Vineman Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Gurneyville, California
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 12h 43m
Overall Rank = 329/881
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 30/74
Pre-race routine:

Flew into SF late Wednesday and did a bit of sightseeing Thursday on our way to Santa Rosa. Met up with some BT peeps for sushi Thursday night including my protege from 2010, Enrique. Drove over with Enrique to the swim start and then drove the bike course Friday before packet pickup. Got through the expo without buying anything and got my packet. Met up with AbbieR and RunnerGirl and her hubby. Ate an early dinner in Santa Rosa and finished organizing my gear for the morning.

Got up a bit before 4 to start coffee and eat some breakfast (bread w/ peanut butter). Loaded my bike on the car and waited for Enrique. We left the hotel about 4:30 for the 30 minute drive to Johnson's beach and didn't hit traffic until we got into Guerneville. Parked and walked a couple blocks to stand in the line before transition opened. Set up my bike and checked out the changing area. Ate a banana in line. At an orange about 6:15 after getting my wetsuit on.
Event warmup:

No warmup. Watched the first couple waves go and we had 3 minutes to get into the water and ready to start.
  • 1h 11m 5s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

Very congested and more thrashing than the 2000+ mass start at IMCdA 2 years ago. Got clobbered at least twice (how do you swim in a way that has your hand crashing over the back of someone else's head??) Had a couple guys that just pushed and grabbed and pushed and grabbed... After 10 minutes, it started to thin out and a few minutes later I saw the first yellow caps of the wave before us. Nearing the bouy, the first of the blue caps (the women starting after us) caught me. Ran into a guy walking (could you at least move out of the middle of the swim to walk??) Rounded the bouy and swam in relatively clear water back to the beach. A bit of congestion near the turn for the second loop and then it was back upstream and I wasn't bothered by anyone. In spite of the narrow swim channel, I did manage to find clear water (no-man's-land) this leg but got back to the correct side of the bouys quickly. Hit the turn and just kept swimming back to the beach focusing on roll-breathe-roll. Got into a bit of traffic in the last 200 yards but headed straight up the beach and the timing mats. Was surprised to see 1:11 on my watch as I got out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! This swim was 7 minutes faster than CdA (no exiting to cross the matt) and almost 4 minutes faster than I expected.
Transition 1
  • 07m 16s

Nothing too fast but still several minutes faster than CdA. It helps that it is a smaller race but I was also more efficient. Picked a spot relatively close to the changing tent since I knew I would be changing. With the weather being cool and overcast, this was a smart decision. Got the cap and goggles off, but then my wetsuit got stuck over my hand when the strippers tried to help. Got it off my feet ok, ran to my bike and grabbed my clothes, jogged to the changing tent and got dressed. Saw Enrique on the way to the tent. Used a bandana to clean off my feet before putting my bike shoes on and then walked through transition and part way up the hill.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Given a complete change, 7 minutes is good.
  • 6h 16m 15s
  • 118.06 miles
  • 18.83 mile/hr

The ride starts with an immediate uphill at the end of transition and a lot of people walk the 50 yards before getting on their bikes. It was relatively clear, so I hopped on and started pedaling. Spent the first couple miles getting settled before a tricky, right-downhill turn. It's going to be a long day, so just take the first hour easy. Hit the aid station (mile 18) right at an hour and picked up a bottle of gatorade. Ate a protein bar and sipped a bit of water out of my aero bottle during the second hour. The first two hours were pretty congested with a significant amount of passing but really not much drafting. Saw course marshals 6-8 times in the first 35 miles. Hit the second aid station (mile 28) and stopped to pee. It was still quite cool and overcast, so I'm glad my nutrition plan was mostly solid rather than liquid based. Hit the long-gradual climb towards Alexander valley which starts the return towards town. Rode through Geyserville and saw the Meeker winery sign (Meeker is a recommendation from my director who just retired). Ate some cheese crackers before the climb up Chalk Hill. Abbie said there was a lady ringing a cowbell on Chalk Hill last year but she was only part-way up the hill. The cowbell lady was out there again this year so I wasn't surprised that I still had a significant climb after her. Got done with the climb and we head towards Windsor. Felt good to be on some relatively flat stretches and they waved us through all of the intersections in town. I felt like a rock star! Saw Beth and Runnergirl and they got pics as I rode by. Once out of Windsor, I crossed a neat old steel bridge before merging onto previously ridden roads. Hit mile 56 in here right at 3 hours and was still feeling pretty good alothough my neck was starting to get stiff. Finished the gatorade and got another bottle at the next aid station and continued cruising the rolling vinyard roads. Ate the rest of my apple newtons and another protein bar during hours 4-6. Kept expecting the long hill to show up and it wasn't cooperating. By now, my legs are starting to fatigue a bit and my pace is slowing a little. Probably not going to hit 6 hours, but still doing well. Make the climb towards Alexander valley and decide to throttle back to save something for Chalk Hill. The sun came out around noon and it felt good to mix sun and shade as the miles rolled by but the wind was starting to pick up. Staying aero was getting more challenging so I'd mix some upright periods where the wind wasn't too obnoxious. Came past Meeker again and knew that Chalk Hill was coming soon. Stopped at the rest stop for a second pee-break and stretched for a minute. Legs were feeling pretty shot even though I didn't think I'd been pushing too hard earlier, but I resolved to get up the hill and once up, eat my Payday (the last of my solid fuel). Got to Chalk Hill, past the cowbell lady, and up to the top slowly and surely. Ate the reward on the way into Windsor and just pedaled on tired legs. A one-legged cyclist passed me about 2 miles from the end. A little slower than expected, but still a decent ride.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure...I ride hills regularly so not sure why I seemed "off" almost the whole second loop. Nutrition was good (about 1200 calories from solid food plus 400 from gatorade) and I peed twice (also good, IMO) with 24 oz. water and 48 oz. gatorade. Had it been hotter/sunnier, I would have drank more.
Transition 2
  • 07m

It's a long way from the dismount line to the rack, so none of the short-race theatrics like riding on my shoes, jumping off the moving bike, etc. Walked/jogged down the corridor to my rack, slid the bike into place, picked up my run gear and walked 20 yards to the changing tent. Changed completely and grabbed the rest of what I wanted for the run, walked back and put my bike stuff on the bike, grabbed my hat and race belt and headed towards the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Picked a transition spot close to the changing tent to minimize the travel back and forth.
  • 5h 01m 24s
  • 26.1 miles
  • 11m 33s  min/mile

Clicked off the first two miles at a sub-9 pace and my strategy was to walk the uphills as much as needed. Nothing of note in the first loop, just alternated between water and gatorade at the rest stops. Soaked my bandana cooler in water at the second stop and tied it around my neck. (It's got the funky beads inside that supposedly cool as the water evaporates away.) Hit the turn-around just before 40 minutes and head back towards town figuring that I'm doing quite well on pace even with the uphill walking. Grab a few grapes and a few bites of nectarine coming back into town and hit the timing mat for the first loop at about 1:20. I get a green wristband indicating completion of a loop. (I think the green indicates which hour I finished it). As I head back out for my second loop, I start feeling light-headed and my stomach doesn't want me to eat more just yet, so I walk more and run less and the second loop is about 2 hours. I take a little more to drink and a few more bites of fruit coming back and things are starting to settle down. Get my second band, a white one this time and start the third loop ready to run the flat/downhill sections again. As I run/walk, I make sure to thank the volunteers, particularly on the return. On the way back, I spot a blackberry bush I'd seen 5 times now with berries on it so I stop and take one (very sour...) I'm feeling pretty good by now and am able to re-pass a lot of the people that passed me during the second loop. Make the turn to the subdivision and then the turn to the high school, and finally the turn towards the timing mats and the finish line. 100 yards from the finish, I'm not exactly sure which way to go, but the volunteers point me towards the timing mat (where we turned to start the second and third loops) and the finish is straight after that mat. I hear the announcer call out my name and hometown and see Beth just before the finish line. I "break the tape" marking the end of my second Ironman race.
What would you do differently?:

The run was a challenge and I dealt (partially successfully) with the late-race demons. Not sure if I went too hard on the bike, but the run was nowhere close to what I expected. No blisters this time but I ended up with a purple toenail on my right second toe.
Post race
Warm down:

Stood there while they removed my timing chip. Since I'd walked/run much of the second half of the run, I wasn't particularly "overheated" but I did stretch for a few minutes and then hit the buffet.

Event comments:

For anyone looking to do an Iron-distance race, this is one to consider *IF* they resurface the roads. Both the bike and the run give idle minds plenty to work with.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-02 12:00 AM
01:11:05 | 4156 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 20/74
Overall: 250/881
Performance: Good
No lap data, my HRM isn't picking up so the race was by effort.
Suit: full
Course: Two loops in the Russian River. This swim benefits poor navigators like myself because they take a relatively narrow river with trees on both sides and split it 3 ways (upstream. downstream, no-man's-land) so you can't get too far off course. Very shallow in places and a lot of people walked the shallows.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:16
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:16:15 | 118.06 miles | 18.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 36/74
Overall: 329/881
Performance: Average
Two loops, Hit 56 miles right at 3 hours. Clouds cleared about noon and the wind picked up soon after.
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops. A 10-15 mile stretch getting to the loop that included a sharp right-downhill turn. Roads are open to traffic (which wasn't a problem) and generally horrible shape. Lots of rolling hills through Sonoma valley and past all the vinyards. The roads are not boring, either going up, down, left, or right. The loop goes North up Dry Creek and then back through Alexander Valley and Chalk Hill Rd before combing back into Windsor and starting the second loop.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 07:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
05:01:24 | 26.1 miles | 11m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 35/74
Overall: 397/881
Performance: Below average
No splits, no HR data
Course: 3 out-n-back "loops." First part from the high school past the subdivision is relatively flat, then constantly rolling hills to the turn-around. A couple of the hills are steep and a couple just long. Decently shaded given I started the run mid-afternoon.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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