Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 45m 18s
Overall Rank = 841/2235
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 153/372
Pre-race routine:

Early on Friday, my buddy Shawn and I dropped off our T2 run gear bags at T2, which was right outside our hotel. I always hate leaving bags and stuff the night before (in case I realize I forgot something), but knowing I could check it on race morning and add anything important made me feel a bit better.

Lately I have been getting some great sleep the night before races, and this was no different. After a carb-loading dinner with ONE Multisport, we settled in the hotel (Wyndham Pier Resort) and I was out by 9:30. Slept well right up to 3:00, which is about when I usually wake up anyway, so it felt like a regular training morning. Had some Power Bites and G2 to start my nutrition, got dressed, and said goodbye to Kym and Devyn (who decided to sleep in and miss the swim start this race).

A short check of my T2 run gear bag, then it was on the bike and a nice, easy 1 mile ride to T1 and the harbor for the swim. I arrived at T1 about 4:45ish, saw Todd (phxphotog) on the way, and set up my T1 gear. With some mist off coming from the ocean and a little wind, I settled in behind a T1 barrier to stay warm and relax. Some water, a 5hr energy and a Clif Bar and I was feeling ready to go. Dropped off my morning clothes bag, lathered up with chamois creme and donned the wetsuit.
Event warmup:

A little stretching while in the swim chute and I was lined up with wave 10 (if I recall) - M40-44 A-whatever. Listened to the earlier wave starts and slowly shuffled forward until we were on deck. As soon as we could hit the water I went right in to get acclimated, and joyfully warmed myself up after "holding it" for about 30 minutes. A short swim to relax, adjust to the 58 degree water and to get to the start buoy and I was ready. I was positioned in the front right, just where I want to be to avoid the speed demons but stay ahead of the slower wave swimmers. The horn went off and away we went. NOTE: I actually started my GPS watch correctly this race - much unlike IM AZ in Nov when I failed to actually get it going.
  • 39m 52s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

Totally jazzed about the results here. I had hoped to be a bit faster, but that was without considering the moderate swells we encountered. These obviously slowed the pace a bit, but I managed them well enough (only swallowed water once), and got into a good rhythm.

Sighting was good, in general, although I did fade to the right a few times when I let my form get a bit relaxed. As soon as I got back into good form, I was back on track and moving well. I felt I was swimming very efficiently, and was quite long in the water compared to previous swims. My form felt good, and my breathing was right on track. Coming out of the water I felt great, and as I watched the swim caps around me during the race, I saw I was passing many colors from previous waves, and only saw one color from a later wave go by me a few times (I am sure there were more, but the trend was I was keeping good pace). I actually drafted a faster swimmer for a short period, which was a first for me and I believe I felt a slight difference (less effort) while I was on his hip.

This was the fastest OWS 1.2mi swim I have done, so it was a huge success, and really was a result of a ton of drill hours and long-distance swims in the pool over the winter.

A great start to the race!!
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps work my way to the left along the buoys, as I seemed to be keeping good pace and may be able to shave some seconds off with a shorter distance to the turns.
Transition 1
  • 06m 35s

T1 time was right in line with my expectations. The chute to get to T1 is long, and I had more running with my bike than without once into the staging area. I managed to run by some people on the way to the bikes (a bit disappointed when some people were walking in the middle of the thin carpet, blocking the way for those who were running), and was smart to bring a small towel to dry off my arms to get my arm warmers on (heard from many people they had difficulty with these). I managed to get out of my wetsuit quickly and into my helmet ok - the only slow down was putting the arm warmers on, as I usually do not wear them. Some sunscreen spray applied was a bit of a sting as I had some rash effects on the front of my neck - oh well.

I am still not proficient at getting into my shoes while riding, so I ran through T1 with them on, but instead of running on my heels I ran on the cleats and felt I was moving better this way. Once at the mount line I was on quickly, clipped in and on my way to Camp Pendleton.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to clip in and put my shoes on while riding - outside of that I felt I turned a good T1 with the long runs.
  • 3h 00m 51s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.58 mile/hr

YES YES YES YES YES!!!! As with many other course rookies, I was uncertain about the well-spoken about hills, and whether I would perform well on them. Two words - NO PROBLEM. My hill training leading up to the race really paid off. I kept a good cadence and pace for the early, flatter part of the course up the coastline. Not too fast, but I did push a few times just to make sure my legs were getting ready for the real work. My HR was exactly where I wanted it to be (145BPM), and I felt great. The drizzling rain made it harder to see out of my aero helmet visor, but everyone dealt with the same conditions so I have no complaints.

Once we got onto the base and made our way to the hills, I was ready. As we approached the first hill (looked a little like a straight version of hills I make part of a normal ride), I noticed a couple of athletes had crashed into each other (but at slow speeds I doubt there was much damage or injury), and saw a few people already walking their bikes up the slope. I geared down, climbed out of the saddle briefly, then settled in and just hammered away. I was excited to be passing people, and only getting passed by one person. At the top of the hill, some woman was doing an odd job trying to motivate the riders (more yelling demands to get up the hill than words of encouragement). Oh well, I suppose it was just her way, and I appreciate that she was even out there trying. At the top of the hill, all I could think was "one down, a few more to go", and I pedaled away.

My cadence stayed strong throughout the ride, and on the other climbs I passed even more people at a better rate. I truly put all of this on my recent hill training and cannot say enough about the advice I was given as to how I should prepare.

During the downhill portions I found myself playing it safe, with one hand on a brake and controlling my descent speed due to the wet surface and ongoing rain. I do not think that negatively affected my ride in the slightest, as I felt strong the entire time and knew I would be ready for a good run.

As I left the base and headed around the mountain towards the coast, I was passed by small groups of later waves at regular intervals (this happened the entire second half of the ride). I could tell they were the elite athletes for each of the later waves, as after a group of 5-8 riders, it got quiet again with very few people passing me.

The final 8 miles or so had a slight headwind, but not as heavy as I was expecting from all the previous race reports and other advice I had been given, so it made for better average speeds (I kept to about 20-21mph the last 8 miles).

My nutrition plan was great, with a single bottle of Infinit, my aero bottle was G2 (refilled once with Perform), and I had a Clif Bar half way through, along with a few Shot Bloks at regular intervals to keep my intake consistent.

Coming into town and at the last no-pass zone, I was very pumped up and ready to get off the bike and onto the pavement for the run. I worked to get under 3 hours (my goal was under 3:05), and missed it by less than a minute.
What would you do differently?:

I think I might have been able to go a bit harder on the early flats to increase my average speed and decrease my time to get under 3 hours, but this is something I will remember for next year, and not question my race plan, as I executed just as I wanted and was thrilled with my final results.
Transition 2
  • 02m 44s

T2 was great in terms of time, but my toes were absolutely frozen due to wet socks and the rain and cold for 56 miles. Running through T2 I could not even feel my toes and just hoped I would not fall over, as I was leaning on my bike more than normal.

I racked my bike quickly and got into my run gear in good fashion, then running out of T2 my toes were still frozen so I just tried to start to work the blood back into them.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - my goal time for T2 was 3 minutes, and I beat it by 15 seconds, so all is good in my little world.
  • 1h 55m 16s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 48s  min/mile

Running has always been my strength in triathlon, so I was excited to see how I could do on this route. They say it is great for rhythm runners, and that has been my style, so things were looking up.

I started off the first mile slow (10min pace) as my toes were frozen and I needed to get them loose and the blood flowing. Besides, I wanted to get my legs under me before I started to really move, so this was by design.

After feeling my feet again, I picked up the pace and ran the next 3.5 miles at a 7:40 pace, which felt great. However, I did not want to go too fast, as it was still a long race and I knew I would feel it later.

At about mile 5 I slowed to another 10 min/mi pace for a mile or so, then picked it back up to a sub-8 min/mi pace for a few more miles.

I grabbed sponges every few aid stations to keep my body temp cool, and limited my nutrition to Perform and water, with a splash of water on my quads as I could feel them tensing up a bit. This worked well and I never cramped up at all, which allowed me to keep going.

No walking whatsoever - I kept my run pace intact and towards the end of the run I was watching calves and when I saw a male in my AG, I made him a target and ran him down. No one in my AG passed me on the run in the last 2 miles, which I feel was a result of all my training, as I was able to finish stronger than I normally finish.

I saw Todd, Paul, Shawn, and the entire contingent of ONE Multisport athletes along the course, and it was motivating to see them and cheer them on (while also hearing them cheer me on). Sadly I never saw my wife or daughter on the course, but caught up with them at the finish so life was good.

My goal was a sub-2 hour run, with a silent goal of 1:50, so I was right in the middle and very happy with my time, effort and run plan execution.

At mile 10 or so I checked my watch and calculated times, and realized I could achieve 5:40 - 5:50 if I kept a good pace, and this really kept me from walking any of the last few miles. In fact, it pushed me to go harder, and now I know I have that in me. As I saw the pier, I knew I was going to finish in the 5:45 range, and my HR must have climbed as I was very pumped about the whole race and results.
What would you do differently?:

Hmmmm, hard to say. I suppose I could have kept my pace going a bit longer, but I am really happy with how I ran so I cannot question my effort or race plan much right now. Perhaps next year.......
Post race
Warm down:

After striking my now-normal pose at the finish line, I collected my loot (medal and finisher cap) and made my way tot he food tent. Pizza and some cookies, along with water and some FRS made for a good post-race snack.

After waiting at the finish chute "turn", I saw Shawn and we snapped a finish photo together, then talked and went to the massage tent for a rub down. I ran into some ONE racers and we congratulated each other.

At the massage area I had two (2) women work on me together, and man was that awesome. They worked out all the kinks and I was up and ready for a night of celebration.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I am not sure if the cold water and swells had too much effect, nor the drizzling rain on the bike. I am sure I can shave some more minutes off my time, and this gives me a great goal for the next HIM in 2 weeks, as well as a good time to gun for next year.

Event comments:

I love this race!!! The venue is awesome, the course is challenging but scenic and fun, and as with all WTC races, the volunteers are incredible, they are everywhere, and the spectators are very motivating. I will be back next year to finish even faster!

All in all, I have had two (2) great races in a row now. IM Arizona was a great experience, and this race I prepared for even better, and it really showed in my results and my physical status after the race. Needless to say, this HIM was a BIG PR for me - 5:45:18 is 26 minutes better than my previous PR for this distance.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-08-22 12:00 AM
00:39:52 | 1931 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 177/372
Overall: 977/2235
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vetor Pro X3 Full
Course: Oceanside Harbor, counter-clockwise out to the sea wall, then back along the docks to the finish ramp.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:00:51 | 56 miles | 18.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 185/372
Overall: 976/2235
Performance: Good
41 min - HR 112-144BPM AeT 2:11 - HR 145-169BPM LT 8 min - HR 170-18BPM AeC
Wind: Little
Course: North along the coast to Camp Pendleton, then through the base, including three (3) recognizable climbs, then back towards the coast and into T2 at Oceanside Pier.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 77
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:55:16 | 13.1 miles | 08m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 153/372
Overall: 864/2235
Performance: Good
1:52 - HR 145-169BPM LT 2 min - HR 170-185BPM AeC
Course: Running along The Strand and up along the road, with a few ramps and uphill/downhill sections, but nothing of too much significance. Two laps total.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5