Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
90F / 32C
Total Time = 7h 52m 16s
Overall Rank = 1786/2286
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 273/330
Pre-race routine:

I was contemplating whether to do this race or not. It was cross country, the bike transport folks weren't shipping from MA to CA, the course was a bit hillier than I was used to, we are trying to budget a bit more (which this sport doesn't help the cause), etc. But, I figured we were going out there anyway and I paid for it, and trained for it, I would do it. Plus, I wanted to do better than FL two months ago.

We left for CA on Friday. I rented a case from Bike Barn ($50 for the 9 days) and was expected to pay $50-$75 each way on the plan. Well, I get up to the counter at JetBlue (the best airline around) and the nice guy says they are having a TdF special and bikes are shipped free. Nice way to start the trip. Traveling with 2 kids under the age of 5 is something I will not be doing again anytime soon. My 4 y.o is fine. He watches the tv and colors, but my 2 y.o is another story. I am glad they didn't have to land the plane in mid flight and ask us to get off. We stayed with friends is Oakland on Friday. Put the bike together rather easily and tried to take it out for a spin, but they live in the Oakland hills with an average of 20% grades, so I waited until Sat.

Since this is a point to point race, you had to check in and drop your run stuff off a difference place from the start. I headed up Sat morning and checked in, listened to the pre-race meeting and walked around the expo. Then I drove down to the hotel to check in and drove to the start so I would know how to get there in the morning. Got to the Russian River and was going to swim but it's at a resort and the river is very crowded with canoes and paddle boats and swimmers. So I just got on the bike and did a quick 3 miles out and back. Bike felt better than before I took it apart. I then drove the bike course. There are 2 decent hills that I wanted to see so I would know what to expect. This has to be one of the most beautiful, scenic course I have ever rode on. 56 miles of vineyards. Reached the first hill at mile 25 and it wasn't too bad. The decent was going to be fun. The second hill is at mile 45 and was a doosy. I knew I was going to be in trouble. Headed back to the hotel and grabbed dinner and hit the hay.
Event warmup:

Got up at 5am, which was really 8am for me, and packed up and headed out. They were telling people not to get there early since transition was going to be open until the last wave. I was in the 4th to last, but I wanted to get there, get a parking space, and get settled. I got everything set up and headed to the water to warm up. Met and chatted with AbbieR for a few minutes and headed into the corral.
  • 44m 15s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

This was by far my best swim in a race. Started well, sited perfectly even though the river is around 50m wide and hard to go off track, and I even drafted for a bit. Didn't see too many folks in my wave pass me and only a handful of the following wave caught up. Swam all the way up to the shore and wasn't really tired coming out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The one thing is that the river is very shallow in some places, especially at the turn around. I was scrapping my hands on the bottom for about 100-150yds to the point I had to get up and walk a bit. Other than that it's like a big pool.
Transition 1
  • 06m 29s

They had us racked by wave, so they were breaking down T1 by the time I got out of the water. I racked my bike at the end, so I had plenty of room. Packed up all the stuff in the plastic bag they gave us and was about to head out, when I saw the family. Handed them the bag, gave everyone kisses, and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Took a bit longer because I had to pack up everything in the bag.
  • 3h 37m 49s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.43 mile/hr

The first 5 miles were flat running along the Russian River. Then you hit a small hill, which wasn't bad, but was a bit steep. It continued on to be rolling hills for the next 20ish miles. At around mile 25, we took a right and headed up the first big hill. I just put it in a small gear and continued to pedal. Kept looking right in front of me instead of ahead. I was pretty excited when I reached the top because I was feeling pretty good. The downhill is crazy. I hit 39 mph, not really pedalling. The only bad thing is that at the bottom of the hill is a right hand turn. This is exactly half way. The next 20 miles were a bit more flat, with some rollers, but a real nice stretch in the middle of the ride. At mile 40, you turn onto Chalk Hill Rd. There are a couple of hills on this road that you think are the big one, but you don't hit that until mile 45. I stopped for a second before the hill to get ready. I made it about 1/2 way up and had to walk. It's a 325 foot climb. Something that I am not used to. I think a saw that Timberman's hills are only 125-150 to give some perspective. After the hill, it was 10 miles downhill to home. I had to stop one other time in the middle somewhere because I was getting a crap on the bottom of my right foot. Almost the same thing that happened in Fl, but on the other foot. Lost about 3 minutes trying stretch it out and eating an uncrustable.
What would you do differently?:

I am actually pretty happy with my performance given the course. My goal was to feel good coming off the bike to have the ability to run some of the 13.1.
Transition 2
  • 07m 5s

Was a pretty long walk/run from dismounting to racking. Was also very narrow, so couldn't pass anyone and the folks in front of me were walking. Not a big deal. I saw the family again. I am always in one of the last waves, so it's always a bit disheartening when you see everyone's bike racked coming into T2. Took my time getting everything on. Decided to take one of my water bottles with me, which was my best decision all day.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 16m 36s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 15m 01s  min/mile

I came out of T2 and ran the first mile, which I am very happy about. I kept thinking that as long as I run some, I will do better than FL. It was hot. I walked every aid station. Grabbed some water or gatorade, some grapes, and kept moving. At mile 3, they had a hose and I mistakenly, in the heat of the moment, said sure, hose me down. Water in the shoes at mile 3 of 13 doesn't lead to good things. Started getting blisters. I was still walking up the hills, running down the hills, and shuffling in between. At mile 4 or so, some of the pros were there cheering everyone on. Much different than a recent local 1/2 I was at. The turn around was at La Crema winery. I actually had to make a pit stop. The porta potty had to be 115 degrees inside. There was a long row of water misters you go under as you enter and exit the winery. Starting here, I filled my water bottle with ice and water and used it to pour on my head. It was so hot, that all the ice melted by the time I reached the next aid station. Found a couple of running buddies after the turn around. I was still running the downhills. I kept telling people not to waste a good downhill. I was very happy that I was still running somewhast at mile 12. I turned into the high school and was still about .25 mile left. Wasn't too many people on the course, so I had the shoot to myself. Heard the announcer say my name, and comment that there were a bunch east coaster out there.
What would you do differently?:

Not get hosed down and get my feet wet.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the line, grabbed some water and felt a bit nauseous. Sara brought the kids over and I grabbed them to take the post race picture. I headed off the to med tent, which was half way across the high school field. I don't think they were expecting the heat because they were pretty crowded. Also, not really like the med tent in FL with fans and lots of cots. I got my BP and HR taken and had some chocolate soy milk. There were some people in there in bad shape. Lots of cramping. Grown men screaming because their legs were seizing up. The was one guy who fell off is his bike at like mile 5 and his hand was so swollen, it looked like he had a boxing glove on, but he still finished. Triathletes are a hard core, sometimes irrational bunch of folks.

Walked back to the car, tossed my sneakers out, and headed out to dinner.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It's funny, I was only about 10 minutes faster than FL, but felt like I did much better. My swim was 8 minutes faster, T1 and T2 were faster, my run was 15 min faster, but bike was longer. It was just a different course. Now having done 2 HIMs in just under 18 months of starting this crazy sport, I am very proud of what I have accomplished. But, it was probably too soon. Some of it was that I picked 2 very difficult courses. The good news is that I am not burned out and am looking forward to the rest of the season and the off season to work on some things.

Event comments:

As I said before, one of the most beautiful courses I have every seen. First time I have done a point to point, and the volunteers made everything seem easy. There were tons of volunteers. Plenty of supplies at the aid stations. Lots of people still hanging around at the finish, even after 9+ hours. The only thing I would say they need to improve, is the swim waves started 8 minutes apart. I image this was so the roads would be pretty open for the bike. Overall, an outstanding race, venue, and event. I would recommend this race to anyone.

Last updated: 2008-11-20 12:00 AM
00:44:15 | 2112 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/330
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Good
Suit: XV2
Course: Out and back in the Russian River. No current, no wave. Really scenic with Redwoods surrounding the river.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:29
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:37:49 | 56 miles | 15.43 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/330
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Average
Course: Was the most scenic ride I have ever done. 56 miles of rolling hills through the vineyards of Sonoma. 2 distinct hills. The first one, at mile 25, and the second at mile 45. Overall, great course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:05
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:16:36 | 13.1 miles | 15m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/330
Overall: 0/2286
Performance: Average
Course: A 6.5 mile out and back. Very hilly course. There have been reports that the temps were anywhere from 96-102.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %3.5
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5