• Augusta 1/2 Ironman 2015
  • Spring Fling Triathlon 2015
  • Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic distance triathlon 2015
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Zoot

Zoot makes the best running shoes as well as other triathlon gear.  Watch me train and race in Zoot shoes, wetsuit and race kit. Get yours at ZootSports.com

Hammer Nutrition

Fuel smart with all natural ingredients. Stay away from refined sugars, salt tablets, and other unhealthy crap. Ask me how!  CLICK HERE to save 15% on your first order. My pantry contains Gel, Heed, Perpetuem, Anti-Fatigue, and Recoverite. Hammer tattoos will be worn on my shoulders in all my races.

2016 Lake Logan Half

My third 1/2 Iron distance race was at the Lake Logan Half Triathlon, just outside of Asheville, NC. The swim was wetsuit legal with 72 deg temps, in a very shallow lake. 1.2 mi in 45:21. I try to make up time in transition, had the 14th fastest. The bike had lots of challenging hills. 3,000 ft of climbing over 56 mi. I averaged 18.1 mph, max speed of 40 mph. Finished with the 23rd fastest time, 3:05:22. I blazed through T2 with 4th fastest time!!! Half of the 1/2 marathon run was uphill! I finished 32nd with a time of 2:24:09. Overall, I finished in 28th place, at 6:20:01. Keep reading for the more interesting details.

 

Pre Race

I drove up after working a half day on the day before the race. After a 4 hour drive, I went straight to the check-in. The process was very quick. I’m glad I checked in early, to avoid waiting in lines on race day. Since I haven’t worn my wetsuit since the early Spring, I did a practice swim. I had a few freak out moments since the lake is very shallow. I was swimming very close to all types of downed trees and fish that occasionally startled me. I stayed calm, and prepared myself not to be surprised on race day. I had planned on driving the bike course afterwards, but I was so tired, I forgot. I went straight to my hotel in downtown Asheville to get rested and watch the beginning of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. For my nutrition, I filed 3 water bottles with Hammer Perpetuem, had a Hammer energy bar before the race, and Hammer Gels on my race belt for the run. For breakfast, I just had fruit and pickles. I usually also eat oatmeal, but there was no microwave. I read a lot of race reports to know that traffic will be real slow trying to park in the morning, so I woke up at 3:30 AM and planned to arrive at the race site at 5:00 AM. I’m glad I did. I was not rushed, and remained relaxed as the race began.

Swim


The sun was just starting to creep up over the tree line, so it was pretty dark. Since the lake is shallow, everyone just stood in the water to start the race. I started near the back to stay away from the crowds. My goal was to pass 2 people! That may seem silly, but that’s a lot for me. Actually, overall goal was not to be the slowest. My last race, I was 10% from the bottom of my age group.
The water felt very comfortable. Since it was dark, I could not see all the stuff on the lake bottom. With my wetsuit on, I felt like I was gliding real fast through the water. I passed several folks! But they also passed me back later. It was easy to follow the caps and spot the next buoy for the first half of the swim. As we looped back, there was more space between the swimmers, and it became a lot harder to spot the next buoy. When I wasn’t sure of what to spot, I just kept on swimming until I did. We warned that the temperature will drop 10 degrees as we pass under the bridge near the swim exit. It felt more like 20 degrees!!! Anyone not prepared would get sent into shock. I never experienced that big of a difference before. The lake got extremely shallow towards the finish. 4 feet, 3 feet.... should I just stand up and walk? I finally did just stand up and walk the last 20 feet. I finished 41/48, 15% from the bottom. 2:13/100 yd pace. All excellent for me as I compete against folks that's been swimming for years or their entire lives.
Goal: Don’t finish last
Time: 45:21
Rank: 41/48 Age Group. 15% from bottom. Improvement from 10% in my last race.

T1

 
I studied the altitude map beforehand, and knew there were 3 hills of concern. One at the beginning, a huge climb at mile 42, and another steep climb at the end. From talking to others who have raced before, they were only concerned about the middle hill. That puzzled me. I began the ride strong, averaging in the 20s for the first half of the 56 mile ride. Now I’m looking for the the huge climb at mile 42. I thought I hit, and conquered it, but was a false alarm. I really got excited for a moment. Then the monster hill arrived. It was very tough, but I was not going to be the first one to start walking. I pushed and pushed, and eventually I made it over the top. I was able to fly the rest of the race. Then mile 54 hit. I was expecting another steep climb. It seemed forever for it to arrive. Now I see why. This last monster climb is right before the end of the ride! My goal was to relax my legs before the run. Instead, I’m fighting to hold my position over the folks I passed. When I made to the top, my legs were cooked.
Time: 3:37
Rank: 14/48 AG

Bike

I studied the altitude map beforehand, and knew there were 3 hills of concern. One at the beginning, a huge climb at mile 42, and another steep climb at the end. From talking to others who have raced before, they were only concerned about the middle hill. That puzzled me. I began the ride strong, averaging in the 20s for the first half of the 56 mile ride. Now I’m looking for the the huge climb at mile 42. I thought I hit, and conquered it, but was a false alarm. I really got excited for a moment. Then I start hearing *Flap-Flap-Flap* I thought it was coming from soneone elses’s bike, then I noticed that something was stuck on my front tire. I tried to reach down to pull it off, but that didn’t work. I couldn’t ignore it, since it could get tangled up in my derailleur or spokes and cause irreparable damage. After I topped one of the climbs, I pulled over a see that it was electrical tape. I pulled them off, then I was good to go for the rest of the race. Then the monster hill arrived. It was very tough, but I was not going to be the first one to start walking. I pushed and pushed, and eventually I made it over the top. I was able to fly the rest of the race. Then mile 54 hit. I was expecting another steep climb. It seemed forever for it to arrive. Now I see why. This last monster climb is right before the end of the ride! My goal was to relax my legs before the run. Instead, I’m fighting to hold my position over the folks I passed. When I made to the top, my legs were cooked.
Time: 3:05:22
Rank: 23/48 AG

T2

To make up for lost time, I try to fly through the transition. I removed my shoes while on my bike, then jogged to my Zoot Makai run shoes and race belt filled with Hammer Gel. Turns out, I was the 4th fastest in my age group!!
Time: 1:34
Rank: 4/48 AG

Run

The 1/2 marathon run is 2 loops. The first loop is half up hill, turn around, then half downhill. Then do it again for the second loop. When I first started, my legs really felt like bricks! I’m paying the price from a lack of training. I usually have 2 brick (bike-run) workouts every week. Due to my travel schedule, I only had 1 in 2 months. About a half mile in, I finally found my running legs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t moving much faster. Lots of folks passed me on the run. This was frustrating because I worked so hard to pass them on the bike. I tried to push harder, but my legs limited what I could do. I used some Hammer Gels from my race belt, and started targeting anyone in my age group. With 2 miles left, I pushed hard and left the group I was with. A mile in, I didn’t see any of my AG competitors.
The last half mile was a turn onto a gravel road, then grass. I heard the music and saw the finish line (again since it’s the second loop). One last push, and I finished strong. After finishing the swim in 41st place, and losing positions on the run, I finished in 28th in my age group.
Time: 2:24:09
Rank: 32/48
 
 
Overall: 6:20:01
Rank: 28/45.
This was a well organized race and very challenging. Soon, I will be racing my first full distance Ironman race in Chattanooga. This race was a great tune up.