Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 36m 25s
Overall Rank = 815/1950
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Since the time I got off the plane I felt strangely calm for someone who was going to do his first Half Ironman. I had gone through the race a dozen times in my head and, even though I have never seen the course before, I knew exactly what was coming and I felt ready. I had done the training and now it was time to reap the benefits.

After picking up the rental car I drove straight to Nytro to pick up a Rudy Project Syton helmet (I know, nothing new on race day but I just couldn't help myself!) and some CO2 cartridges since I didn't want to bring any on the plane. Then I decided it was a good time to hit the expo and pick up the race packet so I could avoid the friday crowds.

After a quick stop at the expo I went home to put my bike together and get my race stuff ready. It gives me peace of mind to know everything's as it should be and ready to go.

Went to bed early and got a great night's sleep. I always feel that if I get good sleep two nights out then I'll be OK.

The next morning I felt good and rested. Went back to Oceanside for a quick swim beside the pier with the folks from Nytro. I got to meet Tim and a couple of other nice people. You have no idea how glad I am that I did this swim. I am from south TX so not really used to swimming in cold ocean water. Even with my wetsuit and squid lid I was fffreeeeezing. As soon as I got in the water I was out of breath and it was hard putting my face in the water. This feeling only lasted for a couple of minutes and after that I was able to get into a nice groove and get my rythm back. If I would have gotten in the water on race morning without knowing this I would have freaked out! Now I knew what to expect.

After the swim I hit the beach showers to rinse off the salt and then I went for a quick out and back run with Tim on part of the run course. On the way back I did some pick-ups just to open up the legs a little and that felt good. To finish off I jumped on my bike just to make sure it was shifting correctly and rode down to transition to check out the layout.

After another tour through the expo I met some BTers for lunch (Tim, Kevin, Hans and Jeff) and we had a good time eating pizza and chatting about the race and other fun stuff. Everyone was very psyched and looked ready to go.

Took the rest of the afternoon off and just hung out and double-checked everything. Then it was off to bed at 7:30. Surprisingly I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and except for a quick run to the bathroom at around 1AM I slept all through the night. This is very strange for me because before a big race I rarely get enough sleep the night before.

Woke up at 3:30AM for my ussual pre-race breakfast and then it was off to the races! I couldn't beleive the time had come to do my first Half IM. It was going to happen today and I was ready.

After parking close to the pier I got my bike ready and put my race bag on my shoulder for the short ride down to transition. I found a great spot close to the edge of the rack and I immediately went to body marking before the line grew longer. This is it.

Back in my transition area I started looking around and trying to pick up some of the positive energy from everybody around me. It was awesome to see all the cool bikes and tri-gear everybody has.
Event warmup:

No big warm up. Just a little running in place and butt-kicks while waiting in the porta-potty line just to get the blood flowing. After getting suited up I headed to the corral and waited for my wave. It's time.
  • 45m 8s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

We swam out to the buoy and waited a couple of minutes before the start. Still, that calm feeling lingering over me. I was excited to start, but not nervous at all. Then the gun went off and off we go!

I was expecting to do better in the swim. I haven't had the chance to practice in open water too much, but in the pool I can sustain a 1:50 pace for this distance, no problem.

My plan was to start out easy and steady and not really push too much during the swim. I just wanted to be able to get out of the water with enough juice for the other two legs of the race.

It was calmer than I expected and the water was much warmer than the swim I had done the day before, so this was a pleasant surprise. I was able to stay calm throughout and didn't really get roughed up too much other than a couple of times where I got bumped and swallowed some water. After the first couple of hundred meters I was still swimming with the thick of the pack and we started to pass some white caps from the wave before ours. I thought that was cool and just kept on going trying to keep a steady pace. I tried to draft a couple of times but I just couldn't hang on. Still, I was happy to be out there and just kept going.

At the turn around I looked at my watch and saw 20 minutes. I thought, "cool, I'm right on target". I was expecting to do 40 minutes for the swim.

I really don't know what happened on the back side of the swim but my time was 5 minutes slower than going out. Maybe some problems navigating or who the hell knows.

I get out of the water at 45:00 and I feel excited with the anticipation of what's to come. I clap my hands a couple of times and then I hear Mike Riley say over the loudspeaker: "Allright! You're finally out!"! :)
What would you do differently?:

Increase my swim volume and more OWS.
Transition 1
  • 05m 27s

T1 was average. Up the ramp we had to run a looooong way the entire length of the transition area to enter on the north side. This gave me plenty of time to remove the cap, goggles and the top part of the wetsuit down to the waist. I was running all the time, never walked. I'm thinking temperature feels great so I won't need the arm warmers I have rolled up in transition....keep running....This feels good. I think I won't even need the toe covers I had put on my shoes....Keep running....Get to my spot, have a little trouble getting the heels off but I finally get it off. Sunglasses on, new helmet on ;) , take toe covers off, shoes on, grab bike and gooooo!

I ussualy clip the shoes on the bike but since I was planning on using toe covers I just put them on in transition because it's kind of difficult to put my feet into the shoes on the fly when the toe covers are on.

After I exit transition I jump on the bike, clip on and I'mm off.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, maybe run faster! I didn'r really know what the weather would be like so I planned for it to be a bit chillier and it wasn't, which was good.
  • 2h 55m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.10 mile/hr

Out of T2 I worked on settling down after the swim and spinning up that small hill out of transtion. I really didn't know what to expect out on the course, especially the 3 hills so I put a 27 cassette on there just in case. I'm glad I did!

I had a pre-mixed 24 oz bottle of Powerbar Endurance on the bike and the plan was to drink that before the first aid station. My Aero Drink bottle was empty (no sense in carrying the extra weight) and I planned to fill it up with water at the first aid station and consume 1 Powerbar during the second hour and 2 Powergels for the third. This nutrition plan had worked well for me during training and there was no reason to do it differently. Nutrition was right-on for the bike. I drank a little more than during training and I think that worked well too.

Get to the first aid station and yell "water" and somebody hands me a bottle of water ready to pour into the Aero bottle. Sweet, it's just the right amount. I had removed the yellow mesh thingy that came with the bottle (those things always pop out) and replaced it with a white shower spoofie. This works great because it's a tight fit and won't fall out no matter what size bump you ride over. I saw a ton of yellow thingies on the road, along with tubulars, gel flasks, tubes and pumps. I carried my nutrition in a small Bento-Box behind the head tube.

After the first hour I checked my split and I was averaging a litle under 20 mph. I felt good and my HR was in check so I didn't worry too much. I was spinning easy on the inclines and letting it rip on the downhills. A little after this point I began to get some lower back pain and that slowed me down a little on the back side of the course. Volunteers were AWESOME!

Went up the first hill in an easy gear (39X27) and had no problems getting over it. It looked scary riding up to it but once you were on it it was no biggie. Over the top and flying down the other side is where I clocked the fastest speed for the day, a little over 40 mph.

Next couple of hills was more ofthe same. Spinning up and zooming down the other side. I think the toughest part was heading back into T2 and riding against that head wind. I'm used to riding with lots of wind where I live so that helped a lot, you just have to stay mentally tough because it's the last stretch of the ride before going out on the run. My speed on this part varied between 17 and 22 mph depending on the inclination and trying to keep a steady HR. I did a good job of staying in top Z2 all through the ride except on the hills where I went into Z3-4. Being my first half I decided to hold back a little not knowing what to expect.

Back towards T2 I removed my feet from my shoes and left them clipped on waiting for the dismount. This worked great.

What would you do differently?:

Go faster! Work on my lower back strength.
Transition 2
  • 02m 32s

You had to stay on the bike and ride through a narrow path back to the north side of transition and then dismount and run back to your spot. Get there, rack bike, helmet off, running shoes on and I'm off. Great transition for me.

What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 47m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

I was happy to be out on the run. I left transition a few minutes after Andy Potts had finished. Just as I was coming out, Michael Lovatto was running to the finish and then I saw Luke Bell. He didn't look too happy. I gave him a "thumbs up" and he smiled back.

Out to the first aid station where I grabbed some Gatorade Endurance to drink and some water to pour on my head and face. Then a couple of ice-cold sponges to put on my shoulders to cool down. It was pretty much the same routine through all the aid stations.

After mile 1 I saw the lead woman's bike and then Kate Major running behind it. She looked strong. Then I saw Chris and he was looking good too.

I tried to concentrate on not going out too hard and saving some for the second half to try and keep a steady pace and this is exactly what I did. Before the turn-around I got passed by none other than Hillary Biscay and she didn't look too happy either. It's just awesome that we get to race right along side the pros!

The run just went by faster than I expected. I was having a blast out there and I didn't want it to end. I wanted to finish, but I was having too much fun and feeling good.

I picked up the pace for the second loop
What would you do differently?:

Push it more on the 2nd half and run negative splits.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish line I got my medal, hat and t-shirt and headed straight to the food tent. I was starving and in desperate need of some solid food. had some pizza, pretzels, cookies, a coke and some orange.

I wish I had gone to the massage tent.

No warm down, just sat down and ate. After a few minutes I started to get really cold and shaky so I went to change into dry clothes and hang around. I was a happy guy!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Experience. It was my first race of this distance and wasn't sure how I'd perform.

Event comments:

I will definitely do this race again!

Last updated: 2006-10-02 12:00 AM
00:45:08 | 2112 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1950
Performance: Below average
AVG 166, MAX 170
Suit: Blue Seventy Helix LS
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:55:57 | 56 miles | 19.10 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1950
Performance: Good
AVG 150, MAX 176
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:32
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:47:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1950
Performance: Good
AVG 160, MAX 170
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