Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
60F / 16C
Total Time = 7h 43m 12s
Overall Rank = 1938/2115
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 105/112
Pre-race routine:

I woke up, ate oatmeal, carpooled to race with Kylie and Mike at 4:30 am. We got to the race just before 5 am. I found a spot on the rack, set up my stuff. Got body marked, walked around, listened to some jazz on my ipod. I heard Soulshine on the loud speakers which was great. Hit the potty even though I really didn't have to go. (side story: a woman came rushing to the bathrooms and asked to cut in line, turns out she was the first pro out of the water. You go girl!)
Event warmup:

Struggled to get in my wetsuit. Note: make sure you don't put your leg in the arm hole! It is really hard to get back out.

I watched the pro's swim start with Steve and then got in line. I was really cold even though I was in a wetsuit and cap. I did a lot of jumping up and down in line. I am so glad I brought flip flops to wear while waiting for the swim. I also ate a few bites from a cliff bar. I was in severe denial about what I was about to do. I think the lack of comprehension worries me a bit. I shouldn't take a race of this magnitude so lightly. Just before I entered the water I saw Tim on the side. I ran and gave him a kiss and then we were in the water.
  • 39m 2s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

The water was not shockingly cold as I expected. The swim to the start was a little chaotic and nerve wracking. I started in the 2nd row and felt I got a good start. I was spotting the buoys fine until I hit what I thought was the turn around. I made almost a 360 degree turn instead of going to the next red triangle which was at about a 90 degree turn. I really should have studied the map better. I did a bit of bumping other people but was able to ignore it and keep swimming without freaking out like last year. I did get frustrated when the guys wave behind us (blue caps) started to pass me. But then I was passing green caps which were ahead of me. I had to stop 2x to wipe the fog from my goggles. I should have kept swimming because it is hard to see anyway but I wanted to double check my sighing. I think I was swimming in a straight line but I am guessing that is what everyone thinks. At one point on the way back I jammed my lead hand into someone treading water. I had to stop to apologize because I would have been pissed. I was swimming right into the sun and was blinded. I had no idea she was in front of me. The swim felt longer than I had expected and I really didn't feel like I was doing good efficient strokes with hip rotation. I think I should do more open salt water swims.
What would you do differently?:

I am not sure. Last year I did a few more open water swims and a lot less distance and speed in the pool. This year I joined a masters club which has given me a lot more yardage, and sprint sets. I love to swim so I am glad I am doing masters but I don't think it has made any improvement in my open water/ triathalon swim. If it is possible to compare year to year, this swim took me 1 minute longer and I prepared much more for this year. I was really hoping to do much better. I think I should swim in the ocean more.
Transition 1
  • 07m 31s

I cannot imagine doing this any faster. I had to sit down to remove my wetsuit. I already had my cap and goggles off. Then I worked from feet up. Socks, shoes, jersey, race belt, helmet, gloves, glasses. I had everything set out perfectly and then I was off. I did stumble putting on the gloves which I could have done without.
What would you do differently?:

SUNSCREEN. My shoulders got fried!!!
  • 3h 53m 9s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.41 mile/hr

Ugh, where to begin...
The start and warmup was very slow. My legs were frozen from the water. I sipped water the first 20 minutes and then moved on to perpetuem. The sport drink helped boost my energy. I have 5 scoops in one waterbottle which was 650 calories. I felt good on the first half, tried to stay aero as much as possible. The first aid station I took only water to refill my aero bottle. The second aid station I stopped to pee. After the stop I decided to have a gu, I knew the hills were on their way. The first hill I rode up with a few people and we all encouraged each other up the hill. I pushed it and felt really good on the steep hills but struggled on the moderate "rolling" hills. The third aid station I was completely out of water so I filled up. Everyone was so friendly. I love the spirit and encouragement of the other triathletes. With the exception of the speed limit zone, I took the downhills really fast. Near the end I tried to pick up the speed but there was a strong headwind and I had to pee again. This made staying in aero position hard. As I was coming into transition I heard someone screaming my name before they saw my race number. I couldn't see them but turned out to be Fred.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. Push it more. This is where you can make up the most time. I will suffer on the run no matter what.
Transition 2
  • 05m 55s

I took off helmet and gloves, switched shoes, took off race belt, pulled on race belt skirt, applied sunscreen (lifesaver for my arms and face!!!), and then was off. Before I left transition I took a quick potty stop. I saw Carla on the way out to the run. I saw Fred on the way out jumping up and down and cheering. That was awesome!
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 57m 36s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 34s  min/mile

I have so much trouble with the run. I don't know if it is because I am exhausted or if I am not trained well enough. I did a 1/2 marathon in Feb and thought that would help me for this race. I told myself that I was going to walk the aid stations and run everything else. I basically did that but then I talked myself into walking the uphills and downhills. And then I told myself I could walk the sand segments. At the end I did some "I'll just walk to the next cone" games at the end. During the first lap I saw Steve on his second. He ran with me a bit. I also saw Jeremy and some other IITC folks. I did walk with Tim one time and we were talking about dinner plans and when I would finish -- that is not the best idea. I need to focus instead of thinking of what to do next. My gut was killing me during the run. That second lap is so lonely when you are back of the pack! I sipped gatorade and water at each aid station. at mile 5 I started munching a pretzel or two at most stations. That helped with my gut. One guy at the 1/2 way mark told me to get some salt at the aid stations. I know he was trying to help but I consumed so much salt all day. 578mg on the bike and then more on the run with gatorade and pretzels. I am sure I looked like crap but I don't think he should be offering up nutrition advice to strangers.

Some random highlights: I ran with Elvis for a bit, the guys with the cow bell on the back stretch. Steve decided to slow his pace and stick with me a bit during my 1st lap and his second. I didn't pass out. The pretzels were a lifesaver. San Diego Tri Club party was very helpful. I really liked the high-fives on the way to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

I would train with some longer bricks. I need to do at least a 30 mile bike and then 8 mile run before the race. I really need to practice race day nutrition. I cannot be trying to figure out how to eat during the run. I might have gotten new shoes too close to the race.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked got my bling, ate some pizza, oranges and bananas, sat down, did some moderate stretching, talked with Steve, hung out with Tim, packed up my stuff, and walked more than a mile back to the car. I then showered and we went out for greasy loaded nachos and beer for dinner.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

#1 Training

My general thoughts: This is not a race to mess around with. This was a very important reminder that I cannot show up to a half ironman race without significant training. I had a training plan this time but I didn't completely follow it. I skipped my last 2 long bike rides for no real reason. I also was unable to make a week's worth of workouts because of a work deadline. This year I felt that I was more prepared for the run and I was mentally ready. But I physically wasn't up to meeting my 2nd goal which was to beat last year's time. (first was just to finish) I didn't miss it by much and an extra bathroom stop could have made the difference. I also thought I was ahead of my time so I relaxed more on the run.

Next half ironman I will make sure I develop a plan early on and STICK TO IT! This was a fantastic experience and I am really glad I did it! But I need to remind myself this is not a distance to take lightly!

Event comments:

This is a very challenging, well organized event.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-11-03 12:00 AM
00:39:02 | 2112 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 60/112
Overall: 1237/2115
Performance: Good
Suit: Full wetsuit
Course: Out and back in the harbor. 2 buoys make the turn around at the mouth of the harbor. There wasn't any waves or swells because the harbor is protected.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:53:09 | 56 miles | 14.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 100/112
Overall: 1958/2115
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Rolling hills with 3 steep hills. Headwinds. 3 aid stations with amazing volunteers! All the people and marines on the bike course were so awesome! Very scenic course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:55
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:57:36 | 13.1 miles | 13m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 106/112
Overall: 1963/2115
Performance: Below average
Course: This year they added the dreaded sand segment back into the course. I think this is determined by the tides and it just happened to be low tide. Lucky us! The aid stations were plentyful and the volunteers were awesome. I really have a hard time with the 2 loops. It is really difficult to go back out for the second loop when you are so close to the finish line.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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