Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
58F / 14C
Total Time = 7h 34m 31s
Overall Rank = 1787/1958
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 108/118
Pre-race routine:

Goal of the Race: Finish
My main goal was to prove to myself that I could complete this distance. Three years ago a volunteer at my first sprint distance tri asked me if I was going to be ok when I was on my last mile. I must have looked like crap. I am amazed that I could come so far in a few years. I didn't completely stick to my training goals because of the fall and winter holidays, traveling for work and a week long chest cold. I was sure of one thing going into this race -- I didn't over train.

Pre-race: Friday
I took Friday off of work and headed to Oceanside around noon. Tim and I and our 2 dogs checked into Marty's Valley Best Western on the way in. I was bummed to find out the road to the beach was way too scary to ride on (especially in the dark) so I was going to need to drive and park the next morning. But I did find out the hotel started their breakfast at 4 am! the morning of the race.

Next we drove to Oceanside and looked for the check-in. I wandered through the expo but didn't find all the free goodies that I was hoping to score. I found the community center and right as I entered Gary and Carla were there to say "hi". It was really great to get some last minute advice and encouragement. Then I got my stuff, weighed in, and watched the movie.

My next stop was to the harbor. I found a parking space and walked around to get a look at the transition and swim areas. I was happy to see that our spots were individually marked on the bike racks so I wouldn't have to get there too early to land a good spot. I checked out the swim course and counted the buoys over and over. That 1.2 miles looked really, really, really far!

Tim and I then headed to Pasta Mia on Treamont street. I was pretty sure every table in the place had a racer or two carbing up. It was killing me not to have a glass of wine with my dinner. But at least I had dessert!

Back to the hotel to sticker up my bike, pack my backpack, count my gear and go over my checklist at least 10 times. I was really starting to get scared. What the heck am I getting myself into??? At about 10pm I tried to close my eyes and at least rest.
Event warmup:

Warmup: Race Day
I woke up at 5am and jumped out of bed. I was terrified I would be late. I took the dogs out to do their business and saw a lot of people in the parking lot gearing up. I was really starting to get nervous now. I went to the lobby and got some oatmeal and a sip of coffee. Put my contacts in, loaded up the car and Tim, the dogs and I headed to the Oceanside pier.

We left for the pier 15 min later than I had planned and parking took longer than I wanted as we were routed though a lot that was totally full. Once we found a spot I needed to fill up water bottles and pump my tires. It was now after 6 and I was just starting to ride the mile to the transition area. Now I was franticly nervous!!!

It was calming riding in the dark and quiet to the transition. Then it was crazy in the transition. Everyone was in all different stages of getting ready and there were TONS of people running around. When I got to my rack the two people on either side of my number were so close that I couldn't fit my bike. I really didn't want to move anyones stuff but I needed to inch stuff over to create myself a bit of room. Another person in my row helped me out and we got my stuff on the rack. The problem is I moved a matching bike and towel in opposite directions. When the bike owner came back she was pretty frustrated that I moved her stuff. I felt bad. Then she suggested we switch spots and that ended up working perfect. I think we were all happy. Then another gal showed up and did the same type of maneuver that I had to. I told her of my little conflict and mentioned I wished I got there earlier. She said: "Oh no, it is best to come late and squeeze in." She was a really calming person to talk to. She had done the race before and came from AZ for the race this year.

I set up my transition, got body marked, and started to put on my wetsuit. I really didn't know how soon was too soon but it looked like others had theirs on. I remembered the body glide and used 1/2 a stick on my neck and shoulders. Tim came by so I said a quick hello and headed over to line up.

In the line for the swim I couldn't find my wave because half of our wave had red caps and half were sliver. My cap was sliver and the sign was showing a red cap. I guess I didn't realize we were going to be half and half. I chatted to Kylie and some folks in my wave while we waited. There was a gal waiting in line without a wetsuit. I had to ask if she was from Canada, no just Ohio! I have to say the time went a little too quick. Before I knew it we were on the ramp ready to jump in. And I took a reality check - I wasn't nervous anymore - I was just ready to get this challenge over with! I was dreading the freezing cold water. I swam at Corona Del Mar 2x this year and it was ice cream headache cold. I was amazed to find out the water wasn't shocking cold. Phew!
  • 38m 38s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

I stayed in the back middle for the swim start. I don't remember the start being that brutal. We were pretty nicely spread out. Just a little feet bumping here and there. I stayed a little to the right and tried to be away from everyone else. I am sure I missed out on some great drafting opportunities but I don't like to bump into people in the water. I decided to stay slow steady and calm. I consistently did alternate breathing lifting my head to spot every left breath. I feel my spotting was the best ever. Then out of nowhere came a guy in a light blue cap. He must have been a few waves behind. He sucker punched me in the face!!! Who swims with their hands in a fist??? I swear I thought I was going to come out of the water with a bloody nose. I switched to breast stroke long enough to yell "Mother %$&@*$"! Suck it up. Just keep going. Then I noticed every time I took a look to my left the same girl in my wave was next to me. We were going parallel at the exact same pace for at least a 300 yards. She picked a good spot to round buoys at the turn around and I followed her. Then we were side by side when we came up on a bunch of green caps from the wave ahead of us. I am pretty sure I lost her when we got mixed up with other colors. I finally noticed some floating docks that I remembered being close to the exit. I kept a steady pace and exited the water. I did a easy jog into transition and realized the photo that was taken was of me struggling to pull my arm out of my suit. Oops.
What would you do differently?:

I think I would start more at the front and try to stay in a draft line better. I took the swim too easy but this is just the start of a very long day. What is an extra 3-5 min?
Transition 1
  • 07m 9s

I took the top of my wetsuit, cap and goggles off while running back to my stuff. I was surprised to see most of the bikes still on the rack when I got there. I took off the wetsuit bottoms and had a hard time. I then threw on all the clothing, gloves, helmet, glasses that I had stored on my bike frame. Put on socks and shoes and was ready to go.

BUT WAIT - Should I wear my wind breaker??? Should I wear my wind breaker??? Brain went into total fart! I looked around and no one was leaving with a jacket. They were all in tri top and shorts only. I planned on wearing a jacket. Ugghhh. Then a volunteer came over and woke me up out of my, what must have been a 3 minute day dream about my jacket, "Hey, are you ok? Did you loose something?" "No, no, I just cannot decide if I should take my jacket" Awe, screw it, I lived in Upstate New York for 7 years. If anyone can handle some cold it is me! And I was off sans windbreaker.
What would you do differently?:

Wake the frick up! Just get your gear and go!!!
  • 3h 52m 11s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.47 mile/hr

The bike segment concerned me the most. I was worried about a flat or some other mechanical issues. I also remembered how tired I was on the few 50+ mile rides that I did in training.

The first part I made a point to keep my cadence high and drink a lot of water. I didn't eat for the first 20 minutes. Then around 25 minutes I had my first gu. Then I started sipping perpetulum (concentrated bottle with 6 scoops, approx 750 cal - only ended up drinking 2/3 of the bottle) and alternated that with water. I had the sport drink on my frame and water only in my aero bottle. This was a very welcome last minute tip! I ate and drank whenever I remembered for the first part of the ride. My stomach did start to get bloated and funky so I slowed down a little. As I passed all the bathrooms at the state park I considered stopping but decided to press on. My need to pee ended up going away. I saw a few Inland Inferno folks around the state park but only recognized Mike. Around this time Jan showed up in her bright orange. I think I caught up to her as she was taking a pee break. We crossed paths back and forth throughout the ride. I loved having names on the race numbers. So many riders came passed and say "Nice Job, Candace" It kind of freaked me out at first until I realized how they knew my name.

The first half of the course was very fast for me. I stayed aero as much as I could. I was starting to think I might finish the whole ride in 3 hours. I kept my effort easy to medium because I knew the second half of the course was going to be rough. The marines at the aid stations were FANTASTIC!!! Very motivational and very well organized. The first half of the course was also pretty crowded. A few times race officials were shouting to all of us to spread out. It was tough because we were on a slow incline and were getting closer and closer together but no one had the energy to overtake the one before them. And there were tons of fast riders from the last waves passing all of us. I wasn't benefiting from any drafting but might have been less then 4 full bike lengths back. I was always so scared I would get a penalty.

The course spread out a bit for the green rolling hills. That was fun and scenic. Then we headed for "the wall". This was very intimidating. I didn't have anyone around me so I shouted out loud, "BRING IT ON!!!" I dropped to my granny gear a few seconds early to make sure I wouldn't loose my chain and started spinning. In my easiest gear my cadence was really low. I was pushing hard to get up that hill. A handful of people were walking. I did pass a few people including the guy who was creating a sort of switch back path to zig zag himself up the hill. He looked pretty unstable and I was terrified he was going to tip over right in front of me. I muscled past him. I kept imagining myself mountain biking on a hill in Green Lakes State Park in New York. The hill was short but steep and really got the heart rate pumping. I knew if my heart rate climbed it would easily recover a minute or two after the top. As we were getting close to the top there were some volunteers up there shouting at everyone and ringing their cowbells. You could tell they had been there all day because they were getting loopy. I thanked them and told them I was so glad they were at the top. It was great seeing and hearing them at the top of the hill.

For the rest of the course there were 2 (could be considered 3) steep hills. These too were a pretty serious grade. There were people walking on these as well. In between the hills were some fun down hills. One of which was a 25 mph no passing zone. The best thing about that is, there was no one around me. I was on that section all alone. According to the radar I hit 30 (didn't mean to) my bike computer wasn't set to mph. My brakes starting making a really loud screeching sound and I was hoping they wouldn't die on me. During this back part of the course I saw Mark doing a tech run about a dozen times: driving past me and helping a flat, then passing me and stopping again. It was fun to see him over and over. I also met a guy named Jim on the last hill. I stood up for the end of the hill and he told me to stop it because he was trying to pass me. HA! Little did I know he was going to be my buddy for the rest of the race. The last aid station came and went fast, oops, I really had to pee. This made the last 6 miles into the headwind very uncomfortable. I took sips of water only when my throat dried and I did have one more gu in the last 6 miles. Finally the harbor was in sight. I am pretty sure the top pros were coming in to the finish line as I was heading back to transition.
What would you do differently?:

I did amazingly well with my nutrition and hydration. It is a fine line between having to pee all the time and not being hydrated enough. I would continue to perfect this in all sorts of weather and intensities. I think the key is more bike training. I need to shave an hour off of my bike for next year!
Transition 2
  • 05m 28s

I missed my rack and had to run up and down the asile to find it. Oops.
Just like the last transition, all the bikes were racked. Hmm, this isn't quite ideal for T2. Oh well. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, put on my hat, took off my gloves, off with shoes and on with running shoes. I do like the lock laces. Then I started running. All the volunteers were cheering as I sprinted into the porta pots. That is really the only reason I was running. I had to pee bad!
What would you do differently?:

SUNSCREEN!!! I was so darn salty that I only got it on my face and part of my arms. Bad move.
  • 2h 51m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 04s  min/mile

The change of shoes put a dip in my hip and a glide in my stride. I was sick of the bike shoes. I didn't notice any issues with my legs rebelling. I did a lot of bricks in my training that must have helped. I ran the first 3 miles at a decent jog. I don't know for sure but I guess it would be around 12 min mile.

I saw Tim and the doggies hanging out near the pier and I got to stop and give them a big pet and hug. Along the course I saw Roehl, Richard, Daniel, Phil, Jan, and Rebekah and a few others from IITC. It was fun to see others out on the course and keep my mind from what I was actually doing. I ran the first aid station sipping gatorade, then I ran up the hill to the neighborhood and hit the next aid station. I decided to do a shot block water combo and things got complicated so I started to walk while I ate and drank and dealt with the awesome ice cold sponges. Wow, walking felt really good. I ran again up the next hill and realized that my run was just as fast as the others walking up the hill. Hmm. The turn around seemed really far and I was reading the wrong mile markers and was getting all confused as how far I had run. I decided to mentally split the run into 4 lengths, each turn around would start a new milestone. I walked the aid stations for most of the 2nd length. I did see Tim and the doggies again. The 3rd length was getting painful. I was having a tough time breathing and it was really really hot and muggy. I was concerned I would get dizzy at the finish so I decided to go easy and walk more. I continued to alternate water and gatorade at each station. I dumped a ton of water on my head and back and used the sponges whenever they came up.

I started to become buddies with my walk/ run partners. Jim and I were chatting back and forth with jokes and words of encouragement since the bike ride. There were 2 other girls who I now forget their names that were part of our encouragement group.

When I hit the 10 mile marker I started thinking that there was only a 5K to go. Anyone can do a 5K. The reality of this accomplishment started to set in. Now I just need to start running. And don't pass out. Each step was tough. I have to say this was the longest 5K of my life. All the landmarks that I grew to know and love on the past 3 lengths of the run were coming so slow. I still had so many to pass. I saw Tim and the dogs one more time. I was harassing Jim and a new guy from Chicago for walking. I thought they didn't want look sweaty for the finish. Just then a guy told us we were 1.5 miles from the end. Wow we have gone 68.8 miles!!!

Then I hit the SD Tri Club super dance party going on at the aid station. I took one more sip of gatorade to guarantee some fuel for the finish. I ran through the human tent of all sorts of costumed volunteers and danced to a little Paul Simon as I headed to the last stretch of this race. I was passed by Jim and then Jan and another IITC person along the last stretch but that was fine because my goal was to finish. And I wanted some space for a good photo op a the end. I heard them announce my name and I hit the banner. HOLY CRAP. I DID IT!!!
What would you do differently?:

Run, run, run, run, run. Train for running. Run more than 10 miles during training! Continue core work. Forget the shot blocks for the run.
Post race
Warm down:

After the race Jim waited to give me a big sweaty hug. It was great having a new buddy that helped me though the race. I got my medal t-shirt and hat. Then a group of IITC folks said hi (Carla, John, Ellie, Brian). I was amazed I was coherent enough to say a few words. I actually remember saying something about wanting to do it again.

I walked and tried to eat pizza and pretzels. Solid food was really unappealing. I drank water and tried to calm my breathing down. I stretched a little and started to pack up. There were only one or two bikes left in my area. Once I calmed down I found Tim and sat for a while. Once I cooled down I realized it was freezing outside. I didn't bring enough clothes. Burr.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. I will seriously do this race again. I like the fact that it is early in the season. I also like the venue and the volunteers. I cannot believe I have reached a new level and can now say I have done a 70.3 race! I would like to do the HIM distance again for sure.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Experience, training, technique.

Event comments:

This event was fantastic. I think the massive amount of volunteers working the race with such enthusiasm made such a difference. The swim was sheltered from the surf. The bike course was scenic and challenging. And the run was action packed with spectators and regular beach goers. I felt like a celebrity with everyone shouting my name. I would do this race again!

Special thanks to the Inland Inferno Tri Club, the volunteers at the top of the first steep hill on the bike course, the San Diego Tri Club volunteer party, and finally the tall, skinny, short blond-haired woman standing near mile 10 that was shouting all sorts of encouragement and inspiring words while loosing her voice till the bitter end.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-10-16 12:00 AM
00:38:38 | 2112 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/118
Overall: 1029/1958
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Wetsuit
Course: We swam a short distance from the boat ramp to the starting buoy. We waited a quick second. Gave a big whoo-hoo and we were off. The buoys were orange triangles on the way out with one big red along the way. Then there were two red buoys at the far end near the mouth of the harbor. The swells were much more noticeable at the turnaround. We were supposed to follow yellow buoys on the way back but the lifeguards were shouting "swim to the tall building". The high rise hotel was a much better landmark and was right in line with the buoys. This part of the course was also directly into the sun. Then we passed the big red triangle and were getting close to the boat ramp. The exit of the swim was carpeted and volunteers were pulling us up and unzipping our wetsuits. (no strippers - boo!)
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:09
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
03:52:11 | 56 miles | 14.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 105/118
Overall: 1813/1958
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: I would have to say this was one of the most beautiful bike rides I have been on. I really liked this bike course. The first part had some ups and downs leaving the harbor, crossing roads and highways, and then heading through a state park. I had a hard time telling when we were in Pendleton or not. Anyway, the first part was rolling and it felt pretty fast. There were a ton of state park bathrooms to use in the beginning. Then we passed the first aid station and I was surprised the first 15 miles went by so fast. Then we headed into some bigger rolling hills and through the base residential areas. The vegetation on the hills were electric green with skeletons of burnt vegetation all over. And there were big fields of wildflowers. I kept wondering when I was going to hit the big hills. I kept thinking I might have already been on one. But then we rounded a corner and there it was. The first biggie. It looked like a wall with a ton of ants slowly creeping up it. There were two more big hills and a lot of fun downhills following. Then the last bit back to the harbor had a headwind and was very slow for being fairly flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:28
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:51:05 | 13.1 miles | 13m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 112/118
Overall: 1812/1958
Performance: Below average
Course: This was a two lap course. Pass the stretch to the finish, up through the construction, down to the SD tri club party station, along the beach past the pier, up to the neighborhood, turn around, back down to the beach, pass the party, through the construction, turn around, through the construction, pass the party, down the beach, up to the neighborhood, turn around again, down to the beach, pass the party, through the construction and the long glamorous stretch to the finish. The course was good because there was plenty of fans cheering. There were tons of aid stations, tons of volunteers, fun beach scenes to watch, cool looking houses, and the San Diego Tri Club Dance Party! But mentally I was not a fan of the 2 loops. The first loop was long and the second loop was 10x as long.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? Yes
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] 5