Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
61F / 16C
Total Time = 6h 38m 32s
Overall Rank = 1617/2875
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 296/495
Pre-race routine:

With this being my first HIM, I knew I was in for a long day, but was planning on taking it easy and enjoying the day.

I had set three levels of goals for myself:
1st "easy" - Finish
2nd "obtainable" - Under 7 hrs
3rd "stretch" - 6:30

I had estimated my times as:
swim - 45 minutes
T1 - 5 minutes
bike - 3:15
T2 - 5 minutes
run - 2:45

This would get my just under the 7 hr mark

Race Day
Woke up around 4 AM, nerves wouldn't let me sleep any longer. Took a quick shower and checked my bags for the 4th time.
Ate a banana and yogurt in the hotel room. Went down to the dining room at the hotel and tried eating a slice of toast, but could not finish it.
Left the hotel around 5 AM and rode my bike to transition (about a mile away). Got there early enough to get a spot close to the center row (third in). My rack was only two racks down from the center entrance/exit into transition, so finding it during the race was not going to be an issue.
Event warmup:

Met up with a friend that I have know for several years, but had never met face to face. His rack was about 6 racks down from mine, so spent the time either chatting or double checking my rack space. Did some very light stretching and finally put on the wetsuit about 30 minutes before my wave.

Having someone to talk to made the time fly by and helped to keep the nerves under control.
  • 40m 19s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 05s / 100 meters

Swimming is usually my weakest part of the race, so I started myself in the back. I was very happy with the water temperature, no where near as cold as I had expected. I was in the 3rd wave of age-groupers, so not a lot of people in the water.

This was my first ocean swim, and it felt fine until we got out past the harbor wall and the roll of the ocean hit. This messed up my navigation some, but I got use to it. Did a better job navigating on the way back in, and the second half of the swim felt shorter that the first. The overcast sky was a blessing, as we had no issues with the sun while swimming back to the boat launch.

No issues with cramping.
What would you do differently?:

Sight better and probably push myself harder.
Transition 1
  • 05m 44s

Damn that was a long run. Took my time, since I wasn't worried about saving a minute or two here. Put my calf sleeves, socks and shoes before grabbing the bike and heading for the exit. Forgot to put on sunscreen, and would pay for that later.
What would you do differently?:

I know I can go faster, but wasn't worried about that. Would definitely make sure I got sunscreen on next time.
  • 3h 15m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.15 mile/hr

I wanted to make sure that I did not go out to fast, since I knew the hills would be in the second half of the ride.

We had a nice tailwind for the first 25 miles, and I kept my heart rate in zone 1-2. I knew I could have gone faster here, but was glad to stick with the game plan.

I had looked at a course profile for the ride that someone had posted on MapMyRide, and it listed the first hill as being an average grade of 3.2%. All I can say is WTF! That hill was no where near a 3.2% grade, it was closer to an 8-10% grade. Many people were walking the hill, but I rode my way to the top (at a whopping 5 mph). If the size of the hill wasn't enough, we had to ride up the damn think with a headwind! Was glad to see pictures of the Pros working hard to get up the hill, so I knew it wasn't just my imagination.

That hill took a lot out of me and I was hurting for the next 10 miles as we climbed about 530 feet. After the second hill I started to feel better and pulled away from the cluster of riders that I had been with. I got passed by a lot of riders, but was still happy with my ride considering the wind being as bad as it was.
What would you do differently?:

I need to train more for hills and ride more when there are windy days. I rode the distance several times in training, but never under these conditions.
Transition 2
  • 04m 23s

Surprised my time was even this fast, since I walked my way out of transition. Was glad that we were able to ride the length of transition and dismount at the back.
  • 2h 32m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 37s  min/mile

My legs were shot after the bike, but I was very happy that my back did not give me any issues. I got out of transition in time to see Carfrae and Jackson about a quarter mile from the finish.

It wasn't long into the run that I started a run / walk rotation. I had originally planned on walking the aid stations, but that soon turned into a shorter and shorter runs. Near the end of the run I was down to 5 minute runs and 2 minute walks. Once I got to the bridge on the second loop, the adrenaline kicked in and I was able to finish strong.
What would you do differently?:

I need to integrate more brick workouts into my training, and run later in the day. Almost all of my run training has been done in the early morning, and this was a much warmer run than I was use to.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some pizza and made my way out to find my family. Walked back to the hotel and took a much needed shower.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It was tough to train for such an early race in the season. I need to HTFU and learn to ride in the rain and wind if I want to race this early in the season.

Event comments:

A great experience for my first HIM. Gave me the confidence to race another HIM, and it gave me even more respect for how huge of an accomplishment a full IM is.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-10-30 12:00 AM
00:40:19 | 1931 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
Age Group: 219/495
Overall: 1252/2875
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3
Course: Counter-clockwise out and back with a slight dogleg left once we got past the protection of the harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:44
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:15:57 | 56 miles | 17.15 mile/hr
Age Group: 259/495
Overall: 1389/2875
Performance: Average
First 25 - 1:16:48 (19.5 mph) Next 31 - 1:59:09 (15.6 mph)
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Big loop around Camp Pendleton. Fast first 25 miles through Camp Pendleton along the coast to Cristianitos Road. Rollers started after the 25 mile mark, with one steep hill around mile 30 and then a steady climb from miles 33 to 38. One more steady climb around mile 41 then down hill back to the harbor.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 78
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:23
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:32:09 | 13.1 miles | 11m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 296/495
Overall: 1617/2875
Performance: Below average
Run 1 ( 3.2) - 36:16 Run 2 ( 6.5) - 36:40 Run 3 ( 9.2) - 39:36 Run 4 (13.1) - 39:37
Course: Two loop course, each lops starts along the beach and then up into a residential neighborhood. If this race is pancake flat, someone is making some lumping pancakes. Beach section is completely flat, but you have some long gradual climbs in the residential section.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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] 5