Oceanside 2011- Race Report

So the report starts Friday afternoon when Mish and I arrive in Oceanside.  As soon as we arrived we ran into Alicia and John from Tri More Fitness and they let us cut in the huge check in line. While in line, I noticed that everyone looked overly fit, I know I was at a triathlon, but usually there are those people who look they will just be happy finishing and are not sure they can do it….. Where were those people? Was I the only one?

Checking in almost start very bad, both Mish and I brought are 2010 USAT card, they were not going to let us check in. Thank goodness that Alicia had an I-Phone.  We were able to log into the USAT website and prove that we had valid memberships.  They finally let me check in but left me with this greeting “Oh 407, you are starting with all the fast guys” …………Great!

After check in we road the run course and previewed the swim, both looked manageable. The run was flat, and while the swim was in the ocean, it was behind the break water, so no waves.  Next a late lunch and off the Trader Joes, for oatmeal water and banana’s.  We checked into the hotel and it was happy hour.  We got a beer and grabbed a handful of free cookies.  We sat and drank our beer and thought about the day to come.  This is when I started to get nervous!  I was clearly under-trained.  I was lucky to get one swim a week in, I had not ridden on the road more than 45 miles and my longest run was on the treadmill and 11 miles.

So after a surprisingly good night’s sleep, 4 am wake up call and an oatmeal and banana breakfast we were off to transition.  Transition was nice; Carpet everywhere and my rack only had 10 people so plenty of room.  I got set up and listen to everyone around me tell there war stories from Ironman St George.  After my poor performance at Vineman Aqua bike, and the experience of my rack partners, I was starting too nervous.   However that was short lived since we were the 2nd wave to start after the pros.

SWIM – 37:57

It was 6:30 and I was kissing Mish good luck and rushing off to the start line.  We heard the horn for the pros and got in water to get ready to start. Men 40-45 was the biggest age group competing and had 4 waves, I was in the second wave and our group let out a loud “Old Guys Rule” right before the gun went off.  The swim is usually my best part of the race, but I could not get my breathing right. I like to breath every 4th stroke so I can have a long glide and stroke, but I had to breath every other stroke since it felt like I was hyper ventilating.  I was feeling frustrated since I felt like I was working harder than I needed to, but over all it was going ok, not much punching or kicking and I was sighting pretty well.  After the turn around, I was feeling better and once again tried to correct my stroke, this time it was going better and I could feel myself pick up speed.  I put my head down and tried to get into a good groove, however I forgot to keep sighting, so the next time I looked up I was 3 feet from the break water.  I gave up on have good swim stroke and just did my best getting to the finish.  Got out of the was in 37:57, a little slow than my sub- 35:00 goal.

T-1 – 5:58

After the long run on the plush carpet, I was back in transition.  Had little trouble getting my wetsuit over my timing chip, took my time making sure I had all my fuel and used sunscreen before I was off on the bike.  (You don’t want to burn)

Bike 3:12:20  (17.5 mph)

The bike started great. The first half of the course is north up the coast and fast. The first 25 mile was done in 1:13:00.  I start to think I could ride much better than my 3:30 goal. I did my best to make sure I was fuelling (Sustained Energy double bottle, Power bars, and Gu) and drinking.   The one bad thing about starting right behind the pros is someone is always passing you, so the whole race I heard coach Neil in my head…. “ride your race, watch your heart rate and save some for the run”  It was hard especially when the age on the calves start to get higher…

After the coast we headed in-land, and back down south.  After the one big hill the ride got tough, the head wind kick-up and I hate to ride in a head wind. The next 20 miles were mentally tough, a head wind in your face and enough of a grade to slow you down, but not really a hill either.  After the last hill it was a fast 11 miles back to the harbor.  Got off the bike 3:12:20 much faster than my 3:30:00 goal, but not the Sub 3:00:00, I was fantasizing about during the first 25 miles.

T-2 – 2:45

Coming back into transition was little tricky since you had to ride that plush carpet, but now it was soaking wet and slippery. Made it in with out any problems, sunscreened up and was off on the run.

Run – 2:17:52

The run did not start well, in the first ½ mile both of my quads started to cramp badly.  I hit the first aid station popped some salt, drank some power-aid and did a quick stretch.  While the cramps did not go away I started the death shuffle. Good news my normal running pace is not that much faster than my death shuffle.  I just kept moving walking the aid station and shuffling the rest of the way.  Just before the end of the first of loop I saw Alicia and that helped my spirits.  The second loop was easier and I just kept a smile on my face since and just counted the mile as I knocked them down.  I knew I could do this! At mile 11 I saw Mish and she looked great.   The last half mile was emotional I was excited to finish, and waved the crowed on as I ran the finishing shoot.  It was a great day!

Total Time – 6:16:52

What did I learn and observe?

  1. Swim in my wetsuit more, race day should not be the first time in the season I put on my wetsuit
  2. People know when to cheer you on. Every time I needed a shout out, another athlete would tell me I am doing great. (love having your name on your bib-number)
  3. I need to do longer brick workouts in training
  4. 40-45 year old women are fast
  5. Start to take salt early and often, cramps suck!
  6. Not sure I want to do a full Ironman any time soon.

If you read this whole report, I am amazed, but thanks

Eric M.

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