Big Kahuna Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Santa Cruz, California
United States
Firstwave Events
Total Time = 5h 41m 49s
Overall Rank = 208/460
Age Group = M40-45
Age Group Rank = 40/85
Pre-race routine:

My wife and I stayed in Santa Cruz the night before, and the hotel was half a block from the transition area. Made it very easy to get up, get a spot in transition, then go back to the hotel to eat, go to the bathroom, and start putting on wetsuit.
Event warmup:

None really to speak of. Found the rest of my family, some friends, and tried to mentally prepare for a long day.
  • 35m 46s
  • 2310 yards
  • 01m 33s / 100 yards

Best swim of my life. Honestly, not sure where that came from. Got off to a good start, never really noticed the cold water. Found some people to follow, and following the pier made it easy to navigate. Got to the end of the pier in what felt like was a short time, so thought I was on a good swim. When I looked at my watch as I got out, couldn't believe what it said.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 05m 53s

This is a long transition. Over the beach and up the street for a couple of blocks. Was actually a good thing for me. I've been getting dizzy after long swims lately, and the long transition gave me time for that to go away before I started on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
  • 2h 47m 44s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.03 mile/hr

The fog rolled in overnight, making the roads wet, especially on the outbound leg. There are some railroad tracks to cross that were especially nasty in the wet. After at least one crash, they had riders dismount to cross. Was definitely a good idea, although it caused a big bunch up for several miles after that. For most of the outbound leg, it was at times hard to get into a consistent rhythm because of the bunching up of riders.

Felt good on the outbound leg, then realized it was because there was a slight tailwind on that section. Didn't think there was much wind, and thought if there was any, its usually a head wind out, then tail wind coming home. Was a little deflating turning around and feeling it in my face.

On the inbound leg, the riders had spaced out a little more, making it a little bit easier to try and maintain a constant pace. Tried to eat and drink on my schedule. Did ok with food, but given my run performance, don't think I drank enough on the bike. Had more left over in my bottles than I should have looking back on it. I know when its cool, I have a problem drinking enough. Miles 38-43 were pretty tough, wasn't feeling great. But after eating some, got a second wind for the last part of the ride.

It did feel really great coming back into town and knowing I was just a run away from finishing my first Half IM. Legs felt great at that point.
What would you do differently?:

Drink more. I think that cost me on the run. I know that most of the time, when you have a less than optimal run, its because you went to hard on the bike. I'd like to think that its the drinking that cost me, not going too hard, but the second half of my run was a sufferfest, so have to think about whether I did go too hard. Although, from my time goal management, I was 13 minutes to the good on the bike, and only 10 minutes negative on the run, so +3 overall.
Transition 2
  • 02m 10s

The bike leg ends coming down a small hill, so you have to be careful to stop and get off before the dismount line. I'm sure I didn't look too graceful doing this.
What would you do differently?:

I had forgotten to get my gels out of my bag when setting up, so had to pull them out. Also, while I did remember to put on some more body glide, judging from my chaffing this morning, I didn't put enough on.
  • 2h 10m 14s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 56s  min/mile

First half of the run was great. Wanted to do a 2:00 run, and hit the turnaround in 59 minutes. At about the 3 mile mark, I remember feeling pretty good and thinking, I'm going to finish this. While technically true, oh, how my experience was about to change.

Miles 5-9 I think were the up and down part. On one small uphill, I got to the top with another guy, and we both said at the same time, "ooh, that hurt." He was going about same speed as me, so followed him for a while. A few more up and downs, then got to the turn around. I was apparently starting the fade, because he pulled away from me. This time back, the up and downs started to hurt and I could feel myself slowing down. After the longest climb out, I knew I was in trouble. Just keep your head down and keep running I told myself. By miles 9-10, I was pretty much done. Last 4 miles was a real sufferfest, and my pace really slowed. I kept telling myself, just run one more mile, you can do that. The thought that I was going to finish my first Half IM didn't even cross my mind. I was deep in the pain cave, and just wanted to get to the end.

Got back to the beach and knew I was going to make it. Saw my wife and daughters on the beach and heard them cheering my on. Was so tired and spent, it took everything I had to keep from bawling my eyes out. Running along the sand after all that time was hard.
What would you do differently?:

Drink more on the bike, maybe not go as hard. Need more run training. This was first Half Mary in a race, and only second time running that far. With more run training, I know I can do better than this. But, for first time at this distance, it hard to be too disappointed, and I did beat my time goal for the HIM.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around some, got some water and all the oranges I could get my hands on. Not a plug necessarily, but really liked the free Muscle Milk they were handing out. That felt like the right way to get in the calories I needed. Sat down for a while and tried to recover. I was really spent. That was by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wasn't able to close out the run the way I would have liked. Was that going to hard on the bike? not taking in enough liquid on bike? not enough run training? or all three? Probably all three. But, I finished it, and beat the time I wanted to beat. Overall, very happy with the way the day went. I do love pushing myself to my limit, and I definitely did that.

Event comments:

I did like watching the hula dancers (through my post race haze). My mom is from Maui, so that was an enjoyable distraction. Overall, race seemed well organized and staffed. Everyone very friendly. I like that the event shirt they gave out is a technical shirt, not just a T-shirt.

Last updated: 2010-06-30 12:00 AM
00:35:46 | 2310 yards | 01m 33s / 100yards
Age Group: 54/85
Overall: 0/460
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: Start on one side of the pier, swim out and around it, back to the other side.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 56F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:53
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:47:44 | 56 miles | 20.03 mile/hr
Age Group: 27/85
Overall: 0/460
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Through town a little bit at start, then out and back on Hwy 1. Course has no real climbs, but is pretty constantly up and down rollers.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:10
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:10:14 | 13.1 miles | 09m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 54/85
Overall: 0/460
Performance: Below average
Course: Pretty course along the ocean, then out to what I think is called Wilder Ranch. That section is a little bit of a trail run, with some mild up and down. At least, I think most would call it mild, my legs by that point were calling them the Rockies.
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? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4