Welland Half Iron Tri Race Report – Part 2

Here’s where we left off with the swim.

Bike – 90K (56 mi)

bike1It was fun to get on the bike, although slightly overwhelming to think of the distance that lay ahead. During the swim, all I was able to think about was the swim. Now it was easier for my thoughts to get carried away knowing I had so far to ride (and then run). I pep-talked myself into staying in the moment, to focus on what I was doing right now and that’s it.

Welland-020First things first, I made sure to take in a good amount of fluid since I had not had any since before the start. Then I had to settle into the ride, finding my position and (hopefully) some open road. Right away I could tell that it was not going to be a comfortable ride. Rather than resting my elbows on the aero pads in the usual position, I had to pull back by several inches in order to keep pressure off my bad spot. It was immediately uncomfortable for my back and I also found that my knees were then touching my elbows with every stroke. Sitting slightly farther back on the seat seemed to help with that, but it was not exactly the best way to go into such a long ride. I willed myself not to dwell on it, and instead focused on what I could control – monitoring my speed/exertion and taking in nutrition/hydration on schedule.

I should mention that this was my first time taking in nutrition or reaching down for a water bottle on the bike while riding. On training rides, I have always done so only when stopped since I am too nervous to take a hand off the bike. I was counting on the race environment taking care of my nerves, and it seemed to work. I didn’t have too much of an issue, but definitely need to start practicing this on all rides so it becomes easier.

As usual, I had a lot of people to pass from the get-go. It was pretty crowded and people were riding in clusters or lines all over the place (drafting illegally!). It was driving me crazy and made it very difficult to pass. Unfortunately this continued for the duration of the race. I leap-frogged with a few groups in particular several times and I was constantly paranoid about getting dinged for drafting even though I was trying to keep out of it. So frustrating! (I found out later that over 70 drafting penalties were given – good to know that everyone was not getting away with it.)


Other than that, I was enjoying the ride. It was a scenic route on quiet country roads. They were open to traffic but I encountered very few vehicles and all intersections were well controlled by police. It was also pancake flat, which was great for me especially since I could not easily reach my gears in my modified position. I was in “cruise control” mode for most of the race (aside from passing) and maintaining a steady effort. I switched my bike computer to show average speed only and it stayed between 34.2 and 34.7 (KPH) for the entire ride.

During the first half of the ride, I had a string if mishaps including:

  • disposable bottle got stuck in the cover of my aero bottle during a refill, pulling it off and sending it flying
  •  right shoe came undone and despite trying to fix it several times while riding, I could not get it right. (honestly, how do people put their shoes on and take them off while in motion on the bike??)
  • hit a bad pothole, which sent my taped-on gels flying and popped open my rear storage box, sending my repair stuff flying as well

I was still able to drink from the aero bottle; it just meant that I had no splash protection, but this was manageable. I could tolerate the loose shoe situation. I was riding with the lid of my rear storage box hanging down and knocking my wheel or shoe occasionally. More than one cyclist pointed it out and I thanked them, but I didn’t want to stop until the aid station. At this point, my biggest concern was having no more nutrition and being only half way through the ride. An aid station came up around 60K so I pulled over, quickly closed my box, grabbed a water refill and two gels then got on my way.

Thankfully, the rest of the ride was uneventful. I had a lot more space in the later miles and often rode quite a distance without seeing another cyclist, which was okay by me. I liked having the opportunity to zone out a little bit. That being said, I found the ride to be very mentally exhausting. It’s tough staying so focused and sharp for so long, which is essential for safety reasons. I found the ride to be much more demanding on my mind than my body and for that reason in particular, I was ready to get off the bike.

Bike2I had another clumsy moment after dismounting, running around a sharp corner into transition where I tripped and nearly dropped my bike. Whoops! There was a collective gasp from the crowd waiting in the area. I just wanted to give them some excitement. 😉

90K (56 mi) – 2:36:53 – 34.4 KPH (21.4 mph)
3/15 F30-34, 119/403 overall

Nutrition/hydration notes:

  • Calories consumed: 700 (2 pkg Shot Bloks, 3 Gu) + 100 in T1 (1/2 waffle)
  • Salt Stick caps (stats): 1 (planned 2 during ride but lost 1) + 1 in T1
  • h2o: ~80 oz

I ran to rack my bike and noticed that transition was still looking pretty bare, which was a good feeling. Racked the bike, helmet off, swap shoes, grab handheld and off I went!

T2 = 1:00

Meanwhile, Hubs and Miles were having an exhausting day themselves…

550363_381733841886242_1299602880_nNext up: the run!


19 thoughts on “Welland Half Iron Tri Race Report – Part 2

  1. That picture with the overlay that says ‘I stole this’ is hilarious. I cannot stop laughing.

    We have emailed about liquid calories and that will help with getting rid of those taped on gels.

    Also, take a look at the last pic and see the guy without his shoes on? That is something to practice and not only save time but also safety as you are not running in cycling shoes.

    Also, what is the issue with the loose shoe? I don’t understand that problem.

    All in all though congrats on your ride. That is super fast and awesome considering the situation with your elbow.

    • I know, eh? I was like “Um, should I post this?” Ehhh why not. Clearly I have no shame in my photo stealing. The way I see it, it’s free advertising. 😉

      The whole velcro was open on my right foot! I managed to close it sort of, but it wasn’t right and my foot was moving around. Probably should have just fixed it but I couldn’t sem to reach (withoit scary wobbling!) while riding.

      Maaayyybe I will try to learn how to remove feet from shoes on the bike. I’m not sure I buy that it necessarily saves so much time though – usually I see poeple slow down so much to do it, that they’re giving it all up anyway. Safety makes sense though.

    • I didn’t see that thread (til now). Mark said he heard them say something about it over the announcements after the race.

  2. Wow, wow, wow. I think I want to do a 70.3 someday, but this is intense! The swimmers all over each other, and then issues in the biking section, too… I just signed up for my first sprint tri, just for fun, though. I have done very little biking and swimming training. That is an awesome biking time! Curious to hear how the run went after all this!

  3. That was such an eventful ride. Talk about suspense and drama. I’m glad you made it through in one piece, your bike in one piece and in such a good position.

  4. I love getting tips from Jason’s comments :).

    I am very impressed with your bike time, considering you haven’t practiced drinking or eating while peddling. You are awesome – you really are. You learned so much on this race that you will use to perfect-ify your next one even better. And a 1-minute transition time? You nailed that sucker!! Nice job!!

  5. I’m loving your recap! You had a fantastic ride, well done! Long distances are very demanding on the mind. You are very lucky to have hubs and Miles supporting so well and patiently.

  6. as usual, amazing job on the bike. I am glad they did catch a lot of the drafters….it is a rule so suck up the penalties if you do it. I’ve heard of too many local races where they don’t do anything and people just keep on doing it …and win their age groups.
    The hubs is a fan of the flying barefoot dismount.
    It just scares me.

  7. The bike is probably the biggest reason I am scared to do a TRI or DU for that matter! Good job girly! You managed to make it through a lot of diversity~

  8. i can say for certain i will never be one of those people that take their shoes off while riding into transtition. how do they do that?!?!?! and who does this pace for their first half?? wow, crazy fast. nice job!

  9. You should so try to learn to take your feet out of the shoes without unclipping! I have seen that in a ton of the Tris for elites – must take lots of practice though! Super speedy on the bike girl! You rocked it!

  10. So much to think about. Not being able to fix your shoe must have been maddening. I can’t imagine getting shoe on/off on the bike. Really? I was surprised you hadn’t done the drinking thing before. I am sure it is hard but I think of you as all capable I think! Sounds like you figured it out and your placement was great. That drafting stuff must have been very upsetting.

  11. Wow I didn’t think of all the things that would be harder moving FAST on the bike. You were smart to stop to get the FUEL you would need. So awesome.. now to my favorite part 🙂

  12. whew. maurk and miules, what a rough day for them! they look beat.

    seeing others draft would definitely irk me so i am glad they were (trying to) keep an eye on it and throw penalties where applicable.

    i like the watermark on the pictures hahaha. thief.

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