Vineman IRONMAN 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Santa Rosa, California
United States
Vineman Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 06m 44s
Overall Rank = 1126/2000
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 110/150
Pre-race routine:

Traveled to Gurneville on Friday, after spending 5 hours in the car going to pick up my son from Tennis camp, for a total of about 9 hours in the car. Checked in to the Dawn Ranch Lodge in Gurneyville, same "cozy" little room we had last year. Put my bike together, locked it in the room, and went out to find dinner. We went to a place called "Bucks" for dinner, which was pretty good (not fabulous, but pretty good). Spent most of the evening out on the town, and got back to the room about 1:00 AM. Not exactly my idea of good race prep, but I wanted my wife to "have a good time" on this trip, so I went along with the "pary like a rock star" idea.
Saturday was spent signing in, setting up T-2, and driving the bike course. No real suprises, but noted a couple of important downhill/curve combinations, as well as a nasty rail crossing.

Saturday night was a lot calmer, as I opted for water with dinner, which we had at the Dawn Ranch Lodge. This dinner was "OK", but not really up to the standard they set last year. After dinner, I finished all my race preparation, very carefully going over each item I would need, and putting either on my bike, or in my transistion bag.

Went to sleep around 10:00 PM, and actually slept pretty well, until my alarm went off at 4:00 AM. Got up, and started working down my checklist, headed out the door around 5:00 to the transistion area. The transistion area opened at 5:30 AM, and I wanted to get a good spot so I could easily hand off my swim gear to my wife after the swim.

Set up the transistion area, made about a dozen trips to the bathrooms, and finally it was 7:00 - and I headed into the holding corral.
Event warmup:

Didn't really warm up - just adjusted my goggles very carefully to make sure they were sealed, and swam around a little bit. At 7:10 AM, the gun went off and my wave (the largest of the race) were off (all 150 of us).
  • 41m 48s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

Started out close to the front of the pack, trying to avoid all the thrashing at the back. That seemed to work ok, but my breathing got a little out of whack trying to stay in front. Had to slow down a bit, and even did a little side stroke to get caught up on my breathing, and get my heartrate back down. Rest of the swim was pretty uneventful, the weirdest thing was touching the ground when you were swimming - in many places the river was only a couple of feet deep. Even saw lots of people walking, rather than swimming. For some reason, that just seemed wrong.
What would you do differently?:

My swimming has not really improved in the last two years... I guess I either need to join up with a masters class, or just get used to having lots of people to pass on the bike.
Transition 1
  • 03m 46s

T1 went well - considering the long run with the bike, and having to pack up all the swim stuff and hand off to my wife.
  • 3h 12m
  • 56 miles
  • 17.50 mile/hr

First half of the bike was awesome - I was on the top of my game, and the only people to pass me were the real hot-dogs, with the high dollar bikes and the wop-wop-wop-ing disk wheels. I passed lots of people, and traded places with a couple of females about a dozen times - I would pass them on the flats and downhills, and they would pass me on the hills.
I had planned on meeting my wife at the 101 intersection - it gives her something to do, and is a nice break from the pace. As I'm coming down the hill, probably doing close to 40 mph, I spot her, and plan my approach. I figure I'll scrub off most my speed on the road, the move into the gravel, and lock up the back tire, to add a little "flair" to my entrance. I carefully unclip my left shoe on my approach, and make the perfect "motocross" type of entrance. As I'm sliding in, I adjust my course just a little, and just as I'm coming to a start, I feel the bike start to "highside". No problem, I'm stopped, so I'll just put my right foot out to catch...... Wait, I didn't unclip the right foot..... So, you know the rest of the story - As I pulled up, making this glorious entrance, in front of about a dozen volunteers, police officers and my wife, I came to a sliding stop, and then very gracefully fell over.
Luckily, the only thing damaged was my pride, lost most of the water out of the profile aero bottle, and the chain fell off. A quick fix, a quick hug and a kiss from my wife, and I was off again...

I guess I must have looked worse than I felt, cause I actually a guy ask me if I was alright as he passed me a little later on.

That little event took a little steam out of my bike riding spirt. I tried to mentally get back in the game, but I found that I was really starting to have a sore back, and I began to think that I may have pushed a little too hard the first half. We were now moving south, against a 5 or 10 mph headwind - so I felt like my speed went down dramitically every time I got out of the aero position to stretch out. I had held a 18.4 mph average on the first half, and on the second half, I watched my average speed deteriorate... First 18.2, then 18.0, then below 18, then the Chalk Hill climb sucked even more life out of legs. I had two different leg muscles trying to cramp up, slow I slowed down even more, and focused on hydrating.

Once I got past Chalk Hill, I picked up the pace a bit. I still knew that I had to take it easy, to keep the leg cramps from coming back, so I jsut settled into a comfortable pace. Lots of people were passing me now, and that was a little demoralizing.

Finally, the end of the bike ride - tried to "bunny-hop" the speed bumps going into the school, and then unclipped and started running into the transistion area.
What would you do differently?:

More long training rides - I only had one 75 mile ride the entire year, most the other rides were only 30-45 miles.

Stats- Average pace (including transistion runs) 16.8 mph.
Maximum speed 45.6 mph
3 hours, 18 minutes (including transistion runs).

Transition 2
  • 03m 10s

Had some slow people in front of me, couldn't run with the bike until they had found their rack... Then I picked up the pace. Actually found my rack the first try, and racked the bike, changed shoes, took off my helmet and loaded up my waterbottle. I had put an ice chest at T2 the day before, with about 3 pounds of dry ice - hoping it would keep the bottles at least cold, if not icy, for the run. Last year the run was incredibly hot, and I wanted to carry my own water. Unfortunatly, this year it was much cooler - and I apparently OD'ed on dry ice - the bottles were completely, entirely, frozen. I put one of the bottle in my fuel belt, but after 1/2 a mile or so I tossed it - no sense in packing a 4 pound block of ice around with me for 2 hours....
What would you do differently?:

Less dry ice...
  • 2h 05m 59s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 37s  min/mile

As I started out the run, my feet were pretty "dead". I remember thinking "whose feet are these, they sure don't feel like mine?" I chalked this up to not enough long bike/run bricks, and just concentrated on keeping moving. Not all the miles were marked, so I averaged the ones I did not have readings for.
1 8'21"
2 8'55"
3 9'43"
4 9'59"
5 9'04"
6 9'40"
7 9'40"
8 9'40"
9 9'37"
10 10'19"
11 10'06"
12 10'01"
13 9'29"
13.1 50"

Not exactly negative splits, but probably the best run I could hope for given my level of training. The main thing I remember is being incredibly happy that the heat did not come - last year the run was such torture, I was very thankful that the delta breeze kicked in, and the temperatures stayed in the low 80's. On several occasions I did the math, and realized "if I can do this last 10k at 8 minute miles, I can break 6 hours!!!". After a couple of futile attempts, I realized that I did not have a single 8 minute mile left in my body, let alone a string of them.

The run course had lots and lots of hills. I did my usual "modified galloway" method, which I decided should be called the "Schmidt method" since I came up with it. Basically, I run as far up the hill as I can, without spiking my heart-rate, then walk the last 50 feet or so at the crest. I find that I lose very little distance compared to the runners that slug it out all the way to the top, and I feel that I am just a little "fresher" once I start in running again.
What would you do differently?:

More long training runs and brick workouts in the heat.
Post race

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-01-01 12:00 AM
00:41:48 | 2112 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 0/2000
Performance: Average
Suit: Promotion Full
Course: In the Russian River, up River to a turn-around point, then back to Johnson's Beach.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:12:00 | 56 miles | 17.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 0/2000
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: From Gurneville, out River Road, then up West Road, through Geyersville, south to Windsor.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:10
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:05:59 | 13.1 miles | 09m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 0/2000
Performance: Average
Course: South from Windsor High School, around the airport, to La Crema Winery, then back.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]