Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 1615/1950
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 304/342
  • 57m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 44s / 100 yards

Basically, anything that could have gone wrong on my swim did. We were not allowed to warm in the water before the swim start. Well, not in the harbor anyway. I was in the eighth wave. It was nice, as we were standing on the ramp ready to get in the harbor, the eventual champ got out of the water in 22 minutes. They instructed us to get in the water, upon entering the 60 degree water, I immediately started hyperventillating. I thought I was prepared for the temp, it would be the first of many issues I had on the swim. We swim out to the start line which wasn't so easy when I was having trouble catching my breath. For some reason, I was having issues with my goggles. I couldn't get them to seal properly. They send us off and my goggles are leaking water like the titanic and I couldn't see. Oh well, I give it a shot. I've done a lot of training and I just try to let it go. I am having trouble filling my lungs because of the whole 'hyperventillating' thing. This is not how I envisioned my start to be. I cannot see, I cannot breathe and I know this leg isn't going to swim itself so I just keep trying. After a couple hundred yards (I think because I cannot see) I turn for a breath and get a big mouthful of ocean. I wasn't ready for that. It was so nauseating, I started to puke. So there I am, treading water in the harbor puking. I thought to myself, this is so much fun! Oh well, poor me, keep swimming. I do. At the turnaround point, my legs cramp so bad that I cannot move below the waist. Intense, doubling over type cramps. A lifeguard on a surfboard asks if I'm OK. "Cramping" is what I yell back. He tells me to take a hold of the board. I told him I don't want to be DQ'd and he tells me that I won't be and to rest a min. I think I took about 5 min. As I am holding on and trying to work the cramps out of my legs, he asks me if my goggles are leaking like crazy. I say, yes they are. He tells me that they are not seated all the way on my skin and that part of them are on my swim cap. I move the cap up and voila, they seal perfectly. Ok, at least that part is fixed. I tell him I am ready to go but cannot see the course very well He tells me to swim for the sun as it is right in our eyes. OK. I cannot see where I am going but I swim for the sun. After another 100-200M my legs start cramping again. Screw it, I treat the rest of the swim like a pull drill and just use the arms. The wetsuit and salt water keep me right on top and I start making better time. Better, never mind that I have been passed by probably 10 waves of swimmers by now. ;) Oh well, it's MY race, not theirs. I get to the exit of the water and am helped out by volunteers. My legs are 'kitten-like' because of the cramp and fall over as I am trying to get up the ramp. I manage to hobble run to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

This should be a VERY long list.

1. KNOW the water temp. My body freaked out at the 60 degree temp. I thought I had a handle on it but definitely did not. That caused me a lot of trouble.
2. Make sure my goggles are seated properly. Just because they feel fine doesn't mean they are.

Those were the two big mistakes I could have EASILY corrected. They were dumb, beginner mistakes. Hey, but we are a part of BEGINNER Triathlete so maybe I shouldn't feel so bad. I make the mistakes so others don't have to. I don't know how I could have prevented taking in that huge gulp of ocean. I guess that's just how it goes sometimes. I wish I wouldn't have puked...if wishes were filet mignon, people would gorge every night I guess. I think it was the puking thart led to my cramps.

All in all, I learned a lot from this swim. I am going to take away a lot from it and not make the same mistakes again.
Transition 1
  • 10m 16s

I was weak and somewhat sore after the swim. I was going to take my sweet time in T1 to make sure I got on the bike OK and I was ready to go. I took my time and remembered everything. Taking the ten minutes in T1 allowed me to regain some composure after such a horrid swim.
What would you do differently?:

I realized at this time that my neck was raw from my wetsuit. Remember your bodyglide triathletes!! That would have made the rest of the day much more comfortable. I also forgot to put on sunblock, oops. That wouldn't be an issue until the day after.
  • 3h 23m 59s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.47 mile/hr

The course was pretty flat for the first 20-25 miles. It was pretty fast and I went out fairly slow. I was worried about what the cramping had done to my legs. As I started getting more comfortable, I started going a little bit harder. I started to have some difficulty with my front derailleur. Every time I went from the low gear to the high gear, my chain would fall off and I would have to stop. What a PITA. This worked just fine before I left and my warm up ride on Friday. Oh well, just one more thing I guess. We started getting into the more hilly part of the course so I just settled on going a little slower than I would have liked. There was one monster of a hill. Other than that, no horrilbe climbs. Mostly just small to medium rollers with a couple of larger ones sprinkled in. I had small cramping issues in my left quad on the climbs but i felt pretty good otherwise. At mile 46 or so was the last water stop and then we turned in back towards the coast...right into the wind. I really wish I had a bigger gear to push at this time but I just told myself I would be saving it for the run.
What would you do differently?:

I don't really know what happened with my derailleur but I wished that I had 'made sure' it was working better. It was a downer, but did not detract much from my race. I wish I had also done the water stops a bit better. I stopped and filled my own water bottles with gatorade and should have just pitched them and used the bottles they handed out at the race. It cost me a few minutes but nothing to bad.
Transition 2
  • 06m

This was actually pretty funny. You had to ride to a predetermined point in the transition chute and then dismount. There was no one directly in front of me so I didn't see where that exact point was. I wasn't going that fast but then a person popped up and shouted 'stop, dismount' I hit the brakes pretty hard because I hadn't seen the spot and then fell over. oops. On the bright side, both of my feet popped right out of the clips. A nice marine helped me up and I ran over to rack my bike. As I was changing a medic came over to make sure I was ok. I assured him I was fine and just more embarrassed than anything.
What would you do differently?:

See the dismount point a little better.

I probably would have been about 2 minutes without the whole 'falling over' fiasco.
  • 2h 06m 30s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 40s  min/mile

I was finally on the run. This is the easy part for me. I had severe hydration issues at the Chicago marathon last October so I was determined not to let that happen again. I felt great but I didn't have any power in my legs. I found it very hard to go fast. It was somewhat frustrating to not be able to run as fast as I wanted. Then again, compared to the other issues I had during the race this was no big deal. I walked through every water station which was every mile. This probably added about 30 seconds a mile. I just wasn't going to get dehydrated. I felt great and very within myself the entire run.
What would you do differently?:

I couldn't eat during the run as I had intended. My stomach was feeling a little 'sloshy'. I wish I could have gotten something down but I didn't want to risk it. I figured I was so close to the end that I didn't want to screw anything up.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked a few hundred yards. Drank a few bottles of water and ate.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The swim was a total disaster. I think it also gave me problems later in the day with nutrtion.

Event comments:

This was a fantastic event. It was extremely well run. The volunteers were all fantastic. They were very courteous and helpful. This was only my second tri, having only done a sprint last summer, and it was so much fun. I had some issues, but who doesn't? Running this race will be very helpful in preparing for Steelhead later this summer.

Last updated: 2007-04-03 12:00 AM
00:57:39 | 2112 yards | 02m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 335/342
Overall: 1893/1950
Performance: Bad
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 10:16
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
03:23:59 | 56 miles | 16.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 316/342
Overall: 1645/1950
Performance: Average
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:00
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:06:30 | 13.1 miles | 09m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 234/342
Overall: 1211/1950
Performance: Average
Course: Very flat with some gradual rises
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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