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Ironman 70.3 Victoria - Triathlon

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Victoria, British Columbia
World Triathlon Corporation
21.5C / 71F
Total Time = 6h 06m 34s
Overall Rank = 781/
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 45/96
Pre-race routine:

We were up at 3:50 to get out the door by 4:20. Had a banana and a couple sips of coffee.

Got to race site, got body marked and got transition set up. Had pre-race energizer and some water. Remembered to lube all the places I forget for my wetsuit--neck and chest. Got wetsuit on and headed down to the water.
Event warmup:

We were concerned that they weren't going to let us in the water to warm up like Boise, but once transition closed, they had us all 'chip-in' and go into the water. We just had to stay to left of the buoys and it was wide open. Got in, swam a few hundred meters, made sure that my wetsuit was really pulled up because that is what often causes me problems. I was in the 9th wave at 6:24 so still had plenty of time. Just tried to stay loose and warm as I watched the other waves go off.
  • 39m 42s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 05s / 100 meters

Started in the middle of the pack. First few hundred meters was arms and legs and chaos. I had my usual struggle to get into a breathing pattern. Not as bad as sometimes, I didn't have to stop or breast stroke, but just general can't get into sync.

I was about 750m in, and I can't remember if I was taking a few breast strokes, or just sighting, but I noticed a woman in a green cap (3 waves ahead of me) kinda bobbing in the water and looking around. Her eyes looked kinda big and a bit panicked. I stopped and asked if she was okay. "No, I'm not" was the answer. I asked her if she wanted me to get her a boat. She asked if I was in the last wave--I was confused but said no, not at all (I think she was worried that she was that slow). I didn't want to just leave her, so I said "lets get you to a boat". She said she didn't want to give up--I told her that as long as she the boat didn't help her move forward, she could just rest a bit, then continue on. I called to a boat and tried to guide her to the outside of the pack. The boat got there, she grabbed on, and I got on my way. I wish I would have noted her number to check on her later.

I started swimming again, and was pleased to get into a rhythm quickly. I just needed that little break I guess! At some point a few meters later I checked my watch and was excited to see that I was swimming 1:55/100m, even with the stop! Buoyed (haha) I pushed on.

I made the first turn and now we are swimming directly into the sun. Hard to see the buoy, but with all the heads up swim we do at masters, I was good! Just under 200m across the back to the second turn. A little bit of trouble seeing the return buoys as well, but I stayed on course okay. Trying to really focus on catch and pull now, as I start to fatigue a bit.

I was happy with the rest of my swim. When I saw my time out of the water was 39:xx I was ecstatic--my goal had been sub 40.
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing. No way could I have gone on without checking on the woman who was struggling. Folks I talked to after said they would have, but I don't think most of us would. After all, we would all want someone to stop for us in a similar situation!!
Transition 1
  • 04m 2s

I started to get my suit off on the run up to transition. For the first time, suit got stuck on my garmin. Struggled to get it off.

I had forgotten to put on sunscreen--I was going to get V to help me, but then didn't see her before race start--so I had to go to my bag along the fence to grab it and put it on at my bike.

Otherwise, all went according to plan.
What would you do differently?:

Not forget to put on sunscreen.
  • 3h 14m 36s
  • 86 kms
  • 26.52 km/hr

Well, this was the "how long was it really" course. The maps say 86km. My garmin says 88km. Medal says 90.1km....

I knew this to be a hilly course, so wanted to take it easy. I didn't want to cook my legs and kill my run. It took me about 8km to remember that was on the first biggish climb and I said to myself "ease off..." Tried to just keep a steady effort from there.

Not really a lot to report--it is a nice ride, roads are fairly good. One section of chipseal that sucks. There are 2 sharp corners--the first one was relatively well 'marked'--a traffic control person about 50m away shouting (not that you could hear her). I think a big sign saying sharp turn would be helpful. The other sharp turn had a guy in a hi-vis vest shouting...but he was about 5 m from the turn. By the time you figure out what he is saying you are in the turn. Not well marked at all.

I'm not sure if the slower time on the second half was because I backed off a bit thinking about the run, or the wind, or if I just slowed down. I didn't feel like I was struggling at all, so I am not sure.
What would you do differently?:

I definitely am stronger than when I did this Oly a few years ago; it didn't seem quite as bad as I remember :). I think I rode well for where I am. Nutrition was good. Hydration was good.
Transition 2
  • 02m 48s

Rack bike, shoes on, hat on, more sunscreen. Had to use the portapottie.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing much
  • 2h 05m 26s
  • 20 kms
  • 06m 16s  min/km

My plan was 5-5-5. 5 miles 'easy', 5 miles faster, 5km hard. I did good on the first two :)

First 5 miles was 47:13. Second 5 miles was 46:40. Kinda fell apart in the last 5km!

I started out just trying to get my legs. I was struggling a bit, but told myself that I would get into a rhythm, and I did, probably around 4km in. I was feeling pretty good for the rest of the first loop. Took a gel at 7km, grabbed some water and put some ice in my cap. It was hot, but not unbearable. At 8km, I told myself to pick it up a bit. Of course, that was the point of the course that was the two steep hills! No problem, just pick it up where you can.

At about 9km, a woman tripped right in front of me on a root and went down hard. She bounced right back up, wasn't hurt. There were areas of shadows and light on the trail and it made it difficult to see roots and rocks sticking up.

I got to the finish area and looked at my watch and saw I had a chance at sub 6. Just 10km to go. Tried to keep my pace, not speed up too much and lose it. Up the first steep hill again, and down the other side, and a woman trips in front of me again. Boom went down hard, rolled and kinda stayed down. Picked up her sunglasses, and another guy and I made sure she was okay and helped her up. I think she was shaken, but okay. Will be bruised and sore today.

Not too far on, I tripped. Didn't go down, but wasn't far off. Guy beside asked if I was okay and we chatted about how easy it was to trip in here, in the shadows, especially when you are starting to get fatigued!!

Now I was on the long slight grade (which I didn't really notice was a grade on the first lap!). I am starting to feel it now, and having to convince myself not to walk. I had been walking the aid stations to this point and continued to do so. I kept reminding myself to breathe properly and not wheeze and gasp. Then we got to the out and back hill. I had to walk it. Once it leveled off, I got going again, and ran around the cones, but that steep part was not happening at a run. Ran the downhill, then walked the next steep up until it leveled. Now I was supposed to be on the last 5km fast--they weren't! I ended up walking parts. That little voice in your head that tells me I can't do it. I have gotten a really good hold on it for the most part in the last few years, but it still convinces me some times.

Got to the 20km sign and ran the rest in. I was dying and I hate to see my finish picture!

What would you do differently?:

I raced my run plan--I just didn't have it in the end. Considering the last 5km started with two big hills, I am not surprised. I am super happy with my run overall. A sub 6 race would have meant a sub two HM--and my open HM PR is 1:55 so it was a long shot!
Post race
Warm down:

Stood bent over in the finish chute dipping my hat in the ice water bucket and throwing it over my head. Tried to catch my breath.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A bit mental, a bit physical.

Event comments:

Overall this race is well done. Good system for bike drop off, aid stations well manned.

The post race food was pathetic. When I finished there were only oranges and bananas. Shortly thereafter, chili arrived, but had to be heated. Who wants chili in 25C? Then, later still, they had coleslaw with either ham pieces or sausages laid on top, in cups, but no forks. Finally, a hour or so later, they had pizza ordered in. It was pretty sad.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-03-30 12:00 AM
00:39:42 | 1900 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
Age Group: 36/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Counter clockwise loop.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 22C / 71F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:02
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:14:36 | 86 kms | 26.52 km/hr
Age Group: 47/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops, rolling hills with a couple steep. Windy on second loop.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:05:26 | 20 kms | 06m 16s  min/km
Age Group: 45/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: long was it? Map and medal say 21.1. Splits on IM tracker says 20km. Garmin says 20.8. Will the real distance please stand up? When we ran a small portion of the course on Saturday, I remembered that there were some hills on the back side. Up until then, I had remembered the course as relatively flat. Two laps around the lake. Flat for bits, climbs up dirt trails for some. A couple steep climbs. Part shade, part sun. First km or so is flat packed gravel. Then it turns to a hard packed dirt relatively steep climb. Then hard packed dirt long slight grade long section in the woods. Then back down hard packed dirt to the lake. Along the far end of the lake, over a bridge, and then back into the woods a bit. One little out and back section that goes up a steep hill, around the cones (best volunteer--cheering, shrieking, shouting to each athlete), and down the hill. Hard right and you get slapped with another steep hill, then a more gradual hill. Descend again down to the lake, past the rowing club, then a stretch along the highway and into the finish area.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-06-15 2:33 PM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

2015-06-15 3:15 PM
in reply to: #5122729

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Fantastic race, Kirsten! 

You executed near perfectly! (damn the sunscreen) You have been working really hard and it really shows. It's a shame they blew it with the post race food. No beer????

Glad you didn't wipe out on a root. I totally know what you mean about it being difficult to navigate the high contrast of shadow/sun.

Well done!

2015-06-15 3:17 PM
in reply to: #5122729

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Kirsten, my respect for you continues to grow. How cool that you have so much concern and respect for your fellow competitors! And you rocked the race to boot, your sub 6 is so close!!! Congratulations on a great race experience, keep working on that little voice in your head.

2015-06-15 3:41 PM
in reply to: 0

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Wow! Nice job! Great swim in spite of (or because of ) stopping to help someone. Great bike! You are definitely stronger on the bike than you were!!! And the run? Sometimes the voice in our head works against us but sometimes a walk is all we've got left in us. You finished, and with a great time I might add.


ETA: my head can't do temp conversions so the temp for chilli sounded fine to me   Bummer about the food

Edited by rrrunner 2015-06-15 3:42 PM
2015-06-15 4:01 PM
in reply to: #5122729

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Wow, you were so close to your sub-6 goal, excellent!  Stopping during the swim to help the woman = pure win.  Good job helping a fellow racer in need.  Looks like you had a very solid bike and good run, too, much to be proud of!  Sorry the food sucked.  Boo!

2015-06-16 8:57 AM
in reply to: melbo55

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria
SO awesome! That was so great that you stopped to help a fellow athlete too!!

Bummer about the run but all in all a great race and well executed! Stupid shadows......:D

2015-06-16 12:46 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Great job Kirsten.  I know how tough that bike course is but you rocked it.  I also love the medal.  That is one of the coolest I've seen.

2015-06-16 2:32 PM
in reply to: popsracer

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Great job out there!  Nice job helping someone out during the swim, great to hear about your improvement on the bike and awesome execution on the run!  You will ROCK Copenhagen!

2015-06-17 2:06 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Victorious in Victoria!!!  Way to go, Kirsten.  You definitely did a race to feel good about.  As TJ said, sometimes a walk is all ya got, but forward is a pace and you kept right on going, despite that stoopid inner voice.  Plus your concern for your fellow athletes is fantastic.  Love it when compassion overrides competitiveness.  Hope you didn't get too crisped with the sunscreen debacle.  High five, friend!!  Copenhagen, here you come!!

2015-06-18 10:51 PM
in reply to: laffinrock

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Victoria

Thanks everyone! 

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