Big Kahuna Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Santa Cruz, California
United States
Firstwave Events
Total Time = 5h 50m 42s
Overall Rank = 261/621
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 39/77
Pre-race routine:

As with last year, got to hotel in Santa Cruz to save some time in the morning. Was less nervous this year, so was actually able to eat some dinner the night before! Unfortunately, woke up with the cold that I had hoped would go away still present. Checked into transition and just figured I would go with it and see how the day progressed.
Event warmup:

Walked from hotel to beach. None really to speak of.
  • 36m 24s
  • 2310 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

I really love this swim. One, swimming in salt water is apparently worth some significant time for me. All I can figure is that my form is normally pretty bad, but the salt water plus wetsuit really helps me get horizontal in the water. Two, swimming out around the wharf is a great experience. Its easy to navigate, and the view coming back in is great. You can see a lot of the Boardwalk/Santa Cruz. 59 degree water compared to 53 at Boise seemed like bath water!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Felt like I had a good swim.
Transition 1
  • 06m 9s

As others have noted in past reports, this is a long transition. Over the beach and up the street to transition area. Gives some time to get over the swim, but its not easy on the feet.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Transitions are not really the key to my day at this point.
  • 2h 53m
  • 56 miles
  • 19.42 mile/hr

In my first two HIMs, I think I have messed up the run by going too hard on the bike. I really tried to not push too hard, keeping an eye on my HR target, and trying to spin up hills without letting HR creep up too much. I think that plan went out the window (1) because my cold really kicked in about 22 miles in and (2) the big headwind at the turnaround. I knew we had a tailwind going out from watching the vegetation along the road. I didn't figure it was a strong as it was. When I hit the turnaround, it was really blowing. My average dropped to around 15-16 for many miles, even though a lot of it was flat. 1:20 out, 1:33 back in. In hindsight, there went my plan to leave something for the run.
What would you do differently?:

Try to spin up the hills a little bit more. There were a couple that I could tell I was grinding up a little too much. I could have stayed in that gear and really charged up the hill, burning a match or two, or dropped down a few gears and spun up the hills, going easy. I took the middle approach, and stayed in the gear, but tried to go up easy. Which just led to some mashing.
Transition 2
  • 02m 16s

Found my spot ok, saw my family coming in. Remembered my Garmin. Had forgot it last race.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 2h 12m 52s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 08s  min/mile

Tried to divide the run mentally into four parts. The first part is the 3 or so miles before a right turn away from the ocean and up a short hill. The next two parts are from there to the turnaround, and from the turnaround back to about the 10 mile mark. The last part is from there to the end. I really tried to hold back on the first part of the race. I knew that the hardest part of the course is the middle to parts. I tried to leave as much as I could for then, with the hope of then gutting it out to the finish. Unfortunately, about mile 8 or 9, I was out of gas. I'd like to think it was my cold doing me in, as I really tried to leave something for the last half of the run. One of these days, I will have a strong run. Gotta keep coming back to give it a chance!
What would you do differently?:

Is my run "average" because this is about how my HIM run always goes, or "below" because I know I can do better? What to do better? Well, I can't really control whether I get a cold race week, so I will continue to train more for the run (by both riding and running more), working on my pacing, and trying to get my nutrition nailed.
Post race
Warm down:

Tried to just rest. I have a period of about 15-20 minutes after a race where I feel I'm going to hurl. That passed quicker this time. Thankfully.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hopefully, it illness related. Had really tried to run more and ride harder in prep for this race. Overall, though, always happy finishing a HIM.

Event comments:

I really like this race. The swim is a great swim, I love the bike course, and the run is a good run for me and very pretty. I do feel like they could have used (or I could have used) one more aid station on the run. Not sure where it would go, but at times, moving as slowly as I was, it felt like a long time between aid stations.

Last updated: 2011-08-08 12:00 AM
00:36:24 | 2310 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/77
Overall: 0/621
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: Out around the pier. Two right turns around the buoys, and back to shore.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:09
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:53:00 | 56 miles | 19.42 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/77
Overall: 0/621
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Out and back on Hwy 1. No significant sustained climbs, but Hwy 1 is pretty much constant rollers the entire way. On the way back in from the turnaround, with a nasty headwind, made for a bit of a hard going for me.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:12:52 | 13.1 miles | 10m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/77
Overall: 0/621
Performance: Average
Course: This is a beautiful course. We run along the cliffs over looking the Ocean, out to Wilder Ranch for a little trail run. There are some rollers in the middle that take something out of the legs.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4