Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Intimidator, Half-Iron Triathlon - Race Report

The Intimidator triathlon in Clermont, FL is aptly named.  This was my first race of the 2012 season and a good gauge of how my training for Ironman Lake Placid is going.  This test came at the end of week 16 of the 30 week "Ironfit" plan.

What Went Well

  • Racing with a bunch of fellow triathletes from the T3 - Tampa Tri Team.  Hi Jill, Rick, Shari, Liz, Sara!
  • My friend Jill, who is doing Lake Placid as well, placed 2nd place in her age group.  Go Jill!
  • The swim!  I was surprised with my 30 minute swim - 5:15am workouts 2 x week are working!
  • Didn't have to walk my bike up any hills.  That was good.
  • New bike worked well.  Quintana Roo Lucero and new Zipp wheels were great.
  • Temperature and cloud cover.  Thank goodness it wasn't too hot and that the sun was occasionally blocked by white fluffy clouds.
  • Run pace overall was good.  Just under 2 hours for the half-marathon.
  • Beat my 2004 time of 6:19 for this same event
  • Beat my goal time of 6 hours
  • The last mile of the run was strong (but painful on the inside). 
  • Conspicuously absent from the list...the bike, and the rest of the run.
What Could Have Gone Better
  • Setting the alarm clock.  Needed to leave the house at 4am to meet Shari at 4:15.  The alarm never went off, but I did wake up at 3:48am spontaneously.  Lesson learned for next time...set clock for AM, not PM.
  • Open water swimming.  I probably added .25 miles extra with all the weaving I was doing.  Need to practice sighting or drafting off someone who is sighting.  
  • The bike.  The bike course is tough with a number of named climbs, such as Buck Hill, the Wall and the dreaded Sugarloaf Mountain.  Ok, this is Florida and it is generally flat, but these are short and steep climbs that took it out of my legs.  I was wishing for more gears (or an escalator) to get me to the top of the big ones.  There were also "minor changes in elevation" and "rolling hills" that turned out to be pretty challenging in combination with the wind of the day.  The 1,800 feet of climbing in Clermont felt like a lot.  Conclusion - more hill training required before the 8,000 feet of climbing at Lake Placid.
  • Bike dismount. After a challenging bike ride in the hills, I had a little trouble with the downhill dismount before entering T2.  Un-clip right shoe, check.  Swing right leg over seat, check.  Un-clip left shoe...dang, un-clip left shoe...dang, un-clip left shoe...noooooooo...TIMBER!.  Check.  Left hip and shoulder sore, check.
  • The run.  Rolling hills and minor elevation changes did in my quads and calves and that made the run challenging.  I think I was pushing a little too hard and this forced me to take extra walk breaks between the aid stations.  It was tough to run with legs that were not done complaining about the bike ride, even though it was over.  Need to work on doling out the energy more evenly.  More practice required.
  • It was a great day and I learned a lot about where I need to focus and I had a great time with my new T3 friends and enjoyed sharing in their day.