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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Atomic Man</span></span></strong></p>
<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Half-Iron Distance Triathlon</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Swim – Bike – Run</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">  1.2   –   56   – 13.1</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">1.2 mile swim - 26:13 - 26 of 161  (email I just recieved said they shortened the course)</span></span></span></p>
<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">56 mile bike - 2:48:39 - 25 of 161</span></span></span></p>
<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">13.1 mile run - 1:47:16 - 24 of 161</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">24 of 161 overall</span></span></span></p>
<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">3rd in AG</span></span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">5:05:36 total time.  A PR for me by about 5 minutes and my previous PR was on a flat course.  This course is advertised as the toughest course in the South Eastern region.  And they were not kidding, those hills were brutal. </span></span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Pre Race</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The course was advertised as the toughest half-iron distance course in the South Eastern Region and leading up to the race I didn't know what to expect for an overall time as I didn't know how tough the hills would be.  I just wanted to keep the bike leg under 3 hours and run sub 8s.  After driving the course the day prior I was quite sure I would be able to do it or not.  The course had some hills on it I just wasn't prepared to ride.  We don't have hill of that length in this area and I just couldn't train for it.  But I decided I would keep my goals and hope for the best. </span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The Wednesday before the run the water temperature was reported at 84* and I knew at that point we wouldn't be wearing a wetsuit but I decided to take it with me anyhow.  It was a great decision as race morning the water temperature was 73*.  Apparently the reservoirs up stream were released and the cold water from the mountains had reached the lake and the water temps dropped 10* overnight.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Weather leading up to this race has been extremely hot and humid and fortunately for me the weekend of the race a cold front moved in and race morning temp was 48* with a high of 82*.  I couldn't have asked for anything better.</span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Race Morning</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">I was up a 4:30 and went through my normal routine of drinking plenty of water and 20 oz of CeraSport.  I ate a nutrition bar and banana, loaded the vehicle and I headed to the race site by 6.  I set up transition area; got my body markings and now I was ready to go.  I didn't do any warm-ups as I normally don't for this distance race.  I figured I would start slow and warm-up as I go.</span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Swim</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The swim course was two loops of just under 1000 meters each.  I started in the second wave 3 minutes behind the first.  My goal was to just swim steady and straight as possible.  I planned on sighting every 10 strokes or so to make sure I was still on course.  When the gun went off I stayed off the back to stay out of the madness, but it didn't take long till I was right in the middle of it.  Once I made the first turn I was right in the middle of a group.  I just stayed the course and slowly began to pass people.  My sighting was good and I think I stayed relatively straight.  By the time I made it to the second turn I was beginning to catch the first wave of swimmers and I had to battle my way through the crowd.  On the third turn I was feeling good and heading back to the start and feeling comfortable.  I finished the first lap and back out I went.  It was mostly clean sailing for the second lap with a few people here and there keeping me on pace.  On the second turn I did get off course as the buoys were hard to see in the fog and not a lot of people to help me sight the next buoy.  I made the correction and headed for home.  As I came into the finish of the swim and I stood up my right hammie cramped.  My first thought was that is not good but after a few steps it disappeared and it wasn't an issue.  I was out of the water in 26:13, 26<sup>th</sup> overall.  I received an email after the race and they shortened the course slightly due to the fog.  So I don’t know the exact distance.</span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">T1</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">I ran into the transition stripped the wetsuit, cleaned the grass off my feet, socks, shoes, helmet, bike off the rack and out I went.  Total time 2:20</span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Bike</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The bike course was going to be a challenge due to the hills and then trying to keep the speed down and not over do it like I did last year.  The course started up a short hill and then flattened out for a few miles before we started the first climb.  I was trying to keep my average speed around 20.  Through the first 5 miles I was a little fast but the first hill was coming.  As I made the first big climb I was trying to hold back and just be steady and slowly passed some people as I climbed the hill.  Hills are typically my strengths with the declines and flats being slower than most.  I still haven't figure out why that is yet.  As I crested the hill and started down the other side I tried to keep the effort level about the same and just kept pedaling down the hill as those that I passed going up are now passing me coming down.  It seemed to work like that all day long as I was riding with the same people and we just kept exchanging positions on the course.  Through the first loop I average just over 20 mph and I was feeling the burn in the legs from the hills.  Back out I went again, and again I was just trying to maintain an average speed of 20.  This loop the hills seem to be taking a toll on the body, but I was still staying with the same group of guys, passing them up the hills and getting passed back down.  It started to become the joke as we were passing each other.  As we were coming up the last major hill I did finally get passed by a few people that I haven't seen before so I was slowing and they chase group was gaining.  I didn't let it discourage me as I was competing against myself and not them.  The last hill was absolutely brutal as I came to a crawl coming up the hill and I didn't pass anybody on that hill.  As I came into the transition area, I knew I was on pace and finished in 2:48:39 with an average speed of 19.9.  Slower than last year but a much harder course.</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">T2</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">I took my time heading into T2 as once we dismounted the bike we had to go down a steep grass hill.  I racked my bike, helmet off, running shoes on, number belt on grabbed my gels and out I went for the run.  Total time was 1:11.</span></span></p>
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<p><strong><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Run</span></span></strong></p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The run course was advertised as a two loop course that is primarily flat with a few rollers on each loop.  I would tend to disagree and call it a hilly course or at least rolling hills.  But I don't consider hills that are longer than ½ mile to be rolling hills.  As I left the transition the first .4 miles was all uphill.  Once I made it up the hill I stopped at the porta potty and waited and waited until I just decided to move on until I got to the next porta potty, which didn't come until I got back to the same one some 6.5 miles later.  After a long slow downhill with some rolling hills we began the climb back up for almost a full mile with a few flat breaks.  Through the first 3+ miles to the turnaround I was averaging a 7:48 pace.  On pace a feeling ok; the legs were beginning to hurt after that long climb, although it wasn't steep it was steady.  Now for the long downhill back I was moving along pretty quick with my fastest mile of the day (7:18).  I continued running with only short walk breaks through each aid station.  As I was coming up the hill at to the turnaround for the second loop I decided to take my first unplanned walk break, legs were really hurting now and I was beginning to lose the mental game.  I made it to the turnaround and I hit the porta potty.  I was feeling much better now and I knew I was heading into a downhill stretch.  So I was trying to maintain my pace of sub 8s, which I didn't make for my 7 since I stopped at the porta potty.  Mile 9 is where it all started to fall apart; I was giving in to the pain.  I don't think I ever had so much pain in my legs where I was cramping, just muscle pain and again I gave in to the mental game and did too much walking on the hills (9:20 mile).  Ok so now I am at the top of the mile long hill and I told myself I was going to run through mile 10 without walking, Oops I gave in again and took about 10 second walk break on a little hill.  Now I knew I was going to be running downhill again for about a mile so I picked it back up, still just didn't have anything left as the legs were in severe pain.  No cramping just painful with every step, I pushed until it was too much and then I would walk for about 10-15 seconds and start running again.  Every mile from this point on was way of 8's.  Last part of this course is an absolute killer as you make the final turn you look up and there was a brutal hill to climb to the finish.  I wanted to walk, but I seen a guy climbing the hill behind me and I wasn't going to let him pass me into the finish.  It was a good thing I did because he was in my AG.  I finished in 1:47:16 (8:11 pace). </span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Not quite what I wanted but I am happy with the results.  The course was much tougher than I thought.  I got a new PR and I placed in my AG.  What a great day!</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Thanks for reading.</span></span></p>
 

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<p>Nice job not letting the hills defeat you and congrats on 3rd in your AG!!!</p>
 

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<p>Solid performance Dave.  I typically cramp on the run also in my quads.  Getting in enough fluids on bike and salt can help with that.  Maybe throw down a banana, which has also helped.</p>
 
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