Ironman 70.3 Vineman - Triathlon

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Windsor, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
70F / 21C
Total Time = 4h 33m 20s
Overall Rank = 61/2170
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 4/256
Pre-race routine:

Coming off a horrible run at Chicago ITU just a couple weeks before this race, I didn't really have high hopes of performing well. I also took the weekend before completely off from training and headed to Vegas with some friends. Coming into this race I was clearly in a "whatever the day brings" mode. I did, however, prepare FAR better the couple days leading into the race unlike Chicago.... which was a completely predictable performance given how much I was on my feet the 24 hours prior to the race. For this race, Karin and I really did a great job the two days prior of basically only being on our feet to get our couple short, tune up workouts in.

We traveled up to Windsor on Friday and had a wonderful dinner in Yountville at Bottega. Saturday was just much lying around, a quick few minutes at the expo to watch the safety movie and pick up our packets and right back down on the bed at the hotel watching really bad movies. We did get out to ride our bikes to make sure everything worked. Which, of course, it didn't. As has been the trend this year BOTH our power meters decided to stop We've almost become immune to this by now. Doesn't really matter for Karin and I for racing since we can ride whatever wattage we want basically blindfolded. It does matter for post race analysis which I'll m talk about later. Got to bed early and slept very well.
Event warmup:

Karin's wave was one of the first and exactly 30 minutes ahead of mine. We were kidding that I *may catch her by the end if the planets aligned. We got down to the start with plenty of time to get her settled and off and then I returned to my bike to get unpacked and situated. Spoke to some friends, hit a porta potty, watched some pros take off and then headed down to the river. I spent the few minutes between waves getting in about a 5 minute warm up.
  • 27m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 19s / 100 yards

I started dead center in the second wave of m35-39. I always hate it when our wave is broken up but at least I was in the second wave. For some reason it's a little easier to tell where you stand from behind than starting ahead. Plus, it's psychologically better to be 6 minutes up when you see someone rather than 6 minutes down.

Horn went and of course I did my normal cheater move of 5-4-3(start swimming) 2-1....HAHA! I started off SUPER easy as it is now my normal MO to just swim hard enough and that's it. I actually like using the first few minutes of the race to warm up. As an age grouper, I think pace is far more important than "racing" the person next to you because you never know how good, stupid, fast, slow the person is. They could just be some super swimmer but suck at bike and run in which case it makes no sense to go after them. In the pros, you know who everyone is and you know that if someone takes off, it might be the last time you see them. So I'm of the opinion that in the swim, you train it super hard so come race day, you can swim easy and still come out of the water absolutely fresh and with a solid time.

Immediately I had a couple body lengths on all the folks to my right but one dude decided he was going to camp out on my left He was there all the way to the turn around and swimming next to me super clean. I mean, I think we touched once which is awesome. We got to the turn around and you can actually stand up and walk around the turn around buoy. I always use this as a break. Almost like doing two 1000 yard intervals rather than a straight swim. So there I was walking along side my new buddy who decided to keep swimming. But we were going the exact same was so funny. I actually stopped for a second to allow him to get ahead just after we turned around because I knew he was swimming the exact same speed. Then I hopped on his feet and let him drag me all the way back. After being upright and letting my arms chill for 30 seconds and then jumping back on his feet, the return trip was SO easy. I felt so good coming out of the water and with a very respectable 27:39....which is just fine. I was 2nd in my wave and 6th in AG
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...swim went great
Transition 1
  • 02m 6s

T2 is always annoying when you have to stuff your wetsuit into a bag. For some reason this always throws me off. I did decide to put my bike in granny gear and ride up the small driveway hill....good choice as long as you can get going. I passed a lot of people on the way up.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 2h 26m 5s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.00 mile/hr

I love the start of the Vineman bike because it is super flat and always overcast. It's such a great 10 minutes of riding to get warmed up and ready to go without really losing too much time. You can get up to speed and just spin for a bit and let your body know to get ready to work. I immediately felt very comfy on my bike and thought this might be a good ride.

I was passed on the flat road out by just one guy and he kind of hung out in front of me for a bit. Meaning, he didn't just pull away. I caught and passed him back just before you head under the road and up the very short but steep climb that leads to the rollers and the road North. He BLEW by me on the steep climb and I was like "woah!"..."look at him go!" .....but then, of course, he sits up at the top and I ride right by him as I stay on the gas and never see him again. Great strategy!

After a few of the rollers I was really surprised how well I was carrying speed. I didn't have my PM but it didn't matter because I never look at it on sections like this. I find that my cycling fitness is solid enough to allow me some freedom to push over rollers with some power. Just gotta keep from going crazy, which I do. Sometimes to a fault. Anyway, things were going great. My legs warmed up nicely and I was feeling zero fatigue. I just kept saying to myself, "just deliver yourself to the half mary in good shape, that's all you care about." I really have come to realize that these races are just a swim and bike to a half mary. Meaning, you really aren't "racing" the swim and bike but just transporting yourself as fast as you can to the start of the run. I know this isn't reality but it helps me keep perspective on the race while I'm in it. Any little bit of psychological help, does in fact help. It also keeps my effort down to help me deliver myself to my worst leg....the run.

The ride was super uneventful and I knew I was on track for a solid time. I barely noticed Chalk Hill till I was just about at the top. Came down fast and furious through town. I was only passed by one rider the whole bike. Which is always a good sign. I actually picked up a spot on the bike and got off just a couple seconds over 2:26 in 5th place. Which I didn't know at the time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Nutrition went great and I believe my power was right on track. If I had to guess, right around 220-225 watts. I do wish I had my PM to see how well I rode. That's one thing about PM's for the allows you to understand whether your ride was a break through performance or a product of the conditions.
Transition 2
  • 02m 44s

I did get stuck right off the bike by the slowest group running through transition. I took my time though and didn't yell at anyone. I try and be very diligent in T2 and make sure my socks are on right. Too tight and it could cause major problems later.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 34m 46s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 14s  min/mile

You never REALLY know how you're going to feel coming off the bike. It's always a bit of a mystery until you get going. Well, coming out of T2, I felt great. My mantra for the run was, "just head out like it's an everyday 50 minute run. Nice 7:20-7:30 pace and just cruise it like you know you can." Well, I kept my turnover quick and went through the first marker at 6:50...woah, this feels easy but I know soon enough, it's not going to so I better slow just a bit. I say the first marker because my Garmin was just a bit behind and read like 7:05 but after the first mile it stayed consistent which meant it would beep a few yards beyond the marker. Which was fine. So I kept it in the 7:15 range for the first 5k or so.

Right at 5K, I was passed by three guys. Two clearly had 35 and 36 on their legs and one was unmarked but I was sure he was in my AG. They sorta cruised by me and that's when I really figured I was doing well and I better give this a go. I picked up the pace just enough to make sure those guys couldn't put six minutes on me because that was my lead at the point they passed me ( they started in the first wave although one of the guys was an unknown.) I still felt really good running really low 7's and even snuck a sub 7 in there along the way.....but it was paying off and I was hanging close. At this rate, no way they would get 6 minutes on me. As a couple miles passed, the group of three broke up and I was reeling in the unknown guy and eventually passed him convincingly. He was fading. I then caught one of the other guys and passed him too. Cool. This could be good.

Right when I entered the vineyard, which is the halfway mark, the same damn thing happened AGAIN. Two guys ran by, both with 35's on their legs and this time with 6 miles to go. Well, one of them was hauling ass! I mean, really running well. The other was not too fast and I thought I could keep him in sight. I started looking at my watch and doing some math to figure out how fast they were pulling away and if they could make up 6 minutes by the finish. It was kind of nice because I was keeping my mind occupied.

I figured it would be close. I got to the turn around at mile 8 and things started to get tough. I was kind of going in and out of feeling good and feeling fatigued. But the pace was hanging in there fairly consistent. Towards mile 10, that's when I really started to hurt. Pace fell slightly over the last 5k to mid 7:20's but I was able to hang strong and finish 4th. Looking at the result, the 3 guys who were ahead of me were ahead from the start of the run, so I did hold off all the jerks that passed me. (I'm sure they are great guys but on the course, when they pass me, I hate them). Super stoked on my fastest HIM half mary to date by far of 1:34:46. I still have a LONG way to go but I'm confident that with 2-3 years of consistent training, I'll be able to get down into the high 1:20's on the run and maybe be a threat for a top 3 or a win at a big 70.3.

Oh wait, so the best part of the run. The final two miles....why? Because I got to see Karin's race completely unfold right in front of me. As I was coming up on mile 11 I noticed Cortney, our friend and Karin's fellow competitor, just ahead. I had seen Karin at the turn around a while ago and she said 4-5 were right behind her. Cortney was in 5th at that time and some other girl in 4th. I was catching Cortney right up until the last aid station when I think she started to smell blood. We both could see Karin up the road and Cortney picked it up just a bit (I definitely could have been fading just a bit but let's just say she picked it up). At this point, I didn't know what I could do. I did think that maybe I could grab Cortney and throw her into the bushes....but I couldn't catch her, so that was out. After a little bit, I decided there was nothing I could do and I was just going to have to watch Karin get mowed down. It's like driving along and seeing a bunny rabbit start to cross the street KNOWING the thing is about to get crushed by a bus and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. So Cortney made the pass and then the other girl wasn't far behind....then I came up. Karin was running SO well that it took me a while to pass. We ended up crossing the finish just a few steps apart which was so awesome.

and NO I didn't wait for her to cross so we could be all lame and cross together holding hands. We're not that cute.
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing. I had a great run
Post race
Warm down:

No warm down.

Event comments:

So there you have it. A race I barely cared about lead to my first AG award at a WTC 70.3 and just off the podium. Also a 7 minute PR at the distance which I don't put a lot of stock into because triathlon times are such a product of the course and conditions. I look more towards times and placing over several events as a truer indicator of your ability. We had the MOST epic conditions I have ever raced in. It really set up for some fast times. I do feel for the folks out on course after Noon as the temp literally skyrocketed in a 30 minute period to mid 90's. They had it rough.

Gotta thank Wattie Ink and all our great sponsors. Herbalife24, Reynolds Cycling, ISM, blueseventy, Spidertech, Power Bar, TBT, Rudy Project, Speedfil, Hypoxico, and of course 10 Barrel Brewing Co

Corporate Sposnors, Kurt Orban Partners and 101 Pipe and Casing, Inc

Bike shop sponsor, Wins Wheels.

Thanks to Brian Stover of Accelerate3 for these last few years of guidance as my coach. Also thanks to Nancy Reno at CVMM and Gerry Rodrigues at T26 for their swim coaching.

Thanks to Blair Fergusen at VTA for keeping my body in shape.

Thanks to Karin for being the best girlfriend ever.

And special thanks to the great photographers on course for the wonderful photos. Thanks to Aaron Dewald for the great artwork on the photos.

After the race we got to hang out with Rachel McBride for some great beer and pizza along with an amazing brownie/ice cream dessert! Good times. She finished 3rd in an amazing field which was VERY impressive.

Next up is AG Nationals which is really my A race for the year. I really wanna try and make the National team with a top 18 performance. I'll be ready to go!

Last updated: 2014-07-15 12:00 AM
00:27:39 | 2112 yards | 01m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 6/256
Overall: 0/2170
Suit: blueseventy Wattie Ink helix
Course: Out and back on the river
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: 02:06
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:26:05 | 56 miles | 23.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/256
Overall: 0/2170
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Vineman is a beautiful rolling course through Sonoma County
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:34:46 | 13.1 miles | 07m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 15/256
Overall: 0/2170
Performance: Good
Course: Rolling course through the Vineyards.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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