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Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz - Triathlon

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Santa Cruz, California
United States
Total Time = 7h 01m 54s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Stayed at the Fireside Inn with Dan, this turned out to be an amazing location! Close to transition and the swim start. We rolled down to transition to set up and get body marked. I didn't put my race kit on before we left since we were coming back to the room to chill for a while. Wrote "suck it" on my arm, for "suck it up", racing is hard have to suck it up and keep moving forward.

At body marking, I realized i was free-boobing it, so when there volunteer asked me to give him my arms for marking i said "i need to do this strategically or we are might have a nip slip!" He laughed and I said "well might be the highlight of your day!"

Set up transition in the dark and then we headed back to the room. I ate a banana with PB, tried to eat my Uncrushable, but after a bite I tossed it. Was nice waiting around in the room a bit rather than on the beach waiting for our start. Not to mention access to a real toilet!

Threw on our wetsuits and headed down to the beach. Dan's start time was 10 minutes or so ahead of mine. Hugged him good-bye as he went to wait with his start group.
Event warmup:

Stretched a bit and that's it. Watched the sun-rise it was perfect! I thought of everyone who would be tracking me that day, but then it reminded me that my dad would have loved to track me online, he was a tech-junkie! Almost started crying, so i looked at the crowds and saw everyone hugging and kissing loved ones, then I got sad thinking that no one was physically there for me or would be waiting at the finish line.....once again that made me want to cry.

Dan and I had talked about me "chasing" him down on the run, so I pictured him as a rabbit, my race rabbit! In my mind I saw him in the bunny suit Ralph gets for Xmas in The Christmas Story! This made me laugh and kept me from feeling sad.

My friend Yoko found me in the starting area and I gave her a big hug...thank Yoko, you have no idea how much I needed that! Also noticed that was one of the only girls with my nails painted, funny the things you notice when trying to hold tears at bay.
  • 46m 1s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

This was a beach start and I didn't warm-up, a.k.a. pee my wetsuit....this turns into an issue later in my race. Yes everyone pees their wetsuit, it's like a Pavlovian response....the moment you are zipped up, you have the urge to pee. So if you ever at a triathlon and see a bunch of triathletes standing waist-deep in the water looking out into the horizon, it looks like they are contemplating the day, but they are just "warming-up" their wetsuit.

Finally we start and I head into the water, this was my first ocean swim tri. The water temp wasn't too cold and I just tried to keep thoughts of sharks or anything that may want to have a bite of me. Forgot that I needed to pee and just swam. Realized what a great job I did of getting my wetsuit on, was the most comfortable I've even been in it! Really focused on getting out the wrinkles, high in the crotch and armpits! Go ME!

The water looked calm from the beach, but was a bit choppy. I couldn't see the first bouy, I kept following the feet in front on my and just looking at the rescue kayaks. At one point I saw a jet-ski taking 4 people back to the beach! I said to myself "you did not come hear to get jet-ski ride!"

Typically I breathe every 4th stroke, but with the chop, I realized quickly that it was making me seasick, so I started breathing every 2 strokes which worked much better. Finally got to the first turn and was feeling good, didn't looks at my watch, what's the point, I'm not fast and looking at my time isn't going to change that, lol!

Not too much contact on this swim, but one guy in a wave behind me, dunked me! I almost punched him in the head! I know the swim is a full contact sport, but it's the ocean, there's plenty of room for everyone!

Got the turn for shore and thought there would be a nice push, but I didn't feel it. Must be a breakfast place along the pier because I smelled bacon! I'm swallowing salt water thinking of bacon. Got my hands in kelp a few times which freaked me out, but tried to remain calm when I saw what it was.

Finally time to get out of the water, good because I've been thinking about my bike. I just get bored swimming.

45 minutes, not my best 1.2 mile swim, but also my first ocean swim. My ass didn't get chewed off by a shark, so great swim!
What would you do differently?:

Take a warm-up pee in the water
Transition 1
  • 06m 54s

Once you are out of the water it's a few blocks of running to transition. I ran it barefoot, which was a little painful but probably about the same as struggling to put sneakers on coming out of the water.

Took my time drying and getting the sand off of my feet before getting into cycling shoes. As i was bending down to get my towel, this huge line of spit trickled down onto my towel. I yelled out "gross!" and just laughed to myself. Maybe it was snot, who knows....what can I say this sport is gross.The prettiest part of the day was my pink nails :)

Decided not to go with the arm-warmers and just headed out of T1. No problem getting on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Overall this was a fast T1 than I expected, wasn't sure how the run out of the water would go with my tender feet.
  • 3h 19m 52s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.81 mile/hr

Lots of people passed me on the bike, I kept thinking about riding my own race and Dan in the bunny suit :) I took Mags (my road bike) vs Sparty (my tri bike). Basically this is a great course for a tri bike, but I had been riding Mags more in training. After seeing how poorly so many people handled their tri-bikes, I was glad to have Mags with me for the day.

From the first mile my body was sore; hips, knees and calves. I kept moving forward thinking it was just from being wet/cold from the swim and I Needed to warm-up. I had this feeling the entire ride! I kept reminding myself that if my body feels this bad now, what could it feel like on the run!? My mind went to that self-doubt place. Reminded myself to "suck it", you can do this, go chase your rabbit, but don't blow up!

Hit the major climb on the race and got to the top much faster than I had in my practice ride, or at least it seemed that way. Passed a few people on the way down.

Most the ride is false flats or little climbs. I kept passing this one guy on the climbs and he would pass me on the descents. He said "sorry, but you can crush me on the climb but I have weight and gravity on my side" Got a chuckle out of that one.

At some point Dan and my friend Eric see me while they are riding back, was nice to hear my name and lift my spirits. Thanks guys!

Best sign on the ride was something like "be glad you don't have diarrhea"! AWESOME sign! Finally hit the turn-around and kept doing Ironman math, trying to be off the bike in 3:15. I knew I could but started to hold myself back a bit as my body still felt tight everywhere and really didn't want to walk the entire half marathon.

On the way back I feel hunger kick in and I look down and notice I haven't eaten much. I think I was so worried about the way my body felt, and the need to pee, I didn't think about nutrition. Ate a few PowerChews and had been eating half a banana at the aid stations. With my typical stomach issues I just listen to my body rather than set a specific about of calories to eat while on the bike.

Almost the entire ride I also needed to pee, but when I would pass the porta-shitters I worried if I stopped, I might not be able to start again! Tried to pee while on the bike, but couldn't make it happen.

On the way back saw a bunch of emergency vehicles and 2 race vehicles head out. Said a quiet prayer that everyone was ok. There were a bunch of people with flats as well, but race support seemed pretty good.

Finally getting close to town and see people running and passing the 8 mile mark for the run and wish I was already there! Also started dreaming of Coke as I saw them passing it out on the run course. Finally hit transition, woohoo, I can pee!
What would you do differently?:

Pee before getting on the bike. Not much I can about how my body felt, was just an odd day i guess.
Transition 2
  • 05m 35s

I took my time in T2. Blisters are always my nemesis on running, so I grabbed Vaseline and globbed it on my feet and in between my toes. Also threw on my deodorant, always nice to smell better this far into the race. I smiled thinking of my friend Amy as we both keep this in transition.

Got my shoes and socks on, threw Rolaids in my jersey in case my stomach got pissed off, but so far so good! Headed out of transition and to the porta-shitter!

Sat, I never realized how low the toilet is...thought I was going to fall in! Legs were not feeling the best, hovering was not on option. Normally this would disgust me to no end, but this "racing Abbie" not everyday Abbie, lol!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing different, glad I took the time with Vaseline.
  • 2h 43m 32s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 29s  min/mile

I was thrilled to be off of my bike! Goal was to run every mile and only walk the aid stations and up-hills.

I got to the first mile and the volunteer yelled Coke and I was happy that I yelled "yes" as if I had won the lottery! I said "you are my favorite person at this moment" I took a sip and if sex were caffeinated and carbonated, this would be it!
Drank some water and half a banana and started running once I had passed through the aid station.

My body didn't feel any worse than it did on the bike, and hips were not as tight. I was shuffling along in awe of so many people that run so fast off of the bike! I also hated everyone that was running back toward the finish line, turns out this makes me "bicthy racing Abbie" lol!

Thought I was running pretty well and continued to think of Dan the rabbit! Eventually Eric and Yoko pass me on their return, I didn't hate them though, was happy for them as they both seemed to be having great races.

I thought of those tracking me on line and raced toward them. I imagined their happiness each time my chip registered over a timing mat and heard their cheers in my mind. It was a very quiet course, they really need to have music at each aid station.

Around mile 6 I see this woman with massive boobs, and I wondered how she could be comfortable running with those not to mention potential back eyes! I see Dan before the turn-around and he tells me "pick it up, you have to catch me!" I'm excited for the turn-around, and finally I see the Tiki statue, I pick his nose as I go around him, I'm briefly entertained. On the way back I see my friend Ron and he is looked great, I know he will eventually catch me.

After mile 7 I see a woman with headphones on in an Oakland Tri Club kit, this is illegal in the tri world! I was so angry with her and I say to the guy next to me "what makes her think she is so special and above the rules?" He said "yes I hate her too!"

I continue to drink water and a bit of Gatorade on the run with bananas. My stomach and feet seem to be holding up! Yay, this NEVER happens! I finally catch up to Dan after mile 8, I told him so far my race strategy is working and I continue on.

I pass am amputee on her way out, this woman was such an inspiration!

Finally hit mile 10 and it's close on making the finish in under 7 hours. I'm hopeful and then my ankle starts to bother me and then I vomit in my mouth, gross I know! I'm thankful for not getting sick and walk a bit to keep things down. But I do get to see a whale breaching out of the ocean, that was something you don't see everyday on a half-ironman course!

My run becomes a sad shuffle. Around mile 11 Ron catches me. It lifts my mood to hear my name. I tell him "you have a great ass" and I grab it! He told me how much he appreciated the first time I did that the last time we raced.

Eventually make it down to the beach, ugh why does this have to finish running 1/4 mile on the beach!? Throughout the day people cheer "You are almost there" I despise this phrase, especially when I was on miles 1-12! Running along the shore was not bad on the packed sand, but the soft stuff, nightmare! One man standing a few hundred yards from the finish line and say "you are almost there" and i almost bite his head off like a praying mantis! Instead I say "I hate that phrase!"

Right before the final turn I see the Tri-More fitness team, hearing my name took away the pain of running in soft sand. I pick it up slight and turn the corner, hearing my name, of course he fumbles my last name, but I finish!

Missed my 7 hour goal and no PR, but it's another finish.
What would you do differently?:

More run training
Post race
Warm down:

I really wanted to fall over my feet so bad in the sand, Finish line catchers were just handing out medals and really were not "catching". Stayed on my feet, got to the food tent. I wasn't hungry, just wanted another Coke. It was tough to bend over to the cooler, some amazing volunteer dug one out for me! I couldn't thank him enough! Got my pic taken and waited for Dan to come in!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

SAND and I just need to work on speed

Event comments:

This is pretty good course and I think I can PR here, just need to get faster off of the bike.

Long distance tris are such a mind game. I tried to ficus on moving forward and racing toward those tracking me. It's mentally tough for me to finish a long race and not see a familiar face at the end, was glad to see a few people I knew along the way and toward the end. It really does lift my mood!!

Last updated: 2015-09-14 12:00 AM
00:46:01 | 2112 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 49/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Out around the pier and back
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:54
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:19:52 | 56 miles | 16.81 mile/hr
Age Group: 44/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back on 1 other than 5 mile
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
02:43:32 | 13.1 miles | 12m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 58/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back. Rollers and trail
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2015-09-14 3:00 PM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

2015-09-15 5:29 PM
in reply to: #5140727

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

You rock!! I love the way you look for the good stuff in the midst of the SUCK IT of it all.  Great job holding on to a solid finish!

2015-09-15 7:10 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Edmond, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
I enjoyed reading your race report! I love your sense of humor and attitude while racing.
2015-09-16 10:42 AM
in reply to: #5140727

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Extreme Veteran
Pekin, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Great race. Loved the report!
2015-09-16 3:03 PM
in reply to: CKinsey

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Great job!
I miss you posting on BT.
2015-09-17 7:54 PM
in reply to: CKinsey

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Thank you!!!

2015-09-17 7:54 PM
in reply to: amymengel

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Maybe I will start posting in my log

2015-09-19 6:21 AM
in reply to: #5140727

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Great job and great report. I love the honest treatment of the whole mind game thing that is long-distance racing. Plus the description of athletes in their wetsuits staring at the horizon and peeing! I hear you on weird feelings on the bike after a cold swim. I spent more than half the bike leg in my last HIM (not in Vietnam--cool, drizzly day in Pacific NW) not only with cramped stomach and back muscles but wondering "Why is my head so close to the pavement?" Was riding a tri bike in really windy conditions so was in aero pretty much non-stop, but it's hardly the first time I've ridden that way and WHY would one be looking down at the road anyway like that??? Have never had that feeling on a bike before or since. Plus getting annoyed at other people for silly reasons, or annoyed at oneself for getting passed by said people, agonizing about when to pee, etc. Great job of telling it like it is!
2015-09-21 7:26 PM
in reply to: #5140727

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Great race and report!  And here I thought you were taking a triathlon break and then learn you are still racing.  Good stuff!  Glad you are back

2015-09-23 6:15 PM
in reply to: #5140727

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Awesome race report ...this is what reading these things are all about!

Congrats on staying in the mental game of the race. Sometimes I think it is more difficult to keep doubt at bay or to avoid 'over-thinking' things on race day than it is to actually do the physical part of the race. Humoring yourself is always a good strategy.

Don't worry about your finish time - that is just how you did on one given day. Instead reflect on the fact that you completed the training and was able to reap the rewards of notching another completion on to your race belt!
2015-09-24 4:56 PM
in reply to: #5140727

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Love the detail in your report - congrats on another finish!

2015-09-24 9:50 PM
in reply to: #5140727

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Great race and race report!
2015-10-15 8:33 AM
in reply to: ransick

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Robbinsville NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
Awesome job!
2015-11-22 11:51 AM
in reply to: colesdad

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Bloomington, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Great work! 

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