I signed up for Vineman 70.3 way back in November. I had a friend that was going to do it and I thought it would be fun to do it after Oceanside 70.3 which I had already registered for. I had no idea how far I would come by the time the race finally arrived.
We stayed in a super cute place that was walking distance from the start. We went for a little ride and run the day before and scoped out the swim area. I didn’t get in the water because everybody was saying how nice it was so I wasn’t worried. The funniest part was watching people swimming in the river and standing up in the middle! I have never swam in water so shallow!
My wave start was one of the last and we were so close to the start that I actually slept in until 5:00 AM on race day! I got to the start with 2 hours until my wave! After getting all set up, watching a few of my friends exit the swim, it was finally my turn. I was lucky to actually be starting with a friend that I have been training with a little, Jenn. We are both strong swimmers so we made our way to the front of the swim start (it was an in water start, my favorite) and waited for the horn. I had high hopes for the swim since I have felt pretty strong in the water lately. Jenn and I leapfrogged our way through the swim taking turn leading. I found it very motivating to race someone I knew in the water. She did get me by 23 seconds out of the water but we both had great swims. I swam 31:37 for the 1.2 miles, 12th out of the water.
My T1 went really well. We had to put our wetsuits in bags since T2 was somewhere else. But I was able to get myself out pretty quickly (3:41). It is a slightly steep hill to get out with the bike so I ran my bike up the hill like many others. No need to fall at the very start! The bike went well. The course was beautiful! It winds through wine country in Sonoma California. Absolutely amazing scenery! The course was rollers, rollers, and more rollers that wound through hillsides of grapevines. There were only two hills to contend with and they really were that bad compared to what I have to ride on at home. I had two small problems on the bike. One, the road was really rough for a few miles and all the chatter loosened my aero bars. Luckily I noticed it and was very mindful not to pull hard on them since they were now moveable. The other problem I had was I didn’t clear out the history on my Garmin prior to the race so it was getting full with all the lap data. At about 30 milesish it started beeping hysterically because it was full. I had to delete the history while riding. Not fun! Jenn and I leapfrogged on the ride for the first 27 miles but then I couldn’t catch her after that. Overall I was really please with the ride. My goal was to ride 18 mph so I could be off the bike in close to 3 hours. I finished the 56 miles in 3:03:05 with an average speed of 18.4 mph. (Click here for the Garmin data.)
My T2 went really quick once I found my shoes! We had to set it up the day before so it was kind of hard to remember when they were. I had left myself plenty of options for the run (various snacks and different choices in headgear). I grabbed the visor and some food and ran out as fast as I could. My hands were full of stuff as I was leaving and I didn’t know what to do with it all. Quickly I realized I could shove it all in my top and store it there while I got situated. Genius (in my humble opinion)! I felt great on the run! I couldn’t believe how good I felt. My goal had been to run 8:45 per mile but I was moving much faster than that off the bike. I figure I would just go with it as long as I could. I was very conscientious to make sure to take in water and Coke as much as possible. I managed to get down a cherry lime Roctane Gu (third Gu for the day; a new record) early in the run. I really worked hard all day to stay on top of my nutrition and not get behind. I think it paid off in spades! Once I saw that I was holding steady around 8:30 per mile that became my new goal pace. The run did one loop through the La Crema winery which was really cool. I was having a great run! Someone remarked at me “You look like enjoy running way too much right now”. That made me smile even more and run even harder. Once out of the vineyard I just kept running as hard as I could. The temperature was starting to rise (we lucked out on the weather) so I knew I need to get it done ASAP. I finally caught up with Jenn at mile 8 ish. I just kept moving, never walked except for the aid stations to get some grapes (how fitting). Around the last half mile a guy ran up behind me and said he had been using me to pace him since mile 5. He told me to follow him in to the finish and we were gonna push it hard. I respond well to this type of motivation when running and did all I could to hold on to him. We were cruising on our way to the finish; it was the last little push I needed; almost like a swat on the ass! I ended up running 1:51:10 for the 13.1 miles at an average pace of 8:30 per mile. (Click here for the Garmin data)
Overall I did 5:32:25 for the total 70.3 with transitions. My goal had been 5:45 (but my ultimate goal was 5:30). So needless to say I was thrilled with the end result. That time was good for 20th in my division (153 were supposed to start) and 640 overall (2300ish). Best part of it all was that I finished feeling strong. I felt in control of my race all day. That to me is the most important.
I couldn’t have done this without the support of my friends and family. A huge thanks goes to my family. My husband and parents have been amazing on supporting my training. I could never have been this prepared without their support and help. I also need to thank my Dailymile and Twitter friends. It was awesome getting tweets and messages before and after the race. I will definitely do this race again next year. It was by far the coolest race I have ever done! EVAH!