Reston Area Triathletes RATS.net Logo

Race Result

Racer: Reid Kiser
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2008
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 5:04:48
Overall Place: 149 / 1382
Age Group Place: 27 / 208
Comment: "The swim is the easiest part of the race, enjoy it while it lasts" Danny Brienza

Race Report:

I originally signed up for Eagleman when registration opened last year because it is the local 70.3 and fills up quickly. I hadn't determined my schedule at that point but viewed it as a race I wanted to decimate given itís a flat fast course. However, after signing up with Coach Glover to design my training plan for Quelle Challenge Roth and deciding that Triple-T would be a better event for IM training, Eagleman (EM) became a low priority and more of a do it to do it race with friends. I was expecting to be beat down from Triple-T and not recovered enough to race EM.

I am still working on my RR for TTT, but it's still too much to digest and regurgitate (which seems to be a common theme for everything I've been doing this year - even with my real job), but wanted to get this one captured for the books. Bottom line, I had a successful race at TTT and was amazed that I felt pretty fresh within 72 hours of completing the race. I began to set expectations to go 4:45 at EM as I wanted to crush the bike and I have finally started to have success with open water swims (panic factor has almost disappeared as I've become a stronger swimmer with more race experience). My goal was to go under 34 minutes on the swim and put up a ridiculous 2:20 on the bike. This would mean a 1:45 on the run, which would take a lot mental toughness to go hard after all that on a ideal weather day.

So the weather report emails start rolling in and expectations quickly change. With the realization that my final build for Roth becomes very intense before the peak and it may not be smart to decimate myself and struggle to recover for key workouts, I reevaluate this whole "let me finally ride the bike the way I like to ride" and suffer on the run as I would do last year. Expectations and goals switched to a sub-5 goal and more of "I don't want to be out running for more than 2 hours in the Blackwater Cauldron."

Thursday, I opted to stay at a hotel with a friend who traveled in from Ohio versus the RATS Camp. I wish the weather would have been better to enjoy the camaraderie the night before, but the AC and mindless watching of Man vs. Wild with my feet elevated resting worked out well. When we made it to our room there was a little bunk in the window and I said to Mary Beth, maybe Shawn could sleep there and get out of the heat. We were very glad when he decided to drive to Salisbury and join us.

Friday, I began to increase my salt intake with food. I grabbed one of those boxes of tomato soup from Trader Joe's and would have several cups of it throughout the day on Friday and Saturday along with adding Nuun to my water intake. On Saturday, I finally read the label remembering there may be a little fiber in this soup and this may be a problem (wasn't a factor after all). The risk of salting is bloating, fortunately I didn't feel bloated at all but could tell my saliva was saline. I was pretty confident this would work afterall.

Saturday, arrived in Cambridge at 1:30 and upon stepping out of the car we knew it would be a death march. We proceeded as quickly as possible to check in at packet pickup and rack the bike and get to the hotel and hydrate. We had a very nice dinner at Market Street Inn in Salisbury with Ross, Elizabeth and Shawn. It was lights out in Room 103 at 10:30 for a 5:15 departure to the race.

Sunday, drove up with Ross in my car and an ice chest full of my nutrition. We arrived at transition at around 6 and I had to go to the toilet immediately. I dropped my transition bag at my bike and got in line with Jeroen. I got back to the rack and KK was a couple of bikes down. I joked that I could now keep an eye him for the day. Upon Kevin helping to pump my tires, I realized all my fluids were back in the car and the time is now 6:40 (pros start in 5 minutes and transition is 20). I thought of panicking, but just put on my running shoes and ran back to the car and grabbed everything (needed a warm up, right?). I made it back in time to get the bottles on the bike and take my shoes off and reset my area. Major problem is now I am sweating and need to put on sun block and wetsuit while drenched. I was doing my best to retain composure, so grabbed my swim gear, tried to apply body glide and got out of transition as the 7:00 wave was starting.

Swim:(AG Rank - 38 Time - 32:48 Pace - 1:41/100 meters)
I was able to put my suit on and went with a new sleeveless Blue Seventy Helix but was not able to settle down and focus mentally on the race. I talk with Eric while I put on my suit and tried to get a grip. I was also a little panicked about what I forgot to do at transition. Anyway, I moved into the staging area and talked with Tine and had him zip me up. I now felt more at ease but was very hot and thirsty from my jog to the car and standing around in rubber. I was just ready to get this thing started and over with and said to myself just relax and enjoy the swim it will be the easiest (coolest) part of the day, the bike and run will hurt. I lined up behind Mike off to the right of the group pretending I would be able to follow his feet. The horn went off and I just went into my zone and focused on long smooth strokes swimming in a straight line. I surprised myself on the swim and never stopped my stroke. I even decided to throw in a few bursts at the start, trying to catch some feet, and at the turns to get away from the bottlenecks. I swam through many people and gained confidence, I was also complimented that I had some tapping my feet for most of the swim (i.e., someone actually drafted off of me on the swim). I loved the swim finish as the buoys were set up on both sides of the entrance like a landing strip at the airport. I just thought of how I am now returning to the mother ship and just knocked out the best swim of my life.

T1:(AG Rank - 67 Time - 3:25)
I trotted to the rack feeling pretty good but a little thirsty. I was able to work through my race plan mentally and what I may have missed setting up transition during the swim. I took the time to spray on sun block and Kevin was shortly behind me coming in transition and ended up following him out.

Bike:(AG Rank - 35 Time - 2:30:38 Speed - 22.4mph)
Kevin took off on a mission on the bike, I held back as I usually ride under goal pace/power for first 30 minutes to settle in and get ready for nutrition. I also wasn't feeling very well during this time in trying to get in fluids. I was trying to get my goal power up to 230 watts as I've averaged 215 in my last two HIMs, but honestly couldn't get things above 200. I am not sure if it was the flat course, the heat or poor mental disposition. I didn't obsess and just worked on get HR over 140 and getting comfortable. I passed Ross and said hello and then moved up to Mike and we exchanged our painful crotch stories and how much things were hurting. I gained a little energy running into people I knew which would help for short periods of time but still couldn't get the rhythm I was hopping for (I think there were powers outside of me holding me back to survive the run). Next Craig Ellis passed me and I decided to hang with him, that lasted about 15 minutes and I was happy to get my numbers up to where I wanted to be. Then I was trapped in a pack of cyclists going into the second aid station and he was gone (he ended up with the top bike split in our AG). Fortunately it was a decent pack that I decided to ride with for awhile (within legal draft limits). The group ended up splitting and after the next aid station I decided to go out on my own. Around this time, I found Shawn not too far ahead and held pace hoping to eventually catch up with him and say hello. We rode in the same vicinity for quite some time. I finally warned him that there may be some fluid coming off my bike in a little bit and to either drop back or go ahead. We leap frogged for awhile with another guy who would pass and then sit up to drink and fall back only to hammer past again and do the same thing. Finally he was stung by a bee and dropped back for a few minutes. A little while later I relieved the bladder and saw we had about 8 miles to go (I knew it was a hot day since the last two HIMs I needed to do this 3x). I finally starting feeling well and dropped the hammer home hoping to break 2:30 at this point, but missed it by half a minute. I really didn't have it on the bike this day; it was a lot of lows with only a couple of small highs. I usually just like to go steady. I didn't get my "Hammerfest" I wanted for a change of pace in my racing strategy on the bike and now will try again at Timberman. I have purposely held back on the bike this year to have a better run and more consistent race. I forced down 700 calories of Perpetuum during the ride with one shot of gel for a change of pace and caffeine. Lots of water was also consumed and sprayed on my body.

T2:(AG Rank - 38 Time - 2:25)
Uneventful, put on socks, running shoes, cap, two fuel belt bottles of Clif Electrolyte, baggie, endurolytes and remaining gel. Oh, and sprayed on more sun block. I quickly packed my ice baggie on the way out to the course.

Run:(AG Rank - 38 Time - 1:55:33 Pace - 8:50/mile)
Out of the chute to the cheering RATS spectators with a smile on my face even though I knew the worst was yet to come. It was hard going throughout the run and my feet already felt like they were blistering from sogginess or the run out of the swim. I had hard time finding the mile markers on the run so had no clue on splits except at the turn, things felt really slow all day. I made it to the first aid station in 10 minutes and thought that was a mile (more like 1.25 miles). I said to myself, if that's what it (10 min pace) takes then so be it. Stay steady and zone out to place far away from the conditions. I just wanted to quit as we made our way through the houses close to the shore. It was run steady, walk through aid stations, and load up on as much as possible. Stay cool (relative) and hydrated. As I approached each aid station, I would go through a mental checklist to try to determine needs. Do I need ice, salt, water, energy drink, gel, cola or wash off the salt on my face with ice water? It was nice to take my mind off of my feet and legs and think about what needed to go into my body. Everything was a delicate titration of nutrition as I never knew what would put me over the edge of nausea or would get left out leading to a bonk or cramps. The funniest thing of the day was coming off of freshly paved asphalt and the joy of not running on "black" top. The "gray" top roads were a welcomed 140 degrees vs. 160. Around mile 5 I was settling into a good pace with another guy in my AG (with the same sub-5 goal) and decided to just run behind/with him. We would flip flop through aid stations and hook on to another couple of guys around the same pace. We had a nice pack of four to carry the train along for a few miles. Finally around mile 9, it was just me and him again and I started making more conversation to help encourage us both home and try to go under 5. After talking with him after the race, he had some problems at the aid station after mile 10 but was righted with a Pepsi. I wish he could have helped pace me in because it was nice to have the camaraderie of another suffering through the pain. The next to last aid station took forever to get to and I though I was going to quit because I needed fluid and some shade. I persevered by sucking it up and remembering I had one more of my personal bottles. The hardest part was getting to mile 11 and back to the last neighborhood on the shore. I made the last aid station and figured I could do this, but the dreams of sub-5 were gone. Each step to mile 13 was the next to last step I would take before I was going to quit. I made it to the RATS tent and was elated and everyone cheering carried me home.

Post Race:
As soon as I crossed the line two volunteers grabbed me quickly. I guess they could either see it in my eyes or most likely they were overly cautious with all participants. A very nice lady walked me around and got me everything I need until I started to make sense. She sat me down in the misting tent, but I decided to go over to medical as I was in a weird haze. Dave came and congratulated me and checked me in to the tent as we talked with Craig as he was on an IV. I was seriously hoping I could get the same to speed up the rehydration process. They sat me down and took my vitals. They gave me a few ice packs, cold towels and Gatorade. Shortly Mary Beth showed up elated on how well I had done and I almost started balling. I was very fragile in this state but it was great. She acted as my back support on the cot so I could sit up and drink while the EMT waited for my vitals to settle or catch up. Once they did, we slowly got up and I thanked the EMT and we walked back to the RATS tent and sat down and cheered on the rest of racers. I was so happy to be done and it was still a swim, bike and overall time PR. This was my most consistent placing looking at each split.

At the same time of feeling success of the year, I was very hurt to hear about my friends DNFing, but knew it was the correct thing to do and how I may have put my health in jeopardy.

After Triple-T followed by an epic Eagleman, I am feeling pretty good about Roth in four weeks. The next few weeks will be tough training, but we are getting excited to accomplish a huge three-year goal that seems unfathomable when I said I wanted to do an ironman by 35.