Monday, June 7, 2010


So those of you not familiar with the Ironman 70.3 series, they have a nice race in Lawrence, KS (home of the University of Kansas). 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. Good stuff!

Forecast of mid to high 80's, sun, and some wind.
1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run

Pre Race:
Dropped off the bike since it’s a 2 transition area race and they required the bikes to be in place the day before. The wife and I stayed in Lawrence the night before to lessen the drive time and so we could take it easy in Lawrence Saturday after bike drop off. Packed my gear the night before the race (separating T1 and T2 gear for quick placement), loaded the last of it, ate the trusty oatmeal, orange juice, 1 slice bread with PB, Gatorade.

Transition is assigned, so there was no need to be in a huge hurry for a spot, however, they parked us in BFE and BUSSED us to T1. It was a hike for sure and the line from the park entrance to get to parking took 30 minutes since it was standstill traffic. If I do this event in the future, I’ll be getting there earlier than the 5am transition open time. It just wasn’t enough time between transition open at 5:00am and first wave start at 6:30am. Even the Pro’s were late and the race started late.

Pre Race Port-a-potty:Little disappointed here. They moved them and what seemed like half the amount of port-a-potties. I waited in line for 30 minutes to use the facilities. Little bit of a pain.

Warm Up:
No warm up. We weren’t technically allowed in the water so warm up was swimming to the start buoy. Maybe 50 yards. I felt good, had some GU Roctane 30 minutes before, protein bar (since I ate breakfast at 4:30am and my swim wave was at 7:30am) and tried the Gatorade Prime 15 minutes before. Not bad, kind of like regular Gatorade with a little salt. So I was PRIMED with nutrition…

The pro athletes started 10 minutes late, so we were 10 minutes late in starting, but it was on like donkey kong and feet, arms, legs were thrashing everywhere. It was a mass of humanity and I opted to take the outside with less resistance. I got back on the buoy line soon enough.

So, I’m going to break into the numbers right now instead of waiting… cause this was a big gage of how my swimming has been improving.
Last year’s IM KS swim time, 40:44.
2010 IM KS swim time, 36:37.

That’s a savings of 4 minutes and 7 seconds! And that was just the swim! I couldn’t wait to see how the run was going to shape up!!!

Let’s look at the stats…

So I had some trouble with the garmin, again. I finally got it switched to bike and I had about 38:30 minutes at 0 mph…. huh?

That’s right… I didn’t get very far.

What happened??? Cramps? Trip and fall in transition? Wonder off course? Garmin malfunction?

No data…

So we have a 36:37 minute swim and nothing else… that’s right.
DNFF – the extra F for Did Not Finish is for the expletive.

What I didn’t mention in pre race was that I had a flat front tire I had to change. Not thinking I would encounter this problem, I had my spare tube on the bike and no others with me. I changed it out pre-race and the tire held air when I left transition. It was flat when I got out of the swim.

Since I have ZIPP 404’s, I need an 80mm stemmed tube for the wheel. I used up my last one for the fix and pinched it. So… I was left to try and patch the tube. The rip was significant enough that the patches didn’t work. One guy gave me his spare tube since I had valve extenders, but the stem was not removable and made my extenders useless. By that point, I was the last guy in transition f’ing with my wheel… Had it holding air for a minute, got out of transition… tried to get on and it was flat. Patched it again and got 100 yards… flat. Day was done.

36 minutes swim… that’s all I got. No testing my fitness, no biking, no run… nothing. All for a damn flat tire.

Nothing really to see here, folks. Swim improved but nothing else to look at.

Ran around town afterwards to load up on tubes and for the two stores that were most likely to have the tubes, I found 1 80mm stemmed tube and NO other tubes that the stems could be removed for the extenders. I did find ZIPP extenders that go over the regular stem without removing the stem, however they have a reputation of leaking. Who would have guessed the stores that sell ZIPP wheels don’t have tubes that fit them… brilliant.

Two tubes and two CO2’s on the bike, water bottle for changing gear and I’ll have 5 extra tubes in my gear bag at every race, not to mention I’ll take my pump every time now. Some people were nice enough to let me use their pumps, but in the end I was hosed without the long stems.

I went home, moped and worked on the basement. At least I mud and taped a nice corner and sanded… got SOMETHING done.

Since I didn’t get anywhere… there’s no real pictures. Luckily I kept my cool enough not to destroy a ZIPP wheel or my aero helmet. So no pictures of that. Here's a few shots the wife took before she realized something was up.

Can you see my face... I'm already pissed b/c I know I have a flat and need to change it... you can just see the pissedness in my face...

LAST out of T1... dead last. False sense of security that I might have a good flat fix...NOT.

Here’s a picture of Chris Lieto on the run as a walked my bike back to the parking area.

At least I saw Lieto smoking the run course as I moped my bike back to the car to go home.

So here’s the lesson kiddos:

1. I see now why some might walk their bikes even if transition is a ways away. You don’t want to risk a flat if your bike is ready to go and held air all night. I rode mine around the day before and took for granted the tires would be ok. Walk the bike to transition for setup!

2. Tubes tubes tubes. I played with fire not having enough spare tubes that would work with my rims. Consider me burned. From past experience the ZIPP rims are a bitch to get tubes and tires on without pinching. I should have known better. Now the bike has 2 tubes taped on the rear bottle holder and a water bottle strictly for flat fixing gear.

3. Bring more tubes in your gear bag to transition. Maybe like 5 extra that WORK FOR THE WHEELS YOU HAVE.

Son of a bitch.


Jon said...

Major major bummer! That really stinks! Man you gotta sign up for another HIM soon if there is still one open. You are gonna tear the next one a new one after the rage you have from this mishap.

Keep your head up! Chalk this one up to bad luck. It happens...

Kathleen said...

I don't even know what to say except I feel for you!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Wow Ryan, that's a real bummer! However, the major improvement in the swim must take a bit of the sting out. Better luck (preparedness?) next year!

Christi said...

I am so sorry to hear about your race! That is a really bummer!