer underneath the regular cap they give out to keep some heat in and seemed to workout fine.

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My starting wave wasn’t very big so I lined up on the front line on the inside which looking back was probably a mistake. I wound up swimming the first leg of the triangular course mostly by myself with no feet to draft off of and added some extra distance getting to the first buoy.  

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During the second leg of the triangle the water started to get a bit choppy and I had trouble finding the next turn buoy and probably added some extra distance and again had no feet to draft off of, which turned out to be the theme of the swim.

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Coming back to shore on the third leg was fine, and I think I took a good line in but was still swimming on my own most the way.

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I got the dock and was very disappointed to see 29 minutes for my swim time. I knew I didn’t have a great swim but was really expecting to see 25-26 at worst. 29 minutes  for 1500 meters is a 1:50 per 100 yard pace and when I’m in the pool doing a long set or warmup I usually swim around a 1:40 per 100 yard pace. And in theory a wetsuit should give you a 10 sec per 100 yard time savings not a disadvantage, so I really don’t know what my problem was but it’s something I need to get fixed.    

T1 1:57 (13th AG, 76 Overall)

Because of the cold and rain I decided to wear a jacket but other than that it was a normal transition.

Run to bike while taking wetsuit top off:

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take off rest of wetsuit:

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put on coat:

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put on helmet:

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run out of transition area putting feet into bike shoes after getting up to speed:

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Bike 1:10:11 (17th AG, 111 Overall)

The bike course was two loops of a rolling/flat area around the lake.

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The race plan was ride first loop at a certain HR and then bump it up into the next zone for the second loop.

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The first lap was fine and after settling the HR down in the first 1/2 mile I stayed right in zone for the lap but was surprised to see an average speed of only 21 mph. The roads were wet and it was a bit windy but I had on my race wheels and aero helmet so I would have expected to see a faster split. 

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The second lap I was never able to consistently stay in the next zone and  as a result only averaged 21.3 mph for the loop.

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I didn’t find the weather to be much of a problem, there weren’t a lot of puddles and the road didn’t get too slick (I only saw one person go down). The part that was a bit unnerving was the crosswinds on the some of the bridges. I had a disk wheel on the back and deep section rim on the front so I got pushed around by the wind. But knowing that it was coming made it possible to account for. 

One thing that didn’t work as well as I thought it would was my rain coat. The only one I have is a couple years old and at least a size to big. This leads to a lot of flapping in the wind which is bad and wastes energy, so I thought I was being clever and pulled some of the seams in and duck taped it together.

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But I didn’t really get the shoulders right and the sleeves were still way to big so I was riding with what was effectively a sail.

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T2 1:06 (4th AG, 13th Overall)

T2 was quick: just the normal flying dismount, rack the bike, slip on the shoes, and put on the race belt while starting the run. The rain had really done a number on the transition area, turning it into a mud pit. This is what my shoes looked like after the race:

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Run 40:52 (5th AG, 37th Overall)

This was far and away the best part of the day. The run course was two loops and I got out in the first 1/4 mile and knew I had a good run in me. 

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The run plan was to run the first two miles a certain HR, bump it up for the next 3, and then increase it again for the last mile.

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I got going and averaged a 6:29 pace for the first 2 mile section feeling great, like I hadn’t even biked or swam.

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The next three mile section I slowed a bit to a 6:34 pace but that included an off road section on some slick mud. It was really tough to navigate and keep up the speed in my racing flats that basically have no traction.

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Then I picked it up for the last mile and brought it in with a 6:34 pace including the off road section again. I was getting tired and never really hit the high HR levels the plan called for in the last section but I was still pushing it.

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After crossing the finish line I was initially very disappointed with my results but after thinking about it more I’m still not happy but I can at least rationalize the bike results. This winter / early spring was spent really focusing on my run and I have made big time progress, this was a 5 min triathlon 10k pr, but it has been at the expense of some biking. It wasn’t until after the Atlanta Half marathon that things switched from bike maintenance mode to really adding some serious intervals and long rides. This was first race of the year and is not really a priority for me, so if the run can stay where it is and the bike gets back to or past where it was at the end of last season I’ll be happy.

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The swim, I have no excuse or rational for. I just needs to get better if I want to reach some of goals I have.     

2010 Austin 70.3 Race Report

Overall (5:04:52, 30th AG, 275 Overall)

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I felt fantastic heading into this race with hops of setting a big PR and finishing somewhere in the 4:50 range but that was not to be. I was able to set a 15 minute personal best and PR every part of the race but I still left a lot of time out on the course due to technical and race execution issues.

Pre Race

This race had two separate transition areas so it involved some prerace logistics but wasn’t to much a hassle. The transitions areas needed to “clean” which means everything had to be in bags.

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You could leave everything out the day before or do it the morning off. I didn’t want to leave my gels out in the heat the day before so I just took care of everything the morning of without any issues. The run transition was by the arena and finish line so I dropped my run bag at my rack and took one of the school buses the mile ½ to the swim area and T1 where I got my bike all set up.

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The start was cool with someone parachuting in flying a big American flag while the national anthem was sung; and then things got started with the pro wave. I had an hour until the start of my wave so I had some time to kill just sitting around.

Swim (35:18)

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What a tough way to start the day.

I lined up near front row off to the right and was able to get a good start. I was swimming towards the front of the group and had some good feet to draft off of when the zipper on the back of my wetsuit popped completely open.

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I tried to grab the leash and pull it back up but was unsuccessful so I swam the rest of the way with it open. I took fairly good lines all the way around the course but could really feel the extra drag from wetsuit, it seemed like I was pulling a parachute. Towards the second half of the swim I could even start to feel the top of the wetsuit starting to slip off my shoulders.

I got out of the water expecting to see something close to 40 min so I was happy to see 35 considering what had happened, and I still managed to eek out a PR by a few seconds. I was expecting a 32 min swim, and after talking with my coach based on the time I managed to put up I could have been close to a 30 minute swim if I didn’t have the wetsuit issues.

*   I did some research and it turns out my wetsuit problem was user error which I’m surprised hadn’t happened earlier considering I’ve had this suit for almost 3 years. The zipper has a “quick release” where if you pull up hard on it after it’s zipped the zipper will disengage, the idea being it helps for a quick transition. Well before the swim start I thought I hadn’t zipped things up all the way so I gave it an extra pull and heard a click that I thought nothing of. Turns out that was the quick release engaging.

T1 2:58

With my wetsuit already falling off I didn’t have to waste anytime unzipping it and used one of the wetsuit strippers to get it the rest of the way off. I ran up the hill and put my wetsuit and goggles in the bag and was off on the bike.

Bike (2:30:36)

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I also had some bad thoughts in the back of mind at the start of the bike ride. During my prerace workout on Saturday my cassette (the gears) in the back came loose. I took it in to tech support and the culprit was the freehub body being worn down, the ridges that lock the cassette in place had worn down and were no longer working.

Unfortunately all the race wheels had been rented out so with the help of the tech support and some tape the cassette was back in place again and he seemed to think it would hold up for the race. I rode for a couple minutes and it held up but I would have that bad thought in the back of my head all day that if came loose again that was the end of my race.

 

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I thought the course was ok, it had some rolling hills at the start and end with mostly flats in the middle. But the road conditions really weren’t that great in several spots. I also did not like the fact that for the last 5-10 miles the course was coned off so two-way traffic could get by. I completely understand why they had to do this and how hard it is to get road permits but it made passing and staying in a good rhythm tough.

As for my ride, I was able to set another PR, this one by about 5 minutes. The plan was to settle the heart rate down in the first few miles and then ride the first half of the bike at moderately hard rate which gave me a 22 mph average at 218 watts through the first half and I was feeling great.

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Then it was time to bump up the effort for the next 17 miles keeping the heart rate between 169 and 174 bpm and I was doing an ok job of that. I spent a lot time on the lower end of that range but still managed to average 23 mph at 236 watts during this section.

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What I’m disappointed in is the last 10 mile section. Next I was to bump the heart rate up again to between 175 and 178 and it just wasn’t happening. Part of the problem was the coned off section I mentioned earlier. This made it hard to stay at a solid rhythm which makes it tough to keep the heart rate that high. The other part is I was starting to feel the desire to just be done with the bike section. Either way this section should have been much faster then the 21 mph average on 210 watts that I had. There was an awful lot of time left on the course here.

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But this was still a 5 minute bike PR for me with my old best being on a pancake flat Eagleman course.

T2 1:54

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The dismount area was crowded so I decided against the “flying dismount” and just stopped and unclipped the bikes shoes. Nothing to exciting, I put on my shoes, grabbed my fuel belt and I was out on the run course.

Run (1:54:06 8:42 pace), First loop (53:09 8:09 pace), Second Loop (1:00:57 9:18 pace)

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The run course changed from last year. In the past it was a 3 loop course all on pavement and this year it changed to a two loop course with about half of it “off road” on grass and dirt paths. I’ve seen mixed opinions on the course but personally, I liked it. It was probably a slower course because of the added hills and fact that half the run was on trails and grass but I liked the variety and thought it helped break things up.

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Coming out of transition I felt awesome and was moving along at a good sub 8 pace till the first off road section. The plan was to get settled and run the first 4 miles at a conservative heart rate which I was able to do and felt good, going through the first 4 miles in an 8:13 pace including the off road climb on the first loop which brought the average pace down a bit.

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Next I was to bump the heart rate up for the next six miles but I was never able to get the heart rate consistently where it needed to be. I was staying below or on the low end of the zone. I think part of the problem was mentally not trusting that I could hold that effort. Thoughts of blowing up and needed to walk the end of the run like all my other half IMs held me back here. But I keep moving along and averaged 8:44 for this section.

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The last 3 miles called for another bump up in heart rate but this turned into an exercise of blocking out the discomfort and continuing to move forward. I shuffled my way up the big off-road hill again and kept moving along not wanting to start walking. I was able to make it through this section with a horribly slow 9:44 pace but I wasn’t walking. And I still managed to PR the run by 5 minutes.

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After the race I looked at my flask fuel of gel and I had only gone through about 1/3 of what I should have used which I think played a factor in the lack of energy for the second half of run. Usually I refrigerate the EFS gel before I use it but couldn’t because the hotel didn’t have one. So either the change in consistency or excitement from racing caused me to not take in as many calories as I was needing.

The finish was inside the arena which was neat to come down the finish shoot and see a few hundred people sitting in the stands cheering.

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Post Race

After I finished I kept walking around for a few minutes. I felt a million times better then at Eagleman but I could still feel my calves starting to cramp a little bit. I tried to get some salt tablets from the med tent but they didn’t have any and suggested potato chips. I got a couple of small bags and those hit the spot. I felt better after walking around for a while and didn’t need a med tent visit this time.

I got back to the hotel and passed out for a couple hours before going out to watch the Redskins Sunday night game against the Colts.

I would have really liked to break 5 hours which was very attainable given my current fitness if things hadn’t gone wrong on the swim but I know all my hard work has paid off. And I can’t complain to much with a 15 minute overall PR and PRs at all three sections to wrap up the 2010 triathlon season.

Sea Colony Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Report

Overall (2:18:34, 1st AG, 11th Overall)

This is a 2 min personal best on a course with a 41 km bike leg instead of the traditional 40 km distance and a very long run from the end of the swim to the transition area, about a minute extra. This is also my first age group win and highest ever overall finish. So you can probably guess I’m very happy with this result and all my hard work the last few months has been paying off.

Pre Race

I stayed at a condo in the Sea Colony resort and was able to watch them setting up the swim buoys the night before so I had a very easy morning.

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I still got up at 5:30 so I could eat breakfast and give it time to settle before the start of the race. And then I rode my bike the short 1/4 mile to the other side of the resort and transition area.  

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Swim (23:38, 5th AG, 54th Overall)

The swim was point to point so everyone had to walk a mile down the beach to the start line.

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This was a good swim and was about a 5 personal best for this distance. The swim was with the current so that had something to do with the time improvement but I’ve been doing a lot more swimming lately so I’m sure that played a big part.

The swim started on the shore with everyone running in and swimming 50 meters to the first buoy. The swim was crowded getting to the first buoy with lots of kicking and running into people.

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But after turning left  to swim parallel to the shore I got into a good rhythm and passed a lot of people and things thinned out until turning toward shore at the last buoy.

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Then it was a run out of the water and up the beach.

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T1 (2:25, 2nd AG, 25th Overall)

It was a long run from the beach onto one of the condo decks and then through a fresh water shower.

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Nothing to exciting happened and I was off on the bike. 

Bike (1:06:22, 1st AG, 13th Overall)

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I had a very good bike ride averaging 23.1 mph for the 41km (just over 25 miles). The course was pancake flat but had some challenges with some wind and a stretch of 3 miles on some not so great roads.

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I had a race plan to stay in a specific heart rate range for the first 15 miles and I settled in and was cruising along comfortably at 21.8 mph with some headwinds during that section.

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The plan was to bump up the heart rated for the last ten miles and with a little help from the tail wind at sections and an increased effort I flew into transition averaging 25.7 mph for the last 10 miles!

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I passed a ton of people on the bike and when I passed someone 3 miles from transition I didn’t see anyone the rest of the ride and all the volunteers at the intersections seemed surprised to see me. I was thinking I might be in first place overall, but when I got near the bike finish I could hear the announcer saying I was 7th overall.

T2 (0:50 1st AG, 7th Overall)

I have been practicing my transitions the last two weeks and felt comfortable enough to doing the “flying dismount” coming into T2. This is where you slide your feet out of the shoes and then swing one leg over the bike so you are balancing on one side of the bike. Then you brake a bit and hop off running into the transition area. It’s much quicker then the alternative of stopping, unclipping your shoes and running into transition and then taking the shoes off. Here I am reaching down to slip one of my feet out.

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Run (45:23, 4th AG, 21 Overall)

The plan for the run was to start out at lower heart rate and build into a harder effort later into the run. Unfortunately I got a little too excited and ran a 6:30 min/mile pace for the first half mile which was faster then I should have.

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Being at the front of the race made the out section of the out and back course very empty but any local spectators and the people working the aid stations were very enthusiastic and cheering. I could see the guy ahead of me but he was about 1/4 mile ahead and pulling away from me so I had no chance of catching him. Also on this section I got passed about 2 mile into the race by someone not in my age group and he was going fast enough that it wasn’t worth trying to keep up.

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After the turn around I was able to see I had about a minute on a group of about 3 people behind me.

After the first two miles I was suppose to bump up the heart rate but because of my over excitement at the start and increasing heat (it got up to the high 80’s) my increased HR just meant I was staying at the same pace instead of speeding up.

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The back section of the course was tough and I was putting out a lot of effort and the crowds of people starting the run were very encouraging with good things to say. I did get passed by two more people in the last 2 miles but they had the 2nd and 3rd best run splits on the day and neither was in my age group so I don’t feel to bad about that. 

The finish line was nice with a clock over the finish and a small grandstand with spectators that was filled up.

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Post Race

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I stuck around to check out the results and saw I came in 11th and won my age group. Another benefit of staying at Sea Colony was I had enough time to go upstairs and drop my stuff off, take a shower and still go to post race picnic before the award ceremony.

The award ceremony was very nice, the race supports Make-A-Wish and before they gave out any of the race awards they recognized the top fundraisers. Some people raised more then $40,000 which is awesome. And for the awards they had Pearce give a speech about her wish granting experience and how much it meant to her. She also gave everyone their awards which was a nice backpack with the race logo and finishing place.

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I went back to condo to drop things off and then spend the rest of the day at the beach.

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Eagleman Race Report Part 1

5:51:27

This was my most disappointing triathlon race so far, I had a solid  four months of training this spring. I was 15 lbs lighter then last years race  and to have this dud of a race is very disappointing.  

Pre Race

Unlink most races the pre race activities were actually very busy for me. It was a very early morning with the alarm going off at 4am. I stayed in Salisbury so I had a half hour drive to the race site but because my Dad was volunteering at the race we got to park inside the Great Marsh Park and I could sit in the car and see my bike in the transition area.

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The problem was when I went put the rest of my racing stuff with my bike I was surprised to see that my back tire had blown out and gone flat. That’s not too big of a deal as it is usually just a quick inner tube change. But this was different, the wheel cover that I use to turn my power meter training wheel into an aerodynamic disc had cracked. I think the tire just blew out and the force cracked the plastic cover.

This left me with a difficult choice, I have an older deep section race wheel from before I got my power meter. So I could either take the cover off and use a standard wheel with the powertap or I could use my old race wheel and not have power to pace myself. I have ridden the course multiple times and had a good idea of what my goal watts should feel like so I decided to go with the aero wheel without power meter since it would give me the fastest setup. 

Swim 43:12

The other interesting prerace news was that the water was 79 degrees which means no wetsuits. That’s not a big deal for me, I’m a decent enough swimmer. It just means that I would swimming a few minutes slower.image

This year’s swim course was a bit different then last year. Everyone swam out to the end of the boat ramp and we had a deep water swim start.

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The swim start was actually very calm for a big Ironman and I only got kicked once or twice in the first couple hundred yards and then it was clear sailing until I would catch up to the stranglers in an early wave.

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I was feeling really good during the swim and took what I thought was a good line. So I was very disappointed when I got out of the water and saw 42 minutes, I was really expecting to see 35-36 minutes.

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I think what happened is I took the long way back to shore after the last turnaround. You can see what I’m talking about in the picture below. The red buoy is the swim finish and you can just make out the orange turn buoy if you look into the background. Instead of going right to the red buoy (which you are allowed to do) I tried to stay closer to the yellow sighting buoys which you can see obviously added some distance to my swim.

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T1 1:44

I didn’t have a wetsuit to take off so this was quick.

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Bike 2:34:20

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The race plan was to take it easy for the first half hour at around 210 watts for the first half hour and then go up to 220 watts for the rest of the ride. But because I didn’t have my powermeter I had to improvise and go by heart rate and perceived effort. I biked the course 3 times this spring and this was the calmest I have seen the wind.

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Being in one of the last waves the course can get really crowded and this year was no exception but most people were good about staying to the right and letting the faster people pass. I spent most of ride passing people and for the middle twenty miles found someone going about the same pace as me so I kept him about ten yards in front of me and let him make sure people were moving over to the right to pass.

I was expecting a big headwind like usually for the last 10-15 miles but it wasn’t there which was nice. Mentally it seemed like the bike just flew by and I was back to the park and done before I knew it.

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Because of the lack of wind I managed to average just under 22 mph for the ride which is a couple minutes faster then last year, but since I didn’t have the power data I don’t really know if this ride was truly better then last year or not.

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Looking at my hear rate chart I did a good job of following the plan I improvised and I don’t think this was what lead to my run performance. 

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T2 1:49

Another quick transition but the fact that my back is covered in dry salt from my sweat is a sign of the bad things that are on the way.

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Run Death March  2:30:22

This was a complete and utter disaster. 

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The plan was to run ~ 8 min miles for the first 3 miles to get my legs under me and then drop the pace down to 7:30. I didn’t feel to bad coming out of the transition and got through my first three miles at an 8:15 pace.

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I tried to pick up the pace up after three miles and my legs were having none of that so I settled back in at an 8 min per mile pace for next mile and then I just blew up.

This was the worst I have ever felt during a race, my legs would not let me run. The heat and humidity just wore me out and I was done. I was only able to run for a quarter mile at a time and then I would need to walk again. It was so frustrating because I knew from all my training I was capable of these paces and I wanted to keep running but it just wasn’t happening. It was a run/walk suffer fest for the next nine miles.

My heart rate would start to shoot through the roof when I would try to run at an easy pace and I would start see one or two spots out of the corner of my eye until I started to walk again. Once I got to mile 11 it turned into mostly walking for the next mile. 

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I walked until I got to the finish tunnel and then jogged down the finish line to a disappointing finish time .

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Post Race

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And this is where all the fun starts. But that will have to wait until part 2.

Quick Eagleman Update

I had a really tough day out there today. To everyone’s surprise the swim was a non-wetsuit swim so I obviously swam slower then if I had the wetsuit but it wasn’t to bad. The winds weren’t to bad and I had a solid bike ride setting a new PR at just over 2:30:00. But then the wheels came off on the run, I made it 4 miles before I completely broke down and had to run/walk the rest of the way. And to top it all off I got to spend 90 minutes in the medical tent after I finished the race.

Everything is fine, I was just very dehydrated. I’m out of town the next couple days so I’ll try to get my report up by Wednesday, there is going to be plenty to write about.