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California Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Oceanside, California
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 6h 19m 50s
Overall Rank = 1408/1950
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 218/274
Pre-race routine:

Check in Fri @ 1300 hours. Alot of people, small Ironman Village. Check in was very well organized, tried to shop some, but crowds/times restraints caused me to head out. Spent the night with my mom in Laguna Niguel (1 hr from start), made for an interesting night with the kids and all. Dinner was some pasta and early to bed. Slept surprisingly well, up at 0330 hrs, off to the race. Breakfast was banana, clif bar, coffee, water. Meant to eat a uncrustable and another banana, but forgot them in the car. Wife was with me, all set to take pictures, get to the event, the batteries were dead in the camera. Oh well.
Event warmup:

Some stretching, tried to keep warm, air was very cold.
  • 31m 58s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

Swim went very well, water was not cold at all. I wore my orange goggles to help with brighting the markers in the morning light. Great idea on the way out, horrible on the way in. I didn't read enough of the route to take a direct route to buoys, so I followed the people in front of me. Stayed strong throughout and kept HR down. Not too much jostling on course. Coming towards the sun I got a little off course when I was swimming towards what I thought was the crowd ahead of me. Ended up they were another wave just starting. It probably only cost me 15-30 seconds, and it got me away from all the other people around me.
What would you do differently?:

Change goggles, read course better beforehand. Otherwise I was very happy.
Transition 1
  • 04m 54s

Good transition, HR went way up on run in, but I remembered everything without any problems. Had a friendly volunteer with me the whole time.
What would you do differently?:

Eat more, drink more calories prior to getting on bike.
  • 3h 05m 21s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.13 mile/hr

Wow, where do I begin. I was very surprised out of the transition area how comfortable I was. First 15 miles was very strong, I drank some hammergel at 30 minutes, gu at 45. Drank some gatorade before first aid station and almost all of my water. At aid station, got water and refilled my aero bottle. Pace was very comfortable until about mile 25, then I started to feel some cramping coming on. I upped my volume of water and gatorade, took a salt pill and had more gu at a regular interval. Prior to 2nd aid station, I finished my gatorade and hammergel, tossing both bottles to volunteers. I replaced gatorade, but realized I hadn't been drinking enough water. Going up the first hill, halfway up I saw a guy in front of me fall. As that happened, my right quad started to tighten up. I knew if I kept pushing up, it would completely go and I would be in trouble. I felt like an idiot, but I walked the hill (head hung in shame). I have never been very knowledgeable about bikes, but watching others on the hill, I couldn't keep my cadence as high as those around me. I was in the lowest gear possible, but was required to stand to turn them over at a cadence of about 50-60. I don't think I had the proper gearing for this type of hill, but I clearly didn't train enough in the hills to be adequately prepared. NO EXCUSES. At the top I felt good, started taking in more nutrition (gu/gatorade/salt pills). I did OK on the second hill, cramped more severely on the third and had to walk it as well. I never felt like I was going very hard on the bike (except the hills) and my pace stayed pretty close to what I expected, so I assume the cramping was just my fault on nutrition. Made the final turns and returned to the harbor. As the guy in front of me and I were getting our feet out of our shoes, two young female spectators decided to cross the road without looking. We were OK but the two in front of us had to lock up the brakes to avoid a bad crash. We all slowed down, except one guy from behind who was yelling at the four of us as he flew into the transition area. At that point we all caught him, he didn't have his feet out of his shoes and we passed him as he dismounted his bike.
What would you do differently?:

Taken in more calories, salt pills, and real food.
Transition 2
  • 03m 17s

Not too much to do in this transition, pulled on shorts that were pre-loaded with vaseline and gu, shoes and bolted.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 34m 20s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 47s  min/mile

And then the wheels came off. As I left the transition area, I got water and immediately had right quad and left calf cramp up. My running style then turned into a series of limps. I kept telling myself it would pass. They did(for a little while) but the mental damage was done. I walked at about 4:30 to try to stretch them out, and began a run/walk cycle of about 4 minutes to 1 minute. Mile one was just over 9 minutes (close to normal), and for the first 5 I was able to keep about a 10min/mile pace. At mile 5, the cramps returned with a vengeance. Both calves started, both quads. Fortunately, the hamstrings were OK. I was able to string together about 100 running paces before the calves would go, then I could walk about 30 to stretch them out. I was hitting each aid station for water/gatorade/banana and eventually soda. All volunteers were great throughout. The Marines on the hills were fantastic. Soon after the second bout of cramps I realized 6 hours wouldn't happen, but I was doing all I could. I kept waiting for the adrenaline to kick in to get me the last couple of miles, but I think my legs were done. Cardio-wise I felt like I could have run much better, but the cramps wouldn't let me. I timed my run/walk cycle so I could give the appearance of a strong finish (gotta look good for the pictures) and it worked out well. I have never gotten emotional during a race, but coming down the hill after the last turn, I started thinking about all the hours of training, all the b.s. my wife has put up with (5 am workouts, leaving her to take care of the 4 kids and get them off to school in time, etc...) and I started getting all mushy. I then wanted to look strong so she could see that it paid off and hopefully make her proud.

My only prior race of this length was a full marathon. My half mary split was 1:47 (died later in that race too) so in that respect my time was pretty sad. But I know now this is a totally different type of race. I finished in 2:34, but I left it all out there.
What would you do differently?:

It is all about nutrition. I would do some more intense workouts with nutrition to work out my issues ahead of time.
Post race
Warm down:

Keep moving, don't let the cramps come. At one point I stopped moving and my toe locked down. I tripped over it twice and a volunteer was there right away to see if I was OK. It worked itself out and I was fine. Found the wife, packed up my stuff and bolted.

While walking out, I decided to try to ride (slowly) to the car. I pulled by leg over the seat and both legs cramped again. I sort of fell back to a standing position, laughing at myself when a woman with a walker walked past me. She actually offered me her walker and said she could push the bike for me. Very nice lady, I politely declined and continued walking. We laughed at what a sad sack I must have looked like when the 80 year old was offering up her walker to a guy who just finished this race.

My goals were to finish in 6 hours, or puke on the run to prove I was trying. I missed the 6 hours, and I couldn't string together a long enough run to get to puke. Another good laugh in the car. All in all, my spirits were very high after the race.

Event comments:

This race is awesome. I will definately be doing it again next year and I will break 6 hours. Anyone who did it owes large thanks to all the volunteers and after reading other RR's, it seems like everyone was appreciative.

Last updated: 2006-07-13 12:00 AM
00:31:58 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 55/274
Overall: 346/1950
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Ironman Reaction
Course: In harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:05:21 | 56 miles | 18.13 mile/hr
Age Group: 201/274
Overall: 1232/1950
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Up coast, into Marine base, back to harbor.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:17
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:34:20 | 13.1 miles | 11m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 251/274
Overall: 1730/1950
Performance: Bad
Course: Two laps, small hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-04-04 5:43 PM

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Long Beach, Ca
Subject: California Half Ironman

2007-04-04 6:23 PM
in reply to: #749416

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Subject: RE: California Half Ironman

Holy cow, we were neck and neck for most of the race (virtually anyway).  Even started crying on the run at the same time, LOL.

Great race report.

Next year, 6 hours is our beeyatch

2007-04-04 10:51 PM
in reply to: #749416

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Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: California Half Ironman
I had some issues on the run as well.

You are a fish.

Great job,
2007-04-04 11:59 PM
in reply to: #749416

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Extreme Veteran
Wauwatosa, WI
Subject: RE: California Half Ironman
Great race report. Congrats on finishing. That is a huge accomplishment in and of itself.
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