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Ironman Santa Rosa - Triathlon

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Santa Rosa, California
United States
Total Time = 15h 41m 55s
Overall Rank = 1369/1582
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 48/57
Pre-race routine:

The lead up to this race was stressful and nothing went as planned. This was my second full IM so I knew a little about what was going to happen. Unfortunately the lead up and the race itself didn't go anything like my first full in Florida in 2017.

With my work schedule, I wasn't able to fly out to Santa Rosa until Thursday. Our flight was scheduled to leave home at 7am and arrive in Santa Rosa at noon local time following a 1.5 hour layover in Denver. Well, the plane for our first flight had a mechanical issue that delayed us over an hour and a half. This in turn made us miss our connecting flight in Denver. We were rebooked onto a flight to San Francisco and then connecting into Santa Rosa. These delays now made it to where I would not arrive in Santa Rosa in time for athlete check in which closed at 5pm. I was freaking out...called the emergency contact number and left a message. I called my coach who calmed me down. I called the emergency number again about 30 minutes later after no return call. I got in touch with an amazing lady who asked that I email her evidence of the delayed flights and she would arrange for emergency late check in on Friday morning. I sent her the email and I could finally breathe. We made the San Francisco flight and grabbed something to eat there. Our Santa Rosa flight was also delayed about an hour. (Knowing what I know now, we should have just rented a car from San Francisco and driven to Santa Rosa.) Once it was time to finally board for Santa Rosa, the desk agent that initially rebooked us in Denver had screwed something up on my husband's ticket and he wasn't allowed onto the plane. I had already scanned my ticket and was standing on the side of the jet bridge waiting for him. They ended up having to call customer service. The gate agent told us that she had to close the gate to the plane. I literally sunk to my knees and was about to cry. As she was closing the gate, the desk agent told her that it was finally ok to let us board. We hurried down the ramp and finally boarded the plane. While sitting in Denver, I called the hotel and rental car company to inform them of our very late arrival. The rental car company arranged for me to pick up the car keys at another company's desk and the hotel accommodated our late arrival.

We finally arrived to our hotel room just before midnight. I didn't sleep mind was racing with everything that I needed to accomplish the following day. I had my day lined up in my head. As soon as TriBikeTransport opened at 9am, I would be there to pick up my bike and gear bag. Then I would go to the merchandise tent and grab a t-shirt. I rode my bike back to the hotel to charge the Di2 and put new fresh batteries in power meter. Late athlete check in wasn't until 11am, so I went there next. Then back to the hotel to put race stickers on everything, pack up my gear bags and back to the Ironman village to drop my bike and T1 bag off to TriBikeTransport. They offered a shuttle service for bikes and T1 bag out to Lake Sonoma. This was fantastic!!! With everything that happened, I would have been pressed for time if I had to drive out to Lake Sonoma and back again. Once my bike and T1 bag was dropped off with TBT, I dropped my T2 bag at the Ironman Village and walked the half mile back to my hotel. Once there, I laid down to try to take a nap when the front desk called me to tell me that I had 2 visitors?? I had no clue who could be out there. My two friends were back home working and my husband was in our was my coach and friend! They flew out just for the weekend to support me and another athlete racing! This was a great surprise and knowing that I would see them out on the run course was invaluable. I woke up the morning of the race and tried to shove a bagel and peanut butter down, but it was a serious struggle. My stomach was nervous and the food was like ashes in my mouth.
Event warmup:

Not much for this event. Some dry land stretches and warm up.
  • 1h 51m 6s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 38s / 100 yards

I got kicked in the head about 100m into the swim. I swam over to a kayak, collected myself, cleared the water out of my goggles and got back to swimming. Maybe 30seconds total for the stop. The first lap was a bit of a washing machine as faster swimmers that were starting their second lap were swimming of those os us that just got in the water for our first loop. After the first loop, there was a 10-15m run at the boat ramp, cross the timing mat and back into the water for the second loop. The second loop was much calmer than the first but fewer feet to try to hang onto and draft. I thought that my sighting was pretty good and looking at my Garmin file later showed that I was actually pretty straight and nailed my lines. Out of the water, cross the timing mat and up the boat ramp
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I am not a fast swimmer. I am very consistent and can swim the distance, but it's not very fast.
Transition 1
  • 17m 47s

I had a pretty horrible T1 time. Coming out of the water, there is a quarter mile carpeted run up the boat ramp to get into T1. About halfway up, there are mats to lie down for the wetsuit strippers. I made it out of the water and tried to pull my arms out of my wetsuit and get it down to my waist. Even though I liberally applied TriGlide spray to myself and the wetsuit, it got stuck on my wrists. I ended up having to remove my Garmin watch and struggle free of the arms. I laid down and held onto my try shorts under my wetsuit. The strippers had a hard time getting the wetsuit off me as well. (Maybe I need to size up?? My suit seems to fit well in the water but I have a hell of a time removing it.) I continued up the ramp and into T1. Apparently I did apply enough TriGlide to my wetsuit hickeys! A volunteer handed me my T1 bag and I dumped it out onto the floor. About this time, I realized that there was gravel and dirt all over the ground in T1. My feet were covered in it. I tried to dust them off as best as I could with the wet wipes they had in the changing tent. (In retrospect, I should have just grabbed a cup of water and used that.) I definitely had race brain...I put my cycle jersey on and then looked down to see that I forgot to put my bibs on first, so I had to take the jersey off (quarter zip, so I had to pull it over my head again) and put my bibs on and then put the jersey back on. I pulled on a thin cycling jacket as I was already cold and I knew the first 4 miles were downhill, so I wouldn't be working much to get my core temp up. I definitely lost a lot of time in T1.
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps not change into dry sports bra and dry cycle gear, but after getting chilled at Galveston last year and DNFing there, I was very conscious of not getting chilled at the start of the bike.
  • 8h 14m 14s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.60 mile/hr

The first southerly segment was initially downhill, so it took a while for me to warm up. I ended up keeping my cycle jersey on until the 3rd aid station. I stopped there and shoved it into my rear flat/hydration setup. The first loop was tough (compared to my very flat first IM), but the second loop killed me. I stuck to the nutrition plan that coach had laid out but by mile 60-70, I was slowing down immensely. I was just focusing on 10 mile stretches at a time. The last 12 miles once we turned off the loop segment and were heading into Santa Rosa was the toughest, longest 12 miles ever. I didn't realize how bad things had gotten until I arrived into T2.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I stayed int he HR zone that coach gave me but the speed and power was way low compared to the plan. I'll revisit this with coach
Transition 2
  • 06m 56s

A volunteer grabbed my bike from me and I made my way thru the bike racks to the changing tent. I grabbed my gear bag and into the changing tent I went. The volunteer in there told me that I had 5 minutes to get out of T2 before the cut off!! I barely made the bike cut off. I ended up being over an hour slower on the bike than my first IM. This was not going as planned at all!!! I rushed out of T2 and was out on the beginning of the run course. I saw coach and my friend shortly after coming out of T2. I told them to remind me of this moment the next time that I told them I wanted to do an IM. My friend actually got that on video, so I told her to send that to me to remind me how much it hurts by that time in the race :)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing much different in T2. Got in, stripped off the bibs and put on tri shorts. Got out as quickly as I could as I was stressed out over time!
  • 5h 11m 52s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 54s  min/mile

Once I got out of T2, I saw my coach and friend. I was trying to do the math in my head to see if I had enough time to finish. She calmed me down and assured me that if I stuck to the run plan, I would finish with plenty of time. The first 2 loops of the run course had me nervous about how much time I had left. I couldn't do simple math in my head anymore at this point. For the first loop, the plan was 14/1 (run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute). I stuck to this plan with the except of walking a few seconds at the aid station to get water and nutrition down without choking. The second loop was supposed to be run aid station to aid station, but after seeing coach at the turn around point in town, we changed the plan to 9/1 for the remainder of the run. I stuck to this for the second loop (only stopping for a few seconds at the aid stations). At the turn around to start my final loop, I stopped at special needs and popped open a coke that I had stored in there. That was a great mental boost. I had wanted to pack a long sleeve for the end of the run as I knew that it was going to get chilly once the sun went down. I forgot to pack it, but I was pretty comfortable as long as I kept running. I had my headlamp and turned it on for the final loop. There were some segments on that gravel road and the cracked paved road out by the creek that were incredibly dark at night. I was glad to have my headlamp, but I don't know how some of the athletes out there were going on without one. I would have tripped and face planted for sure. On the third loop at the far point heading out, I came up on a friend from back home (the other athlete that coach was here to cheer on). He was walking, so I convinced him to do 9/1 with me. We ended up doing that up until mile 24.5 or so. We commiserated in pain and kept each other going. We stopped at the second to last (or maybe it was the last, I seriously can't remember) aid station to get fluid and nutrition and ended up walking about a half mile or so. Coach found us around mile 25 or so and we got back to running to the finish. He slowed down just before the carpet so that we could have our own time down the carpet and at the finish line. We hugged at the finish and took a finisher's picture together. Then we found coach and took a few more pictures. I didn't see my husband at the carpet to the finish but found him right at the rail after taking finisher's pictures. He gave me a great big hug and walked with me to get some food.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Even though we changed the plan for loops 2 and 3, I stuck with it (except for the half mile of walking). I was very pleased with my run time. I managed to PR the IM marathon by 52 minutes over my first IM, and this was after a harder bike course. Very happy with the marathon
Post race
Warm down:

The hubby and I walked over to the food tent, but all of the pizza was cold by this point and didn't look appealing. We had left over cold pizza in our hotel room from the day before. It sounded much better so we headed over to gear bag pickup. I signed up for Valet service so TriBikeTransport had picked up my bike and T1 bag. I went over and grabbed my morning clothes bag and T2 bag from another area. I put on my warmups from my morning clothes bag and the hubby and I started the slow half mile walk back to the hotel.

Event comments:

The swim was ok. The water was nice with a full sleeved wetsuit. It was relatively clear and fairly calm although there was some chop heading out on the second loop. Nothing unmanageable, but I've done races with prettier swims. The views on the bike course were absolutely amazing. Vineyard after vineyard through the Alexander valley. The roads were rough but about as bad as I had anticipated after hearing reports from the locals before the race. I had a super awful bike split, but was pleased with my run off that bike. By the time that I made it to the finish, the pizza was cold and I was chilled once I stopped running, so we didn't stick around the finish for long. I keep swearing that I'm not going to do another full, but maybe with time, I'll forget how much an IM hurts and the toll that it takes on your body. I think that I'll stick with the 70.3 distance for 2020.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2019-05-16 12:00 AM
01:51:06 | 4224 yards | 02m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/57
Overall: 0/1582
Performance: Average
Suit: full sleeved wetsuit
Course: 2 loop clockwise rectangle in Lake Sonoma. Water temp was perfect once you had a few seconds to get your face in the water. Once out of the water, the run up the boat ramp in T1 was about a half of a mile carpeted stretch.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 17:47
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
08:14:14 | 112 miles | 13.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 54/57
Overall: 1529/1582
Course: partial 2 loop course. There was a southbound segment followed by a loop and a half thru wine country then a final south bound segment into Santa Rosa. The second loop had a pretty good headwind by the time that I made it to that section.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:56
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:11:52 | 26.2 miles | 11m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 37/57
Overall: 958/1582
Course: 3 loops. the first half of each loop was a gravel road next to a small creek, and first half of the return portion was on a rough, cracked paved road next to the creek on the opposite side from the gravel road. The remainder of the return part of the loop was smoothly paved road.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2019-05-16 10:56 AM

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Subject: Ironman Santa Rosa

2019-05-16 3:04 PM
in reply to: #5258820

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Ironman Santa Rosa


The travel chaos just prepared you for dealing with race day.   

2019-05-16 3:42 PM
in reply to: #5258820

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Santa Rosa

Great report - enjoyed reading it! Hope you're getting some good recovery time in!

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