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Race Result

Racer: Stuart Brandt
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 11, 2006
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 6:38:21
Overall Place: 1180 / 1562
Age Group Place: 178 / 204
Comment: Second time at this distance

Race Report:

Because Eagleman fills so early, I signed up well before I knew what this year's schedule was going to look like. Following a run focused winter and March marathon, though, I wasn't quite sure whether I'd be able to get in enough bike/swim training to avoid a sufferfest. I ended up setting a goal of running the whole run. This meant:
- maintaining what run fitness I established over the winter
- having enough swim fitness to not sabotage the bike/run
- having enough bike fitness to not sabotage the run
- doing a much better job on fueling/hydration than last time


The family and I ended up camping at Lake Tuckahoe state park near Denton, MD for the weekend (had a great time) which put us about 50min away from Cambridge. Between the late start, some minor traffic, a drawbridge opening, and parking issues, I didn't get into transition until around 6:20. This meant no swim warmup and incredibly long portajohn lines...too long to stand in and still make it for my wave. Just set things up, get to the beach, and do the potty dance until it was my wave's turn.

Swim (41:01 - 57/204AG)

Ironically, my wife had just asked me the night before why I never did the whole prescription goggles thing. I told her that it seemed like too much bother, and that as long as I could study the course ahead of time to pick out landmarks and spot at least 2 orange dots in the distance, I could manage. Looking straight into the sun at the start, barely able to spot *one* orange dot, and not having had to time to look over the course, I was once again reminded that she's usually right. I was swimming all over the place. I kept swimming for the crowd, but the crowd was all over the place too. Then to make matters worse, half way out I felt my first sea nettle sting followed not much later by a significant increase in chop. By the turnaround, I had been stung 3 times and was getting tossed all over the place by the water. On the way back in, I couldn't see the yellow buoys at all. Twice I swam after a yellow buoy only to discover that it was race support (once a guy with yellow lifevest in a kayak who kept backing further and further away, and once a yellow wave runner). About half way back I got my worst sting of the day. On a roll to the right, I caught it on my ear and cheek, then down my neck. I usually enjoy the swim segment a lot, but not this time. It was awful.

T1 (6:53)

Don't ask me what I was doing for almost 7 minutes, 'cause I haven't a clue. I know there was sunscreen and a banana in there somewhere, but otherwise I'll be looking to improve upon this next time out.

Bike (3:17:21 186/204AG)

Lack of bike conditioning definitely showed itself on this ride. The course is flat..real flat...but windy at times. For the most part, my HR was about where I wanted it, but I had a lot of those early season aches that come from not having ridden enough. Glutes in particular were a constant issue, so I kept standing to get a good stretch. Fueling/hydration wise, I think I did an OK job. My plan was to fuel up every 20min and stick to the "if you feel good, eat" concept. I had a banana in T1 (120cal?), a Nutrigrain bar (140cal) at the hour mark, a cliff bar (250cal) over the 2nd and 3rd hours, a couple shots from the Gel flask (250cal), maybe 40oz of Gatorade (250cal), and a bunch of water with the non-liquid consumables. Pretty close to the 300cal/hr I was shooting for.

T2 (4:41)

Not that bad considering the time included finding an empty port-a-john plus posing for pics

Run (2:28:26 181/204AG 11:20min/mi pace)

I felt so much better starting this run than I did starting Timberman's last year. I just went out at a comfortable pace and tried to maintain a decent cadence. And while the course has the potential to be a death march given how exposed it is to the sun, the overcast conditions and well stocked aid stations (they all had ice) meant that I actually enjoyed myself out there. Things were going really well until around mile 9 when my hamstrings started cramping up. I'm not sure if it was a lack of fueling on the run (only 200-300cal total of E-gel) or if it was my decision to leave the Endurolytes in the car (I was coated in salt)...but I ended up taking 3 walk/stretch breaks and 1 porta-john break between mile 9 and the finish line. I still can't believe I managed an 11:20min/mi pace even with those breaks. Considering my Timberman pace last Aug was 12:42min/mi, I'm very happy with the improvement. But I still need to work on putting together a solid half marathon. Didn't exactly hit my goal, but I'm fairly happy nevertheless.