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Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
55F / 13C
Total Time = 5h 48m 41s
Overall Rank = 780/3430
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 61/317
Pre-race routine:

Came into the race with a lot of excuses, not the least of which I was nursing an injury and although I'd run well through February, I had hardly run at all in March. 6 miles was the longest, and I had tried to keep some fitness up with the dreaded elliptical. Couldn't bring myself to aqua jog. Since finishing IM Coz in Nov 2016 I hadn't ever seemed to really get back on the horse, and the year wasn't going quite as planned. I had wavered between withdrawing and just trying to finish.

So when I flooded my garmin on an open water swim two weeks before the race, it was a bit of divine providence. Although I found a used replacement, and it arrived at my office the day before the race, I wasn't there. Not only did I not have many (or any) goals for the race other than finishing, now I didn't have any way to track my lack of progress mid race other than my timex watch. No power, no HR, was just going to go by feel and RPE.

I did have a lot of friends doing the race though, more than I had in the past. That helped to keep my mind off it.
Event warmup:

This was the first year they've instituted an AG rolling start by expected finish times, starting at under 30 and then in 5 minute increments beyond that. The morning was very cold and I held off on putting on the wetsuit as long as possible. They also added a small warmup area, which was very crowded, but since the water was 58 and the air was 48, it felt pretty good.
  • 30m 45s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 28s / 100 yards

Lined up at the front of the 30-35 group, and we were fed into the water in a long thin line. I am not a huge fan of rolling starts by finish time, I much prefer the AG start (I also don't like big mass starts, but AG size is fine). AGs tend to break up into smaller groups as the 25 guys go ahead, the 50 guys fall back, and the in betweeners like me move on, always able to find some sort of draft. Yeah, it was crowded as you came up on the prior AGs, and I don't swim over people, but it's no big deal and my times is always 28 -32 or so, depending on my fitness, regardless of the crowd.

Here, all the 30 minute swimmers, and there are a lot, stayed together. However, there was a LOT of, shall we say, ambitious seeding going on. I should not be passing lots of folks by the first buoy, and I was. Effort level was basically just swim along comfortably. No point in pushing on the day at this point.

At any rate, the course was a bit different than years past. Before it was sort of a bent finger out and back. This was more lollipoppish. The biggest change seemed t be how close they brought us to the breakwall on the return, almost swam right to it. This did seem to help the typical sighting issues on the return leg into the sun, as it never felt as if I was swimming straight into it, and blinded.

After the right turn back to the exit, I glanced at my watch, which I had set to Chron, just to see where I was. "00:00:00." OK, guess I'm not only going blind, I'm going really blind, as I didn't even know what time I had entered the water.

Ultimately, swim was about accurate for my level of training and effort
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 06m 8s

Just a long ass transition, in bare feet, on uncomfortable concrete. And since I wasn't chasing a time or goal, I wasn't moving that fast anyway.
  • 2h 58m 11s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.86 mile/hr

This is a rolling course, about 25 miles of rolling terrain northbound usually into a headwind of some sort, 15 miles of climbing in Camp Pendleton, then 15 or so miles of either really fast net negative elevation with some headwinds heading down the last canyon.

Race plan was moderate effort, increased effort on the climbs because, well, they're climbs, then back to moderate effort. Essentially, rode at an effort slightly over comfortable, but not uncomfortable. If it got hard I backed off. Not only because I had no objective metrics to gauge my efforts, I really didn't want to walk 13.1 miles

Nutrition was about 1/2 to 2/3 of a three hour infinit bottle and one gel. Felt about right, might be a little light. Water replaced at the 2d and 3d aid stations. Day never got hot, although there was a bit of tailwind on the climbs, warming them up. I had been doing a lot of climbing in training, so not sure why the first hill felt as hard as it did. It's steeper than I had described to my friends doing it for the first time :)

The lack of a computer did raise an issue, as there is a .3 mile, no pass speed limit zone, of 25 mph. I remember last year being surprised how much I had to brake to get below 25, so I was worried i'd blow it and get DQ'd. I just got (legally) behind someone just before it, and maintained the same distance, hoping they were paying attention. It was fine, split was 22 mph.

I had gotten passed a lot by the really fast (and just merely fast) guys, but by the time I hit the right to Vandegrift with 15 miles to go, there weren't many people around as I had started early and swam well. I saw no drafting on this section, a rarity. Perhaps because the headwinds were not that bad this year. There were a couple packs early on though.
What would you do differently?:

Given my training and goals, nothing. Was 11 minutes over my PR on the bike here so all in all not bad
Transition 2
  • 05m 17s

Just wondering how the start of the run is going to feel.....
  • 2h 08m 20s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 48s  min/mile

Started the run, and had some hip issues that would persist until about mile 8 or 9 when I guess I loosened up enough. Just went out at a pace that I felt I could maintain for the whole thing, walking the aid stations. WTC's run splits are (as usual)all over the place, but I did start a little faster than was sustainable.

I walked the aid stations, the two ramps up the pier, the one ramp up to the street over the pier and the two times up from the esplanade to Pacific. The uphills aggravated my hip. Other than that I just kept running. I would like to think I maintained for 8-10 miles then picked it up, for all I know I just maintained, or slowed down. I was very happy that I didn't fall apart at mile 8, 9 or 10 though, given my run training, and I have to admit waiting for it. But I wasn't walking like lots of other folks. Somehow I had kept enough fitness to run a half marathon.

Ended up 13 minutes over my PR here. 'Bout right under the circumstances.

Seeing a lot of people I knew along the out and back really helped. As I started early and didn't totally implode I was in front of most of them, and didn't want to be caught. In fact, that's what kept me running the last 4 miles, being told "Don't let me catch you."
What would you do differently?:

Come into the race better trained and uninjured? Sure, I'll go with that.
Post race
Warm down:

Eat food on the bleachers

What limited your ability to perform faster:

training and injury. what else is there?

The lack of electronics didn't really hurt, and given the above probably helped, as it allowed me to get out of the realm of expectations and just enjoy being able to do it. I've gone 5:18 and 6:25 here, and everything in between over 6 races. So I'm good with 5:48

Event comments:

This is a California classic. The bike course, which you can really only do during a race unless you're military, is legit and IMO one of the best I've done. Marines are always superb volunteers as well. Even though I say every year "it's too early," I'm always tempted to sign up again.

Last updated: 2016-12-14 12:00 AM
00:30:45 | 2112 yards | 01m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/317
Overall: 191/3430
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 06:08
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:58:11 | 56 miles | 18.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 42/317
Overall: 569/3430
Performance: Average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:17
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:08:20 | 13.1 miles | 09m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 61/317
Overall: 780/3430
Performance: Below average
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]

2017-04-08 5:20 PM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside

2017-04-10 10:12 AM
in reply to: #5217992

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside

Great job Chris! Way to get out there and keep it all in perspective! 6x Oceanside is pretty awesome

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