Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 29m 39s
Overall Rank = 561/1958
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 78/233
Pre-race routine:

Everyone had to park about 1.5 miles from transition, but I was prepared for this and I brought by big backpacking backpack (I don't have a big tri backpack yet). So I just strapped on my helmet and pack and biked the 1.5 miles. It was kinda fun biking w/ the big pack on and getting some (rare) use out of it

I was in the DFL wave. Wave 20! I didn't start till over an hour after the first wave so it kinda sucked having to wait around for so long, and I didn't sit down like I should have. However, it was kinda neat to see Andy Potts come into transition and go flying by!

Side note: I was kinda neat to watch a harbor seal playing around the harbor as the earlier waves were swimming by!
Event warmup:

None, unfortunately
  • 39m 23s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

Water wasn't too cold at all, probably b/c I was so cold from standing around in minimial clothes for 2+ hours before my wave! I didn't even have any brain freeze and it wasn't too bad on my hands or feet either.

On the way out I felt like I did a pretty good job of sighting as I didn't seem to wander too far away from the buoys. However, once I got in the more open part of the harbor, the chop seemed to increase dramatically and I could occassionally feel myself rising and falling a few feet with the waves. It made breathing a little tough, but I tried not to let it bother me to much.

After the turn around, I got off course a little bit as I swung too far south, and it was little hard to sight as we were staring in the sun.

I took in a lot of salt water through out the swim. I really need to learn to keep my freaking mouth shut underwater. For what ever reason, I always keep my mouth just a little bit a jar underwater, and in the pool or even lake this isn't that big of deal, but in salt water it sucked and probably messed with my electrolyte balance as they say sea water has such a high concentration of sodium. This might have been the reason that I was extremely salt crusted by the end of the race. A lot of other people were too though!
What would you do differently?:

Very typical HIM swim for me, right around 39-40 minutes. Not a great time especially with a wetsuit, but at least I'm consistent. I know I'm not improving b/c I simply don't practice swimming enough. It's my least favorite of the 3, and I basically just do enough to get thru the leg without exhausting myself.
Transition 1
  • 04m 20s

No wetsuit stripper unfortunately as I told my sister there might be as she was all excited to see this!

Long run from the swim exit to my bike rack accounted for at least 1:30 of this.
  • 2h 54m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.27 mile/hr

Absolutely the most scenic course I've done in my 4 yr career. The mountains around Camp Pendlton were simply amazing. The was one ridge that reminding me of the FAMOUS KNIFE EDGE RIDGE in KAUAI, Hawaii that I saw on my honeymoon. Very pretty.

Unfortuntely, with beauty typically comes some beasts, and there were 3-4 monsters on this course and they all came on the 2nd half of the course. So while I did enjoy the beauty of the course, it wasn't like a lesiurely training ride. This was a race and I was working hard so I didn't quite soak it all in as much as I would have liked!

I'll never forget rounding a corner and seeing, about 0.25 miles away, a steep and long winding road littered with seemingly motionless cyclists some of which were walking! Quite intimidating. I think I immediately got into easiest gear (39-25, I definitely buying a 12-27 for IMLP!) well before the climb even started. I know this isn't the right way to approach a climb, but I just wanted to make sure I that this gear was working right and there were not problems with my derailleur.

Now, I don't know exactly how long or what the grade was, but I know it took me over 5 minutes to climb this sucker and I was forced to stand for probably 3-4 minutes of that! The one time I had a chance to glance at my watch I was going 6mph! It was killer climb.

There were at least 2 more significant climbs that were almost as tough as this first one. All of them were MUCH LONGER that any of the hills I normally train on. We just don't have any long hills in the Metroplex! Not only did my HR spike on these hills, but my obviously super low cadence and high power output really took its toll on my legs and I think impacted my run.

The downhills were fun, but one of the longer ones was a no pass zone that had a strict speed limit of 25 mph. I had to pretty much ride the brakes on this downhill to keep from pass the riders in front me. Obviously not optimal, but I obeyed the rules they set b/c apparently someone went over the railing a few years back and DIED. Better to be safe than sorry I guess.

At about mile 45 the hills ended, but we were now greeted with a fairly strong head wind for the last 11 miles! Joy! Mentally, I was better prepared for the wind than the climbs, but after 45 tough miles and 3 hrs into my race, the wind was still tough. I kept up about 17.5 or 18 mph thru this stretch.

OVERALL, this was the toughest bike course I've ever done and my slowest HIM bike split. I was secretly hoping to set a PR today, but the tough hills and strong winds pretty muched nixed that idea.
What would you do differently?:

Uhh... LOTS MORE HILL WORK! Maybe move to Colorado!

Seriously though, I need to build more leg strength and increase my strength/weight ratio. This will be my highest priority for IMLP. Gotta get that body fat % down!
Transition 2
  • 02m 8s
  • 1h 49m 30s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 22s  min/mile

I made a point to start out a little slower than I did at Timberman or Longhorn. The best part of the whole run for me was from mile 1 to 2 along the Oceanside boardwalk. It was really cool to be running right next to the beach and seeing all the beachcomers just hanging out and having a good time. I've always loved running near the beach and for this brief early moment I felt like I was just on a FUN TRAINING RUN like I'd do if I just came on vacation and wanted to go jog along side the beach!

This stretch right on the boardwalk next the beach was only about a mile long and then we went into a more residential area and the view of the beach was blocked by houses. This wasn't as fun and there were some hills mixed into this stretched that sucked A$$!

I was happy that I DIDN'T GET HUNGRY like I did on the run of most of my previous HIMs. I didn't even take as many shot blocks as I was planning as it was little tough to chew them at a high intensity. I think I didn't get hungry b/c I had a whole Clif bar about 1 hr before my wave and drank a whole 24 oz Gatorade Endurance too. I think that solid food helped.

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS - Much like Timberman, the run got significantly more difficult after 4-5 miles. I saw that my pace was slowing while my PE was increasing. But I think the worse part was just my negative attitude. I really never even tried to focus on positive things like the cool ocean breeze or the nice beach view after the first few miles. I just keep thinking how much the run sucked and how I wasn't enjoying myself. Why do I like triathlons again? I was really in a mental funk and it sucked. I was dissapointed that I wasn't running faster and that I wasn't even trying to bump up my HR to the 170s. I ran a whole freaking marathon at 175 and now I didn't even want to go over 170! Arghhh!!

NO KILLER INSTINCT - I was also unhappy with my lack of true competitive spirit. Most of the time, I'm very competitive, but at the end of this race, I just didn't have it. I didn't have that killer instinct to try to keep up with that guy in my AG just a few feet ahead and I didn't care when a fellow AG'er passed me. Deep down, this bothered me. WHY DON'T I HAVE THAT DRIVE? Why can't I muster those competitive juices when I need them the most? I know that I should probably run my own race, but at least in the last 3 miles or so when I should let it all go, I need to be able to tap into something stronger.

OVERALL DECENT RUN THOUGH - Despite all these negtive thoughts, I was only few seconds off my run split PR at Timberman and it had a much easier bike course. I can't complain too much, and I'm happy w/ my performance overall. I just think I'd have more fun and perform a little better if I was stronger mentally late in the race.

What would you do differently?:

Splits w/ HR avg per mile

1 853 160 (~45s potty break)
2 806 165
3 758 166
4 758 166
5 758 169
6 815 168
7 815 171
8 818 169
9 822 172
10 829 167
11 826 167
12 836 166
13.1 1012 167

Post race
Warm down:

Felt like crap. The worst part was that I was having significant trouble breathing normally. My chest and lungs hurt to breath deeply and it felt like I could never catch my breath. This lasted for a good 15 minutes or more. I forced down 2 slices of pizza even though I wasn't hungry; I knew I needed the calories. I drank a little water too.

After 15-20 minutes, I started feeling better and could talk. I brought my sister a few slices of pizza from the athlete's food tent. We hung and chatted for an hour or so. Then she went back to the car while I hung around for the awards ceremony.

It lasted quite a while, but it was cool to see the pros and to hear Andy Potts give his winners speech. I hadn't heard exactly how close the finish was so it was cool to here Andy tell it with Craig Alexander standing right next him.

I GOT AN IMLP SLOT - This was obviously the highlight of the ceremony for me and main reason I did this race in the first place. Pauly Newby Frasier simply asked "Raise your hand if you want a Lake Placid slot", and they did a quick count/estimate of the # of hands and determined it was less than 50 so everyone got a slot! It was like this for each of the NA IMs. A great deal!

Last but certainly not least, I was so happy to have the support of my sister Cyndee for the whole day. I didn't think she'd come for the whole race, but the trooper staying the WHOLE DAY! It was really great to see her coming out of the water and then coming in/out of transition on my bike. She got some great pictures too. I also enjoyed hearing her perspective on the whole day as she's never seen any triathlon before. She was so patient to wait so long before I even started and to wait around so long after the race. OVER FIFTEEN HOURS! WOW! She's the best sister, and I love her dearly.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-02-18 12:00 AM
00:39:23 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 142/233
Overall: 1111/1958
Performance: Average
Course: Weird dog leg out and back w/ buoys on your left which I hate.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:54:21 | 56 miles | 19.27 mile/hr
Age Group: 73/233
Overall: 514/1958
Performance: Average
HRM was acting up so no HR data :(
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:08
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:49:30 | 13.1 miles | 08m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 83/233
Overall: 582/1958
Course: Essentially two 3 mile out and backs along the Oceanside boardwalk. I really enjoyed running right next the ocean, at least on the first lap!
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]