Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
65F / 18C
Total Time = 5h 55m 40s
Overall Rank = 1036/2052
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 191/317
Pre-race routine:

Breakfast of banana, oatmeal and soy yogurt; made half sandwich of peanut butter and banana on brown rice bread for the bike; stayed in Guerneville, same place as last year; walked over to set up T1 when it opened and went back to room to watch the TdF and stretch until closer to my wave going off.
Event warmup:

Returned to transition around 6:30 and realized I forgot to pump my tires; luckily my partner was able to run back for the pump in time for me to fill my tires before my wave went off. It was close though.
  • 36m 17s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

Felt relaxed the entire swim; was passing a lot of swimmers - a first for me - and realized I should have seeded myself closer to the front of the pack. Knew I was doing well when I started passing slower swimmers from the previous wave. The fast swimmers from the wave behind me slithered by like seals as I went under the second bridge on the return. My swim time on this course last year was 51:04 so I was psyched to come out of the water this year at 36:17. The swim lessons last fall and the 1,000s of meters swam since then paid off.
What would you do differently?:

Seed myself closer to the front.
Transition 1
  • 04m 42s

Little struggle getting the suit off over the timing chip. Was careful to clean my feet of sand and gravel before putting on the socks and shoes. I like getting to transition at opening and getting a spot on the end of the rack. Other than the hiccup over the chip, pretty smooth transition.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 58m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.85 mile/hr

Met my overall goal of under 3 hours but I really wanted an average speed of over 19mph. Fell short on that. Was about 40 seconds slower than last year, most of which probably came when my chain slipped off at the bottom of Chalk Hill. Took in one bottle of water and one bottle of gatorade and nutrtion every 40 minutes. Felt good entering T2 and with the clouds and cooler temps still lingering I figured the pros were putting in some blistering times.
What would you do differently?:

My race decisions were mostly good. A couple times east of Geyserville I was riding alone for sections and I found my pace would slacken. Need to stay focused to keep my tempo up. In training I believe I focused too much on speed on long, flat sections of road and cut some of the long hill climbs I use to do. Feels like some of the power I had on the bike has diminished. Going to reincorporate the long hill climbs into my riding. Finally, while I've put new components on my old, comfortable Cannondale, I am seriously considering investing in a tri bike this year.
Transition 2
  • 03m 28s

Long run with bike from dismount to rack. Put one sock on upside down for the first time since I was what? 4 years old? This was a doubly stupid mistake because I had left the sock in the wrong position the day before when I set up T2. I can't even blame it on rushing through transition. Still a shorter T2 time than last year by over 20 seconds but that's because this year people in front of me ran with their bikes instead of walking.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure my brain is engaged when setting up my transition area.
  • 2h 12m 35s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 07s  min/mile

The good: Improved time over last year by 25 minutes, walked only the aid stations so met my goal of running all the hills. The hills seemed very manageable this year; mentally did not get psyched out by them. Left hamstring didn't bother me so the 2 week rest leading up to this aided in recovery from that injury. Also, the mild temps clearly helped with my improved time.
The bad: I don't completely have the run figured out. Wanted to finish under 2 hours and didn't. Around mile 3-4 dry mouth, felt thirsty but liquid was sloshing a little in my stomach. This never happened to me before and I wasn't sure what to do. Skipped liquid intake for a couple miles and under the circumstances that was good. First 3 miles I was on pace and then slowed but still at a steady pace until mile 10. Life really sucked after that. For the first time I wished the event concluded back in Guerneville so I could jump into the river at the finish, just cool off and float! Slow as it was, I kept a steady pace back to the finish knowing I was cutting it close on my overall time goal.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure yet how to fix the running problems other than to keep training. For race weight, I should lose about 10 pounds, maybe even 15, just to be a lighter runner. And a lighter cyclist. Not sure what the nutrition/hydration problem is, and whether it's starting with something I'm doing or not doing on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

Looked for the water and gatorade at the finish and couldn't find any. Finally got in line for the food and got a drink there. Took some food and left the athlete only area to find my partner. Located him and ate some chicken and lots of fruit while in the shade. It was very crowded and getting hotter so I was pretty quick to grab my stuff out of transition and head back to the hotel for stretching and back to the Russian River for a cool, relaxing swim/float!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I feel like I performed to the limit of my current physical ability. The training this year paid off and I expect continued training will continue to pay off though with less dramatic gains. Not completely knowing what I need for liquid on these long distances in variable temperatures hurt some. Being over the ideal weight for a distance athlete hurt some.

Event comments:

First off, I really appreciate all the volunteers - that is a lot of hard work and long hours that are being put in for free. However, if the race director puts the call out for volunteers - make sure you have something for them to do! There appeared to be a lot of clusters of orange volunteer shirts just standing around and doing nothing. There was limited space this year, especially at Windsor High, and the vols seemed to be unnecessarily taking up room. Most of them looked to be high school age and I suspect the more senior people were reluctant to actually give them anything responsible to do. That's too bad because they showed up and looked bored standing around.
Also, one volunteer at mile 10 aid station threw water on me as I went by. This was a direct shot that went forcefully into my right ear. I am sure this volunteer was well meaning but really, no mater how hot an athlete looks do not throw water on them without their asking and don't aim for the face/ears/head...aim for the torso.

Last updated: 2011-02-06 12:00 AM
00:36:17 | 2112 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/317
Overall: 0/2052
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Alpha
Course: Out and back on Russian river starting at Johnson's beach. Very shallow at sections.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:42
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:58:13 | 56 miles | 18.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/317
Overall: 0/2052
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Point to point ride while winding through Sonoma wine country. Flat to rolling for most of the course. A longer incline about mid-way, not too steep and the steeper but short Chalk Hill account for most of the elevation change on the route. Chalk road was very rough as evidenced by the orange polka dotted pavement where race officials marked the bad patches. Really in need of resurfacing.
Road:  Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:28
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:12:35 | 13.1 miles | 10m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/317
Overall: 0/2052
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back from Windsor High to La Crema winery with a 1 mile loop through a vineyard at the winery. Paved road except for the vineyard loop of hard packed dirt. Hills of varying steepness in the middle sections.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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