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Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon

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Santa Barbara, California
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 3h 50m 28s
Overall Rank = 371/828
Age Group = CLYDES
Age Group Rank = 7/28
Pre-race routine:

Last year we stayed at a hotel across the street from transition, but this year we stayed at my mom's in Solvang to save some dough. Got up at 5 AM for the drive over the pass to Santa Barbaral, parked about 1/2 mile from Transition. Evedry race day, about 5 am, I wonder why I am doing this????

1 bottle gatorade, hit the portapotties, a few yards running warmup, then in the water for swim warmup

I hadn't tapered for this race, and was just going to train through it and use as my first IMAZ race prep, including paces. Well, once we start a race, that's kind of difficult so I ended up going a bit harder than I intended.

Last year this course surprised me and bit me in the ass. I knew there were hills but they were a little spicier than expected. I didn't know the run was hilly, and I just got destroyed. My goal was to beat my time of 4:15, secondary goal to beat 4:00, tertiary goal to improve my run experience.
  • 24m 38s
  • 1760 yards
  • 01m 24s / 100 yards

Good conditions for a swim, warmer than last year and overcast so the return swim directly east wasn't into the sun.

Lined up about second row, ended up right on Holger and Ian Murray's feet, but I lost them soon after rounding the first buoy, just couldn't keep up with the lead pack. The outbound course was sort of an arc of four buoys to the turnaround, and my navigation absolutely sucked, veering left much worse than normal. I looked back to see the poor sucker drafting off me.

All of the caps were white, so there was no way to judge progress, unfortunately.

Felt a little choppy and a bit of a current on the outbound leg. Smoothed out for the return, which only had two buoys but navigation for some reason was much better, hit the buoys right on. Looked back, no one drafting. Figures.

Had one episode of "is that vertigo?" on the way out, seems like i have one or so of these a swim.

Turned towards shore and stroked until I hit the sand, one dolphin and I was up. Saw Wendy and my mom who came down after me. Always nice to have support, especially since I didn't know more than 2 or 3 people in this race.

FTR, Holger beat me by a couple seconds, Ian by about a minute
What would you do differently?:

Better navigation
Transition 1
  • 02m 11s

Run from the water was a 100 yards or so of soft, deep sand. Great. Ran all of it, but have to admit that once in transition I walked a bit to collect myself.

I also did a couple silly things, wanted to put my Garmin on, but my watch was on, so spent time and took it off. Oh well........

Got into cycling shoes without socks pretty easily.
What would you do differently?:

go faster
  • 1h 49m 1s
  • 34 miles
  • 18.71 mile/hr

This is a pretty challenging bike course, with 3 major climbs (by "major", I mean not long and/or super steep, but relatively enough to slow you down a lot) and a lot of technical turns. Several sections of the road are in terrible shape, and there were bottles and tubes all over the place. That said, it's a nice course that goes from SB down around Montecito (western home of Oprah :) ), through Carpinteria, up to Casitas Pass Road and then return.

About 2 weeks ago I found a crack in my 57 Saber frame, so I was using a friend's 55 Saber. I got the fit close, but it's not the same. There were times when my legs would just be burning but my HR would be 150, and climbing on it is obviously different.... something wrong with that, but just gotta deal with it.

The course is not closed to traffic, but they had CHP and volunteers manning intersections that did a good job. There was also a lot of drafting going on, both inadvertant since the course is narrow at spots as well as blatantly adverant. USAT marshalls were on the course though.

Each climb is different, the first is subtle but long and a burner. The second seems like it should be harder but it's just short and a bit steep. The last is the longest, a roller coaster of steeper sections and interval sections that you can recover on.

I was intentionally holding back a bit so as to not burn out my legs for the run, so I would sort of surge on the flatter/easier parts and then back off on the climbs. I was only out of the saddle a couple times. Then I would forget and try to bridge a gap, the burning in my legs reminding me to slow down. I was hoping I hadn't already gone too hard by the time I reached the third hill.

Did have one unhappy chain dropping incident at the base of the third hill. The bike I am using has such senstive front deraillieur (I guess) that I have not been able to re catch the chain on the fly (in two tries) as I can on my bike. Lost maybe a minute between stopping, getting it back on, and starting again.

According to motionbased, course was .20 miles shorter than last year
What would you do differently?:

Ride my bike. Still more hill training.
Transition 2
  • 02m 50s

OK, there's no reason for this time except I couldn't find my spot. I had counted the racks, and was at the right rack, but thought I was closer to the end than I was, so I missed it, ran to another rack. DOH!
What would you do differently?:

figure out where I am going
  • 1h 31m 50s
  • 10 miles
  • 09m 11s  min/mile

What a great run for me. In my last two races I've discovered a run cadence, just a quick, comfortable stride that doesn't kill me. I haven't done more than 2 runs past 10 miles in the last few weeks, so I wondered how I would hold up.

Had my Garmin, and my pace during the first mile was showing 8:35. I was comfortable, but I knew I couldn't do 10 at that pace, so worked on slowing down. Didn't go by HR at all, just went by RPE and comfort

I broke the run into sections - bike path, hill, park, street, park, residential area, the "pit", and back. breaking it down into bite sized chunks made it easier.

Although my pace was faster, I did walk through each aid station, as I plan to do at IMAZ. This also broke up the run. Unlike last year, I didn't walk either of the 2 big hills on the run.

I got passed a lot, passed a few myself, but knew I was having a prety good run. I wasn't keeping mile splits, but hit the turnaround at 46:00 and change, and knew it was a faster course going back, so I had hopes of a 1:30 something finish. Having run 1:47 last year, this gave me the motivation to go on.

This was also the first time I had worn my LA Tri race jersey. It's a XXXL, but Garneau sizing (i.e., ridiculous) and I always felt ridiculous in it since it didn't stay down over my stomach. Finally I felt like I could wear it without looking like a complete dork (more than we already do), and I have to say all the 'go LA" comments, "great job" etc. really helped. It's good to have that kind of support in a race.

As good as most of the run felt, about mile 7.5 it got hard. At the top of the hill I finally saw gailg, and gave a wave. Mile 8 was painful, but I was holding it, and I was passing people (a few, but still passing). mile 9 was just getting miserable... but it's only a mile, right? You can see the finish from a long ways off. Sometimes that's good, sometimes not so. Just have to stop thinking about the pain, and as Simon Whitfield said, do it because you know you can.

What would you do differently?:

right now, not much
Post race
Warm down:

Went into the ocean and just dunked myself, floated around for 15 mintues or so. Felt great.

Saw Jocelyn (sealiongirl) registering for the sprint. I'm afraid I was a sweaty incoherent mess :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

weight, bike training

Event comments:

Lots of great stuff about this race. It's a small local race, but very popular and lots of people racing. So lots of traffic, drafting, etc. Road surfaces are also frankly dangerous in a couple spots. But it's the most beautiful So Cal course I think.

Compared to last year's race:
2007 - 26:39
2008 - 24:38

2007 - 1:56:06
2008 - 1:49:01

2007 - 1:47:10
2008 - 1:31:50

I am very pleased, my run in my last two tris, an Oly and this, were very strong, consistent, and negative split. Still my weakest event, but getting better!

Last updated: 2008-01-14 12:00 AM
00:24:38 | 1760 yards | 01m 24s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/28
Overall: 102/828
Performance: Good
Course: Oddly shaped rectangle
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:49:01 | 34 miles | 18.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/28
Overall: 367/828
Performance: Average
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:50
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:31:50 | 10 miles | 09m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/28
Overall: 510/828
Performance: Good
Course: Up hill out, down hill back, mostly
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-08-23 11:02 PM

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Subject: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course

2008-08-24 1:47 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course

Holy cow, you BURNT THIS ONE UP! Super job on sailing the ever-present race bobbles (funky navigation--still a killer swim split--and a spell of dizziness, different bike, chain, and hills on the run) to fly to an amazing finish.

CONGRATULATIONS on the PR and for blowing your goals away. Especially glad you had a relatively uneventful swim and a beautiful run.

2008-08-24 12:38 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
That's a studly improvement right there. Nice job.
2008-08-24 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
Great job Chris.  You kicked ace.  What an odd distance race.  Congrats on kicking the crap out of your old PR for the race.
2008-08-24 5:08 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course

You really nailed this race....congrats!

It is nice to see that all your training and consistent running are making huge difference come race time. 

Super race...amazing improvement~ 

2008-08-24 5:34 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Extreme Veteran
Westchester, NY
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
wow.. awesome report .. awesome race.. great race management.. makes me greeeeen with envy reading all these California race reports

2008-08-24 6:20 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
I don't comment on race reports very often, but in this case I want to point out that Chris looked pretty dang great in his racewear, especially at Mile 7.5!  An impressive race, my friend!
2008-08-24 8:32 PM
in reply to: #1623685

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
Congratulations on a great race, way to rock your goal of less than 4 hours!!  If you were right behind Ian Murray and Holger I was probably 5 feet away on the side of the chute at the start right past the balloons, and I probably saw you come in from the water as well, I tried to yell go LA tri at anybody I saw in racing gear, but since I can't remember if we've met I can't be sure , either way I'm glad you got some support out there, truly you did an awesome job!  
2008-08-25 2:05 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course kinda were a sweaty, incoherent mess! But don't worry, I don't know my own name at the end of a race. Good thing they call it out on the speaker!

Actually, you finished strong from what I could see. I'm really glad you got out there and did this despite your tough few weeks. You totally rocked it, especially that run. Keep up the good work!

2008-08-25 8:30 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Central New York
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
Whoa, man. You flat out rocked it.

That's big payoff, considering the rigors of your current training cycle. Shows just how far you've come and just how much you still have to accomplish.

I'm glad to see a big bright spot come your way. Been a lousy few weeks, no doubt. You earned this one, and you certainly deserved it.
2008-08-25 8:49 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course
that is truly an inspiration for us newbies, great race report and congrats on killing your PR

2008-08-25 10:48 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Santa Monica, CA
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course

Yeah, I said to the girl I was travelling with, "They have SO much MONEY up here, an look at these crappy roads!  You'd think they could get em fixed!"

Anyway--fantastic job!  This is why I love having BT, cuz it's so handy to be able to look back from where you came and see the growth. 

We've gotta meet one of these days; I think we've been shadowing eachother out here on BT and out there in race land!

(I too wore a new LA Tri kit yesterday; got the one piece skin suit cuz I also didn't like the race shirt scooting up my belly!)

2008-08-25 11:05 AM
in reply to: #1623685

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Santa Monica, CA
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Long Course

PS:  I often get that feeling at 5am, like what the heck am I doing here?  At one of my races this summer, the PA guy came on while it was dark out and announced, "GOOD MORNING, IDIOTS" (in the tone of Robin Williams saying, "Good Morning Vietnam!"

He went on to explain that comment, talking about the money we spent, the hour we got up, and the pain we were about to endure!

I think that every time I race now, "good morning, idiots!"  Smile

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