Black Diamond Half Iron Results
Date: September 26th, 2009 – 9:00 AM
Weather: 55 and cloudy, light wind (while biking)
Sleep: Fitful, but had plenty on preceding nights
Health: Good, but I did feel perhaps a slight sore throat.
Overall Time 5:48:04 Overall place 116 / 226
Division 54/M Division Place 8 / 12
Swim Time 0:40:40 Swim Pace 1:55 min per 100 yrds
Swim Place 164 / 252 T1 Time 5:44
Bike Time 3:07:29 Bike Pace 17.92 MPH avg
Bike Place 173 / 248 T2 Time 2:45
Place after bike 167 / 248 Run Time 1:51:26
Run Pace 8:30 mpm Run Place 82 / 246
Over all impressions: I feel I had a strong race, probably the 1st time I actually felt strong on all the legs.
Day before race: I was feeling a little stressed from the race but also from the logistics point of view in that I had 5 other people and a dog to consider when planning things Traveled to race location, and checked into hotel. That was all smooth. No issues.
The evening went smoothly as we had two rooms and I was able to get to bed at a decent time and everyone else had the other room to visit in. This worked very well and will do again in future away races.
Nutrition the day before consisted of my normal oatmeal routine with the super greens drink mixed with a banana and walnuts. Lunch was spaghetti and meat balls at the local Café Panini in Enumclaw. Dinner was a light salmon salad with a couple of bread sticks. I felt just right, not stuffed and we had it early enough. I believe I might have had a banana or yogurt before bed.
I did wake up about 2:30 and felt hungry but this time (Tiger Tri I got up and ate) I didn’t eat. Never really went back to sleep after that.
Drove the Course: Drove the course with Jerry & Steve. Did both the ride and run. This is helpful just from the standpoint of not having any surprises. Also it put me at ease on the difficulty of the course.
Morning of race: Since the race was a late start I got up at 6:40, showered, and had a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, banana, and super green drink, along with water. No coffee. I had all my stuff laid out so getting ready was quick. No issues.
Got to the race site by 7:45 and setup transition area.
Transition Area: I thought the site was a little tight and was not 100% happy with my setup. I felt my towel stuck out too much and would get trampled on, which it did, but it didn’t seem to matter much. I laid out all my stuff and was able to put my bag on the inside of the area out of the way of the bikes. Since it was a small transition area there was no need to mark my bike or rack. These were assigned racks so it was just a mater of remembering the row. I borrowed Jerry’s bike pump and inflated my tires to 120 lbs. Since it didn’t seem like it was going to be hot I didn’t worry about them getting hot and bursting due to the heat.
NOTE: I wasn’t sure I needed to use the bathroom, but before I changed into my wet suit I wanted to stay warm and use the time to relax so I went into the Porta Potty and relaxed. It was warm inside, and not at all smelly. (Must have gotten a good one) I closed my eyes and mentally went through each part of the race. This seemed to relax me and I was able to have a BM. I did go at the hotel but it was good to make sure I was completely comfortable.
Swim Prep: I used glide on all the usual areas in the morning and just before changing into the wet suit I used it on my ankles. I believe this helped in getting the wet suit off. I took a small drink of water prior to leaving the area. I made sure my suit was properly set and I had lots of room in the shoulders by pulling the legs way up. (Looked like I had knickers on) Nothing special here, just took my time, tried to make sure everything was on correctly and nothing chaffed. I noticed that Steve used some around his neck; I don’t recall seeing anyone doing that but it’s not a bad idea. Will try it sometime. I tried not to be distracted during the entire setup time as in the past I haven’t paid too much attention to details. So I was cordial with everyone but I tried to make conversations brief and really focused on what I was doing..
Swim: 40:40 – Since I have a full wet suit I wasn’t scared about doing a warm up. I probably waited a little too long to go, but I was nervous about getting wet and then standing there too long and getting cold.
NOTE: I’m thinking about bringing a towel and/or a warm throw away jacket so that I can take a longer swim and not worry about getting cold while waiting for the start.
The swim was two laps around a diamond shape buoy layout. What I noticed about my swim afterwards was that each leg of the swim was too short so that it was difficult to get into a rhythm as the turns came fairly quickly. The turns were very busy and there was a lot of pushing and shoving and one guy purposely tried to kick me because I had bumped into his feet a couple of times. That was a 1st. Over all I felt I had just a so so swim as I really never got into a good rhythm until the last buoy where we headed straight to the finish line. I really pushed at the end and my heart rate was the highest it had been during the swim. I might want to rethink that as it took me a LONG time to bring the heart rate down on the bike. 40:40 for the 1.2 mile swim. That tells me that for 2.4 mile swim I would probably been in the 1:30 minute area. I wish I could do better but I’m not really concerned about it.
T1: 5:44 – This was a disaster! I came into the T1 and the wet suit removal was fine. No problem. The 1st mistake I made was to not take the time to dry off my back. When I attempted to put on my jersey it got stuck, and stuck hard! I lost WAY too much time here, probably close to a full minute! The 2nd issue was I had to load all my food into my jersey. I have got to find a better way. I’ve tried to put the food in 1st then put on the jersey and it hasn’t worked. I know I’ll need a bigger bento box for IM, but I think I might need to figure out a better way to carry the food.
Here’s a list of the food I carried on the bike:
2 – PBJ sandwiches in my bento box * Need a larger bento box
I’m not sure this worked very well as I struggled to get the squares out every time and as a result probably didn’t eat all that I could have.
5 – Roctaine Gels: I may have only used 4
2 – Cliff Mojo’s – Mixed Nuts: I only ate 1/2 of the bar. Part of the issue was they were difficult to get out of the wrapper. I should have cut the wrapper or perhaps found a better way to make them more accessible.
1 – Bag of square cut pretzels…didn’t eat many as it was difficult to get to. (Fix that)
1 – Banana, cut into 2: Ate ½ of the banana
1 – Bottle of Ensure (It was the Safeway brand and for diabetics as it had only 6 grams of sugar.) This seems to really have worked for me. It was easy on the stomach and seemed to help settle it. Seems like I had more food but can’t remember what else I had.
Biggest issue here is I need to make the food more easily accessible. Perhaps two bento boxes on the bar….?? Ideas?
Bike Leg: 3:07:29 – Don’t really have too much to say here. After the swim my heart rate was too high and it took me over two miles (maybe more) before it started to come down. During that time I tried to reach for my gator aid bottle and I dropped it. Had to stop and go back to get it. I just tried to find a good heart rate and stay in it. I didn’t have my HR monitor so I had to do it by perceived exertion and it appears to have worked. I tried to be conscious of how I was feeling at all times and constantly tried to eat when ever I could and not over do it. I probably drank too much water as there were a couple of times my stomach felt bloated. I also had to pee around the 33 mile mark. Good/bad? Don’t know. How are you supposed to do this? Are you supposed to feel like you have to pee? Or are you supposed to try and balance it so you don’t? I don’t know.
My back started to hurt around 12 miles, which was kind of strange. I was able to manager the pain by standing up every so often and that seemed to help. The toes on my right foot started to go to sleep early on and I had to reach down and loosen the straps. I did so on both shoes and then after a few miles the toes felt better so I gently re-fastened the strap. I would like to get a better bike computer as it was very difficult to read and I had to take my eyes off the road too much.
**** This brings up an issue: I used my watch during the swim but had to take it off to remove my wet suit, so I didn’t put it back on during T1 because I felt rushed. How are you supposed to do this? I NEED to have a watch to keep track of the over all time. Also, during the run I have to take time to put on my Garmin. I need a quicker way to do that. Do they make a different strap so you can just slip on the Garmin?
T2: This was okay, 2:45. The two issues I had was 1: Emptying my jersey, 2: putting on my Garmin. Oh, I didn’t have speed laces and that’s a must next time around.
Run: 1:51:26 – The 1st mile of the run actually didn’t feel too bad. I was very focused on keeping it around a 9 minute mile pace. Unfortunately I neglected to start my Garmin so I didn’t get the 1st mile recorded, but I was watching the pace carefully and I’m pretty sure my 1st mile was around a 9:00. I think this is one area that I hadn’t really thought about enough as I wasn’t sure WHAT pace I should run. I wasn’t sure how I would feel coming off the bike so I never put it on paper or at least clearly articulated what pace I was going to run. I kept changing my mind as I ran. Oh, let’s go for an 8:30 to make sure I make it. Then I thought maybe I should shoot for an 8:15. I guess the reason for this uncertainty was I hadn’t done enough full bricks to know for sure. The two long bricks I did while Steve was on vacation had resulted in 8:31 pace for 8 miles and an 8:45 for 12 miles (I think…I’m struggling to remember. Have to check the log book). So the whole time I’m running my mind set was to conserve conserve conserve. Hind sight, perhaps I should have shot for an 8:15 the whole way. I need to look at my Garmin and get the details.
Over all the run was good. I believe I had a negative split. I stopped for a pee break at the 1st aid station and that was a welcome relief. I was having an issue with holding back as I would find myself surging from time to time. At the turn around I did try and pick up the pace a bit since it was down hill but once again I had to slow down as I would find myself doing 7:30’s from time to time. I didn’t start pushing the pace until after the gravel road. I don’t know what mile marker that was as my Garmin was off and I NEVER saw ANY mile markers! I do know I was doing a 7:00 or 7:05 pace up until I hit the 12 mile marker and was shocked. I thought I would be seeing the 13 mile marker so I backed it down and made sure I had enough to finish strong.
This is the 1st triathlon that I finished so strong that I felt I could have continued running. I also felt strong on the bike and swim. I think the mock tri’s helped as well as really good nutrition the two weeks leading up to the race and while on the bike.
The nutrition before the week involved using the Super Greens supplements, drinking Odwalla Super Green drink at work and not eating any (or two much) fat. (No butter on toast!)
Much thanks to my wife who put up with me and all my training leading up to this half. She did join our Saturday morning group for biking and swimming, although she did these on her own. She also joined our Tuesday and Thursday evening bike rides which helped me tremendously. (Thanks to the “Hammer Heads” that allowed me to tag along. Their maniacal pace really help me to improve my overall bike results in this race, thanks to Lance, Steve, Fred and the rest of you speedsters!)
Thanks to my kids, Nate, Cass & Beth for being at the race! It was just a joy to see you guys yelling and encouraging me the whole way. And thanks for the signs! They sure meant a lot! (I’ll try and get some of the pic’s up soon)
Thanks ultimately to Jesus for giving me EVERYTHING good that I have.