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Goals, Nutrition, Tri

Kinetic Half Ironman Goals, Reexamined

A few days post-race and I’m sick. I felt really good — never sore — until Tuesday afternoon, when my body decided it was over this whole thing and really didn’t want to allow me to go for my interval ride. Eleven hours of sleep later and I feel worse. Damn you, cold/flu/allergies/post-race meltdown.

In any case, I really enjoyed the reexamination of my Boston goals in the days after the event, so here’s the rundown on how well I accomplished my Kinetic goals.

Goal #1: PR — sub – 6:00

Before the race, I felt pretty confident I could at least PR. Kinetic is much flatter than Half Full, my last race, and my average speeds for that event were definitely reasonable, if not a little bit slow for my current fitness level. After crushing National and Boston, I knew my base training would serve me well. With a 5:12:36, I PR’d by nearly 50 minutes. Check.

Goal #2: Podium

As I wrote in the original post, my age group is pretty small, giving me more opportunity to be in the top three. Well, not only did I win 20-24, I had the fastest swim and bike splits (interestingly, only the third fastest run). And I placed 19th overall for women. As my third AG win and fourth podium finish since I started this crazy sport, I’m pretty amped. Check.

Goal #3: Qualify for Halfmax

Well, to do this I needed a 5:40 finish time (done, easily) or a top-two age group finish (also, done). Whether or not I do this race is still up for debate. It’s just four weeks after IM, a period during which I imagine I’ll still be recovering and certainly not ready to build back up to race-ready shape. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be physically or mentally up for racing again on Oct. 8. I would really like to do the race this year while I’m still in 20-24 and am more likely to qualify for a Team USA spot, but my performance still earns me entry for 2012 and I *imagine* I will settle in with 70.3 as my primary focus next season. So, we’ll see, but at least I qualified. Check.

Goal #4: sub…5:30

Yes, if you guessed 5:30 as my goal time, you were right. Based on what I thought I could hold in terms of average speed for each leg and adding in some cushion for transitions, I thought this was a tough but reasonable thing to shoot for. I really wanted a sub-3:00 bike split (at 2:44, check) and was hoping for a 1:45-1:50 13.1 (check) and a 00:35 swim (check). I was a little bit disappointed with both of these legs and know I can do better, but my bike time more than made up for that. So, like Boston, this was my day and my race. I dominated Kinetic. Check.

Goal #5: Smile

I didn’t include this in my original goal post, but in reviewing old race photos I noticed that I have a huge smile on my face at all stages of the game. And I had so many people comment to me both during and after Kinetic that I was smiling like crazy and seemed so happy every time they saw me. Ron said I made it look easy while everyone else around me looked miserable. Rachel and Megan captured many goofy and happy faces on camera throughout the event. And fellow competitors Katie and Emily noted that I looked strong and comfortable out on the course. The fact that I managed to pull this off when I would have traded an arm or a leg to be at the finish line and off that damn run course is an accomplishment in and of itself. This triathlete’s excitement rolls on. Check.

So, I’m lucky enough to be able to say I hit all my goals, some in a major way. I also want to review some of the ups and downs of the race. There were definitely some of each.

It was an awesome day for:

The bike. With a 2:44 split and a nearly 21mph average speed for 56 miles, this was a killer segment of my race. I’ve always considered the ride to be my weakest discipline, but I actually love being on the bike and am seeing so much progress that it may be catching up to the swim and run.

Transitions. For having no practice at all, these went shockingly smoothly. The wetsuit came right off, I remembered everything I needed to take out on the bike and run, I moved quickly and always knew which was was up/forward in terms of getting in and out of both T1 and T2. With a little more practice, I could get these down to nothing.

Support. In addition to my awesome friends, who drove all the way down to Lake Anna at the crack of dawn to spectate in the misty rain, I knew a huge number of competitors and saw many of them at various points during the day — while trying to stay calm before the swim, at the top of the huge hill on the run, on the course out-and-backs and screaming like crazy at the finish. I’ve said this before, but I love tris for this reason.

My confidence. This almost goes without saying, but a 5:12 and an AG win are huge accomplishments for me and really take this whole thing to the next level. With some more thoughtful training, a better nutrition strategy and more miles in every discipline, I think I’ve got a good tri career ahead of me.

It was a not-so-great day for:

Sighting. As I said in my race report, my goggles fogged, the course wasn’t well-marked and the lake was really misty. I haven’t done any open water yet this season and this leg clearly needs some work. I’m a speedster in the pool when I can just follow that black line, but the lake is a whole different beast. Adding this to my list of things I need to practice before Musselman and certainly before IM.

Nutrition. Man. Did this ever suck. I nearly blew up on the run thanks to my super crappy nutrition. I had a plan that I’d practiced and everything, and it was actually a pretty thoughtful one. But, as AJ said in a post-race debrief, even with careful planning sometimes your body just doesn’t take things as planned. My general strategy was to hold off on doing anything until the bike, where I’d drink water every 15 minutes starting at :30 and eat every half hour starting at :45. My plan was to do half an Uncrustable, then the other half, then 3 Shot Bloks, then 3 more, then Gu for the remaining time for which I needed to eat. Well, that’s all well and good when on our more casual burrito rides or when we’re stopped for a break, but when you’re flying at 20-plus PB&J doesn’t go down quite so well. So I ate it in thirds and hated every minute of it, feeling like I was going to suffocate. That took me to 1:45. Around 2:00 I ran out of water in my aero bottle and couldn’t reach down to grab my second bottle without nearly falling off my bike. And bottle exchanges freak me out. So I only had 28oz of water for the entire leg. Fail. When I got to T2 I scarfed down a Gu and a few sips of water in hopes of making up some of that calorie/hydration deficit. I got water every 2 miles out on the run because I was thirsty and I thought it would make me feel better, but I just ended up feeling bloated and yucky for the whole thing. All I could think was that I would have given anything not to feel that way. I also didn’t pee before the start — and therefore not for the entire race — which totally didn’t help. In any case, I know my run would have been at least a few minutes faster without these problems because my legs felt AWESOME. I’ll be reevaluating this and testing out some new products.

Gear. I tried on my tri suit when our team kits first arrived earlier this spring, but somehow the shorts now are too big. So uncomfortable on the bike. I borrowed Hillary’s extra shorts/top, but it was super stressful getting all that together on race morning and I was literally running to the swim start while pulling all this on. I also chafed like crazy from my bathing suit while on the bike despite a crazy amount of Body Glide, but at our blogger dinner I learned I’ve been going about the underwear/swimsuit situation all wrong. Why didn’t anyone tell me this before? So, armed with my new knowledge I hope never to experience this damn chafing again.

So, Kinetic was a huge success, an awesome start to the race season and the perfect benchmark/learning experience for Musselman, IM and beyond. 5:12:36?!? I’m still beaming 🙂

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “Kinetic Half Ironman Goals, Reexamined

  1. You are friggin awesome! When you figure out the last few issues you are really going to be unbeatable. Sub 5:00? It will be done.

    Posted by Beth | May 18, 2011, 9:28 PM
  2. Seriously, you’re just rocking this tri stuff — it’s pretty inspirational to watch from (somewhat) afar, even for this nearly-38-year-old newbie to the single sport of running. It’s insane that your next secret goal is going to be a sub-5 half-tri… that’s just crazy progress you’re making.

    (And re: the fogged goggles, has anyone suggested the tried-and-true spit solution? You just spit in your goggles before the race, rub it around a bit, and then rinse them out lightly. The enzymes in your saliva help break up any residue on the inside surface, and do a great job of preventing fogging… it was by far my best way to prevent fogging for the half-decade that I swam regularly.)

    Posted by Jason | May 18, 2011, 9:56 PM
    • I have tried this trick — I’m also experimenting with different nosepieces on the goggles and just haven’t found the right fit yet. I think it might be time for a new pair anyway…

      Posted by Emily | May 19, 2011, 12:08 PM
  3. You have some serious raw talent! To go a 5:12 for your second HIM and this early in the season shows something in your potential.

    I have totally ditched eating anything solid during a HIM. Eating solids on the bike during training works, because you aren’t rushed. Its a different story on race day, like you discovered. I just do a Gu every 30 mins on the bike and use Infinit @ 150 calories/20 oz of water. This is roughly 300 calories/hour on the bike, which for me works since I weigh just shy of 150 lbs.

    Rest up and I hope your cold goes away soon.

    Posted by Jon | May 19, 2011, 4:45 AM
    • I’ve heard great things about Infinit — I’m thinking about ordering a few samples. Did you just make your blend based on their quiz/your needs or have them help you or buy the premade mix?

      Posted by Emily | May 19, 2011, 12:09 PM
  4. This is awesome! You are seriously inspiring!

    I hear you on grabbing water bottles while on the bike. I am so bad at it. I’m actually thinking about getting cages for under my seat so that they’re easier to reach. If I ever upgrade to aero bars, I’ll try the bottle there too. How do you get better at this?!?

    Congrats again!

    Posted by amy | May 19, 2011, 9:40 AM
  5. Great post race run down! I have never raced more than an olympic so REALLY need to learn more about race nutrition. I am awful about eating during races and long training…my body just doesn’t want food. any advice/guidance would be great!

    (Chloe)

    Posted by 321delish | May 19, 2011, 9:46 AM
  6. Great job again! You did so awesome and it really makes me want to train harder, so I can get better!

    Posted by Sarah | May 19, 2011, 10:08 AM
  7. NO UNDIES FOR YOU. that is all.

    Posted by katie | May 19, 2011, 3:58 PM
  8. You are so amazing! I can’t believe how much you rocked that race and blew your old PR out of the water. You give me some hope that if I ever get the courage to do another one I’ll be able to take a big chunk of time off (I’m sure not as much as you did, but hopefully a chunk nonetheless;). Congrats on everything you accomplished!

    And yeah…I don’t know why no one told me, but I had to figure it out on my own. I go with the tri shorts and no underwear/swimsuit. I did still get a lot of chafing from my sportsbra, though, because I was rushed in the start and missed some important places with bodyglide:(.

    Posted by Erin @ untilyoutri | May 22, 2011, 9:47 AM

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