I am learning to race a race!
So overall, I had a good day and a great start to the race season! I crossed the finish line not relieved to finish but happy with my finish. And yes, there is a difference! I've finished numerous triathlons but this was the first one I learned to race! Prior to race, I thought it'd be awesome if I can break 7 hours knowing where I was currently at with my swim, bike and run. The last 70.3 I did was Vineman last July which took me 7hr and 28 minutes. Breaking 7 hours was definitely awesome...for me! As well as getting the first race jitters out of the way!!
Thursday, flew out to San Diego then drove to Oceanside for the Ironman Oceanside 70.3 where we dropped our luggage off at the condo, made a trip to Costco and just hung out. Friday, Kara and I got our 20 minute heart rate run over with in the early morning by running out to the swim start and back. We registered and got our bikes from Chris who drove them down from SF. Saturday..woke up at 4am..it's race morning..my congestion and cough was mostly gone! SWEET!
Prior to swim start- nervous as h*ll but a couple of other girls next to me in my transition area seemed a lot more nervous than I so that made me feel a bit better! I was nervous because I wasn't sure how the water was going to feel. I wasn't sure how my body would react to the water. AND I was going to have to sharpen my elbows because the M45-49 AND M30-34 waves were going right after me which meant, minutes into my swim, I would get clobbered by men!
Swim Plan- just get through it the best I can!!
Swim Actual- We had to swim out to the deep water swim start line. To be honest, I was close to turning around and not starting the race while I was swimming out to the swim start only because mentally, I was scared that the scrunchy throat feeling was going to take over (see Wildflower training weekend two blogs back)..but I sucked it up and got over it knowing aides on surfboards were literally everywhere! Swim started and the W30-34 got under way in the perfect 59 degree waters of the Oceanside harbor! My goal for this particular swim was to get to the next buoy! I stayed a bit away from the buoy line itself because I wanted to avoid getting hit by the mosh of men that were imminently going to come after us. Regardless, I still got hit, punched actually in the face, by a guy. Thanks a lot guy! That's triathlon swim though, a washing machine mess of arms and legs. Mess never thinned out and coming back was worse because the sun was glaring into our eyes and I couldn't see any buoy until it was right in front of me. I was never so happy to get to the turn around point of a swim, granted it was a bit chomp at the turn around. We had swim volunteers help pull us our and unzip our wetsuits, that was AWESOME!
T1- it's a long @ss run from the swim finish to our transition area! Saw a guy run out of T1 with his aero helmet, I repeat aero helmet, on backwards...
Bike Plan- Hit my Z3 heart rate and hold it there..can get into Z4 heart rate on climbs but do not stay in Z4 otherwise I will be walking my run...
Bike Actual- Stayed in Z3 and hit Z4 only on the big climb. Boy, was I happy to see my P2 and take it out for a ride! The bike course was sweet! The first part of the bike was super fast and super fun! I almost took out a jack rabbit that decided to test his fate today but fate decided to let him live and let my race continue :-)! Thank you fate! Bike got tougher at about mile 30 where hills started to test our legs. That was okay though as I felt pretty good still! Riding through Camp Pendleton when it was in full use was pretty spectacular! Last 15 miles or so of bike was getting a bit harder only because I couldn't hold an aero position on the bike without feeling a deep strain on my right hamstring (have been bugging me for weeks and have been getting it worked on with Dr. Rabbetz). Finish of the bike took place on Harbor Drive which is lined with Palm Trees, sight of it was sweet! Nutrition was on point for the bike! I took in one bottle of Infinit Nutrition an hour (250 calories), no solids.
T2- the only porta potty I visited.
Run- Plan- find legs after a couple of miles. Look at heart rate when I feel like I can keep a pace and keep that heart rate +/- 5 beats. If I had something left on the second loop, go for it.
Run Actual- As I was starting my run, Matty Reed (winner and broke the run course record despite having an asthma attack during the swim) and Andy Potts (#2 and broke the swim record) were deciding how they should pose for their picture together. Had I been more on it, I would have stuck my head into their picture!! Anyway, back to business, run pace was comfortably hard with heart rate at around 160.. didn't fluctuate much after that, maybe +/- 2-3 beats. So, I've never really ran the run of a race before. In the past, I walked about 75% of it. Well, not today! I ran the entire 13.1 miles! I knew what my plan was and I was confident in it so I followed it and just held on. The 2 loop run course was beautiful and the great thing about it is that you can break it up into parts which makes it easier mentally. My right big toe however was burning and I really wanted to stop and loosen my socks but I didn't let it bother me enough to stop. Mind over matter! I walked the water stops at every mile but ran as soon water stop line ended. I took in 2 hammer gels about 45 minutes apart and at the halfway mark, I started the flat coke for an extra kick. It was great to see friends and other familiar faces on the course! Even better to see the finish line!
The finish line was a bit chaotic. Numerous volunteers are greeting you pointing you to the finisher medals, t-shirt, hat, someone getting your chip off and someone else pointing you to food. As soon as I stopped, I was getting a little light headed and dizzy! Whoa! It was great to see Mai, Pete and Ted as I was crossing the finish line and the first person I saw after crossing was Brian H...who was nice enough to patiently wait (I didn't really give him a choice actually) while I gathered all my transition stuff.
New learnings from race day- learned to pee on the bike- score! Learned but need refining of the snot rocket!
Funniest sight- man out of T1 with aero helmet backwards.
Most nervous moment of the day- swim start, jack rabbit attempting suicide, and guy zigzagging so much on this one climb that I thought he was going to spaz out and fall over.
Funniest moment- Saw Chris coming back from my first loop of run, he said, "Yi! Doing good..keep it up!" I responded, "I'm trying!" Starting my second loop which was about 3 minutes later, Chris said, "Go Yi! Come on! No more holding back!" I nodded thinking..pick it up? No holding back? But you just said I was doing good! Haha.
First stop after race- Dairy Queen! Thanks to my condo-mates and friends- Kara, Dana, Brian A., Megan, Joelene and Allan for an awesome race weekend! We had a great sun-deck at our condo but since it was on the third floor..it didn't get visited much...
Swim- 0 hours and 40 minutes
Bike- 1 hour and 0 minutes
Run- 1 hour and 20 minutes
Swim- 0 hours, 51 minutes, 4 seconds
T1- 7 minutes and 38 seconds
Bike- 3 hours, 31 minutes, 15 seconds
T2- 4 minutes and 7 seconds
Run- 2 hours, 23 minutes, 23 seconds
Total- 6 hours, 57 minutes, 27 seconds