Vineman 70.3 2014 Race Report

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I had goals for Vineman and they roughly translated to

5:30-5:45 – great race

545- 6:00 – good race

6:00+ – meh race

 

My PR on this course is 5:32 and the last time I did the race I did a 6:45. Pretty big spread. I was very confident about my swim, fairly confident about my run, and very worried about my bike. I just can’t seem to make my bike go fast.

 

Here are the details if you just want the numbers

Swim – 32:57

T1 – 3:56

Bike – 3:12:27

T2 – 4:40

Run – 1:59:51

Total – 5:53:51

 

The day started out like any normal race day. Up, eat, use the bathroom, get over to the race… As we were walking into transition I realized I had made a HUGE error. I forgot my bike shoes! Not really sure how I managed that but I had a very early wave so I had very little time to fix my mistake. Luckily, we were staying close by and luckily I had my running shoes on! I racked my bike and took off running back to the room, grabbed my shoes, then ran back to the race. About 1.5 miles total with my wetsuit on from the waist down. Warm up done!

I got to my bike, finished setting up, got out to the water and had about 2 minutes to spare! Well it is better than standing around all nervous with the other ladies! I lined up in the water in the front since I swim fairly well. The start was great! I had a lot of clear water and very few issues with people swimming in my way. I just kept it strong and steady. I was really hoping for something speedy like a 30-31 min swim so I was a bit disappointed to see 32:57 (9/141) the on my watch when I exited the water. (The swim did feel a little long and by my Garmin it was actually just over 1.3 miles…) It was very cool to have our friends at the water exit as well as my parents. This was the first Tri they have ever seen me do. (Thanks Jo for snapping this picture)

BeccaSwimExit

I made it through transition and got on my bike. This is my weakness so I was very aware of how often I was getting passed. As usual, I got passed a bunch toward the end. Turns out, 41 women in my Age Group passed me. I hate that. I don’t know what to say about the cycling. It isn’t going well right now. I have a good chunk of time to fix this before Ironman Arizona.

I made it into T2 and out to the run course with no issues. Once I started running and got away from the people it was very quiet and kind of peaceful. My goal was to at least run a 9:00 mile average pace but secretly I really wanted to do 8:30s. I clicked off the first mile in 8:20 and I was very encouraged. I managed to stay under 9:00 min miles until mile 8, then the wheels started to fall off. There is very little shade on the course and it is very rolley. It wasn’t until I got out of La Crema that I started walking. I was feeling weak and a little light-headed so I was walking through aid stations and then a little bit more than that. I was drinking as much coke as I could and eating grapes. For the first 8 miles I had picked off a bunch of women in my age group. But once I started walking a few of them passed me back. There was a lot of leapfrog going on for miles 9-12. But once I made it to mile 12 I picked up the pace and did all I could to pass them all again. There was only one I couldn’t pass in the end. By the finish I had passed 15 women on the run to end at 35/141 in my AG. (Thanks Jo for the picture again)

BeccaRunFinish

Now, Stuart had started the day 12 minutes after me and we figured after the swim I would have a 25 minute head start on him. There was a very good chance he would catch me on the run. He didn’t catch me so after I finished I waited in the finisher area for him to come in. And I waited… I started to get a little worried. It was a good 30 minutes and he still wasn’t in. I eventually went and checked for his bike and grabbed my phone so I could see his times so far. His bike was there (with his stinky shoes) so I felt a little better. His bike times looked like he must have had a mechanical issue but there were some run times coming back. After using my mad math skills I guessed what time he would finish and waited out on the course with our friends. Finally he came running in; smile on his face and everything! Turns out he had run over a drill bit and had a bit of drama getting it fixed. You can read his blog about that!

This is a fabulous race. I would recommend it to anyone! But for me, I have to be honest at this point; if it wasn’t for the fact that I am signed up for Arizona, I would happily hang up my tri bike and call it a year. I am finding less and less motivation to keep doing these races. They are very complicated and so much work. I will get my act together and get the training done for Arizona, but after that I am not sure how many triathlons will be in my future. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind!

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Vineman 70.3 2014 Race Goals

Vineman

I am going back to Vineman 70.3 this upcoming weekend. I had my best ever 70.3 race there in 2011 and it would be really nice to come close to that time again. My times in 2011 were as follows:

Swim 0:31:37

Bike 3:03:05

Run 1:51:10 (8:30/mile pace)

Total time with transitions – 5:32:25

 

I would really like to say I think I will go faster this year but I am not sure I can. Below are my goals for this year:

Swim < 0:31

Bike < 3:00

Run < 1:58 (9:00/mile pace)

 

If the heat stays away I think these are reasonable goals. Hopefully, like 2011, I will shock myself on the run and pull off another 1:51 (8:30/mile pace) but I am trying to set realistic goals. I have been training hard for this race but you don’t always know how it will come together race day.

The biggest motivator (as always) will be Stuart. He starts two waves after me, 12 minutes later. It is reasonable to assume I will swim 15 minutes faster then him (even though he has been tearing it up in the pool lately!). That gets me on the bike with a 25ish min headstart. I would have to have a mechanical in order for him to catch me on the bike so it will come down to the run. Will he be able to chase me down? With the way the course is laid out and the timing of it all I won’t see him coming until he swats me on the butt as he passes!

Wanted: Perfect Triathlon Kit

I have a proposition for any manufactures of women’s triathlon apparel; make me your guinea pig. I am searching for the perfect triathlon apparel for long distance training/racing. I am just about to start my Ironman Arizona specific training and I have a LOT of training ahead of me. Therefore I have a LOT of opportunity to test your stuff! Use me to test your products and write reviews on your kit. It is a win-win situation! You will get feedback on your kit and hopefully I will find the perfect kit for race day. Feel free to contact me with any opportunities to test out your kit! Rebecca.Korb@gmail.com

You won’t get anything if you never ask…

Kit Konundrum

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This Sunday I will be racing Vineman 70.3 in Sonoma County California.  I have done this race twice before.  The first time went really well.  The second time not so much.  I have been training really hard and I am hoping for a good result.  We will see on Sunday.  Lately I have been struggling with what to wear.  The more I do triathlon the pickier I have become in my gear. I am developing some preferences when it comes to clothing and I can’t seem to find the perfect kit for race day.  Here is what I want my kit to have:

  • Built in bra (I am small enough on top that the built ones work fine for me)
  • Pockets in the top (deep enough to hold a little food and loose enough to be easily accessible)
  • Zipper in top to allow for venting if it gets hot
  • Top should be long enough to cover top of shorts and not ride up so my belly shows
  • Bottoms shouldn’t be very long
  • No leg grippers if possible but if they have leg grippers not extra tight so you get sausage thighs
  • Wide waste band the same size all around and not super tight to reduce the muffin top issue
  • Wide chamois/pad in the back; I don’t want the seam of the chamois to hit rub were I make contact with my saddle
  • Not too many grooves in the chamois; that gives extra opportunity for pinching parts
  • Fairly snug fitting bottoms overall; I like a little compression
  • Whole kit should be cute and distinct and if possible match my bike and make me look 10lbs lighter (ok, maybe that isn’t that important)
  • Whole kit shouldn’t be more than $120 all in…

The three kits pictured above are as close as I have to the “perfect” kit

The SOAS kit has everything except good sized pockets and a wide chamois.  I love the length of the shorts and everything else. This kit is a little pricey at $180.

The Hammer kit’s(made by Voler) only issue is there is no built in bra and the bottom of the top has a tighter elastic edge BUT it doesn’t ride up. The shorts are great; perfect leg grippers (or lack there of) and good chamois for me. This kit is also the most affordable at $90 all in and you can often get a deal and get it for less!

The Vanderkitten kit (made by Pactimo) is by far the cutest and I really do like the one piece.  Problem is the pad is very minimal, the kit is a little loose, it has no pockets, and it zips down the back.  It worked well for my Olympic Tri but I think I may run into issues for longer races. I am a VKVIP so I get a deal on this kit but it can range from $129-$169.

So for my upcoming race day I have chosen to race in the Hammer kit. I am still searching for the perfect kit for Ironman Arizona.  I have my eye on a Castelli kit, the Body Paint.  But at $250 for the top and bottom I am struggling to let myself get it.

WTFU and GSD

photoWTFU = Wake The F*#k Up.  This is what I struggle with.  I used to have no problem getting up early to work out.  But now, getting out of bed has gotten tougher and tougher.  But when I do get up and workout I feel so much better.  I have three weeks until Vineman.  After that things are going to get really really tough.  Now is the time to start the pattern of getting up early and #GSD (getting sh#t done).

Breath of Life 2014 Olympic Triathlon Race Report

Podium

I did this event last year and had a crummy start to the day. The women in my racking area had racked poorly (took up too much space and wouldn’t move to accommodate more bikes) which had started the day off on a bad note. I decided in a show of good sportsmanship I would come bearing gifts for my rack-mates. Since SBR Sports sponsors me I asked for extra samples so I pass them out to the ladies. Much better vibe this time around!

My goal for the race was to podium. I said it out loud the week before and I was not being shy about my goal. My training has been hard and focused thanks to my Coach Jen. I also have been doing much more open water swimming thanks to joining Tower 26 for coached ocean swims in Santa Monica.

Can you find me (hint, crazy looking one in the front grinning)

Can you find me? (hint, crazy looking one in the front grinning)

Swim went well. I started at the front but I don’t like to sprint out in the start. I like to settle in and pick up swimmers as race goes on. No major issues. There was a large patch of kelp at one point so when I came through for the second loop I avoided it. At the start of the second loop I came in behind a new wave of swimmers, which meant I had a bunch of people to navigate through. At T1 I surprised to see a lot of women there already. There were three of us in transition at one time. I knew this was going to be tighter than I had hoped. I got out as fast as I could and started my ride… Garmin swim data here, 23:03.

My goal was to ride between 20 and 21 mph for the ride. Originally I was going to ride with Stuart’s fancy race wheels. I rode them twice prior to the race. They scared me! I was so uncomfortable on them that I couldn’t ride aero. I decided that aero was more important than better wheels so I put my wheels back on (actually, Stuart did) and that was that. It was a good choice. The course had some pretty strong head winds so I would have been terribly uncomfortable for the ride. I was doing well for the first 18ish miles. I seemed like I was clicking them off at close to 3 min per mile. Then it got tough. I wasn’t really tired but I didn’t feel like I could push the pedals hard enough to keep the pace up. Also, by this point the sprint racers were on the course and it got congested. One of the four sides to the loop was kind of sketchy (bad road and small shoulder). I knew I was most likely in 4th at this point based on who passed me and who beat me out of transition. When I was coming in from the bike I made sure to watch the runners going out to see where the other ladies were on the run. The girl in first was booking, the girl in second looked strong, but the girl in third looked like she was struggling and not that far ahead of me. I got in and out of T2 ASAP and was on a mission to catch people. Garmin ride data here, 1:19:57.

Stuart takes the best pictures!

Stuart takes the best pictures!

My goal for the run had been to run consistent and shoot for an 8 min/mile pace. The course was an out and back so I was keeping an eye out for the ladies coming back. Stuart was out on the course cheering and taking pictures. It was so nice to see him out there. I couldn’t do this with out him. I finally saw the girl in third not too long before the turn around so I knew I was getting close. I finally caught her with about 1.5 miles to go. I got her coming thru an aid station. I wanted water but I took the opportunity and passed her instead. Then I was so worried she would catch me I pushed it as hard as I could. I kept an eye over my shoulder every so often to watch out for her. I didn’t want to get caught at the end. The run was actually a little long (6.58) miles so I was pretty pooped by the end but I finished strong. Garmin run data here, 52:21.

2013 Run Map

2013 Run Map

2014 Run Map (longer!)

2014 Run Map (longer!)

I knew I was either in 4th or 3rd but I doubted that I made it to the podium just in case I hadn’t. I had a hamburger and waited to check the results….3rd!!!!!! YAY!!!! 2:39:55 (official results here) and that is a PR! 3/12 for my AG.

I did what I set out to and I am very proud of my race. I wish I could have biked faster but I think my bike performance allowed me to have a great (for me) run. The race was great! This is a very well run race put on by a fun group of people. Awesome BBQ and beer garden after makes it even better. My only complaint of the day was about two male cyclists. They were riding side by side at the end of the ride and then passed me right before the dismount, one on each side of me! I almost said something to them (as I passed them on the run). That isn’t safe or by the rules. But overall it was a good day!