Eagleman Half Ironman was my 9th half ironman finish. Each race has presented its own challenges for me. Today's challenge was another flat tire and the brutal heat.
The flat tire was overwhelming disappointing as it was my 3rd flat in the last 3 races. Time to pack up my toys and go home. Sometimes its not about the sacrifices you make to be at the starting line but just good luck.
I will be in search of some good luck for my tires.
Half Ironman Championship started like any 70.3 miles of swim, bike, run! It was 4:30am on Nov 13th, I was having my standard pre-race breakfast, EAS Myoplex Lite ready to drink shake, banana and 2 cups of coffee. I got to transition by 5:15am. A quick check on the Trek TTX I was all set. This was a clean transition race. Bike bags and Run bags had been dropped off the day before. There was no setup to be done other then a little air in the tires.
I grabbed the Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit to make my way over to the swim start for a few warm up laps. I was feeling good, feeling fast. At least I was thinking fast thoughts. As always, 30 minutes before go time, I have my EAS Lite nutrition bar. I lined up on the inside right, thinking I would avoid some of the crowd. Little did I know I was down stream from the current. I spent the going out swim leg fighting to stay on the swim course. A quick run through T1 I was jumping on the TTX.
I took it easy the first half and pedaled like a mad man on the way back. Being on the Trek TTX and a little tail wind did not hurt either. My bike splits had me at 22.48 first half and 24.95 coming home.
Soon I was on the run. I was putting down the miles in my new K-Swiss Ultra-Ntrl Runii. I had been looking for some racing flat style shoes. Jon Siebrecht from K-Swiss helped me find the right pair a few days before at the Ironman expo. I started out a little fast and found my pace after a few miles. My good friends Jon & Linda Ann were cheering me on from top of the bridge with each pass. Even when I was hurting I had to at least make it look easy, while running past them. I dug deep and found the kick for the finish line.
I got a training run in on the Florida Half Ironman course a couple of weeks ago. It is a 3 loop course using pavement and grass canal paths on the Disney property. I snapped a couple of pic's of my fan's cheering me on. The canal path portion is closed with a sign of "Do not enter". I took that to mean jump over here in Triathlon translation.
I had a great race and a great time finishing the Try Charleston half. As always Set Up Events put on an outstanding tri. This was my first half of the session. I was using the Try Charleston half to dial in my pace, break in the new gear and try some new things in transition to save some more time. It was also a chance to do some sight-seeing as I was born in Charleston, kind of going home to race thing.
Swim and bike went as planned, right on pace. I got in and out of T1 and T2 faster than ever. I did no socks on the bike, with putting my bike shoes on but not bucking until I got on the bike. Did the same coming off the bike, unbuckled but ran in and kicked them off in T2.
The run started off on pace but slowly the wheels got wobbly and I found myself run/walking between mile 8-10. I was melting in the heat. We did not get any shade or breezed until mile 10. I kept a the feet moving and crossed the finish.
I used my new Tri suite Descente C6. Not only comfortable its makes me look fast. Saucony set me up with a new pair of the Progrid Guide 3's. This is a change from using the Triumph 6 & 7's. I was showing a some signs of over pronation. The Trek TTX got some new Bontrager tires and tubes. It was smoke'n fast with a 23mph pace. The TTX is just an amazing bike. I used the Suunto t6c, as always, to stay on pace. I soon as the wheels are moving the Bike Pod picks up and once the feet are running the Foot Pod picks up. When chasing PR's I can not tell you how important it is to have one device to track your swim, bike & run.
I still had a personal best with a 4:44:20 finish.
Results: Overall - 18 of 335, Men - 18 of 256, Age Group 2 of 45
Best of all I was in Charleston, it was a great race, and I continued my weight loss adventure.
I finished the Longhorn Half Ironman in Austin, TXsetting a Personal Record of 4:50:23 finish. The PR was unexpected as my focus was a fast swim and transitions. I had not been able to put the training time into the bike and had been nursing a sore Achilles with little running time.
After a fast swim and T1 I held on through the bike. Once on the run I saw the PR was possible and just needed to maintain my pace. The run course was three loops and fill with something different at every corner. From Bands every mile, snacks, candy, all kinds of hydration, cold sponges and towels. So much to choice from I had to skip a few things and keep moving.
After 70.3 miles of swim, bike, & run, I finished the Patriot triathlon in 4:52:40. My goal was to set a "Personal Record" and break the 5hr mark. Coming off the bike, I knew I was racing in the top 20 and gave the run everything I had.
I finished 2nd in my age group, 14th in men and 15th overall.
Compared to my Florida Half Ironman finish of 5:19:57, I was asked how did I cut the 20 minutes off of my time. The short answer, training and equipment.
Training: I focused on speed and pace. My long works were about explosiveness with lots of sprints and intervals. I had the base training to finish but now needed to work on myspeed. I will post my training log showing my workouts in the next couple of days.
Gear: The biggest difference was racing on theTrek TTX 9.9withBontrager Aeolus 5.0 carbon wheels. This improved my bike pace from 20.5 miles per hour to 23 miles per hour. The TTX is crazy fast. It is amazing to be pedaling along under your own power at 28-30 miles per hour. Don't get me wrong, you still need the horsepower in your legs to drive the pedals. With time and training on the Trek TTX I can still have more speed improvements to come.
I used theSuunto t6c w/ heart rate monitor,Bike Pod, andFoot Pod. I knew my exact time and pace at any point. Coming out of the swim, I was right on pace; on the bike my heart rate was low and I was pushing 23mph. I got into the run starting at 8:15/mile for the first couple of miles. With my heart rate in a comfort zone I picked it up to 8:00/mile. At mile 8 I was still running in the top 20 group of finishers. After managing my race and pace, others started to fade on the last 5 miles. I was able to pick up the last couple of miles to a 7:30/mile pace. My goal was to finish under 5hrs and the Suunto triathlete package made managing the clock a no brainer.
Of course mySaucony Triumph 6. I am on my third pair of Triumph 6's silver/black/red. Once I switched from theSaucony Paramountlast year I knew I was in the right shoe. I have over a thousand miles, dozen of short to mid distance races, 2 Half Ironman's and a Marathon running in these shoes. I will continue to race the Triumph 6's. When it is right, it is right. Dont second guess yourself.
I am please to announce continued sponsorship and support . I will being racing on the[Trek Equinox TTX 9.9|http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/triathlon/] for my up coming Triathlon. The Patriot half ironman, 70.3 mile triathlon will be the first race for me to show case the TTX's performance. I have spend the last 2 months training with the Trek Equinox and have already seen improvement with my speed and ability to maintain a faster pace.
I have been receiving a lot of question asking for more details about my training. I was asked to share what I do and when I do it. I will be posting a series of blog's over the next week.
Right now my training focus is split between Patriot half ironmann 70.3 triathlon training for my next half ironman Sept 12th and racing with a team for the Ragnar Relay Sept 24th to 25th.
With the Ragnar being later in the month I have added two 7.25 mile runs a day twice a week and 3 - 10k runs in 24hours, breakfast-dinner-breakfast.
Below is my Sunnto Training log from today show my AM and PM run. Same course with 440ft of accenting. I was very tired this morning and you can see my time was slower and heart rate higher. The PM run was much easy with a lower heart rate and faster pace.
[ Florida Half Ironman|http://www.floridahalfironman.com/]is done! 160 pounds lost = 1 Half Ironman completed! I raced in the Florida Half Ironman in Orlando, Fl at the Disney Wilderness resort. It has been almost 4 years since I started my weight loss totaling 160lbs and the Half Ironman was my hardest goal. I was a little nervous going into the race and started to second guess myself. Did I have the right nutrition plan, what was the best pace, should I which out my drink for something else, was my bike ready to road, how hot was it going to be.....the list goes on and on. I checked in with all the folks that helped me get ready, Potomac River Running, Lets Swim, Suunto, Spokes Etc,[ Trek|http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/]and Bontrager. I was ready to race but a little last minute reassurance never hurt. Come Sunday morning I completed my gear setup in Transition and I made my way to the swim start. After good luck wishes from the wife it was swim time.
I never get use to the elbows and kicking the first couple hundred meters of the swim. Soon everyone spreads out and it is me swimming with Coach Julie in my head, saying extend your reach, finish your stroke, kick fast, and you'll can rest on the bike, swim faster. I came flying out of the water with a long run into transition and I mean a long run. I did not want to waste any time.
I jumped into my stuff and started the long and I mean long run out of transition to start biking. The biking was great, Spokes had the bike setup perfectly and the Bontrager Aeolus wheels not only looked fast they made you want to go fast. I was passing people by the dozens maybe too many at one time as I got a penalty for being in the passing side more than 20 seconds. I was called for drafting and hit with a 4 minute penalty. It was getting hot and I wanted to have a strong run and strong finish, I kept telling myself to hold back on the bike. I was watching the Suunto to keep an eye on my heart rate and pace. There is nothing worst then having a slow, miserable run. I knew my training with the t6c and to trust it to keep me on pace.
I hit T2 and was out fast! I was ready to run and run I did. I had a great run and felt strong. The heat was beating on me and I was hurting but the feet were moving. I paced myself the first 8 miles and gave it everything I had the last 4.
What a great race, a great first Half Ironman. 70.3 miles of swim, bike and run.
Had a great race today. More than just a personal best run time. I enjoyed being part of something much bigger than one person. 13.1 miles in 1:38:24.
Going into the race my plan was to run a 8:30 per mile and let the miles roll by. I was able to stick with the plan until the half way point at which time my competitive drive took over. There is something about people in front of me that make me go fast. I kept checking the Suunto t6c and before I knew it I was running 7:30 per mile.
I was in Orlando last week and got two training runs in on the Florida Half Ironman course. It is a 3 loop course starting at Poineer Hall at the back of the Fort Wilderness Camp groundat Disney. The first day it took me a while to figure the course out. After the first turn around I kept running pass the next turn as it is a grass path. I am glad to found it and it was great to run it. I might have been thrown off a little on race day to turn on to the grass path. The grass makes almost half of the loop. It is a easy run and the grass was good for the knee's. I mapped my second training run. The first mile and last mile was running from the parking lot to the starting line and back. I was able to get two loops in before heading to the airport.
One quick note, the turn on to the grass path starts behind the fence with the big Do Not Enter sign. I translated that into triathlete talk as jump here. Once behind the fence you are on your own. I was comforted by only seeing 10 Armadillo's and two 6ft Alligator. My first wild sightings for both.
I will be in Orlando next week for work and will head over to for a training run on the Florida Half Ironman. I want to check out the transition area, drive the bike course and I will run the half marathon on Monday afternoon and again Wednesday morning before flying home. This will give me a chance to check things out and get two long runs in while on the road. Tuesday I look for a pool to get a swim workout. It will give me a good start for the week with training hours and a chance to get sometime on the course.
My weight bounced between 195 and 200 this month, a little more than I wanted. I contribute the variance to increasing my workout schedule. I have stuck with my basic plan and increased my mini meals to 200 calories each. I added Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bars, Honey Toasted 7-Grain and Roasted Almond Crunch. At 180 calories these were a tasty snack and added some variety.
On swim days I start at 5:45am. I have additional meal of fresh melon and yogurt.