Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
50F / 10C
Total Time = 8h 44m 12s
Overall Rank = 2142/2152
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 336/338
Pre-race routine:

Drove out on Friday morning. Nice drive. Met up with Rick (azstaterick) and checked. We drove down to NYTRO Tri store in Encinicas where I bought some neoprene booty's and a cold weather skull cap (glad I did that). Had dinner with Rick and his family. Rick helped calm some nerves for the evening. Fell asleep around 9:30 pm.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 3:20 am. Ate a bagel and a banana. Did some stretching and took a hot shower. Left for the race site around 5:00 which was a mile down the road. Rick and I rode together. Parked at the pier and while taking my bike off my car I cut my left palm open. his was the start of an interesting day. Biked about 1.25 miles to transition along with everyone else in the race. No other options for getting to the race site. Set up all my stuff and I forgot nothing, amazingly. Walked around with Rick and got ready for the swim. Air temperature was cold.
  • 1h 08m 36s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 52s / 100 yards

I missed my stat wave at 7:00 due to long lines at the bathroom. I had to run up to the start and I caught a wave around 7:10 or so. Panic hit right at this point. I have never done an open water swim. We all jump in and reality hit. Swam out about 25-50 yards to the start line. As I got there the gun went off. I wish I had a heart rate monitor on as I would have hit a new high on my maximum heart rate. I started to swim and nothing seemed to go right. Goggles fogged up right away, water tasted awful and I was hyperventilating. I swam to the first kayak about 10 meters away. The guy on the kayak looked at me as if I was drowning and asked if I was OK? I told him I have never been so scared in my life and I can't catch my breath. He told me to calm down and relax, which I started to do. I told him I didn't think I could do this. So many things are going through my mind. He never asked me to quit and told me to swim from one buoy to another and take my time. I realized I was not going to drown and I gave it a shot. I swam to the next buoy and made it. I saw other people struggling also, which made me feel really good and helped me bounce back. I still could not see and other waves of people continued to swim by me. I started to swim again and focused on my training and as I did this, I actually passed some people while swimming, which gave me some confidence. I still could not go very far as I could not see. It was stop and go from one buoy to another. I got ahead about 4 more buoys and thought "where in the hell is this turn around" and I swam to another kayak. The girl asked if I was OK and I asked where do I turn around. She said three more buoys. I thought I could do this as I was almost half done. I swam to the turn around, the big red buoy, and went head first into it. I thought to myself "that figures" and I turned. As I looked around, I could see others having issues with the swim and some way off course, which boosted my confidence some more. I swam a few more buoys, still not being able to see, and I took a swallow of salt water so I choked for a few minutes. This made me a little nauseous and again I thought "that figures". I took off again, now also a little ill and someone grabbed one of my booties. I did not come off but it filled with water so now I had some drag in my right foot, which I felt. The next thing, as I was swimming along OK, I got the worse cramp in my right calf I have ever felt, as if a sword fish had speared me. Reaction was to grab it but that put my head under the water so I had to float there, tread water, flex my calf until it went away, which seemed like several minutes. With that now gone I take off again and I can now see the harbor, in a distance. I swim to the next buoy and even passed a few people, boosting my confidence and a cramp now hits my left leg, more intense than the right one. This one took a while to go away and hurt (and is still hurting today, 3 days later). I thought "what's next, a shark?" I take off and swim to the finish and realize what I have just accomplished and I will actually continue on and finish this race. I come out of the ocean and I am dizzy and spent. A volunteer grabs me and asked me if I was OK? I told her I was dizzy. She asked if I was cold and I told her no, I was actually very warm. I get the hat off, earplugs out (which helped take away the dizzy feeling) and I sit down. I start to feel better. She tells me to get some water, a lot, and eat something. I wobble to my bike and see Rick's wife Shelly on the side. She takes a photo (can't wait to see that one!) and asks how it went. I tell her it was the worst experience of my life and took everything out of me. She tells me good luck on the bike and I walk to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Practice OWS. I did not do this one bit. I almost went to lake Bartlett the week before and swam out there. I am glad I did not as if I would have experienced the same at Bartlett as I did in the ocean I might have not gone. I was prepared for the distance, just not the open water.
Transition 1
  • 14m 30s

I sat in T1 for a while just feeling better and drinking some water and I ate a cliff bar. Took my time. A volunteer helped me strip my suit. I did not take the booty's off first so they got tied up and I thought "that figures", plus they were full of half the ocean water.
What would you do differently?:

Practice the OWS to prepare for T1 better.
  • 4h 24m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 12.68 mile/hr

Bike started out good. Right after I mounted I realized I left my bike gloves in transition. No big deal but it would have been nice to protect my left palm, which was still bleeding a little from my early morning cut. Made it to the first aid station at around mile 14 and I had to pee. Got off my bike and my legs were killing me but that went away almost immediately. Racked my bike and hit the porta john. While in there, it took a while to get things flowing. I heard a bike fall. Looked out the little window and it was mine. Finished up and a volunteer was holding my bike. All my water and gatorade spilt out and she went and got me a bottle of each. Thank God for the volunteer's. Got back on the bike and I felt good. A few more miles down the road Rick caught me. I was not pushing it, my HR was good but I just could not make a good go for it. I was passing a few people. Told Rick I was lucky to still not be in the water and he went on his way. Coming around mile 28 you hit the first hill and you see it. It was big. Hit the bottom and I am climbing up it, seeing numerous people walking up the hill. I made it about 1/2 way up and decided to walk 3-3.5 MPH versus the 4-5 MPH I was biking, killing my legs. At the top coasted for a while and made it to the 2nd hill, which seemed bigger than the first one. Made it about 1/4 up this one and walked it again along with numerous others. At this point I am spent and wondering why I am doing this. I keep seeing signs that say "tank crossing" but I never saw a tank. Got to the top of the 2nd hill and biked to the 3rd, which seemed smaller but steeper. Walked from the start of this hill and started to think of the different ways I could list my bike on EBAY and get the most money out of it. Thought about the $140.00 I wasted on the Malibu Tri in September that I will not race in and how much money I spent on this race versus going to a tropical island for a few weeks. Made it to the top and cruised down this hill. One spot where the speed was limited to 25 MPH, which was fine with me as the head wind started up. Saw several more "tank crossing" sings and really hoped a tank would come out of the tree's and run my ass over. All my plans to sign up for IMAZ at the end of this race were gone and I cursed myself for thinking about a full IM race. Cruised through the rolling hills actually passing some people, which helped my confidence knowing others were having a harder time than I was. Saw more "tank crossing" signs and realized no tanks were going to hit me so I hoped for a stray artillery round to land on my bike and end this day. Cruised back into Oceanside and passed a few more bikers and made it into transition.
What would you do differently?:

Prepare for the swim better and practice more hills.
Transition 2
  • 07m 50s

Walked to my rack seeing all the racers with their medals on who have finished all ready. That takes a mental toll on you. Found my rack, some people were congratulating me, thinking I was finished and leaving but others knew differently and gave me a smile and sadden look, which made me laugh. Saw Shelly (Rick's wife) and she asked if I was having fun. I gave her a thumbs down. Got to my rack, changed my shorts and put on my shoes. Grabbed my hat and realized I was getting a little too much sun. Hit the run course, stopped and had some water and got some sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was smooth, I was just slow.
  • 2h 56m 19s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 28s  min/mile

The run was the most enjoyable for me this day. At mile 2 my knee acted up, which I figured would make an appearance. I did not push the run as my day was shot and the times I wanted to finish were long gone so no need to destroy my knee. First aid station I threw some water in my face which felt good but I forgot to take off my glasses. I just laughed. Ran into Rick after he made the first turn. He was about 3 miles ahead of me. No way to catch him with my knee. Made the first turn and around mile 6 or 7 I stopped and walked with two ladies. I was run/walking as my knee would allow. We were chatting and talking about our day. I told my stories and the one lady asks if I was on "BT". I said yes and it turned out this was ~azsunshine~, a "friend" whom we have been chatting with about this race the past 4-6 weeks. We had never met and did not even know each others first name nor what we looked like. She put it together when I talked about my knee problems and that I was from Phoenix. Prior to the race we said we would look for each others race number on the course and funny how we literally ran into each other. She was running with another girl from the local area. We all agreed we could do this and we would finish this out together, run/walking as we could. If not for them, this would have been a much harder run for me. The three of us made it and with about 4 mile left, we picked up another runner who was from CareFree, AZ. He stuck with us to the end also. Made it to the finish!! Several spots during the day I never thought I would finish.
What would you do differently?:

I had the run dialed into prior to the race but my knee kept me back a little.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the finish line and saw Rick and his family. Walked to my bike. Not many left and transition was being broken down. Could not find Rick and I just wanted to get to my hotel. I was not hungry at all so I did not go to the athlete food area. Felt OK. Got all my stuff and ran into the guy from CareFree that ran with us. His bike was racked right next to mine. We laughed how we were the last few in, actually about a handful were behind us. Now I had to ride my bike the 1.25 miles back to my car. Took that very easy and got hold of Rick. He was signing up for a full IM. I told him "no way". Even if they would have offered me a free IMAZ event and paid me I would have turned it down. I regret not singing up now!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The swim killed me from the beginning!

Event comments:

Looking back now I don;t know how I made it out of the ocean. I wish I would have singed up for IMAZ but mentally I was not in it at all. My bike is not for sale and I am looking forward to tackling that ocean swim in Malibu in September. Going to continue to work on rehabilitating my knee and strengthen the knee. Looking back, I had a lot of fun, just not during the actual race itself while going through it. I am glad I did this and have a new goal to set new PR's on this horrible time I posted. Physically I was ready, mentally I was not.

Last updated: 2009-10-02 12:00 AM
01:08:36 | 2112 yards | 02m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/338
Overall: 0/2152
Performance: Bad
Suit: Xterra
Course: 1 loop around Oceanside Harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 14:30
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
04:24:57 | 56 miles | 12.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/338
Overall: 0/2152
Performance: Below average
141 average HR, 174 max HR. Total calories burned on bike: 4118
Wind: Headwind
Course: Mostly through Camp Pendelton Marine Corps base. 3 MAJOR hills along with several other rolling hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Bad
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:50
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:56:19 | 13.1 miles | 13m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/338
Overall: 0/2152
Performance: Below average
139 HR average, 167 HR max. 1802 calories.
Course: Flat, a few short hills but nothing major.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4