Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course - TriathlonLong Course

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Santa Barbara, California
United States
Santa Barbara Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 4h 33m 33s
Overall Rank = 461/603
Age Group = Clydes
Age Group Rank = 12/21
Pre-race routine:

In the weeks leading up to this race, I had toyed with the idea of switching to the Sunday sprint or bagging it altogether. I hadn't been on the bike much, was going to do a swim race the weekend before, yadda yadda. I sigend up for this out of nostalgia because I love this race, but as reality set in I thought maybe it was not such a hot idea after all.

This race is deceiving. It isn't really a half, so you don't have to take it that seriously, but it's not an olympic you can sail through either. And the course is tough. Much more like a half, and I should have respected that in training.

I figured the hotel cancellation policy was probably 48 hours, so I could decide finally on the Wednesday before, and was leading towards a cancel. Which led to my surprise the Monday befoe that the cancellation policy was 7 days, as in 3 days ago. So, I had paid for the hotel and was going.. And if I am going, I am starting.

So be it.

I decided to just be a "tourist" on the course, not push anything too hard and enjoy the scenery and the ability and opportunity to be out participating, such as it was.

We were staying across the street, and could see the swim course and transition from the bed. It took us 3 hours to get up there Friday afternoon from L.A. so I had missed packet pickup. I went down at 5:30, grabbed the packet, set up the numbers and transition area, then headed back up to the room, hung out and read a little bit while having a banana. All in all a very realxing morning, unlike most race days.
  • 27m 46s
  • 1760 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

I had jumped in and swam a couple hundred yards for the warmup, the water was warmer than any of the previous two times I've done this race. It's always surprisingly cold. Today was nice.

It was also sunny, which meant a clusterfuck coming back as the return leg is due east at 7:30 in the morning. Right into the sun.

Hung out and chatted with a few friends until race time. Decided to walk to the front of the wave and stand in the front row. My wave was clydesdales and M45-49. I am always slower sprinting to the water, but by the time we are swimming, I move pretty far up into the pack.

By the first turn buoy, there were a few guys ahead of me, a couple way off in the distance, but I was gaining on a small pack. I recognized my friend Kevin in there (eventually took 2d AG) and I passed on his right. I hoped he recognized me and grabbed onto my feet. Suddenly I found myself out in front of this small pack, with the really fast white capped swimmers out of site. Problem was, this meant I had to do the sighting.

I decided to work the swim a bit harder than a participatory pace, so settled into a pace that waas slightly over my comfort level, but one I kne I could maintain for a mile. As usual, I swam way left, with a couple guys inshore to my right, but felt someone on my draft. That's always good for the motivation. I counted the buoys easily, 1, 2, 3 then turn at the yellow.

Hit the turnaround right on then straight back into the sun. I couldn't see shit, but my draft was still there. Thinking it was Kevin, I felt an obligation to keep him on course, so I followed the splashes in front of me best I could.

At one point it was just all too much, and rather than believing I was going in the right direction, i literally stopped, lifted off the goggle,s and finally found the buoy. My drft ame by me, stopped and looked at me and said "what are you doing?" Crap, it's not Kevin. Oh well. Took off again, swam around him, and he slowly drifted off me.

Hit the left buoy and caught a nice little wave onto the sand. Had I known that was the last fun moment of that race, I might have been bummed :) Unfortunately, they added an Oceanside-like run along the entire length of T1 before they routed you into T1, saying "it was fairer" for everyone. Not me, that sucked, and I got passed by a few folks after the swim.

Ended up 2d AG but 6th out of the entire wave, so it was a good swim.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 02m 25s

It was weird, I was racked in the 50-59 group, but racing with clydes that started in the 45-49 AG, so I had no idea how many bikes had left yet.
What would you do differently?:

Typical transition for me. I was somewhere in the middle. Considering I wasn't racing, I wasn't moving that fast.
  • 2h 03m 33s
  • 34 miles
  • 16.51 mile/hr

I knew this course was a silent killer from the first time I did this race and it took me by surprise. The second year, I was IM training so had lots of bike mies in my legs. This year, not so much. Had been doing maybe 50 miles a week, very little climbing. Problem is, it's hard to soft pedal a challenging course like this.

Most of the out is uphill, most of the back is down (except for one climb). Much like the run. Problem is it's hard to get into a good rhythm, and my legs had no ommph in them from the start. This was also my last tri of the season, and I was just kinda not into it for some reason. I had started early with Oceanside in early April, so it had been a long, good comeback season. I was happy with the way the year went, a little disappointed that I was ending it this way.

Add to this 3 stops in the first 2 miles - 2 for a front brak rubbing, 1 for a TRAIN CROSSING. That just took the mental wind out of my sails. Add two more stops - 1 to fix the saddle bag that was coming off and 1 for a controlled intersection at traffic. I was just done with it. I was also a little timid on the downhills as my brakes felt funny, as if I had to squeeze really hard to get traction.

I just counted the hills. One, two, three, stayed in aero as long as I could. And got through it. The conditions were getting a bit warm out there as well, and I was not looking forward to the run.
What would you do differently?:

Go in better trained
Transition 2
  • 02m 42s

I was fried here. No idea how I'd run 10 miles. I have had this feeling 2 or 3 times now, and I've always just gone out and done it, that's how. So I knew I'd get through it, but I also knew it would suck. My T2 time reflects this.
  • 1h 57m 7s
  • 10 miles
  • 11m 43s  min/mile

This is a 10 mile out and back course, out mostly up, back mostly down. My best time here was a touch over 9 m/miles, and I knew I was nowhere near this. I had thought maybe 1:45-50.

First two miles or so are flat. I settled into a rhythm best I could, but starting out my fears were coming true. I ran with a friend for the first mile or so, I told him "I'm not sure I can get through this." Walked the first two aid stations, then hit the first uphill. I ran a bit of it then decided to walk to the top, the decision that unfortunatley set the tone for the rest of the day. I am not sure what was wrong with my running, but it felt different than just being slow. Like I didn't have the energy to even move forward. I though maybe the swim last weekend was still lingering, or maybe I shouldn't have run 7 on Tuesday (trying to cram for this). I also had this feeling I can't describe in my trunk, like it was just hard to hold my body up with my back and stomach muscles. Hard to explain

Mile 3 got really tough for me as the road wound it's way up at a slight incline. I found myself walking more than running. I was emotionally and psychologically beating myself up over it. I was thisclose to turning and quitting, I was just trying to decide when I was going to do it. I saw myself going back and turning in my chip. Mentally I was totally done. I have never been that close to quitting a race.

But I kept going for some reason. I knew if I got to the top of this hill, then over the bridge, the mile 4 aid station would be there waiting, then all I had to do was a mile to the turnaround. And if I could get myself to the turnaround, then I'd have to get back somehow, even if I walked it, and it wouldn't be quitting.

Mile 4 came and I started seeing the other walking wounded, including anotther guy having a bad day. We'd leapfrog, he'd run, I'd walk. I'd run, he'd walk. But when we synced, we walked together. Soon enough the turnaround came, and thankfully they had re routed the course so the turn around wasn't at the bottom of a long hill that had to be run back up.

Coming back, I started to feel better, just because the miles were ticking off, there was a bit of a breeze and it was more downhill. I knew my time was going to be shit, but at least I'd finish. And I still walked every aid station, and quite a bit in between.

I thought I'd feel better on the flats, but it was still hard, and I found myself walking more than I wanted to still. Feet hurt, toes hurt, blisters from wet shoes. I could see the finish, but it was still a long way off. Even the runner that came by and said "come on, it's just one mile" didn't motivate me (well it did, I just couldn't do it).

I did end up running the last half mile or so. It wasn't pretty, but I got it done.
What would you do differently?:

Go in with a better attitude and train properly. This is the first time I've ever rated a performance "bad"
Post race
Warm down:

Actually cool down. Went and sat in the Pacific for a while

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training. Looking back at my logs, in 2007 when I first got spanked here I was riding 3-400 miles a month, and had a few 70 mile running months. 2008, I was IM training so I was doing 3-500 biking miles and 70-100 running miles. This year, biking 1-200, and my running is up there at 50-70, but the bike training set the tone.... Or maybe I just had a bad run. At any rate, while I am disappointed with the performance, I did the best I could on that day. It is a bit embrassing to go almost 45 minutes slower than my PR, but hell, I was never going to win it anyway, so whatever. I am not proud of the performance, but I am proud of the finish.

Event comments:

Now I just have motivation to come back next year and do it properly. Between 2007 and 2008 I had a great improvement here (15 mintues), then 09 and 10 couldn't race this (or much else, for that matter). So finishing it, and being back out on that course, is the victory I am taking away, when I very well could have (and almost did) simply walk away and quit.

Last updated: 2011-06-05 12:00 AM
00:27:46 | 1760 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/21
Overall: 74/603
Performance: Good
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:25
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:03:33 | 34 miles | 16.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/21
Overall: 425/603
Performance: Below average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:42
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:57:07 | 10 miles | 11m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 15/21
Overall: 538/603
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]