Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ironman Timberman 70.3 Race Report

On Sunday I did my A++++++ race of the season, Ironman Timberman 70.3, my fourth and last Half Ironman and last triathlon of the season. Never have I ever trained so hard for an event that I wanted to just KILL and exact revenge upon.

This past season has turned into the "Season of the Half Ironman." When I did 5:55:xx @ Timberman last year, my first Half Ironman, I had such a miserable time on the run, a 2:23:xx, that I swore off this distance for a few years. I wanted to do olympic distances and figure out the short distances first a bit more. Well that thought lasted for a day and a deep burning fire ignited within me: REVENGE.

I realized that the only way you are only going to get better at something is to do it over and over again. Practice makes perfect, right? Well I practiced hard this year and made a ton of mistakes. Repeating Timberman turned into adding Mooseman in June, and then New Orleans was added early in the season in April due to some serious base building. I then on a whim snuck in Rhode Island in July to break up a 12 week monotony between Mooseman and Timberman.

So 4 FOUR Half Ironman races were added this year; the year that I swore off the distance.


I compare doing these distances to my experience in art school. I created a lot of shitty art work in school for about 3.5 years. I had art teachers flat out laugh at my work and ask, "What is that?!?!?" What was it? It was getting the shitty art work out of my system before I finally learned how to create my masterpiece, which got me my job 7 weeks out of school.

Turning to triathlon, I suffered and had some shitty races (with highlights!) during my first four Half Ironman prior to this race. I made my mistakes, in particular going too hard on the bike and ignoring nutrition. I practiced and practiced and practiced and fixed those mistakes, and they PAID OFF today. Everything finally came together! I PR'ed every part of this race.

Now for the report:
Overall, 5:08:20, 395/2141 total participants, 50/162 in division
18.44 percentile overall, 30.8 percentile in age group (I had a FAST age group!).
47:27 min improvement over 2009's time.

Saw my family and friends after warming up. They asked how I was doing, and I responded with, "I have peed my pants 3 times in the water and it felt GREAT! There are only so many times a year that I can pee my pants, and I take every opportunity I can get!"

My mom, sister, me, dad

Lake Winnipesaukee is not a polluted lake, it is a peeluted lake. Get it? It was also 75 degrees, and the air temp was 70 degrees. Staying in the water was NICE. Saw Andy Potts lead the PRO men's field on the swim and the rest was history. Dude is gonna podium @ Kona this year. Nuff said!

Swim, 1.2 miles, 34:12, 37/162 in division:
I lined up pretty close to the front and as far right as possible to get an aggressive position. Swimming is not my strength so my plan was to draft off the fast guys for as long as possible before I am on my own.

But! Before our wave went off, the starting music changed from some awesome-get-your-blood-moving-lets-kick-the-shit-out-of-this-race-ACDC-type-song to Coldplay's "The Scientist." It was like someone just pulled the plug! Here, 200 men, aged 25-29 all started looking at each other going, WTF?!?!?!? Two guys even embraced! hahahahahahaha! Now, I like Coldplay, just not Coldplay as I am starting a freaking race!!!! hahahahaha!

I am somewhere in that mess

We got going and I had little contact and found myself alone. It was ok; tried to and would have loved to draft, but I just did my thing. The course was a box shape, so the first leg out was fast, the 2nd leg, which paralleled the shore got a bit choppy due to being way out there, was pretty fast, but the third leg back towards shore was not great; I kept drifting left! I would aim right, and drift left. SO frustrating! Also, I started to lose energy at this point.

Not a great way to finish the swim, but was SUPER happy to see the clock turn 34 mins as I was coming out of the water. 2+ mins faster than last year! SWEET!

I was blind as a bat
T1, 2:00:
Wetsuit strippers are awesome! Got to use em 4 times this year :)D

I felt fast and I think my time showed. I am not the fastest transitioner, but that was a super fast T1 time for me.

Running like a penguin!

Bike, 56 miles, 2:41:40, 20.78 mph, 54/162 in division:
I felt "off" on the bike. I was fast!....but I didn't "feel" right, and I knew it from the beginning. I think I actually went too hard on the swim and was hungry. Turns out the swim was my fastest split of the day! The entire day was battling hunger on the bike. I brought an extra GU with me and consumed it at a 15 min interval instead of my usual ever 30 mins. It helped, but I was still hungry! Perhaps because it was cold and raining that my body was using up more energy to stay warm? And since I have been training in heat all summer that my body was used to cooling rather than staying warm?

I hit the turn @ 1:17:08 for a 21.78 mph average. Well, duh! Its a net downhill for the first 28 miles. I was ahead of schedule and starting to get worried. Why?

I was going too hard on the bike. Was my wattage higher than it should have been?

CRAP. This screwed me on the run here last year and at Rhode Island this year.

So I backed it off on the 2nd half. I think this helped. It showed. I held a 192 watt average on the way out, and a 181 watt average on the way back. I find it interesting that I held a 10 watt less average than 3 weeks ago, and yet I went 2 mins faster.....hhhmmmm. Wind?

Up to this point on the bike, it had been overcast, but no rain. I got sprinkled on a bit, but at 1:40:xx on the bike the skies opened up. No big deal though, I was still on the flats. The rain came and went, but totally opened up only when I was only flying downhill. GAH!

I finished the bike almost 2 mins ahead of schedule overall, and my legs felt like crap-ola.

A tough run was ahead!

Now that I think about the bike in general, overall it was a very non-exciting ride. But I think that was a good thing because it meant that I did the proper training and I knew the course very well.

T2, 2:45:
Due to being hungry on the bike and getting pretty chilled from the rain on the bike, I didn't have very good dexterity getting my socks, shoes, etc on. I just did the best I could and got out onto the run.

Can't feel my fingers!

Run, 13.1 miles, 1:47:43, 8:13 pace, 65/162 in division:
The first mile HURT, and the time showed. Here are my splits for the entire run:
Mile 1: 8:37
Mile 2: 7:51
Mile 3: 7:54
Mile 4: 7:56
Mile 5: 8:13
Mile 6: 8:10
Mile 7: 9:39
Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:27
Mile 10: 8:15
Mile 11: 8:48
Mile 12: 8:32
Mile 13: 7:20 (includes last .1 miles)

As you can see, I hit mile 2 and calmed WAY down. I was panicky after that first mile. I did a trial run of this course after the bike three weeks ago and dropped a 7:xx on the first mile. I hope you can see why I was panicking after this first mile! BUT! You can see my 2nd and 3rd miles calmed me even further. I went into autopilot mode until I was back to transition to start loop #2.

Heading towards mile 7, I started to run out of gas. This is the same place last year that I bonked. OH CRAP! NOT AGAIN! Fortunately the Gu that I shot @ mile 6.55 kicked in and I went back into autopilot mode. However, I had lost a step at this point, but it was fatigue rather than energy that was slowing me down. This was expected and I trudged forward as best as I could.

Finishing up the first loop of the run

At miles 9 and 10 I was mentally done. I wanted this over with already. It was not physical anymore. I knew that I was busting my PR wide open at this point, and it was my mental will to see how much I was going to PR. I knew miles 10-12 were hilly and were the hardest, so I just tried to shut my brain off as much as I could and GO. I guess this worked. They weren't the fastest miles.

At mile 12, I knew it was all downhill to the finish and that it would be over soon, and that it was mind over matter, so I said, "F*&@ IT!" and went!

I think my 7:20 split for the final 1.1 miles says it all :)

Almost there!!!

Was happy to see 6:08:xx on the clock, which meant subtract 1 hour and that was my time.

8 months of hard dedicated work paid off!

Chrissie Wellington was at the finish line and she put the finishers medal over my head and I asked if we could get a picture together. She said SURE! She is the best! She also won the women's race JUST as I was about to head out on the run. Dang....she is FAST!

So this half marathon is my 2nd fastest half marathon EVER for me. My fastest is still NYC at 1:45:19. Me thinks it is time for that PR to go down this fall during marathon training. The only thing is! is that I can't run fast now unless I have biked prior to riding for at least an hour to warm up. I guess this fall will be all about the run warmup.

Post Race:
I was actually hungry and could eat! I found my family and hit up the food and didn't care what they had. I just piled EVERYTHING onto my plate and grabbed a big thing of ice cream. Aaaahhhhhh.....sitting down was easy. It was the standing back up part that was hard :)


I will do another post soon about what is left for the season, aka training for the NYC Marathon, and off season goals.


  1. Congrats on an awesome race! All your hardwork clearly paid off!! Enjoy your break :)

  2. Fantastic race report - what a great day you had!!

  3. Great Race Jon and congrats on the PR! You swim and run splits were amazing - some fasties out on that course based on the times! dude after a 34min swim split I don't think you are allowed to say swimming is your weak sport anymore!!!

  4. Great race! you are correct: your hard work really paid off last weekend...you had really strong race. Nice Run!! Excellent RR and pics...Super glad I found your blog it has been amazing watching you knock off all these 70.3's this year. For some reason it helped give me confidence going into my HIM this summer! more to come...

  5. Man I am kinda pissed I just found your blog haha. Wish I could have followed your journey this year!

    Awesome job. I think I am one year behind you. I plan on kicking butt next year with a few more 70.3's schedule. I was not happy with my Steelhead race, I bonked hard on the run. Like you said, make the mistakes and learn from them.

    Solid run splits too. You should be PROUD of this race!

    Nothing feels better than having everything line up perfectly for your A race of the year.

  6. awesome recap. awesome race.
    jon u r a star!


  7. Congratulations on a great race! I am inspired by all that you have done this year. I am so happy that you were able to conquer this race and the distance!

  8. Great report, great race and awesome job! It has to be the best feeling in the world to know that 8 months of hard, hard work paid off!

  9. - I will take the under on Potts and Kona

    - Great race, great report, you simply amaze me. I feel it takes a 3-4 seasons to determine your "race distance" so people are sprinter, some are olympic, so on and so on. Just maybe your race is a 70.3.

    - Enjoy the pain of marathon training (still dont get it) and get some R&R in the offseason.

    - Great season my friend

  10. Amazing improvement AND meeting Chrissie? Great race!

  11. Great splits! Where is the Chrissie picture?

    Yeah - your half mary time should drop by about 15 minutes.

  12. Great report! Way to knock out an A++++++ performance for your A++++++ race.

    4 HIMs in one season... And I thought I was crazy by doing 3 of them :)

  13. Woo hoo! Way to go Jon!! You did so awesome! You look so strong in all of the pictures...I love the one with you and your family:) Great pictures and wonderful race report! Entertaining as always!

    You are going to do fantastic with the NY marathon...I just know it:)

  14. Great Job Jon...I followed your splts online and was def rooting you on. Thats awesome that Chrissie was there again at the finish. I am def considering this race for next year.

  15. Woohoo! Congrats on an amazing race! You did awesome! I loved reading your race report and seeing all of the pictures! I can't believe you did it in 5:08...that is super fast!!! Congrats again! :)

  16. YOU ARE SOOOOOO FAST!!! I am SO impressed! Coach me on the bike for IMLP, pretty pretty pretty please?! Congrats dude, I am going to use your race success to inspire me in my fall marathon!

  17. Glad you made it back into autopilot mode....congrats on a great finish, it's obvious all your hard work paid off!

  18. Wahooo!! Great race report! You nailed it!! My hero (batting eyes)

    Chrissie was gone when I got there...my stupid slow legs and last wave combo got me on that. You are so speedy!!

    Now - kick some ass in that marathon! :)

  19. I am so, so happy for you! I know how badly you wanted to redeem yourself on this course. And oh, boy did you do it exponentially! Ride the high my friend, you earned it!

    Nice pic with the family!

  20. Wow wow, congrats on such a great race, revenge is a dish best served cold...and by Chrissie! You should be so proud of yourself...we all are!
    Hope you enjoyed ice cream!
    Take some time off before kicking butt in the 26.2 mile marathon!

  21. Congratulations! Glad all your hard work paid off on the clock!


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