Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 4h 46m 32s
Overall Rank = 154/3074
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 18/379
Pre-race routine:

This was my top "A" race of the year! Between lots of work travel, getting the flu, family obligations and then the loss of our 11 1/2 year old yellow lab on the 20th of March, I missed a number of workouts and cut some short but I did my best to keep the quality of the workouts I was able to complete at a high level. I adjusted my expectations to align with the reduced training, and was aiming for a 4:45 time...

Up at 4am as my wonderfully supportive wife, Michelle, and I were driving down from our home in Orange County. Car was packed up the night before (I slept so much better knowing I didn't have to load up in the morning!!)

Left the house about 4:40pm, found parking without much trouble at about 5:30am when we got down there.

Ate 2 packets of oatmeal with some blueberries and brown sugar at 4:15am and a glass of OJ, Ate 1/2 plain bagel with peanut butter and a banana with some water at 5:45am. Ate another banana at 7am and a gel at wave started at 7:42, 3rd to last! Found a number of my TeamFC teammates throughout the morning....wished everyone good luck!
Event warmup:

Since we were in a long line waiting for our waves to go, I really didn't do much other than some light stretching and some jumping in place to try to get my heart going and blood flowing a bit. Once our wave entered the water, it was just swim over to the start line and get ready....I did some "fist strokes" to insure my pull ok, and a few other little things to remind myself of some key things that I'd been working on to improve my swim. Only a few moments at the start "line" before we were off!
  • 32m 9s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

Holy cow!!! I ended up with my BEST swim EVER! I was expecting a 36 to 38 min swim and hoping for 34 or 35....I couldn't believe it when I came out of the water in just over 32 minutes! I was super excited!

To start, I positioned myself about 2 or 3 people back from the front, on the inside portion...I had a good amount of room around me, I went out at a good pace to start. I tried to stay on feet as much as I could as this has been a problem for me in the past. Throughout much of the swim there was contact with others which I didn't enjoy, but I didn't panic either. A few times I dropped back when I was getting squeezed between 2 people...perhaps 1 or 2 times I tried to surge ahead to get away from it. Other times I'd just pause a bit and then swim to the outside to find some clean water.

I really tried to focus on the things my swim coach had me working on. (I finally broke down in early March and had a video done of my swim with feedback and some drills to improve. Boy was this an eye opener for me...I was not exactly too streamlined in the water!.)

Overall, I was VERY happy with my swim!
What would you do differently?:

Take lessons 1.5 years ago!!
Transition 1
  • 03m 19s

Narrow "path" from exiting the water to entering T1...lots of traffic that I had to run around. Not much trouble finding my rack and bike.

I decided to not pre-clip my shoes this time as 2 of my last 3 races I'd had a pre-clipped shoe unclip as I was mounting forcing me to stop, go back and pick up my dropped shoe.

Got my suit off quickly and shoved it into the bag provided by IM. Quickly slipped my shoes on, sunglasses and helmet and was off....had to run past a few people who were very slowly jogging or walking their bikes. Got to the mount line and jumped on. Took just a few seconds to clip in and I was off!
What would you do differently?:

Not much...I think I'll go back to pre-clipping my shoes at my next race, I prefer to not run in them.
  • 2h 33m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.88 mile/hr

I was determined to NOT cook myself on the bike and start out easy....and I thought I was doing just this....until I hit the backside hills and WOW, those were more than I was expecting.

I did feel pretty good overall on the bike, but was wishing I had an easier gear for the hills. I'm running a compact crank with an 11-23 cassette...should have had an easier gear like a 27 or so for the hills.

Lots of bike traffic on the course, but as I was the 21st wave of 24, I was expecting this. Overall, it was not much of an issue...just had to yell out "on your left" a few times as some athletes were riding in the middle to left side of the road. The last thing I wanted was to get a penalty for passing on the right!

For hydration and calories, I had one bottle with Hammer Perpeteum (about 300 cals) and one bottle of water. I also consumed 3 gels (100 cals each), on the bike. That seemed to be enough for me.

Throughout the flats, false flats and rollers, I tried to keep a cadence of 95-100. The hills saw me drop to between 55 (when standing) to 70 or so. Did my best to get back to aero and up to speed quickly as soon as I crested the hills.

I did see some drafting out there, but not too much that was was just so crowded it was tough to NOT be right behind someone for a moment or two prior to a pass.

Final few miles seemed to be net downhill so I tried to take it easy at the end to prepare for the run.
What would you do differently?:

May need to seriously consider a powermeter to help me regulate my effort for the 1st 1/4 of the race. I keep thinking I'm going at a moderate pace, but my avg speed drops for the last 1/4 and my run times are way off from my stand-alone run times...but still, I was happy with my bike split!
Transition 2
  • 01m 36s

Took a few extra seconds to find the right row to go down, but I quickly found my spot, racked my bike, downed the last of my water bottle from the bike before slipping on my socks (pre-rolled up to make putting them on fast) and shoes. I put my Team FC visor on, grabbed my race belt and was off!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, pretty happy with my T2
  • 1h 36m 26s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 22s  min/mile

I was hoping for a time in the low 1:30's for the run...

I felt really good for the first 3 miles, too good, as my pace was too fast. I did the first 2 miles in about 13 minutes, around a 6:30 pace. From there, my mile splits started dropping with miles 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 all around 8 minutes. My legs were just heavy...heart rate felt in check (No HRM today as it's not been working well...need a new one) and I don't think I was breathing to hard so it's got to be too much effort on the bike....AGAIN!

I was determined to NOT walk any aid stations as I'd done in all previous 1/2 IM and my one full IM. I succeeded at this! My strategy was to grab 2 waters, one dumped over my head and the other a quick drink...then grab a coke and drink most of that...all while just slowing down a bit as I went through the station...(thanks for this suggestion Joby!) I also grabbed a few orange slices at 2 or 3 of the gels or anything else however. This worked out really well....don't know if taking in fewer calories had anything to do with my heavy legs from about mile 5 and onward.

While my time was not low 1:30's, I'm still very happy with my run split as it was my best split to date!
What would you do differently?:

1. Certainly try to get the training in that was planned
2. Take it easy on the bike early on...correct gearing for the hills
3. Try to negative split the run by starting out a touch slower than race pace

Overall, I'm happy, as I was close to my goal time...just need to continue to figure this thing out.
Post race
Warm down:

About collapsed at the finish as I saw a guy in my 40-44 AG ahead of me with about 1/4 mile left...I gave it everything I had to catch and pass him and kept that going through to the finish line!

After my "sea legs" left me a few minutes post-finish, I got some water, coke, bananas and oranges and sat down with my wife who was there supporting me and my teammates! I layed on my back in the shade for a few minutes, then ate the bananas and oranges. I was starting to feel better so I went back to the food tent to get more fruit and some pizza!

Then back again for more pizza and cookies...and more coke!

After about 15 minutes post-finish, I was feeling pretty good...legs spent, but overall doing quite well.

Found some of my fellow Team FC teammates and we hung out together, exchanging "war stories." We had a number of us record Personal Records, so that was really cool!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My 4:46 finish time was a PR by about 15 minutes, and I'm quite happy with that result, so I can't say much! Since I have to reflect on what might have helped me perform better, I'd have to say that missing nearly 2 weeks of training just 6 weeks out due to the flu, training a few hours less per week than planned and not pacing my bike effort better would be the top 3.

Event comments:

Great venue and excellent event!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-06-13 12:00 AM
00:32:09 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 114/379
Overall: 609/3074
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex Full
Course: Single loop, counterclockwise, in the Oceanside Harbor. Fairly narrow (good for me as I don't swim very straight without lines on the bottom!) and rather congested with all of the start waves.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:19
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:33:02 | 56 miles | 21.88 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/379
Overall: 149/3074
Performance: Good
Course: Single loop, well marked course through some Oceanside streets, Camp Pendleton and some bike path. A few good, hard climbs, some rollers, some false flats, one section VERY narrow as a "no pass zone", a downhill section that was a "no pass zone" and most of the final 1/2 mile was a "no pass zone"
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:36:26 | 13.1 miles | 07m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/379
Overall: 154/3074
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops, some mild inclines and a few very short, but very steep hills...up and down the peer and two little hills that take you from the "Strand" to Pacific Street. Mostly concrete...NOT fun, but LOTS of spectators all around the course which was great!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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