Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
70F / 21C
Total Time = 7h 48m 47s
Overall Rank = 2057/2875
Age Group = W 40-44
Age Group Rank = 109/173
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Oceanside on Friday around 11:30a. Went to the pier area and scoped the scene. Walked around a bit, then got in line as it hadn't gotten to long at that point. Breezed through packet pickup - checked out the expo - refrained from spending dough, then went to check into my hotel in Carlsbad.

Did a 10 mile shake down ride of the bike around Carlsbad in the afternoon (should I dare mention that this was my only ride outside on my tri bike prior to race day!), then dinner at a neighboring restaurant - including a free piece of banana cream pie, then time to get things set up.

Prepped gel flasks, and gatorade bottle, stickered bike/helmet, and packed everything up in the backpack. Set the alarm, watched bad t.v. (seriously bad - like a whole program on darwin award level freak deaths) and hit the sack around 10.

Woke up at 4:00, ate plain poppy seed bagel, kind bar, and 2 mini lara bars, had one cup of coffee and a pint of water with tangerine emergen-c. Put on tri suit, then decided to switch to two piece at the last minute because of womens time. Oh yea, did I mention I woke up with massive cramps - and that they persisted for the whole race!? I didn't want to take Advil, but maybe I should have...

Bathroom, bathroom, bathroom. Checked out of the hotel, packed up the car, and drove off to Oceanside.
Event warmup:

Walked from pier parking to race site with bike and back pack instead of riding. After hitting porta-potties early to take care of womens business I walked around transition and up to end of harbor break and back, did some light stretching. Mostly just walked around marveling at the number of racers, trying to stay warm and not freak out too badly. This is the biggest race I've ever done, just the sheer number of people was intimidating!

Set up transition, does wedging into wetsuit count as warm-up? Two kind ladies in my row had to help me zip up the darn thing (I swear, this is its last season!). Once in the suit, and after a couple sips of Gatorade, it was off to see the pros start and get in the long line-up. There were a bunch of women in my wave 40-44 that were chit-chatting during the line-up about various levels of race-day freak outs. I felt a little calmer after hearing their various freaks about swimming. So glad I love swimming. After not moving for what seemed an eternity, it was all of a sudden go time.

Under trained racing with period cramps here we come!
  • 39m 10s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

All of a sudden we were herded into the water. It was not as cold as I expected given all the neoprene hoods. I didn't realize until we were in that we had to swim out to the start - so off I went with foggy goggles. I just had time to spit, rinse, and requisite pee, and the horn sounded and we were off.

Terrible start for me, coupled with some terrible sighting. I actually swam okay overall, but had I known better I would have been near the front of the pack and more to buoy line side. The current/chop at and just before the turn around was a surprise, I could tell a lot of people were also surprised as there was a lot of breast stroke kicking out there. I couldn't really grab on to any good drafts. Fortunately being far to the right paid off on the swim back in and I was set up to the exit nicely. Tiny bit of contact, but nothing like I was expecting given the number of people in the water.
What would you do differently?:

I got intimidated by the sheer size of the race - and possibility of getting hammered at the start... and the lack of swim training (~22k total for the year), and started way too far back and to the right. I need to trust my swim ability, and just go for it - up front - on the buoy line - like I do at local races. I won't be first in, but I won't get caught in the bunch either - and women are more polite swimmers. Sorry guys but it's true. I've never been swam over by a woman yet. Not that it couldn't happen!

Overall the swim was better than I expected, but not as good as it should have been. Train more - start in a better position every time, no matter the race!
Transition 1
  • 05m 15s

Longest transition ever! Uggh. It's bad enough running 13.1 miles at the end of the tri - without having to run 3 more miles in transition! (Ok i'm exaggerating a bit, but seriously!)

Managed to get legs under me pretty quickly out of the swim, thanks to the catchers on the ramp. Wetsuit was off one ankle easily, and stuck on the other. Grabbed my gel flasks to stick in my jersey, had to sit down to put socks on, grabbed helmet and glasses and was off to run the other mile of transition.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, run faster maybe!
  • 3h 40m 24s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.25 mile/hr

I went into this ride knowing I was under trained on the bike. 0 rides outside. 0 rides >40 miles. I knew I could slog through the ride, I didn't know what effect the hills or lack of big miles would have on the run.

Mentally this ride was tough... really tough. The first hill was hard - I put my head down and just tightly weaved up the hill. There were people all over the road, and lots walking. I knew it wasn't long, so as long as I could keep the pedals turning i'd be okay - think I was slogging up the hill at 3-4mph. Thank goodness I changed to 11-28 cassette - while it was a pain in the arse in the flats (could never find a sweet spot) having that extra gear made the difference.

Miles 35-45 I just wanted to give up. Totally and completely give up. I must have told myself 100 times that it would take forever for them to come get me on the base, so I should just keep going! The false flats, headwinds, CRAMPS, and last two hills nearly did me in. There was a lot of positive reinforcement out there - thanks especially to Clint and Larry who I played hopscotch and exchanged lots of chit-chats with. You guys rocked! Not to mention the countless others offering support - triathletes rule.

And then the Powerade - tasted like total butt to me, I think I ended up drinking about 1 3/4 bottles of electrolyte, 1 bottle nuun, and .5 bottle of water with 7 gels. I could not get with my nutrition - the first few miles felt sluggish, then I popped some roctane. Felt better, then worse, then better. Didn't help the mental situation at all. Once over the final hill I caught a bit of a 2nd wind though, and managed to haul arse most of the way back to transition - at least until the headwind sucked my soul away.

I'm actually surprised that my overall pace was as high as it was, but i'm sure that factored a lot into the eventual suffer fest on the run.
What would you do differently?:

LONG RIDES. Like a lot of them, with big climbs. Figure out a better nutrition / electrolyte strategy esp when they have stuff on course that is not 100% tasty. Figure out if electrolyte situation had any impact on run performance.
Transition 2
  • 05m 24s

My bladder was ready to burst upon entering transition - tried to do some release on course but was afraid of possible pink on my white seat (an unfounded fear as I discovered later). The need to hit the head overtook my rational side that said put more sunscreen on... I grabbed my gel flask of roctane and a couple extra packets with caffeine and took off. Hit the porta loo on the way out which slowed down things - AND my gel flask fell out of my pocket somewhere. Bah! I was okay with that as I knew there were aid stations every mile.

What would you do differently?:

Just go. I probably wasted a good 2 mins here, maybe more. If there are aid stations every mile, don't bother with extra gels, just live off course. It works.
  • 3h 18m 34s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 15m 10s  min/mile

I was looking forward to having a decent run at this race given all the run training focus, and recent 15k pace. The first 6 miles the sun decided to come out, and once I got to mile ~3.5 the road was baking, and I was baking - literally. The sun fell behind the clouds on the 2nd loop, but it had already drained me. I was taking sponges at every station. I was feeling really miserable. I ran as much as possible, continued getting lots of encouragement which helped the flagging spirits. I was also burninating - About mile 5 I was like I should've taken a couple mins in transition and slathered on more sunscreen. I felt like a real mess out there.

I was SOOOOO ready to turn in my chip after the first loop, but an older guy and I were pacing our run/walk for a good portion of the race, and I was like if he can do it, so can I. He eventually found a 2nd wind that I never did and took off ~ mile 10. I was taking in powerade at every station, some oranges, one cola later - one powergel that tasted like absolute arse, had a couple other gels with caffeine later. Nothing was helping. During the 2nd loop my right knee (which I sprained last fall) was niggling, and my left 2nd toe was developing a huge blister - so I continued a painful jogslog / walk for the last few miles. Yay to the pros who gave support on the way back in. That was cool.

Seeing my nephew and his wife and her family at the turn around and finish was AWESOME. Really kept me going when I wanted to give up.
What would you do differently?:

Get some of that spray on sunscreen and Sunscreen - like to the level I saw one guy where he was ghostly white from super slather!
Overtrain miles and hills on bike - figure out better nutrition.
And as always LOSE WEIGHT. 25 pounds off would sure help - A LOT GDI!
Figure out what is going on with my knee and why my 2nd toe on my left foot always suffers - knee might have suffered from gait change.

Post race
Warm down:

Slogjogged through the chute, got the awesome finishers medal, high-fived and congratulated everyone I could, thanked volunteers all throughout the course and ate some cold pizza. Texted as I put my gear together, walked back to the car, and took off to LA to pick up Mary and feast. I stopped at a DQ on the way to pick up a milkshake - seems to be a HIM habit now.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training on bike was HUGE, 25 pounds that need to go bye-bye, bad nutrition, heat/sun on first lap of run (not acclimated), HILLS... etc.
To those that say racing with womens time is not an issue - I cry BS. I felt like poop - and the pain didnt help matters any either. Oh well, I did it, so I can do it again if it becomes an issue during future races.

Event comments:

Mentally I was all there. Yay. Physically not so much, but did the best I could with the training I did. Ended up with some narsty sunburn on my arms, shoulders - painful! That's taught me a lesson about racing long w/o reapplying sunscreen.

Absolutely fantastic race & support - I would definitely like to do it again next year! In fact I think it's a must - I need to have a good race here!

And thanks again to all those athletes who go out of their way to support each other - this sport rocks!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-30 12:00 AM
00:39:10 | 2112 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/173
Overall: 1093/2875
Performance: Average
Suit: QR Superfull
Course: Pseudo counter-clockwise "rectangular" out and back w/in Oceanside harbor. Mild current/chop at harbor entrance.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Bad
Time: 05:15
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
03:40:24 | 56 miles | 15.25 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/173
Overall: 0/2875
Performance: Average
Garmin went kaput after 5 or 6 miles... I wasn't riding completely blind as I have a backup cyclo comp - so at least I knew speed. What fun! BIKE SPLIT 1: 24.45 mi 24.45 mi (1:20:50) 18.15 mph BIKE SPLIT 2: 56 mi 31.55 mi (2:19:34) 13.56 mph I discovered that just the screen went kaput on the Garmin - I actually have all the race data - and about 2.5 hours of additional data as I forgot to stop the Garmin after it died and it recorded my whole trip back to LA in the car. The data is kinda amusing actually Dist: 165.88 miiles Elapsed Time: 5:57 Avg Pace: 2:09/m Avg Speed: 27.9 mph Max Speed: 71.9 mph --- oops looks like I was speeding ;) Cals: 9200 AHR: 131 bpm MHR: 173 bpm AC: 67 rpm Ascent: 5729 ft Descent: 5527 ft
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: This is a great course overall, but tough. Really tough with 3 substantial hills, rollers, AND headwind.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 65
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:24
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:18:34 | 13.1 miles | 15m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 109/173
Overall: 2057/2875
Performance: Below average
None as I thought Garmin was kaput. Not that it would have made any difference.
Course: 2 loops mostly flat along beach and along residential streets.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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