70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
58F / 14C
Total Time = 4h 39m 10s
Overall Rank = 102/2875
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 6/157
Pre-race routine:

I had my morning mapped out well in advance. Alarm was set for 3:30am and I wanted to have a full nights rest so I was in bed and ready for sleep mode before 7:30 Friday night. I regularly work in 8 hours of sleep during training, so I have no issues with sending myself to bed and shutting down. I'm also accustomed to falling asleep with a tv on, so it didn't bother me if Lauren wanted to stay up a little later. Lying in bed I relaxed my body completely and zoned out all distractions in my mind. I visualized my race a couple times and filled myself with positive self talk. The sound of the TV drifted over me and helped me stay calm instead of feeling as if I were just lying in bed trying to force myself to sleep. I woke up once during the night, a couple hours before my alarm, which is a normal nightly pee break and then back to sleep. I was amazed by how well I sleep for going to bed so early. I woke up with the alarm (multiple alarms all with different chimes) and felt just completely rested as if it were just another day. I had my race gear laid out and my bags already packed, so I put on my morning clothes, inflated my tires, and hit the bathroom. I mixed my nutrition and filled the bottles for my bike as well as made oatmeal in a thermos for a later breakfast. Lauren and I were leaving the hotel a little after 4 in the morning. Arriving at the parking lot I could tell we were among the first people to arrive, but while others were prepping their gear next their cars, I was ready to roll. I had to leave Lauren behind to ride my bike the 1 1/2 to transition while she walked/jogged it. I'd say I was there about 25 minutes before they opened up transition and there were maybe 20 - 30 people in line before me. I rocked out to my iPod until we were allowed to head it. I was walking through transition with a quick step hoping for an empty rack. The racks were divided by bib number, so #635 was about half way down, but when I saw it it shined like the holy grail; a perfectly empty rack. I put my transition bag right on the end and my bike on the inside of that to claim a comfortably amount of space while I set up. Just as planned, my transition area was set up by 5am and it was time for breakfast (2 hours before my start time). I met Lauren at the fence along the end of my transition rack, enjoyed my oatmeal and relaxed with her while keeping one ear plugged into my iPod. After breakfast it was time for the first porta potty break and more time to watch over transition and soak in the race morning vibes.
Event warmup:

At 6:00 it was time for my second and last porta potty trip. I did a warm up jog over the bridge and to the street that turns down to the strand. On the way back I included some short bursts at speed. My core temp was up, muscles loose but activated. I lubed up with bodyglide and slid into my wetsuit around 6:30. Everything was perfectly timed and executed. I headed over to the swim start corral and watched to pros start. 10-20 minutes before my start I took a clif gel (chocolate cherry with 2x caffeine). My swim wave moved up to 'on deck' and I was able to get my feet in the water for the first time. It was a comfortable temp and with my ankles submerged I was able to ritualistically pee in my wetsuit before we were sent out to the start.
  • 34m 56s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 49s / 100 meters

I never really felt overly nervous for the start of this race. I thought it would hit me as my age group was on deck to head into the water, but I planned ahead for everything and training my weaknesses. I was ready to rock as they sent us out to the start. It didn't seem like we had very many people in our wave, but then again I never really looked behind me. I placed myself at the front and a little to the right but not on the far edge. I wanted to be able to try to grab onto the strong swimmers from the get go and figured that anyone that thought they were fast in the water would be up front. They gave us a sign that we were about to go, I made myself horizontal in the water and waited for the horn. HHOOOORRNNN!! Start swimming and withing 5 strokes I'm already getting pummeled from people swimming over me. It slows me down a bit as I struggle to find my own space, but I hold full composure and keep on fighting. 50 meters in I can a large pack swimming away on the left side. I tuck over onto the side of a swimmer that was a few stokes ahead of me. We're making good progress and catch up to Green Caps that started before us. As the group of Purple Caps (my age group) that I'm with enter the crowded water space I find other people to switch to for drafted benefits. By this time I'm out of the harbor and can feel little waves start to lift me up and rock me from my right to left shoulder. I wasn't discouraged by this at all. It was actually kind of fun. I was able to time my breath and stroke with the waves. It seemed to be having an effect on others though because there was a large number of Green Caps in this area and I had to be careful not to try to draft on them because they were only swimming in short bursts. Headed back into the harbor I was searching for Purple Caps to grab onto. I set my sights on one 10 - 15 meters in front of me. I grabbed some I leap froged from one person to the next as I made my way on to the feet of the Purple Cap. I was feeling great about my swim at this point. The start was a little rough, but this was turning out to be my best open water swim in terms of comfort level in the water. I got thrown off my stoke only once or twice the entire time. I held onto the new feet in front of me the rest of the way back to the boat dock.
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I could change about this swim would be to put myself back from the start line a row or two and get my own space in the first 100m.
Transition 1
  • 02m 39s

I came out of the water with a faster trot pace than most people use for transition. People often use this as a rest time, but I passed 2 or 3 people in the walkway toward the bike racks and that's as good as passing them in the water. Having the end spot on the rack made all the difference! I ran right up to my rack and dropped my wetsuit from my waist. Two bikes down another guy had just come in and was wearking a watch. I asked what the time was for that swim and he told me he forgot to start it but thought it was 37 minutes. Fuck, behind schedule already. My shoes and helmet were set up facing the main aisle, so I didn't even have to go a step into the racks. Shoes on, glasses, race belt, helmet on, grab the bike and go!
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I could change is to do some wetsuit removal drills.
  • 2h 36m 7s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.52 mile/hr

Ran with my bike to the mount line and through my leg over and got a fast clip into my pedals. Not even 12 feet down the starting chute I see Lauren and hear my bottle jump off my bike and make a run for it. I look back to confirm, yup, there's my water bottle on the ground behind me. Luckily it was just water and not my bottle of nutrition! I reached back and made sure that that bottle was secure before leaving Lauren and my water behind. The row of spectators dropped off quickly while heading out of the harbor area and onto the base which makes for a quick mental change to allow focus on the bike. Because I thought my swim time was at 37 minutes, I didn't hold back my pace on the first half of the bike like I told myself I should do. I let it go and did my thing. Checking everyones calves for their age as I passed. Lots of people in their 40s and a sprinkling of people from my age group. I remembered Mike (halfironmike) saying that he only got a 3 minute head start on me so I kept and eye out for him. Flying through the base feelin' good. Staying right on schedule with my nutrition. I didn't the extra water bottle because it was an overcast day and the liquid from my nutrition bottle was enough. I grabbed a water bottle at the first aid station anyway just in case. Shortly after that I caught up with Mike and got the mental boost of feeling we were right back to two weeks ago just doing a training ride on the course. At mile 25 we re-enter the base and say hello to the suck. This is the only unknown territory of the whole day for me. The road starts going up and I kept wondering if this was the hill everyone talked about. Mike passed me back on the first road in the base and I couldn't hold on with him. He must have been excited to start climbing. Once you see that first hill, you know you're at the first hill! It looks like you should be able to get on a ski lift to go up the thing. Pace drops down to 10 at the max and everyone is slowly churning their way up. I'm passing people as I go though and catch back up to Mike. He didn't want to talk while on the hill. After that first climb I never knew when I was on the second or third climb that I was warned about. I would be on another large roller and wonder is this the second climb but then on the other side would be a larger roller and I would think, nah, this one must be the second hill. The hills just kept coming and the wind kept trying to tell us to go the other way. As long as I kept putting in the work I knew I would be fine. By now I'm passing lots of people in their 40s and still a few from my age group. I get to the downhill no pass zone and think 'alright, after this it should be all downhill back to the harbor.' I was wrong. More rollers and false flats awaited. It didn't get any easier once we were back on flat ground because the wind kept coming at us. My chain dropped off my front chainrings between mile 54 and 55. It was a quick fix and I caught and passed the three people that passed me while I was stopped. Heading back into the harbor I got out of my shoes after crossing the bridge. I had one leg over my top tube as I approached what was the mount line, but was informed to stay on the bike and ride along the side of transition and dismount on the far end. During the bike I moved from 44th in my age group to 14th
What would you do differently?:

Nothing to change here. I gave a solid effort and didn't have any nutritional problems.
Transition 2
  • 01m 11s

Again, it's totally worth it to arrive early and get the end spot on the rack. Ran right up and slid my bike in. Ditched the helmet and glasses, and changed my shoes. I was surprised by how quick it was. it was so effortless that I thought for a fraction of a second just to make sure I didn't forget anything.
What would you do differently?:

I ride with my Forerunner 305 on the bike and switch it to my wrist for training, but leave it off for races because I don't want to wear the wrist strap the whole day, swim with it, and have to get my wetsuit over it. I may think of a way to get some kind of watch for my run even if it's just in stopwatch mode that I only start when I get on the run and then do the math in my head for pace.
  • 1h 24m 17s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 26s  min/mile

Headed out onto the run knowing that there were still people to catch from my age group. Still passing lots of people in their 40s, but now I seemed to be catching more of the 25-29ers. I kept my pace at a comfortably hard effort, not knowing what the actual pace was. I didn't really want to push my pace because I know I normally run too fast coming off the bike anyway. As long as I was doing the passing I was fine. I hit up aid stations for water and power perform as needed. Got some verbal love from Lauren and kept on truckin. During the second loop, when I passed people from my age group I tried to keep myself hidden away in the sea of other runners that were now on the course. I didn't want them to notice my calf and try to hold pace with me. Most of the time I was demoralizing them anyway and was gone before they could make a move. Tried to pick up my pace a little bit every half mile or so starting 2 miles from the finish. I turned the corner to head to the chute and give it another little kick. I forget what the clock read, but I knew I had a good race. During the run I moved from 14th in my age group to 6th.
What would you do differently?:

Keep tabs on my run pace and push it a bit more. I thought they might have clocks on the course, at least a turn around. They didn't.
Post race
Warm down:

Took a breather with the finish chute catchers and thought about collapsing, but just needed a second to collect myself. Found Lauren and gave her a huge hug! Made my way to the food tent, which was a party. There was a live band and everyone cheers when you walk in, it was awesome. Pizza and all that jazz. Sat down and put my feet up for a bit before going out to find Lauren again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing I could change. It was a great course in terms of pushing back with difficulty but letting you race.

Event comments:

This was a great race. It was nice blend of a WTC race and a local tri. Everything was organized, but the volunteers only had info about their specific area and couldn't guide you anywhere else. The transition was lined with carpet and the roads were marked and clean. It's a great mix of terrain to make the course challenging but race-able.

Last updated: 2010-08-02 12:00 AM
00:34:56 | 1931 meters | 01m 49s / 100meters
Age Group: 44/157
Overall: 609/2875
Performance: Good
Suit: Full + Neoprene Cap
Course: An in water start at the sound of an air horn. Opens with a long straight away through the calm waters of the harbor. Right away the water seemed extra salty. A slight left leads out past the protection of the harbor and into the rolling ocean for less than 1/3 of the course. Square it off with two left turns and head back into the harbor for a straight shot back to the launch ramp.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:39
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:36:07 | 56 miles | 21.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/157
Overall: 0/2875
Performance: Good
BIKE SPLIT 1: 24.45 mi 24.45 mi (1:02:02) 23.65 mph BIKE SPLIT 2: 56 mi 31.55 mi (1:34:05) 20.12 mph
Wind: Headwind
Course: This course is divided into two different worlds. The first half is flat and fast with only a few small rollers and no sign of wind. Once you re-enter Camp Pendleton and cross that timing mat at mile 25 you're on a different course that is full of climbs, larger rollers, and false flats all with a wind coming at you and howling over your helmet. The marines did a great job of cleaning and marking though course though. Every bump and pothole was marked with orange tape and even had warming marking leading up to them. The roads were cleared of debris all the way to the edge. I never once saw anyone changing a flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:11
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:24:17 | 13.1 miles | 06m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/157
Overall: 0/2875
Performance: Good
RUN SPLIT 1: 3.275 mi 3.275 mi (21:10) 6:27/mi RUN SPLIT 2: 6.55 mi 3.275 mi (20:26) 6:14/mi RUN SPLIT 3: 9.825 mi 3.275 mi (20:47) 6:20/mi RUN SPLIT 4: 13.1 mi 3.275 mi. (21:54) 6:41/mi
Course: two loops on an out and back course. The first two miles being flat along the ocean and the third having a little roller or two.
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4