Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 40m 40s
Overall Rank = 122/3074
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 19/332
Pre-race routine:

This race is known to me as the donation race. Why? Because I have signed up for it twice before but never made the starting line. Over the past two years, I have been plagued by running injuries. This race has always had to be scratched due to one thing or another. Last year, I was even hesitant signing up because I was still overcoming my stress fracture at the time signups started...and this race sells out quick. I decided I would be ready. Come hell or high water, I was going to do this race at some point. So I signed up again and hoped for the best.

Over the off season, I traveled far and wide trying to get the best of the best to help with my running problems. I think I can safely say that those problems are behind me. I have been running pain free for the last couple months and I was actually able to get in well over 100 miles last month and ran close to 9 miles at one time leading into the race. Yes, the run portion of this race is 13.1 (30% more) but it was going to have to do. Certainly didn't have the fitness I wanted, but it was enough frequency and volume to safely run the race for sure.

Karin has been out visiting and staying with me from Chicago and we headed down to Oceanside Friday morning. Met up with team manager Tina and picked up our new Wattie Ink Kits (which are SICK). Then headed down to check in and met up with Tyler, Maruoka and eventually Courtney Haile. This would be our little band throughout the race.

Woke up at 4 and ate some pop tarts, which were awesome, and some other prerace goodies. Piled into the truck and all headed down to T2 to drop off run gear. From there we headed over to T1 and began unloading in a spot that was NOT designated for unloading. The entire time some lady was yelling at us and we just continued to unload as fast as possible. Sorry lady, but do you know who I am? I'm a very important person....people know me.

Everything went smooth setting up bike and whatnot. Headed over to the portapotties because I had to pee soooo bad. Normally I just pee in the water but I knew we wouldn't have much time from the water to the start and didn't want to risk not relaxing enough to pee. I waited there forever because it seemed like everyone that entered a portojohn was having a life changing bowel movement! Hurry up people....finally had my turn and headed to the start.
Event warmup:

Didn't get a chance for much of a warm up as usual. I just made my way through the later waves until I found a bunch of dudes standing around in Flo Pink wave. I walked to the front and started in a perfect position. Water was a perfect 62 degrees. Just cool enough to keep you comfortable while swimming in a wetsuit and not so cold that you really need to acclimate much. I spotted Coach Nancy Reno from CVMM and standing next to her was Karin. I waved Adios! and off I went. Short swim to the first start buoy and waited about 1 minute and we were off. Feeling good about the day.
  • 24m 48s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 10s / 100 yards

Really concentrated on my start pace. I didn't want to get caught up trying to sprint away from the pack. I know my comfortable start pace is still pretty quick and there's no reason to start with a sprint of any kind. Most people mess up in the first 5 minutes when they feel fresh and use the rest of the swim trying to recover from that effort. I am guilty of that myself. LONG day need to do anything over exuberant right now. Today is about pacing...even pacing. No matches being burned.

As always you seem to link up with a couple people and sorta trade back and forth with them throughout the swim. There was one guy on my right who hand pretty pink tinted goggles and one dude on my left who I couldn't see who must have been blind or trying to swim by the Force because he kept bumping into me. Nothing bad but you could tell he wasn't sighting and just swimming along trying to go right when the course veered to the left. I finally pulled ahead of him after a few hundred yards. A couple pink caps went on ahead which is pretty normal in a field this size. I know I'm not going to lead out of the water in a field this I did nothing but pace myself.

Got to the red turn around buoys feeling good and had to make my way through some previous waves. Lost contact with pink lens guy but reunited around the second turn buoy and headed back. I really felt good at this point because I had been sure to keep the pace nice and relaxed. So I picked it up a little bit and dropped pink lens dude about half way back. I could tell I was really moving on the way back. This coincides with talk of some assist on the way back in. Swim didn't appear to be short based on several Garmin readings but was definitely 1-2 minutes "fast" due to something....I'm thinking there was some kind of assist on the way back. Don't know what it was but that's my guess. Exited the water feeling great and would later learn my swim was 8th in my division. Very happy about that in a field this deep.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...had a great swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 9s

Came out of the water and instantly felt both calves start to think about cramping...rut roh...don't need that. I know that if I try and yank my suit off with my legs and my calves are close to cramping, that will set them off. So when I reached my bike, I made sure to take an extra second and reach down and pull my suit off with my hands. Worked fine and no cramps. Stuffed my bag and off I went. Solid records but right there with my peers.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 35m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.63 mile/hr

Brian Stover, my coach, and I came to agreement that we needed to do everything to protect my run. A conservative power goal would go a long way towards doing that. (I've NEVER run well in a half so that was goal #1) We came up with 200-205 with nothing over threshold on the hills. So that was the plan but as it turned out, it needed to be modified just a bit.

I took off and the course has quit a bit of BS starting out. You know, lot's of little turns and weird parking lots you ride through blah blah. I wasn't even really watching power until about 10 miles in when there were some longer sections that you could get into aero and hold some constant watts. Course wasn't that crowded and riding legal wasn't tough at all. Had some dude that wouldn't fall back when I would pass him and he was the only person I had to yell at ;)

Quickly, two things became apparent. #1 This power goal wasn't going to work. #2 The coldish air temp wasn't going to let me get very many calories down.

I quickly decided that a more realistic goal would be in the 215-220 range which is significantly higher than the goal we came up with. The problem was that the 200 goal was going to yield a shit time and that doesn't do me any good either. 2:35 on a calm day was the absolute slowest I wanted to ride and I wasn't sure halfway if I was going to make that. I could have easily ridden sub 2:30 if I had any sort of run fitness to back up the climbing and surging watts it would have taken to ride that. But I don' I can't. I had to make the change on the fly but I did keep it realistic to at least give me a chance. There were a lot of sections I really had to back off and slow down which was really tough for me.

In the middle of the course it gets really slow going. Wind was very calm for the race but there still was a very slight head wind while climbing the middle section of the course. I was doing some math and still had 21 miles to go which I would have to cover in well under an hour to make my goal of 2:35. I had always heard the course turns downhill but the headwind makes it slow as well. Thankfully, there was no headwind heading back to the beach and the last 15-16 miles were absolutely blazing fast. Got back into T2 feeling pretty good....well sort of...which I'll explain.

The nutrition part I mentioned above. Basically, I took in nothing lol. I had about 800 cals in my aero bottle and ~150 cals of sports drink in my between the arms bottle. I took two swigs of both and that's it. I maybe took in 300 cals for the whole ride. The problem...I had to pee...and I can't pee on the bike. I just can't do it. I guess I'm not hardcore but it wasn't happening. I knew though that in training, I don't need a lot of calories for 4-5 hour effort. I had that knowledge to fall back on. So I decided to just wait till the run and stop and pee then. The slow down and start up time lost on the bike is just so much more than on the run. Turned out to be just fine.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...had a great ride.
Transition 2
  • 01m 27s

Not a lot to do in T2 so it went very easy and fast.
  • 1h 35m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 19s  min/mile

As I took off out of T2, I forgot to hit the guess my mind was on T2 for a couple seconds. No biggie. I knew I would have another one in a mile. Took off and decided not to look at pace for at least a mile. I would just look when my watched lapped. Well, I hit the bathroom at the first aid station and looked at my watch and it took just under 30 seconds to pee....AND I FELT SOOOO MUCH BETTER. Ok, let's get moving. First mile with pee clicked off at 7:39..perfect.

My goal in my head was to take off at whatever pace felt easy and comfortable. From training I knew that would be 7:00-7:10 pace. But I only knew that would be "easy" for about the first half of the run as I have nothing beyond that to go by. The first loop of the run went really well and pace was sitting right at what I said..6:56, 7:09, 7:09 etc for the first loop. There were soooo many people cheering that it was so easy to stay in the moment. I had Paulo's entire Triathlon Squad including my friend Jason Pedersen absolutely CHANTING "DUSTY DUSTY DUSTY" was super funny and rather Then I saw the Wattie crew including Karin and Massi (dressed up as EuroStar) about halfway through first loop. That was another shot of adrenaline when EuroStar slapped my ass....REALLY HARD. After that you have a fairly lonely out and back which went just fine. Right before the turn around on the out and back I was passed by Heather Jackson. She's a good friend of mine and we had the most calm and relaxed conversation ever for someone leading the entire female race. "Hey, Dusty, how's it going?" "Good Heather! You in the lead?" "Yeah, is this run just two loops?" (I thought she was kidding, but she wasn' "Nah, I think it's four.<----trying to be funny" "Oh shit, ok, have a good race" was the funniest thing ever. So calm for someone crushing so many hopes and dreams...wtg Munchkin!!!

Approaching the finish line to start the second loop I decided to take a swig of the calories I had with me and get some water and that would be it besides Perform from aid stations from here on out. Saw the Wattie crew again and headed around the pier to start the second loop. Still feeling good about running this whole run course. I actually felt about the same as the first loop but the pace was starting to slip more towards 7:30 pace...which was fine. I knew the last 5k was going to be death and I didn't want to falter in the last couple miles. I kept the effort the same and let the pace fall. As I headed back out to the out and back, after getting slapped AGAIN by EuroStar, I hatched a plan to try and finish strong. The plan...don't do I mean, just keep the pace the same until the turnaround which was just under 5k back to the finish. At the turnaround there is an aid station and I decided this was a good time to grab a coke, walk five steps and get the whole thing down and head to the finish at a very slightly elevated pace.

It worked great and I felt good right up until I reached the beach path with the finish line in sight. Only about 3/4 mile to go but it was SO hard and SO stupid long that I seriously thought I wasn't going to make it. I was absolutely dieing at this point. Everything wanted to give out....but it didn't...held my shit together and finished strong escorted one more time by EuroStar through the finish and made my goal by a few seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...I think I paced this well to only really go into the hurt box in the last mile or so.
Post race
Warm down:

After the race, I walked around a bit and really the only thing that was really bugging me was my nice sun burn. I wasn't real hungry and I had the normal stiffness going on. Stopped and talked to a bunch of friends and congratulated everyone. I also saw Wattie sitting in the finish area and congratulated him on Heather's win. Then I found Karin just outside the finish area and we hung out for a while.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run fitness.

Event comments:

All in all this was a good race for me. Best I've done in a half and I finally feel like I can race this distance successfully. That's a huge confidence boost. Talking things over with my coach, he thinks I'll be much much faster by the end of the year. I would have to confidently agree with that. Next up is Wildflower and I'm excited to toe the line again. No Vegas slot obviously as I didn't even go to the awards for the roll down. This performance was not worthy of a Vegas slot and I don't want to earn it that way...I want to qualify straight up. Next shot for that will be Boise 70.3.

Now all the thanks. First, sponsors: Wattie Ink, K Swiss, Power Bar, blueseventy, Scott Bikes, Reynolds Wheels, Kask Helmets, ISM Saddles. Corporate Sponsors 101 Pipe & Casing / Kurt Orban Partners / Wins Wheels.

I'd like to say thank you to every single person who chanted/screamed/yelled my name and anything remotely encouraging on the run. It helped so much you have no idea (even fellow racers). All my teammates from Wattie Ink, CVMM, CV Tri, Tower 26, LA Tri etc're all great. Massi for making the run actually fun with his ridiculous EuroStar character.

My coach...ohhh my coach. How I drive Brian crazy with all my running BS he has to constantly work around. He has gotten me in the best shape I could possibly be for this race and has taught me so much. I'm looking forward to many more successful races and training blocks with him. (Brian Stover with Accelerate 3 for those that don't know)

Special thanks to Blair Ferguson at Ventura Training and Athletics for his continued body mechanics that keep me running.

And finally Karin my girlfriend. She is the best sherpa one could ask for. The best thing about Karin on race day is her practical mentality when it comes to race time decisions. I can always ask what she would do and I always get the best, most down to Earth, functional advice. It's just confidence boosting to know you have such a knowledgeable sounding board. Love you and thanks for everything you've done for me ;)

Oh, and Tyler and Maruoka for the room ;)

I know I'm leaving some things out and some people but this is the best I can do .....Love all you all!

Last updated: 2012-12-20 12:00 AM
00:24:48 | 2112 yards | 01m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/332
Overall: 87/3074
Performance: Good
Suit: blueseventy Helix
Course: Course is a very simple out and back rectangle. It's technically in the ocean but you really are swimming in the bay 90% of the time. Kind of like an ocean/lake swim as there really is nothing "ocean" about it.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:09
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:35:21 | 56 miles | 21.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 26/332
Overall: 0/3074
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Rolling hills with a little head wind about half way through.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:27
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:35:55 | 13.1 miles | 07m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 27/332
Overall: 0/3074
Performance: Average
Course: All up and around the pier in Oceanside. Super fun with lots of spectators.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5