Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 7h 14m 17s
Overall Rank = 1938/2700
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 52/73
Pre-race routine:

I'm going Yanti style on this RR so it's going to be a long one...

The preparation and execution of this race was in honor of my niece, Ashley so the pre-race began with a Thursday drive from Albuquerque to Oceanside with my niece, DH and DS1. We had a wonderful time indluding a stop in Winslow, Arizona to get a picture of my niece "standing on the corner". We stopped at DS2's apartment in Upland, CA to deliver his motorcycle which we'd been towing the entire trip. Then dinner at Chipotle with the whole gang before we left DS1 with DS2 and headed to Oceanside. Checked in to the Days Inn near T2 and went to bed.

Friday I went for a pre-race swim while the niece got her first ocean experience. I have pictures in my blog showing her on the beach and me being the dot way off in the water. The swim was good, I got a bit of an ice-cream headache and learned that I can float upright in the ocean. Pretty cool! I went past the breakers to get a feel for swimming the swells then headed back to shore. Good stuff.

After the swim we stopped at the Nautical Bean for breakfast and a hot chai. While sitting there chatting one of the other race participants asked me about the water and expressed her concern of the ocean swim. I suggested she go for a swim to alleviate her fears. Hope she did.

Then back to the hotel to shower and get ready to head to check in. This is my first Ironman branded event so I was duly impressed with the extent of the organization of this race. After check in we went to Ironman Village and spent a little money. I looked at the finisher jacket but wasn't convinced I wanted it. I figured I'd use it as a motivator out on the course if needed.

After that we walked to the restaurant at the end of the pier and met DS1&2 for lunch. I had a turkey-avocado burger that was pretty good. After lunch we walked back to the hotel where I prepped my T2 bag and got ready to meet Rinny and T.O. We drove back to T2 where I dropped off my bag then I walked to Ironman Village and waited in line. After I met Rinny and T.O. (I MET RINNY AND T.O.! see pics) we headed for a drive up the coast. I was a bit concerned about all of the walking having an affect on my race day but decided the memories with the kids were worth the risk.

After the drive and some beach stops looking for aquatic animals, we headed back and walked to the harbor for dinner. I had lobster tacos, yum.

As we walked back to the hotel the panic set in. WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?!!? I didn't let the "kids" (all in their 20's) know but DH hugged me and told me I'd done the training and I'd be fine. The boys headed back to upland for the night and we went back to the room where i got everything ready for the morning.
Event warmup:

I'd set my alarm for 5:00 but woke up about a quarter 'till. Got dressed and ate a protein bar (provided by the hotel because I didn't stop anywhere to get breakfast). We had two bags to carry on our bikes to T1 with our T1 stuff and our morning clothes stuff. Riding the bike with the bags was a challenge but I was ok once I got the hang of it. About a half mile ride from the hotel to T1. As I converged on T2 and walked in with all the other athletes, past the pro spots, past the other rows, the anxiety melted away and I was among friends, and I was at a WTC event. There are those who will nay-say that, but I thought it was COOL!

I walked in and found my spot, only a couple people before me at the end of the rack. Got body marked. Started doing all the prep work, chatting with the ladies around me and started the "My Athlete" tracker so I wouldn't forget later. I hadn't decided yet if I was going to wear my arm-sleeves or leg sleeves so I rolled them up so they'd be ready. I went to hit the potty one more time and dropped of my morning clothes bag then headed back. I slathered up with Tri-slide and pulled on my wetsuit.

The gun went off for the pros and it was game time! So exciting! Eventually I made my way with the ladies around me to our starting corral. As we crept slowly toward the front for our start the pros started emerging from the water, led by Andy Potts. Rinny ran past too!!! The announcer said that Rudy was coming out of the water. WHAT?! Rudy's here?! He ran by. What a rock star!

I also got to watch Rinny execute a beautiful T1 from my place in the swim start line.

Eventually it was close to our turn. I put on my cap sandwich and my goggles and was ready to "race".
  • 41m 45s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 10s / 100 meters

FORTY WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! UN.BE.LIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!

As we got in the water I felt the water fill my wetsuit and I was ready to go. It was about a 50 meter swim over to where we would stage for the start and women were already freaking out. I got over to where we were to wait and bobbed, upright, so wierd! I LOVE the OCEAN! So the horn went off and I was actually able to stay on feet! WHAT?! There were lots of buoys so sighting was crazy easy. I got in to a breathing/sighting groove and just went. There were a few times I crossed paths with people and a few times I was on people's feet but overall I just did my thing. Occasionally I saw something under me. Fish? Land? Seaweed? A bit freaky but not unbearable.

At the end of the dog-leg there was a part that went across before we headed back in. That part was a bit harder to navigate, maybe because of the water currents. Not terrible though.

Headed back. Still seeing ocean life beneath me. Swam toward the guards and suggested by ChrisM (thanks Chris). Kept chugging away untill it was time to stand up. Someone unzipped me and it was time to get my land legs going.
What would you do differently?:

Still need to work on swimming efficiency but I am super happy with this swim. The ocean was an unknown and it turned out better than I expected.

Swim is NEVER my best ranked event so I am stoked!
Transition 1
  • 09m 41s

Out of the water "run" all the way down T2 then up the middle to your spot. I semi-ran once I got my legs under me. Got to my spot. Wet-suit came off super easy and had already tucked my goggles and caps in to the sleeve. Dried my arms and rolled on the sleeves but opted against the leg sleeves which turned out to be a good choice.

Belt on, shoes on, glasses on, helmet on, tuck everything else in to T1 bag and go. Not sure what took so long but I'm not too dissappointed.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe move a bit faster.
  • 3h 53m 3s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.42 mile/hr

Headed out on the bike and got my first glimpse of my family! DH and the kids were standing near where our hotel led to the harbor. Really picked me up to see them! Looked at my watch for the first time and it said 58:xx!!!! What?! I finished the swim, got through T2 AND on to the bike in less than an hour?! Woohoo!!!!!

There were people everywhere! There didn't seem to be any attention payed to the drafting zone, or the first no-pass zone for that matter. No worries. I just rode my ride and tried my best to stay legal. There were bike bottles, bike parts, tire tubes, sleeves, gloves etc scattered over the course. I hope that most of ift was accidental but I was saddened to see the littering outside the aid stations by so many triathletes.

The course was rough where I'd been warned it would be. I just kept up my cruise. The 5 mile markers usually surprised me, which was nice. I got to the 15 in under and hour. That was when I knew I was going to do this, and I was going to finish strong!

I'd read so much about the 3 big hills and I'd trained for them. The first was doozy. People were walking, some were weaving (which is really hard to pass) some were grinding there way up. I got out of the saddle for a little bit but mostly just sat and worked my way up that beast, passing and being passed as I went. Once over top I was back on it and watching for the next one. Interestingly with the next one I wasn't even sure it was "the one" until I hit the speed zone on the other side. Sure it was a hill but I wasn't sure if I should be expecting a worse one. The speed zone was a blast! My speed kept picking up way faster than I expected so I was feathering the brakes. At one point I was at 35! Oops! brakebrakebrakebrake....

After the third hill a woman said to me "I hope that's all of them". I responded in kind but didn't think it had been. I guess I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I was, in fact, done with the hills.

The wind on the way back to the coast was there, but not terrible. It was NOTHING compared to the spring winds in NM.

As for the aid stations, this was my first attempt at bottle hand-offs and they went smoothly. I took on a Perform at the 1st and 3rd stations with no problems. I stopped at the 2nd station for a port-a-potty.

There were Marines at many of the intersections and I thanked as many as I could. At one point we were riding by an intersection where a several cars and two motorcycles were stopped. I heard one of the motorcyclists say "'re an idiot. These guys are Ironmen". That gave me a huge boost.

Heading back in to Oceanside I didn't even realize how close I was until I spotte the Joe's Crab Shack near our hotel! Oh Wow! I'm almost done! Then I got to the part on the Strand where there is a no-pass zone because we are next to the runners. The poor man behind me said something to the effect of "let's go" and I tried to move faster. Sorry dude.

Then I saw my wonderful family again! They yelled and my spirits soared. Then I turned and headed up one last (short) hill and in to T2.

I was never in poor spirits out there. I was aero most of the time, even up the hills because I feel like I am most efficient there. Toward the end I was tired of being on the bike though and ready to strap on my running shoes.
What would you do differently?:

I need to work on my bike fitness. I'm getting better and I am happy with this ride. My goal was sub 4 but I didn't think I could do it :-D
Transition 2
  • 05m 41s

When I ran in to T2 they were telling us where to go. I thought I knew based on the location of the port-a-potties, but they had moved them!!!!!!

Anyway found my spot. Sat down because I wanted to change socks and put on more body glide. Did all that, grabbed a hair tie, went potty and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

As it turns out I would use a different gel on my feet. Maybe move faster. I'm ok with this one.
  • 2h 24m 7s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m  min/mile

Started out feeling really good and glad to be off the bike! Saw the family again and smiled and waved for the camera. After a great swim split and bike split I was feeling really strong to rock this thing. I had a super secret goal of going 7 and I thought I was on course to do it. It was hard to tell though because there were no mile markers on the run and even half-way was hard to determine because of the nature of the course.

I ran down the strand then headed back again to where the family had been the last two times past and there they were again. Such a boost. There were steep ramps up and down on to the pier and from the Strand to Pacific street. I semi-ran those at first.

Pacific street was lined with people playing music, spraying us with hoses (optional) and had a positive atmosphere in general. And signs, funny signs. "It's 70.3 because you're only 1/2 crazy", "It's 70.3 because 70.4 would be crazy", my personal fave "70.3 isn't 1/2 of ANYTHING"

The first loop I was slowing for every other aid station, taking on water or Perform and gels. After the turnaround at the south end of the course I started to feel blisters. What the heck?! I never get blisters in this shoe/sock combo! I kept at it deciding it is what it is and I wasn't walking for blisters. Then "he" came in to view. The beautiful young man at the aid station with a jar of Vaseline!!!! I scooped a handful, set down, slathered it on my now very sore feet and was off again. Crisis averted! Yea!

Back up the strand and just as I turned to head down the pier ramp I started to feel an IT band twinge. Again, something I don't get in training! What the...? Maybe running on concrete, maybe the walking from the days before IDK.

Saw the family again and decided I was fine and better keep going. They were encouraging me about my training and that I could do this. So awesome.

I knew I was about half way in to the run and that 7 wasn't happening but I wanted to get as close as possible. But the IT pain kept coming back. I walked each aid station and it would ease up and be fine for a while as I ran. Then it would start and get worse until I needed to stop to walk each aid station. Walking the length of the aid stations was about the right distance to settle it down.

On the second loop it was still fun, same houses with the same music and the same people with the same signs. So much fun. There was one spot after the turn-around that my excersise induced asthma kicked in. Both times at the same spot. Don't know if it was just a dead-air spot or what.

The last time up the strand. I knew I was close. The pier was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I could see the finish arch. I wanted to run the last station but the IT band was having none of that. I didn't want to do permanent damage so I walked the last one too, even though it was so close. After the aid station I saw DS2. He was yelling encouraging words and my heart soared. Then I saw DS1 and my niece. This was all for her. Oh the emotions! Exhileration, exhaustion, Euphoria, i did it, I Did It, "I DID IT". I yelled to them "I DID IT" and I started to cry. I got through the chute and heard my name called. Then I saw my wonderful supportive DH. He kissed me and said "you did it". I cried more. I got my finisher's medal and my hat. Done.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out what caused the IT band pain! I'm happy with what I did considering the IT issue.
Post race
Warm down:

Someone handed me a coke. I grabbed some pizza and a cookie but I couldn't eat it. I went out to find DH. Took me a little while but I found him. Took some pictures. We went back to the Ironman tent so we could get more gear.

After the bike hills and the run hills I had to climb LOTS of stairs to go get my bike and bags, then a mile walk back to the hotel and a nice warm bath before dinner with the fam then a chai and a walk down to the beach for the sunset.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

IT band issues, blisters

Event comments:

This was an incredible experience and I would strongly recommend this as a first-time 70.3 for anyone who has the ability to practice the hills.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-07-02 12:00 AM
00:41:45 | 1931 meters | 02m 10s / 100meters
Age Group: 47/73
Overall: 1806/2700
Performance: Good
Suit: Zoot Fuzion with a barracuda cap
Course: Dog-leg shape in the Oceanside Harbor
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:53:03 | 56 miles | 14.42 mile/hr
Age Group: 59/73
Overall: 2084/2700
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Up the coast and inland on to Camp Pendleton. Some hills, some wind, beautiful ride.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:24:07 | 13.1 miles | 11m  min/mile
Age Group: 52/73
Overall: 1938/2700
Performance: Average
Course: Two loop course on the strand and neighborhood streets near the beach in Oceanside
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