Vineman 70.3 2012 Race Report

I had a big goal when I signed up for this race WAY back in November. I wanted to take off 25 min and go sub 5:10 to get a spot at the 70.3 championship in Vegas.   I put up a pretty decent time when I did Vineman in 2011 and I thought there was nowhere to go but up.  Boy was I wrong.  This year has been very humbling.

So here is how it all went…

I got up to the race location in Sonoma California by Thursday evening so that Friday I could pre-ride the course with  fellow Triathlete, Stuart, who was attempting his first 70.3 on his way to a full 140.6 in Arizona this fall.

Ride Recon

We set out Friday morning and drove the whole course as well as rode the two major hills (which aren’t all that major).  After a lunch break we scoped out the swim as well.  The river was warmer than last year but had the makings of a great swim!  Saturday was spent going to the expo for goodies and the race briefing, dropping off shoes in T2 (it is a point to point), prepping the last of the race gear to make the morning easier, and then trying to get a little rest!  My wave was 4th so I would be starting just before 7:00 AM (last year I was 3rd from last!).

Marked and ready… sort of.

Woke up at 4:30 AM, took care of the necessary business, and walked to T1 by 5:45 AM.  I didn’t have much time to waste so I got set up, met some other people I knew from the interwebs, and then got ready to race.  I am hoping I scored some good race karma because there was a girl in transition who forgot goggles.  I gave her my extra pair and she was VERY appreciative (even though she beat me out of the swim!).  The mood was really nice and I met some super nice ladies while we got ready to swim.

I lined up at the front of the swim because I am a strong swimmer so it only makes sense.  This was the only part of the race I thought I had a shot at doing well in so I really wanted to nail the swim.  Gun went off and so did I.  Only problem I had was a slightly leaky goggle but I refused to stop for it.  I just put my head down and swam. 32:46 later I was out of the water getting ready to hit the bike.  I had no idea of my time but when I found out later what I swam I was very pleased.  Last year I swam 31:35 so considering all that has happened and how under-trained I was going into this race I was VERY pleased with my swim.

I saw Stuart leaving transition before me so I knew that was the last I would most likely see of him for the day unless we crossed paths on the run (I can’t keep up with him on the bike).  I kind of dawdled in T1 and then got out of there.  The ride is beautiful; rollers with two little hills that are more annoying than anything.  I spent a lot of time aero and I had not rode my bike much before this race so I really started to tire around mile 30.  It really was just due to lack of training more than anything.  It was apparent, very early, that I would not be bettering my time on the bike from the year before which was a little disappointing.  3:22:48 and I was done.

I made my way through T2 but in no real hurry.  I knew this wasn’t going to be a big day so I just wanted to have fun and enjoy it.  Once I got to the run I knew it was going to take me some time to get through the 13.1 miles.  Because of that I stopped around mile 3 to pee and pretty much just ran from aid station  to aid station and walked thru them.  I took some extended walk breaks during miles 6-10 but then managed to run the last three miles in.  I did see Stuart once on the run which was nice.  The course kind of looped a little so it wasn’t guaranteed that I would see him.  2:34:56 later I was crossing the finish line, nowhere near close to my 1:51:10 from the year before.

Overall I did 6:42:05 compared to 5:32:25 from the year before.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with my time.  But I am taking two positives away from the race.  One, I still had a great swim which really makes me happy.  And two, I ran pain free!! I miss running so much so to have a pain free run was very reassuring that I am on the path to running recovery!

It was AWESOME to see Stuart accomplish his first really big triathlon and I have NO doubts that he will hear his named called in the chute in Arizona in November.  I feel very lucky to be a part of that journey with him.

So what is next you might ask?  My next A race will be the Boston marathon in April of 2013.  I would really like to PR there and run under 3:30.  So my focus is going to shift back to running for the next 9 months.  I have a 10K in October, a half marathon in December then it is all about Boston!

Expo goodie for me!


  1. Nice work! It takes time to recover from Ironman and then build the base again, so don’t worry too much about your time. I’m also focusing on running for the next 9 months – looking forward to following your journey to Boston! I want to qualify and will hopefully be running in 2014!

  2. Congratulations, Becka!!!
    Now that you’re done with the above event, and by your own confession, am envisioning a sub 3:30 Boston marathon, you need to start contacting me for quality prep runs!!!

    Believe first, but anything under the Sun is achievable!!!

  3. Well congrats to a fun race! I’ve only done one, but I think a big thing to remember going in is that anything can happen.
    That was REALLY nice of you to hand someone your goggles too!

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