New Orleans Ironman 70.3 Race Report by Craig Lindemann

Posted: May 5, 2009 in Race Reports

All Jazzed Up

Just about a month ago I headed down to the wonderful state of Louisiana for a little taste of southern style 70.3 racing with my favorite new travel/training/racing buddy Shana. We flew in Friday night, did a little pre-race recon on Saturday, Raced and Relaxed Sunday, and flew back on Monday. “Top 5 Lists” were a theme of the weekend, so I’ll stick to that format here:

Top 5 Goals Leading up to the Race:

  • Rock the Swim! Master practice should be paying off. Push it a little and see what happens

  • Chill on the bike. Only 4 prior outdoor rides on the season, and nothing close to the long flat 56 miles I was in for on race day. No need to kill myself

  • Own the Run! My primary goal for the race was to NOT repeat the disaster that was the Duke 70.3 last year. No blowing up on the run this time! Steady and strong.

  • Something in the 5 hour range would be awesome, but unexpected. Finish considerably better than in Duke, and set up for a great season.

  • Enjoy NOLA!!!

Pre-Race Top 5:

  • Breakfast for Dinner Friday night at the local greasy spoon, The City Diner with the delightful Mr. Corey.

  • ALI-FRIGGIN-GATORS on the race course when we pre-drove on Saturday. Seriously. Gators.

  • Scott the diabetic school teacher from Texas who we had lunch with randomly on Friday (Shana has a knack for starting conversations with strangers) and who told us about some great local places for food and coffee post-race

  • CLAIRE! I haven’t seen my friend Claire since we sailed together in the Schooner Timberwind 5 years ago in Maine; and guess what…she was a race volunteer!!

  • Pedicures. Who knew? Thanks Shana! New pre-race tradition.

5 Bullet Race Recap:

  • Swim felt really good! Split was 32 min, which isn’t great for me, but the walkout of the water was long and slow. Probably only swimming for 28-29 minutes, which is about right. (Note to spectators: if you’re watching a triathlon, please refrain from smoking cigars. You may not realize it, but the swimmers in the water can actually smell them and it’s completely and utterly disgusting.)

  • The woman yelling from the bed of her pickup truck in the StopNGo parking lot RULES! She was hooting and hollering when I rode by at mile 5 and still going strong almost 3 hours later when I was dragging an anchor at mile 50 of the ride

  • No gator attacks on the bike! I rode well, but it was definitely the weakest of the three legs. (Headwinds for the last 20-25 miles is absolute misery and will really get in your head. Tough tough tough way to bring it home – Also, stopping to pee at mile 30 was a bummer

  • Run! I felt like a superstar on the run. Felt really good coming off the bike and was ablet o get the legs turning and put in some pretty solid miles right up front. Someone turned the thermostat up around mile 9 and it got really tough to hold form and focus from 10-13. Again, the spectators were fantastic and really picked me up, especially coming down the finishing straight.

  • Nutrition plan was quite successful and I was able to get off the bike and feel strong on the run. (Water Only at the 3rd bike bottle handoff when water and gatorade is advertised, along with no aid station at T2 made for a long go without some needed electrolytes and calories)

Top 5 Things to work on:

  • Bike fitness. Without a doubt the weakest of my 3 legs. With “minimal” bike work, I can easily get 10-15 minutes off the bike and be under 5 hours; with a reasonable amount of work it’s not even close.

  • Learn to pee on the bike (and on myself). Stopping to pee is not a good racing habit.

  • Mental focus. I definitely lost it a little toward the end of the run. I need to learn to race without a “carrot” in front of me pulling me along.

  • Warm up. I was cold at the start of the swim. I have a tendency to tell myself “you have al day to warm up” but that’s just not true. I can swim better if I set myself up to be successful.

  • Guaging effort. I’m not sure I could’ve gone a lot faster, but I do feel like I had an awful lot left in my legs at the finish. I’ve always believed that if you are capable of sprinting the finish, then you didn’t race hard enough. I sprinted the finish. I need to hold myself to that same standard.

Post Race Top 5:

  • “I’m just a dude, dressed as another dude, pretending to be a different dude.” If you get it, great. If not, don’t worry about it.

  • Coffee and Croisants from Cafe DuMonde and Croisant Dior. The breakfast of hungry triathletes…like Saul Raisin

  • “Canadian Fish”

  • (Massage Line: twice. Massages: zero. This is not Top 5 but needed mentioning.)

  • The fridge map at the airport bar informing whoever was about to open the fridge where they could expect to find the hotdogs (apparently 8 can be stacked neatly on the top shelf) and frozen pizzas (about 6 on the lower shelf). This was apparently to save curious folk such as myself from having to open the fridge…or to help me identify what I was looking at after opening the fridge in case “hot dog” and “pizza” weren’t readily identifiable. I’m not sure which, but the chicken panini was good.

Well, that about does it for IM 70.3 NOLA. Fantastic trips all around. New Orleans is a great city, and I definitely want to go back very soon when I have a little more time to explore and enjoy the cuty itself. Great to see and catch up with an old friend, and great first race of the season!!

Y’all come back now, ya hear…

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