Patriot Half-Ironman: Lessons learned

4 days after the race, and I think I’ve had enough time to mull over what went right and what went wrong this weekend, and the lessons I’ve learned:

- More Training – This should seem obvious, but I felt ready for this race. My times were faster than Timberman, so that tells me progress was made; but I was still fairly close to the bike cutoff. We trained longer distances than last year, but we still need to do more. We didn’t miss many workouts this summer, but the goal now is zero missed workouts.

- Less Weight – my cycling has improved quite a bit, and what’s holding me back, literally, is my front. I think about how much easier the climbing would have been if I’d been just 30 pounds lighter. It takes a lot less energy to climb the less weight you’re hauling up those hills. So 30 pounds is my goal to lose in the next 80 days. Yes, it’s a challenge to accomplish, but it’s only a couple pounds a week, and it will make my finishing the race that much easier.

- More Fluids – I’m going to be drinking a lot more fluids, mostly in the form of water, from here on out. It was a hot day and I couldn’t take on enough fluids during the bike. I need to enhance how much fluid I can carry on the bike at once. Whether that means a seat mounted bottle rack, a frame mounted Speedfill bottle, or if I start riding with a Camelbak, I’m going to make sure hydration is no longer an issue in my training or racing.

- Better Race Prep – It would have been really hard to prepare for the heat on that course with the few warm days we’ve had this year in Boston. But I could have done longer trainer rides in our very warm house. I should have prepared for the worst instead of just hoping for the best.

- Transition Practice – I had around 13 minutes in transition time on Saturday. I need to find ways to get through transition faster.

- Never Stop – If I hadn’t left the course voluntarily I would have finished. From now on, I don’t care how much time is left when I leave T2, I’m going out on the run course and doing my damnedest to finish even if they tell me I won’t get a time. Timberman they would have had to yank me kicking and screaming off that course, and I made it under the time limit. I would have made it under the original time limit on Saturday too, but I let the number get into my head instead of just finishing. So, if I’m last and being a burden on some tired and hot course volunteers next time, they’ll just have to deal with it I guess

USA Triathlon head referee said I didn’t have grounds to appeal my result, but did say because the Race Director gave me wrong information, he doesn’t see a reason why they shouldn’t reinstate me in the Aquabike division. I’m waiting to hear back from the race director.

At least I don’t have to wait long to have my revenge. While our next triathlon is a few months away as currently scheduled, I’m doing the Harvard Pilgrim 10k at Patriot Place on the 4th of July. I got a free race entry through Active Advantage, and I’m going to set a 10k PR that morning.

3 thoughts on “Patriot Half-Ironman: Lessons learned”

  1. Never Stop – Remember the cliche' "You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying." I was hoping you'd reach that conclusion. I mean, really – since when do you listen to authority figures? -lol

    How are you carrying fluids now? I've been using the Polar insulated bottles. Even during those two 90+ degree days we had, I loaded them with ice and the water was still cool 3 hours into the rides. Granted, they're heavy for racing but think of them as ankle weights on your training rides.

  2. That's the spirit! Keep looking ahead and keep the positive outlook: "…and I'm going to set a 10k PR that morning." Love it!!

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