Wow, I have to say, what a great venue to race. I just love the fact that transition was beach front. Keep in mind, this would be a perfect family friendly venue since the family could hang out at the beach while watching you swim point to point and then while out on the bike and run and just come back near transition around when you would be expected back. We got there on Friday and man the surf was rough. SO much, I has no desire to even get in that water since you could see white caps to the horizon. On Saturday, we rode the run course and then did a quick brick. After racking up in T-0, we hopped in the truck and drove the bike course. This gave us great intel about road surfaces, turns, etc. This was helpful since we were never able to ride the bike course ahead of time.
Well, the swim we had to walk down to the swim start and swim north. I was pretty happy we bought some disposable clothes to keep warm. Even with the 1 mile walk, my feet were comfortable with the socks and was keeping warm with the 50 degree weather. I also noticed that my hand looks a little dehydrated with the sunk veins. Not sure if this was also because of being somewhat cold once I had my sleeveless wetsuit on. I was in the 8th wave or so there was a lot of traffic in front of me. The swim temp was around 70 degrees. Once the gun sounded, I started to run in. It took me until about the first sight buoy after the first turn buoy to get settled down and comfortable. Not sure why I was so anxious but I just remembered, just smile and have fun. The water was amazingly clear and without taste. I actually could see bubbles and follow them. I would not say I was drafting anybody but certainly the closest I have been to doing that ever. Since we were swimming north, I was also able to sight on the shore. The buoys just clicked by. Before I knew it, I was turning back to the beach and thought I had a decent swim. After all, I was swimming with my caps and was passing some other caps of waves in front of me. I really do not remember seeing any caps pass me but I was staying to the inside. Up the beach and off into T1.
In T1, I was able to find my bike pretty easily. The guy across from me “dropped” some powder in front of his bike and that provided me a great landmark of this very long, two aisle transition. I put a bit of body glide on the feet, helmet on, I was good to go.
Once on the bike, it took me until about the first 15 miles to warm up. It was high 50’s and I really did not have anything else on besides my tri kit, shorts, cleats, glasses and helmet. I also noticed that the back of my neck was starting to really hurt – like it got sun burned. Not that would have happened that quick but really had no idea why. I now realize that my wetsuit rubbed my neck raw and I need to put some glide to help protect it. My goal nutrition wise was to still do my 300 cals per hour that I trained with and used for EM. I got a bit behind at the 1 hour mark and caught up. I also noticed that my HR would just spike up when I least expected. I thought I was fairly hydrated going into the race. I was just hoping not to repeat Rumpus. Once I got my first bottle done, I started to switch out and put my empty bottle in my back pocket. No sooner did I have it secured, I hit a bump and off it went. I was like, OK, that’s was an empty no biggie. A mile or two down the road, another bump, another bottle but a full one this time. I was like oh no. I was just down to a single bottle for another 2 1/2 hours or so. I started to finish about halfway mark, climb one of the steeper little hills and make a left turn, then a guy also most cut me off. The ride back west, was pretty uneventful. Once I got back on the main drag that headed south, there was a group of us that were trying to race, keep our distances, yet climb these hills and get thru the aid stations. At the last aid station, things really started to collapse in. Of course that happens right in front of an official and I get my first red card ever. I thought it was a cheap foul since I was braking into for water. I ended up severing the penalty right in front of T2. I was able to make the most of this time by putting my shoes back on the bike all clipped in, finish what little was left in my final bottle, and think thru transition. Once the 4 minutes passed, I put my shoes on and was out of T2 fairly quickly.
On the run, I knew it had a pretty step hit to get up to the campus. Plus getting out to this hill, I tried to keep my pace right and not make up time lost. Plus the penalty also slowed down my sense of speed and did not have that typical over pacing on the run that happens right off the bike. I got up the hill pretty good and maintained a pretty good pace. At the aid stations I was taking on water and throwing some over my head. I also noticed that my race jersey was really starting to rub me raw in the arm pits. After the first loop, I also started to drink coke. Missing an entire bottle, I was a bit nervous and wanted to get in some calories. Things were going great until I got out of the campus and started to head up the hill. This was around mile 9 to 10. I kept negotiation with myself that I would walk/jog up the big hill coming out of the campus to finish strong. When I got up about 2/3 up the hill, the wheels started to fall off. I walked up the last 1/3 and man that really hurt walking. Much worse than running. At the top of the hill, I found my stride since it was all downhill from there and finished strong back to chute.
Once the race was finished, I went to the food tent. Man the selection of food was so bad. Again, just not stuff that fits my diet or my stomach can handle post racing. I tried to stick to some liquids and refuel with what I could stomach. Plus I had no money to get a post-race massage. The 10 hour ride home the following day even with taking an ice bath post-race, I was still super stiff. I certainly was going to get that massage next time thru. I was hoping I would run the entire run since that dug at me about Eagleman. I certainly had doubts I could repeak let alone beat my previous PR. Here were my splits:
Swim – 40:49
T1 – 4:11
Bike – 2:40:06 or 20.99 mph
T2 – 2:40
Run – 1:51:13 or 8:29 m/m
All and all, I PR’ed with my second 1/2 of the year and really enjoyed myself. Certainly a race I would bring the family to next time!