I had started getting into triathlons this year; and did a sprint (april), 2 olympics (may, june), 1 half ironman (july 10th) and this would be my 5th race (July 31st).
Since I did not plan last year. This was the best (or really the only) option to do a full distance race before November. It was close enough to drive and looked like very well organized.
I really made a hybrid plan; it was mainly derived from the 13 hours to 13 hour ironman in the end. The objective was to have fun; finish around 13 hours and learn for the next races. My final time was 13 hours 14 minutes. So I kind of met my goal pretty closely.
- It is a mental race too :- Iron distance does test your mental distance as much as physical. My IT Band was stiff in the middle of the bike ride (and I had a lot of pain because of that in the knee). But I never thought for a second to stop and/or give up.
- What Plan:- Any plan is a decent plan as long as you stick to it J But you should really add other items like strength training and flexibility to it as well …
- Nutrition:- Nutrition is more complex that I thought. I had fun on the bike (a very nice ride). But I could not eat anything on the run. I did it drinking cola. Not the best thing in the world L
- Planning:- I was over prepared and planned. The race was well supported so I could get some nutrition from the stops. I had most of my nutrition on the bike and the fuel belt. (unnecessary load as it proved to be). I stopped and helped 2 people on their bikes. First one had his aero bars loose and was looking for an allen ranch so I stopped and gave it to him. The other one did not have a C02. I really think you gotta at least have couple of these things with you J
- Experience:- Race experience itself is very valuable. I could spend another year planning or preparing but just going out and doing it tells you a let about your-self and your deficiencies.
Race before the race
I could not leave before Thursday and drove all day on Thursday from Seattle to SF. Still had to drive on Friday. Something I really should avoid next time J
Swim (2.4 miles – around an hr)
My best swim ever. My new wetsuit actually fit me well. I have dramatically improved my swim over the last few months. The river is not deep enough so I was not afraid at all.
Bike (112 miles – 7 hours)
I started the bike well. But my IT Band got stiff towards the middle of the ride. It hurt really bad for the rest of the ride. Although I have done centuries before. It never happened before. I might need more work on flexibility. Stopped for few people on the bike. But I really enjoyed the venue. Chalk Hill is not really all that bad. This could have been much faster…
Run (26.2 miles – a little over 5 hours)
So I am done with the bike and about to start the 3 loop run. My IT Band hurts (really the knee is where I feel the pain but cause is IT Band). I cannot run. But I try anyways. First mile in 7 minutes and remaining 7 miles in the first loop in 2 hours. I was basically dragging my left foot with the right. A fellow runner had some ibouprofin. I took that and did the second loop in about 1.5 hours. And third in about an hour.
The Venue itself (in case you are considering)
This was the most friendly, well supported triathlon I did this year. Just amazing. I did some poorly organized triathlons like ocean shores this year and this was 1000 times better.
The venue is also close to SF and a reasonable drive to any place in calif. I combined my vacation with it so it was well worth it J