Sunday, April 5, 2009
Ironman 70.3 Race Report
On Saturday I competed with 2,100 other triathletes in the Ironman 70.3 California race in Oceanside, California. The Ironman 70.3 distance is a Half-Ironman, or 1.9 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. "70.3" indicates the distance in miles of a Half-Ironman.
This was my first triathlon of any kind since the Ironman 70.3 Vineman in Sonoma County, California in 2007. My goal for this race was to establish a benchmark for my 2009 season, and to "practice what I preach" during the race. IE proper fueling and pacing on the bike and running as close to potential as possible. As far as time goals, I hoped to swim under 30 minutes, bike around 2hrs25 minutes, and run under 1hr30...or right about 4:30 with transitions included. I came close! I wound up swimming 34, biking 2:26, and running 1:32 along with some ridiculously slow transitions for a total time of 4:40. I paced properly on the bike but did not drink much water at all to balance out my Vitargo intake which came back to haunt me on the 2nd half of the run. I felt incredible on the bike and first half of the run with the Vitargo energy, but in a Half Ironman you have to nail your hydration as well. More water with nuun next time! Another lesson learned: I often make the mistake of under-hydrating in cooler conditions. At half-ironman race-pace intensities you cannot do that and still perform at a high level.
Overall I am pleased with the result, as I did this race on just 3 months of base training. I was able to see my friends and training partners Keevin, Slater, Monique, Chuck, and Lar Dog on the course during the race which made the event even more exciting. Much like the Time Trial I did last weekend, I finished the event knowing that I could come back and race much faster, but at the same time satisfied that I left it all out on the course. Mental errors like improper hydration or slow transitions have nothing to do with fitness but can cost you heaps of time in a triathlon. That alone is free time that I look forward to saving in my next race. Lessons definitely learned.
One great thing that came out of this race was that I managed to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida, November 14th. My family is stoked, since they live in Vero Beach, which is only 3hrs from Clearwater!
After this weekend's race I also made it official...I am racing in the June 21 Ironman Couer d'Alene Idaho. I have wanted to do this race since it's inception. Couer d'Alene is one of the most beautiful spots in the country and I have only heard fantastic things about this race. Several fellow Orange County Triathlon Club members will be racing in Idaho which will add to the excitement and pressure to perform. I will need to finish somewhere between 9hrs30 and 9hrs45 in order to qualify for the 2009 Ironman Hawaii World Championship.
Ever since I began racing triathlons at age 15 my ultimate athletic goal has been to qualify and race in the Hawaii Ironman. Now I have updated that goal: I think it would be even cooler to qualify for and race in both the half and full Ironman World Championships in the same year! One down...and I really miss my former home, Hawai'i.
See you at the races,