Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside - Triathlon

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 5h 12m 1s
Overall Rank = 328/2200
Age Group = W30–34
Age Group Rank = 4/110
Pre-race routine:

Second time at Oceanside. It was going to be an interesting race. My training felt a little atypical. I’d summarize it as – training for cycling races (crits, road races, circuit races) combined with marathon training (for Boston). So I hadn’t exactly been doing any focused tri training. In fact, I had only done three rides longer than 40 miles on my tri bike in the previous few months. All of my other riding was done on my road bike. But I felt strong. I was building on a great year of training in 2015 and I felt like my training so far in 2016 was just what I needed.

Legs were feeling a little sluggish on Friday, but I was hoping by race day, that would all be shaken out. Checked in on Friday. Unlike most races, Chris and I kept the pre-race experience pretty short. After dropping off my bike, we headed down to Chula Vista. Had a nice evening with Dad and Dulce. Some pasta dinner and then went to bed at 9pm. Slept on and off for the first hour or two, but then was able to sleep straight until the alarm went off at 3:40am.

Breakfast was a multigrain bagel with some peanut butter. Chris drove us up to Oceanside. Parking was well organized and easy…and we got there just in time to catch a shuttle to transition.

Event warmup:

Once I got in transition, I did my usual set up. I had a pretty good spot. It was right off the main thoroughfare! Like last year I brought my own pump. Unlike most races, I decided to lube my chain again on race morning. Had a banana with about an hour until start time. Then, while Chris waited in line for coffee, I went for a short warm-up run. Legs were feeling okay. Not fresh and great, but not bad either. Once I was done, I went back into transition to grab everything I needed for the swim and did a last check on my transition area.

As I lined up with my start wave, I noticed that my swim cap was yellow…and everyone else’s was fluorescent yellow. Oh well. We shuffled through the swim-in chute and, once directed, headed into the water. Thankfully the water temp was warmer than the air temp. :)

  • 33m 34s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards

I lined up in the second row of girls. Once the gun went off, it was madness. Craziest swim start I’ve experienced. Girls were elbowing left and right. Not sure if it was all intentional or if it was just a result of us being crammed like sardines in a can. I imagine if I hadn’t been a decent swimmer who was comfortable in rough waters, I would’ve panicked. Thankfully a few elbows and gulps of sea water weren’t going to slow me down. On the way out, I found some feet. She was a strong kicker, but I realized she wasn’t necessarily going faster than I could go. So I dropped the draft and headed out on my own. Ended up being a good decision, as I passed her without too much trouble. Upper section of my left quad felt a little tight as I was kicking…and I was hoping it wasn’t going to affect me on the bike or run. Once we were at the apex of the swim course, the waters started getting rougher as the area wasn’t protected by the breakwall. Sighting the second half of the swim was a bit tougher, since we were swimming directly into the sun. Based on my times, it seemed like the current was pulling us away, as it was just a tad slower. As I was swimming back into the boat launch, I could see and hear the spectators…and was able to hear and catch sight of Chris. :) Once I got to the boat launch, I stood up and started running back into transition.

This was my first HIM where I decided to swim with my Castelli T1 Stealth top. I tried it at Desert Tri and it worked well there…and worked equally well here. Didn’t constrict my swim at all (I swam with it half zipped) and saved myself the time of having to put it on in T1.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe could’ve pushed a little bit more, but in the end, I can’t complain. Only 20 seconds slower than last year…on a lot less swim training
Transition 1
  • 04m 23s

Once in transition, I threw everything on, grabbed my bike and was off!

What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 45m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.27 mile/hr

From last year’s ride, I knew the first 10 or so miles were going to be full of other riders…and I was going to be doing a lot of passing. I ended up coming upon two other girls in my age group. Can’t remember if I was passing them or they were passing me. The three of us yo-yoed back and forth for a little while (all legally, of course!). Until there was only two of us. I was also yo-yoing with some male age groupers. Every time I would pass them, they would then pick up their pace and pass me. Once they were in front, they seemed to slow back down so I would have to re-pass them again. Guess they don’t like being passed by a girl? The first 20 or so miles, there was a course marshall who was monitoring the action around my area. I think he may have penalized one rider, but otherwise just gave warnings. There wasn’t a lot of obvious drafting. I think it was just a little inevitable given how many athletes were on the course. In fact, it often felt like there were two lines of riders. The slower ones on the right and the ones who were continually passing on the left.

I tried maintaining my target power and checking it against my HR, but I wasn’t keeping an eagle eye on all of it. Went off of a combination of target power and RPE. During the middle section in Camp Pendleton, a few girls in my age group passed me. I could tell they were stronger so there was no point in killing myself trying to stick with them.

I remembered the first hill from last year, but somehow forgot the next two…which made them a bit of a surprise. Thankfully with all of the cycling I’ve been doing on my road bike, I was well prepared for the climbing.

Once I made it to the flat section back into Oceanside, I was glad that the headwind wasn’t too intense. I tried maintaining power and focusing on that to help make up some time. Was able to settle in and hammer. Passed a few male athletes here. :)

During the whole bike, I only had power, time and HR on screen (except during the 25mph, no-pass zone, where I changed screens to include speed). I knew my time was a little faster than last year, but I didn’t know by how much…a lot or was it just a little? Either way, it didn’t matter. I was actually feeling pretty good, but a little sad to be getting off the bike (I was enjoying the ride!).

4 scoops of Perpetuem Cafe Latte in my aero bottle; large sip every 20ish minutes
Water every 10ish minutes
1 Vanilla Honey Stinger Waffle; spaced out between 2:00 and 2:30
1 Cherry Pie Larabar; half at 1:00, second half at about 1:45
2 salt tabs; one at 1:30, the other at 2:30

I drank most of the Perpetuem in the first 2/3 of the bike and had more solid food toward the end. Usually during the run, I can hear a liquid-y jostling in my stomach. Not this time. Not sure if the way I had the nutrition on the bike helped, but maybe having the liquid more toward the beginning of the bike leg gave me more time to digest it?

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, as my wattage was as planned...but next time I might try a higher IF.
Transition 2
  • 03m 31s

Had to pee ever since the swim really, but knew that I was trying to have a fast race and was willing to take some risks. One of the risk was to skip my typical T2 port-a-potty stop. Once at my transition spot, I grabbed and threw on all my run gear and headed out.

What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 44m 48s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m  min/mile

I was somewhat dreading this part of the race. I knew it was going to be painful…and I knew I was going to have to dig. The run is NEVER easy.

Things didn’t start off too well. A few steps out of transition, my GUs fell out of my back pocket. Thankfully a spectator yelled at me and I ran back to pick them up.

Plan was to start at about a 8:00/mile pace…and pick it up from there. As usual, my first mile was a tad faster than goal pace. I actually felt pretty good the first half of the run. I think the marathon training has helped me with my longer distance endurance. In fact, I ended up running sub 8’s for the first half. And then, as I typically do, I slowed down a little. The good news was I didn’t slow down by too much.

Each time Chris saw me, he tried giving me updates…which was always, you’re in 6th place and there are a few girls just ahead of you. Oh boy, means I wasn’t going to be able to give in. I was going to keep at it to at least try to get to the podium (top-5). Not sure exactly where I stood, but I remembered a few girls who passed me on the bike…and I still hadn’t seen them on the run. I finally passed one girl in my age group at about the halfway point. I passed another girl shortly thereafter. At least I thought they were in my age group.

There were so many times I wanted to walk, but I kept running. I did walk through some of the aid stations, but only to make sure I downed some water/gatorade. Otherwise, there was only one time (one hill) that I momentarily made the decision to walk. As soon as I did, though, I immediately guilted myself into running again. I knew my pace was slowing a bit. I was now at about 8:10s or 8:15s…but I knew I could hold it. With just a mile to go, I picked up the pace.

Finally, I could see the finish line! PR-ed by a minute and beat my time here at Oceanside last year by 11 minutes. I was very happy with the results. I put in my best HIM run by about 5 minutes. Didn’t know if I made the podium (something I was kind of aiming for), but I knew I’d given a really great effort.

Base salt every mile
Three GUs (2, 6, 10.5)
Gatorade every non-GU mile

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Chris met me at the finish and congratulated me. We continually refreshed the Ironman Live results…until it said that I had come in 4th…4th?!!! Seriously?? I was elated!!

Bad news (if you could call it that) was we were going to have to stick around until 4pm for the awards ceremony. I wasn’t complaining. Now the only question was if I was going to be going to Australia for the WCs (another thing I was kind of aiming for). They ended up having two slots for my age group. First place finisher already earned a slot and second place didn’t stick around for the roll down ceremony. So…I guess we’re headed to Australia in September!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Compared to last year, my transitions were one minute faster, bike was six minutes faster and run was four minutes faster. Maybe could've pushed a bit more...but overall I'm very happy with the results, so there's nothing I'd change.

Event comments:

Oceanside is a very well organized event with awesome volunteers. And to have the support of the men and women from Camp Pendleton is amazing. Beach, sun, blue skies palm trees...such a great place to have a HIM!

Last updated: 2016-04-05 12:00 AM
00:33:34 | 2112 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 13/110
Overall: 323/2200
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Alpha + Vanquisher Tinted Goggles
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:23
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:45:45 | 56 miles | 20.27 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/110
Overall: 363/2200
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:44:48 | 13.1 miles | 08m  min/mile
Age Group: 4/110
Overall: 328/2200
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
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] 5