Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
90F / 32C
Total Time = 7h 01m 40s
Overall Rank = 1524/2286
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 204/259
Pre-race routine:

My pre-race routine is to always show up at the transition area at the time it opens. For this race, it was really good that I showed up at the opening time of 5:30am because there was no parking lot for the event. Thus we had to park on the streets. We were able to find parking but it was limited. I could only imagine where and how far the other atheletes parked that showed up around 6 am or later. Another pre-race routine of mine is to eat 2 slices of toast, 1 banana and 1 bottle of accellerade an hour before the race.
Event warmup:

My event warmup included listening to previous Hawaii Ironman races on my ipod and doing some light stretching. For me, I do a lot of arm circles during warmup. I noticed if I don't do this, then my arm makes this poping thing during every stroke of my swim which hurts. Listining to the Ironman races gets my mind focused on what I need to get done for the day. Also, it reminds me how this race will prepare me for my ultimate triathlon goal of racing in the Hawaii Ironman.
  • 45m
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

Unfortunately the race results that they posted didn't break out the swim time and t1. They just reported my swim time as "--" and my t1 time as "00:47:52". From that time, I felt I took about 3 minutes during t1 to take my wetsuit off, packup my swim gear and get my bike gear on. Thus I estimate my swim time at 45 minutes, which was great compared to my first official time at this distance which was 53 minutes! Woohoo, I'm transforming into a fish!

One thing to note about the swim, right after the first left at the turn-around buoys you litterally scrape the bottom of the river with your arm stroke. It continued like this through the turn-around buoys and for another 100 meters or so. I ended up doing a funky kind of side arm stroke so I wouldn't touch the bottom of the river. It was very akward and slowed me down a bit but not as much as near then end where I had to actually stop a couple times in the water. My new goggles (brand Aqua Sphere) actually started collecting water inside the goggles, thus I had to stop and pop them off for a second. Other than those two minor issues, my swim portion was great and I came in around my goal time. Yay!
What would you do differently?:

Two things I would do differently would be sighting the buoys better and thus staying on course and tightening my goggles more so no water leaks inside.
Transition 1
  • 02m 52s

I wear a wetsuit with sleeves, thus one tip that worked well for me during transition is to take off my goggles and swim cap and hold it in my hand while I pull my arm out of the wetsuit. Thus as I pull my hand out of the sleeve of the wetsuit, my goggles and swim cap get stuck in the sleeve and I don't need to worry about dropping them. Given there were two transition areas for this race I had to spend a few extra seconds to put all of my swim gear into a plastic bag which then the race volunteers transported to the final transition area.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I just need to practice taking off my wetsuit faster and smoother.
  • 3h 12m 28s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.46 mile/hr

Once you exit the transition area there is a short climb up to the main street. So make sure you setup your bike in an easy gear during transition prep. After I made it onto River Rd, I started at a low pace but kept my cadence high (~100 rpm) to get the blood flowing in my legs. Also, I took the time to get down some shot bloks.

After I got on Westside Rd, I was shocked at what I saw as I turned around one of the corners...I saw the flashing lights of an ambulance and about 50 triathletes totally stopped on road. We were stopped there for a few minutes while they cleared the road. We didn't know what happened but the scary thing I did see as we rode through the accident scene was a bib number on the ground. Later on I read that a tree fell down and injured a few of the triathletes. I wish them all a speedy recovery.

My goal for the rest of the course was to keep a steady speed of 20 mph on the flats, which I was able to do with no problems. There were some rolling hills that slowed my pace but I made it up on the decents. I took this approach so I can conserve some energy for the climb up Chalk Hill at mile 45. The climb was not monsterous, like the ones on the California Ironman bike course, but it was a challenge given it came at 45 miles into the 56 mile bike ride. Once I reached the top of the climb, I turned up the intensity to fly to the end of the ride. I missed my goal time of under 3 hours, but that's okay, I felt I did well during this portion of the race.
What would you do differently?:

I need to work on my nutrition strategy. I didn't drink enough fluids during the ride. That was apparent when I reached T2 and I still had 2 of my 3 water bottles full. Doh! Also, I need to teach myself to take in more calories per hour during the ride. I always get so caught up in the race that I forget to slow down and eat. I believe this was part of the reason for my horrible performance in the run portion.
Transition 2
  • 04m 41s

T2 went just as I practiced in my mind before the race.
What would you do differently?:

I would probably look into getting those quick laces to speed up my transition and take in more hydration, like 2-3 cups of water on the way out of T2.
  • 2h 56m 37s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 29s  min/mile

It started out well but quickly turned for the worse after the 2 mile mark. I started to feel a cramp in my leg so I stopped to the side of the road to stretch a bit. I continued lightly jogging to the next aid station. Once there, I made sure to drink 2 cups of gatorade and use 1 cup of water to pour over my head. This helped.

At this time the run course tempature was around the 90+ degree and there was little to no shade to help. Also, the hills on the run course was greater than I expected. So unfortunately the combination of heat, no shade, hills and under hydration equalled my downfall. My leg muscles cramped up and I was forced to walk. I tried to re-hydrate myself at each aid-station but it was too late. It was so brutal that I ended up walking most of the second half of the run portion. Ugh, it was the worst feeling. Mentally I wanted to run but when I did, my leg muscles started to cramp up. I was so disappointed in myself. Especially at the end of the run where the crowds were cheering, saying "almost there, finish it strong". Unfortunately I couldn't because of my darn leg cramps. I ended up walking all the way into the parking lot. Finally I used the little energy I had left and jogged down to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

I totally underestimated how much the weather would affect me. If I do decide to do this race again, the I would do more of my running training in 90+ degree weather.
Post race
Warm down:

My warm-down included drinking water and crashing on the grass under the shade. I really didn't want to get up from the ground but sitting in the air conditioned car sounded a lot better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

As I stated earlier, the under-nutrition and lack of training in this level of heat is what I believe limited my ability to perform faster.

Event comments:

I was excited to finish the race but couldn't stop thinking about the disappointment in my performance during the run. I had a personal best time on my swim and a great time on my bike ride but unfortunately lost all those gains during the run.

At the end of the race I was totally set on never doing this race again but now that a week has passed and I had time to reflect back on the race I actually might do it again next year...we'll see...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-04-10 12:00 AM
00:45:00 | 2112 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/259
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Good
Suit: USAT
Course: The swim course was an out & back course which starts in front of the dam at Johnson's Beach and proceeds upstream to the turn-around point.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:52
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:12:28 | 56 miles | 17.46 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/259
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: The bike course passes miles of vineyards and has 1,600 feet of climbing, a 385 foot climb on Chalk Hill, which is even more challenging because it comes at 45 miles into the ride.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:56:37 | 13.1 miles | 13m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/259
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Bad
Course: The run course starts at Windsor High School and took us to the La Crema Winery on an out and back course. The course included hill climbs.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4