Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
97F / 36C
Total Time = 6h 13m 51s
Overall Rank = 1052/2286
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 37/137
Pre-race routine:

This was my first HIM and so my main goal going into this race was to have fun and FINISH IT with a smile! I was extremely conscious of my water intake all week, which turned out to be a very good thing! Got to Guerneville Sat. early afternoon and had enough time to have a salad with grilled chicken breast for lunch before heading over to the expo to pick up race packet and go to the pre-race meeting. It was clear to me that race day was probably going to be HOT! It felt like 90 plus. Didn't stay too long, I was anxious to get back, eat dinner and go to bed early. Had my normal pasta with red sauce and grilled chicken breast with a salad for dinner at about 7pm. My wave was not until 8:22am, so no rush to get up super early. Went to bed at 9:30 and then got up at 3:30am and could not fall back asleep for over an hour. Finally dozed off and then woke up at 6am. Had a slice of multigrain bread w/peanut butter, banana and yogurt. Everything went fine and then Kathy and I walked the 10 minutes to the swim start at about 7:15. This was a good idea, as it gave me less time to be nervous. Set up T1. Decided to wear the wetsuit, as I am not so confident of a swimmer. It was fine, I swim rather slowly, so never got too hot.
Event warmup:

Got into the water for about 5 minutes to adjust the wetsuit and get wet and then they called our wave into the corral.
  • 49m 3s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

I felt very good for the entire first half of the swim, never really bumped into anyone, kept my head down and never went to the backstroke, which I have really improved upon this year. Couldn't find anyone to draft, so decided to just try my swim 6 strokes, sight, etc. It worked really well. However, when the bulk of the M45-49 caught up to me somewhere close to the turn buoy, I got dunked about 4x and drank some of the yucky river water. I did stay calm, but made an effort to move to the right . After the turnaround, it was a whole bunch of blue caps just slamming into me on either side and I decided to just stay my course and breathe into my little air pocket. After that I saw the bridge and figured I was almost there, so started kicking more so I wouldn't topple over like I did in my Olympic this year.
What would you do differently?:

Not get so flustered by the faster swimmers behind me. Don't need to move to the side, I was swimming a very straight line this time! Just let them go around me. Time for one on one lessons! I should be able to swim faster than 2:25/100 in a wetsuit! Overall, though, very happy with this effort. I feel like I have overcome my OWS it's just time to improve technique and get faster!
Transition 1
  • 02m 30s

Not sure of the time because it is either lumped into swim or bike split. But according to my watch, it was probably about 2 minutes. I saw Kathy right after exiting the swim so that was a boost! She was cheering and managed to take a blurry picture of me. My rack was easy to find as they had dismantled all of the earlier waves and just our wave and the 3 racks for the guys were left. Amazingly, there were lots of women still in T1 and a fair number of bikes still there. I had to sit on the towel to get the suit off the ankle with the timing chip, but it was okay. I was very deliberate, lots of sunscreen everywhere, helmet, sunglasses, Garmin watch, bike shoes, jammed everything into the T1 bag supplied and off I went!

I decided to mount at the bottom of the hill, I had purposely put my bike in an easy gear...I am not good at running uphill in bike shoes. It was a very good decision as I just spun easily up the hill, passing people who were running up.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...I used lots of bodyglide on that ankle/calf and it just was hard to get the darn suit off!
  • 3h 09m 25s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.74 mile/hr

I had a great bike ride for my first HIM! I was not sure what to expect as I have never "raced" this distance, but I did get about 6 50+ mile rides in so I was confident I could finish it. I nailed the nutrition perfectly. 3 hours worth of Infinit (700cal) in two 20 oz bottles. 2 bottles of water. I sipped the Infinit kind of randomly throughout the first 2 hours and finished one bottle of water, taking a nice cold bottle at the second aid station...mile 29? Ate 2 shot blocks every 45 minutes and took 2 Endurolytes, before they bounced out of my fuel box after hitting some railroad tracks. Yikes, I was worried, because I planned to use them on my run! At about mile 7, there was a caution area with a fallen tree that workers were cutting back. It didn't really affect us, but I found out later that it hit someone and took out 2 other cyclists and delayed some of the earlier riders races. I did drop my chain on one hill at about mile 12 and it took me a few minutes to get it back on...odd, because I was in a middle gear when I downshifted to the small front ring...oh well, not too disastrous...gave me a little break. I caught up to all the people who passed me eventually. Switched to water only with about 8 miles to go. Oddly, zero back pain and I was in aero position for a lot of the ride. Overall, a great bike ride and I think without the dropped chain, I could have averaged 18mph!
What would you do differently?:

Not too much, but I should have stuck the endurolytes in my trisuit pocket! It might have made a difference on the run. I did not hammer the bike, but was hoping my average cadence could have been closer to 85.
Transition 2
  • 03m 20s

I got behind this woman coming off her bike and she wasn't moving too fast down the chute to T2, but it was pretty narrow and I didn't want to be THAT person, so I took the time to take some deep breaths and remember where I was, and how I wanted to get through T2. Once the path opened up I jogged my bike around her and went immediately to my bike. I had set my T2 gear next to someone who had a big felt daisy sticking up! It was awesome! Found my rack easily and remembered to apply liberal amounts of spray on sunblock.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...maybe wasted 30 seconds walking bike in instead of running...
  • 2h 09m 31s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 53s  min/mile

Ah, what can I say here, I started out with a 7:50/mile pace, simply on adrenaline, but my HR was in the 140's and I felt okay, but then the heat really started to affect me. My stomach felt great, my legs felt fine, but my body just felt really HOT. I would put ice in my sports bra front and back whenever they had it and drink a cup of water, pour one over my head...I would feel good enough to run for about 5 or 6 minutes and then I would just walk if I needed to to the next aid station and do it again. It's funny the things you think about when you see people sitting on the side of the road or standing under the only tree along the road...It's like a battlefield. Two guys I overheard saying "it's the death march"...and the thing was they were on their way back at my 5 mile mark. I tried to wipe those thoughts from my mind. I took my first gel at about mile 6 and another at about mile 10, each time with 2 cups of water. The really hard part about starting 2 hours after the first wave was not just running in the hottest part of the day, but running when most people are walking. It took tons of mental toughness to keep running, especially up the hills (of which there seemed to be many). About 2 aid stations had garden hoses and that was awesome, I just let them drench me. It was so hot, I was dry within about 10 minutes. Feet felt good, no cramps in my legs, I just felt drained by the sun! With about 5 miles to go, my mind just said, HEY, you've run about 500 miles this year to train for this race! Try running the bulk of these last 5, and you can finish in 6:15. And so I did kind of like a long slow run, but it was easier to run than to stop running and have to start again. The last mile seemed really long, but it was nice to have the crowd support. Once I saw the finish line, I picked up my pace and heard the announcer call out my name, I had a huge smile on my face and I was genuinely thrilled!

What would you do differently?:

I think I was well trained for the distance, but not the heat. I should have driven out of the city to do some midday hot long runs. I really felt like I had a 1:55-2 hour half mary in me...coming off the bike I felt really good....but ah, the heat.
Not have my endurolytes go bouncing off of the bike at the 50 mile point!!! I'm not sure how much of a difference that would have made, but I wish I'd had them to try.
Maybe try eating some of the bananas that were out there, but I didn't want to start having stomach issues and I'd never tried that on the run.
Overall, the effort was there, I wish I could have run it better, but my average HR was the exact same as my stand alone half marathon. Just a lot slower!
Post race
Warm down:

Couldn't find Kathy until after I grabbed some food. Ice cold soy chocolate milk never tasted so good! Ate a few chicken breasts (theme of this week seemed to be chicken)...had a bunch of fruit and more water. We sat in the shade for a bit after picking up the bike and wet T1 stuff. It was so hot, I actually rode my bike to the car to get it since she had to park about 4 blocks away! It was much easier that way to leave all the stuff and Kathy in the shade. My quads felt it a bit. Came back for a huge feast and used a foam roller for my quads/calves and the rolled with the "stick" before bedtime. Took 2 advils at night and this morning. As I write this a day later, I am not very sore at all. Like 20 percent of post marathon sore. I met my goals of having fun and finishing with a smile.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat of the day and lack of training in the heat. Swim technique needs help.

Event comments:

Vineman 70.3 was my first HIM, so I cannot compare it to others but this race was awesome, organized in every aspect. Unfortunate incident with the fallen tree, but not something that could have been predicted. It was really well run and I would definitely like to try it again...maybe pray more for cooler temps?!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-11-01 12:00 AM
00:49:03 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/137
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction
Course: Upstream along the river and back downstream. This is a very beautiful course, it's mostly in the shade and with the redwood trees along the shore, it really is magical! Lots of buoys, so it's very easy to sight.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:30
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:09:25 | 56 miles | 17.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/137
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Good
average HR: 144
Wind: Little
Course: Beautiful, scenic, rolling course with a few mild hills that are pretty nice compared to the hills I trained on. I loved this bike course! It was shady for the first half and seemed like more downhill and nice rollers. Chalk Hill was not too bad at all. I did not have a chance to preview the course so did not know what to expect, but was very pleasantly surprised! The vineyards never got boring to look at it was very well marked with awesome volunteers pointing out the turns and police traffic control was great! There were some bumpy areas, but I could tell they were coming up by the amount of water bottles/yellow spongy things, etc scattered about.
Road:   Cadence: 81
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:20
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:09:31 | 13.1 miles | 09m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/137
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Average
average HR 154
Course: Out and back on mostly exposed roads for the most part. In retrospect there were parts that were shady, they just seem outnumbered by the parts where the sun was just BEATING down on me. Great aid stations every mile, which was greatly appreciated! Volunteers were great at these aid stations. It seems like they just had to put the run somewhere, so it goes on these back roads...rolling course, would have been fun if it were 25 degrees cooler! (which by the way it was the day after-high temp on Monday, 76F degrees!) Oh, the challenge of it all!!!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5