Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 40m 9s
Overall Rank = 873/2152
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 149/338
Pre-race routine:

Had a nice dinner on Friday nite with Ash and my buddy Dave at an Italian restaurant in La Jolla. Crashed out at around 10 pm and woke up at 4.45 am. Got my gear loaded up into the rental car and then woke Ash to start our 30 min drive to Oceanside. Ash dropped me off and hightailed it back to the hotel for some more sleep (I don't blame her; I wouldn't have much interest in hanging into the dark waiting for a bunch of guys to splash around in the water :) Found a place for my bike on the rack, and met up with my other buddy Scott who had just showed up as well. He had an extra neoprene cap which I used. Then we just headed over to our swim wave which was about 10 minutes from starting. I put down a Hammer Gel about 5 minutes before entering the water; that was first food I had in morning and seemed to perk me up a bit.
Event warmup:

No real warm up. We weren't allowed in the water, so I just did some stretching and, next thing you know, it was our turn to jump in the water.
  • 32m 46s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 42s / 100 meters

First 300 meters were a little nerve wracking. The ol' "250 sardines splashing around" part of the race. My triceps were aching pretty quickly which was a little concerning, and a little voice in my head kept saying "you forgot how to swim!" :) But then I seemed to catch my breath, triceps felt better, things smoothed out and I got into nice rhythm. Only real tight spots were around the two turnaround buoys, where the swimmers bunched up and started the sardine dance again. On the way back, started hearing the crowd and announcer, which is always a welcome sign. Swam up to boat ramp and then got pulled out by a volunteer who unzipped my wetsuit. All in all, good swim. Never strayed too far from the course, which conserved energy and time...and has that added (and not so trivial) benefit of NOT being mistaken by some ocean inhabitants as the ol' flailing seal who can't get his act together.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Kept patient and pulled back whenever I felt like I was hitting it too hard. I had read somewhere that you just need to go into swim expecting to get bumped around a bit by the crowd...with that expectation, once you do get bumped around, it's no big deal and the crowding eventually dissapates because none of other swimmers want to be in bumped around either.
Transition 1
  • 05m 13s

Probably a 300 meter run to the bike, which is a little disorienting with your heart racing and legs going into high gear. I'm always amazed at those people who can jump out of water and sprint to their bike. I'm usually pretty light headed and hobbling at a 20-minute mile pace.
What would you do differently?:

Again, not much really. Was pretty patient and had all my fuel packed in Bento bag. Strapped on my Garmin and pushed the Multisport button and away we go!!
  • 2h 59m 58s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.67 mile/hr

I was using a rental bike because I didn't want to spend a small fortune shipping my own bike out. That actually worked out well! I loved the bike (Cervelo P1) and had no discomfort issues (other than what was to be expected from 56 miles...soreness in back towards end, etc.) Was getting passed by quite a few cyclists but kept as patient as I could. That's the trouble with being an above-average swimmer and below average end up getting out of water being a little cocky, only to then spend the next three hours watching good cyclists blaze by you...oh well! I knew from my last tri that not reining in the testorone when this happened (and trying to keep up with some of them) would be a recipe for humility (and humiliation!) on the run. So I just let the EveryReady Rabbit inside of me keep chugging away.

The bike stretch is definitely the highlight of the race. The course was beautiful and the hills were challenging but not unbearable.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe should have pulled back a tad more to gain more minutes on run. But every race helps more to learn that discipline of saving some gas in the tank. Also, forgot to pack the EFS gel I was going to use and couldn't find it in any of the stores around La Jolla, so went with a different fuel I had never used (CarbonPro). I knew that using new fuel in race could be high risk move, but luckily my stomach is the Will Rogers of Gastrinal Organs (it never met a meal it didn't like), so it worked out fine.
Transition 2
  • 02m 34s

Tranistion went pretty smoothly but as I was leaving the exit, I spotted a port-o-potty about two hundred meters up. Was thinking of crossing over the lane but then heard the announcer screaming "Here comes Matty Reed who's going to finish in second!!". Right before I was about to cross over, I looked up and there was big Matt bearing down on me with 20 yards to I did the old Matador move "Ole!" to stay out of his lane...that could have been a tragicomedy for me (and, more importantly, for Matt)...I could just see the announcer saying "here comes Matty Reed going for second but....WAIT!!!...down goes Matty! Down goes Matty!...He plows right into some hack trying to cross for the port-o-potty..." Would have made a nice youtube moment and guaranteed my banishment from future Ironman events.

What would you do differently?:

Don't even THINK about crossing the road to the other side until at least the top 5 Pros are safely over the finish line :)
  • 1h 59m 40s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 08s  min/mile

Started out doing what felt like 15 minute miles but looked down at my Garmins and it said "7.13"...whoa, that could'nt be kept running for 30 secs and looked down said "7.10"...uh, oh...that's going the wrong deliberately slowed down to get pace down to 8.30 or so...amazes me how one feels so slow coming off the bike but pace is usually way too high.

First loop felt pretty good. Alternated waters and gatorades at every other aide station. Pace started ticking up and started looking like it was going to be about a 2 hour half for me. While I was hoping for a little faster, I knew my bike leg had something to say about that.

Coming into the turnaround to start the second lap, a alpha male behind us started screaming "ON YOUR LEFT! ON YOUR LEFT!!!!". Classic...after 5 hours of endurance, the guy decides to go Usain Bolton and kick into an all out sprint for the last 300 yards...meanwhile, the rest of the field jumps out of the way like someone threw a hand grenade into a a fox hole. But that's part of the fun of these many shapes, sizes and personalities involved that there's never a dull moment!

On the second lap, felt pretty good till about the turnaround (which came after a bit of a hill) and then the quads were getting pretty angry with me...but the last 3 miles came and went, and then I saw Ash holding up a bright orange sign which my 4 kids had made as a surprise. That gave me a nice boost and I rode that into the finish line for the last half mile. Crossed the line feeling spent and exhilarated (if that makes sense)
What would you do differently?:

Again, I really have a hard time finding anything I'd do very differently. Felt great about the fueling and stayed patient. Would like to kick it into a higher gear in second half of run but c'mon now...I was fatigued and still feeling relatively coherent, so didn't want to push that and crawl across the finish line like a man crossing the desert.
Post race
Warm down:

Put my head down for medal, put hand out for cap, put leg out for chip removal, and put hands on a slice of pepporoni and ground beef pizza. Sat there for 10 minutes talking to another guy who had just finished. Then went back to bike and found Scott who had ran a very smart race...he saved nice amount of energy for run...and then just nailed it. We packed our gear (amazing how much less organized my packing system is AFTER a race...just shove all the crap in the bag!)...then went through exit and found Ash. As usual, she had made many friends already :) We then waited for my other buddy Dave (his 45-49 wave started almost an hour later)

Finally ended up down the harbor at Joe's Crab Shack for after race meal...cold beer never tasted so good and I gorged on crab, crawfish, sausage and anything else not nailed down...that evening, I tested a few of the local maragaritas, polished off a beautiful cheeseburger, at a big piece of Chocolate Lava Cakes (with vanilla cream), which I washed down with a nice port. Every thing I ate tasted like the greatest dish ever invented. Oh, but to go through life with taste buds as excited as they are after a half ironman!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

While I trained for a number of months, I think it's a matter of continued base building, particularly on the bike. Also, had been limiting my running a bit for past two months to avoid recurring calf issue. But, for my first HIM, it is very difficult for me to nit pick as I stayed consistent on my training without creating too much burden on the rest of my family.

Event comments:

I really can't imagine a better event. Every detail had been thought through and the support was truly spectacular. For example, EVERY run station had probably 20 voluteers each screaming out 'water' or 'gatorade' or 'gel', etc. The bike course was incredibly well marked. And the weather was spectacular. It was tough leaving a place like that, but had to fly back to reality last nite.

Last updated: 2009-10-13 12:00 AM
00:32:46 | 1931 meters | 01m 42s / 100meters
Age Group: 65/338
Overall: 450/2152
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:13
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:59:58 | 56 miles | 18.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 199/338
Overall: 1067/2152
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:34
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:59:40 | 13.1 miles | 09m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 152/338
Overall: 941/2152
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5