Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
Total Time = 5h 18m 24s
Overall Rank = 348/2324
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 55/320
Pre-race routine:

My start was with the 2nd wave @ 6:38am, so not much time for any routine :)
Event warmup:

5 min swim before the start
  • 32m 31s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 41s / 100 meters

This was the most beautiful swim ever. I started in the second wave and the sun was just coming up behind the huge redwoods, while the fog was lifting from the calm waters of the Russian River.

The water was warm and nice, but I decided to put my wetsuit on anyway because of the extra flotation/speed advantage. It paid off handsomely as I beat my projected swim time of 35 min. Definitely my fastest swim (as you can see I'm not a good swimmer :)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, as I said this was my best swim ever. On a second thought, I'd probably push a little harder...
Transition 1
  • 07m 5s

T1 was real bad. I was pretty quick getting my wetsuit off and putting my bike gear on and packing all my stuff for shipment to T2. Then I started running with my bike out of T1 and it felt funny: looked at my rear wheel and I realized I had a flat tire, $#!t Fixed the tire in nearly record time, but I lots of time had already gone by ...
What would you do differently?:

Avoid a flat in T1 :)
  • 2h 50m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.71 mile/hr

I had two main issues with the bike course: (1) I trained by riding on flat terrain and climbing long hills, and unfortunately this combo didn't work very well with the roller-coaster kind of terrain of the Vineman, as I was unable to maintain an optimal pace/cadence. (2) I packed too much Perpetuem in my water bottle and the density of the resulting drink, coupled with the heat, made it hard to digest.

Despite those issues, I managed to get very close to my projected average speed of 20 mph.
What would you do differently?:

Obviously train on terrain that reproduces race conditions more closely, and carry 2 bottles of diluted fuel instead of a single, concentrated one.
Transition 2
  • 05m 27s

T2 took way too long too. The day before the race dropped at T2 my Fuelbelt with three canteens supposedly containing HEED powder and electrolytes, and a big water to fill them up (I didn't want to let the solution laying in the heat too long). Too bad that when I was filling the canteens I realized there was no HEED in them, $#!t #2. So I just wasted time for nothing...
What would you do differently?:

How about making sure that the HEED is in the canteens before dropping the gear at T2?
  • 1h 43m 1s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 52s  min/mile

The run course was not as nice as the bike one. There was a section with some tree coverage, but most of it was totally exposed to the scorching sun. The terrain was hilly, but I didn't suffer as mush as with the bike leg because I trained on similar terrain. However I had GI issues because I didn't have my HEED and electrolytes and I had to rely on the Gatorade and PowerGel offered at the aid station. I'm not a big fan of either because they are too sweet and sugary and don't have the right electrolyte profile. But since I'm a bonehead I had to deal with them anyway :)

Keeping cool was pretty easy because of the close proximity of the aid stations. Kudos to the volunteers and the organizers for that.

Despite all the issues above, I managed to finish my half marathon below the projected time of 1:45.
What would you do differently?:

See T2
Post race
Warm down:

No way to cool off in such heat. I just sat in the shadow of a tent and stretched a bit, but I kept sweating for a good 20 min.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat, GI issues, non-specific bike training

Event comments:

Overall this was my best race so far. Very competitive, highly scenic, great organization (if there was a single transition it would be better though), and lots of nice volunteers. Definitely recommended!

Last updated: 2009-03-23 12:00 AM
00:32:31 | 1931 meters | 01m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/320
Overall: 0/2324
Performance: Good
Suit: full
Course: Out and back on a ~900m stretch of the Russian River near Guerneville
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:05
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
02:50:30 | 56 miles | 19.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/320
Overall: 0/2324
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 145 Max HR: 169
Wind: None
Course: The bike course was simply spectacular. The ride was on beautiful country roads sided by nice oak trees (unfortunately one of those trees nearly killed one of the fellow racers and injured a couple others when it suddenly fell on those poor folks) or along spectacular vineyards. Simply fantastic.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:27
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:43:01 | 13.1 miles | 07m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/320
Overall: 0/2324
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 165 Max HR: 182
Course: Out and back on country roads
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
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