My first Triathlon
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Ford Ironman 70.3 California - Triathlon1/2 Ironman
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Ironman North America
70F / 21C
= 6h 49m 1s
Age Group Rank
Got up about four, made some coffee, drank about 2 sips of it on the way to the race. Got dressed, put sunscreen, body glide and chammy butter on. The wonderful Yanti, who was my sherpa
(and the best damn sherpa you could ask for
) had french braided my hair in pigtails the night before so I was pretty much good to go. Threw some warmups on over my tri suit and dropped by the hotel athlete breakfast, which was basically their continental breakfast served very early. Had a chocolate muffin and toasted some bread and put some peanut butter on it. Then drove on over the race, found some pretty sweet close parking then rode my bike over to transition.
Riding my bike to transition? Other than that I racked my bike, very slowly set up my gear, I got there about 5:20 and my wave wasn't until 7:21 so I knew I had plenty o time. Verna
) came over and we chatted until about 6. Another girl in my age group had brought a sharpie so we body marked ourselves. The other girls in my age group all seemed pretty cool actually. Most of them had very nice bikes, one girl was all the way from Calgary, Canada, and had already done IM Canada so I knew she was going to kick my ass. We all commiserated over our generally small age group size and the fact that the music they were playing that AM was not really of the "pump you up" variety
(seriously, Train "calling all angels"? I love Train but not right before a race
). Hit up the bathrooms, came back and got my wetsuit and double caps on. Kept on some crappy sneakers and socks along with another pair of socks for my hands to keep warm
), it was a little chilly. Grabbed a gu and ate it as I watched the first men's pros come in then headed over to my age group in the chute.
01m 52s / 100 yards
Very happy with my swim, I managed to average just over 1:50 per 100 yards which is good for me in the pool so I was stoked I could do it in the ocean in a race. First 1/3 was a free for all fight, got kicked in the stomach and hit the face a few times but I eventually managed to find an opening. Water wasn't nearly as cold as I was worried about, feet and hands were a little numb by the end but still not as bad as when I swam for 1/2 an hour last weekend in Santa Monica. I stayed a bit to the outside so I had some space to swim, it was a perfectly clear day so not too hard to sight going out but difficult coming in because the sun was right in our eyes.
I really liked starting in the water because it gave me a chance to a.
) warm up as I swam to the start and b.
) get used the to water temp c.
)make sure my goggles were on right
(they were, which is good because they've been giving me some trouble during my ocean swims
). I think it's the sudden starts from the beach that really get my heart rate up because it wasn't too bad this time. It is kind of cool how everyone goes from vertical to horizontal at the sound the horn. I tried to remember good form and I think I succeeded pretty well, Yanti said I looked good and smooth. Caught up with a few people from previous waves and got lapped by people in the wave after and even two waves after me. Oh well, I don't have a serious swim background so I'm happy to have made it sub 40 min.
Got a little tight and crazy at the turnaround and again near the end but most of the time I had room to swim. I even think I drafted a little bit because there were a few times that I felt way faster than usual without much effort. Also the diesel smell wasn't too bad, only caught it when I was going back and forth right by the fuel station.
What would you do differently?:
A little slow, the transition area is long! But I was able to run out of the water all the way to my rack, which was good. Speed circuit has made me good at running out of the swim. Then I got to my bike and was overwhelmed for couple of seconds after I got my wetsuit off with all the stuff I needed to put on. Finally started with shoes and socks, spent too much time rinsing off my feet and putting socks on. Tried armwarmers but they were tough to put on and I realized it was sunny and I was warm so why bother, which was a good choice. Then gloves, also a little slow, I put long gloves w/no padding over no fingered gloves with padding which was cumbersome. But generally my other longfingered gloves w/padding haven't been keeping me that warm so I double up with the other two. It turned out to be warm though and I wished I hadn't bothered. Shoved a couple bars in my tri top, put on sunglasses, helmet and garmin then left.
What would you do differently?:
Not bother with the extra gloves, mentally
) rehearse transition more so I knew what I needed and in what order.
3h 31m 52s
Overall, very happy with my bike performance. I gave myself a window of 3 to 4 hours, closer to 3 would have been great but 3 1/2 was kind of my target. I had to pee like crazy for the first 12 miles! finally I came to the first aid station and was able to use the porta potty, no lines, which was nice, I'd gotten used to huge ones at running races. After that race was good, I didn't push too hard for the first 30 miles
(although I didn't take it as easy as Yanti told me too :p
). Kept a solid pace, lots of aerobar friendly terrain. Got passed by lots and lots o people but most of them were men so I didn't mind too much, passed a couple of girls in my age group which made me happy. Hills were NO WHERE NEAR as bad as I thought, especially w/ all the hill rides I've been doing with the tri club. None of the hills on this course can compare to Las Flores. The first one was fairly steep, but short and I never felt the need to walk it, didn't even need to get out of the saddle. Passed people on all the hills which was fun :p, course they all passed me on the way down too :
). I'm glad that I was over prepared and they turned out to be not too hard instead of the other way around though.
Rest of the ride was good, played cat and mouse with a few people. Chatted with Verna for a few minutes when she caught up with me around mile 40. Headwinds weren't as bad as I had thought they would be either and I didn't notice them as a constant until the last maybe 10 miles or so. Only ate two bags of shot bloks and a clif bar. Probably should have eaten more but it was hard to eat on the bike and I was too proud to stop
). Drank my 20 oz water bottle by mile 45
(and about 1/3 of my gatorade bottle
) and got a new one from the attractive and polite marines
(lots of ma'am-ing this weekend, don't they do miss?
). It's fun to throw your water bottle off the bike like that. I think I got a power bar at the second aide station but I never ate it. Didn't get a flat! which was really my main concern because I knew it would take me like 20 minutes to fix. Gorgeous ride and a perfect day in terms of weather, there were always people around too so it was never lonely. My back was pretty sore from being in aero so long I think, there was one spot where it felt like I had been stung by a bee, because there was a sharp pain in one little spot when I would turn in different ways. Yanti looked at it later and didn't see anything though so I'm probably crazy. So a little back discomfort and a little discomfort as this was by far the longest ride I've done in only tri shorts, but nothing too bad given the distance.
What would you do differently?:
Generally nothing, besides the obvious become a stronger rider and get a nicer bike and wheels.
Ok transition, a little less confusion this time, but I started to feel tired, didn't run my bike the whole way. Reapplied sunscreen but I guess I didn't do it quite right as I'm still sunburned on the backs of my shoulders, a little of my wrists where my watch and garmin were and the back of my left ankle and calf
(but no the right one
). Threw on my visor, took the uneaten clif bar out of my tri top but left the balance bar. Grabbed my water bottle with the handstrap and switched my garmin from bike to run and went off.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing really I needed to reapply sunscreen so that was going to take time no matter what.
2h 24m 56s
11m 04s min/mile
ugh! Not a good run for me, but since it was my first 1/2 iron I'm cutting myself a little slack. Was doing well on the first loop, did it in about 1:05 which was right on track for a 2:10 half mary, 10 minute pace which was my goal since my stand alone half mary time is just under a 9 min pace. But just lost it on the second loop. My legs started to get tired and I just got so generally fatigued I couldn't keep even a jog for long. I don't think I ate enough either
(totally forgot about the balance bar in my tri top
) and was famished the whole second loop. I ate two orange slices, a banana and for the entire second loop I grabbed a big handful of pretzels and shoved them in my mouth at every aide station
(one station didn't have them but one sweet volunteer ran to the aide station on the other side and chased me down to give them to me
). Didn't do me much good at that point though. Also, it was hot, not in the 60's like predicted, although not so hot that it should have affected my performance.
I did get to run with Stuart on the second loop, and someone else who's name I didn't catch, whose BT name I have now forgotten, AGAIN, and it was so nice to have company. I was at the point where I was dying to just not make forward progress anymore and I needed something to get me out of my own head. I don't get bored at run races but the run portion of a triathlon can get a little lonely sometimes, which makes it feel even slower. I did see lots of LA tri people too which was nice and my friends and parents were there around the turnaround with signs and everything which I hugely appreciated
(I know how tiring it can be to watch someone do a tri, seriously
). One of the little beach houses was playing eye of the tiger on repeat which was awesome, that run course needs more music fo sho.
At the last aide station I stopped to eat my pretzels and a woman volunteer came up to me and asked if I needed anything, I told her through a mouthful of pretzel that I was good thanks, just chewing. She asked if I was on my first loop or almost home and I said almost home, which made me realize, shit, I'm ALMOST HOME! And she said, that's good, you've already done this part
(of the loop
) before. I don't know why that had such a strong effect but after that I was able to pick it up a little at the end and once I saw that finish line I gave it a strong run in
(just behind the 79 year old oldest competitor! go me!
What would you do differently?:
Eat more on the bike and definitely eat something at the beginning of the run. I'm not sure if the fatigue on the second loop was poor nutrition or just an mostly unavoidable effect of doing a run that long after all the stuff beforehand. Either way, live and learn, now I know what to expect and can hopefully tweak some things so that I have a better run next time.
walk in a complete daze through the finish chute, I was so zonked by then. Grabbed my medal, hat and shirt, saw my roommate and one of our friends, they told me my time
(7:30 by the clock, less the 40 minutes since I started at 7:21
). Saw another pair of my friends on the way to food/massage and I think I talked to them giddy and incoherent I was so glad to be done. I ended up in line for the massage tent thinking it was food, by the time I realized that I figured a massage sounded just fine so I stayed there. Ended up getting a FANTASTIC full body massage for about 20-25 minutes, which helped immensely in getting my senses back. Grabbed some pizza, bagel and fruit in the food tent and went outside to sit with my parents and Yanti.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
General conditioning? I did have to take it easy on the run training the last month due to some hip flexor problems and I'm wondering if that had anything to do with my run problems too. I was really happy with my swim and bike, my run could have been better but I do chalk some of it up to inexperience and just not knowing the right combination of food and pacing.
I had a great time at Oceanside, I can see why people come back every year. It's a challenging bike course, but totally doable, just challenging enough to make it not boring, but also plenty of relatively flat areas so you can rock the aerobars. Swim was good, again, I like the in water start, easy out and back course so it's hard to get too lost or off track. Run had lots of aid stations and it is a beautiful run if you're not to out of it like was to really appreciate it
(although the little bit of running on the sand was not cool
). I think overall I had a respectable finish to my first half ironman.
Last updated: 2009-03-28 12:00 AM
00:39:26 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
xterra full wetsuit
out and back in the harbor
59F / 15C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:31:52 | 56 miles | 15.86 mile/hr
big loop around (and through) camp pendleton
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:24:56 | 13.1 miles | 11m 04s min/mile
two loops out and back along the strand
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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