Ironman 70.3 SuperFrog - Triathlon

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Imperial Beach, California, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
86F / 30C
Total Time = 5h 07m 12s
Overall Rank = 78/702
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 16/137
Pre-race routine:

I flew in from Hawaii to San Diego on the Wednesday night red eye, landing Thursday morning Next couple days were spent transitioning off the jet lag..

Got a good pizza dinner and was in bed at the hotel by 9pm. The alarm went off at 4:30 and we grabbed some breakfast (coffee, banana, and waffles), got dressed, put on AMP and was out the door to the race by 0500. We arrived at went into transition to setup for the event. Found the pump and got the tires filled (took them down to about 60 pounds the day before to prevent tubes from popping in the sun). Then loaded the bike with nutrition and hydration. Grabbed all my swim stuff and headed to the beach.Took a gu roctane and was ready to race.
Event warmup:

I chose to not hit the water before the race because it looked cold and the break was strong. I figured go out easy, settle into the swim, and get to through the 2 loops.
  • 32m 28s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

The opening ceremony was pretty awesome to watch 5 navy seals come skydiving in.

I lined up in the 30-34 minutes wave start knowing that at worst I would swim a 34. This put me within the first 100 people going off. The break was tough, strong enough to knock people over and carry some smaller athletes back 10-15 yards. I timed out the break, which came in 3 waves sets, jumped first waved, dropped shoulder and charged the second wave, and dove through the third wave. As soon as I was under, I went into complete panic mode, unable to get a breath, feeling my wetsuit was too tight, thinking about quitting out of the race because I wasn't going to make it. Luckily, my wife gave me some advice, to tarzan swim until I got in a rhythm, this happened in another 100 yards and then soon enough I was at the 1st buoy making a right hand turn. The two buoys parallel to shore had current pushing you along then I made the second buoy and turned right again. I didn't know where the swim exit was so, I just tried swimming straight as possible. About half way through I realized there was an ambulance with it's lights on next to the swim exit but the current had already carried me 100 yards north of the swim exit. Me and all the other athletes exited the water and had an extra beach run to start the second lap of the swim. On the second lap, it went pretty much the same as the first lap except no panic attack. At the turn to shore I angle 40 degrees right of the swim exit but still ended up 20 yards north.
What would you do differently?:

I would have like to get a practice swim in the day before the race but there was a "sewage contaminated water" issue and the race director warned of the possibility of cancelling the swim. With that in mind I decided not to swim, didn't want to have the runs the day before the race or on race day.
Transition 1
  • 04m 41s

Following the swim exit there is about 1/3rd of a mile run to transition. I was able to peal my wetsuit down to the waist while running to the T1 entrance. The westsuit strippers were not well advertised at the T1 entrance but I jumped on the ground and they yanked the suit off without any issue. Most people ran by without seeing them. Got to the rack got socks and shoes on, gloves, and helmet and was off. I consider sub 5 minute T1 for this race to be a good transition. I was fortunate to be in the military division which meant my rack was all the way at the front of transition so it meant I had to run <100 feet with my bike compared to some people that had to run 500 feet with their bikes. I took a gu roctane and got out of T1.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing solid transition
  • 2h 29m 56s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.41 mile/hr

I felt going into this event that I would be able to hit a 2:20 bike, everything in my training indicated it. I missed out on being group with the elite bikers and spent most of the first lap by myself. I knew there was a slight headwind on the way out but couldn't capitalize on it on the way back.The next 3 laps were all about the same mix 22 mph with power at 260 watts. I set a 2 hour PR, at 262 watts but my speed was mid 22's.For laps 2 and 3 there were three guys that if were smart we could have worked together and did work but the would bike stupidly, surge at 290 watts for 3 miles then recover at 200 watts for 2 miles and repeat.

For nutrition, I pretty much nailed my plan. I was set to take gu roctanes every 11 miles and salt tabs every 10 miles. Drinking I had which had 857ml to gatorade endurance, on the frame I had a elite crono water bottle with maurten 320 in it (drinking every big sip every 5 miles) I ended up dropping the bottle by accident at mile 30, and a bottle of gu roctane on the rear of my bike, and I planned on grabbing 2 bottles of gatorade endurance at the aid stations. Also each time at the aid stations I dumped a water bottle on myself to keep cool.
What would you do differently?:

Still can't explain why my power was so good but my performance was not.
Transition 2
  • 02m 25s

Got off the bike but didn't bother with the normal flying dismount. Ran 100 feet with the bike got it racked, then shoes on, belt, hat, and quick stop at porta-potty. Took a couple seconds to set my nutrition in my pockets but wanted to have that in the right places for the run. Then ran the 500 feet to get out of T2.
  • 1h 57m 42s
  • 13.4 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

I wanted to run a 1:45 or better but that would soon be out the window because I couldn't maintain pace in the sand. I had been practice running 8:30 and less miles in the sand back home in preparation for the run but with high tide there was less hard pack sand to run in and each loop feature 8 transitions across the deep slow sand. Nutrition wise I had gu roctanes for miles 4 and 9, anti fatigue caps for miles 4 and 9, salt caps for miles 3, 6, and 9, and a hot shot for mile 10. I got my HR up to 160 and held it steady throughout the half marathon. I started slowing 1 minute per loop (every 3.3 miles) but the temps rose from 80F when I started to a hot 86F. There was no shade on the course, so every aid station I was taking 2 cups of water, a gatorade, coke every other aid station, and ice whenever possible.On my last lap, I saw people on various laps 2-4 reduced to walking and cramping, looking super miserable. I found the off shoot to the finishline, grabbed the don't tread on me flag and ran down the shoot in what was my favorite finshline ever.
What would you do differently?:

hill training to build power for the sand run. super hard course but couldn't do much else. I was disappointed that the race was 13.4 miles and not 13.1 but everyone was long on the day.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a bunch of water and gatorade, got the complimentary massage, got a chicken and rice basket for the meal, wrapped up transition and headed to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Swim was great, bike was disappointing and for the life of me I don't know hwy I was so slow on the Dimond, and the sand running made my run very slow. Maybe getting to the west coast and converting time zones a few days earlier would have helped but maybe not.

Event comments:

This was an epic half ironman, the course will test you! The military friendly event, which benefits the navy seal foundation, was especially appealing to me being a 19 year navy officer. This event has made lasting memories with me!

Last updated: 2019-09-17 12:00 AM
00:32:28 | 2112 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/137
Overall: 114/702
Performance: Good
Suit: xterrra
Course: The 1.2 mile swim is a two loop swim with a 100 meter run in between loops. The course is rectangular shaped, and athletes will keep buoys on their right and lifeguards on their left. There are two red turn buoys and athletes can use lifeguards to spot these as surf can kick up and buoys can be hard to see. After the first loop, athletes will exit the surf onto the beach and run back to swim start for the second loop.Once exiting from the second loop, athletes will head up to the Elm Ave beach access and turn right onto Ocean Lane following volunteers guiding them to the north end of transition.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:29:56 | 56 miles | 22.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/137
Overall: 84/702
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: The bike course is a four loop, counter-clockwise course that is relatively at sea level. Athletes will leave transition heading north on Seacoast up thru the northern neighborhoods of the City of Imperial Beach to the Silver Strand Hwy 75. On Silver Strand Hwy 75 is where all four loops of the bike course will take place with the north turnaround at Tarawa and south turnaround at Rainbow. After the four loops, cyclists will come back to transition going thru the same northern City of Imperial Beach streets they headed out on.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:25
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:57:42 | 13.4 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/137
Overall: 99/702
Performance: Below average
Course: Due to construction some changes have been made that have allowed for trail running! The four-loop, 13.1-mile run reflects the beach running that SEALs do in training. Exiting south of transition you’ll head onto the beach at the Elkwood beach access. Your beach run will head south to Beach Ave where you’ll turn around on the sand and head north. From there we will navigate you back and forth between beach & road at various spots to the Carnation beach access getting on to the street side of Carnation. Follow to Silver Strand Blvd turning left towards the entrance of Camp Surf YMCA. Turn left and then a quick right to access the trail on the left. Stay on the trail to the turnaround where an aid station will be located. Follow back to the Camp Surf YMCA entrance, right onto Silver Strand Blvd, right onto Carnation to the beach access. Hop back onto the sand heading south to the Beach Ave beach turn around, again navigating you back and forth between beach and road, which you will repeat three more times. After your fourth time, you’ll turn off the beach onto Elm Ave, make a quick right onto Ocean lane and follow the same route you did for the swim run back to transition only you’ll have one last “Hoo-Yah” as you go through the tree lined Fallen Hero banners that will start the energetic finish line that awaits athletes as they round the iconic “Imperial Beach” sculptor to finish on the beginning of the pier.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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