Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 37m 41s
Overall Rank = 646/2420
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 44/180
Pre-race routine:

My obsession for the past few months has been to have a great run, and move up 10% or 20% over last year's finish 44% back in the ag. Done! I didn't have my dream run, but I'm content, and know I'll be *really* fast next year.

I've met my goals to get faster, and I can't complain. I'm in the best shape ever, and have been running pr's in races through the fall and winter.

I've dropped about 20 minutes per year, and since the swim course was about 5 minutes short last year, I was probably 23 minutes faster in 2014. I went fro 41% back in the ag at 5:55 last year to 25% back at 5:37 this year. Since I nearly died in my 2011 bike crash, I couldn't feel better than to be in such great shape!


I got up in Oceanside at 4, rolled to the parking garage, ate some fig bars and drank a mocha. I rolled to T2 to set up my run gear, then to the harbor to take care of everything else.
Event warmup:

"Warm up" was just staying warm, like the other two I've done here.
  • 40m 58s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

It was a comfortable swim, with nice water that seemed a lot less gross than last year. It was crowded, and I was with other yellow caps the whole way. I lined up inside, left, next to the buoys to see the crowd since I breathe right, then swam "tangents" to the far right after turning back down the harbor.

My sighting was fine, and since I was in a pack, drafted most of the way. There was more contact than last year for me, but nothing bothersome. I was at the inside at the turn buoys, and was happy with my lines. As a non-swimmer, I was happy with things, and spent the whole time thinking about kicking ass once I got on my feet.
Transition 1
  • 03m 55s

I don't have the numbers for just T1, but my total transitions kicked ass and I was 9th in the AG. It was all about run training, and I flew like a deer once the volunteer unzipped me, passing the long stream of people recovering from the water.

I helped a guy on my rack who was stuck in his wetsuit, but it took zero time and effort since I felt good. I went with the plan to wipe my feet with a towel, put on socks and plastic bags, then stashed the gear in the swim bag. I unracked and took off to a thwap, thwap, thwap sound since I forgot my number belt hanging from the bars. That took just a second to fix.

I was racked near the entrance to T1, and ran hard, passing like crazy to Bike Out. I made a point of shooting through a gap of mounting cyclists, and did my usual flying mount about 20 feet past the crowd.
What would you do differently?:

It would be hard to shave time with this, but someday I might start getting into my shoes on the bike.
  • 3h 02m 5s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.45 mile/hr

As a veteran cyclist, I put zero mental energy into training for the Oceanside bike leg, and in the race only made a point of keeping my pace up early-on with the goal of still running well. It was a big advantage to know the course, and that helped me go 1/2 mph faster than last time. I was at an average of 19.5 mph when I got to the base of the first (steep) hill, and got back most of that after the climbs.

I had more than enough fuel, and just the right amount of Gatorade in the two bottles. I packed enough 100 cal fig bars in the bento box for one every 5 miles, but had three left over for the run, and I didn't need those.

I didn't see anyone walking up the first hill this time, probably because I was there in an earlier wave, and a few minutes faster on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

For next year, I'll actually put more priority on bike training, and do another 1/2 mph. It was nice to keep track of my average this year; next year, I'll hit the first hill with a 20 mph average, knowing that I'll be at about 19 at T2. Fingers crossed about the headwinds ;)
Transition 2
  • 01m 14s

Like lightening. I was fast running through T2, and fast swapping shoes. I grabbed a couple of gels.
What would you do differently?:

I was in socks from the bike, but next time I'll take them off, since they became full of water and felt super heavy.
  • 1h 49m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 22s  min/mile

It was a solid run, but my last HM (my first one ever) spoiled me, and I was bummed that I wasn't flying the entire time. The first 10k was about right at a 7:49 pace, and I went about 8:52 for the second half.

My only major goal this time was to have a great run, and I'm satisfied now, but was *really* frustrated when I was at a 9:00 pace that I wasn't sub-8, and knowing that I was losing 5 or 10 minutes over my dream run. The WTC splits tell the story, I was about 73rd in the ag off the bike, flew by about 25 people in the first 7 miles, and stayed about where I finished in the ag for the final 6 miles. It was *a lot* of fun to keep passing people on the first loop, and a lot less fun when that stopped ;)

There were a bunch of people just in front of me, and a slightly better run next year would move my run split up to about 12th in the ag.

This was a nice pay-off, and is excellent experience. Last year, I was barely a runner, and tickled to run a 9:30 pace the second time ever I'd run 13 miles in one day. Last year, it became obvious that I could make the most time on the run, so in September, I started running diligently, running every day for over 6 months, with average volume of 135 miles per month. I'm a cyclist, but my friends now make me admit that I'm a runner ;)

Since this was my first ever HIM as a "runner," I learned a lot, and I know that a few easy tweaks will take a lot of time off my split next year. Having said that, this run was *hard work* and the next time I put in this much effort, I'm going to make certain I shave off at least 7 minutes.

What would you do differently?:

No socks! From dumping water on myself at every chance to stay cool, my feet felt like bricks. Also, I'm making a bee line to the cold sponges at every aid station next time.
Post race
Warm down:

The usual "warm-down," for a tri, snacking and drinking. I *loved* the chocolate milk, but the food station was about the worst ever, with a huge, slow line to get soft tacos, one of which must have had chunks of shredded rubber. Bring back the pizza!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Two things were limits for me this time, bike training and run experience. This next year, I'll up my bike miles and intensity, and dial-in my run training.


Here's how I finished in the ag splits:
swim - 51.6%
bike - 38.9%
run - 13.9%
transitions (both) - 5%

Tips for next year: take electrolytes before the swim since I cramped in the harbor and after the race. Cover the shoulders after the swim or bring sunscreen on the bike. Train to run even or reverse splits since I gave up 7 minutes the second 6 miles.

The goal for next year is to have an even better run of 1:45 or better. A 1:45 would be in the top 15 of the ag, a 1:40 in the top 8 or 10.

Event comments:

This is a wonderful race, and WTC does an excellent job organizing volunteers. It's a quality event, I love it, and it's become my main race of the year.

Last updated: 2013-07-30 12:00 AM
00:40:58 | 2112 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 93/180
Overall: 1275/2420
Performance: Average
Suit: 19
Course: Out and back in the harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:55
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:02:05 | 56 miles | 18.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 70/180
Overall: 0/2420
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: The clockwise loop through Camp Pendleton.
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:14
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:49:29 | 13.1 miles | 08m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/180
Overall: 0/2420
Course: The two loops parallel to the beach.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4