Two days, wooooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
Sound off, who's gonna be there with me in Oceanside in the rain?
We ain't made of sugar ;)
Good luck man. I won't be down there, but the brothers are racing so say hi if you get the chance. I luck forward to hearing how it goes.
I'll be there but not competing, just watching for next years competition, soaking up knowledge hopefully. But good luck, give us your bib #, maybe some people from this web site could run into each other.
Thanks guys, won't have my bib # until tomorrow at packet pickup. Won't be back on the computer until Sunday/Monday.
^ Blur - Song 2.mp3 (If you don't got it, you better get it)
I'll be there - been training in the rain the last few months for a reason, I guess.
Good luck Chucky! You're going to smoke that course...
Make sure you post your story(ies)!
I know Dax completed the rain fest down south, anyone hear from Chucky?
I made it ;) I'll post the details later!
Sweet! Nice Bling :D
I look forward to reading more about your race, any pics in the rain?
2005 California Half Ironman
Well it's in the books:
Total Time = 6h 17m 50s
Overall Rank = 1157/1885
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 222/312
Swim Time = 32m 09s
Distance = 1.2 Miles
Speed = 1m 40s / 100 meters
Age Group = 78/312
Overall = 432/1885
T1 Time = 6m 58s
Bike Time = 3h 9m 53s
Distance = 56 Miles
Speed 17.70 mile/hr
Age Group = 205/312
Overall = 950/1885
T2 Time = 3m 15s
Run Time = 2h 25m 36s
Distance = 13.1 miles
Speed = 11m 07s min/mile
Age Group: 267/312
Where to begin. The weather sucked as it was raining and cold. The temperature was in the low fifties at the start.
When I arrived, I racked my bike, and setup my bike transition as best I could. Since it was raining, I pretty much left everything in my bag. I then proceeded to eat an apple fritter (breakfast of champions!). I've got about an hour until the race is supposed to start so I sipped water and went to the bathroom about ten times. Normally I'd slip into the water and frolic like a baby seal, but we weren't allowed to do so.
About 30 minutes to my start time, I put on my wetsuit and stood in line with everyone else. Did I mention it was cold and raining? Wetsuits apparently aren't very good at keeping people warm when they are standing in line for twenty to thirty minutes. I kid you not, I was shivering.
The first wave of pros kicked off at 6:40, then the female pros shortly after that. Then the first two waves after that. From the shore, they looked like salmon swimming upstream, it was a really cool sight to behold.
Finally they held the cardboard sign up with my color of swim cap attached. Into the water we go. I was in a pretty big age group, so they split us up into three waves with about a 100 folks in each. We head down the boatramp in the Oceanside harbor, the concrete hurt like a mother because it wasn't made for people to walk down rather it was made to not allow tires to slip. Getting into the water felt like slipping into a lukewarm bathtub because the water temp was ~61 and the air temp was ~53. We all know what we do when we slip into warm water right? So after I finished peeing, I positioned myself in the middle of the pack. I did this intentionally thinking that most folks in this race were good swimmers.
The week before the race, I swam at Oxnard's Strawberry Fields Triathlon as part of the relay team. I was in the top 10 percent of my age group, but this was a sprint right? I only swim three times a week right? Sure I have a swimming background, but now I'm swimming with Ironmen. This is my first Half IM, these people are seasoned experts right?
I'm not sure what causes most of the people that race to position themselves where they do. They are all poor swimmers, yet they feel the need to get up on the starting line. I didn't know what to expect and aired on the side of caution by placing myself in the middle of the pack. This proved to be a big mistake.
The air horn to start the race was blown and off we go. I now understand why these guys look like salmon swimming upstream. It is because they all beat the living crap out of each other. I'm not joking. It quickly became obvious to me that the folks in front couldn't swim and yet I had to get past them. I ended up swimming over a couple of bodies and making holes where there weren't any before. I was rewarded with chops to my thighs, ribs, and arms. One dude even grabbed my leg. I'm honestly not sure what the hell that is all about and I don't remember signing up as a life preserver.
Okay, done ranting, wait, maybe not. So I finally break away from my pack. The waves were seperated by about five minutes. That really isn't a long period of time for this swim distance. I quickly caught the preceeding wave. The crap that I went through before, happened again, only now I am dealing with the worst from the preceeding wave. Fortunately, they are spread out so it became a weaving job more than anything. Then I caught the first wave of non professionals. Fortunately, they were spread out nice and thin and I didn't have to take quite the beating from them.
I didn't get to "open it up" on the swim and I'm kinda bummed about that. My swim times could be much better, but you take what you are given. Finishing in the top 20% is nothing to wine about.
So out of the water I go, into the bike transition area. The run was about 100 yards across a parking lot with a few to many pebbles. It was cold so I put on leg warmers, arm warmers, socks, and since I knew I'd blown the transition trying to put on all that stuff over a wet body in the rain, I put on some cycling shorts over my tri shorts. Grabbed the bike and out I went. ooops, did I forget to zip up my bag? Too late now, won't know until I get back.
Out I go, apparently people don't know the rules which can be annoying. They ride all over the road so passing people is a pain in the ass. The bike route was 56 miles through Camp Pendleton. It was probably the best part of the day for me. There were two hills of substance at miles 30 and 40. Nothing to write home to mom about. I'm not a cyclist, I'm a swimmer! But that didn't matter, I knew that I'd do alright on the bike so I gave it my best. It was great to pass all of the aid stations and see the volunteers busting their asses for me, cheering for me, and smiling at me. Ironman puts on a great race and the volunteers were awesome. I especially liked the aid station being manned by all the jar-heads (I'm an ex Air Force guy ;-) ). Those dudes are as psycho as well... MARINES! I'm glad they're on our side.
My nutrition kinda blew on the bike. Normally in my three hour training rides I consume two, twenty ounce bottles of Cytomax and CarbPro, but on this ride I only consumed one and a half bottles. I placed in the middle third of my age group and placed in the middle overall. It is obvious that most of the guys are strong bikers. The legs on these guys are amazing. Whatever advantage I had on the swim, I gave back on the bike.
Well, this was the big unkown for me. I had a plantar fascia tear four weeks out from the start of this race. When I told my Podiatrist that I needed to be running in two weeks, he laughed. He said I'd be lucky to be running in three or four weeks. Well, two weeks out I tested the foot by running 3.3 miles. I made it, but it still hurt. Then a week later I tested again by running 6.6 miles. I did it, but again some slight discomfort. That was my signal to go ahead with the race. So sadly, I ran only twice in the four weeks leading up to the race. Considering that my workout plan was heavily based on running, taking running away had a big impact. I didnt' know how to fill the void and the four weeks ended up being a big taper. Coaching would definitely have paid off here.
So into the transition area I roll. At the dismount line, I almost ate the asphault as my feet were so numb. The rain had soaked my feet and 17+ miles per hour was good at making them wet and cold! It took the 100 meters of running to the bike rack to get feeling back in them. I took off the leg warmers, cycling shorts, arm warmers. I was going to change my socks, but alas, I had not zipped up my bag, so everything was soaked. No point trying to change socks, squish squish squish! I put my visor and sunglasses on and out I went.
I ran for about a mile. From this point on I walked every aid station and every incline/decline, ran everything else. All of the aid stations were manned by kids from the local high school. They did an awesome job. Youthful exhuberance - gotta love it. The final three miles I got fed up. I knew my pace sucked, and injury or not, I wanted to salvage something from the run. I opened it up and hauled ass the remainer of the way. A little to late, but it got me to the finish line a little sooner than I would have done otherwise.
It was clear that not running for the last month took a lot out of me in the form of endurance and confidence. In the end, it didn't matter, it felt good to just cross the finish line. Six hours and seventeen minutes, I'll take that anyday given the path I had to take. June of last year I weighed in at two hundred and thirteen pounds. I'm only five feet six inches, so I was one big truck. Since then I've lost forty pounds and I owe it all to triathlon training. This was only my third race ever, the first at this distance, and the first of this season for me. The road from obesity to Half Ironman finisher was not easy, but it shows what can be done in just nine months. I can't begin to tell you how good it felt.
The rest of this season is a bunch of sprints (four) with an Oly at the end of the season. Then I begin training for Ironman Lanzarote! I expect to drop another twenty plus pounds.
Anyhow, thanks all for listening, happy training to you. Hope to see you at the start line!
Awesome, great report. Congrats man!
check your private messages. wanted to see if it's o.k. to put this in the main articles section. I think many would enjoy reading it.
No doubt about it, you did an awesome race. Congrats in your road to became a half IM.
Chris, Thanks for posting your race details. The half IM is my goal and it's cool to read about other first time adventures. I hope you have a great season of sprints/Olys and that your IM training and weight loss really comes together for you...
thx, and thx to TriBro for posting on the landing page. It was a hit with the family ;)
no, thank you. I absolutely love your depiction of the swimming experience. I've actually heard from others that the swim at Ralphs was exceptionally bad. Not sure why that was. Maybe too many Los Angelans thinking it was rush hour traffic and had to get back for a Laker game :)
Loved your article about Ralph's IM...congratulations on your finish. You are still probably on a "high" from the race. Next year maybe the weather will be better and just think how you will fly then! :-)
Awesome story chucky! It is always so great to hear good storys like this to help all of us with are training.
Congrats bro and good luck with the rest of your training!
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