My first Triathlon
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Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman
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Ironman North America
65F / 18C
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Are you ready? That is the question I have been asked 300 times in the last two months. My answer was always...I'll tell on Sunday morning. So my answer
(on Monday morning
) is yes. As much as I can expect being my first 70.3 attempt I was ready. I had a rough training plan and you can say that I peaked and tapered to some weird extent. I got a lot of great advice from BTers who have been there and done that as well which was priceless. I hit some key distances pretty frequently in the last month and a half and I think that pushed me over the plateau. Anyway....I woke up around 3 and made myself a bagel, wsnt part of the plan but it was there and I ate it. Got everything packed and made it about 3 miles toward the freeway and i forgot my real breakfast, PB&J. Turned around and was on my way. I was one of the first people in the poarking lot and in transition. I like the calm of early morning. I really dont like being rushed so this was nice.
I am not a star struck person by nature and I could really care less about movie stars and major sports stars. But I am a huge fan or professional triathlon. I sat by the porta potties which were by the main entrance to the tran. area and stretched. I watched Andy Potts, Craig Alexander, Sam McGlone, Michellie Jones, etc. all get in and set up their transitions area. It was pretty cool..."Yeah I am racing against these guys" yeah right. Potts and Alexander are my favorite guys to watch so that was really cool. I peed about 5 times....didnt go off until almost 8 and got to trans before 5 so....anyway what an experience watching the pros come out of the swim into transition. I saw Potts go by and turned my head and before I could see him get the bike out he was long gone...amazing. I finally made my way to the chute and a bunch of us green caps couldnt find our wave because they had a blue cap instead of green...so we all saw the green guys way up at about 7:15 and panicked....confusing. Doesnt help the pre race jitters.
01m 52s / 100 yards
I felt pretty good about getting in the water and starting the swim. The water was great and it didnt even taste like doody. I hung far right front for the start and stuck my head under for a while to numb it up. I started off as planned and kept it very easy and the heart rate down. It was a pretty easy swim. Once you got past the hotel on the right the swells were creaping into the harbor and that made it a little more difficult. I had the thought to drive it a little harder on the return trip but i was feeling good and i didnt want to upset my pace for such little return. I think i was at the front of the second pack of my wave and I did manage to pass a number of earlier cap colors. In the end I came in under 40 minutes which was what i wanted so I was happy.
What would you do differently?:
Couldve pushed it harder and saved three minutes but I am not sure it would have been worth it. I felt great and was really excited to get on the bike.
Ok, maybe it is because I have been surfing for so long and you learn from a very early age how to put on and take off a wetsuit, but I don't understand why people have such a tough time with taking a wetsuit off. I heard a couple people complain that they didnt have any wetsuit strippers....these things are basically knickers and they peel themsleves off. Anyway, i had to pee and i stopped by the porta potty which was right by my bike and peed...and peed...and peed...and peed. Anyone remember Revenge of the Nerds II where Ogre is peeing in the background for about 10 minutes, thats what I felt like. Finished that leg of the race and whipped the wetsuit off and threw socks and shoes on and off I went.
What would you do differently?:
Could be faster but nature calls. I really could save time not wearing socks but I really dont want to risk it. All in all not too bad.
3h 26m 55s
I had to stop half way out of the harbor to fix my computer sensor on my spoke. What a great course. Have done a good portion at the Pendleton Intl. and through many training rides but I just think it is a pleasure to ride through that place. I really enjoyed the beneficial wind on the way up north. I was averaging about 20 mph until the Las Pulgas aid station. I do have to make a comment about the whole debate over drafting...do any of these big race directors think they can fit 2000 athletes on a two lane highway and expect there not to be some traffic crunching? I really did not see anyone purposely sucking tire and on the occasion where i knew I was too close I did whatever I could to adjust, but there were many places where it just wasn't an option. Now I know there are deliberate wheel suckers and I think that is BS, but I think they are the ones that make the legit riders suffer. Anyway, I stopped at the Las Pulgas aid station and reloaded. I spent probably too long chatting with the Marines but it was worth it. They sacrifice so much for us that i will take the time to chat. I was also running with MotorTabs for my hydration and they are not exactly an "on the go" type of thing. Next time I will maybe plan for the water stops to save time but honestly it isnt what makes me slower. Once I got into San-O I really felt strong and I was flying. Was I pushing too hard? It didnt feel like it but who knows, I just felt like I had good legs at that time. The Trestles bike path was a mess, the volunteers were just kinda there and people didnt know if they should pass or not. I got half way to the gate on Christianitos and thats when I first felt the wind coming across....Right about mile 30. I said oh boy almost 30 miles of this. It really is something back there. I have been staring at those mountains since I was a kid and never have been back there. What an awesome place. That first hill....I had read reports that it was a beast and that people walked their bikes but it couldn't be that bad....it was. My altimeter was pinned at around 11-12% for most of the hill and about half way up it was around 16%...thats steep! But I really dont think that was the hardest part. There was a section...just after you leave behind the infantry training area, where the wind was a killer. It was a false flat but I was going maybe 10 mph. That hurt! The second two real hills were similar to the first but not as harsh. It was just real slow going on the back side. There was a girl that I kept yo-yoing with who was about 5'3" and 90 lbs..maybe soaking wet with a fullsuit on...who was charging up the hills and then I would fly by her on the flats and downhills. Now I am almost 6'3" and 225 so I guess everyone has there own special gift. I must admit, I did ride right off the road staring at the the hills and scenery at one point...unbelievable. Got to the aid station by the air base and again I stopped to chat. One of the Marines was telling me about the hills and the first hill they affectionately call Mt. Motherf**er...very fitting. He also said none of the Marines are stupid enough to tackle that in anything but a car. He was right. We chatted about mountain biking for a while and I didnt mind the effect on my finish time at all. This was the last 9 miles back to the harbor and I dont think the wind was all bad, I did like the Sludge Pit though. It was really crowded at this point and I got a second look from a referee on a moto. They didn't say anything but again there was nowhere for anyone to go. Got into the harbor and felt altogether pretty good. decided against taking my feet out before and just clipped out. But I was behind someone who was VERY slow through the chute.
What would you do differently?:
Not much. I guess I could work on water station strategy a little but what are you gonna do....Hills and wind are going to get me everytime. I am way too big to worry about dancing up a 12% slope. I felt strong all day on the bike. I have room for improvement but thats what keeps us coming back right.
after finally getting through the transition chute... of course I couldn't find my rack but that took a nanosecond to figure out. Felt good running with my bike which is weird considering what I had just done for the last 3.5 hours. Got changed really quick and was off...oops i forgot to stretch for my shin splints. During my training bricks I was getting really bad ones and i have a stretch that really works. But it is literally stretching it 25 times on each side. So I stopped and made sure I stretched them out. took a little time but i would be happy in the end.
What would you do differently?:
well not much.
2h 28m 48s
11m 22s min/mile
I felt good after the bike. Surprisingly good. Probably shouldve been a warning. I made it out to about halfway through the dirt path and then lock up! I have never felt a pain in my muscles like that before. At that point, right at the top of the dirt path about a half mile in, I said it is 12, I can walk the rest and still finish by 4...But I am not sure I can walk. I actually thought that might be it for me. I limped on until the love shack and then stopped to stretch it out a bit. I tried to run again and it was fine for about 500 yards and then had to stop right before the pier. Stretch, run, wince in pain, walk. I did this until the park that is on the strand and that dude that has the car covered in pennies
). Then I started to shuffle run and it actually felt just ok. I was definitely not the only one experienceing this problem. I continued on at about a 12+ pace until the first turn around and thats when I knew I would be fine. I wouldn't be fast but I would finish. I walked the water stops but only a little and for the most part I ran the rest. The high school kids were pretty fun at the aid stations. I had a good time watching the other runners on both sides and was actually feeling really good about everything for the majority of the return trip. I got to where the turn around is and everyone is cheering you home, telling you to finish strong and then you gotta turn the cone and go back out...kinda humorous in a sick way I guess. Still felt really good and actually tried to pick the pace up on the second round. I was limited because if I hit a certain pace the legs would start to scream. I never really got the "dark period" where things were really negative. There was a part after going up the hill away from the strand where it just got lonely...the course was getting a little more empty and thats the only thing that got to me. I kinda wish I had gone off a little earlier but oh well. After the final turn I had something like 4 miles home and I wanted to get in under 2.5 hours so I did manage to ramp it up a little. Still walked some aid stations and had to stop after going down that hill. I ran by a girl that looked to be in severe pain and she said "looking good" and at the moment I couldn't really form any words. Wish I would've said something because she probably could've used it alot more than me. Next time I will be more aware of it. my finish little walk break was back at the TCSD love shack and from there it was finishing kick. Still felt great, aside from the relatively severe pain. What a great crowd! As you dip down into the area that crosses the tidal wash you come back up and start to see the finishing line. I guess at that point I really was pretty happy. I had a lot of juice left in the tank and I kicked pretty hard but let two guys race it out. They draped the tape across the finish just in time for me and I made sure I did my best finish pose.....then proceed to trip on the carpet and almost fall on my face. Done! First ever half marathon...why not do it in a half ironman...better story to tell.
What would you do differently?:
well...maybe it was an electrolyte issue, maybe it was a sodium replacement issue. I think it is just experience will be a big factor. I know I can go faster.
I ran right through and got my medal, hat, and t shirt then a b line to pizza. Was kinda weird scarfing down pizza while sweating my butt off but oh well. I even chugged a sprite down
(I gave up drinking soda about 10 years ago. I figured I gotta give up soda or beer and well ....thats an obvious decision
). I didn't stick around, went out called the wife
(surprised I finished
) and got my gear together. walked back up the course and was pretty stoked. Went to throw my soda can away and ran into Chris Lieto who was packing up the K-Swiss van. He is another favorite of mine. Stud cyclist. I was sore but wasnt really hurting. I actually felt great. Got home in about an hour, bought a twelver of Heineken watched b-ball with my friends and wife and was asleep beofre the head hit the pillow!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I need to get more focused on speed. My focus for the rest of the year is shorter distance and working on becoming faster. I am getting there but I am too big right now. I want to use this race and training as a launch pad to really get serious about fitness level. I do not have time to get coached and do a lot of miles but I need quality. I eat like crap and that is going to be the other focus. I am super happy with the accompishment and the people at home and at work are amazed that i was able to do it. They really dont care about the time or where i placed, it is about getting out there and making it happen for yourself. On Saturday night my two year old took my medal off the kitchen table and put it on to come find me. It was pretty much the coolest thing I have ever seen. That is one one of the reason I do this crazy stuff, when he was born I was a tub....I want to be able to set a good example and maybe someday he can say "If my old man can do it....."
Cant wait till next year. I thought before the race that this would make me want to go longer, to do a full iron distance race. Actually it is just the opposite. Not that I would ever rule it out, but I think it really is the perfect distance for me. I dont have a lot of time to train and this is a short enough day to be reasonable. I admire those that do the full IM distance but for me this is going to be my A race for the next few years.
Last updated: 2008-03-31 12:00 AM
00:39:15 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:26:55 | 56 miles | 16.24 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:28:48 | 13.1 miles | 11m 22s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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