Oceanside 70.3 Race Report
Friday! The day before the race!
Woke up Friday morning and it was my Birthday! Had a bagel and cream cheese, banana, and a protein shake. We walked over to the pier and I hopped in for a shake out swim. I basically jumped in the water to get a feel for the water temperature and dived under a couple of waves. It was cold! Next I went out for a 30 minute shake out ride to make sure everything on my bike was working and a 10 min jog off the bike.
We headed over to the pro panel where we got to listen to Chelsea Sodaro, Paula Findlay, Kat Mathews, Holly Lawrence, Ben Kanute, and others talk. I asked the first question and was brought up front :D I wanted to know what the Pros who are parents do in the lead up to their races. Chelsea and Ben shared that they usually stay away from their families during a lead up to a big race so that they could focus on sleep and their race. I wasn’t that surprised but good to know!
We ate lunch at Jersey Mikes, and I got a white bread sandwich.
Ryan had his Ironkids race and did the 1/2 mile distance. He did such a good job waiting for his turn as all the other distances went in front of him. He kept asking if it was time for "Ryan's race". The gun went off and all the 3-5 year old's took off. He ran for a good chunk and tripped over his feet early on. He cried and and walked for a bit. Then he was ready to go! A couple more walk breaks and he saw that finish line. He ran through and got to ring a bell and collect his medal! He was so proud!
For dinner we had Olive Garden, as usual, I had soup and spaghetti with a bread stick, along with my electrolyte drink. We also got tiramisu for my Birthday, and I had a couple of bites
We headed to bed around 8:30pm as it seems to take Ryan about an hour of unwind time until he actually falls asleep. I finally fell asleep at 9:40pm according to my Garmin.
4:45 Wake up! We tried to be quiet and sneak out to eat breakfast so Ryan could get some extra sleep. But he sprung out of bed and said, “I am ready to go”. I had my usual bagel with cream cheese and then a bottle of water. We left the Airbnb at 5:20am and walked 1.8 miles to the race start. On the way over I had my electrolyte drink.
5:50am I arrived at transition and headed straight to the porta potty. Some guy in the line behind me asked if I would a baby wipe and a sanitizing wipe and told me not to mix them up :D I told him he was prepared! What a brilliant idea and something I might start bringing with me to races :D I got to my bike and pumped up my tires, gave the wheels a spin, loaded up my bottles and nutrition, and the rest of my gear.
We found out the evening before that because of the mixture of the cold air temp and the frigid 56-degree water temp, the swim course would be moved to the harbor. I was thrilled with this change because I wasn’t too excited about making my way through the big waves.
6:20am I jumped into the ocean to get a feel for the water, said my goodbyes to my family, and headed to the swim corral. I found the 30-33min group and seeded myself up in the top half. I noticed a bunch of people (more than the usual amount) lining up in the 27-30 min group and thought that was a little peculiar. But, felt more comfortable in my normal 30-33 group. I found a nice lady to chat with and she told me she was doing the swim relay. She was from the area and told me how unusually cold it’s been this year. I always love finding someone to chat with before the start of the swim. It really helps settle my nerves and I love hearing about other people’s stories.
9th place age group
The cannon went off and the race had started. We slowly made our way to the swim gate and off I went. The water temp didn’t feel as bad as I anticipated. I was already frozen, and my pre-race swim gave me an idea of what to expect. I couldn’t get a good grab of the water because my hands were so frozen I couldn’t keep my fingers together. The first buoy came, and I was swimming on top of people and into people. I immediately regretted not starting out further up in the corral. I never got clear water or found anyone to swim with. I was getting elbowed and kicked trying to pass people. Coming back, I finally found some open water, until I met a kayaker waving at me… I should have known I was swimming off course when I suddenly stopped running into other swimmers. Towards the end of the swim, I finally found my groove and my catch felt a lot better. I swam until I touched the concrete ramp, stood up, and booked it out of the freezing water.
I exited the swim which was located near the front of transition, but then I had to run around transition to the far side of the pier to enter transition, then all the way back to the front of transition to find my bike. It was a long run! I stomped on my wet suit (cutting the ends of my wetsuit worked out really well, thanks Coach) and took my cap/goggles off. Put my sandy feet in my bike shoes. Buckled on my race belt (usually you would do this in T2 but bibs were required to enter Camp Pendleton on the bike course). I buckled my helmet, which felt like it took forever to find the buckle. Grabbed my bike and exited out of transition with one quick porta potty stop. I regretfully could not find any sunscreen in transition so was hopeful the clouds would stay for awhile so I wouldn’t get too burned.
22nd place age group
I started out nice and easy and turned my bike computer on as I pedaled away from T1. My heart rate was at 95 BPM which was shocking. Apparently, my body was having a really hard time adjusting from the cold water. At around mile 5 it finally started to increase. Around the same mile marker, I heard a big loud noise and looked back to see a bottle of nutrition on the road. I thought for a split second about going back for it. But, I was too far ahead and bikes were coming up fast, it wasn’t safe. Luckily, I brought my extra bar and could make do with Maurten gels if I really needed to. I tried to stay in aero as much as possible, focus on fast cadence, and getting in some calories. At mile 30 I worked my way up the first big climb up Mateo Hill. I felt strong going up the hill and pedaled my way down the hill passing a few other athletes. The next 2 climbs came and I felt really in control and didn’t feel like I burnt any matches. I ended up consuming 2 Maurten solid bars, 1 Maurten gel, a bottle of Skratch Superfuel, and a bottle of Skratch hydration.
I quickly racked my bike, switched my shoes, grabbed my hat as I ran over to the sunscreen station. Luckily I didn’t feel too burned coming off the bike. Quick porta potty stop and was out of there.
10th place age group
Starting the run I felt like a million bucks. I checked my heart rate to make sure I was on track wasn’t over doing it. I focused on a quick turnover and breathing. Got to the first aid station and went for 2 cups of water. Next aid station I grabbed a caf Maurten gel. Spectators lined the board walk and I felt their energy really drive me forward. I hiked up the ramp of the pier and then settled back into my run pace. The turn around came up quick and I was still feeling strong. I even talked with a guy from Seattle who had a PR performance kit on for a while! Then I took off and grabbed another caf gel at mile 5. I alternated with coke at every other aid station. At mile 7 I followed my race plan and matched my speed for the rest of the run. The only dark moment I had was at mile 11 when my legs started to get really tired and I felt pretty queasy. I just told myself 2 more miles, hold on to this pace and you will PR! I saw Shauna and Lia at the last run aid station and that gave me the last boost of energy I needed before I saw the red carpet finish line!
Things that went well!
1. No cramping! I had absolutely no cramping on the bike or the run during this race! This was huge as it’s the first time this has happened at a race since I started to have side cramps postpartum.
2. I executed my race plan in every discipline. I followed my heart rate and my nutrition plan, and it worked out great!
3. When I lost my bottle of nutrition, I stayed calm and didn’t freak out. I went into problem solving mode and believe I made the right decision on not going back for it.
Things to work on/ do differently.
1. If I were to do this race again, I would have lined up at the front of the 30-33 min group. But there was no way to know that going into the race. I definitely lost a lot of time swimming over people and into people. I also swam off in the wrong direction for a good 20-30 seconds and probably ended up losing a minute.
2. I forgot to put a rubber band around my rear water bottle cage and I believe that’s why it popped out. So, I need to make sure that’s more secure next time.
3. My bike time still isn’t where I would like it. I slightly under biked and could have pushed a little bit harder, but it also allowed me to execute a fast run.