Ironman 70.3 Vineman - Triathlon

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Windsor, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
90F / 32C
Total Time = 8h 02m 3s
Overall Rank = 2362/2527
Age Group = 25 - 29
Age Group Rank = 113/116
Pre-race routine:

My first Half Ironman!

My wife and I arrived to Windsor, CA, on Thursday at around 6pm. We hit a bump in the road and caught a flat tire on the ride up. Friday I checked in at around 10:30am and set up T2. The expo was nice with lots of vendors and giveaways. The volunteers were great and you could really feel the energy from the crowd.
Event warmup:

I was in the last wave that started at 8:36 - two hours later from the start of the event. So I woke up at 5:15am and made breakfast. I ate oatmeal and had some apple sauce. I also drank about 20oz of water. I made a peanut butter sandwich on this thin whole wheat bread in case I got hungry closer to race time.

We arrived to Guernaville at around 7:15am and parked about 1/2 to one mile away from T1 and the swim start. I set up my T1 and waited 45 minutes for my wave to begin. At this time, I ate half of my PB sandwich and then took a GU gel 15 minutes before getting in the water.

At about 10 minutes before my start time, I took a brief warm up swim.
  • 38m 15s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

Since we were the last wave, there was fun energy within our group since we were the "last ones" to start. One guy in particular was getting the wave motivated and saying some pretty funny stuff. My wife told me that this guy could be heard from the beach and the spectators got a good laugh out of it.

I started at the back of the wave. The first 200-300 meters were a bit crowded but it thinned out nicely. I didn't have much contact beyond this point. Only contact was when I passed a few folks.

The course is absolutely beautiful. I found myself admiring the redwoods and scenery and had to remind myself I was in a race. It was a really awesome course.

At the turnaround, this is when the water was extremely shallow. I didn't think it would be as shallow as it was so I had to stand up a few times which I am sure slowed me down.

The final stretch of the course was easy to navigate as I used the bridges as markers to let me know I was close to finish.
What would you do differently?:

I would push myself harder during the swim. I wanted to make sure I had good energy for the start of the bike and that wasn't an issue.

I would also start closer to the front of the pack. I passed a good amount of people since I started in the back.

Overall it was a good swim. I felt strong, wetsuit fit nicely, and the course was stunning.
Transition 1
  • 05m 29s

I jogged out of the water, popped up my goggles, and immediately started working my wetsuit down. I felt good once I got to my bike. Wetsuit came right off.

At check in, all athletes were given a bag for T1. We were supposed to put all of our gear in it after the swim so they could transport it to the school for retrieval after the race.

I couldn't find the bag! As I was putting my helmet, gloves, etc, I kept looking for the bag. I had to come to the conclusion that someone else used my bag in error. I flagged down a volunteer to let them know - of course 30 seconds later I found the bad which I kept under my ground towel. I apologized to the volunteer as I saw her running towards me with a garbage bag.

I unracked my bike and was on my way to the mount line. There is a healthy little hill at the mount line so I walked/ran my bike to the top and mounted there. I didn't see any other athletes mount at the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

I always ignore T1 and T2 articles that breakdown how to set them up, etc. Lesson learned. I know realize how important it is to run through your transition set ups before the race so my mistake won't happen again. Unfortunately I made another dumb mistake at T2.
  • 3h 39m 48s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.29 mile/hr

I am still relatively new to the triathlon and cycling scene. I wanted to make sure I didn't expend all my energy on the bike and leave nothing for the run.

At the start of the bike, the sun came out and the clouds cleared. The vast majority of the course is beautiful. The course takes you through endless wine vineyards. The course was either flat or rolling hills. Not many longer climbs other than chalk hill.

I didn't pass many people on the bike, but some passed me. They were basically the athletes in my swim wave that I beat out of the water and T1.

The first 18 miles went well. Unfortunately I left my bottle of gatorade at my condo so I only had a 1/2 bottle of water until the first aid station at mile 18. I picked up a bottle of powerbar perform. I drank that and took one GU gel until the next aid station at mile 29 or so. Although I wasn't biking extremely fast, I felt strong and fresh so I was happy.

At the mile 29 aid station, I picked up another powerbar perform. I drank about half of it and took another GU before the next aid station at the mile 40 aid station. At this aid station, I ditched the 1/2 bottle and picked up a new one.

Chalk hill was fun. I thought a lot about it in the days leading up to the race. I passed a few racers and then was met by a few people who were cheering us on. There were dressed up in costumes - pretty cool stuff.

I drank about 1/2 of the last bottle of perform. After chalk hill, I know I was getting close to town and T2. It took longer than expected - one of the benefits of having a bike computer or GPS to track my distance.

Once I got to the bike dismount, I felt strong and my legs felt great. I was ready for the run.
What would you do differently?:

This is where I think I lost the rest of my race. I took in a total of two bottles of perform and two GU gels. I completely bonked on the run and experienced the worst cramps and nausea in my life.

When I race again, I am going to make sure my race day nutrition is in check. I need to make my bike nutrition a priority. I underestimated the importance of this aspect. Lesson learned.
Transition 2
  • 08m 26s

When I set up T2 the day before, I didn't pay attention to the "bike in" and dismount area to know where I would run to my transition area. I got lost and couldn't find my age group rack. A volunteer helped me located it. I looped the entire bike rack section trying to find my area...annoying.

One I found my T2 station, I noticed that people were pretty sloppy in racking their bike. I really had no place to rack my bike so I had to move some bikes to get mine on there.

Once I racked my bike, I moved pretty quickly. I put on my sneakers and applied some sun screen. I stopped to use the restroom and was on my way.
What would you do differently?:

I need to improve my transition plan. I could have saved 5 minutes had I prepared better. Again, lesson learned.
  • 3h 30m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 16m 02s  min/mile

About a quarter mile out of T2 I started to cramp under my right rib cage. I tried to run it off, walk, rest, anything, but nothing worked. The heat started to intensify and the cramps started to occur when I was walking.

From miles 0-7 I tried so many times to get going but I just couldn't. I had never felt the cramps I was feeling. Nausea started to kick in as well. At each aid station I took in water - I couldn't even look at any of the GU, fruits, etc, they had available. All I wanted was water.

At mile 8 I knew I was toast. I felt so defeated as I didn't see this coming at all. I kept moving though as I wasn't going to let this get in the way of finishing.

I finally reached the finishers shoot and jogged it out to the finish line. I saw my wife waiting for me and cheering me on just before the finish line. I told her I was sorry for letting her down - that's how defeated I felt.

I felt excitement that I just finished my first 1/2 Ironman but I was so disappointed with myself that I couldn't run any of the run leg.
What would you do differently?:

I would improve and increase my nutrition intake during the bike. I think this really screwed up my run. I felt nausea throughout the run and into the evening. Not until I ate dinner did that go away. I had cramps in the same spot in my stomach/rib cage area for the next two days.

It was just a miserable "run" - I was expecting to finish the run in 2:10 to 2:20.
Post race
Warm down:

I laid down in the shade and took in water.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutrition, nutrition, and nutrition.

Event comments:

I've calculated that I took in about 550 calories on the bike when I think I should have been north of 1000. Nutrition was my demise during this race.

Although I failed big time on my run, I'm happy with my performance on the swim and bike. I'm hoping I've identified the areas where I need improvement to have a stronger run.

I learned a lot during this race. I'm more motivated than ever to hit the ground running and begin training for my next race.

Last updated: 2014-04-24 12:00 AM
00:38:15 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 66/116
Overall: 930/2527
Performance: Good
Suit: Yes - Xterra
Course: The course is in the Russian River and begins and ends at Johnson's Beach. The course is out and back and has some really shallow spots.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:29
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:39:48 | 56 miles | 15.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 102/116
Overall: 2064/2527
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: This was a rolling hill type course. Parts of the course had rough roads that needed some navigating. I think there about 2000 feet of climbing. At about mile 46 came "chalk hill" which was marketed as the tough hill on the course.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 08:26
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:30:05 | 13.1 miles | 16m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 113/116
Overall: 2362/2527
Performance: Bad
Course: This course was without shade and had some rolling hills. A part of the course takes you in La Crema wine vineyard which was really cool.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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