USA Triathlon Halfmax National Championships
by on September 20, 2006 in General

I raced a 1/2 Ironman this weekend. It was the US Half Nationals. I

finished 18th out of 42 in my age group (89 out of 196 Males). I’m very

happy with the result since I was racing some of the fastest people out

there. The course was insanely difficult.

The 1.2 mile swim was nice. Water temp was 72 degrees and air temp

was 74 at the start of the race. I was able to draft swimmers for the first

1/2 mile to the first turn buoy. I remember feeling like I hadn’t used any

energy and was jumping from behind one swimmer to the next one. It felt

like I was playing frogger. With 0.7 miles to go, I started drafting a guy

who I knew was going fast. With a quarter mile to go, I felt him slowing so

I tried to pass, only to find I could only match his speed so I dropped back

in behind him and followed until the end of the swim. I never had to kick,

but with 200 yards to go started kicking easy to get my legs warmed up for

the transition run and the beginning of the bike portion. Time= 30:34

Transition 1: Uneventful Time 1:48

The 56 mile bike course was a two lap course. It started with 7

miles of hills steep enough to keep the majority of the field away from disc

wheels. The next 18 miles should have been super fast flats, but someone

forgot to turn off the fan. The winds for this section started in the

10-15

MPH range for the first lap and hit 15-20 MPH for the second lap. The

course ends with 3 miles of hills including one hill that was 3/4 miles in

length, even the race director said that particular hill would be a

differentiator. For those of you who don’t know, Scott Kinner and I raced

this course in June 2005, so I knew not to push the first lap of the bike

thus saving my legs and glycogen for the insane run to come.

Just like I remembered the 2005 race, I came out of the water feeling good,

hit the hills on the bike and watched my heart rate sore. I was averaging

151 BPM for the first 7 miles when normally I only let my heart rate go to

140 BPM for the bike. Although the race day temperature was great, I had a

trickle of sweat roll down from my forehead and onto my lips at mile 2 of

the bike.

It tasted of pure salt, maybe it was from a well used training helmet full

of pervious training effort and my wet hair from the swim, but I took it as

an omen. I drank 12 oz of water before entering the water on the swim and

drank 20 oz of water within the first 10 minutes of the bike. Because I

have had dehydration issues in past 1/2 Ironman races, I wanted to get one

bottle of water up so, I drank another 20 oz of water in the following 20

minutes including one E-Cap (electrolyte pill) to make sure I didn’t through

off my electrolyte balance. After the first half hour chugging contest, I

settled into drinking one 20 oz bottle of water of water every thirty

minutes. I also consumed both bottles of the Tri Cocktail [Aziz the tri

cocktail is one bike bottle of water mixed with two scoops cytomax sport

drink (200 Calories), two scoops of carbohydrate powder (200 calories), and

two scoops of Metabol Endurance Meal Replacement (200 calories). We take

one drink every fifteen minutes finishing a bottle every 1.5 hours.

This

provides 400 calories per hour from the cocktail, but it is too heavy to

consume during the run> As I drank the last gulp of Tri Cocktail, I remember

thinking how difficult it would be to choke down for extra three hours

required for a full Ironman, but quickly returned my thoughts to the race at

hand. For the first 7 miles of the bike, a steady stream of slow swimmer /

fast biker types went by, Then we hit the flats and I watched about 15

people go by cranking like hell. I remember thinking, “I’ll be passing you

on the run”. The wind was amazing, I just settled into a 130 heart rate

that had me around 18.8 MPH. Then we hit the final three miles of hills, I

swear I passed 30-40 people that has spent the last hours getting a lead on

the fla

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