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Napa Valley Half Iron - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Napa Valley, California
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 22m 14s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:15am and had some oatmeal, banana and accelerade. Loaded the bikes on the rig and drove to the venue. This is a story of Jekyl/Hyde. Could be long...but read!!!
Friday night went to dinner with some friends doing the race. Nice place, but not what I would normally have picked for a pre-race meal. Had halibut and rice and lots of water. Good food. Good company. We were talking about tires and I mentioned that I had not had a flat since getting this bike in Nov 2005 and putting more than 3000 miles on it. I do maintenance, change my tires, check pressure all the time. Karma caught me!!!
Event warmup:

Warm up was changing a flat tire at the hotel before leaving for the race. Could not believe it. Valve had just seperated from tube on front tire overnight. Fine when I rode on Friday and flat Saturday morning. Start of interesting day. Gas gauge on truck said 30 miles left and 26 miles to race 5:30am at gas station with card reader broken I had to decide to back track to find gas or chance it.....Decided to chance it. Made it in on fumes I am sure. Created some anxiety. Warm up for race was really nothing. Racked bike, picked up stuff and set up transition area. Water looked choppy. Jumped in and swam to bouy and back.
  • 36m
  • 2200 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards

Swim was okay. Actually not that far behind the leaders (5 minutes), but I did feel like great swim. I suck at sighting and have to stop and pick my head up. Wind was coming in from the north so we were swimming parrallel to waves for two long segments of rectangle. Boat ramp was a might slippery and saw several people fall trying to walk out of water so I just swam until about 1 foot deep.
Transition 1
  • 03m

Very rough road out of Putah Creek Resort so no running and jumping on bike. Did manage to slosh about 1/3 of aero bottle out on bike and me getting out of resort. Even with the tape over the hole!!
What would you do differently?:

Tape sponge into hole.
  • 3h 12m 20s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.47 mile/hr

Results not posted so do not know rankings. Did I mention hills??
What would you do differently?:

Maybe change cassette or spend entire spring working on hills.
Transition 2
  • 04m

I knew I was going to be in trouble before I even started running. Stomach was already shutting down and cramping up. Jekyll - trained with accelerade and liked it, Hyde - not today!!
Shot bloks seemed okay.
What would you do differently?:

Lay down and not run.
  • 2h 18m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 32s  min/mile

Stomach was knotted up by mile 1. I wanted to do sub 2 hours, but could not get the mind to win over the matter. I down several eCaps and got some relief, but stomach was cramping so bad that I passed a couple of porta potties and thought about going back. Did not seem like that would have helped and not sure anything would have come out. Never had stomach problems before so this was wierd. Wind was howling out there. Decided about 1.5 miles to go that I was not going to be over 6:30, so just ran hard. Totally pissed me off because I realized I could have done it earlier..stomach be damned. Said hi to all the volunteers and thanked em.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk around, chat with wife and buddies. Commeserate about how hard the course was.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stomach and hills.

Event comments:

You have to understand that while this was a day tougher than I ever imagined, it was mainly my fault. I did not respect the race nor the distance and did not take it as serious as I should have!! I live in CDA and know hills, but not like this. Event organizer is truly anti USAT and runs his events that way. Gordo Byrn won the thing so it does attract good folks, just do not come if you are Type A aggro. You will be disappointed. There were 3 bike aid stations with water and gatorade and bananas. There were 3 aid stations on the run course as well. People were great and event was fun. I would do it again and be better prepared. Race is for type E folks....come, race hard, have fun, do not expect much. Got a t shirt and medal. Felt great

Last updated: 2007-02-02 12:00 AM
00:36:00 | 2200 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: QR Full
Course: Two lap, clockwise, rectangle. Bouys on right side. Come into boat ramp leave from boat ramp.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:00
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
03:12:20 | 56 miles | 17.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: OMG!!! The elevation profile on the website did not do this course justice. Can you say hills???? There are 54 miles of hills and two miles of flats. Turning right out of the resort and boom you are climbing. There was one hill that clocked out at about 4 miles and it was not easy hill either. With only 300 people in the race you were alone often out there. Jekyl-beautiful scenery, Hyde-hills, hills and more hills. At one point around mile 42 I was leaning to the left to keep from being blown over and pedaling downhill and not picking up speed. Jekyll- beautiful scenery, Hyde - road surface is pretty bad on most of the course. At mile 53 I thought "almost done, I can die now", but no there was a killer hill with a false top and you could see the damn lake. For a reward you got about a 1/2mile downhill and had to brake to make a left back towards resort for the two miles of climbing. The rough road back into the resort took care of the rest of liquid in my aero bottle. My white bike and legs were pretty much red (fruit punch flavor).
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:18:00 | 13.1 miles | 10m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: Two laps out and back along Lake Berryessa. Killer because you had to come back into the resort and transition for the second lap. Wanted to stop and lay down. The run course is HILLS and zero flat. Downhills seemed to morph into uphills. Tough course.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-05-07 10:32 AM

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Coeur d'Alene, ID
Subject: Napa Valley Half Iron

2007-05-07 11:03 AM
in reply to: #791281

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Central New York
Subject: RE: Napa Valley Half Iron
I did this event last year. Extremely volatile conditions in that area. This year wind. Last year HEAT.

Congratulations on finishing under tough conditions. Wonder if maybe you ought to revisit your nutrition strategy on the bike. Maybe that's where the stomach problems originated? kinda tough to eat, though, with all the uphill pumping. The hill at mile 53 is pretty sick.

I kinda like the low key approach which the organizers of this race take. It can be fun to race with the big hype of an official Ironman event, but I remember how quiet it was before the Napa start last year, and how amazing Lake Berryessa looked as the sun started to come up. Those things have stayed with me.
2007-05-07 11:57 AM
in reply to: #791281

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Portland, OR
Subject: RE: Napa Valley Half Iron
Way to rock that hilly course!!! Sounds like a fun low-key event. Great job!!!
2007-05-09 10:41 AM
in reply to: #791281

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Littleton, Colorado
Subject: RE: Napa Valley Half Iron

You pulled out an awesome time on this tough course!  Great job pushing through the stomach issue at the end!

I kept saying "hi Bryan" to a guy in a IMCdA jersey, but the way he looked at me, I don't think it was you!

It would have been nice to have met you, but I'll see you soon in Idaho!

2007-05-09 11:04 AM
in reply to: #791281

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Subject: RE: Napa Valley Half Iron
Nice job on gutting it out and getting in under your goal (even if it was a revised goal). Too bad about the stomach cramps though. The real question is if you rolled into the race on fumes, how did you get back home?!
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