Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 Oceanside 70.3

leisure pace. trying to smile + stay positive.
So after 5 years of living in So Cal I finally raced Oceanside half ironman. It's a hometown race and it's pegged as one of those races where you freeze at. Okay, so after the Panama 70.3 humidity disaster of last year, sign me up! For racing, I embrace the cold! I know my body doesn't perform well in the heat and sun, so I begged for rain and cloud cover and freezing ocean temps. I swim in the cove {almost} year round and while, yeah, it's freezing, I'm used to it. And I know most of my competitors aren't.

You can't always get what you want.

After a crappy night sleep experiencing some wicked lower back pain from standing at the expo for the past 2 days and the Crohn's flare, race morning came early. Kyle and I picked up Noko at 4:30am and we made the trek up to north county. Managed to scarf down an entire bowl of Malt-O-Meal {with heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar} and I made sure to drink plenty of fluids on the drive up. Kyle dropped us off at T2 and we situated our run stuff and rode the bikes over to T1. Got set up and then saw Kyle where we watched the Pro's swim through the harbor so I could take a better look at the overview of the buoys. Put myself into the {cattle} corral and waited until our group was the next released into the {62 degree WARM, what?!} water.

okay! made it to the start liine. ready for the long day ahead.
Swim: 24:16, 1st 30-34 AG, fastest amateur female, 5th overall
Wave 17 {lucky number, lucky swim} 7:30am, 50 min after the pro's and the gun goes off, and there we go. It was a pretty uneventful swim. Goggles performed beautifully {no fogging/cracking issues}. I drafted for a while, then I took the lead for a while, then the girl started tapping my feet like we were pacelining, so I flipped over, adjusted a goggle, took a few backstrokes, let her pass me and I stayed on her side for a while. I didn't like her line going into the turnaround so I took a shorter line. Ended up emerging after the turn pretty close to her so I started drafting again. Saw the husband at his post, I waved and yelled "Hi!" as I knew he'd get a chuckle from that. I gave one final push to try and drop the girl, but knew it was pointless, so I let up and coasted into the turn, where I had the inside line and took a wide corner to the chute and hopped out of the water before her. Success!

Bike: 2:54:13, 12th AG, 47th amateur
Took some time in transition and got out onto Kermit and his new wheels and started off pretty easy. Lisa passed me just as we passed onto the base at Camp Pendelton. After the first climb I realized my HR monitor wasn't working so I started playing with my Garmin and I was becoming quickly frustrated so I quit that. Christine passed me and from then on it was a race. And it was fun. I knew I didn't have a shot at hell in placing in my AG, but I sure as heck wanted her and Lisa to do well, so I kept up the pace and kept them motivated to keep the first girl in sight {B+L kit?}. We were swapping leads through the base and into San Onofre and back onto the base. I felt pretty good going into the first hill and unfortunately let her and Lisa slip away, and I never saw them again. I hit a LOW point after the downhill. The winds started to pick up and I felt like I was going no where in my small ring. It was almost a bonk, except I was eating enough. I had enough caffeine. I just chalked it up to not enough training and a crappy, exhausting week. It started to get scary when my eyes started drying up and they kept involuntarily closing. I really thought I was going to end up in the ditch or crashing. Those were not good moments for me. I didn't think I'd be able to finish the bike, much less run. I caught some legal drafts back to T2 and walked my bike to my rack. It's a race for goodness sake, and I'm walking. Think angry cat face. I dump Kermit and thank him for a job well done for getting be back safely. The new Zipp Firecrest 404 650s were amazing and I feel bad I couldn't do them justice. I walk to the "run out" exit and see Julie who is yelling at me to start running. So I started running.

go Kermit!
ramps of death
Run: 2:17:05, 57th AG {not kidding}
And that was the run. I "ran" the entire run besides the ridiculous ramps/and steep hill jaunts that make the course a crazy rat race. I ran through the aid stations. And I ran to the finish. I was so glad to have so many people out there I knew. It was a mental game for me to attempt to enjoy this experience. My ankle/foot hurt with every step. My quads and hamstrings were steps away from cramps but the salt tabs, coke, and ice were doing their magic. My lower back was less barky than I thought it would be. I wished I had a visor. Yet, my smile worked. It was infectious. There was no use grimacing through the race. After mile 4, I asked Brian what my swim time was, I almost had a heart attack. I almost tripped on my face. I almost started crying. But what I did do was smile. Seriously, I did not believe him. Good thing the race wasn't on April 1. I knew that no matter how I finished, I would always have that swim. And so I smiled.

finish chute. yes i did look back and check for girls.

OA: 5:41:22
I ended up 25th in my ridiculously stacked "new" age group. Even though this was my slowest half ironman to date, even though it wasn't my hardest earned finish, this race will still hold a different place in my heart. I overcame obstacles and kept a mostly positive attitude. I will get my revenge for this race, maybe not at this race, but I wish to fully conquer the 70.3 distance in a way I know I'm fully capable of.

phew. filled with positive emotion and some tears.
I'm a tactical racer. I hate running. It's not about tactics, it's about laying it all out there. And I'm no good at that. Swimming is tactics and technique, course corrections and effort management. Cycling is very much about race planning, strategy, nutrition, pacing, course knowledge. Running is about pain and frustration and just isn't fun. I really really need to get stronger and much more efficient with this running game and I know I can enjoy it. But the journey getting there is tough.

thank you sherpa kyle.
P.S. I would pay good money to start with the male pro's and get the hole shot behind Andy Potts. I really really would like to know if I could hang with them and what I'm capable of without having to swim over and around the masses.


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