Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 7h 10m 41s
Overall Rank = 1903/2300
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 300/323
Pre-race routine:

Registered and dropped gear at T2 on Friday. Caught Amanda and Alex at T2. Most folks weren't setting up T2 (probably due to the wind), so Amanda and I followed the herd and tied our bags to the bike rack.

Set up and posted my first TNT blog entry. Started getting the facebook love almost immediately. Curing cancer and getting fit at the same time:

Coach Kristy and I had been talking ride nutrition recently. She kindly smuggled a bag of white powder on the plane for me. We caught each other outside registration, and she passed along the Infinit Nutrition contraband. Rumor has it that Jen was hiding inside registration at the time; I think she may be a ninja.

The water was reported to be mid-50s, so I decided to pick up some Ironbooties. Last week at Wildflower, I still couldn't feel my feet at mile 15 of the bike. I had to stop to warm them up; I was afraid they might fall off. And I didn't want that to happen again.

I nearly drove Heather to La Jolla for a surprise, but alas, exhaustion got the better of us. Instead, I had some chicken alfredo for lunch, which hit the spot.

Back to the hotel to prep morning gear and T1. We had reservations at a nice restaurant, but were both too tired. We opted for pizza for dinner.

Up at 4:30 on race day. The Phillips goLite is amazing at helping with the early morning bleariness. I showered, packed the car, and ate 3/4 of a protein bar with coffee & hot chocolate on the way to T1.

Heather dropped me off about a mile from T1, and I rode through the sea of athletes in the dark. I was very early, so I took my time to set up T1 and take photos with Amanda, Sandy, Steve, Joe, and Caroline. Alex, my folks, and Heather provided a kind peanut gallery about the speed of my setup. Little did they know how transitions would go.

Event warmup:

Not much, need to work on this. Rode ~1 mile into T1 and set up transition. Does putting on my wetsuit count?
  • 37m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

I timed my restroom visit perfectly, and had time to wrestle on my wetsuit. Last week I put a hole in my rental suit, and Sports Basement's amazing customer service came through. I was on the line between Medium and Medium-Large last time, so I downsized to Medium. Which meant that putting on my suit was a challenge. Body glide in the prime spots (should have put on triple on neck), then tri-slide spray everywhere. The legs fit perfect, and the body was snug. My arms, however, were a touch too big. I had to resort to turning them inside out, and rolling them back on inch-by-inch. Successful, but it took forever.

My rack was near the front of T1. The swim and bike entries were next to each other at the front of T1. So the organizers decided to route the swim out the back of T1 and around. Added an annoying 1/4 mile of walking/running.

Lined up with the Yellow caps, and hopped around to warm up. Earplugs, thick cap, goggles, thin cap, and done. This being my first race, the lineup confused me a little. They held us back at the boat ramp, and had us get in the water together. I started my watch to swim, then they stopped us 50 yards later at the real start line. When I stopped and cleared my watch, I must have switched it from Multi-sport to Swim, so when I hit the lap button in T1 it didn't switch me to Transition to Ride. Duh, check your gear.

Last week at Wildflower, I swam 42:30 for 1.2 miles. Hoping to match that with all the traffic and chop.

The swim was great. There was a bit of traffic at the start and had my feet grabbed a couple times, but I never felt that I was in danger of getting kicked in the face, and no one swam over me. Sighting on the first half was great. I passed each buoy by 4-5 feet, and held a pretty straight line between each. For most of the race, I had someone right in front of me to draft. I learned quickly to check cap color. Yellow = my group = draft. Purple = the group after me = fast swimmer = draft. Silver = the group before me = slow swimmer = don't draft. It only takes getting kicked in the hand once to learn not to draft too close.

After the turn, I checked my watch: 20:10! Ahead of pace and feeling good. I thought a bit about whether I was burning energy swimming too fast, decided I was ok, and kept swimming. Around there, I started to feel a wetsuit hickey forming on the back of my neck. I spent the rest of the swim rocking from side to side so I didn't have to turn my head to breathe.

I had some trouble sighting on the way back, so zig-zagged my way towards the finish. At the next to last buoy, I saw that most people were heading straight and then making a sharp right turn to exit. I cut that corner and swam into the arms of a volunteer who kindly pulled me out of the water.

37:39! A negative split and 5 minutes faster than target.
What would you do differently?:

Try gear before using in big races. Wetsuit and booties were new.
Tripple Body Glide on neck. Hickies hurt.
Check watch to ensure Auto Multisport is selected before starting swim.
Transition 1
  • 14m 42s

I had tried to participate in Kaiser's temperature study, and couldn't get an initial temperature reading. They stopped me anyway on the way out of the water, and I lost a good 60 seconds while the realized that it wasn't working.

On the run around T1, saw Dad and others (yay for supporters!), smiled for photos and stripped of my cap.

Got to my bike and realized that I hadn't set up well. Had stuff on top of my towel that I had to move, and then found that my towel was full of sand. Shook it out, took my time chatting with my family (+/- of having a rack near the edge), and changed to my bike gear. Apparently, I also took a nap that I don't remember.
What would you do differently?:

Set up T1 in proper order.
Have a separate transition mat to stand on.
Have warm water handy in case water's cold enough to freeze feet.
Coppertone super sport sunscreen worked great
  • 3h 27m 32s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.19 mile/hr

Rode a pretty good ride. I wish I'd taken the hills a little more seriously and taken the first half a little easier.

This week, I added 2 extra bottle holders behind my seat. I cut Coach Kristy's infinite with some Gatorade to add sweetness and filled 2 bottles. I carried a 3rd bottle of water, and left the 4th holder free. I carried 3 more bottles worth of Infinite/Gatorade mix with a plan to drink 1 per hour.

The first 25 miles flew by. Basically flat with a light tail wind. Then we hit the hill. Steeper than most of Diablo, a good number of people got off and walked. It sucked, but I stayed on my bike.

At the mile 30 water stop, before 2 hours, I'd already finished both bottles. I grabbed one bottle of water, put it in my empty cage, grabbed another bottle, and pulled over to refill with nutrition. I had to stop to refill, but my back appreciated the stretch, and I don't think I cost myself much time.

Other than the steepest of the hills, I did a pretty good job of maintaining a 90 cadence and heart rate between 150 and 160. My back hurt a little through the second half, but not enough to trouble my run.

I consumed about 100 calories more than planed, but it seemed to work out fine.
What would you do differently?:

More hill work
More core work
Add aero bars
Get a new bike
On a warmer ride, I might want more electrolytes
Transition 2
  • 11m 2s

I'd tied my run bag to the rack on Friday, which was a bad idea. It took forever to untie and set out my gear. I drank a bit, toweled off, sunscreened, changed, and grabbed my HRM from my bike. It was great to see my folks again. Apparently, I also took another nap.
What would you do differently?:

Set out run gear in proper order.
Speed TFU.
golf chair to facilitate foot care.
put proper sunscreen in run bag. Coppertone super sport sunscreen is great.
  • 2h 39m 46s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 12s  min/mile

The course seemed pretty easy. Set the HRM for 3:30 run/1:00 walk. At the hills and water stops, I walked. On the easy downhills or after the water stops, I ran past the 3:30, then got back on the pace at the next beep. My longest run segment was ~6 min.

The loopiness of the course worked great. I got to see my folks and Heather 5x, coaches/mentors 4x, and TNT athletes as we passed each other. The spectators along the course were AWESOME, chatting and partying. Each time I passed someone I knew (or someone wearing TNT purple), I picked up my spirits and pace. Amanda, Joe, Jeff, Caroline, Steve, Sandy, and Margaret were great inspirations. Jen was a ninja, but I felt her smiling spirit.

My knee was a worry, but held up with the run/walk timing. Around mile 9, my right leg started to tighten, but 2 stops to stretch loosened it up fine.

I planned to play nutrition by ear. The liquid worked so well on the bike that I tried to keep it up on the run. I had shot blocks, and started by eating one during a 1:00 walk between water stops. At the water stops, I drank water, gatorade, and got sponges/ice for under my hat. At one point, i made the mistake of eating a bonk breaker bar; bad idea. After that, only liquid for me.

I probably overdid it with sponges/ice/water on my body. But it kept me cool, and I avoided chafing. On the last lap, the kind lady with the hose overdid it a bit, and my shoes got wet. I did what I could to brush the extra water off, and on the next downhill rang out my shirt (probably a liter of water).

At the start of the 2nd loop, I passed Sandy and Steve, who were starting their first. 3 miles later, at the turnaround, Sandy caught me. She was looking a little bummed, and was running like a maniac. She was worried about not making the cutoff; I was pretty sure that she was fine, but my exercise-addled brain couldn't do the math to prove it. I tagged along with her past 2 walk segments and tried to keep her spirits up (and speed down to something manageable). At the first real hill, she left me in her dust.

I walked a good bit to recover, then resumed a run/walk. The finish came much faster than I expected. I picked up the pace with 100m to go and finished strong, slapping hands and smiling.
What would you do differently?:

Don't get shoes wet.
only liquid/shot blocks for nutrition.
Coppertone super sport sunscreen
Post race
Warm down:

Finishing medal and hat. High fives, hugs for family. Smiles and photos. Space blanket for warmth (I was soaking wet). Pizza and cola to refuel.

I stretched a little, and skipped the massage.

Grabbed my bike and walked to the car to change. Back to athlete village and tried the compression pillow thing, which felt amazing.

I need to figure out a formal warm-down routine.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

sunscreen at T2
right leg
core training

Event comments:

Way stoked at my result. I was worried about finishing within 8:30, so crushed my time. Getting excited for Tahoe.

I was a little disappointed with the swag (shirt, hat, bag) compared to that I've seen at other races.

The run could have used one more water stop at the far end.

Overall, the support was amazing. I loved seeing my family and Ironteam coaches & friends along the way. And when I finished I realized that Heather had been posting as me to facebook all day, so I got to feel the immediate love from around the world.

I'm also happy that I finally got my fundraising up and running. Adventures & curing cancer, a great mix:

Last updated: 2013-03-31 12:00 AM
00:37:39 | 2112 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 216/323
Overall: 1401/2300
Performance: Good
Suit: yes
Course: Out and back course in the Oceanside Harbour. Keeping buoys on the left swimming in a counter clockwise direction.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 14:42
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:27:32 | 56 miles | 16.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 294/323
Overall: 1833/2300
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Rolling course with a few steep grades.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 11:02
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Bad
02:39:46 | 13.1 miles | 12m 12s  min/mile
Age Group: 300/323
Overall: 1903/2300
Performance: Good
Course: Along the Oceanside coast on the pier. A few pretty short, steep grades. Along the pier is great for spectators: right near finish, and gives opportunity to see athletes 4x on out and back loop. One issue: there are no effing mile markers. GPS did fine, but visual aids are strongly appreciated.
Keeping cool Good 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? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 4