Barb's Race - Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 26m 19s
Overall Rank = 109/346
Age Group = 45=49
Age Group Rank = 9/50
Pre-race routine:

Got a good 5 or 6 hours of sleep. In hotel room, took quick rinse off shower, got a little meditation in, ate flat out with PBJ and banana and some dry cereal. In hotel room with family sleeping -- really didn't try to be quiet, but didn't try to be noisy...just did my routine. Got my tri bag packed and met the girls outside at 5:45 for the drive to swim start.
Event warmup:

The rack for my race # wasn't there. The one that would have held my numbers was skipped for some reason so about 8 of us got a primo spot at the very end of transition (bike out) and I got the end spot! Listened to Michael Jackson on the ipod and bopped around setting everything up and visiting with my other VB's who were racing. Staying focused and relatively calm. Visited the porta potties twice.

  • 38m 1s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

Heard the announcer say 1 minute to start so headed down toward the water with the other pink caps. Positioned myself in the 2nd or third row in a fairly open spot. Got hit and kicked some. Pretty rough start. I kept trying to swim, but then my goggle strap was dangling in my face and I had to put that back on -- kept trying to get my rhythm the first 200 meters, but I did have to take a couple of breast strokes. I felt that familiar panic start to rise, but I just talked to myself and knew I've now done this dozens of times and I'm a fine swimmer and I'd be okay once I got my breathing down. Finally got to the first bridge and felt that I was in a rhythm with my breathing and stroke. The first 1/2 felt like it took forever. At one point, I realized I was catching up with the wave in front of me and saw two other colored caps. The full IM had gone ahead and the younger Barb's race people had as well, so I image that's who they were. I thought at one point it was the turnaround because two red buoys were side by side, but I could see caps still swimming up ahead so I kept going as well. Not too long after that was the turnaround and we swam back. The current was slightly with me and pushing me a little to the left, toward the center of the river. At several points, I saw people just standing up in the water because it was so shallow. I kept swimming and got into my every 3 breath stroke. Toward the end I looked to the left and there were no other swimmers, just the "smoke" rising off the water, very pretty. Huge house on the side of the river and beautiful trees lined the river. Finally saw the swim out and headed over that way. Let my hands touch the bottom twice, was up and out. Saw the line of volunteers to help strip the wetsuit off and they teamed up on me, taking the top down and then I sat and they slipped off the bottom. Gotta love those wetsuit shuckers, or strippers, if you prefer. :)
What would you do differently?:

Start a bit more toward the front and swim like hell the first 200 meters, then settle in. Push a bit more. I wasn't sure what to expect from my first HIM, so I didn't swim as fast as I knew I could. I kind of took it easy at T-pace instead of sprinting. I definitely could have swam faster and still been fine on the bike, but who knew? Okay, I was 5th in my AG in the swim. I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought. :)
Transition 1
  • 03m 21s

With the great T1 spot, I didn't have far to go to get to the little rise that took you out of transition. Mounted the bike and the volunteer kept asking, "Do you want a push?" No, thank you, I replied. This guy was probably in his 60s and just trying to be helpful but I was just trying to get clipped in and up this little hill. He asked me at least 3 times. I was really trying to be patient and polite to him. But I wanted to say HELL NO, I'm riding this f-ing hill! Most everyone else was walking up. Hell no, I didn't train all these hills for the last 4 months to walk up a little rise like this. I finally got clipped in and easily got up the hill. A little forethought in being in the right gear sure helped.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 24m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.41 mile/hr

This was a beautiful bike ride. I ate a couple of bananas that vols had holding up as I rode by in addition to my bonk breakers, cliff bars and cliff blocks. Banana has never tasted so good!! I also got a water bottle at one point and squirted it into my bottle so I didn't even lose a water bottle of my own. I didn't need to mix up any additional carbo pro or cytomax.
What would you do differently?:

Knowing what I know now, I would have pushed a bit more, especially in the middle. My nutrition plan went off perfectly.
Transition 2
  • 00m

I couldn't find my T2. This was a point to point, so we had set up our T2 the day before. I was looking for the towel another girl had let me put my shoes on and I couldn't find it, so I know my T2 was sucky. They don't have the splits posted so I don't have a time. I had to peee after that bike ride. I didn't stop to do that and hadn't gone since before the race, that porta potty never looked so good. I drank some water on the way out and trotted off to run a 1/2 marathon.
What would you do differently?:

Put some chalk drawings or a balloon or something to help me find that T2 better.
  • 2h 14m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 17s  min/mile

I felt really fresh and strong to start the run. The energy of the crowd and I could hear my DH and son yelling for me and standing by the side of the road with a cool sign they put together on the computer before they left. I didn't know about and really couldn't read it as I ran by, but knew it was made special for me. So the first two miles or so I'm way fresher than I thought I'd be. I had lots of juice in my legs, considering ,and was happy to be off the bike. Then around mile 5 or 6 I started getting a bit tired. My legs were heavy and my mind wanted me to stop, but that wasn't happening. I kept talking to myself and just moving my arms back and forth and allowing my core to propel me forward, just one step. No walking, just one running step at a time. Up the hills was hard at first,but then I realized that nothing from here on out was going to be easy. This is what I'd trained for. This is what I was waiting for -- a chance to prove to myself my mettle, a chance to push myself harder physically than I"ve ever done before. I didn't feel like water or gatorade, but then some vol (another runner I'm sure) yelled ice. I was all over that. Ice chips, who knew? How wonderful they felt crunching in my mouth. I shoved some down my back and felt them slide down the back of my shirt and into my waistband of my tri shorts. I put some ice down the front, too and felt it get caught right under the bra-band and just sit there, cooling me. At one point I wasn't sure what I needed but I knew it was something. My coach had told me that listen to your body and see what it wants, if it's cornchips, have some, if it's a cookie or a cliff, have it. Well, I asked and my body wanted a coke. The wonderfully warm, flat brown sugary stuff slid down my throat and gave me just what I needed at that time. So for the last 4 miles I had two flat cokes, about 1/2 cup each probably, and lots of ice chips. Some I ate, some I put down my shirt, some I put on my head under my hat.

As I passed people, or they passed me, I'd say, good job or keep going. If it was one of my VB gals, we'd give high fives or offer other encouragement. It felt like a real comraderie and sisterhood. I ate a powerbal get at about mile 9 as per my plan. It gave me just what I needed to pick it up a notch and finish. My left IT band started hurting right at the outside of the knee with 1 1/2 miles left. I told it it could hurt all it wanted to, but I wasn't stopping. I was going to run this in and have a kick at the end if possible. I did, too. I looked down at my Garmin and saw 8:43 for the last 50 meters or so. The finish line backoned. There must have been 4 or five photographers taken each finisher's picture. The announcer guy said my name and pronounced it right (I later thanked him). Barb, the race's namesake, put the medal around my neck herself. the volunteers asked if I was okay or I needed an inhaler because I sounded like I was wheezing. Through gutteral breaths, I sobbed, no, I, I'm just was a very emotional moment for me. My husband, son and coach were at the finish line and hugs all around. There were cold showers and I took off my socks and shoes and felt the refreshing cool water rinse the salty sweat away.
What would you do differently?:

?? Push a bit harder?
Post race
Warm down:

I had to keep walking around after my shower. I couldn't just stop. My body vibrated, humming. I wasn't hungry but knew I needed to start my post-race recovery. I drank some soy chocolate milk that DH had brought and it went down all right. I kept drinking water and just kind of walking around in a bit of a daze. I felt weird. I knew I wasn't going to pass out, but I knew I'd worked my body like it had never been worked before. I think this was waaayy harder than childbirth.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Holding back on the swim and bike because I wasn't sure what to expect on the run.

Event comments:

Food at the end. Veggie burgers, yea! Lots of fruit and roasted beets and pasta salad, yum. Great volunteers, lots of aid stations, lots of water, gels, cliff, drinks, ice, bananas, etc.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-01-09 12:00 AM
00:38:01 | 1931 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 5/50
Overall: 0/346
Performance: Below average
Suit: borrowed 2xu wetsuit
Course: Down river and back. Rectangular.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:21
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:24:45 | 56 miles | 16.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/50
Overall: 0/346
Performance: Average
Got this time from my Garmin and I probably didn't start it until a few minutes into the bike. Official results don't have the split times broken out.
Wind: Some
Course: Beautiful course through Sonoma County's wine country. Lots of up and down rollers a big hill at about mile 47. But I did it. Got out of the saddle at the end and pushed up the hill. THe vols at the top sure helped me. They were yelling, this is the top, come on. I got up out of the saddle and pushed it. I rode pretty conservatively the first half as per my coaches instructions. Ate religiously every 10 minutes and/or drank cytomax and carbo pro. I figure I ate 800-900 cals on the bike and I was really hungry. I stopped drinking about 20 minutes before I got to T2. There were great wineries we passed, beautiful rolling hills, with vineyards lining the course, big old trees that provided much needed and welcome shade, two lane winding roads and not too much traffic. Some of the roads could be patched and I missed a hole once or twice. There were also some drop offs on the side, that I had to be careful of. Talked with a few people as we rode past each other. One of my VB friends and I chatted a while. I tried to keep my cadence at 85-90 most of the time and spin so my legs would be as fresh as possible for the Chalk Hill and of course the run.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:14:45 | 13.1 miles | 10m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/50
Overall: 0/346
Performance: Good
Again, from my Garmin. I set laps for a few miles and the slowest mile was a 10:40 pace. That was in the middle where I had a few moments.
Course: Mostly two lane country type of road. Passed moo cows, sheep being sheared, baaaa and horses and one or two dogs.Tree coverage on some of the run. Aid stations every mile stocked with great stuff and great vols. A couple of long gradual hills that were challenging but nothing I wasn't use to from running during training near by house. Course was one full loop of about 8.5 miles and then you ran by the finish line, paralleling it and then out again for another 4.5 miles.
Keeping cool Good 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?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5