Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 32m 4s
Overall Rank = 690/2200
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 142/356
Pre-race routine:

Got there on thursday morning and as luck may have it my bags weren't on the plane and neither were 20 other people's bags. Made the claim and headed over to Carlsbad to buy a pair of goggles and jammers for a swim stroke video session with coach Mike. After that I went to register and pick up my bike at the expo as I had sent it with Tribike Transport. Great service BTW.

On Friday I met my friend Chanclas and some other Coyotes for a swim around Oceanside Pier. The water was rough but not as cold as when I did the race in 2007. After lunch I took the bike out for a spin and then went for a run to loosen the legs. I was feeling good.

Next day we met at 4:30AM at the Chevron on Palomar Airport and I5 and headed for Oceanside so we could grab one of the coveted harbor parking spots. I ate an Erin Baker's PB&J Breakfast Cookie on the way and drank 24oz of Infinit, about 560 calories between the two. Made the walk over to transition and I started to feel how cold it was. Maybe 45F at this time, with a little wind. Got set-up in transition, luckily grabbed the first spot. Went to get body marked and back to my transition area to make sure everything was ready. Double-checked the gear on the bike, spin of the wheels, shoes on the pedals, everything was good. Bottle filled with infinit. Rolled up a pair of arm warmers and set my vest on top of the bike. After that I just hung around waiting for my wave. I was really excited and felt ready to go.
Event warmup:

Not much warmup. A little jogging in place and stretching while waiting for my wave.
  • 44m 2s
  • 1920 meters
  • 02m 17s / 100 meters

The swim was terrible. I really thought I was going to do better. Tried to draft a little but no luck so I just settled in and swam my own slow pace. I felt really good in terms of effort and hit the turn-around in 18:30. I looked at my watch and felt great because I thought I could keep the same pace for the return. As soon as I rounded the buoy BAM! there was the sun, just over the horizon and right in my face. I couldn't see anything and this made it hard to navigate. I tried to draft again a couple of times but I was unsuccessful. There must have also been an out-bound current or something because I finished in 44:02. Still, one minute better than '07 so I'll take it but I was expecting something closer to 40. I was happy with how I felt after the swim. Not tired at all and super excited about getting on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 04m 45s

T1 was not so good. Had a little trouble getting the suit off my heels. Arm warmers were rolled up and I struggled a little to slide over my wet hands. Vest on, helmet on and...sunglasses...Where the hell are my sunglasses???? I had forgotten to take them out and went fishing for them in my bag. CRAP!!!
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 51m 32s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.59 mile/hr

The bike is where I felt really strong and where I made most of my gains in time vs. '07. As soon as I left transition I realized my legs felt good and was looking forward to a good challenge. I knew the course from 2007, so I knew what to expect on the hills and I had brought a 27 tooth cassette. It's pancake flat where I live so I'm not really used to the climbing. The first part of the course going north was relatively easy. There was a little headwind but not terribly bad and I was able to stay in the aero position most of the time and just keep a steady pace. The back part of the course was really beautiful. Everything was green, the roads were perfect and I was enjoying every minute of it. Coming up onto the first hill is when I knew it was showtime. I really struggled up these hills in '07 and I knew I was better trained this time. I settled into the 39X25 and started spinning up the hill. I felt really good and started to pass a lot of people. When the climb got a little steeper I moved up to the 27 and just kept spinning easy. A little over half way I geared down two and stood on the pedals for a little while and then sat back down and again the 27. This went on about two or three times until the top of the hill. The intervals on the bike were a HUGE help for getting up these hills. I passed a lot of people and my legs felt great. Down the back side of the hill I was flying and I clocked about 45MPH in the aerobars. I love this. This was pretty much what happened over the other two big hills. They didn't seem as bad this time around. One crazy thing happened down the hill where there's a 25MPH speed limit. This guy passed me just as we were starting the downhill and he was using a disk wheel. Volunteers started yelling for him to slow down and I don't know if he slammed on the brakes or what, but his rear wheel started to slide and he ate it really hard into the pavement and his bike went flying in the air doing a couple of flips. It was pretty dramatic. About 10 minutes later the ambulance passed me with sirens ablaze and I knew the guy was in there. Once back on Vandergrift heading west we were going into a pretty strong headwind and I was able to stay aero and just power into it. I passed a lot of riders on this portion of the course as well. Overall I started with a bottle of infinit, about 265 calories, and I took two Gatorade Endurance bottles from the aid stations. The last one I only drank half. The first bottle I took at the first aid station just exiting Las Pulgas. It was already open and they had removed the paper cover so it was good to go. The second bottle I took at the last aid station on Vandergrift and it still had the paper cover on under the cap so I had to slow down and remove it before I could start to drink. This made me loose a little time. Back into transition I removed my feet from the shoes and had no problems with the dismount.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I felt I paced it correctly during the first part of the course and had enough gas for the hills.
Transition 2
  • 04m 3s

Took some time to put on my socks and shoes. Grabbed my hat, race number belt, which I forgot on the bike, and my fuelbelt with infinit. Stopped at the portapotty for a loooong pee before exiting transition. This added easily a minute to my time.
What would you do differently?:

Don't know.
  • 1h 47m 44s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 13s  min/mile

Running out of transition I had stiff legs. It took about a mile and a half for me to start to loosen up. That sand portion was taken out in '07 and it was a totally new experience for me this time. I don't want to say it sucked because it's part of the race and its a new challenge for me, but it really took it out of me. I was a little disappointed about my time which was the same as the last time I did the race. I was expecting something closer to 1:40. I guess if you consider the sand portion there was a little improvement in my run this year but still, not what I expected. Overall I just had fun. I was watching the pros as they were finishing when I was running my first loop. I actually got to see Mirinda pass Sarah Groff running up to the finish line to take the win. I settled into a 7:45 pace and that's how I kept it the first couple of miles. My left shoe started to hurt because the elastic laces were too tight and I decided to stop and loosen it up a little. I drank my infinit, half a fuelbelt bottle every 10 min and coke at the end. When I passed the aid stations I took some water and threw it on my face and poured it on my head. The weather was perfect and I had no problems keeping cool. Saw my friends a couple of times and we encouraged each other when we passed. Some looked really strong, others not so much and were walking. Energy levels were good right up until the end and I felt good, I just wish I could have gone a little faster. Exiting the sand for the last time I picked up the pace and was able to finish strong.
What would you do differently?:

Check my shoes before. Learn to run without socks.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossing the line I got my medal, my finishers hat and my tshirt. I was amazed at how good I felt and still had some gas in the tank. I remembered feeling wiped out in '07 after the race and getting shivers through my body after I stopped running. This year was nothing like that. Had some pizza and a banana in the food tent and considered getting a massage but the line was a little long. Chatted with my friends a little as we gathered our stuff trading race stories.

Event comments:

Overall an awesome venue. Great organization and the ride in Camp Pendelton is very nice.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-01-19 12:00 AM
00:44:02 | 1920 meters | 02m 17s / 100meters
Age Group: 297/356
Overall: 1705/2200
Performance: Below average
Suit: Blue Seventy Helix Full
Course: Open Water in the Oceanside Harbor, out and back
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:45
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:51:32 | 56 miles | 19.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 136/356
Overall: 617/2200
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: One loop course that goes into Camp Pendleton. IMHO this is the signature part of the race.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:03
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
01:47:44 | 13.1 miles | 08m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 113/356
Overall: 555/2200
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loop out and back along the Oceanside beach with a 1/4 mile portion of sand each time so about one mile total running on the sand.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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