Thank you Juan for sharing your race report! While detailed, it is very thorough and comprehensive. I will try to highlight the areas that can help others where I can.
Swim: Nice work practicing sighting in the pool. It helped for a solid swim. It looks like you paced the swim just they way you were supposed to!
Bike: I like your plan of going by HR. This is a great way to learn how RPE, HR and power triangulate and if you have dialed in your pacing. Sounds like it was the right way to go. My guess is that you were low on both calories and hydration. You want a minimum of 1 bottle per hour so you should have been around 60 ounces instead of 38 (this is less than 2 bottles). You can’t come back from dehydration and it has ugly consequences including shutting down your kidneys and death. For calories, you took in enough for 2 hours but missed the opportunity to get in more for longer lasting energy throughout the race.
Nice work dialing in your bike cadence. This helped preserve your legs for the run. And I would get more time in on the tri bike. Obviously you did the best you could but this is why I never recommend a big change too close to a race.
Run: Nice execution. You utilized the benefits of the run/walk to offer you the best run possible. My guess is that the ‘locking’ of your quads very much could have been due to lack of hydration and calories. You seemed to be light on both again for the run portion as well. You had an excellent race and great outcome. 5:03 is incredible for your first HIM! However I think a focus in on your nutrition and dialing it in like you did your pacing will be a big opportunity for you yet.
Either way, you deserve you rest and vacation now. If your legs hurt this badly it’s because you left it all on the course (which you did with a 5 hour race!). Take the time you need to recharge and recover. Sleep should be your best friend. And then the world is your oyster. You can decide how to play the rest of your season because it’s already been a huge success! Congrats on a very strong race Juan!
How’s next!? We know there are many other success stories out there!