Brian Skehan Santa Rosa Ironman 70.3 Swim- The morning started out very cold with a breeze that chilled to the bone. The swim started out with a rolling self seeding start that I like. I self seeded with 35-40 min group and this seems to work well for now. The water temp was great my sighting was dead on again, and I did not swim more then I needed to, this is a good thing. The only issue I think most athletes had with the swim, was the buoys were small and hard to see at times. Beautiful swim in the lake, great sighting, comfortable water temperature, about what I expected today out of my swim. T-1 This by far was the longest transition I’ve experienced with the ironman circuit. I think its .4 miles , mostly up hill on a boat ramp. Although, they carpeted most of it up until the asphalt starts. This was rough on the feet especially running on asphalt thats disintegrating. No real issues other then the feet started to hurt a bit. Bike-Beautiful bike course that uses the much of the old Vineman course. On race day the winds surfaced from the North which really benefited the bike this year. I think I had a tail wind much of the course. The first 5-10 miles ended up being pretty cold but manageable with my awesome Folsom bike jacket. One thing I should mention, with the North winds surfacing this made it difficult for me to eat and keep moisture in the mouth from low humidity and dry winds. No major hills to climb or to worry about, but the typical chewed up roads of Sonoma County. I really enjoyed this version of the course. T-2 Another long transition onto the run. No problems here, other then I had to run over a 1/4 mile plus to get on the run course. Run-my nemesis…. I felt pretty good through T-2 and 6 miles on the run until I hit a wall. I knew I didn’t eat enough on the bike and I paid for it. Mile 7-12, the struggle was real, my mental toughness was non existent and became very hungry. I ended up doing the walk/run until I could gain my composure. I was very disappointed since I had a decent race at oceanside a month and half ago. This run course is a big improvement from previous Vineman races though. Well, shaded and relatively flat surface, mixed road and dirt running path. Volunteers were top notch and super helpful as usual. Overall.. I missed out on a few expectations and goals I had for this race.. Today ended up being a training day for Boulder IM in June. Thank you Folsom bike for allowing me to wear the great name and logo. Great inaugural Ironman race in the city of Santa Rosa. Very smooth and well thought out logistically and planning for large crowds. Additionally, Great parking around ironman village; in and around the city. Huge improvement from Vineman in Windsor
Monte Rio triathlon is based out of a small town on the Russian river east of Santa Rosa on Hwy 116. The same group who owned Vineman full and half until WTC bought the rights to both races. If you liked racing the Vineman series; I suggest signing up for this race. It’s well supported, Volunteers were top notch and the course was fast and beautiful.
Swim- The swim took place on the Russian river in monte Rio. They did use swim waves based on your age group. Every 5 minutes they allowed an age group to start. The river had a decent current that took some effort to stay in one place, waiting for the gun to go off. Once the gun went off I stayed as far right on the river as possible could to minimize the current. My swim felt strong and the current didn’t have much impact on me as I thought. Went as planned, sighting was a tad off, swam more than I needed to. Swim time – 36:34 2000 yards
T-1 Went as planned, nothing to report other then it was a long run to the bike.Time-4:46
Bike-the bike course took you from monte Rio on Hwy 116 to Jenner. This section of the course was flat with some rolling hills, nothing to worry about though. Once you get to the town of Jenner you turn around and back track to a “T” intersection where you head south on HWY 1 for a few miles. Within the first half mile you climb a decent hill up to goat rock and on top the hill. Here is where it gets a little tricky. Your now exposed to the ocean breeze or today-”Wind”. This section of the bike was the best as you had the great Pacific Ocean as a back drop and, cool, crisp, clean air. All, tail wind with cross breezes for 3-4 miles while heading south. At the turn around, you know it’s coming, yes the, head wind! This was the most difficult as the winds seemed to increase with speed, and, add a few rolling hills, the legs were feeling it. As you approach Goat rock, you start your decent back to Monte Rio, where it’s flat, fast and protected from the wind. I felt pretty strong on the bike today, with hopes of riding over 20mph. Missed it by a few tenths but really enjoyed the bike course. Time-1:15 25miles
T-2 went as planned, nothing to report. Time 1:53
Run- The run followed the Russian river, west, on a side road that was paved and lined with residential houses. Flat and fast course that was shaded 2/3. Aid stations about every mile. I felt really strong coming off the bike today, as they should, considering the long rides I’ve done. I settled right into good pace, getting a few seconds faster every mile until the finish line. Strong run today. I was happy with the run. Time 50:34 6.34 miles
Overall– my age group was stacked as usual and fast. The top finisher, finished 2:00 flat. I had my fastest swim yet, bike could be better, and my run could be a tad faster, but I was happy with my finish today. This was a great taper race for boulder Ironman that’s a week away. Overall time 2:48
This was only my 3rd Triathlon and it’s race day for my first HIM. I have been training for the last 4 1/2 months with my friend and teammate Bryan Wertzer.. I put in the time and was ready but nervous to get out there. Arrived at the shuttle right at 4am. As we are driving the 35 minute route to the start the bus starts to pull over multiple times on the freeway. Eventually we pull off under the freeway because the bus has no headlights. We wait 45 minutes for our rescue bus and now I know the clock is ticking for me to get ready. We finally get there at 5:30 and the transition area closes at 6:15. I take a deep breath and get ready for the training to come together.
This is a rolling start and I think I was a little conservative with where I seeded myself. I walk into the water and pleasantly surprised with the water temp. I had done a few swims in Folsom Lake which was much colder. Happy I jump in and begin. A couple hundred yards out it appears to be a stand still. Some people are panicking at the cold and rippling water. I take a breath and collect my thoughts and push forward. The swim is what I know I need to get through and under the cutoff time. I look later at my watch and know “I got this!”. Rounding the last corner back to the boat dock I come in 8:03am.. (time was 59:30) my fave has a permanent smile!!! My hubby is there and all I kept saying was I did it!!! T1 is long jaunt back and took me a little longer than I wanted but off to the bike…
I had just put aero bars on 3 weeks prior and a new saddle from Folsom Bike. After being a bit intimidated by all the beautiful TT bikes I felt more prepared. Off I go and I have a great feeling that at least I know the course. Bryan and I did this 3 weeks earlier. This gave me confidence to know I can do all the hills and know when to take my break at Mile 30 before getting into the climbing after mile 40. Fueling was sooooo important. It’s where I tend to make my mistakes. One thing I aded was EFS in fruit punch flavor to my water. What a life saver.. between adrenaline and nerves I had to get calories in somehow. The bike was great – never got tired and again had that big smile. Coming into T2 I see my hubby again with my friends and come in for the last change. I was near the front entrance so it was seconds before I was hanging the bike and changing the shoes. Bike time was 3:53
Now with the swim and bike behind me I have no doubt I can finish. The run is nice and flat. But by Mile 10 the legs start to cramp and darn forgot the base salt on my bike…a little combo of run walking for the next 2 miles and then so happy to see mile 12 marker. I asked someone what time it was and I calculated that I could do sub 8 hours. Now for a lot of people that is really long but my only goal had been to finish . Rounding the last corner there is my husband, Bryan ( he had been done for quite a while) and friends! I am super happy and the tears come to my eyes knowing I am completing feeling great and yes with that smile!!! Run 2:38
Total time 7:54!! What a terrific experience and I am hooked. Can’t wait for the next one!! Thanks so much to all the time Bryan spent with me to get me to this place…thanks Karyn and Scott for all your support…
Oh and my wonderful husband just bought me a Trek Speed Concept 7.5 from Folsom Bike for my new obsession – Triathlon’s!!!!
As a training day for IronMan Santa Rosa 70.3, I decided to enter the Ice Breaker Triathlon. I wanted to see just how cold the water would be and get a little Open Water practice. My goal for this race was to “race but not race” I wanted to push my aerobic capacity, but not get anaerobic. My plan was to save my legs for the 3.5 hour bike ride I needed to execute the next day. I showed up at Granite Bay Beach about 90 minutes before race time. It was another wet week in the Sacramento region. I ws informed that the bike course was to be shortened to 10 miles. The distances for this race were now as follows: Swim 1/2 Mile Bike 10 Miles Run 4 Miles.
Prior to the start of the race I spent some time getting reacquainted with my wetsuit and transition setup. I was debating on what to use for the swim. I was told that the water temperature was 52 degrees and I could see lots of debris in the lake. I decided to wear my gloves and neoprene cap. I passed on the booties since the swim was so short.
Swim: I entered the water 5 minutes prior to my wave going off. I wanted to get acclimated to the freezing water temperature and try to get my face over the shock. I immediately realized that not wearing my booties was a tactical error. I couldn’t feel my feet because they were so numb. In addition to being numb, there was lots of tree branches and a rough path back to T1. Once my wave went off, it was my goal to take the swim slowly at first to try and get some comfort from the cold. After a few minutes I was able to keep my face in the water without a problem. My feet on the other hand felt weird. I was able to lay down a time of 16:48 which was an average of 1:47 per 100. This was slightly faster than the 1:55 that I was averaging in my pool swims. All in all I was pretty happy with this swim. It gave me an opportunity to swim Open Water prior to Santa Rosa and practice my sighting.
T1 was a pretty slow effort for me. The hike up the hill from the lake was pretty painful on my feet, so I decided to take my time. When I got back to my bike, I spent a good amount of time drying off because it was in the 40’s and I didn’t want to freeze on the ride. I actually threw a winter cycling jersey on over my Tri Kit to keep warm. At this point my feet were still numb, and I was off to the Bike course in 5:29
Bike: My goal for the bike was to put down a harder effort since the course was so short. I averaged a low Z4 HR and was able to average 212 watts. Both of these were well within my goals. This little course probably wasn’t really setup or beneficial to use my TT bike. There were lots of curves and i couldn’t be aero as much as I would’ve liked. My total time was 32:23 and I averaged 18.9 mph. I still couldn’t feel my feet on the entire bike course.
T2 I didn’t fly through T2. I wanted to see if I could get some blood flowing back into my feet before putting on my running shoes and gathering my gear. My goal was to run with my water bottles and everything that I would carry in Santa Rosa. I made it on to the run course in 1:44
Run: I must start off by saying that I was not a fan of this run course. The course weaved us back and fourth on single track trails. I didn’t feel like the course was safe. There were many areas that were flooded and muddy with no traction. I almost went to the ground a couple of times. The goal for this run was to put down a low Z3 HR effort and run a similar pace that I’ll be shooting for in Santa Rosa. about 1 mile into the run I was finally able to feel my toes again so that was good. I completed the run in 37:13 which averaged out to be 9:46 per mile, and my fastest mile was the last one at 9:16
My total time for the race was 1:33:37 and I took second in my division. Not bad for a training day
Starting out 2017 to be my first real Tri Season, IceBreaker is only the second triathlon I have done. I was excited to get a shorter distance in before Santa Rosa HIM in May. I thought I was definitely trained and fit for the day. Oh boy did it go quite different for me.
This is not my strong suit to begin with and truly was looking to just get on with it to get to the bike and run. Now the words Ice Breaker should have been my first clue. I have not swam any open water since last September and I knew it was gonna be cold. Countdown comes and I run into the chilled water and start my stroke. After I raise my head for my first breath I feel like I cannot breathe…this was not part of the plan. I always knew I could do breath-stroke if I got tired but even that was a struggle.. starting to panic I thought what am I going to do. So I flipped to my back, kicked my legs and asked Jeff in the safety kayak if I was moving at all. He said you are clipping along great. So although I did make multiple attempts to try a freestyle stroke I ended up doing all 912 glorious meters on my back! Not being able to see where I was going I added on additional meters to my swim 😜. So happy to see the shore I was out much later than expected.
Ok now that I had that hideous swim behind me I went into T1 getting ready to start my most comfortable part which was the bike. I don’t have a TT Bike but love my Liv road bike from Folsom Bike so was looking forward to making up some ground here. The ride was good but have to admit a bit too short. I did get my head back on straight and was ready to keep going.
After a super fast T2 transition I was out to do my run. I have to say i forgot most TBF races are trail and this was no different. I prefer the hard asphalt to run so really did not train for the hills and uneven ground. After submerging my right foot in one of the many puddles I just wanted to get to the finish. When I crossed the line with more in the tank I knew I could have performed better.
After the race I felt a bit defeated since my day went completely different than I had set in my mind and a little disappointed in myself for not pushing a little harder. I was standing with my teammate Bryan Wertzer who is also my good friend after he had a podium 2nd place. Standing there I hear them call my name over the speaker.. I poked at my husband and said did they call my name. They say it again and I think maybe I got a sportsmanship award – I did do the whole thing with a smile after all. I got 2nd place in my Age Group. So even though it was a wild day I was on the podium for the first time in my life.
In reflection I am glad I did have some struggles so that I could learn from them and be even more prepared for Santa Rosa……
Welcome to the 4th edition of Oceanside 70.3. Second edition Folsom Bike Triathlon team. We did the red eye drive to lovely Oceanside to miss all the crazy LA traffic. Good choice as we pulled into town in about 7.5hrs. Did a 7 hours snooze and was ready for our Thursday. To start of we did a killer breakfast. Anyone ever have Honey Bunches of Oats French Toast. Well you have not lived until you have.
Fast forward love this venue. We checked in and I had the best check race packet. So good vibes. We love Oceanside so we checked out the strip and then took a long walk in the harbor on the rocks to see the new outline of the course. Gorgeous late afternoon. Mentally prepping the turns and trying no to think about how cold the Ocean water would be race morning. All the chatter was about the new rolling start, how would that play out with such a large field. Instead of swimming to 100+ meters to the line you would self-seed and off you go.
Fast forward bikes checked in on Friday afternoon and anticipation of Saturday morning. We walked from our hotel to the harbor—about 1.5miles. It was brisk out about 48. However I have to remember a few years back it was 29 at the start of my Ironman Lake Tahoe…so 48 is like balmy.
Scott and I had some nice bike positioning being AWA Silver and AWA Gold. I can see my competition that also ranked in Gold…let’s say they were not very friendly. It’s time to head to the swim start and we both go together. A kiss and hug and I drop to the 40-45 min group and Scott advances to the 30-35 min.
Get the water bottle and load the inside of my suit with water to seal it up. It took about: 20 minutes to get finally to the start and once you hit that pier it is swim time. Water was 62 and it was actually warm compared to the air. I felt good and got into a rhythm. But contact and then around the turn around sun.
Swim time 47:26—I can do better. 31/62 AG
Long transition to the bike. Start pulling down the LS wetsuit and focus on not wasting time. 6+ min transition, I have to do better.
I know this bike course and now I have awesome Sram Etap thank you Folsom Bike and I am ready to tackle the bike course. I know this course having raced the last 3 years. Just have to be careful around mile 40 you do not speed past 25 Mph or you face DQ. I was overly cautious as my Garmin setting missed MPH! Yes stupid is on my forehead! So I really hit the brakes. The last 10 miles of the course are fast but also windy. I was focused on under 3 hours as that has been my norm…pushing hard. However 3:04:18 was the time. 10/ 62. AG
I knew I had to use the bathroom so I scurried to get shoes, hat and off I went into the bathroom and out. About a 7 min transition. Not good. So run like I stole something. The first bright spot was seeing teammate Brian Skehan. Great to have the mutual encouragement. I’m running and feeling good. This is probably one of the prettiest runs along the ocean for several miles. Finally about mile 3 I see Scott. That brightens my day seeing him happy and running. My goal, no stopping and just get stronger. I ran happy. I saw my good friends the Burgesses who moved to San Diego a few months back cheering me on! How cool they came to watch and see their 1st triathlon! This is a two-loop course and based on my 1st loop I was in good shape to be under 2 hours and stay under 6 hours, as I had never done more than 5:54 here. So I pushed and felt I was tracking to be under 6. Home stretch and fighting the time. I gave it my all and crossed the line super spent and sun drenched! Thank goodness Scott was waiting at the finish! I ran a 1:56:44. But that was not good enough. Final time 6:01:42. Racing my new AG was not certain how that would play out. Top 5 are podium.
1-minute difference from 6th.and +15min from 5th. My transition time was about a 3 minute factor and a potty break and too conservative on bike to be ready for a good run.
Final 7th/62nd AG. 168th/928th Gender and 995/3430 OA.
Thanks to Folsom Bike my bike mechanically was flawless!
Nutrition was dialed with Vespa and Clif gels and Gu Blocks.
Congrats Brian Skehan and Scott Williams on great races. As a result our Tri Club Division V ranked 9 of 67!
Next up IM Santa Rosa 70.3
April 1st was our fourth time racing here and second round racing for Folsom Bike. I was super stoked because this year picked up a brand new BMC TM01 from Folsom Bike and was ready to set a new P.R. We arrived 2 days early and had all our race morning gear set well in advance so we could rest up and relax before the race.
The morning started with cool temperatures at 46 degrees at 5 a.m. It was expected to warm-up, be sunny and reach the high 70’s before the end of the day, so I lathered on the sunscreen. The water temperature was a warm, 62 degrees. As we made our way up we were able to see the pro’s finish their swim and run into transition. What a thrill it was to see the determination and focus on their faces!
2017 the swim was changed to a rolling start. It was as usual with people all over and you just swim while everyone is hitting everyone. My mindset was good and I pushed through. The yellow sight buoys were nice since they were fairly close, so it was pretty easy to see where to go. The course was a narrow “horse-shoe” out-and back type route. I could tell as we moved our way out we were getting close to the mouth of the harbor as the water became choppy. On occasion a swell would rise and I would catch it in my mouth and take a hard swallow of very salty ocean water. At this point I just wanted to avoid people, which is impossible in a large race like this. Some were swimming fast over people, others swimming slow doing the backstroke and some were completely stopped. I just tried to move forward and swim around people. No luck, the bright sun just made it difficult to see, so I just swam with the crowd and stopped on occasion to see if I could figure out if I was going straight. It seemed to take forever to get the finish dock and I felt a little like a pinball going right until I hit someone and then going left until I was blocked by someone else. I found it hard to get into a rhythm and my timing was off for breathing.
As I started the ride it was congested once again with lots of people around. There were many turns and a quick steep climb before we entered Camp Pendleton. I was going a slower pace than I had hoped for but would rather not blow-up on the hills later. I tried to stay positive despite my slow swim start and concentrate on what I was doing at the moment. I was pleased to be passing people the entire ride despite not holding my numbers so I felt good about that. I was grateful the course was well marked but was still anxious to ride around other riders and the traffic. As we approached the first major hill around mile 28/29 I was excited to do it. I have been training for hills and there are a lot of them where I live in Folsom so I was pretty sure I could handle anything that was thrown at me even though I had only done a handful of outdoor rides this year. I tackled the hill well and passed many people. It was challenging, but I loved it. On the decent I tried to continue passing people and keep “pressure on the pedals”. I get a little nervous at the high speeds but tried to embrace it as I knew that I needed it to increase my average to finish in a decent time. I continued to try to ride strong but found it difficult to push myself. Just a few miles from the cycling finish while we were riding around a bumpy section behind some buildings I lost my tool box for the second time today. I was now nervous that my bike split was going to be even slower than ever.
Now it was time to get running as I had planned to hold a 7:55-8:05 minute per mile which is very doable considering I ran a 2 half marathon conservatively 2 weeks before the race, but through the next few miles I realized had better make a pit-stop rather than have an “accident”. I felt better and worked my pace back up to goal pace for a short time, then realized I needed to hold back a bit. At this point I spotted teammate Brian Skehan and Karyn Hoffman. I hit the 10K in an okay split, much slower than planned, but still okay. I continued plugging along taking minimal nutrition and tried to close the gap on my teammates. I took in the scene; all the people, we were running by ocean and I was doing an early season Half Ironman. Even though my race didn’t go as planned I was pleased to finish and have my love Karyn Hoffman to share it with. It is disappointing to perform below my potential and not have anything to show for hard training effort. I ended up with a time of 5:48:20. So not terrific, but not horrible either. I am learning and will continue to try to reach my goals. Next up Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3 May13th.
Thanks Folsom Bike for all the support for 2017
Swim 00:43:53 Bike 02:46:55 Run 02:03:27