Vineman Full Ironman - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Santa Rosa, California
United States
79F / 26C
Total Time = 12h 36m 39s
Overall Rank = 185/683
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 46/114
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 3:30 and ate a small bagel with PB, a banana and had a small coffee. Sipped water on the way there and took 3 electrolyte pills. I was very nervous prior to the race as expected but it was primarily due to nutrition issues that I had experienced in training and hoping that things would work out today.
Event warmup:

The transition area didn't open until 5:30am and my wave (2nd) was scheduled to start at 6:35. Therefore, after getting bodymarked, hitting the porta potty, dressed for the swim and setting up my transition area I had maybe a minute to jump in the water before they called everyone out. Got a few pics with my friends and then headed down to the swim start.
  • 1h 27m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

This was my first IM event and the plan was to take it easy on the swim and the bike. I started in the middle of the pack and the first few hundred yards was pretty crowded. It was a little rough but not too bad. The Russian River is very narrow so there wasn't a lot of room at the start. It did prevent you from getting too far off course though once things opened up a little. Once I had some space I settled into a very comfortable pace that I was able to maintain the entire swim. Breathing was under control and I felt great when I exited the swim. I could have swam at that pace for 3+ miles. My time was a little slower than I had hoped for since I would have liked to have been sub 1:25 but considering how good I felt a few extra minutes on the swim wasn't going to matter.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I'm still not a good swimmer and I really need to work on my technique for next season in order to get faster. The endurance is there I just need to learn how to swim because this is an area where I could have picked up a good bit of time had I been able to swim an average time in the results around 1:20.
Transition 1
  • 07m 27s

My plan was to take my time in both transitions in order to change clothes and re-group for the next event. I had a little trouble getting my wetsuit off and probably should have gone to the wetsuit stippers but I didn't realize they were there until I was passed them. You also had to pack up all of your swim gear in a bag as T2 was in another location. I went to the changing tent and changed into my bike shorts and shirt and applied plenty of vaseline as I've had issues with saddle sores in training. When finished I handed my swim bag to my wife, grabbed my bike and headed out of T1.
What would you do differently?:

Since this was my first IM I was very conservative and really wanted to take my time and be comfortable. I would have liked to have been a little quicker but I followed my plan and it worked out well.
  • 6h 09m 21s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.19 mile/hr

Rode comfortably at an easy pace. Kept HR in zone 2 the entire ride with the exception of a few hills where it maxed out at 155. Avg HR for the entire ride was 132. The course was as described - it was challenging but not overwhelming. It ended up being a great ride for me though. My nutrition plan worked great as well. I had 3 pbj crustables and a small cliff bar over the entire ride. I also started the bike with one bottle of gatorade endurnace with 450 calories of Carbo-Pro and another with water and 450 calories of C-Pro. Finished both of those then rotated with the water and gatorade endurance that was offered on the course. I had to pee twice during the ride and just went on the bike and squirted myself down with water to avoid the long lines for the porta potty. Chalk hill wasn't too bad but was definitely tougher the second time around. I didn't get a lot of hill work in during training but my legs felt very good when I entered T2. Overall, this was a very good ride. I felt comfortable on the bike and didn't have any issues.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I rode as planned and felt great.
Transition 2
  • 07m 7s

Same as T1 - took my time here as well and completely changed into Tri shorts and a new Tri top. Also, changed into fresh socks and put on my Zensah compression socks.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe speed things up a bit. As I look back at my transition times I followed my plan and it worked but I could have cut at least 4-5 minutes from my overall time by not completely changing. However, I felt more comfortable and relaxed and as I said before I was being conseravtive as it was my first IM.
  • 4h 45m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 54s  min/mile

The run started off great. My breathing was under control and my legs felt good. The first 2.5 miles went by quickly. Once I hit the first big hill things began to get a little tougher. The plan was to walk the big uphills and through the aid stations to get in proper nutrition and run the flats and the down hills. Things were tough but going well up until roughly mile 11. At this point I began feeling really bad. I was nauseous, a little light headed and just feeling extreme fatigue. I knew that I needed to slow things down to try and get myself together so I walked and walked slowly for probably 2+ miles. I was now very dejected and negative thoughts were flowing through my mind. I thought about stopping but didn't know if I would be able to start again. I saw all of the time and effort that I have put into this one day slipping away - I wasn't going to hit my goal time, in fact I would probably be way off and may not finish. DNF? No way! And that is when one of the many well wishers on the course said to me as he saw me struggling to move forward "Keep going man, you may not get what you want today but you can still finish and you'll be an Ironman." I thought to myself he's right and if I have to walk the rest of the way - I will, and I'll still be an Ironman. So, as I came up on the next aid station a volunteer asked me if I wanted Cola. I had heard that it works wonders for some people and while I hadn't tried it in training I didn't think it really mattered at this point. I drank a cup of the cola along with eating a few grapes and a couple of nacho chips which I did a quite a few stations. The aid stations were great by the way and so were the volunteers working them. Shortly thereafter though I began to feel much better and started drinking cola at each station as I was now running again and running well. The cola and the motivation saved me. My run splits for the 3 loops were 1:26, 1:48, and 1:30. I really got my second wind and was able to finish strong.

Once I realized I was again back on track to smash my goal time of sub 13, I was feeling good but still nervous of a relapse. As I got closer to the finish line I knew I had done it. It was great seeing my wife and friends cheering me on as I approached the finish chute. They were great and very supportive all day. It was a really long day for them and I appreciate all that they did as well. Once I crossed the finish line I felt such a great feeling of accomplishment and satifaction. I was also very happy to be done. I am now an Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

Try to get in more/bigger hill workouts during training. This was a hilly tough run course that I just wasn't accustomed to living in South Jersey.
Post race
Warm down:

After finishing, my wife congratulated me and we hugged. We then went to the bleachers to see my friends Mike and Jim finish. I really wanted to see them but I was feeling terrible. I was cold, nauseous again, light headed, etc. As a result, I hit the med tent with my wife. They put me on a cot with my feet in the air, a blanket, and two warm pads under each arm pit. I was given watermelon and chicken noodle soup and within a 1/2 hour I was starting to feel better. My friends finished and came in to get massages which were right behind the med tent. We took some pictures and a little while later we packed up to head back to the hotel. It was now vacation time in Sonoma and we were ready to enjoy it. I cannot thank my wife and family enough as they have sacrificed a lot in order for me to accomplish this goal. And while I would like to do another IM some day it is unlikely for at least a few years as it is just a huge time commitment. I feel like I could go sub 12 next year and would love to try but it won't happen for now. Either way I am very happy and thankful with the end result. It was a great journey and day!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I feel like I did the best I could and am verry happy with my time of 12:36 on a tough course. I beat my goal of sub 13 and was able to work through a personal loss and an achilles injury a month prior to the race that luckily did not affect my performance but did limit my training a bit. I was very consistent with my training but I also feel that I put in the minimum amount necessary to achieve my goal as I averaged just over 8 hours per week of training. As I said before it was tough trying to manage a full time job, IM training, and family - wife and 2 kids (6 & 4). I was tired all the time. But, it was definitely all worth it!

Event comments:

Overall, this was an incredible race. Leading up to the event I was a little concerned that I may have picked the wrong event for my first IM and was thinking that I should have done a Ford sponsored event. However, this race exceeded my expectations! The volunteers, the crowd support, the scenery, everything was great.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-11-02 12:00 AM
01:27:09 | 4224 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/114
Overall: 0/683
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 2
Course: 2 loop course in Russian River
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:09:21 | 112 miles | 18.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/114
Overall: 0/683
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loop course with roughly, 3,500 feet of climbing and 1 big hill - Chalk Hill which we hit at mile 45 and mile 100.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:45:33 | 26.2 miles | 10m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/114
Overall: 0/683
Performance: Average
Course: 3 loops with hills and climbing. Tough run course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5