Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 8h 27m 10s
Overall Rank = 2127/2152
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 92/97
Pre-race routine:

My pre-race started roughly. I had a very long and hard week of work and didn't get to San Diego until 3:00 the day before the race. By the time we got up to Oceanside and checked into the hotel it was 5:30. My bro-in-law took me to the check-in. I got super nervous at check-in b/c everyone looked like tri gods and godesses. He then took me to the swim, my biggest hurdle, to check out the course. It looked rough and choppy b/c the wind was blowing. We looked at it from 4 different views and it freaked me out.

After check-in we went to eat and it was 8:00 when we got back to the hotel. I was freaked out I hadn't had time to properly prepare for everything. I have hoping to meet up with my BT friend Leah but it was late and I was a mess. I got everything ready the best I could and went to bed.

My tri buddies and I met up at 5:05am to ride down to the race start. It was still dark and pretty chilly. We were layered up and had all of our stuff in our back packs. We got to transition and set up our stuff. I racked my bike and found my buddies again to get body marked. After marking I stood around where I thought Leah's age group my be and looked around for her. I had seen a decent photo recent and thought I might place her. Every now and then would say "Leah" to someone I thought looked like her. On the second try, a woman looked up and said hello! Hooray! I found her! We took our BT photo for our "Nutso" training group, chatted for a while and then went to get our stuff on.

There were a couple nice ladies racked next to me who made small talk as we got ready. By this time my nerves were sky high. One helped me zip my wetsuit and I helped a first time tri person setup transition.

I went to find my bro-in-law and we hung out with my sis-in-law until we went to the start. As we watched the pros start, I had a calm feeling come over me. Nothing I could do now except give it a shot. My nerves relaxed, I said goodbye to my family and I headed to my wave. No turning back!

Event warmup:

There was no warm up. I really couldn't eat anything b/c I had a nervous stomach. I had a big dinner the night before so I felt OK about not eating.
  • 1h 06m 25s
  • 2112 yards
  • 03m 08s / 100 yards

I entered the shoot and tried to find my wave. Unfortunately, the put the waves too close together so we were all jammed together like sardines trying to get into the right groups. I felt bad for the people trying to wiggle their way through the sardines up to their groups. We were like cattle stuck together. We couldn't do anything but move with the crowd.

I am a bad swimmer and Open Water Swims are my greatest fear. Luckily, I was in a calm zone when I got to the start. I was just moving with the crowd observing and moving. When I got the start I dropped my flipflops and got into the water.

The water was about 58/59 degrees. It wasn't as cold as I thought. I had prepared by wearing a skull cap under my race cap and I pee'd in my wetsuit to keep me warm. (That's what people told me to do!) It was a 75 meter swim to the start. I immediately put my head in the water to get myself use to the cold. Not bad. I could handle it. The water was very salty. Slight shock but I had done a salty swim about a month ago. It was good practice.

As I got the start I went to the far right edge of the group. The bouys were on the left. So far so good. Calm and not freak out panic like usual. My group was ages 40-44 and older men. I felt pretty comfortable.

We got the start and I started! I was calm and cool and kept moving. I knew I was slow but I was pretty steady. The life guards were pretty good at keeping everyone on course. I kept going and moving. I felt decent the first few hundred meters. I'd get off course and then correct again. When we doglegged out of the harbor I knew I was getting mixed up. I'd swim and get out of line. I was trying sight but it was hard to see the bouys. I finally turned the corner but I knew I had messed up my mojo. I was getting passed right and left. I saw pink caps, blue caps, red caps, white caps, yellow caps and I think some purple caps.

As I came approached the last 500 meters they were funneling us all into a narrow alley. There was alot of contact and people were pushing me out of the way right and left. You could tell the good swimmers were totally annoyed that I was blocking their path.

I finally reached the end and was so happy to get a hand from the wet suit strippers. I did it!! I totally did it!! I was slow, I was steady but I did it!!

As I took off my skull cap I could feel that I had been rubbed raw under my neck. Yuck!
What would you do differently?:

I really need to work on the swim. I not only finished the BOP of my age group but I also finished the back of several other age groups! UGH! I think I need total immersion swim training or something similar to help this ugly situation. It was UGLY but I did it . . . and I'm PROUD I did it.
Transition 1
  • 06m 20s

I ran into the transition with a big old smile on my face. I did it! I did it. After the swim, I knew I could do the rest! Hooray!

I got back to transition proud but a little uncertain of where I was at compared to others in my division. When I got back to the rack I saw the lady who helped me put my wetsuit back on. Whew. At least someone in my division was still around! I had a hard time getting out of my wetsuit. Had a hard time deciding what to wear. The sun was shining but I was cold from the swim. I opted to put a short sleeve shirt over my trisuit. (too chunky to wear the tri suit all by itself) I sat down twice. Once to get the wetsuit off and once to get my shoes on. I was clearly flustered now that I look back. I finally got it together and took off.
What would you do differently?:

I would have a better plan of what I needed to wear. I would also practice my transitions more before the race.
  • 4h 11m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 13.35 mile/hr

I started the race and was sky high the first 20 miles. It was beautiful, I had a decent pace, and I had survived the swim. Awesome! I even got a little emotional at times. I was ready b/c I knew the hills were coming and I had to be on the look out. I had done a practice ride on a computrainer for the hills. Unfortunately, the computer ride didn't do the hills justice. They were rough! I was going 3 to 4 mph up those babies! My proudest accomplishement after the swim was that I didn't have to walk up the hills. I powered through them just as I practiced but they kicked my rear end!

Besides the hills I had to battle the wind. During some spots the wind was so tough I dropped down to my little chain ring so I could keep going. No fun!

The last 15 miles I tried to push it to up my bike time but I couldn't get it over 14 mph. UGH.

I was happy with my nutrition. I took a couple salt sticks, I ate bananas when they were offered. I drank ever 15 minutes. I did a gu every 45 minutes unless I got food on the route.

I was disappointed with my bike time but I was happy I got through it.
What would you do differently?:

I need to work on my biking. I have no technique. I need to find some. I think I might be a decent biker with a little coaching.
Transition 2
  • 05m 4s

OK transition. I don't remember much of this one. I was TIRED after the bike. As I ran out of the transition, I immediately stopped and got some water and washed off my face. I was TIRED!
What would you do differently?:

Get faster.
  • 2h 57m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 34s  min/mile

Wow. I hit the wall on the run. I planned on running the first 6 miles. I couldn't I had to walk at mile 2. I was TIRED! I walked every aid station and took a little bit of water and gatoraid. About mile 4 I had to keep walking. Luckily, I had a woman come up to me named LyLy. She said she had been trying to keep up with me the whole race. I said "you caught me, Good luck! See you at the finish." She was so nice and said, she couldn't do much more than what i was doing so let's do it together. We started walk running together. We then met up with Dave. Dave had hurt his knee and needed some motivation too. The three of us walked and ran the rest of the way together.

Dave just by chance happened to be a BT friend I had recently met. Both of us were doing our first HIM and started "inspiring" eachother online. When he mentioned to LyLy that he had recently hurt his knee, I put it together that he was my BT friend. That was pretty cool.

On loop two we were all losing steam. Dave's knee was hurting. I was ready to send them on their way but they stuck with me. The three of us knew we were ok b/c we had calculated the cut off times. We had time to finish even if we walked the rest of the way. We powered through together and kept going. When were about making our turn to go back the last 3 miles we met up with another guy named Scott. He like me and Dave was also from Arizona. He like the rest of us needed the extra push to keep going. Dave came up with the idea to walk a light post, walk a light post. It got us to the end.

Around mile 11 we saw the last athlete on the run go by starting their second loop. We knew he was the last athlete b/c he had a motorcyle following behind him. It was a weird feeling knowing I was that close to the end of the cut off. When we finally came to the end, there was a bridge we had to cross. We all decided we would run when we hit the bridge to the finish. That was less then a mile at that point. LyLy took off and I was chasing her, Dave and Scott stopped. As I was turning the corner I heard my friend Leah's name being called at the finish. I soon heard LyLy's name then mine!

I did it!! I finished and within the cut off time! Thank goodness! I owe Dave and LyLy and Scott a big thank you for keeping me moving. I don't know if I could have done it without them. If I could have, it wouldn't have been as enjoyable.
What would you do differently?:

I needed more run training. I knew I was neglecting my run.
Post race
Warm down:

I went through the finish line, got my medal, got my hat and started back to the bikes. I was looking for Leah b/c I knew she had recently finished. I walked through the food tent and to the bike but didn't see her. As I got to my bike I sat down and stretched. I had a woman take a photo of me with my medal and packed it up. My sis came and got me and we walked back to my family waiting in my van. It was a good day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight was a big factor in my performance. I know I could do better if I was about 20 to 30 pounds lighter. I also need to work on my technical skills in all three sports.

Event comments:

This was a good race. I think I have to sign up again to try to beat my times!

PROS: Challenging course, beautiful scenery, great weather and awesome volunteers.

CONS: The only real bummer for me is that by the time I got to the registration they only had 3 t-shirt sizes left. REALLY? This is my first HIM event and you don't have a t-shirt that fits me. Didn't we give them our t-shirt size when we signed up?

Last updated: 2009-06-05 12:00 AM
01:06:25 | 2112 yards | 03m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 98/97
Overall: 2206/2152
Performance: Bad
Suit: 19 Wetsuit full sleeve
Course: One loop out and back with a slight dogleg to the left.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Bad
Time: 06:20
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
04:11:45 | 56 miles | 13.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 93/97
Overall: 0/2152
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:04
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:57:38 | 13.1 miles | 13m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 92/97
Overall: 2127/2152
Performance: Bad
Course: two laps of a 6 mile loop
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5