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Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Dana Point, California
United States
Orangeman Triathlon
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 34m 58s
Overall Rank = 160/369
Age Group = Clydes
Age Group Rank = 3/15
Pre-race routine:

Signed up for this race early this year after a good friend who is trying to get back to racing after a couple kids signed up, along with another of our training partners. Turns out my friend never got on the training wagon so he ultimately bagged it.

My bike and swim were OK, but I did not have the runs in my legs I would have wanted going in. Only two 10 mile runs in the last 4 weeks, and only 6s and 7s other than that. Thought it shouldn't be that bad as the run was flat.

Also, my last race as a Clydesdale, since they're moving the weight limit to 220 next year, and I hope to be sub 200 anyway. I'd done well in clydes since losing weight from last season (ironic), and frankly really wanted to get on the podium here.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 4:30 a.m. for the 15 minute drive to Dana Point. Got to Starbucks for the 5 am opening, quick cup of coffee then down the hill to Doheny. Not many people there yet, parking lot mostly empty.

Found a spot, set up transition, cleared up a registration/cap color issue, then got ready. As I was warming up in the water realized I had left my chip on my bike, so ran back to transition then back to the beach
  • 34m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

Good swim, is a little long. Garmin showed a bit over 2400 yards. SO I knew I wasn't going sub 30, which is something I've been chasing for a few races.

Was a cool start, about shin deep in the water, which dropped off quickly so we were off swimming. Fairly easy to sight in the predawn light and no sun issues. Stuck with a pack of about 4 guys for most of the swim, including a bareback guy who kept turning over and backstroking for a while. But still beating me. Drafted some, had some drafters.

All in all a nice swim if a little long.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 03m 9s

Longish run up the beach. Still a lot of bikes in transition when I got there. Suit got stuck on the funky chip they had. Was a long run from T1 exit to the mount line, running in bike shoes sucked.
What would you do differently?:

Learn how to mount with shoes on bike
  • 3h 07m 51s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.89 mile/hr

This is a very unique course. It's mostly a pass in the Cleveland National Forest, sea level to 2600+ feet in 28 miles, then return.

Started off on the bike path, nice and smooth and not very crowded at 7:15 on a Sunday morning. Because we were wave 1 and I was out near the pointy end, there were not a lot of racers either. Spent the first few miles drinking water and getting my legs underneath me. Following the bike path they routed us onto a residential street with about 5 feet of room with curb on the one side and indicators with yellow caution tape on the other. Sketchy and hard to pass. Just tried to check my effort and get comfortable for the climb.

Got onto Ortega then a quick right to La Pata for the out and back. We had driven the course the day before, and this hill looked steep, but it wasn't bad, two little climbs to sit up on. Going up, a guy on the other side yelled that there was a speed bump on the descent that people were catching air on. Friend had to stop later for a woman that had a horrific crash there. They should have mentioned this in the briefing, or had some signage. It was not a mellow speed bump but had a lip. Major fail.

Headed right at the bottom of the hill onto Ortega, the meat of the day. Rollers for about five miles to the Lazy W Ranch (or something) where the 10 mile climb started. Very nice mostly closed road, good surface. It got a little lonely up there, at time I could see no one ahead or behind, and it was kind of peaceful. Reminded me a lot of climbing Mulholland in the Santa Monicas. There were a few flat sections and even downhills to break up the climb.

The real climb started just before the candy shop, and from there to the top, where the road was exposed to sun. This was the nly tough part I thought, and it wasn't even that tough. Had a lot of shady areas before then, but it was starting to get hot. First guy coming down passed me ust below the candy shop. Spent my time counting the guys (and three girls) that were coming down. somewhere around 50.

Tried to hammer coming down, got into aero when it was flatter, but on the horns on the big curves or steeper sections. Did well for me, averaged nearly 30 for 10-15 miles coming down. Thought it might be crowded, but I only passed one guy coming down, and only three guys passed me the entire 28 mile descent to T2.

Honestly, hardest part was the rollers the last 10 miles or so.

Tuning left off Ortega I came upon the second place girl on the pavement. Looks like the caution tape might have reached out and got her. I was very careful in that 3 mile section to stay away from the tape and to the left on the curb.

Aid stations were perfectly placed at 14, 30 and 45 miles, with big bottles with cold water. Great volunteers.

Last couple miles on the bike path, trying to spin the legs out in the small cog to get ready for the run

Goal was sub 3, but got pretty close. I felt comfortable the entire climb, and wasn't trashed getting off the bike. I was pleased with the effort level
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, good ride.
Transition 2
  • 01m 33s

Faster than I thought it would be.
  • 2h 44m 11s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 32s  min/mile

Got off the bike and exited T2 feeling good. Not trashed. Not feeling like "how the hell can I do this". First mile out to the breakwater and back, then to the sand for nearly a mile. And not packed or hard sand. Soft sand, with rocks, and huge jumbles of kelp that had washed up. Pace slowed to about an 11 minute mile through the sand.

Got onto the day use section nearly to miles in where they had the FIRST aid station. Another fail. Walked the aid station as was my plan. Short section to the train crossing, then onto the 3 mile loop on the bike path that we would repeat three times, with an aid station at each end.

First loop felt OK, was keeping a fairly good pace, but pretty slow. About 9:45/mile. And it was getting hot. Accdg to the weather it was 90 degrees for most of my run. Add reflected heat off the pavement and it was hotter. I felt pretty god through 6 and then the wheels fell off.

Which brings me to my confession. A friend had come down from L.A. to jockstrap and he decided to get a run in. He was running with m for the first loop. I knew this was wrong, but was just putting my head down trying to get through it. My responsibility to tell him to run somewere else, but i wasn't all there and did not do this. And got dinged for it coming back the first loop. He felt bad, but this was my responsibility.

Now I had a penalty, but no idea what it was. Figured it wasn't a DQ but a variable time penalty, but didn't know how much. I figured no way I could podium now. And if I couldn't podium, might as well figure out how to conserve energy rather than pushing through. Annnnnnd that started the walking on the second loop. I would run to a sign, then walk to a sign. Those run breaks got shorter, and the walk breaks longer.

It was getting really hot and with aid stations only every 1.5 miles, I was trying not to overheat. I have a history of getting really dizzy, as in nearly passing out, in hot weather if I don't hydrate, and I was worried about that. So I was simply trying to heat manage. I was convinced that I would not podium, and frankly was fine, this run effort did not deserve a podium.

I got a cup of ice at each station and kept it to the next one, so I always had a little ice and cold water.

Finally got to the last loop. Every loop they'd give a different color wristband. You could see where people were on the course. I really wanted that red band, and got it. Also had a volunteer offer to dump ice down my shorts. Sounded like a good idea, but n execution it was REALLY freaking cold in a pretty sensitive area. Had to drop a lot of it out the bottom of my shorts. Hoped people saw the ice come out and didn't think it was something else.

I turned off my Garmin about mile 9, as it was just to depressing, so it was just a slow slog back to the finish without any idea how far I had to go. Saw Wendy in the day use parking waiting for me. She thought she could give me a boost, but I used it as an excuse to walk again.

Got back onto the sand section and it just seemed to take forever. The crowd was great, everyone cheering, but it was a total psych out. THere was a large section of white flags where the crowd was, I thought that was the finish. Nope, keep going on the sand.... finally turned right into the parking lot, but still no idea where the finish was. Asked a volunteer, she said "right around the corner," I said "better be, I know where to find you if it's not!" It was right there.

Looked at the clock and was expecting much worse than 6:30. Add the penalty for 6:34. Was even more surprised that it was good for 3d in Clydes.
What would you do differently?:

Train better going in. Lose a little more weight. Be mentally tougher.....
Post race
Event comments:

The penalty didn't technically cost me a spot, as even without it I was still about :15 seconds back from second place. But maybe not getting it would have kept me motivated to try harder. Tough to say, but I don't think I would have done much better.

Nice low key race. Only about 400 finishers. Riding on a closed Ortega Hwy is fantastic. Sand run and heat sucked, but everyone had to deal with this.

Disappointed that the run fell apart so badly. My slowest HIM run ever, including 2 insanely hard Wildflower runs. Same thing happened last year at Santa Barbara Long, which was also hot. Maybe I just can't do Oceanside in March and still put together a good long course race in September. Or maybe I wasn't as comfortable on the bike as I thought and I pushed too hard.

Feel pretty beat up after this race, more than any 70.3 I can recall. Lots of folks saying the same. But glad I did it and would do it again

Last updated: 2012-01-13 12:00 AM
00:34:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/15
Overall: 35/369
Performance: Good
Course: Out 175 yds, left 800 yds, left 100 yds, left 800 yards, in
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:09
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:07:51 | 56 miles | 17.89 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/15
Overall: 97/369
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:33
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:44:11 | 13.1 miles | 12m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/15
Overall: 250/369
Performance: Bad
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]

2012-09-24 6:23 PM

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Subject: Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon

2012-09-24 7:08 PM
in reply to: #4425687

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Subject: RE: Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon

Sounds like a tough race.  Way to hang in there and still make the podium.

2012-09-24 7:17 PM
in reply to: #4425687

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Subject: RE: Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon

Awesome swim and bike!

Way to tough it out on the run. It's a total mental game.

You done good

2012-09-24 7:41 PM
in reply to: #4425687

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2012-09-26 12:27 PM
in reply to: #4425687

Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon
Even though we didn't get to meet at the race, it was great to have raced the same race with you man!  =)
2012-09-27 12:17 PM
in reply to: #4425687

2000500100100100100 home in The ATL
Subject: RE: Orangeman 70.3 Triathlon
Chris, even though this race seems to have gotten in your head a bit, congrats on the awesome season. The fact that you made the podium just shows that this was a tough race all around, and you actually performed very well despite conditions. Don't beat yourself up about it too much!

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