70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
63F / 17C
Total Time = 5h 29m 49s
Overall Rank = 646/2250
Age Group = W25-29
Age Group Rank = 31/103
Pre-race routine:

Well, I'm kind of a local for this race; it's about a 45 min drive. Transition opened at 0445, and you get a rack for a range of numbers in your wave/AG-but not a specific spot. So I knew I ought to be there early enough to get a decent spot. So, I got up around 0340. Fed the dogs (was amazed they ate that early), ate part of my b'fast, fixed my coffee (yay for programed coffee pots, it was ready, just had to pour), and headed out. Did a good job of packing everything in the car the night before so all I had to do was go. Left home around 410, made it to the parking area just before 0500. Checked bike tires, and then did the little 1 mile or so ride to the transition area. Got checked in and got the 2nd spot in on the bike rack. Was grateful the end gal had bright pink duct tape to mark the row (only time pink has been good) because this is a VERY VERY long transition not that wide, but very long. Got my stuff set up initially. Went and got body marked and used porta-potty, not long line. Came back, applied sun lotion which took off arm body marking; got re-body marked; porta potty again; ate a banana. Finalized all my gear, porta potty AGAIN (mostly well hydrated--I know you want to know these things) and the line was super long this time. Think it was a 25 min or so wait. The gal in front of me wore me out. She did more stretching (with a band even), and jumping, and slapping her legs than I have ever seen. She probably burned up all her calories from breakfast with as much as she did in that line! So, then it was back to the bike, and the pro-men were about to go off (0640). Started getting the whole wet suit on. Thankfully, the air wasn't that chilly and I was not cold at all. This is good, cause I didn't take any old socks for feet or whatever like I had meant to do. Anyhow, went and got in the corral to wait for our swim to kick off. We were wave 18, last women's wave. 15 mins before wave start, took a Cherry Lime GU (OH MY GOSH THESE ARE AWESOME!)
Event warmup:

Riding to the transition area; walking back and forth from the porta potties (it was a long ways off!).
  • 38m 17s
  • 1980 meters
  • 01m 56s / 100 meters

Maybe I don't swim hard enough? I don't know--this SHOULD have been faster based upon what I've been doing in the pool. Maybe it's salt water swims as I have yet to have a good salt water swim. In fact, for my HIMs, my 3 lake swims have been GREAT times and the salt water ones not so great. This one isn't horrid compared to some of my other salt water swims, but it's not what it should be. I drafted a bit, but not much. I did have at least 3 guys from the wave behind us try to drown me, so maybe that did something. I understand contact. You're going to hit someone occasionally. But literally coming up on someone, hitting their feet, then working your way up and over and pushing them down, that is just irresponsible and whomever you are, you better be lucky I didn't really know how to kick you in the junk in the water in my buoyant wetsuit, cause it's the first thing that went through my mind when you pulled that crap. Anyhow, I don't now what made this what it was. The water was fairly calm; yes there was some current/tide and chop once you got out of the harbor, but it wasn't too bad. I was worried about the water being cold, but it didn't faze me AT ALL. In fact, I remember being colder at IMAZ, and apparently this was 2-3 degrees colder than IMAZ. So, apparently I'm fine in cooler water (not sure we need to go sub 60 degrees though)--it's probably the extra insulation I need to get rid of right now. It wasn't poor navigation, I stayed right on the buoy line very well.
What would you do differently?:

Not swim in salt water? I don't know. Not particularly thrilled with this.
Transition 1
  • 03m 40s

Eh, in comparison with others in the AG, it's not bad. For the swim, you come out at the top of transition and you run ALL the way down past transition (easily 200m I would estimate, if not more??), then you turn in and have to run up to your rack, get your stuff, and then out of transition. I'd hazard it's somewhere between 300-400m of running. I got my right leg out of the wetsuit just fine (stripped it to my waist on the run in and got cap/goggles off), but the left leg got stuck, so that took a moment. I ran in the bike shoes, haven't mastered that whole shoe on bike thing, and I probably do this just as fast as anything that would gain me.
What would you do differently?:

Not get the suit stuck; have wetsuit strippers. :)
  • 2h 54m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.31 mile/hr

So, the bike. I was FLYING and feeling great the first 20 miles. Got a bit frustrated when you turn onto a small bike path where they say no passing and there are guys on bikes with surf boards and everyone is moving like pond water in Minnesota in the winter...but, this was mainly a pass fest for me, and that was fun. Then we hit the biggest of the hills around 23/25 miles or so...and man alive it is a doozy, it was carnage on that hill. I was definitely in my granny gear (I recon about everyone would be except maybe your super cyclists) and worked most of the way up it seated, some standing--not big on standing up hills (though maybe I should be--less glutes or more glutes if you stand?? I need whatever is LESS glutes) if I don't have to do so. I was definitely at like 5.5-8mph up this thing. But I RODE up it...I was amazed how many people gave up and just walked up it and a couple of other hills. Anyhow, that middle section had a couple of other hills as well as some long gradual inclines AND this is when the wing really picked up and stayed fairly brutal for most of the way back. Around mile 32 while shifting into my small chain ring on a gradual uphill, the chain got caught between the chain stay and there was nothing I could do while riding, so I had to quick stop and fix it...going up a gradual hill meant loss of momentum and stopping time. SAME thing happens around mile 40 or so...and this is after successfully shifting between small/big in between there. Not sure what this stuff was. Otherwise, I was LOVING my SRAM Red R2C shifters. Anyhow, I did get pretty PO'd when the wind started up because then people started getting into drafting groups. It wasn't a lot of them, but there were two groups I saw (there is a pic of one on ST that I passed, I recognize the people!) and then there were a couple of dudes sucking some other people's wheels. Anyhow, I ride CLEAN, so I worked hard to pass the groups, and I did. Then around mile 45 or so, on a wide section of road a guy comes up on me as I'm on the far right taking in some Infinit from my downtube bottle and about rams me off the course, he had ZERO bike skills...thank goodness disaster was averted, though having to go the bull horns quick meant I lost my bottle (better the bottle than the body and bike) to the grass on the side of the road. Thankfully, I was about done with it, and I would take a back up GU I had for my next nutrition need. Also, in that last 10 miles I had to deal with who I will call the 3 accordions. These 3 dudes would pass me (flat/downhill area, I'm pushing 22 or so), then do this coasting thing and slow down less than me, so I pass them again, and then they'd do it again, it was almost like they were intentionally trying to slow me down. I highly doubt this is true, but what heck, you don't pass someone and then take a break...it was like an accordion. So, I had to work hard to get away from these dudes too. The wind became super strong the last 5 miles or so, we'd had more cross wind before that, but then we hit super headwind. I wanted OFF the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Ride hills more...ride a flat course. I love riding on the flats. I'll pedal all day long. Just not thrilled with hills out there. Otherwise, I really really tried to push this ride. The two stops for the chain cost me some time for sure. Getting caught with surf board cyclists definitely slowed me down a bit...but otherwise, I guess I should feel good about this ride....save for the story the run will tell.

Nutrition ended up spot on. I had about a 2.75 hour bottle of Infinit that I lost at 2.5 hours so I then took a Gel at 46 miles or so. Took water on at every aid station. Never felt nutritionally deficient.
Transition 2
  • 02m 1s

So, this transition is long too. You actually ride down, on the carpet you walked to the swim on, and you're in single file with everyone else, then dismount and run to the rack. Due to the two ladies next to me on L/R already being back and bikes squeezed a little closely, racking wasn't super quick. Also, as soon as I got my shoes on (sans socks) and grabbed my fuel belt and hat and started taking off for the run course, I knew things were about to be rough--my lower back was in BAD pain.
What would you do differently?:

Rack better...otherwise, again, long transition. Not use a fuel belt--one less thing to grab and fiddle with on the way out--more to come on this.
  • 1h 51m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 32s  min/mile

So my lower back, especially left side, was in extreme pain. The first mile wasn't bad, cause we all know you can't feel much that first mile and I'm hoping it just works itself out. But, Buffalo Springs '08 is creeping back to mind as I had the SAME thing happen then. Thankfully, I carry Excedrin with me. I did it at BSLT '08 and it saved me from DNFing. I was really wondering today whether or not I was about to find myself shuffling all the way or walking it in. It was that bad...I took the 2 Excedrin, and actually dropped the fuel belt at the Mile 2 aid station next to the trash cans. Thankfully an old one, so no big loss--but it was just making the back pain worse. I made it to the first turn around just pushing through and praying my back would stop hurting and willing myself to not walk. When I tossed my fuel belt, I also tossed my gels (woops, should've taken them out I suppose)...so I just picked up a power bar gel (espresso--woohoo!) at the mile 3 aid station, and grabbed water. I did this again at the 6 mile one, and the 9 mile one, and all was good with the world. So, lesson learned is I CAN live off the run course without taking my own stuff (though I'm likely to continue to carry some Excedrin with me--grab a baggy or something and just stuff it in my tri-top pocket. I may have had to slow down a tad for the aid stations, but it's one less thing to carry/grab that slows you down too.
Anyhow, after the back pain subsided (oh, I was so overjoyed, you don't even know--racing as a Team RWB member I won't even fathom quitting---and seeing all the wounded vets that were out there racing today, quitting isn't an option unless I'm carried out--but I didn't want to walk either) my run picked up and I re-passed a couple of gals that had passed me, and I seemed to pick it up and when I got to the last mile, I just pushed it out, and in the last 1/4 of a mile I passed another gal in my AG. That did feel good. I am very glad that the run finished up the way it did and that I was able to come back. It is so much more fun to NOT be in pain running. Those of you that deal with it constantly--well, I don't know how you do you it. But I really came on strong, and that felt good. From where I was, overall, out of the swim to where I finished, I passed 317 racers.
What would you do differently?:

So, the pain is clearly caused by my glutes, and mainly the left side. I don't have this happen in training, but it's the second HIM I've had it happen (granted, 3 years apart) but with similar tough climbing conditions. I supposed I need to learn how to fix this, or medicate earlier....I'd prefer fix. Other than that, the run went the best I could. I do think I could've held a faster overall pace if it weren't from losing momentum and having to physically and mentally battle that pain for the first 4 miles--that was wearisome.
Post race
Warm down:

Ashley was there and we got a picture, and she exchanged my hat for me (cause the first one had everything printed upside down and I actually noticed it, haha!--maybe I should've kept that one!). Then I went to medical and got ice for the back. Even though the pain and any related spasms had pretty much stopped, I was concerned some of it was just masked by wonder drugs. So, I stuffed that up on the left side and got in the massage line...didn't take too long. BEST. POST-RACE. MASSAGE. EVER. They were only taking 5-7 kins on folks, but I swear my gal took 20-25. I told her what happened, she immediately checked out that area, and both glutes/hips areas were really tight and she totally noticed it and she just was amazing. I mean awesome. I wish I had had cash on me to tip her. I did ask her if she had a card and she said she's just a student but she could give me her number. I got it. I'd be willing to call her cause not only did she do a great job, she went above and beyond. And really, taking care of nasty, sweaty, salty people and truly taking care vs. going through the motions?? That's rare! Then I grabbed some food, they cut the pizza into quite small pieces, and I was grateful. I don't usually grab pizza but this sounded good this time. Just two small squares, a small bit of banana and some water. Then it was grabbing my gear and trying to link up with some folks.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Race weight. No more need to be said on that. Hills just kick my butt--not that I don't recover for them okay, I'm just don't enjoy climbing, and it literally kicks my butt and that triggers lower back pain. Oh, and swimming...salt water specific. So, back to flat/rolling hill courses with freshwater swims for me (after the Admiral's Cup next weekend for salt water, but it's 400m--so I should be okay, and after IMCdA for hilly type courses--maybe that one will be okay, we'll see). Of course, the back pain totally limited me....but fight through, makes you stronger, right!

Event comments:

This was a well organized race with some of the best volunteers I've had at half. Many were very, very organized and orderly and enthusiastic. Many were Marines. I may give Marines a hard time from an Army perspective just cause I'm Army, but they had some support out there, and from those I asked, it didn't seem like a "voluntold" but truly "volunteer." I'm sure there were some incentives, but nonetheless, they did a SUPER job. The youth that were out there were some of the most enthusiastic. Overall, the race was timely, organized (could've had more athlete porta potties though), and the finisher medal is pretty darn sweet. There is a lot of experience that goes into putting this race on, and you can tell. It was nice hearing Mike Riley announcing as well. It is a big event, which means long waits--that does make something like Redman attractive, and I really want to do a Rev3 race. May or may not race Cedar Point this year....I'll be there in a Team RWB capacity (they partnered with us, we have free slots for fundraisers--if you're interested PM me!). As waiting till Wave 18, nearly an hour after the first wave goes off, is a little rough. But really this race did great. I doubt I'll do it again cause I have different plans this year, and after that I'd have to travel to it. I'm glad I did it. Solid training day for CdA. I know I NEED to figure out this glute/back thing. I learned I can live off the course. And I switched back to Newtons from K-Swiss, and I think I'm going to stick with that, they just work much better for me.
So, that's a wrap. Tough day, but battled through and I'm better (and will get better) because of it. Oh, and apparently the Ocean also likes to kill my Timex watches! Happened at Lonestar last year, and now at Oceanside!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-06-29 12:00 AM
00:38:17 | 1980 meters | 01m 56s / 100meters
Age Group: 51/103
Overall: 963/2250
Performance: Below average
Suit: XTerra VectorProX2
Course: Rectangular with a slight dog leg out of the harbor to the ocean. Salt water. Counter Clockwise.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:40
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:54:02 | 56 miles | 19.31 mile/hr
Age Group: 24/103
Overall: 0/2250
Performance: Average
Lap Time Distance Pace/Speed AHR MHR 1 28m 58s 10.00 miles 20.71 mph 166 181 2 28m 17s 10.00 miles 21.21 mph 155 163 3 32m 04s 10.00 miles 18.71 mph 153 170 4 34m 47s 10.00 miles 17.25 mph 153 165 5 29m 32s 10.00 miles 20.32 mph 149 163 6 19m 29s 5.99 miles 18.45 mph 152 159
Wind: Some
Course: It's one loop, with some fast downhill/flats in the first 20 miles, some challenging hills for the middle 20-45 or so miles, and then some rollers for 45-56.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:01
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:51:49 | 13.1 miles | 08m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 29/103
Overall: 0/2250
Performance: Average
Lap Time Distance Pace/Speed AHR MHR 1 08m 15s 1.00 miles 08m 15s /mile 157 160 2 08m 55s 1.00 miles 08m 55s /mile 156 159 3 08m 46s 1.00 miles 08m 46s /mile 155 163 4 08m 51s 1.00 miles 08m 51s /mile 154 157 5 08m 42s 1.00 miles 08m 42s /mile 153 161 6 08m 37s 1.00 miles 08m 37s /mile 155 159 7 08m 25s 1.00 miles 08m 25s /mile 160 163 8 08m 33s 1.00 miles 08m 33s /mile 161 163 9 08m 26s 1.00 miles 08m 26s /mile 163 166 10 08m 34s 1.00 miles 08m 34s /mile 163 167 11 08m 19s 1.00 miles 08m 19s /mile 164 168 12 08m 28s 1.00 miles 08m 28s /mile 164 166 13 08m 00s 1.00 miles 08m /mile 168 174 14 01m 00s 0.13 miles 07m 31s /mile 174 175
Course: Two loop run along part of the seawall and into Oceanside. Don't let anyone tell you it's TOTALLY flat. Lonestar is totally flat, on this one you get a short steep hill, and some long gradual climbs...they are not a horrible at all, and if you have done some hill training, they're not that bad. It's not "hilly" per se (as Austin 70.3 is hilly), but neither is it what I would consider flat (Lonestar/Redman).
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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