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Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3

OVERALL

4:35:04 
15th AG, 70th Overall (out of ~3000) 

Probably my best-executed race of all time!  I felt good from the start and was only in real pain the last 5 miles of the run (which is kind of the point!). Best-ever splits on the bike and run and was finally really able to push my guts out the last few miles, which was awesome.  Seeing all the TriForcers out there was incredible!

SWIM

30:16
19th AG

santa_rosa_swim

What Worked

  • focusing on rhythm
    • I really felt like I was cruising and didn’t take a hard stroke the whole time.
    • The rolling start was excellent, but it didn’t quite suck me out like it does in some races. We had to walk down the boat ramp so it thinned out the group quite a bit. I lined up in the 27-30 crowd but didn’t have feet much at all the whole way.
  • sighting
    • I’ve gotten really good at popping my head up quickly and grabbing a snapshot even with the sun in my eyes.

What Didn’t Work

  • lax training
    • I haven’t been consistently making it to the pool more than 2x per week, which is NOT ENOUGH to see improvements. I knew this going in, however, so my focus was keeping it easy, which I did. Getting at least 10K yards per week should get me under 29 minutes.

T1

7:30

What Worked

  • taking time to put on warm clothes
    • It was in the 40s for the first part of the bike ride and I was not about to repeat the mistakes of HITS. I wore a trash bag over my Speedo and under my M2. I put my run singlet on under my M2. I wore arm warmers and gloves (with hand warmers shoved inside of them).

What Didn’t Work

  • almost a mile long!
    • T1 was comically long and uphill. Nothing really to do about that, just worth noting. I potentially could have been a little faster, but it might have been at the expense of being warm enough which we’ve learned is NOT a good tradeoff!

BIKE

2:25:22
16th AG
205 NP
http://tpks.ws/afDaR

santa_rosa_bike

What Worked

  • aerodynamics
    • 205 Watts for 2:25 (PR by 4 minutes!) is still pretty damn low! I stayed in the bars almost the whole race and passed a lot of people.
  • nutrition
    • I never missed a fueling alarm.  The EFS seems to work great for me.
  • hydration
    • It wasn’t hot, but I got 3 Torpedos down (maybe 70 oz?) and peed once.  The nuun with caffeine was a good upgrade.
  • power
    • My legs felt great from the start! For the first time, I really had to hold myself back as it was easy to push up to 300W on some of the punchy climbs and above my cap of 220W on the flats. I may need a bigger chainring than 52T, though, since my cadence was a bit too high (at least by Sutto standards) on some of the flats and gradual downhills.  I consciously shut down the power with a few miles to go to start prepping for the run.
  • fast course
    • Net downhill plus tailwind plus not-very-rough roads made for a super fast course! It was beautiful and a lot of fun too.

What Didn’t Work

  • busted 808
    • Thankfully I took my bike out for a test spin this week because the hub on my front 808 is busted! I heard something that sounded like brake rubbing but it turned out to be the hub.  Luckily I have a “spare” 404 :-).

T2

3:09

What Didn’t Work

  • long
    • Another comically long transition. I probably could have been a little faster but again it’s hard to tell since I had so many layers to take off (arm warmers, Nopinz calf socks, trash bag, M2).

RUN

1:28:47
16th AG
http://tpks.ws/dg55b

santa_rosa_run

What Worked

  • new run technique
    • Cadence of 90! It was my lungs, not my legs that were taxed by the end of the run.
  • nutrition
    • 3 sips of Coke every 5 min was perfect.  I refilled once and so got probably 400 calories down during the 1.5 hours.  Stomach never complained and I only got stronger as the miles clicked off.
  • no cramps or dead quads!
    • Popping a Tylenol at the end of the bike plus sipping a Hotshot in T2 seemed to help! The usual problem spots are my left hamstring (for cramps) and my quads (dead), but never really had a hint of either flaring up.  High cadence.
  • pushing my guts out
    • My usual HIM plan is to start at 7:00/mi and drop the pace if feeling good.  I’ve never really been able to drop the pace, however, until this race.  It really helped when I saw Li at the turnaround and took off for the last 4 miles at 6:30 pace!  I was breathing really, really hard and thinking, “Is this sustainable? I guess we’ll find out!”  I have confidence now that I can probably start dropping the pace even earlier than that and chip some more time off my run split.
    • I passed a few people in my AG in those last few miles!  For once, my highest division placing was in the run, not the swim or bike.

What Didn’t Work

  • lower back and feet
    • Not really actionable, but just worth noting.  My lower back was screaming for the first few miles but I just ignored it and hoped it would stretch out.  Couldn’t feel my feet, presumably from the cold, until about mile 4.  Good to know that these are things I can push through.
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Andrew Sellergren