Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
55F / 13C
Total Time = 4h 30m 51s
Overall Rank = 20/2100
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 7/130
Pre-race routine:

The season opener for triathlon across the country. Oceanside is always a stacked field with everyone ready to burn off their pent-up winter aggression. I showed up ready to rock and laid down a killer race, but my age group (Male 25-29) is bringing the pain this season. My 4:30 finish put me as the 20th overall amateur, but down at 7th in my age group. Four of my AG were in the top 10! My swim went as planned, I lost nutrition AND MY GARMIN on the bike, and pushed through the run to PR the course.

For a race of this size it's extra important to get your bike on the end of the rack in T1. Each rack is grouped in a bib number range with a first come first served setup. My alarm sounded at 3:15AM and by 3:30AM I was out of my dreams and into my new Wattie Ink race suit. I prepped my nutrition for the day and was out of the house a little after 4. Even though I was staying in the closest possible house to to T2, I rode on by and headed straight to T1. I was first in line at transition. The morning was dark and misty, but with an air temp in the low 50s it was warmer than I had expected. When transition opened up I claimed my end rack and walked the mile back to T2. I set up there and met up with Lauren a little after 5AM. Our walk back to the swim start was the perfect time for me to eat breakfast and hit the port-o-pottie when we got back.
Event warmup:

I did a dry land warm up since there isn't a chance to get in the water before the start. An easy run of about a mile with some light drills mixed in brought up my core temperature and got the blood pumping before I put on my wetsuit.
  • 32m 50s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 42s / 100 meters

I didn't have to stand around long before my early wave start of 6:59AM. I was able to splash some water on my face for the first time when my group was on deck. At 58° it surprisingly didn't feel that cold to me. I wore a BlueSeventy neoprene cap to keep me warm for the long haul. While treading water at the start I tried to get some clear space, but it was hard to come by. At the sound of the horn I got bumped once or twice as the lead pack took off. I stayed calm and focused on trying to get a strong start. I found my stroke relatively quick and started looking for someone to draft. The real swim starts at a dogleg section which leaves the protection of the harbor. I did great in the open water and worked my way through crowds of people. At one point the swim turns directly into the surf, which wasn't breaking but was a nice size. My breathing rhythm fit well into the pattern of the waves and I kept moving forward. I came out of the water in about the time I expected of myself, but not where I would like to be.
What would you do differently?:

I went wide for a small portion of the swim because I was trusting the swimmer in front of me. I shouldn't have taken so long to double check the buoy location for myself.

I need to improve my first 200m performance.
Transition 1
  • 02m 57s

It's a long run from the swim exit to the bike. I passed a handful of people along the way. Having the end spot on the rack makes T1 super easy. No need to count racks, look for landmarks, or anything. I just ran until I saw my bike, shoved the wetsuit into the gear bag as required and made my way out of transition as quick as possible.
  • 2h 29m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.44 mile/hr

The rain came off and on during the bike leaving everything a mess. Extra attention was need for turns and descents, but I didn't do anything stupid and made the most of it. This was my first race on tubulars. I was riding with my Easton EC-90TT wheelset and Triathlon tubulars by Challenge (as seen in my previous blog post) . The tires were awesome even it the wet conditions. A smooth ride and great grip. So smooth that I didn't even notice I had ejected the nutrition bottle I planned on using for the second half. I made up for it by grabbing a sports drink and gel from an aid station. I did notice when half way through the bike my cold hands accidentally popped off my Garmin. Luckily it was just a 305, so it's time to upgrade, but I wasn't planning on the hit to my back account. That put me in the hills with no computer. I rocked it off RPE. I wanted to come out averaging 22mph and ended up with a 22.44 average.
Transition 2
  • 01m 18s

I got out of my shoes as I rolled up to T2, but couldn't get my wet leg over the frame for a rolling dismount. Hopped off from a stop and ran to my awaiting shoes.
  • 1h 24m 4s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 25s  min/mile

I planned on wearing my Garmin for the run to help guide my pace. With that option down the drain it was just game on for the run. My quads were screaming at first, but the pain faded away after two miles. I did a bunch of passing and came up on Mark Vermeersch from my age group. He was running with along with one of the male pros back toward the pier. I hung behind them until the pro broke off to finish and Mark and I had to climb up the ramps to get across the pier. I pushed the climb a bit and put myself in front. Mark let me stay there and plow through runners on the narrow bike path until the turn around for lap two. At that point he started moving up. I tried to stay with him, but he had turned it on. I was able to keep a nice sight on him through mile 9, but after that he was moving further ahead. I kept my pace up and hoped he would explode. He never did, but it was a great to have him pulling me through the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Food! I hung around and stuffed my face with pizza. It was great to meet up with other members of the Wattie Ink Elite Team at the finish.

Event comments:

I'm really happy with my performance. 4:30 was my goal and that's what I got. As always, there's room for improvement on my swim, but I am making great progress. Thanks to BlueSeventy for making a neoprene cap that is comfortable to wear and for their Helix fullsuit which gave me extra confidence in my swim knowing that everything about the suit is designed to bring out my awesome.

Despite having to alter my plan during the bike, I was able to go beyond what I thought I could. Huge thanks here to Easton for a killer wheelset, Challenge for the tires that kept me safe and fast on wet roads, and Speedfil for the A2 so there was so possible way I could lose ALL of my nutrition. Thanks also goes out to Fuel Belt for the Gel Flask which I had in a holster on my frame. Good thing I loaded it with an extra gel!

For the run I need to thank my teammates. It was a huge motivator to see you guys rocking your kits on the course. I've seen other teams be able to high five and shout out during a race, but I have never been the one to experience it myself until this race. Thanks to K-Swiss for the best shoes around. I took a pair of K-Ona's fresh out of the box for this race and raced in them sockless without any issues.

My next focus is on Ironman Arizona. I'll be throwing in races along the way, but haven't planned those out yet. I need to figure out of to build endurance and keep this speed.

Last updated: 2011-10-26 12:00 AM
00:32:50 | 1931 meters | 01m 42s / 100meters
Age Group: 34/130
Overall: 0/2100
Performance: Good
Suit: Blueseventy Helix Fullsuit
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:57
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:29:42 | 56 miles | 22.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/130
Overall: 0/2100
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:18
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:24:04 | 13.1 miles | 06m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/130
Overall: 0/2100
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
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]