Vineman 70.308í

My casual half ironman



My half birthday



After finishing Wildflower 70.3 earlier in the year I was recovering with Hop Ottin IPA and I started saying, ďHey I might as well sign up for Vineman 70.3 too, compared to this, thatíll be easy.Ē


And so I drunk-registered as Roman calls it.


After Escape from Alcatraz I suddenly realized that I had only seven weeks to get ready for the SF Marathon. And Iíd lose parts of that to family obligations.


Vineman became a bump in my training and calamity ensued.


First off, the plan was to stay at my in-laws house. This had been arranged since May when I signed up. However, my sister-in-law decided the week before that her family would be staying there.


I was ready to say, ďOkay, nevermind on the family visiting, Iíll get a hotel.Ē


After much debate she agreed to show up for free lodging on Sunday instead of Friday.


She would go on to take that out on us for the next few, well, sheís still taking that out on us.


I didnít realize it was a competition to get your kids time in front of their grandparents, but, apparently it is if youíre blonde and live outside of Redding.




As a result of that, I had less time to pack and I had more to pack with kids stuff than usual and I forgot stuff.


Heart rate monitor? Not that big a deal, I can feel the difference between 60% and 90% of max heart rate.


Watch? Not that big a deal on the run as there were mile markers, but on the bike, I had no idea what mile I was on just roughly where I was in the wine country.


Running belt? I didnít think it would be a problem, Iíd just pin it onto my shirt and pull my wetsuit over. I didnít care if it would get wet. Although, the race organizers said ďDonít wear the number on the swim, itís bi-degradable and will fall apart.Ē


Getting there


I was in wave three, and I had arranged with my wife and father in law that whichever was awake would ride with me to the edge of Guerneville and then drive the car back to the house.


A good plan. The bad part of the plan was the estimating. I should have known when my wife who grew up in the area got me to the pre-race meeting fifteen minutes late. I should have taken her estimate for to getting to Guerneville and added 15-30 minutes, but I didnít.


I ended up getting into transition and getting into the water 2 minutes 30 seconds before my wave start.





Is that argyle?


First let me explain the artsy photos. I donít know how they did it, but the race photographers made it impossible to even do a print screen of their proofs. These pictures are my pictures of my screen of their pictures and mildly adjusted for contrast, brightness etc.




The Swim


Three things about this swim.


First, itís normal to play water polo for the first few hundred yards and then split up. Wave 3 of Vineman this year took that almost to the turn around.


Second, at the turn around, I saw a handful of guys stand up and walk a few hundred yards. Should that be a DQ?


Third, training.


As I was coming down the back stretch, I realized that this was only the fourth time Iíd swam the whole summer. Only one of those were practice, the other two were Wildflower and Alcatraz.


So I thought, ďI should practice swimming.Ē


So I started practicing my stroke and noticed how I pulled away from a guy I had been swimming alongside of for a couple hundred yards.


I guess that means practice is good?

The Bike




The first five miles of the bike felt great.




And then the left side of my lower back where it connects to the glute tightened and started to hurt, which is why Iím standing in the above photos.


About mile 49 I took my left foot out of the cleat to shake it and when I went to put it back in, I realized it was not positioned the same as the right. If there werenít only 7 miles to go, I would have gotten off and re-adjusted the cleat right there.


Later that week when I checked it out, the cleat was back about 2.5mm and twisted slightly to the left. Iím guessing that happened while running on the rocks in transition as Iíve had those shoes for 2-3 years and theyíve done centuries without this kind of issue.


The Run


I was worried about the run with the back pain, and declined my clean pair of socks. I thought if I stopped and sat down my back would seize and so I kept moving.


That was my only mistake as I had to stop and mile four and clean rocks out of my socks.


Pain instantly vanished as I started the run and I ran the fastest Ĺ marathon Iíve ever run after riding 56 miles.



The women in the background are looking at me and laughing as The announcer had just announced ďAnd thatís Dave Jones coming in, check out the argyle, argyle is never out of style! And heís sporting the Oakland Aís hat as well!



Finishingís great.






We met friends at Bear republic in Healdsburg and had a great lunch and three tankers of Racer5. Mike and Steve were glad when I ordered a third so they could as well.


Afterward we went back to the relatives and that didnít end well. Due to the competitive sibling parenting and grandparent access mentioned earlier, we were forced to leave early.


However, this turned out good for me as we went by Russian River Brew company and I got to fill up my three growlers with Pliny the Elder to take home.