Prerace: Much like my previous race, I showed up at this race undertrained. In the month before the race, I travelling to Madison, Wisconsin to watch Suzanne do Ironman Wisconsin. I did some light training during the trip, but almost no training after the trip (in the two weeks before my race). Still, for some reason, I thought I could pull a good race out of the bag. I felt strong in general, and I had purchased a new bike. My trusty new Softride Classic TT bike was very, very comfortable, and even though I didn't have a lot of time on it, I felt like I could ride it at least as fast as my previous bike. I got the race site the day before the race, and took a nice drive around the bike course. I got a good eight hours of sleep, ate a good breakfast, and got to the race site with plenty of time to spare. I was guardedly optimistic when the gun went off.

Swim: The swim felt like it went rather well. I started off strong, and had fairly good form throughout. The only problem was that I swallowed some air late in the swim. This was to haunt me the rest of the race. Swim time: 29:05, 35/61 in my age group.

T1: As soon as I got out of the water, my stomach started to spasm. I thought maybe it was just a stomach cramp from running too fast, but then I remembered that I sometimes had horrible stomach distress if I swallowed air while swimming. I couldn't get moving in transition, and ended up with one of the slowest T1's in my age group.

Bike: My stomach bothered me the entire bike ride. I almost never get stomach cramps on the bike, but I found that if my pulse climbed even close to where I planned to have it, my stomach would spasm and I would want to puke. I think I had some leftover fitness from my Skyline Drive / Blue Ridge Parkway trip, because I finished the ride in 1:16:07. Without stomach problems, I think I would have been solidly in the top half of my age group on the bike.

T2: T2 went smooth enough. Not too much to it. 1:19, 38/61 in my age group.

Run: Worst... 10K... ever. My stomach problems went from "annoying" on the bike to "crippling" on the run. I'm sure part of the problem was just that I hadn't been running much, but the biggest problem was the gas in my stomach. I passed gas at least a dozen times during the run, but still couldn't get my stomach to settle. I walked almost the entire thing, finishing in a stunning 1:21:46. Dead LAST in my age group. Even if I didn't have stomach problems, I would probably not have done much better than 50/61 in my age group. I clearly have a lot of work to do on my run!

Final Stats 3:11:58, 57/61 in my age group. Not a good way to end the season, but at least I know what to work on during the off season:

  1. Running. I simply don't have the run endurance to do a solid race. I can't blame my runs on having to run off the bike, as my standalone run times still suck :-).
  2. Hard swimming + [something else]. I tend to swallow air during swims. I have to figure out why I do this, and how to stop doing it.
  3. Nutrition. I had stomach issues in both Olympic distance races in 2004. During Over the Mountain, I consumed too much, too fast, while working too hard. At Pinehurst, I think I took in fluids before my stomach had a chance to settle from the swim.
  4. Body composition. My race photos clearly show that I'm carrying extra luggage around my midsection. Most of the guys I see appear to have something around 10% bodyfat. I'm sporting 18-20%. I'm giving away tons of time simply by carrying too much fat.