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Full Vineman Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Guerneville, California
United States
Vineman, Inc.
Total Time = 14h 02m 40s
Overall Rank = 433/
Age Group = W 45-49
Age Group Rank = 14/39
Pre-race routine:

Don't really have a pre-race routine. Small cup of coffee in hotel before we left.
Event warmup:

None - just tried to stay warm before the swim start.
  • 1h 21m 38s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Not a bad swim for me considering my training was lacking in this area. There was quite a bit of chaos most of the swim, which usually freaks me out but I ignored it most of the time and stayed in my box. It was funny to see so many people standing and walking the shallow parts. I kept swimming and seemed to be pass most of them.

I saw a hawk fly overhead just as my wave went off. =)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except swim more in training. This was actually a pretty good swim for me.
Transition 1
  • 05m 51s

Love love love the wetsuit strippers. I picked a young strong looking guy and he was quick! Transition was in dirt/sand so trying to get my feet cleaned off and socks on while balancing on one foot was very difficult. I was very slow here. (Handed wetsuit and all my "stuff" to Tom over the fence which was nice.)
What would you do differently?:

Do better job of drying and cleaning feet - this would come back to bite me later.
  • 6h 19m 11s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.72 mile/hr

Started off ok, roads were very rough with lots of potholes. We were warned ahead of time so I was careful to try to avoid, especially in the shaded sections when you couldn't see very well. My feet were cold from the start, and even though I dried them off the best I could, my socks were wet and I could feel a little pebble under my left foot as well as sand rubbing both feet.

River Road was fairly easy out to Dry Creek. Chalk Hill the first time came up pretty quick, I was surprised how quick. I will say it was longer than I expected. It was not difficult to tackle, but I was not expecting it to be that long of a climb.

Riding into Windsor I was so excited to see Tom, Andy, my Dad & Sandy cheering. It made me so happy to see them. Zoom - they were gone.

The next lap was brutal. My back had been hurting from about 1 hour into the ride, and I had taken Advil which helped some but it had started to wear off. I wasn't sure where the 2nd loop picked up so it seemed like we rode forever before things started to look familiar from the first loop. I expected Chalk Hill to appear much sooner, but it was forever before I saw it again.

My back was killing me most of the 2nd loop so I sat up a lot, stood up to stretch my back, anything to help with the pain. I finally stopped at the 86ish mile rest stop to pee and finally got that darn pebble out of my shoe.

Saw a few more hawks. =)
What would you do differently?:

Dry & clean feet better in T1, core work during training to help with back issues.

I rode this fairly easy, not wanting to overdo it, but also because my back was bothering me most of the ride.
Transition 2
  • 07m 33s

Very slow - I planned to change out of tri shorts into running shorts but didn't know where the changing tents were. There were too many people around the area (including my Dad) to just change right out in the open. I made the mistake of running to the port-o-potty to change and returned to my bike (which was a long haul both ways) only to find out the run exit was by the port-o-potties. I wasted a lot of time going back to the bike. Lesson learned - know the logistics!
What would you do differently?:

Learn the layout
  • 6h 08m 27s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 04s  min/mile

My back was still bothering me from biking, and it never went away. I felt bad from the beginning. My plan was to try and run low 10's - ha! It was hot & hilly out there. My feet started bothering me early on, I could feel blisters starting on the balls of my feet (from the sand in bike socks I'm sure). I ran as much as I could but really walked almost this whole thing.

Saw Doug & Steph several times with it being 3 out and backs, as well as Tom & the support team. Several folks looked like they were struggling, which didn't help me.

My stomach was very unhappy (nothing new) so I didn't take in much nutrition. I tried coke but that only made it worse.

Steph caught up to me on the last lap, and stayed with me the rest of the run. I'm pretty sure she thought I was not going to finish so she wouldn't leave me. I tried to convince her to go ahead, she was capable of running, but she wouldn't.

I have to say it's much more fun to walk in misery with Steph than without Steph. She was chatting the whole way, making people laugh, me included. To cross the finish line together meant so much to me, I can't put it into words. Thanks Steph!
What would you do differently?:

Other than do a better job of cleaning feet in T1, I don't know. My training had me prepared for this, and I felt most confident in my run, so I'm not sure what went wrong so early on.
Post race
Warm down:

None - slowly walked to special needs bag to get our stuff.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stomach & feet

Event comments:

I choose Vineman for a couple of reasons. I grew up in the Bay Area and figured it would be a great place to race. I also really wanted my family to see me race a full iron distance (they didn't see me at Louisville or Wisconsin) and I figured the only way that would happen was if I raced near them.

Most of my family was planning on watching us, but an unexpected turn of events changed that. My Mom suddenly became ill a couple weeks before the race, and ended up passing away the Sunday before Vineman. It was completely unexpected and a total shock to everyone. I contemplated not doing the race at all, but then decided she would have wanted me to race so I did. My heart wasn't really in it, but I knew I needed to cross that finish line no matter what.

The hawk reference is for my Mom. Even though she wasn't physically there, she was there watching over me. I love you Mom!

Last updated: 2012-04-07 12:00 AM
01:21:38 | 4224 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 14/39
Overall: 442/
Performance: Good
Suit: BlueSeventy Sleeveless
Course: Two loop river swim, very shallow
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder: Average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:51
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:19:11 | 112 miles | 17.72 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/39
Overall: 288/
Performance: Average
Course: Stick out and then two loops. Rolling with only one significant hill done twice.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 07:33
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:08:27 | 26.2 miles | 14m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 32/39
Overall: 612/
Performance: Bad
Course: 3 out and backs - hilly with very little shade
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 3

2012-08-04 10:00 AM

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: Full Vineman Triathlon

2012-08-04 10:23 AM
in reply to: #4346832

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon

You did a fantastic job, Karen.  14 hours is amazing!  I'm am so very proud of all the hard work you put into your season.  It paid off.  I know you struggled with several issues over the course of the race, but it looks like it came together nicely.  

I am very sorry to hear about your mother's passing.  It's obvious you love her very, very much, and she would be proud of what you accomplished last weekend.  Many prayers and thoughts for you and your family.  

2012-08-04 10:52 AM
in reply to: #4346832

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Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon
Karen, my condolences on the passing of your mother. I'm sure she was cheering you on the whole race.
2012-08-04 6:51 PM
in reply to: #4346832

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San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon
Congratulations!  :-)  I enjoyed your RR....lots of hawks up there in Sonoma.
2012-08-04 10:12 PM
in reply to: #4346832

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Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon
Read your RR because someone in my Mentor Group did Vineman, was just checking out how everyone did.  I thought it was really cool that you kept mentioning the hawks--something I very much noticed in my first 70.3 last Sunday was the wildlife.  Then to see that they were a representation of your mom that you recently lost--wow.  Good for you for racing--I'm sure your mom is very proud.  Thanks for the inspiration!
2012-08-08 6:22 PM
in reply to: #4346832

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Seattle, Washington
Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon
Nice work! Good job on a great finish even with all you have been through lately.

2012-08-09 6:30 PM
in reply to: #4346832

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Subject: RE: Full Vineman Triathlon
Great job.  I can see I'm going to have to do another IM and lower my time since you are fast approaching beating me.  
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