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Ironman Lake Tahoe 70.3 - Triathlon

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Lake Tahoe, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 7h 43m 27s
Overall Rank = 719/
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 36/
Pre-race routine:

Brought bike to check in the day before the race and was told to rack by my handlebars which was bizarre. I've always racked by the seat before. I found out later that all odd numbers were racking by bars and even numbers by the seat. This proved problematic as my water bottle mounted between my aerobars wouldn't give enough space to hook my brake levers on the pipe. I ended up loosening one of the two straps and flipping the mount forward. I knew it would cost me time in transition later to reattach everything but I had no other choice.
Event warmup:

Got up at 4:30 and went downstairs to catch my hotel's shuttle to the Village at Squaw where the buses were located to bring us to King's Beach. Checked on my bike in T1 and was very happily surprised to see that there were no bikes within 4 spaces on either side of me. I supposed these racers DNS. I turned my bike around and reattached my water bottle (FC35). I loaded my nutrition bottles with Infinit and filled the FC 35 with water. I threw some GU chomps into the holder on the FC35 (I usually finish the bike ride with the chomps and lay off fluids for last 30 minutes as I get a "sloshy" feeling on the run if I don't). Finished prep in transition, took my morning clothes bag and went to sit in the Event center to stay warm. It was mid 30s at that time. I stayed in the Event Center as long as they would allow us. I put my wetsuit on and headed out to the beach when it was time to get out. I tried to stand closer to the water as there was more sun out there. I was mostly just trying to stay warm while waiting for the half to start (an hour after the full). Went for a short jog up the beach and down the sidewalk. Did my dry land warm up as I didn't want to get in the water and have to come back out into the cool air to stand and wait.
  • 47m 48s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 16s / 100 yards

The staff had done a very good job of clearing the entry and exit of rocks. There were plenty out there prior to their sweeping due to the low water levels. We started in a corral for a rolling start. This was my first such start as all my other races have been wave start (except Alcatraz but we were fairly strung out going into the water). This was chaos. There were people everywhere. This was the most contact I have ever had at a swim start. I'm not a terribly fast swimmer but I self-seeded in the corral for 50 minutes. It seemed like everyone that I started around had seeded in the wrong area (was much faster swimmer) or liked to start out fast. Either way, the entire first leg of the race was contact for every stroke. I usually don't mind contact but some guys were actively grabbing and pulling you backwards. Accidental contact is one thing, but I was pretty mad by the intentional stuff. My kick picked up a bit here to try to keep free of grabbing hands. By the first turn buoy, it was so much better. Still had people around to try to draft off of but I wasn't getting punched or grabbed every stroke. Even though there was so much contact, this was almost a PR swim for me. Missed a PR by less than a minute.
What would you do differently?:

Either start a bit wider to get out of the "washing machine" or suck it up and stay where I was. I think in the future I would do exactly what I did and throw some elbows of my own if I have to.
Transition 1
  • 08m 6s

This was my first race in new wetsuit. I know from practice with it that the sleeves can get stuck on my wrists, so I made sure to lube up my wrists well. I've previously been in a Xterra Vector but just changed to a Roka Maverick. I was feeling very constricted in the Xterra and the softer neoprene of the Roka was heaven. Unfortunately the arm holes are just a bit tighter than my other wetsuit and despite liberal application of TriSlide, it got caught on my wrists (and yes I had removed my Garmin from my wrist before doing this). I managed to get my arms free, grabbed my Bike Gear Bag and stopped at the wet suit strippers. I dunked my feet in the kiddie pool and was nearly free of sand. The stripper did a great job and I was san wetsuit in no time. She gave me a hand up (which was much appreciated) and I jogged into the Event Center changing area. All athletes had to go through here regardless of completing the half or full. I sat in a chair, and a volunteer upended my gear bag. She kindly took my hand towel and dried my feet off, threw my socks and shoes on. I was putting on my arm warmers at the time and we finished about the same time. I threw on My Athlete tracker (so my husband could watch me throughout the race). I put my helmet on and grabbed my cycling jacket. I failed to notice that my Base Salt tube had fallen out of my cycling shoe when my bag was upended and I didn't see it to grab it (I noticed this about 5 minutes out on the bike). The volunteer stuffed my wetsuit, goggles and cap in my gear bag and told me she would take it for me. I put my cycling jacket on as I was jogging out of the Event Center. I jogged in my shoes to my rack, grabbed my bike and jogged out of T1. Hit the mount line and threw my leg over.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure...this was my first time with gear bags and not having a "transition area" to set up. I'll never have to do this again as Tahoe was special with the half and the full running at the same time and I don't plan on doing a full (at least not anytime soon).
  • 3h 57m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.15 mile/hr

As soon as I got going, I noticed my power meter was WAY off. I think it was only picking up one pedal (Vector) instead of both as it seemed that my power was just about half of what I expect for my effort. My cadence and HR were working fine, so I just went with what I had. The first time up Dollar Hill wasn't too bad. I tried to keep myself in check as I knew Brockway was going to be a beast. I had just changed to an 11-28 cassette and it was a good choice for me. My previous 11-25 would not have cut it on this course (for me). There was a very short but steep climb in Tahoe City. I just tried to keep the legs spinning without grinding up too much. Tried to keep HR in check. Felt pretty good at the beginning. Made it by Squaw and knew that the next time I passed here, I would be taking a left into Squaw for T2. The area was absolutely beautiful. I passed the second aid station where there was a clothing drop as well, but I was still chilled and wasn't really sweating much at that point so I kept the jacket. I tried to enjoy the scenery as much as I could while keeping focus on cadence, HR and effort. The road that we took thru Truckee was terrible. Luckily this stretch was pretty short. I thought I had given myself a flat going over one especially rough patch. Once we tuned onto the bike trail, it was much better. There was one other short steep climb after the bike trail. What made it worse was that there were speed bumps...added insult to injury. As we approached Brockway, there was an aid station that I stopped at briefly to take my jacket off. By this time, it had warmed up considerably and even though I had unzipped it completely (leaving only the bottom of the zipper attached to keep it from flapping in the wind), I was sweating profusely. It was pretty funny as the volunteers that were manning the penalty tent had dressed up as cops and criminals. I tied my jacket around my waist and got going. Brockway was a b***h. About halfway up, I had run out of Infinit in my front bottle (on the down tube) and had my second in a behind the seat mount. With the Gorilla cages, I can't easily pull it out on a good day. Going up Brockway and trying to remove it would have been asking for trouble. I stopped on the shoulder briefly to switch out bottles, waited for a small clear spot between riders and got back going. The final half mile up Brockway was tough, but there were lots of spectators cheering at that point. Once at the top of Brockway, there was the steep and fast descent. As there aren't many big hills where I live, the downhill was scary fast. I was feathering the brakes and still hit 40+ mph going down. The second time up Dollar Hill and the smaller hill in Tahoe City was rough. My legs were fried by this point. I didn't notice any effects from altitude, just tired legs.
What would you do differently?:

Try to recalibrate the power meter at the very beginning of the bike course. Train on more hills if possible but limited as I live in mostly flatlands.
Transition 2
  • 06m 2s

Got off at the mount line and a nice volunteer took my bike from me while calling out my bib number to another volunteer who grabbed my run gear bag. I jogged thru the gear bags and into the changing tent. Another volunteer grabbed my run gear out of my bag while I pulled my cycling shoes off and untied my jacket from my waist. I slathered vasoline on my toes and put socks and shoes on. I pulled my arm warmers off. I decided not to wear my hat (probably a mistake in hindsight) and only put a headband on. I grabbed my bib/race belt and put it on as I jogged out of transition. I stopped at the Port-a-Pottie on the way out of the tent and immediately after the port-a-potties, the sunscreen volunteers slathered me up. I forgot my face and ended up burning my nose and cheeks.
  • 2h 44m 1s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 31s  min/mile

Legs felt like lead weights. Cardio and breathing felt fine. Didn't feel like altitude affected me much. I had just laid too much out on Brockway Summit and the other smaller climbs. The plan was run 9/walk 1 for the first loop and then only walk aid stations for loop 2. That plan went out the window after the second mile. Legs were dragging. I fell into survival mode. Ended up with a horrible time but I survived and finished.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed my finisher hat and medal as the volunteer took off my timing chip. I stopped and took a picture with the Ironman background. Grabbed a bottle of water from a volunteer and sat down and waited for my husband to find me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Really enjoyed my time in Tahoe especially as this turned out to be the final year. Sad to see this race go as it is beautiful and unique.

Last updated: 2015-09-24 12:00 AM
00:47:48 | 2112 yards | 02m 16s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: full sleeve
Course: This was a rectangular course going clockwise.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 08:06
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:57:30 | 56 miles | 14.15 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: one and a third loop course
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:02
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:44:01 | 13.1 miles | 12m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: two loop course.
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] 4

2015-09-24 7:59 PM

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Subject: Ironman Lake Tahoe 70.3
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